If you are concerned about internet security and privacy, having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must-have tool. VPNs protect your online identity and enable anonymous browsing by encrypting your data and routing it through secure connections. However, finding a reliable and free VPN service can be a daunting task for most people.
The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive guide for anyone looking for a VPN for free. We will discuss 7 simple methods that will help you find a trustworthy and reliable VPN service without spending a single dollar. Whether you’re a student on a budget, a casual internet user, or a business with tight budgets, this article offers the ultimate destination for your VPN search.
5 Proven Ways to Get a VPN for Free: A Comprehensive Guide
There are several ways to get a free VPN, and each method has its pros and cons. Your choice of method depends on your needs, budget, and privacy concerns. Here are the most popular methods for acquiring a VPN for free:
1. Use a Free Trial Offer:
Many VPN service providers offer a free trial period, usually between seven days and thirty days. This is an excellent opportunity to test the VPN’s performance and features without committing any funds. Some providers also offer free versions of their paid services which may suffice for some users.
- No cost involved for trial usage
- Fully-featured VPN with unrestricted access
- Opportunity to experience the VPN service before committing funds
- Free trials are time-limited, and the VPN will revert to its paid version after the trial ends
- May require your credit card information to avail the free trial offer
- Companies may impose data or speed restrictions during the trial period
- Make a note of when the free trial ends to avoid being billed accidentally
- Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for the free VPN plan
2. Use a Free VPN Service:
There are many free VPN services available on the market that offer a basic VPN experience with limited functionality. Though the quality of service might not be on par with paid VPN services, free VPNs can suffice for casual internet browsing.
- Does not require any credit card information or payment details
- No commitment or monthly payment required
- Some VPN services offer decent security and speed
- Unreliable security and lack of features
- May contain malware or steal user data
- Data is often throttled, and the VPN service may slow down your internet speed
- Research the free VPN service adequately before signing up for it.
- Verify that the VPN service provider has a good reputation and does not engage in data mining or selling
- Check privacy policies and user reviews for the company before using the free VPN
3. Use a Premium VPN with a Money-Back Guarantee:
Several VPN providers offer a money-back guarantee on their paid plans, which enables you to test the service without any risk. This method gives you a fully-functional VPN service initially, and if you don’t like the service, you can get a full refund of your payments.
- Full-featured VPN service for initial evaluation
- No risk involved, money-back guarantee provided
- 24/7 customer support and dedicated customer service
- May require initial payments to activate VPN service
- Can be time-consuming if you need to make requests for money-back guarantee refunds
- Money-back guarantees can be limited to specific periods and conditions.
- Research the paid VPN extensively before signing up for a money-back guarantee
- Note the duration of the guarantee and ensure that it provides enough time to evaluate the VPN service
- Contact the customer service team for any queries or concerns before making the payment
4. Use a Referral Promotion:
Some VPN providers offer referral promotions that give customers a free VPN service if they refer other people to using the VPN service. Referral programmes usually require potential users to sign up to the service before a referrer can receive a free VPN subscription.
- Referral programmes enable users to recommend good VPN services and earn free subscriptions
- Companies can offer lasting rewards and discounts for frequent and loyal users
- Some programmes offer incentives beyond VPN subscriptions, such as electronic gift cards or other rewards
- Requires active marketing of VPN services to qualifying users to receive free subscriptions
- The company’s strict rules and requirements must often be followed to qualify for promotions
- May require that the inviting individual pays for a premium subscription before being able to invite others.
- Network with people in online forums and communities to recommend VPN services and earn free subscriptions
- Carefully read the terms and conditions before promoting VPN services to others
- Be sure to follow the company policy on how to refer users successfully and obtain rewards promptly
5. Use Browser Extension VPNs:
Free VPN browser extensions provide an excellent way to access VPN services without installing any software or making any payments. Browser VPNs are often extensions for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and offer limited protection.
- Bypass geographical restrictions on online content while ensuring small anonymity benefits
- No payment or installing of software required
- Browser VPNs can help secure social media accounts and protect user data from being collected by government agencies and ISPs
- Browser VPNs may not offer encryption of data, making data communication easy to track and monitor
- Having a VPN extension may interfere with a computer’s existing firewall or antivirus software
- Browser VPNs may frequently pop up alerts of product promotions to persuade a user to upgrade to a premium subscription
- Check the plugins/add-ons of your browser and download a trustworthy VPN extension from reputable sources
- Avoid browser VPN extensions which are free and offer unlimited, unrestricted service
The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Free VPN: 7 Effective Strategies
The previous methods are not the only ways to get a VPN for free. Below are seven other ways to get VPN service for free:
6. Take Advantage of Student Offers:
Many VPN service providers offer discounts or free subscriptions to students. Students can take advantage of these offers by verifying their student status via email or providing an official student ID or any education-related documents.
- Often has discounted rates rather than offering a fully free VPN service
- Bypass online restrictions at educational institutes
- Offers dedicated service tailored to students’ specific needs
- Proof of student status is often required and takes a bit of time to verify
- Internet connectivity may be slower during certain hours of the day
- Companies may impose data or speed restrictions during the offer period
- Check with your school administrator or the IT department to see if the school has partnered with reputable VPN service providers to offer free or discounted services
- Verify the university email credentials as required by some VPNs
7. Use Tor Browser:
Tor browser helps people protect their online privacy and enables anonymous browsing using onion routing to relay data via multiple nodes instead of a direct connection, making your identity hard to trace.
- No payments or installations of software required
- Highly secure and private compared to other privacy products
- All internet activities are routed through the Tor network and are encrypted
- Speeds may often be slower than VPN services
- There may be possible solicitations to download other programmes that are not secure
- The interface and operation may be confusing for some users
- Always clear your cookies and internet history after using sites you want to keep anonymous;
- Don’t rely solely on Tor browser to guarantee online security and privacy.
8. Exchange Bandwidth for VPN Services:
Some VPN providers offer VPN services in exchange for bandwidth or computer resources.
- VPN provider will sometimes offer full service rather than merely a trial or limited version
- The service requires no payment from users
- Increases the likelihood of using a highly reliable provider
- Requires the installation of the VPN provider’s software and sometimes intrusive into system settings
- Requires a lot of time and resources to participate effectively
- The service may be limited due to its technical constraints.
- Verify the reputation of the VPN service provider before exchanging bandwidth with them
- Read carefully any agreements with regard to bandwidth or computer resources before signing up
- Make sure that the VPN provider will not leak your data or take over your machine
9. Leverage Your Job Perks:
If you work for a company that has a VPN to enable employees to work remotely, then you might take advantage of this VPN for your personal use as well. Check company policies regarding using the VPN service and check with your IT department about the possibility.
- Official VPN service connection lessens potential security risks
- No additional costs, company covers the VPN subscription
- Bypasses internet restrictions imposed by the company
- Some employees might not be allowed to use the VPN for their personal affairs according to company policies
- VPN usage logs are generally monitored by company IT departments, thereby reducing privacy standards
- Companies may impose data or speed restrictions during the VPN access period.
- Read the employee manual with regards to utilizing the company’s VPN for personal use
- Contact the IT department for more information on how to use the VPN for personal use
- Read company security IT policies and follow them carefully
10. Check Out Revocation of Payment:
If you’ve paid for a VPN plan but choose to do the reverse within the refund period, you can typically still use its services until the refund deadline expires, especially if you cancel the service yourself within the acceptable period.
- Absolutely no cost and access to the full functional VPN service
- Money-back guarantees offered by VPN services can range between 7 to 30 days
- You may possibly discover a VPN service that meets your requirements
- Basic privacy is subject to speculation as some VPNs collect IP addresses or throttle speeds
- Usage of the refund policy may only apply if you cancel the subscription on time
- Requires cancellation of any subscription payments before the refund deadline.
- Find out the refunds policy of the VPN provider before committing to payment
- Monitor tracking options before using this method
- If you find a VPN probably of merit, continue using it, albeit with the potential costs
11. Join Reddit Communities:
Joining Reddit communities concerning VPNs can expose you to promotions or temporal discounts on VPN services.