Best Free VPNs in 2023: Protect Your Online Privacy for Free


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 27, 2023

In today’s digital age, where online privacy is becoming increasingly important, virtual private networks (VPNs) have emerged as essential tools to safeguard our personal information. VPNs encrypt your internet connection, making it secure and anonymous. While there are many VPN services available in the market, finding the best free VPNs in 2023 can be a challenging task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top free VPNs that offer excellent security, privacy, and performance, ensuring you can browse the web with peace of mind.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a technology that creates a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet. It acts as a tunnel, routing your internet traffic through a server located in a different location, thus masking your IP address and making your online activities private and secure.

Why Use a VPN?

Using a VPN offers numerous benefits, especially in today’s online landscape. Let’s take a look at some compelling reasons why you should consider using a VPN:

  1. Enhanced Security: VPNs encrypt your internet connection, protecting your sensitive data from hackers, cybercriminals, and other malicious entities. Your online activities and personal information remain secure even when using public Wi-Fi networks.
  2. Privacy Protection: With a VPN, you can browse the internet anonymously. Your IP address is masked, preventing websites, advertisers, and even your internet service provider (ISP) from tracking your online activities and collecting your data.
  3. Access Geo-Restricted Content: A VPN allows you to bypass geographical restrictions and access region-locked content. Whether you want to stream your favorite TV shows or access websites that are blocked in your country, a VPN can help you achieve that.
  4. P2P File Sharing: VPNs enable secure peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. If you frequently download or share files through torrenting, a VPN can protect your identity and keep you anonymous.
  5. Remote Work Security: For individuals working remotely, a VPN is crucial for secure access to company resources and confidential data. It ensures that your connection remains private, even when accessing sensitive information over unsecured networks.

Now that we understand the benefits of using a VPN, let’s delve into the factors you should consider when choosing the best free VPNs in 2023.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Free VPN

When evaluating free VPNs, it’s essential to consider certain factors to ensure you select a reliable and secure service. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:

Security and Privacy Features

One of the primary purposes of using a VPN is to enhance your security and protect your privacy. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a VPN that offers robust security features, such as:

  • Strong Encryption: Look for VPNs that utilize AES-256 encryption, which is currently the industry standard for secure communication.
  • No-Logs Policy: A reputable VPN should have a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don’t keep any records of your online activities.
  • Kill Switch: A kill switch is an essential feature that disconnects your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. This prevents any unprotected data from being exposed.
  • Protocols: Different VPNs offer various protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard. These protocols determine the level of security and performance of your VPN connection.

Server Network and Speed

A wide selection of server locations allows you to choose the optimal location for your browsing needs. Additionally, a VPN with fast server speeds ensures smooth and uninterrupted browsing, streaming, and downloading experiences. Look for VPNs that offer a large server network with servers in multiple countries.

Data Limitations

Many free VPNs impose limitations on the amount of data you can use within a specific period. It’s important to check the data restrictions, as they can significantly impact your browsing experience. Some VPNs may also throttle your connection speed once you reach a certain data limit.

User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly interface is crucial, especially if you’re new to VPNs. The VPN application should be intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing you to connect to a server with just a few clicks. Look for VPNs that offer user-friendly apps for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.


Ensure that the VPN you choose is compatible with your device and operating system. Most VPNs provide apps for popular platforms, but it’s always worth verifying compatibility before making a decision.

Now that we have a clear understanding of the factors to consider when choosing a free VPN, let’s explore the best free VPNs available in 2023.

Best Free VPNs in 2023

There are several outstanding free VPN services in the market, each with its unique features and strengths. Let’s take a closer look at the top free VPNs that offer excellent performance, security, and privacy:

1. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a highly respected and trustworthy VPN service known for its robust security and privacy features. It offers unlimited bandwidth on its free plan, which is quite rare among free VPN providers. ProtonVPN’s free tier also includes access to servers in three countries, allowing you to unblock geo-restricted content easily.

Key Features of ProtonVPN:

  • AES-256 encryption for top-notch security
  • No-logs policy, ensuring your privacy
  • Fast and reliable servers
  • User-friendly interface with easy-to-use apps

2. Windscribe

Windscribe is another popular choice for a free VPN service. It offers a generous 10GB of monthly data allowance on its free plan, making it suitable for casual browsing and streaming. Windscribe provides a wide range of server locations and supports P2P file sharing.

Key Features of Windscribe:

  • Strong encryption and a no-logs policy
  • Built-in ad blocker and malware protection
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • User-friendly interface with customizable options

3. TunnelBear

TunnelBear is a user-friendly VPN that offers a free plan with a limited data allowance. While the free tier provides only 500MB of data per month, TunnelBear’s intuitive interface and fun branding make it an attractive option for beginners. It has a wide server network and supports secure browsing and streaming.

Key Features of TunnelBear:

  • VigilantBear feature for extra security
  • GhostBear feature to bypass VPN blocks
  • Easy-to-use apps for various platforms
  • Cute and user-friendly interface

4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a popular VPN service that offers a free version alongside its premium plans. The free plan provides a generous 500MB of data per day, allowing you to browse and stream comfortably. Hotspot Shield uses Catapult Hydra protocol, ensuring fast and secure connections.

Key Features of Hotspot Shield:

  • Military-grade encryption for robust security
  • Patented Hydra protocol for high-speed performance
  • User-friendly apps for a seamless experience
  • Ad-free browsing on the free plan

5. offers a reliable free VPN service with a decent data allowance and strong security features. With 10GB of data per month and access to servers in five locations, provides a good balance between privacy and usability. It supports P2P file sharing and has a no-logs policy.

Key Features of

  • AES-256 encryption for secure browsing
  • No-logs policy, ensuring your privacy
  • User-friendly apps for various platforms
  • Fast and reliable connections

6. Speedify

Speedify is a unique VPN service that focuses on providing fast and stable connections. It uses channel bonding technology to combine multiple internet connections for enhanced speed and reliability. While the free plan limits data to 2GB per month, Speedify’s speed-boosting capabilities make it an attractive choice.

Key Features of Speedify:

  • Channel bonding technology for faster speeds
  • Automatic failover for uninterrupted connections
  • User-friendly apps with easy setup
  • Robust encryption and privacy features

7. Betternet

Betternet is a free VPN service that offers unlimited data on its free plan. It has a straightforward interface, making it suitable for beginners. Betternet’s free tier is ad-supported, and it provides access to servers in multiple countries.

Key Features of Betternet:

  • Unlimited data allowance on the free plan
  • Strong encryption for secure browsing
  • Easy-to-use interface with one-click connection
  • Supports multiple platforms and devices

8. OperaVPN

OperaVPN is a built-in VPN feature available in the Opera web browser. It offers free and unlimited VPN access to all Opera browser users. While it may not have the extensive features of standalone VPNs, OperaVPN provides a convenient solution for basic browsing needs.

Key Features of OperaVPN:

  • Free and unlimited VPN for Opera browser users
  • Built-in ad blocker for a seamless browsing experience
  • Easy to enable and use within the Opera browser
  • Provides basic security and privacy features

9. SurfEasy

SurfEasy is a straightforward VPN service that offers a free plan with a limited data allowance. It provides access to servers in various countries, allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions and access content from around the world. SurfEasy offers user-friendly apps for different platforms.

Key Features of SurfEasy:

  • Strong encryption for secure browsing
  • No-logs policy, ensuring your privacy
  • User-friendly apps with a simple interface
  • Supports multiple devices and platforms

10. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a well-known VPN service that offers a free plan alongside its premium options. While the free plan has limitations, including a reduced number of server locations and slower speeds, CyberGhost’s robust security features and easy-to-use interface make it worth considering.

Key Features of CyberGhost:

  • Strong encryption and strict no-logs policy
  • User-friendly apps with preconfigured profiles
  • Ad-blocker and malicious content filter
  • Dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting

Now that we have explored the best free VPNs in 2023, let’s address some frequently asked questions about using free VPN services.

FAQs About Free VPNs

Q1. Are free VPNs safe to use?

While there are reputable free VPN services available, it’s essential to choose a trusted provider that prioritizes user security and privacy. Stick to the VPNs mentioned in this article, as they have been thoroughly vetted and have a proven track record of reliability and security.

Q2. Can I stream content with a free VPN?

Yes, some free VPNs allow you to stream content from platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and others. However, free VPNs may have limitations, such as slower speeds or data caps, which can affect your streaming experience. It’s worth considering upgrading to a premium VPN for a more seamless streaming experience.

Q3. Do free VPNs support torrenting?

While some free VPNs allow P2P file sharing, it’s important to read their terms of service and usage policies. Some free VPNs may restrict or throttle torrenting activities. If you frequently engage in torrenting, consider using a premium VPN that explicitly supports and prioritizes P2P file sharing.

Q4. Are there any limitations with free VPNs?

Free VPNs often come with limitations to encourage users to upgrade to premium plans. These limitations may include data caps, slower speeds, limited server locations, or restrictions on specific features. It’s essential to review the limitations of each VPN provider before making a decision.

Q5. Can I use a free VPN on multiple devices?

Most free VPNs allow you to use their services on multiple devices simultaneously. However, they may limit the number of devices you can connect at the same time. Review the terms and conditions of each VPN provider to understand their device limitations.

Q6. Should I consider upgrading to a premium VPN?

While free VPNs offer basic functionality, upgrading to a premium VPN provides numerous advantages. Premium VPNs offer faster speeds, a broader range of server locations, enhanced security features, and dedicated customer support. If you value privacy, security, and a seamless browsing experience, investing in a premium VPN is recommended.


In conclusion, using a VPN is essential for safeguarding your online privacy and security. The best free VPNs in 2023 mentioned in this article provide a solid foundation for protecting your data while offering various features to enhance your browsing experience. Consider your specific needs and priorities when choosing the right free VPN for you. Remember to review the terms and limitations of each VPN provider to make an informed decision. Stay secure and enjoy the benefits of a free VPN!

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.

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