Struggling to find the best free VPN for PC? No problem! Nowadays, we’re practically always online. Whether we’re browsing the web for new sneakers, streaming a movie on Netflix, or gaming, keeping our data safe is a must.
In order to help you find the best VPN, we’ve made a list of the top services and reviewed them individually. Each review contains a list of features we like and a list of things we think could use some improvement, so you know what to expect. And, obviously, all of these can be used on your PC. Keep in mind that we’ve also added some services that don’t offer free trials, however, they’re so good we just had to include them on our list!
Best Free VPN For PC: Great For Streaming And Gaming
ExpressVPN: Our Favorite Of The Bunch
Why save the best for last when we can immediately start off with our top pick? In our opinion, ExpressVPN truly has all the important features every quality VPN should have.
Let’s begin with how safe it is.
ExpressVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, and an OpenVPN protocol, as well as a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. So basically, you could consider your data to be locked in a virtual vault!
Next, when it comes to long-distance connections, we can say that this VPN’s speed is virtually flawless! You can easily connect to faraway countries with minimal speed loss.
If one of your top priorities when choosing a VPN is streaming Netflix and other streaming services such as Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, then ExpressVPN is the perfect option for you. Furthermore, with this service, you can torrent files without restriction across the entire server network, and without worrying about any of your file-sharing activities being stored.
Gaming-wise, thanks to its network of lightning-speed servers, you’re guaranteed to have a lag-free game each time! And, let’s face it, that’s what you’re here for!
You can choose from three subscription plans (monthly, 6-month, and 15-month plans), and the longer you remain subscribed, the lower the monthly cost becomes. What’s more, this service offers a 7-day free trial option to all new users, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee!
But, that’s still not all! You can even get a 30-day free subscription through their Refer a Friend program. Namely, you and your friend will get 30 days free, and you can refer as many people as you like!
ProtonVPN: The Runner-Up
Owned by the parent company Proton Technologies AG, ProtonVPN is based in Geneva and has more than 560 servers in over 40 countries.
Safety-wise, ProtonVPN has a strict no data logging policy, and additional security in the form of Tor Integration. Basically, if anyone requests your data, ProtonVPN won’t actually have any to hand over.
This VPN service uses AES-256 to encrypt your network traffic, 4096-bit RSA for key exchange. Message authentication is done through HMAC with SHA384. In short, your encrypted data is perfectly safe. Ultimately, even if the key happens to be discovered, it won’t be useful for future sessions.
As for streaming Netflix, ProtonVPN has three types of subscriptions available: Proton free, Proton basic, and Proton plus. Unfortunately, if you choose either the free or basic option, you won’t be able to stream due to the slow internet speed. On the other hand, you can do so with the Proton plus option.
When it comes to torrenting, while you can download P2P files with the Proton basic subscription, you’ll have a better experience if you opt for the Proton plus option.
And, what about gaming?
Obviously, we wouldn’t have placed this VPN so high on our list if it wasn’t great for gaming! You can play any game without restrictions, and that’s even while you’re using their free service!
Surfshark: The Affordable Option
Everyone loves a money-saving option. But at the same time, the cheaper something is, the more we question its quality. The same goes for Surfshark’s VPN service, which is one of the most affordable ones on our list.
However, we should preface this by saying that not all their plans are affordable. Namely, the monthly plan can be pretty pricey.
First off, this service has all the important features every VPN needs: AES-256 encryption, split-tunneling, and a kill switch. With that said, Surfshark also has the MultiHop feature that allows users to use more than one server at a time.
As for streaming, you can easily unblock Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, iPlayer, and of course, Netflix. You can also torrent files at a good speed.
But, let’s get back to how safe this service is. As we mentioned, Surfshark has AES-256 encryption, but it also has TCP, IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, and WireGuard protocols. What’s more, it also has several advanced privacy features, namely a private DNS and a VPN chaining mechanism.
The private DNS adds more protection by preventing third-parties to intercept your browsing sessions, while the VPN chaining mechanism allows you to route traffic through two separate servers.
One amazing thing we’d like to point out about this streaming service is that it allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices to an account! That option really comes in handy if you’re looking for a VPN service to accommodate your entire family. You can even play multiplayer games with your family members!
If you’re still on the fence about signing up for one of their long-term plans, you can try out the service free of charge for seven days.
We aren’t putting this one on our best free VPN for PC list as there is no free trial available. But, there’s no way we could exclude NordVPN from our reviews, and you’ll see why!
NordVPN claims to be the best virtual protection network around, but is that true? Well, for starters, we can safely say that it does indeed have some great features, especially when it comes to speed and security. But, let’s elaborate.
Great Speed, Connectivity, and Security
When it comes to speed, NordVPN has an incredibly handy quick connect feature. What it does is connect you to a server with the fastest speeds, based on your current location. Typically, if you’re located in the US, most of the time you’ll get connected to a US server. Ultimately, if you’re planning on gaming or streaming, this feature is a must-have!
Furthermore, NordVPN allows you to connect as many as six devices (laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) to your account! Also, regardless of how many people are using the VPN account at the same time, the speed remains impeccable. And, yes, we’ve tested out the speed while gaming, and we’re happy to say that even while playing fast-paced battle games (e.g., Fortnite) you won’t have to worry about any unwanted lag.
Now, moving on to security. Right off the bat, we can safely say that NordVPN uses the safest encryption available to hide your data. Basically, the AES 256-bit encryption algorithm is so secure that even government agencies use it!
But that’s not all. This encryption is also combined with SHA2-384 authentication, a 2048-bit DH key, and excellent forward secrecy. The authentication is arguably the most important feature of all, as it basically checks whether or not your data packets arrived at the right server. In short, it checks whether your data is being intercepted by someone trying to re-route it.
As if that wasn’t enough, NordVPN also offers a double VPN feature that can route your traffic through two servers, making it even more difficult to track your online activity!
How Much Does it Cost?
While NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, if you’d like to test it out, we recommend that you sign up for their one-month plan. Try it out for a few days, and if you’re not happy with your purchase, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee that’s foolproof! So, it’s basically as if they do offer a free trial!
Avast SecureLine VPN
We’re willing to bet that you’ve probably heard of Avast thanks to their amazing antivirus software, but this Czech-based company truly has even more to offer.
First off, the secure and well-encrypted Avast SecureLine VPN is used by government agencies and security professionals across the globe, so you know your data is in good hands.
With Avast SecureLine, you can connect up to five devices to an account, with no bandwidth limits. Security-wise, this VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, and you have the option to choose between IPSec, OpenVPN, or IKEv2 protocols.
On the downside, we wouldn’t recommend using this VPN primarily for streaming and gaming.
If you do choose this VPN, you’ll be happy to know that they offer a one-week free trial to all their customers, so try that out before you go for the paid version.
Best Free VPN For PC: Other Services To Consider
So far, the VPN services we’ve reviewed have been pretty well-known among streamers and gamers. But, if you’re interested in checking out some lesser-known VPNs with plenty to offer, then keep reading our mini-reviews of the following services.
TunnelBear may not hold the title for best free VPN for PC, however, if you’ve never used a virtual private network, this one is a great starter choice. It has a no-logging policy, as well as great privacy settings.
Unfortunately, TunnelBear isn’t the best choice for you if your priority is streaming Netflix and gaming.
TunnelBear's browser extensions allow you to pick your location and connect/disconnect from inside the browser. But, keep in mind that the extensions are proxies and will protect only your browser traffic.
If you’re interested, TunnelBear has a free plan available. We recommend starting with that since the company doesn’t offer any refunds for their paid plans.
While other VPN services such as FortiClient, OpenVPN and NordVPN don’t offer free trials, Hide.me decided to go the other way and offer an entire tier for $0.00! You can register for an account without entering your credit card information, which is quite refreshing! With this free account, you get to access five server locations on a single device at once, however, you do have a limit of 2GB of data per month.
While Hide.me does offer great speed and will keep your data secure, just like TunnelBear, this VPN isn’t made for streaming and gaming. But, it is a beginner-friendly choice if you’d like to test out a VPN for free.
Best Free VPN For PC: The Verdict
Overall, each and every one of the VPNs we’ve reviewed has its pros and cons. Obviously, if you’re planning on using a virtual private network for gaming and streaming, you shouldn’t go for TunnelBear or Hide.me. Although they’re free, and they do offer some great features, they won’t give you the experience you’re looking for.
If you ask us, the best option for gaming and streaming is to sign up for an ExpressVPN account. This VPN has some incredible features, and you won’t experience any annoying lagging during your game.
But, since it’s entirely up to you, which do you consider to be the best free VPN for PC?