6 Best Free VPNs in 2023

September 13, 2023
Reading time8 minutes
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Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

By choosing one of the best free VPNs available in 2023, you can ensure your privacy is protected when you browse on the internet. You can even use public networks without exposing your data. 

Besides, a VPN enables you to access online content that isn't available in the region where you live. But, it's important to know how to choose an efficient free VPN, before installing one on your computer. 

What Is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Do you know when you are at the airport, a coffee shop, or waiting in a doctor's office and accessing their public network? It makes your data vulnerable, exposing sensitive information, for example from your business email. 

A VPN takes a public internet connection and transforms it into a private network, protecting your data, so it will be more difficult to steal it. It also masks your IP (Internet Protocol) Address, preventing it from being traceable.  

By using VPN you will have a private tunnel where the information exchanged through the internet is encrypted, stopping your data from being deciphered, even if it happens to be intercepted. Your private information will remain private. 

How a VPN Works

Content language, operating system, time zone, and screen resolution: These are just some of the data your browser carries when you are navigating the internet. VPN protects all of these with encryption. 

Basically, when you enable VPN software on your device, it will encrypt your data traffic and send it to the VPN server. This way, not even your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can spy on your information. 

The VPN server will receive a reply from what has been sent, decrypt it, and send it back to you, which will allow you to use and understand the information. It works as an intermediary between your device and the internet, creating a safety tunnel to transmit information, preventing cyber-attacks, and also companies from using your data. 

Are Free VPNs Safe?

It depends on the VPN you choose. It's important to check customer reviews and opt for known software, though. The main concern when it comes to free VPNs is to ensure the VPN provider doesn't log your data and sell it to third parties. It's also important that they use sophisticated encryption. 

What to Look For in the Best Free VPNs

When the subject is the best free VPNs, you should pay attention to the features they offer to make sure your data is safe. 

Number of Servers

To avoid slowing down your internet speed, it's important to check if the free VPN has a high number of servers. The chances of getting overloaded will be much smaller, preventing you from having any problems when downloading files or streaming videos. 

Server Locations

Having servers in different countries helps with connection speed. If you travel abroad, you will be able to count on having a server near you,  and the closer it is to you, the better the connection. 

Mobile VPN

Sometimes people worry only about having a VPN in their office computer or home desktop while it's also important to count on one that offers a version for mobile devices. When we think about accessing the internet in public Wi-Fi connections, it's mostly done on smartphones and tablets, they should be protected. 

Compatibility with your operating system

A VPN that isn't compatible with the operating systems is useless since you won't be able to install it.  Check which OSs it supports, including the system you use on your mobile devices. 

Kill switch

The kill switch is a feature offered by many VPNs that has the function to cut internet access if you lose the connection with your VPN. For example, you are browsing on the internet through your smartphone at a restaurant and there is a problem with the VPN access. 

In this case, you would be navigating through the public Wi-Fi connection, leaving your data exposed. That's where the kill switch enters, stopping you from accessing the internet until the VPN is reconnected. 

6 Best Free VPNs in 2023

1. Nord VPN

The image shows NordVPN's logo on the right side and on the left there is a person using a laptop.

With 5100 VPN servers, distributed across 60 countries, Nord VPN provides a safe and fast connection, with 24/7 support. Your data will be protected from third parties, preventing it from being misused. 

Also, they have a no-logs policy, which means Nord VPN won't track or collect your data. You will also count on a fast experience when downloading or streaming any media content. Besides, you can connect multiple devices, and they provide a version for mobile. In case of any problem, the kill switch will ensure your information isn't exposed. 

Highlighted features: 

  • Secure internet
  • Fast VPN
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Uninterrupted streaming
  • Mobile version
  • 5100 servers in 60 countries
  • Multiple devices
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Kill Switch
  • 24/7 support

2. Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Black Friday special deal

With a 30-day money-back guarantee, Surfshark enables you to browse privately, change your IP address, navigate securely even in public Wi-Fi, and keep your searches private. You can take control of your data, being notified when you should change your password, for example. 

Their plan also includes 24/7 support, no logs policy, high-speed content delivery, advanced security features, and unlimited devices. Sufshark has an antivirus and an alert system as well, built to safeguard you from any breaches.

Highlighted features: 

  • Browse privately
  • Hide your location
  • Block ads and malware
  • Keep searches private
  • Access content safely
  • Use unlimited devices
  • 24/7 customer support

3. ProtonVPN

The image shows ProtonVPN's page, where it's written " Protect yourself online. High-speed Swiss VPN safeguards your privacy."

ProtonVPN is a Swiss VPN provider that doesn't log your activities, allowing you to have privacy, security, and freedom when navigating through the internet, downloading, and uploading content. They have, for example, the ProtonMail service that helps protect journalists and activists.

The free VPN version won't use your data, and your browsing history won't be sold. The software is easy to use, with an intuitive interface,  has a fast speed, and supports different operating systems. 

Highlighted features:

  • Protect your data
  • Keep your browsing history private
  • Free version
  • Easy to use
  • Fast VPN
  • Multi-platform support
  • ProtonMail

4. Hide.me

Hide.me's logo

Hide.me will encrypt your data allowing you to navigate privately on the internet whether at home, work, or in a public Wi-Fi. Your real IP address will be kept hidden, and you will count on a 100% independent provider, fast VPN speeds, and optimized streaming servers around the world.

Besides, Hide.me won't store logs of your online activity, ensuring even more privacy. You can enable advanced features such as Split Tunneling, Stealth Guard, Advanced IP Leak Protection, IPv6 Support, and WireGuard.

Highlighted features:

  • Browse securely
  • Encrypted connection
  • No logs
  • Mobile support
  • 100% independent provider

5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield's logo

Using military-grade encryption, Hotspot Shield protects your connection and doesn't log any of your data in their system. Your identity will be protected from hackers and other cyber predators, and you won't have to worry about slowing down your internet connection.  You still can enjoy streaming services at a very fast speed. 

Hotspot Shield has more than 115 virtual locations spread across more than 80 countries and uses Hydra protocol to optimize your connection. Besides, you can connect with 5 devices at the same time, including smartphones and TVs. 

Highlighted features:

  • Stay private and access worldwide content
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Fast VPN
  • More than 115 virtual locations
  • Connect with 5 devices at the same time

6. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost's logo showed in desktop, tablet and a smartphone screen

With more than 15 years of expertise, CyberGhost uses the best VPN protocols and encryption standards to keep your data safe, enabling you to surf the internet without having your browsing history tracked. 

Instant connection, blazing-fast speeds, and a reliable and easy-to-use VPN are what make CyberGhost one of the most popular providers in this sector. You can install it on 7 devices simultaneously, including mobile ones, with the advantage of counting on a no-logs policy.

Highlighted features:

  • Safeguard your digital information
  • Fast and reliable VPN
  • Connection on up to 7 devices simultaneously
  • Fast and secure downloads
  • More than 7300 VPN servers worldwide
  • Automatic kill switch
  • 24/7 customer support

FAQ

Is it safe to use a VPN?

Yes, it actually makes surfing on the internet safer. But, it's important to choose a proper VPN and pay attention to its features. But, remember, using a VPN doesn't dismiss the need for having an antivirus, it's important to have both. 

Is using a VPN legal? 

It varies depending on each country’s laws. For example, VPNs are allowed in the United States but forbidden or regulated in other countries, you should check it according to the region you live in. 

What are the disadvantages of using a VPN?

A VPN can get in the way of some practical activities on the internet. Some websites may block your access because they find it suspicious. You can also have problems connecting to printers or drives since they are looking for devices in the same network. But, some VPNs allow you to enable local network traffic. 

Does the VPN have to be activated all the time?

Yes, to make sure that your data is always secured, but, mainly when you are accessing public wi-fi. If you are using a VPN, it's because you are concerned about your privacy, deactivating it will leave your data exposed, even in private connections.

Choose the Best Free VPN for You

Now that you have seen some of the best free VPNs available in 2023, enjoy the opportunity to test them. Your data will be safer and you can use public Wi-Fi networks without worrying about having your information leaked.

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