5 Best Free VPN Service For 2016

With the government blocking and monitoring your logs, and the security and privacy at stake, the VPN had never been much of an importance. Sadly, not many free VPN services are convincing, secure, and reliable. So, we have hunted the web for some of the best free VPN that are top of their game.

Click here if you are looking for a simple VPN extension for Google Chrome browser

How VPN Works?

A VPN creates a private, encrypted “tunnel” over the internet to a server. Imagine, you are in China and want to browse BBC UK, then instead of accessing BBC’s server from China’s IP address, you’ll first connect to VPN, which will change your IP address to UK IP address. And the website will think you are a local visitor. 

Related: What is VPN, and Why You Should Use it?

How VPN works

Why use VPN?

Using a VPN service has several benefits, but the overall advantage is the enhanced security through data encryption between you and the target’s server. Using a VPN, you can improve privacy, stay anonymous on the Web, and lets you access Geo-restricted content.

Though keep in mind, that being free VPNs makes them somewhat bounded and restrictive. Either the speeds are slow, weak data encryption, limited monthly data caps, or the ads spoil the browsing experience. Hence we highly suggest using a fully featured VPN service if you are a power user. 

Also See: How to access blocked websites in college

Best Free VPN Service of 2016

1. Hide.me

HideMe is the only free VPN service that allows torrents P2P, and the company claims to be the fastest VPN among all. It possesses all the latest VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP, SoftEther, OpenVPN, SSTP all up to 256-bit AES encryption and store no online log records, which is really great! At least this is what they claim.

You get 2GB of user data, which is worth it. Since you can always disconnect the VPN once the downloading has started. Overall, if you use HideMe wisely, you can download 100s of GB of data from torrents, from just 2 GB limit.

Related Post: How to download Torrents blocked by your ISP

Pro’s

  • Only Free VPN that supports torrents
  • No Logs maintained
  • Service supported for all major platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.

Con’s

  • Limited to 2GB every month
  • The free version supports only three countries – Canada, Netherland, and Singapore. (No US/UK support)

Bottomline

Need a VPN for downloading torrents, then Hide.me VPN is the best choice.

HideMe - Best Free VPN

2. Zenmate

Zenmate VPN encrypts all your browsing data and tunnels them through its own cloud. It comes along with a smart feature called EverSecure, which is mostly offered by some reputed VPN providers. It also supports a simple browser-based extension rather than installing a software on the computer. The controls are simple and user-friendly.

However, they are really pushing intrusive ads these days, prompting you to buy Zenmate premium.  

Pro’s

  • You can select various servers and their data policy is also good
  • Unlimited bandwidth (ads supported)

Con’s

  • No OpenVPN and Kill Switch support
  • Lately, there are too many intrusive apps that it has become almost impossible to use the app and chrome extension

Bottomline

If you are not concerned about features and want a simple browser based extension rather than installing a desktop client, then Zenmate is a perfect choice.

Zenmate -Best Free VPN

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield VPN is a popular free VPN service with some additional features like malware and phishing protection. The free version is funded by lots of advertising and many users find it annoying.

However, there is no limit on data usage and speed is also fine.

Pro’s

  • No Data usage limit
  • Malware and phishing protection
  • No Login required
  • Available for All popular platform

Con’s

  • Comes with lots of obtrusive ads

Bottomline

Hotspot shield force you to buy their elite service and with so many ads you may not be satisfied by your browsing experience, but if you prefer downloading rather than browsing than it’s a great tool to use. Also, they have built quite a reputation over the years, so if you can live up with the Ads, it’s good for security and privacy. 

HotSpot shield - Best Free VPN

 4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is the next best VPN service with no usage capped and the company has recently introduced free version. Like TunnelBear, they also use strong military grade encryption and keeps no user’s log records. And you get an extensive range of servers to select.

Unfortunately, you may face some speed issues or some queues to connect to a particular server, but this problem is rare and unlimited bandwidth you get is something to keep in mind.

Pro’s

  • Strong Encryption
  • Extensive range of servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Service supported for all major platforms (excluding iPhone users)

Con’s

  • Connection speeds can vary
  • Some queue to connect to certain server locations
  • Automatically log out after 3 hours of browsing (can always connect immediately)
  • No P2P service for free users
  • Though the free version, you’ll have to watch ads.

Bottomline

This is for people who frequently change their servers, have no priority for speeds and can live with ads.

Cyber Ghost - Best Free VPN -

5. TunnelBear

This is what I regularly use. It’s an excellent free VPN service with a really simple user-interface. The company’s security policy is really tight, with no user’s logs recorded and strong AES 256-bit encryption – making it the best free VPN with extra privacy and security.

Sadly, there is only 500MB data cap which is very less, not even sufficient for videos. Yes, you get 1 GB extra by doing some social sharing, but again that extra bandwidth can not be used for video sites.

However, like HideMe, you can disconnect the VPN once you are connected to video sites, and it’ll continue playing the video. Though, this doesn’t work for some sites (like AMC) which check the IP address periodically.

Pro’s

  • Service supported for all major platforms
  • Excellent encryption, and reliable for privacy
  • Cool bear animation, quick and easy

Con’s

  • Limited 500MB user data
  • No P2P torrent support

Bottomline

With just 500MB per month, if you watch movies or play online games a lot, you should probably go for non-usage capped free VPN’s. But if you just need to browse or send emails, then tunnel bear is reliable.

TunnelBear - Best Free VPN

Comparison Table:

 

TunnelBear CyberGhost Hide.me Zenmate Hotspot Shield
Bandwidth 500MB Unlimited 2GB Unlimited Unlimited
Protocols OpenVPN/ IPSec OpenVPN/ L2TP/ IPSec OpenVPN/ PPTP/ L2TP/ SoftEther/ SSTP PPTP/ L2TP/ IPSec
OS/ Device Support iOS/ Android/ Mac/ Windows/ Browser iOS/ Android/ Mac/ Windows/ Linux/ Chrome OS/ Router/ Raspberry Pi iOS/ Android/ Mac OS X/ Windows/ Windows Phone (Coming Soon) iOS/ Android/ Mac/ Windows/ Browser/ Router (DrayTek) iOS/ Android/ Mac OS X/ Windows/ Windows Phone
Customer Support 24/7, Email, Twitter, Facebook, Community 24/7, Email, Live Chat, Twitter, Facebook, Community 24/7, Email, Live Chat, Twitter, Facebook, Community Email, Twitter, Facebook, Community Email, Twitter, Facebook, Community
Headquarters Canada Romania Malaysia Germany  Not Mentioned
When to use? Secure VPN if only used for browsing If you can hold ads and few speeds fluctuating then it’s a great security tool Good for downloading torrents. Decent app with less features but suitable for regular usage Good for downloading.

 

How to tell if my VPN is secure or not?

While using a VPN, any website you visit should be unable to identify your real IP address. So, one way to check the reliability of a VPN services is by visiting IPLeak.net or Doileak.com. If you see your real IP address, while connected to the VPN, then there is an IP leak.

Final Verdict

All of the 5 VPN services in this list are meant for different users. Each one of them has pros and cons. 

The best in our view is TunnelBear, with its secure encryption and no logs stored policy. However, if data-cap is something bothering you then you might try CyberGhost but then you’ll have to face some ads.

Similarly, if your ISP has blocked torrents, then HideMe, with its 2GB user data should work fine for you.

Did we miss something? Do let us know your favourite free VPN in the comments.

 

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-