Best free mobile VPNs

There are a lot of free mobile VPNs on the market but most simply aren’t worth your time. Common issues with free VPNs include bandwidth throttling, limited server locations, a lack of security features, and logging (and even selling) of user data. Our extensive research has helped us narrow down the many options to find the very best free mobile VPNs available. That way, you don’t have to waste time finding one that actually works (and won’t put your security at risk).

A VPN, regardless of whether it’s a free or paid service, should route your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, securing it from threats. This is achieved by connecting to a VPN server upon which your real IP address is hidden. Instead, you’re given a temporary IP address that matches the server location. This not only allows you to browse the web anonymously, but means that you can bypass some geographic restrictions on online content, too.

Don’t have time to read about all of the best free mobile VPNs? Below, we provide a quick summary of each, with the aim of helping you make a quick decision.

  1. ProtonVPN: Best free VPN for mobile. No speed or data limits and offers 240+ servers in five countries. Ad-free, headquartered in Switzerland, and has a true no-logs policy.
  2. Hide.meNo signup required and access to seven server locations. Unlimited speed and data. No ads and has a comprehensive no-logs policy to protect your privacy.
  3. Hotspot ShieldUnlimited bandwidth and data but does include ads. No identifying logs of users and is very secure offering encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch.
  4. PrivadoVPN: A dozen free servers in as many countries. Unlimited bandwidth but a 10 GB data limit. No-logs VPN headquartered in Switzerland. Secure with encryption.
  5. WindscribeUnlimited bandwidth and servers in 11 countries (but limited data). No email address required for signup. Encrypts data and doesn’t keep any identifying logs.
  6. TunnelBearAccess its full server network but offers only limited data (2 GB). Uses 256-bit AES encryption and frequently undergoes independent security audits.

Feel too limited by a free VPN? NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are the best paid VPNs for mobile. All offer fast, unthrottled connections, unlimited bandwidth, servers in countries worldwide, and strict no-logs policies. Better still, they all include 30-day money-back guarantees so you can try them out risk-free.

Criteria for the best free VPNs for mobile

There are a number of things that set the best free mobile VPNs apart from other free VPNs. In particular, we were able to find free VPNs that offer most (or even all) of the following:

  • Genuinely free (not a free trial)
  • Multiple free locations
  • Secure with encryption
  • No data or speed limits
  • No identifying logs
  • Apps for both Android and iOS

Best free mobile VPNs

Here’s our list of the best free VPNs for mobile:

1. ProtonVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN has an impressive free plan that has absolutely no limits when it comes to speed or data. What’s particularly impressive is that it has a generous network of servers for a free plan. Overall, you’ll have access to 240+ servers in five countries (the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, Poland, and the US). Unlike some free VPNs, you won’t have to put up with ads either.

This is arguably the most private free VPN we’ve come across. First, your online activity is hidden from your ISP and other snoopers thanks to 256-bit encryption. Second, ProtonVPN operates a strict no-logs policy. It’s headquartered in Switzerland, which has strong privacy laws and no mandatory logging requirements. The only drawback (aside from being limited in features) is that you’ll only be able to use the free plan on one device at a time.

ProtonVPN’s free version is available for mobile and desktop (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux). With a paid plan, you can also access its browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox or configure it to work with compatible wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited speed and data
  • Provides access to 240+ servers in five countries
  • Absolutely no ads included
  • Very strong security with high-end encryption
  • Privacy protection through its comprehensive no-logs policy

Cons:

  • You can only use the free plan on one device at a time

Our score:

4 out of 5

GENEROUS SERVER NETWORK:ProtonVPN offers unlimited data and bandwidth and has 240+ servers in five countries for you to choose from. Ad-free and operates a true no-logs policy. Secure with the highest level of encryption. Note that its premium version has a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the chance to try it out risk-free.

Read our full ProtonVPN review.

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2. Hide.me

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.hide.me

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Hide.me is unique in that absolutely no signup is required to access its free VPN servers. What’s more, you’re not limited in terms of data or speed. This makes it one of the more viable free VPNs for streaming, although you can still expect occasional performance issues, particularly with higher resolution streams. Notably, Hide.me promises 99.9 percent uptime so you shouldn’t experience disconnections.

There are plenty of free server locations to choose from with Hide.me: Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and US. As with its paid plans, Hide.me fully encrypts your data. It has a comprehensive no-logs policy. Some free VPNs make money by serving ads but that’s not the case with Hide.me, which states that its free tier is funded by premium subscriptions. One small limitation is that you can only use it on one device.

The free version of Hide.me is available for its Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux (command-line) apps. If you sign up for a paid subscription, you’ll also have access to its Amazon Fire TV app and Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions.

Pros:

  • You don’t need to sign up to access its servers
  • No limits when it comes to data or speed
  • Multiple free server locations available
  • Doesn’t spam you with ads like some free VPNs
  • Operates a no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Can only be used on one device at once

Our score:

3.5 out of 5

NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED:Hide.me lets you access its free servers without having to sign up for an account. There aren’t any limits on data or speed either. Multiple locations including the UK and US. No-logs VPN with no ads.

Read our full Hide.me review

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3. Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield used to cap data at 500 MB per day on its free plan, but this is no longer the case. Indeed, it now stands out for offering unlimited bandwidth and data. What’s particularly impressive is that free users get to enjoy the same speeds as paid subscribers. Unfortunately, you still won’t be able to do anything more than basic browsing. Hotspot Shield only offers one server location. Furthermore, you’ll see ads when using the free version.

When it comes to security, Hotspot Shield provides the essential features on both its free and paid plans. This includes 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Hotspot Shield states that it doesn’t keep any identifying logs of its users. Somewhat concerning is that it logs domains accessed by users, even though this is said to be done anonymously.

The free version of Hotspot Shield is available for mobile (Android and iOS), desktop (Windows and Mac), and via a Chrome browser extension. With a paid subscription, you can find an Amazon Fire TV app as well as manually configure a connection with Linux or a wifi router.

Pros:

  • Now offers unlimited data and bandwidth
  • Security includes encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch
  • No identifying logs of users
  • Well designed apps make it quick and easy to connect

Cons:

  • Only offers one free server location
  • Ads are included in the free version

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

DECENT SPEEDS:Hotspot Shield has good speeds for a free VPN and provides unlimited bandwidth and data too. Unfortunately, there’s only one server location to choose from. Strong security but some questionable logging, even if it’s not tied to your identity.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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4. PrivadoVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Background FireTV

Website:  https://privadovpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 days

PrivadoVPN provides 12 free servers in nearly a dozen countries including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. While there is a data limit (10 GB per month), you won’t have to put up with having your speeds throttled. You’re not limited to single VPN protocol; you can use WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. Keep in mind that with PrivadoVPN, you’ll only be able to connect one device at a time.

While PrivadoVPN’s free tier doesn’t include access to many additional features, you still benefit from key security features. Of course, this starts with your data being encrypted. Also included is a kill switch, ensuring your data isn’t leaked in the event that the VPN connection drops without warning. PrivadoVPN states that it doesn’t track any of your online activity and this seems to be reflected in its no-logs policy and the fact that it operates out of Switzerland.

PrivadoVPN differs from most free VPNs because its free tier is available on all of its apps (iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV). It can be set up on Linux and select routers as well, although these require a premium subscription.

Pros:

  • A dozen free servers in as many locations
  • Doesn’t throttle your speeds
  • Kill switch ensures your data isn’t leaked should the connection drop
  • Operates out of Switzerland and has a no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Data limited to 10 GB a month
  • Can only connect one device

NO-LOGS POLICY:PrivadoVPN has servers in nearly two dozen countries including the US and UK. No bandwidth throttling and provides strong privacy protection with encryption and a strict no-logs policy. Headquartered in Switzerland, which has strong privacy laws.

Read our full PrivadoVPN review.

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5. Windscribe

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.windscribe.com

Money-back guarantee: 3 DAYS

Windscribe is available for free and you can even use it without providing an email address. However, this limits your data to just 2 GB a month. Registering and accepting Windscribe’s promotional emails sees this limit rise to 10 GB each month. Free users can access servers in 11 countries including the US, UK, Canada, and Switzerland. Better still, there’s no bandwidth throttling.

The free version of Windscribe is secure because it uses the very same encryption as the paid version. This ensures your data can’t be read even if it were to be intercepted. It doesn’t keep any logs that can be linked to your identity such as your IP address or the sites you visit.

You can use Windscribe for free via its mobile apps (Android and iOS) as well as its apps for desktop (Windows and Mac). The free version is also available via Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.

Pros:

  • Option to use it without providing an email address
  • Free servers in nearly a dozen countries
  • Absolutely no bandwidth throttling
  • Secure encryption and no identifying logs

Cons:

  • Very limited data each month
  • Apps design feels a little cluttered

Our score:

4 out of 5

NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED:Windscribe won’t throttle your bandwidth and has servers in 11 countries, the US included. No signup required unless you want to raise the data limit from 2GB to 10 GB. Strong encryption and no identifying logs.

Read our full Windscribe review.

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6. TunnelBear

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android

Website:  www.Tunnelbear.com

Money-back guarantee: None

TunnelBear is well known for its free VPN offering. Unlike most free VPNs, it provides you with full access to its network of servers. That’s over 5,000 servers in roughly 45 countries. The catch is that you’ll only have 2 GB of data to play with, so it’s only really suitable for testing (before potentially committing to a paid plan) or very limited browsing.

You can expect a high level of security with TunnelBear, thanks to its use of 256-bit encryption. Unfortunately, this VPN is headquartered in Canada, which is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. The good news is that TunnelBear has a strict no-logs policy, so there shouldn’t be any identifying data to share even if requested. It also subjects itself to regular independent security audits.

TunnelBear’s free VPN is available for the following: Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS. It has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Pros:

  • Full access to all of its servers (5,000+ in 45 countries)
  • Strict no-logs policy ensures your data stays private
  • Regularly undergoes independent security audits

Cons:

  • You’ll only have 2 GB of data each month
  • Headquartered in Canada which is a Five Eyes member

Our score:

3.5 out of 5

INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED:TunnelBear sets itself apart from most free VPNs by providing you access to its entire server network. However, it has a small data limit of just 2 GB a month. Secure encryption and has undergone independent security audits.

Read our full TunnelBear review.


How to install a free VPN on mobile (iOS and Android)

If it’s your first time using a VPN, it might all seem quite technical at first glance. However, downloading and installing a free mobile VPN is no different than installing any other app.

Here’s how you can install a free mobile VPN on both Android and iOS:

  1. Go to the Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS) and search for the VPN. We particularly recommend ProtonVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app that’s compatible with your device. For mobile, this will be either the Android or iOS app.
  3. Open the VPN app and connect to a server. The closer the server to your actual location, the faster the connection is likely to be.
  4. That’s it! You’re now connected to the VPN server and can browse with improved security thanks to the data encryption.

VPN testing methodology: finding the best free mobile VPNs

There are far too many free VPNs to choose from, and this makes finding a reputable one all the more difficult. Below, we explain our methodology which helped us narrow down the options and ultimately find the very best free VPNs for mobile. Of course, this started with ensuring that the VPN offered apps for both Android and iOS.

  • Genuinely free (not a trial): You may find some VPNs that claim to be free but that are actually just free trials. All of the best free mobile VPNs are free and can be used for as long as you like. Of course, there are still some caveats such as data or simultaneous connection limits in some cases.
  • Servers in multiple locations: Many free VPNs offer only one or two server locations. Where possible, we looked for those that provide more options than this. Not only does this allow you to bypass more content restrictions, it also means you’re more likely to find a server closer to your actual location for a better quality connection.
  • No bandwidth throttling: It’s common for free VPNs to throttle the bandwidth of users in an effort to manage their limited networks. While you won’t be able to expect the fastest speeds even with the best free mobile VPNs, we’ve found those that won’t throttle your connection, allowing for an uninterrupted browsing experience.
  • Strong security: Just because a VPN is free, doesn’t mean your security should suffer. Even a free VPN should offer a high level of encryption, ensuring your data is safe from hackers and snoopers. We even found some free mobile VPNs that offer a kill switch, which ensures your data isn’t compromised should the VPN connection drop.
  • Privacy protection: Some free VPNs log and sell user data. This can include identifying data, compromising your privacy. We’ve looked at 140 VPN logging policies, helping us identify the VPNs that allow you to stay anonymous online. This should be the case regardless of whether you use a free mobile VPN or a paid VPN service.
  • Ease of use: We’ve found that some free VPNs (and even some paid VPNs) have poor apps which are often difficult to navigate. In testing VPN apps, we look for those that are simple to download and install, and which allow you to connect to a server in a single click. That way, you can spend less time troubleshooting and more time browsing.

You can find out more about our process in our VPN testing methodology post. This further explains how we test VPNs for DNS leaks and server speed, among other things.

Free mobile VPNs FAQs