Free trial VPNs are a great way to test out the waters and see which works best for you. If you want to increase online protection but don’t know exactly where to start, trying a few options is a great idea.
That’s why we decided to check over 100 VPNs (yes, we are truly mad about the way we conduct tests) and see if they actually offer free trials, what’s included and what exactly they ask for in return.
Only safe and well-performing apps made the final list. We summed up all the information you need: trial periods, features included, and data required for registration (the last one may be very important as you may be interested in a VPN without registration data required).
This overview should help you know exactly what you sign up for, with no hidden catch. So if you want to test out some VPN apps without losing money in the process, check our rundown below.
Best VPN free trials: what you should know
If you wonder what to look for when you pick your VPN or how can you get a VPN free trial without a credit card, make sure to check our guidelines below.
We tried to cover everything you may need to know when signing up for a free trial. With this info, you’ll be able to pick the VPN service that suits your needs best:
- Free Trial, Free version, and Money-Back Guarantee: What’s the difference?
- Do free trial VPNs and free VPNs include all features you need?
- What to look for when choosing a VPN with a free trial
- How we’ve tested the VPNs with a free trial?
- What are the best free trial offers for VPNs?
- Are free VPNs as safe as premium ones?
- Can you prolong a free trial for VPN?
- How can you get your money back after your free trial has expired?
Free Trial, Free Version, and Money Back guarantee: What’s the difference?
Trying out a premium-level service without having to pay is a good way to test out a few options and see which one is the best for you.
VPN companies offer three main options: a free trial, a money-back guarantee, and a free version. Let’s discuss the difference between these 3:
➡️ Free trial
Free trial versions offer the benefits of software for a limited period of time. Most offer the whole feature package, but some VPNs do exclude certain options.
Users get to try out all the features included without having to pay beforehand. The trial periods, but the most common are 7 -day trials, 14-day trials, and 30-day trials.
Some VPN services require credit card information and other details needed to activate the subscription. In this case, it is very important to read the terms of service.
Many users have had the unpleasant surprise of being automatically charged once the trial period ended. At that point, there’s not much you can do if you agree to it.
➡️ Money-back guarantee
This is yet another very common way VPN services get customers to try out their products. In this case, however, you will have to pay beforehand.
The money-back-guarantee model ensures that if you are not satisfied with the product, you will be reimbursed. The guarantee is valid for a limited period of time.
VPN services offer up to 45-days money-back guarantees. The most common validity period is however 30 days.
In this case, it is even more important to carefully read the terms of service. Some VPN services will allow you to cancel your subscription and give you the money-back no questions asked.
Others, on the other hand, may ask you to provide the reasoning behind your decision. In this case, it may be less likely that you will actually get your money back.
➡️ Free version
Some software companies that offer paid products launch a limited version of said products that is available for free.
As opposed to a free trial or a money-back guarantee, in this case, you will not get all the features and benefits of the paid plans.
VPN services with free versions generally limit data. Most have a daily or weekly data limit. If you exceed it, you will have to pay to get more data or wait for renewal.
Other limitations come in the type and number of servers you access. Chances are that you will not connect to the same servers that premium users get.
There are some free VPN versions that will limit how many times you are allowed to switch between servers on a daily or weekly basis.
For the most part, for a free version, you won’t have to add card info. However, some ask you to create an account, but that’s about it.
Do free trial VPNs and free VPNs include all features you need?
Trial versions with expiration dates use to include all premium features. You can really test out the product. Free versions, on the other hand, are a bit of a different story.
The most common reasons people choose to use a VPN are data protection, faster Internet, and access to geo-blocked sites and services.
Many free VPN apps meet all these requirements. On the other hand, they are more restrictive. You get most features but you can’t benefit from them without limits.
🔒 Data protection: Free VPNs use up-to-date encryption algorithms like AES-256 and ChaCha20. Plus, many of this software give access to secure protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.
That being said, the free versions may not include are security features like double VPN (routing traffic through 2 servers) or a secure killswitch.
Plus, not all free VPNs have 0 logs policy. Some record some of your data and sell it to third parties. That’s how they are able to provide the service for free.
⚡ Faster Internet: using a VPN can improve connection speed. That is because you can connect to a server that is closer in location to the game or service you want to access. They also hide your traffic data, avoiding ISP throttling and bandwidth limitations.
The free versions can offer fast connections, but that’s up until you run out of a limited amount of data.
Some VPN services only let you connect to their faster servers if you buy a subscription. It is also very common for a free VPN server to get overpopulated at times, which reduces speed rates.
🌎 Surpass Geo Restricted Content: VPNs with international servers enable access to geo-blocked websites and platforms for video on demand or other services. Free VPNs do not have such a large server base, but they can grant you access.
Proton VPN is one of the services that does not place limits on your data, so you will be able to enjoy how much content you like. Video-on-demand platforms like Netflix do require about 1GBs per hour of streaming, so if you have a limited plan, take that into consideration.
What to look for when choosing a VPN with a free trial
To provide the services listed above, VPN services need to have a good server base, a straightforward logs policy, and multiple security features.
There are other important things that make for a better user experience such as ease of use and customer support availability.
If you browse around for VPN options and don’t know how to pick, we suggest you start with a service that ticks most items on this list:
➡️ Server locations all over the globe
➡️ Secure protocols ( IKEV2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, SSTP)
➡️ Streaming optimized to prevent blocking
➡️ Responsive customer support
➡️ Dedicated application for all your devices
➡️ Easy to set up and connect
➡️ No-logs policy
How we’ve tested the best VPNs with a free trial
1. We made sure to look further than the homepage to be 100% that the information we give you is accurate.
2. We created real accounts and we used our own banking profiles.
3. We thoroughly tested out the apps.
5. We looked into the feature set to see what was included and what was not in the Free vs premium option.
Only reputable VPNs that are known to be secure and reliable made the list. Any limitations and/or drawbacks are mentioned.
What are the best free trial offers for VPNs?
We researched what the VPN market has to offer and found a generous number of services that include free trials.
Some have completely free-of-charge versions that you can use forever, and others offer free trial versions or money-back guarantees. Some of them are simply great VPNs to use during a month (1 paying cycle), and some of them have only options where you use your credit card in order to get that test period after which you can get your money back safely.
You can see in the quick overview below what type of free plans you can get and what they include. We made sure to mention any limitations and what these companies require on the user’s part (credit card info, email, etc).
We decided to group all the VPNs in descending order, starting with the ones that are Forever free. Then we included those that have time-limited free trials with no credit card, and eventually the VPNs that ask for the card info.
VPNs with the longest free trials
We comprised a quick guide with the longest trials you can get. See the type of plan, the offer, limitations (if any), and the data you need to provide.
VPNs with the longest free trial with no credit card required
Here’s a quick overview of free trials that don’t ask for a credit card or any type of payment information.
|VPN Name||Type of offfer||Limitations||Data required|
|🥇 1. Proton VPN Free||Forever free version||A limited number of servers, unlimited data||Email and name|
|🥈 2. VPN Book||Forever free version||Small server network||No data required|
|🥉 3. Wind Scribe VPN||Forever free version||2GB/month if you register without an email|
10GB/month if you register with the email
Limited server locations
|4. Tunnelbear||Forever free version||500 MB/day||No data required|
|5. Atlas VPN||Forever free version||Limited servers10GB/ month data limit|
|6. Privado VPN||Forever free version||10 GB of data/month, 12 servers, 1 connection|
|7. Hotspot Shield||Forever free version||500 MB daily data limit, SD resolution for streaming||No data required|
|8. Hide.Me||Forever free version||10 GB of data/month, only 1 connection,5 server locations, No streaming, slow at times|
|9. Avira Phantom VPN||Forever free, included in the Avira Free Security App||500 MB/month||No data required|
|10. DotVPN||Forever free||No streaming support, weaker encryption than premium, only available for mobile (Android+ iOS), and as a browser extension for Firefox, Opera, and Chrome|
|11. Finch VPN||Forever free||Limited data, no support for port forwarding|
|12. Surfshark||7- day free trial||Only for Android, iOS, and macOS, all features included||Email, name|
|13. Avast Secureline VPN||7-day free trial||All features included||No data required|
|14. VPN Unlimited||7-day free trial||All features included|
|15. Private VPN||7-day free trial||All features included|
We picked Proton VPN as our first choice because it is secure, open-source, and does not log user data. Despite the fact that the free version only has 3 VPN locations, the connection speeds are surprisingly good. You may want to check its review as it has plenty of “swiss-army knife” security protocols and settings.
In our experience, any type of page loaded quickly, even videos and streaming platforms. The server locations available in the app are US, Netherlands, and Japan.
On the flip side, some report not being able to use Netflix with Proton VPN. A better option for that seems to be VPN Book. It is capable to give you access to Netflix US without a hassle.
We downloaded and used all the VPNs mentioned to make sure that what they claim is accurate and that they really don’t ask for the credit card info.
You can see that on the Avast SecureLine web page, for instance, it is clearly mentioned that the free trial doesn’t need credit info. We made sure to download it and see it for ourselves.
Once we ran the installer and followed the prompts, we just had to activate the free trial. That’s just a press of a button, no credit card is required, not even an account or your name.
Once the trial is activated, you can start using the app and all its features right away. When it ends, you won’t be able to access it anymore unless you buy a subscription.
VPNs with 30+ day free trials
Below you can check the longest trial options to test out VPNs. Note that alongside services that request card information, we added VPNS with money-back guarantees too.
We thought them fit because they do qualify as services that you can test out for free. You will get all your money back if you ask for a refund before the guarantee period ends. They don’t impose financial commitment from the very beginning.
|VPN Name||Type of offer||Limitations||Data required|
|🥇1. Bullguard VPN 2 year plan||90-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card and payment information|
|🥈2. Cyberghost Pro longer plans||45-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, and card information|
|🥈3. Hotspot Shield Premium Money-back guarantee||45-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|🥉4. PureVPN||31-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|5. Proton VPN Basic/Plus/Visionary||30-day money-back guarantee||A limited number of servers||Email, name, card information|
|6. ExpressVPN||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, and card information|
|7. Private Internet Access||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|8. Nord VPN||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|9. Surfshark Subscription Plans||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|10. IP Vanish||30-day money-back guarantee||Full-featured, only available for the 1-year plan||Email, name, card information|
|11. Hide.Me Premium Money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, card information|
|12. Vypr VPN||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|13. Avast Secureline Premium||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|14. Namecheap FastVPN||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|15. Hide.Me Premium Money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, card information|
|16. Bullguard VPN shorter plans||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
|17. Strong VPN 1-year plan||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Name, email, card information|
|18. Atlas VPN Premium||30-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
As it’s been pointed out, BullGuard offers the longest refund period, with 90 days for its 2-year plan. VPN specialists evaluate it as being one of the fastest VPNs.
It offers access to a generous number of servers, over 2000. It’s able to unblock popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. On the downside, it only has 16 server locations with the most coverage in Europe and North America.
If you want a VPN with greater worldwide coverage, you can opt for CyberGhost. It has over 8000 servers located in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and it can successfully bypass geo-blocks.
As you can see, for some VPNs, we divided up their plans because not all of them have the same type of free trial/money-back guarantee. Plus, in some cases, the way they advertise these plans can be confusing.
Some services advertise that they offer longer free trials/money-back guarantees than they actually do. The reason they can get away with it is simple.
They have multiple plans and offer a longer money-back guarantee for their longest plan. So that’s what they showcase on their official website.
VPNs with 14 day free trials
|VPN Name||Type of offer||Limitations||Data required|
|1. CyberGhost VPN monthly subscription||14-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, card information|
|2. ZenMate Premium||14-day money-back guarantee||All features included||Email, name, card information|
CyberGhost is one of the most recommended VPNs for good reason. The 14-day money-back guarantee gives you the possibility to test all the features and access restricted content from anywhere. If you don’t want to pay in advance, this VPN also has a 24-hour free trial.
VPNs with 7 day free trials
|VPN Name||Type of offer||Limitations||Data required|
|🥇 1.Express VPN||7-day free trial||All features included, mobile only||Email, card information|
|🥈 2. Nord VPN Android||7-day free trial||All features included||Name, email, card information|
|🥉 3. Private Internet Access||7-day free trial||All features included||Email, card information|
|4. Private VPN Free trial||7-day free trial||All features included||Email, card information|
|5. ZenMate||7-day free trial||All features included||Name, email, card information|
|6. Hotspot Shield Premium Free trial||7-day free trial||All features included||Email, card information|
All these VPN services are reliable and offer access to a wide range of worldwide servers. We go with ExpressVPN not only because it’s one of the best VPNs for streaming, but also because it is very private, secure, and fast.
The Lightway protocol developed by the Express team is one of the fastest on the market, and it does not hold back when it comes to security either.
Some VPNs offer 7-day free trials for mobile. But if you try to get it from your computer, you’ll be directed to a subscription plan page and you will have to pay (and qualify for the money-back guarantee).
We suppose they do so because you generally use up fewer traffic data on your mobile. That means that their paying subscribers are less likely to experience performance issues caused by overpopulated servers.
For example, if you sign up for an ExpressVPN account on mobile, you can benefit from a 7-day free trial. But if you sign up from your PC, you’ll have to get a subscription with a money-back guarantee.
We first checked the Express VPN website from a PC and saw that they claim to offer a free trial. But whenever we tried to access it, we were directed to its premium plans that ask you to pay in advance.
That’s why we decided to check their mobile app and were able to get a 7-day free trial without paying anything.
How to get an ExpressVPN free trial
To showcase what we just mentioned, we checked both possibilities. First, we downloaded and created a free trial account for the ExpressVPN Android app.
You will have to enter your credit card info, but they won’t charge you. Whereas, if you want to use their Windows or Mac app, you’ll have to get a pre-paid plan.
They clearly state when the trial period ends and that you will not be charged until that date. Now, if you want to get an ExpressVPN account for your computer, you’ll be prompted to select a plan:
You can see that in this case the plans are covered under a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have to pay beforehand.
In both cases, they require your full name, address with zip code, credit card number, and CVV code. For other methods like Bitcoin and Paypal, you will have to connect your respective accounts to ExpressVPN.
By the time we reached the end of the trial period, we disabled auto-renewal in just a few clicks, with no questions asked.
All the premium features of ExpressVPN mobile can be tested with this trial. You get full access to all servers, can pick your location manually, and activate advanced features like obfuscation.
Are free VPNs as safe as premium ones?
We mentioned in the beginning that some free VPNs keep data logs and sell them to third parties. That is a problem if you want to browse completely anonymously.
The good news is, that most VPNs clearly state whether they keep logs or not, and there are free VPNs that can be trusted.
The privacy policies of free VPNs do however protect your actual identity and whereabouts. They generally sell traffic data for advertising companies which are mostly concerned with demographic information like gender and age.
If you don’t have a major problem with that, then you don’t risk getting tracked down. Even though they log your data, they still hide your IP address and prevent your ISP from throttling your traffic.
📈 Data limit
Another privacy risk that can occur with a free VPN is the data limit. Most free VPNs have a daily or monthly usage limit. When that is exceeded, you are no longer covered by the VPN.
Some of these VPNs do not alert you when you reach your data limit and simply disconnect you. That can be a problem especially if you use a VPN for online payments or other similar tasks that require high levels of privacy and protection.
🛡️ Security features
Free VPNs may also not include some very advanced security features like DNS protection, split-tunneling, a secure killswitch, and anti-tracking tools.
All in all, free VPNs are not as secure, but they still provide solid privacy protection. It is very important to carefully read all the Terms of service and make sure you do not agree to any suspicious catch.
Can you prolong a free trial for VPN?
For the most part, however, you have to come up with a pretty solid reason for them to even consider this request.
That being said, there are some other ways to prolong a free trial. Keep in mind that they do not work for all software, especially for those that require registration.
Some users suggest that if you completely remove the VPN app from your PC, you may be able to get a free trial again. Cleaning browsing history and cookies may also work.
Keep in mind that software manufacturers try to stop this type of behavior and use different methods to stop you from re-using their free trials.
How can you get your money back after your free trial has expired?
As soon as your trial ends, services with auto-renewal will start charging you. If you provided your credit card information and forgot to cancel the trial before the expiration date, you can contact the customer support team and explain the situation.
Most VPN services have 24/7 live chat support on their official website. You can talk to an agent about your issue. They should know exactly how to apply their policy to your specific situation.
The bad news is that it is not very likely for a refund to occur. We cannot stress enough the importance of reading the Terms of Service Agreement.
Chances are that the refund policy is mentioned there somewhere. Most software state that they do not give money back. If you agreed to that, there’s probably not much you can do.
For this reason, it’s best you cancel it before the expiration date. Likewise, if you are on a money-back guarantee, it’s recommended you request a refund before you hit the last day.
All VPNs on this list are really impressive in terms of features, security, and privacy policies. The best app for you is highly dependent on what exactly you want to use your VPN for.
For the best free VPN app, we have to pick ProtonVPN. It’s your best bet as far as free VPNs go, with unlimited bandwidth, a strict no-logs policy, high-speed rates, and cross-platform apps.
If you want to test out your VPN for a long time, BullGuard VPN is your best option. As for the best premium VPNs with free trials, considering the number of servers, speed rates, and ease of use, we suggest ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark.
Free trials are a smart marketing strategy that offers great benefits both for companies and customers. They give you the opportunity to test out a product without having to commit right away.
This makes the companies seem more trustworthy and can lead to solid brand loyalty. The great thing about free trials and free versions is that you can try out more than just one product and make an informed decision.