Best Free VPN Download - The Top 5 Free VPNs Updated 2022
Free VPN downloads seem too good to be true — and they often are. Most of these offers won’t let you download without signing up, and many are super low quality. Besides, the majority of free VPN downloads can’t unblock popular streaming sites and have restrictions that make them almost useless.
After testing 35 free VPN downloads, my team and I found a few that can keep you safe online. However, they all come with limitations like data caps, small server networks, and slow speeds.
My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has military-grade security features, a large server network, and superfast speeds for streaming and torrenting without interruptions. On top of that, it doesn’t have restrictions like most free VPN downloads, so you can browse, stream, and torrent without limitation. It's true that it's not 100% free, but you can test it out risk-free for 30 days. Its money-back guarantee lets you claim a full refund if you're not satisfied.
Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPN Downloads — Tested in 2022
- ExpressVPN — Superfast speeds and unlimited data for streaming and torrenting, plus military-grade security features to keep you protected (and you can try it risk-free for 30 days because it offers a money-back guarantee).
- CyberGhost — Offers a 24-hour free VPN download to test its strong streaming performance, but can’t bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited simultaneous connections to protect all your devices, but it doesn’t have customer support.
- ProtonVPN — Unlimited data and a no-logs policy to keep you protected, but doesn’t support torrenting.
- hide.me — Free VPN download with top-notch security features to protect your online activity, but you can’t use it to access streaming sites.
- Best VPN download with unlimited data and superfast speeds to stream, torrent, and surf the web without slowdowns.
- Strict zero-logs policy, military-grade 256-bit encryption, and an automatic kill switch to protect your privacy
- 3,000 servers in 90 countries that can access geo-blocked sites worldwide
- 5 simultaneous device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
When you download ExpressVPN, you’ll get superfast speeds and unlimited bandwidth. My team and I tested 60 servers and our speeds averaged 53.8 Mbps. Its speed on long-distance servers is also impressive. I’m located in Western Europe, and I still had an average speed of 50.8 Mbps with servers in the US and Canada. This is twice as fast as the speed you need to watch in Ultra HD. This means you can watch your favorite movies and shows without any annoying buffering.
It comes with military-grade security features to protect your online data. It has AES 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch (Network Lock) that disables your internet if the VPN suddenly disconnects. In addition, it has a strict no-logs policy. While reading through it, I found that ExpressVPN uses RAM-based servers that automatically clear your browsing history when you disconnect. With ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about your personal information being shared since it can’t be recorded.
Unlike most free VPN downloads, ExpressVPN offers an extensive server network with 3,000 servers in 90 countries (which are all P2P-optimized). While traveling in Brazil, I could access my US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Disney+ accounts. It can even get past the Great Firewall of China and works in countries with severe restrictions. You won’t have any issues finding a reliable server for streaming, torrenting, or browsing the web.
You can download ExpressVPN for a number of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more. This is possible because it allows you to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. I was able to stream on my iPhone while surfing the web safely on my Macbook. Both devices were connected to the same server, and I didn’t experience any performance issues.
Although ExpressVPN isn’t 100% free to download, I included it on this list since it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free. If you decide ExpressVPN isn't for you, it's hassle-free to claim a full refund. After using the VPN for 26 days, I tested out its policy myself by contacting its 24/7 live chat support. The live chat agent asked me a few questions and quickly proceeded to approve my refund. I had my money back in 3 days.
- VPN download with unlimited data and lightning-fast speeds to surf the web without lag.
- Strict zero-logs policy, military-grade 256-bit encryption, and an automatic kill switch to safeguard your privacy
- 7,680 servers in 90 countries that can access geo-blocked content
- 7 simultaneous device connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Roku, and more
CyberGhost has robust security features like military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection. I tested more than 15 servers on ipleak.net and didn’t find any leaks. On top of that, it has a strict no-logs policy and even offers ‘NoSpy’ servers. These servers are all RAM-based, so their data is wiped every day, and they can only be accessed by Cyberghost staff members. This VPN download will keep you well protected online and won’t record any of your vital information.
It offers 7,680 servers in 90 countries, which will help you access more geo-blocked content. During my tests, I could easily access more than 10 Netflix libraries worldwide. In addition, I was able to unblock Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and many more streaming platforms. There are optimized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, but they're only available with a premium subscription. However, its regular servers still let you stream your favorite shows without any buffering or lag.
When you download CyberGhost, you’ll get unlimited data and superfast speeds. When I tested its US and UK servers, I had an average speed of 52.5 Mbps. This allowed me to watch shows in high quality on local and long-distance servers. You won’t experience any annoying buffering while streaming your favorite movies.
It works on all major operating platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. I tested this out by downloading the app on my iPhone, Macbook, and Windows laptop — it only took 5 minutes to install. It also offers 7 simultaneous device connections, so you can stay safe any time you go online.
A minor con is that it doesn’t bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, it does work in other countries with strict censorship, such as the UAE and Turkey. Besides, its extensive server network, fast speeds, and top-tier security features make it a top VPN to download.
You can use CyberGhost’s 24-hour free trial to download and test the VPN without signing up. If you feel like you still need more time to test all its features for free, you can take advantage of CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee. After using the VPN for 43 days, I decided to test its refund policy. After asking a few questions, the live chat agent approved my request — I had my money back within 4 days.
- 1GB of data per month and fast speeds to browse the web without annoying interruptions
- Free VPN download with strict logging policy and AES 256-bit encryption to protect your online data
- 1 server location
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Can unblock: Only local sites (the free plan only connects to local servers)
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Avira Phantom VPN allows you to connect as many devices as you want. This is impressive since most free VPN downloads only allow 1 device connection. During my tests, I browsed the web on my iPad while streaming Netflix on my Macbook. All the streams were flawless; I didn’t experience any interruptions. You can download its app on all major operating systems such as Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. The installation process was easy, and I didn’t need to sign up or give any personal information.
Its top-tier security features make sure that you stay protected online. It has military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and uses the IKEv2 protocol. It also offers OpenVPN (which is the most secure protocol available) on every OS it supports except for iOS. Unfortunately, there is no kill switch, and it's located in Germany (a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance). However, the free VPN download follows a strict no-logging policy. After reading through it, I found that Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t store your browsing history, data, or personal information. So, even if the government asks for your data, Avira will have nothing to share.
Avira Phantom VPN has good speeds as well. When I tested its speeds, I had an impressive average speed of 34.5 Mbps. It also supports torrenting, and I was able to download a 100MB file in 30 seconds. However, it only allows 500MB per month of data allowance, so I quickly ran out of data. Luckily, it does give you 500MB more if you sign up using your email address.
You can only connect to the 'Nearest Location’ server, which means that it only lets you use the server that is closest to you. However, I’d still recommend this free VPN download if you want to stay secure online. Avira Phantom VPN’s security features will protect your online data while browsing the web.
I wanted to ask its customer service if this VPN works in China (it doesn’t). However, when I reached out, I found that the free VPN download doesn’t allow you to use its customer support. Luckily, it has an extensive knowledge base on its website, where you can find answers to most of your questions.
- Free VPN download with unlimited data and fast speeds to browse the web without slowdowns
- Strict no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch to protect your online data
- 3 free server locations
- 1 simultaneous device connection
- Can unblock: Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Kodi
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Chromebook, and routers
ProtonVPN's free version offers unlimited data, so you can stream without having to worry about data caps. This is impressive since most free VPN downloads only offer between 500MB-10GB per month. Since I could unblock Netflix with ProtonVPN, I was able to binge-watch my favorite movies. Just be aware that free users can't access its optimized servers (Secure Core, Tor, P2P and Streaming) which offer better security, extra functions, and unblock more platforms.
The free VPN download comes with top-notch security features such as AES 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. It uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols and IP/DNS leak protection. I tested its 3 free server locations and didn’t find any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. This means that your online information will be well protected.
ProtonVPN also has a strict no-logs policy which is verified by independent auditors. While reading through it, I found that the free VPN download is located in Switzerland. This means that it’s outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance and thus not obligated by law to hand your data over to a government agency if they asked for it. This adds an extra layer of safety to ProtonVPN.
It has fast speeds on local servers. During my tests, I had an average rate of 25.7 Mbps while connected to its Netherlands servers. However, when I tested its long-distance servers in Japan and the US, my speeds dropped 32%. The free VPN download only gives you access to 17 servers in 3 countries, so the servers got overcrowded quickly while I was using them. The website claims you can't torrent with free servers, but it worked for me. It did lower my download rates by 78%, but having unlimited data still makes it one of the best free VPN downloads for torrenting.
ProtonVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and even routers. This means that although you only get 1 simultaneous device connection, you can still connect all your devices. In addition, the free version offers other extra features like split tunneling, IPv6 encryption, auto-connect, and custom DNS settings. However, be aware that you do have to register to access the free VPN download.
Since ProtonVPN doesn’t offer a 24/7 live chat, you’ll have to contact them by sending a support form. Although it took 3 days to receive a response, they were very helpful with my questions about iPhone setup.
- Free VPN download with 10GB data per month and fast speeds for surfing the web without interruptions
- AES 256-bit encryption, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection to keep you safe online
- 5 free server locations
- 1 simultaneous device connection
- Can unblock: Youtube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, and routers
The VPN comes with robust security features to keep you protected online. It has strong AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, a SOCKS5 proxy, and supports multiple VPN protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN (WireGuard is only available for paid users). It even comes with IP/DNS leak protection and doesn't fill your screen with ads the way some free VPN downloads do. When I tested its 5 free servers, I didn’t find any IP/DNS leaks. Your online data is secured when using this VPN.
The free VPN download has a minimal no-logs policy too. While I was reading through it, I found that it doesn’t log any personal data. However, it does keep some anonymous logs of the total amount of data traffic and assigned IP addresses. Luckily, this data is erased every few hours. It's also located in privacy-friendly Malaysia (outside the 14 Eyes Alliance). This means that hide.me will keep your privacy protected while browsing the web.
When downloading and using hide.me, I had some impressive speeds. During my tests, I never experienced an average rate lower than 23.5 Mbps. It also gives you a generous 10GB of free data every month. This means that you shouldn’t have to worry about any annoying buffering.
Although hide.me only offers 1 simultaneous device connection, this is not a problem at all. It offers router support which allows you to connect all your devices to the VPN. This lets me connect my gaming console and SmartTV. In addition to routers, it's also compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. During my tests, I even found out that you can download the app without signing up or registering, which is really convenient. Plus, free users get access to its 24/7 live chat.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t access popular streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+ with its 5 free servers (Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, US East, and US West.) However, with 10 GBs a month, you can still watch about 40 hours of YouTube. I was also happy to find that all its servers support P2P traffic. This means that hide.me is a great VPN download to help you stay protected while torrenting.
|Sign up required||Compatibility||Data Limit Per Month||Logging Policy||Speeds||Number of Devices||Server Locations|
|ExpressVPN||Yes||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and more||Unlimited||Strict No-Logs||Fast||5||90|
|CyberGhost||No||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and more||Unlimited||Strict No-Logs||Fast||7||90|
|Avira||No||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android||1GB (500 MB without signing up)||Keeps Anonymized Logs||Fast||Unlimited||1|
|ProtonVPN||Yes||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux||Unlimited||Strict No-Logs||Average||1||3|
|hide.me||No||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and more||10GB||Keeps Anonymized Logs||Fast||1||5|
Most free VPN downloads come with limitations such as fewer servers, data caps, and limited device connections. On top of that, downloading a free VPN can come with some serious risks.
When downloading a random free VPN, some of the dangers include:
- Free VPN downloads can collect and sell your data to third parties: Since the VPN download is free, some services sell user data to make a profit. Even worse, sometimes free VPNs are owned by shady governments looking to collect data. Be sure to always check the privacy policies of free VPN downloads.
- Free VPN downloads can have weak security features and leak your info: Many free VPN downloads have IP and DNS leaks, which means that your online data isn’t protected at all.
- Free VPN downloads can be infected with harmful malware: Many free VPN downloads are designed to infect (rather than protect) your device with viruses and malware. Furthermore, because free VPNs rely on advertising for money, they often don’t have built-in ad blockers.
The best option to stay safe online is to download a low-cost premium VPN. They come with military-grade security features that are held to industry standards and have strict no-logs policies. Besides, they won’t limit your data allowance, speeds, and server network. Most of them come with a money-back guarantee, so you can test it for yourself risk-free.
Free VPN Downloads You Should Avoid
Unlike the free VPN downloads on my list, these free VPNs are dangerous to use. They can share your data with third parties or include malware and viruses.
The following free VPN downloads are not safe and should be avoided:
- Hola: Hola is not a VPN download, but a P2P network. This means that others use your computer’s IP address. It could get you in trouble since their activities will be traced back to you.
- CrossVPN: Installing this free VPN download puts your safety at risk. CrossVPN came with a trojan virus that installed itself alongside the VPN app.
- SuperVPN: Keeps logs and infects your device with malware.
- YogaVPN: Infested with malware.
- TurboVPN: Downloads Malware to your device.
Free vs. Paid VPN Downloads — Pros and Cons
Paid VPN downloads — Pros
- Unlimited data and fast speeds so you can browse, stream, and torrent without restrictions
- Extensive server networks to access popular streaming platforms around the globe
- Robust security features with military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch
- Strict no-logs policies so you know your online anonymity is well protected
- P2P-optimized servers to torrent as much as you want without issues
- Multiple device connections so you can stay protected in any situation
- Built-in ad and malware blockers to give an extra layer of protection to your device
- 24/7 customer support so you can solve any issues without having to wait
- Money-back guarantees to test the VPN for a limited amount of time
Paid VPN downloads — Cons
- Charge a monthly fee, so you need to give your payment information
Free VPN downloads — Pros
- Completely free and don’t ask for your payment information
- Secure apps with strong encryption that often have a kill switch
Free VPN downloads — Cons
- Data caps and slow speeds, so it's usually impossible to stream and torrent
- Small server network so it’s common to have overcrowded servers that can’t bypass geoblocks.
- Can keep logs of your browsing history, IP address, or connection times (for example), so your anonymity isn’t always well protected
- Ad-supported apps. Many free VPNs have ads in the app, which makes them difficult to navigate and use
- Slow/no customer support since free users are usually seen as an afterthought
Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN Download
Finding a reliable free VPN download is not an easy task. We tested all of the free VPNs on our list on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Here's a rundown of what to look for, so you can make your own informed decision when shopping for the right VPN:
- Really free — I ensured that all the VPNs on my list are completely free or come with a tried and tested money-back guarantee.
- Robust security features — The VPN should have AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. All the VPNs on my list come with top-notch security features to keep your online data protected.
- No-logs policy — A strict no-logs policy is essential to protect your online privacy. I checked all the log policies of the free VPN downloads to make sure that the ones on this list don’t store logs that can identify you. Transparency reports and independent audits are another good indication the logging policy is solid.
- Fast speeds and enough data — The free VPN download should come with good speeds and enough data to surf the web without interruptions. I conducted speed tests for all the VPNs on my list to ensure that you can browse without slowdowns.
- Has a paid version- Although it may seem strange, the best free VPNs also have premium versions. When a VPN has no paying customers, it makes its money with ads or by selling your data. If the VPN is making money from paying subscribers, it's more likely that your data will be safe with the free plan.
- Compatibility with your preferred device - You'll want to make sure the app has all the features you need on the device you'll use it on most. The desktop version could be great, but if you want to use it on your phone, you should make sure that version of the app is just as good.
- No malware - There's no point in using a VPN that infects your device with malware. We thoroughly tested all the VPNs in our list to make sure each one is completely free of malware, trackers, or viruses.
- P2P-optimized servers — Fast speeds don't necessarily mean a free VPN download is optimized for torrenting. It also needs to have servers that support P2P file sharing. I made sure that most VPNs on my list support this.
- Ability to unblock some streaming sites — Most free VPN downloads cannot unblock streaming sites at all. Free VPNs often have a small server network that isn’t frequently updated. Besides, its slow speeds and data caps keep you from being able to stream in good quality. The only 4 VPNs on this list that could unblock streaming sites were ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, ProtonVPN, and Kaspersky Secure Connection.
FAQs About Free VPN Downloads
What is the best free VPN download?
If you really want to download a free VPN, then Avira Phantom VPN is the best option. However, keep in mind that it’s always better to use a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. This way, you don’t have to deal with the annoying limitations that come with free VPN downloads (like slow speeds, data caps, and overcrowded servers).
I’d recommend trying out ExpressVPN. Unlike free VPN downloads, it comes without any limitations. This means you can surf the web with fast speeds, unlimited data, and an extensive server network. Besides, it offers military-grade security features to keep your online data protected. You can test it out completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can always request a refund.
Which free VPN download is best for Netflix?
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for accessing Netflix. Many free VPNs won't work because their server networks can’t keep up with the IP blocks Netflix enforces. However, I was surprised that I could access Netflix with ProtonVPN's free app download.
A better option is to download a premium VPN like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. These VPNs consistently managed to access my US Netflix account, no matter what my location was. They both have reliable server networks that can even unblock many other streaming sites like Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more. If you’re not impressed with either service, you can always claim a full refund within the guarantee period.
What is the best free VPN download for torrenting?
The best free VPN download for torrenting is hide.me. It has P2P support, fast speeds, and strong encryption. However, it comes with a daily data limit of 10GB/month which is only enough to download a couple large files.
If you want to torrent without restrictions, I’d recommend downloading ExpressVPN. All of its servers are P2P optimized, it has superfast speeds, and comes with unlimited bandwidth. You can try it out risk-free for 30-days because it offers a money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with it, you can always claim a full refund.
Are free VPN downloads actually safe?
Most free VPN downloads are not safe to use. However, I tried and tested all the VPNs on this list to ensure that they’re trustworthy and secure.
Many free VPN downloads can be dangerous for several reasons. They often keep logs and sell user data to third parties. Besides, if you download a random free VPN, the chances are high that the app is infected with malware and viruses.
Do free VPN downloads work with popular streaming sites like Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu?
No, they don’t. Free VPN downloads simply don’t have the means to upgrade their server networks to keep up with IP blocks from streaming sites like Hulu and Disney+. Besides, even if a free VPN manages to unblock a popular streaming site, its speeds and data allowance are often too limited to watch a show in good quality.
However, if you’re looking to download a VPN for streaming, I’d recommend ExpressVPN. It comes with an extensive server network, fast speeds, and unlimited bandwidth. This allows you to stream as much as you want. You can test it out risk-free for 30-days since it comes with a money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can always ask for your money back.
What devices do free VPN downloads work on?
Most free VPNs can be downloaded on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. This table includes free VPN downloads with apps for many devices. Some of them are even compatible with routers and Apple TV, while others have free Chrome extensions.
Most free VPN downloads only allow you to connect 1 device at once. So, remember that even if it’s compatible with lots of your devices, you can’t connect them all at once.
The Bottom Line
Downloading a free VPN comes with many limitations. They often have slow speeds, overcrowded servers, and annoying data caps. Besides, they can be dangerous, as some free VPN downloads have malware embedded in their apps.
A better option is to download a low-cost premium VPN. A premium service offers military-grade security, as well as streaming and torrenting support. And, unlike most free VPN downloads, you’ll have an extensive server network, fast speeds, and unlimited data.
Although not 100% free, most premium VPNs offer free trials and money-back guarantees. This means you can test all its premium features risk-free before committing to a VPN service. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it’s secure, lightning-fast, and it can unblock popular streaming services, including Netflix US. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it out completely risk-free. If you’re not impressed, you can always claim a refund.
The best VPNs you can download risk-free with money-back guarantees are…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
Your IP Address:
Your Internet Provider:
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.