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Best Free VPN 2023: Top free-to-use VPN services


Subscribing to a VPN can be a costly affair, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of options available for free, but it can be tricky knowing which is the best free VPN to use.

That’s where we step in. Our team of experts review various VPNs throughout the year, testing the likes of performance, features, security and more.

We also make sure to include a variety of options to make sure this list caters to everyone. So whether you’re looking for a VPN with unlimited bandwidth or servers in a multitude of countries, there should be something here for you.

For our testing process, we’ve measured the speeds in the UK, Netherlands and United States to determine how fast your connection will likely be, while also conducting research to determine how safe your data will be. It’s always great to see a VPN with a no-logging policy, which means companies do not store your browsing history, but those that have been tested by audits or real-life scenarios ensure such claims are credible. 

You will of course be missing out on premium features by opting for a free VPN. If you’re craving that extra layer of security and customisation, we suggest checking out our Best VPN article.

And if you want to keep your PC safe from malware while you browse, it’s also worth checking out our Best AntiVirus and Best Free Antivirus lists.

How we test

Learn more about how we test VPNs

For this free VPN service test, we’ve used a cut-down version of the full-scale download speed tests we use to rank our Best VPNs, using smaller files of around 60MB and only testing HTTP throughput.

This means that we can accurately compare services that have a bandwidth cap, but have slightly reduced average download speeds across the board.

As always, data transfer tests only ever represent a snapshot of performance from a single endpoint server at a specific time, although we can refer back to the results of previous tests to obtain a broader picture of how a given service has evolved.

In all cases, we’ve recorded the best speeds we were able to obtain for each provider during our test period


Best overall free VPN
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  • Unlimited-bandwidth free tier
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Paid version is great for streaming
  • Quick download speeds


  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate

ProtonVPN remains our top recommended free VPN, following a new performance group test at the end of 2022. Despite being available for free, it posted some of the very best speeds we’ve seen from a VPN.

The unlimited bandwidth is the best reason to use ProtonVPN though, allowing you to surf the web for as long as you want each month without worry of running out of data. Most other free VPNs, such as TunnelBear and Windscribe, cap your bandwidth for each month, which we found to be very restrictive. This is especially true if you want to watch a video while your VPN is activated in the background.

Of course, there are limitations with free VPNs, as ProtonVPN limits you to just three country endpoints – the US, the Netherlands and Japan. That could be an issue if you want to use a server in a specific location, and is dwarfed by other VPN services, such as ExpressVPN with endpoints in a whopping 94 countries.

We also found out that you won’t get access to the P2P, Tor, secure streaming and Secure Core servers which are exclusive to paying subscribers.

Our extensive research shows that ProtonVPN is very transparent about how it operates. It clearly details any requests it gets from law enforcement agencies. As a no-logging service, it notes that it has no data to provide. Although it can’t be ignored that ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which isn’t the best location for cast-iron privacy guarantees.

ProtonVPN’s wide range of supported platforms and unlimited bandwidth makes this VPN a must-have in your free privacy arsenal, although you should fire up rival Windscribe or TunnelBear if you want access to more endpoints.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: ProtonVPN Review

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Best jack-of-all trades free VPN
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  • Generous free tier
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Inexpensive


  • Some rivals are faster

Windscribe is an excellent all-rounder free VPN, coming with a generous 10GB monthly bandwidth which we found to be sufficient for casual use. That may pale in comparison to ProtonVPN’s unlimited bandwidth, but to make up for that, you’re given access to a greater number of endpoints. 

Free users get access to endpoints in 10 countries – the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Romania. We were really impressed with this amount of flexibility, although the likes of TunnelBear proves to be even better in this area, with endpoints in 49 different countries. 

After testing the VPN for an extended period, we found Windscribe to offer a wide range of useful security features, as well as a clear no-logging policy and regular updates for a transparency report showing how many data requests it receives from law enforcement. Windscribe notes that: “Exactly zero requests were complied with due to lack of relevant data.”

It may not have a killer feature, but Windscribe’s generous offering for both the number of endpoints and amount of monthly bandwidth make it one of the most versatile free VPNs available – but ProtonVPN is still worth checking out since our tests showed it to have substantially faster speeds.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: Windscribe Review

TunnelBear VPN

Best for multiple endpoints
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  • Free version available
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Wide platform support and sophisticated security features
  • Fast speeds


  • Poor streaming performance

TunnelBear allows access to a whipping 49 different countries via its free tier, showing a far greater deal of flexibility than ProtonVPN’s three country endpoints. During the review process, we found the app to be easy to use, letting you use a digital world map to select an endpoint in the country of your choice. This makes TunnelBear very useful if you want to use an endpoint in a specific location. 

However, the biggest issue with TunnelBear VPN is that its free tier only provides 500MB of bandwidth, preventing you from keeping it activated 24/7 as you browse the web. Windscribe offers a far more generous 10GB of monthly bandwidth, while ProtonVPN boasts unlimited usage, making them more appealing if you need to use a VPN frequently. 

That said, TunnelBear performed very well in our speed tests, with our benchmark data showing it to be quicker than Windscribe, and even some paid-for options such as Perfect Privacy and HMA VPN

But while this is a great VPN for the security conscious due to its explicit no-logging policy and speedy performance, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you want to stream, torrent or simply crave more data allowance.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: TunnelBear Review

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Which free VPN is best?

Our current favourite free VPN is ProtonVPN due to its high speeds and unlimited bandwidth. However, Windscribe is a solid alternative if you want a greater variety of endpoints.

Are free VPNs safe?

If you’re worried about a free VPN selling your data, then make sure it has a no-logging policy, as this means it does not store or collect your data. Better still, check to see whether the VPN has been audited to see whether their claims are proven. All of the VPNs on this list are safe, as they make money either through adverts or by trying to incentivize you to spend money on the paid-for subscription.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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