Best VPNs with a free trial

Users are signing up in droves across the world to use VPNs. There’s plenty to choose from, so you might find it useful to try a handful of VPNs with a free trial to see which you like best.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) runs your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, protecting you from hackers and other online threats. They are also a great way to change your IP address and access geo-restricted content when traveling. In this article, we look at VPNs with free trials that you can sample with no commitment.

If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s a summary list of the best VPN free trials.

  1. NordVPN: Our number one choice VPN. Exceptional in speed, security, and streaming ability. Instead of a free trial, you need to pay upfront but there is a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: A high-speed, security-conscious provider with no connection limit. Includes a seven-day free trial and a 30-day guarantee.
  3. ExpressVPN: Requires payment but comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  4. CyberGhost: Novice-friendly provider. Need to pay upfront but offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  5. VyprVPN: Offers a 3-day free trial. Quick, versatile, and security-conscious. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  6. HideMyAss: 7-day free trial followed by a 30-day money-back guarantee but requires a credit card to sign up.
  7. Private Internet Access: Quick, reliable, and versatile, this VPN is suitable for almost any task. Offers a seven-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best Free Trial VPNs

Our recommendations are based on the following factors:

  • Speed and stability of service
  • Strong encryption and no logs
  • Wide range of worldwide server locations
  • Ability to securely access platforms like Netflix from abroad

Here’s a list of the best free trial VPNs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jun 2022 offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top-rated VPN as an all-round provider. It performs better than any others in our speed testing, packs a full suite of security features, and doesn’t store logs. Although it doesn’t technically offer a free trial, you can effectively try it for free by signing up, and then getting a refund via the 30-day money-back guarantee. This also means that if you’re just trying the service out, you won’t have to contend with limited server selections or data caps.

By default, NordVPN uses 256-bit encryption with perfect forward secrecy, and provides a kill switch and protection against IP address leaks. The kill switch will force your internet connection to drop should you lose your VPN connection for some reason, protecting your information.

NordVPN can securely access multiple Netflix libraries and a ton of other sites including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu. It operates a vast network of more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries so you’ll have plenty of options.

NordVPN is based in Panama which means it’s not subject to mass data retention laws. Although, that wouldn’t matter as NordVPN keeps no logs of user data whatsoever. This provider accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Pros:

  • Superfast speeds for uninterrupted streaming
  • Strong encryption
  • 24/7 support via live chat
  • No logs at all
  • Large selection of servers

Cons:

  • Desktop app can take a while to connect

 

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

AMAZING SPEEDS:NordVPN is super fast and great for streaming. It runs a huge network, utilizes a range of security tools, and doesn’t log your information. A six-connection allowance and risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee sweeten the deal.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Read our full review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a low-cost VPN but don’t let that put you off. It operates 3,200+ servers in 60+ countries and boasts some of the fastest speeds on the market. Not only that, but it works with just about every streaming service we’ve tested. Surfshark has a seven-day free trial if you install it from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. Its 30-day money-back guarantee, however, is available on all platforms.

So what sets this VPN apart from the rest? Well, to begin with, it has an incredible security toolkit. This includes 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, a stealth mode that works in China, and a rotator feature that changes your IP address periodically. Needless to say, Surfshark follows a zero-logs policy too. With no connection limit and 24/7 customer support, there’s plenty to like.

Surfshark has its own iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux apps. However, you’ll have to sign up on a mobile device or a Mac to take advantage of the free trial.

Pros:

  • No limit on number of devices connected
  • Strong security and privacy credentials
  • Excellent unblocking ability
  • Customer support on-hand 24/7
  • Lots of servers to choose from

Cons:

  • Free trial not available on Windows or Linux

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND VERSATILE:Surfshark is a real workhorse, suitable for streaming, torrenting, and gaming securely. It even includes a seven-day free trial and a further 30-day guarantee in case you decide to keep using it afterward.

Check out our complete Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is a highly-recommended VPN and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s optimized for speed and incorporates strong encryption parameters guaranteeing anonymity, safety, and leading privacy policy.

It doesn’t store any user data except for dates (not times) when connected to the service, choice of server, and total bandwidth used. The default encryption protocol is OpenVPN with 256-bit AES-CBC. There’s also a kill switch and protection against leaks.

ExpressVPN works with all kinds of streaming platforms and allows unlimited torrenting. It’s incorporated in the British Virgin Islands – and hence does not need to comply with any mandatory data retention laws. It also accepts Bitcoin as payment and operates a whopping 3,000+ servers spread across 94 countries.

There’s no free trial exactly, but ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee that gives you full access to all its servers as well as unlimited bandwidth. Your account will be charged when you sign up, but you will get a full refund if you cancel within the 30-day period.

Pros:

  • Solid speeds for downloading and video streaming
  • Hard to beat on privacy and security
  • Operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Unlimited data

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option around

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

HARD TO BEAT:ExpressVPN is fast and secure. Has a vast global network of servers which makes this a great all-purpose VPN with unlimited data (no download caps) as standard. Great privacy features and keeps no connectivity logs of any kind. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Supported platforms are Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Read our full review of Express VPN here.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has a truly exceptional network, with 7,000+ servers in 90+ countries. It’s fast too, with makes it a natural choice for anyone looking to securely access services like Netflix or Hulu while traveling abroad. Best of all, this VPN comes with a one-day free trial, and you don’t even have to provide payment info to get started.

There are all kinds of powerful security features built-in, including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, an ad-blocker, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. Further, CyberGhost doesn’t keep any logs that could be used to identify you. Having trouble? Customer support is available around the clock via live chat and email.

CyberGhost has apps for Linux, MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android.

Pros:

  • Huge network of high-speed servers
  • Solid privacy and security features enabled by default
  • Great for streaming
  • No payment details required for trial

Cons:

  • Less suitable for power users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

FAST AND USER-FRIENDLY:CyberGhost is a strong all-rounder with high speeds, easy to use apps, and plenty of reliable servers. Best of all, it comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our full CyberGhost review.


5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.VyprVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

You know it’s an indicator of a sophisticated VPN if it’s able to evade China’s great firewall, and that’s exactly what VyprVPN does.

The company has a paid option of sophisticated Chameleon™ technology which leverages OpenVPN 256-bit AES encryption. It also owns all of its global servers – unlike some other VPN services that also rent – giving it total control over user data.

VyprVPN doesn’t log any sensitive data or identifying information about its users. It’s headquartered in Switzerland which makes it very difficult for authorities to get their hands on it via court orders or injunctions.

Supported major platforms are Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

VyprVPN does offer a 3-day free trial (this link also gives you a discount if you decide to stay after the trial) but you’ll have to sign up with a credit card and select one of its monthly/annual packages before availing the offer. If unsatisfied, you can cancel before the 3-day trial expires, effectively making it free.

Pros:

  • Connection speeds are fast and stable
  • Strong security features and privacy credentials
  • Operates over 700 servers
  • Owns and manages its entire global network of servers

Cons:

  • Could have more options for advanced configuration

Our score:

4 out of 5

GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:VyprVPN is user friendly. Good speeds and uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our in-depth VyprVPN review here.

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6. HideMyAss

Hide My Ass VPN offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.HideMyAss.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

HideMyAss offers a 7-day free trial plan with a catch—you must enter payment information to sign up. If you don’t cancel before the 7-days is up, you get billed. Don’t fret, however. You still get a 30-day money-back guarantee that begins when your real subscription starts, so think of this as a 37-day money-back guarantee.

HideMyAss works with Netflix, allows torrenting, and has a huge global server network. Download speeds are decent and encryption is strong, but the service does log IP addresses, which might put off some more privacy-conscious users. Live chat support is available around the clock.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Large number of countries covered
  • Decent download speeds for streaming

Cons:

  • Some data-logging concerns
  • Doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies

Our score:

3.5 out of 5

HIDE YOUR ASS:HMA is a veteran VPN provider that offers solid apps and reliable service. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full HideMyAss review.

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7. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access offers free trialTested Jun 2022

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access has servers in more than 80 countries and is fast enough for uninterrupted streaming, gaming, or torrenting. What’s more, this service lets you protect up to 10 devices at a time. The mobile apps include a seven-day free trial but users on any platform can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

This service is extremely strong on security, with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a true no-logs policy. It’s just recently added WireGuard support too, which means you don’t have to rely on older, slower protocols. If you need help, just get in touch using the 24/7 live chat service.

PIA apps are available for MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux systems. However, you’ll need a mobile device to take advantage of the free trial.

Pros:

  • Generally fast connections with unlimited bandwidth
  • Strong encryption for secure and private connections
  • True no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Trial not available on desktop apps
  • Doesn’t work reliably in China

Our score:

4 out of 5

SECURITY-FIRST VPN:Private Internet Access has a wealth of security and privacy tools, plus a generous connection limit. As such, it’s great for any task you have in mind. Comes with a seven-day free trial and a 30-day guarantee.

Read our full review of PIA.

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Methodology: How we test free trial VPNs

Very few VPNs actually offer a free trial, and many of the ones that do aren’t worth using in the first place. To make sure that we only recommend the best of the best, we decided to focus on five key areas where our top VPNs should excel. You’ll find these (and what we expect in each) below:

  • Pricing: Obviously, the first step was finding VPNs you can try for free (whether it’s with a traditional free trial or a money-back guarantee). We’ve also looked for any available discounts or deals so that you pay as little as possible if you decide to keep using a service after the trial ends.
  • Performance: Nobody wants to deal with slow internet. That’s why our top providers had to perform well in our latest VPN speed tests. Notably, our methods account for consistency of speed too, so there’s no need to worry about inadvertently choosing a sub-par server.
  • Security and privacy: Most people use VPNs to improve their online privacy, which is why we require providers to use 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. A no-logs policy is another must-have, and we strongly prefer VPNs with even more security tools included.
  • Versatility: The most versatile VPNs are quick enough for torrenting, gaming, and video calling. Not only that, they’ll have servers in lots of different countries, and be able to securely access with platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.
  • Ease of use: The best VPNs are the ones anyone can use. We like to see strong multi-platform support, 24/7 live chat, and clearly-labeled servers, as well as neatly-organized settings menus. Really, anything that lowers the barrier to entry is greatly appreciated.

This is just a brief overview of our testing process. For all of the details, check our our in-depth methodology post.

What about free VPNs?

There are some VPNs online that you can access without signing up via a credit card. They’re not hard to find and, theoretically, seem free to use. Our recommendation is to avoid such scams simply because such software will bombard you with invasive advertising and insert tracking cookies to mine your browsing data.

If you choose to use these free VPN services then you run a very serious risk of contracting a malware infection as well as a cluttered and troublesome browsing experience. There’s little choice of servers and things like download speed and stability of connection are far from guaranteed.

What happened to NordVPN’s free trial?

NordVPN no longer offers a free trial of its service as of 2019, but you can sign up and take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN says it withdrew its free trial offer due to abuse. Many reputable VPNs have gone the same route, replacing their free trials with money-back guarantees. This prevents criminals from signing up without payment information and using the VPN service to anonymously spread malware, spam, and phishing emails.

Why should you use a VPN?

The internet was designed to be a project with the aim of breaking down barriers to information and bringing the world closer together by greatly enhancing connectivity. Such utopian ideals are increasingly threatened by a tilt towards censorship and the blitz against net neutrality.

Using a VPN mitigates these risks to a considerable degree. Your private data isn’t available for sale to the highest bidder – a trait that’s helping search engines and social networks earn billions in advertising revenue – and neither is it possible for government agencies or hackers to snoop on what you do online.

And it’s clear netizens are catching on. Usage rates for VPNs are surging across the world – with estimates suggesting that 16 percent of US adults use the software to browse the web. Adoption rates are even higher in other parts of the globe: 41 percent of internet users in Indonesia use VPN software, along with 39 percent in Thailand and 36 percent in Turkey.

Trends indicate that government restrictions on content and access to social media platforms don’t necessarily discourage users from logging on. Such people simply turn to VPNs so they can continue to enjoy a holistic experience. Troubling revelations from Edward Snowden and Wikileaks have brought the issues of online privacy and security into the mainstream – with users slowly starting to understand that the fundamental freedom of the internet is well and truly under threat.

Free Trial VPN FAQ

Are free VPNs safe?

Be skeptical of any so-called "free" VPN. VPNs that don't charge any sort of fee often make their money through some other means. They can record your online activity and then sell the data to advertisers, inject ads into your web browser, or carry malware payloads.  They typically don't offer the same level of security and privacy as paid VPNs.

Can I watch Netflix with a free trial VPN?

It depends on the VPN. Some free trials don't give users full access to a VPN provider's server network. The servers that can securely access Netflix might not be available to trial users. Some VPNs simply don't work with Netflix at all.

Most of the VPNs we recommend have full featured trials that give all users the same level of access to their networks. 

How do I cancel a VPN free trial?

It depends on the VPN. In most cases you can log into the VPN's website using the same credentials you used to set up the account. There should be a link where you can cancel somewhere in your account settings. If not, you might need to message or email customer support.

How long will my VPN free trial last for?

Ideally, you’d want to evaluate the software over at least 1-3 days of browsing to understand whether it’s meeting your needs. Does the VPN falter during peak times? Is it hard to connect to nearby servers? Does the connection drop frequently?

If the trial is only for a few hours then it’s almost impossible to get a sense of these various factors.

Does VPN free trials require a credit card?

The best kind of trials are those that users can sign up for with only an email address and no other commitment. However, not all VPN providers are so magnanimous. At the same time, people can be wary of simply forking over sensitive information. If a free trial comes with zero strings attached, it’s usually an indicator that the company is confident that the product will live up to expectations.

If you do end up handing over your credit card details, make sure to read the fine print. Most will charge the card the minute your trial period expires. So if you’re not satisfied, and you forget to cancel, that’s a few dollars wasted for no good measure.

Do VPN trials come with restrictions?

Some free trial plans will throttle things like bandwidth allocation and offer sharply reduced server choices. That’s actually self-defeating - if you’re not satisfied with the speed and connectivity in the initial trial period, then why would you opt for purchasing the software? Try to find those that give the unadulterated version upfront.

The last thing you want is to be subjected to a nasty surprise. Your credit card was charged because you went berserk downloading torrents during the free trial. Or you were subjected to a data cap and your free trial plan lasted for two hours instead of two days. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into before signing up. It’s possible your friendly VPN provider might have squeezed in some abhorrent penalties for minor infractions. They’ll be stated - usually at the bottom and nestled away in some legal mumbo jumbo - so don’t ignore them or give them a cursory glance.