With data retention regulations becoming more commonplace ISP’s are under continual government pressure to log and track a user’s online activities. As time goes by this is only going to increase. The worst factor in this is the ISP’s don’t require consent from an Australian user to do this.

With this matter alone it’s enough reason to get a VPN. These virtual private networks will mask a user’s IP address so no connection activity can be logged.

There are two VPN’s a user can opt for. A premium package which requires a subscription or a free VPN Australia based users could opt for. This free VPN software can offer features which are comparable to the full versions to some extent.

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As an aside to this they will spoof your location and make it appear you are in another country. This has the advantage of the user’s being able to access geo-locked content which should only be available to people who reside in that area. Netflix from the USA and BBC iPlayer being two prime examples.

A virtual private network free option will come with restrictions, and there are other things to be considered. Nothing comes entirely free, so is there a completely free VPN? Not without there being some limit or reason for them offering the service.

What is the Best Free VPN

Tunnelbear Review

1. TunnelBear

Overview

This TunnelBear VPN is one of the most commonly used free VPN’s out there. It does have limitations on what is on offer, so do these make it a viable option. Protecting your privacy doesn’t get much easier, but is this enough?

  • Number of Server Locations: 350+
  • Country: 20
  • Maximum Devices Supported: 5
  • Location: Toronto, Canada (5-eyes jurisdiction)
  • Money Back Guarantee – No Refund if you sign up to the premium package. Purely try before you buy.

How is it Free and for How Long?

The TunnelBear review looked at everything, and this went as far as checking what differs and why do they offer a free version.
TunnelBear is free for as long as you want it to be free. However, there is one sizeable limiting factor. You only receive 500mb per month data limit. TunnelBear does this as a way of promotion for their full service. You try their free plan in the hope you will sign up for their premium package.

Short Review

Is TunnelBear safe, it’s free, so there must be a catch? There is no catch apart from limited data, and it is entirely safe.
It uses robust AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt your data, their killswitch and their Ghostbear which masks the VPN address as well as your own, so a government won’t know you’re using a VPN.

A significant downside to a TunnelBear download is the fact you’ll find out you can’t do any torrenting and Netflix access isn’t allowed. This makes it more for the privacy-conscious rather than a regular user.


Windscribe Review

2. Windscribe

Overview

This top VPN provider is quite new to the scene, but its name is well known because of the generous data usage they give per month. This can’t mean a Windscribe download clears up all your VPN needs, or can it?

  • Number of Server Locations: 8
  • Country: 11
  • Maximum Devices Supported: 1 per account
  • Location: Canada
  • Money Back Guarantee: 3 Days (with limitations)

How is it Free and for How Long?

Windscribe VPN reviews will all say the same. It is free forever, and you have a healthy data allowance of 10GB per month. What’s the catch? You only have access to 11 countries servers.

You also get an ad-blocker and firewall which can make it very useful. So is Windscribe safe? Yes, it is entirely safe to use.

Short Review

With top speeds compared to many other various free VPN’s and a generous data, cap Windscribe positions itself as one of the best. Signing up only needs a username and password and the service has a strict no logging policy apart from the username, the VPN server you’re connected to and the amount of data which has been transferred. These are erased after three minutes of your disconnection.

You can earn extra data and 5GB is available if you tweet about the service, and you get an extra 1GB each time you introduce a friend.
Android is supported somewhat, and their app still isn’t 100% working correctly. One good thing is Windscribe Netflix is working so as long as data lasts you can stream your favourite shows.


get hide me

3. Hide.me

Overview

This Hide.me VPN review takes a look at a VPN service hosted in Malaysia. This isn’t a country well known for this type of service, does it fall down because of this and is Hide.me safe?

We will quickly see if everything is above board, or there are things lurking under the surface.

  • Number of Server locations – 3
  • Country – 3
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 1
  • Location – Malaysia
  • Money Back Guarantee – 14 days on the premium package

How it is free and for how long

The Hide.me free service is free as long as you want, but there are restrictions. It is also meant to be a promotional package of their full service.
You only receive 2 GB per month which for some might be enough. With just being able to connect one device and the choice of three locations which are the Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore. The good side is there is no speed throttling for free users.

Short Review

Although this company is based in Malaysia, it’s done nothing to hurt the service, and it does offer plenty. With no logging and no passing on of user data, we were quite impressed with this Hide.me review.

When you have made a Hide.me download you will find a clean interface with no ads from which the company seeks to make money. There is also native software for the leading platforms of Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Free users also have access to the 24/7 technical support which is very rare. With the data cap and network size being the most significant restrictions. This VPN comes up trumps against many other offerings.


get speedify

4. Speedify

Overview

What is Speedify? This free VPN provider has one aim, and that is to make your connection remain as fast as possible while staying secure. This Speedify review looks at the free version which has all the features of their premium package, but you are restricted in other areas and does it do as it promises?

  • Number of Server locations – 30+
  • Country – 20+
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 5
  • Location – U.S.A (5 eyes jurisdiction)
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on Premium

How it is free and for how long

Speedify has free options because it is a promo for their full package. It gives 4GB data cap in the first month and then drops to 1 GB for each month after. For light usage, this could be ideal, but the 1 GB isn’t a massive amount of data.

Short Review

The company promises channel bonding to maintain the best speeds, and in testing, this claim held up even without other internet connections to take advantage of. Does Speedify work? Their turbocharging technology does indeed keep download speeds up. They also offer a much more extensive network than some premium packages.

Speedify created their own protocol which is why they can boost speeds. This might worry some users, but your data is perfectly safe because the encryption is top notch. There were also some DNS leaks found in testing so this Speedify VPN review finds it is a so-so service but does offer a lot of potential.


get goosevpn

5. Goose VPN

Overview

Here we take a look at a quite new offering in an overcrowded market. It has impressed a few people with high security and ease of use. It seems to be following in the steps of the market leaders, but have they done enough to push it to the top of the best free VPN’s?

  • Number of Server locations – 63
  • Country – 28
  • Maximum Devices Supported – Unlimited
  • Location – Netherlands
  • Money Back Guarantee – 30-day refund on premium (with limitations)

How it is free and for how long

GooseVPN provides a 30-day free trial, but payment information must be supplied. This means you must cancel or you will be charged at the end of the period.

If you signed up, they also have an add-on which costs $1 and provides anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing software, along with extra firewall protection.

Goose VPN says they offer a 1-month free trial, but in effect, you are getting the first month free unless you cancel.

Short Review

The GooseVPN review looks at this Netherlands based VPN provider. Security is well catered for and is based in the Netherlands they do uphold user privacy, so there are no concerns there.

It uses the same 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN as standard which should make it safe however the client contained traces of a virus in our download. The service itself will access Netflix, and they do allow torrenting which is a good thing.

One annoyance is that you have to sign in each time you connect to a server. This is a pain because the interface is very simple to use and the experience is hindered if you continually change servers.

It lacks in a few areas like split tunneling, but the speeds make up for this. Even with its few quibbles, it can be a better option than many of the others on offer. They are new, and over time they could be one of the best alternatives for a free VPN.


get proton vpn

6. Proton VPN Free

Overview

This ProtonVPN review looks at a VPN service which comes with no features. You can’t get more cut back than that, so there must be a reason why? ProtonVPN free might have something up its sleeve, or it is way off on what it provides.

  • Number of Server locations – 3
  • Country – 3
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 1
  • Location – Switzerland
  • Money Back Guarantee 60 days for the premium package.

How it is free and for how long

This VPN service is free for as long as you want, but it is stripped back to the bare bones and offers none of the features of the premium package. It provides security, and that’s it. It is a means to an end and is a promo vehicle for their full package.

Short Review

With unlimited data on a free service, this could be a good option. Unfortunately, there is no ProtonVPN Netflix support which is half the reason people use a VPN in the first place. P2P and torrenting is the same and comes unsupported.

Device wise, if you are a windows user, you are good to go because this is the only fully developed client. To get it working on other devices means resorting to tinkering, and this is in the full version, not the free incarnation.

Is ProtonVPN safe if it is in this state? Yes, it is, but the entire experience makes it feel like an unfinished product. With a strict no logging policy and a very easy sign-up procedure, and the fact you will get a lower priority in the speed stakes than a user who has signed up for the premium packages. For only security, it offers more than most.


get opra vpn

7. OperaVPN

Overview

If you don’t game, download torrents and can stream content through your browser then you might not have to look anywhere else. A VPN built into the browser.

That’s highly convenient but is it enough to secure you altogether, and does this method make it the best free VPN software?

  • Number of Server locations – 1000
  • Country – 25
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 1
  • Location – Canada
  • Money Back Guarantee – Nil

How it is free and for how long

To cut it short. This VPN is free because Opera want you to use their browser. This isn’t a bad thing because the Opera browser is an excellent alternative to many other browsers on offer. The opera VPN is free for as long as you use the browser so there is no need to look how to get a VPN free, because it’s there already.

There is one downfall, and this is Opera has stopped their iOS, and Android clients and users were offered to move to SurfEasy on which the Opera VPN was built.

Short Review

This Opera VPN review looked at the free offering which is built directly into the browser itself. This means there is nothing for you to install, and all that needs to be done is for the VPN to be activated.

There has been mixed reviews for connection speeds, and range from excellent, to bad. So it might be a case of user location in relation to the closest servers. The downsides though are that only desktop users get support and it isn’t a real VPN.

The Opera browser VPN does nothing about protecting any other part of your system, but for users who wish for security when banking and making online purchases the Opera free VPN could be a quick and easy solution.


get hotspot shield

8. Hotspot Shield Free

Overview

This has been well known for a while, and this Hotspot Shield review looks at whether a crowd favourite does enough to justify it being so popular. It is limited for your connections, but is there more going on which users are unaware of?

  • Number of Server locations – 1 accessible on Free
  • Country – 20
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 5
  • Location – California, USA (5-eyes jurisdiction)
  • Money Back Guarantee

How it is free and for how long

A Hotspot Shield download of the free version is free because it is funded by ads and the company was under intense heat for redirecting traffic to partner sites. The company does, however, deny this. Either way, the service is free for as long as you’re willing to take this risk.

Short Review

With the inability to choose servers and you need to use one which Hotspot Shield gives you, you will find you are connected to a US server by default when using this trial VPN. When you make a Hotspot Shield login, you are presented with a clean interface where all you need to do is hit start.

This gives you access to 500mb per day of data which might be enough for light usage. It doesn’t access Netflix. If the case of the ads is cleared up and you are willing to put up with them, Hotspot Shield VPN can be a good solution for a single mobile device in public Wi-Fi zones.


get private tunnel

9. Private Tunnel

Overview

This Private Tunnel review takes a quick look at the VPN service which was created by the founders of OpenVPN which is the protocol of choice for all VPN’s. Security should be top notch, and it should be the best free IP blocker, but can the rest of their service compete with others in the market? With blazing fast speeds, is everything as it seems?

  • Number of Server locations – 9
  • Country – 9
  • Maximum Devices Supported – 3
  • Location – California, USA (5-eyes jurisdiction)
  • Money Back Guarantee N/A

How it is free and for how long

The Private Tunnel VPN offers a 7-day free trial, and after that, they are hoping you’ll continue using them. This is only a taster of the full package, but it is long enough to find out they don’t support US Netflix, and torrenting isn’t allowed.

The app is simple and user friendly and runs on major platforms and routers. However, diverse platforms are not supported.

Short Review

This Private Tunnel VPN review looked at everything this service offered. The company promotes super-fast speeds which it delivers, but there is a catch. Although they use OpenVPN like all of the others (they should, they developed it) they opt for 128-bit encryption rather than 256-bit.

Is private tunnel safe in this respect? The company says so, but aside from this there is also no kill switch, so if there are DNS leaks, your IP address can be seen.

One area which is of concern is the fact they admit they will hand over any user information if asked by any government agency. The Network of this VPN provider is also small compared to others, so for diverse regions such as Australia, it might come up short on performance.


best free vpn software

It is a Free VPN – so what’s the catch?

There are many reasons why VPN providers give free versions. The most common being it is a cut back version which has most of the features and is a promotional VPN trial in the hope users will sign up for the full version if they are happy with the features and performance.

There are other reasons why free VPN’s are offered, and these are not made as apparent, and some of the reasons are against what using a VPN stands for.

VPN’s Sell User Bandwidth

Some VPN services sell bandwidth to other users or businesses. This turns your system into a sort of botnet and can slow down your connection. If the VPN you use does this, you could be liable for anything which has happened using this connection.

Selling Personal Data

Some VPN’s have also make use of a VPN blocker as a means of collecting data. This they then either sell on to a third party or make use of to display their own ads. Some free VPN services have also been known to insert scripts into pages you visit, and ads are targeted toward the user.

Scammers

An entirely free VPN service can be put in place to catch user data. This can include all of your log-in information to bank accounts or any other site that needs you to log-in.

Here is a comparison of how a free VPN changer will stack up against paid options.

FeaturesFree VPNPaid VPN
Netflix AccessNot all by defaultYes
Download TorrentsNot allYes
Unlimited Bandwidth UsageVery RareYes
Limited Server CoverageYesNo
Fast Data SpeedsMany are throttledYes
Money Back GuaranteeNoYes
Secure Protocols IncludedNoYes
24/7 Customer CareNoYes
Ad blocking/ FirewallNoYes

Can I watch Netflix with a Free VPN

Is there a free VPN for Netflix? This answer isn’t as clear as a mere yes or no.

For Australia, free VPN Netflix access might be very different than a European user. Not all free VPN blocker free versions cover Australia with enough servers to gain a good reliable connection. Speeds can be slower, and connections can be dropped on a more frequent basis.

VPN’s for Netflix need fast speeds, unlimited data, and need to bypass the checks which American VPN connections have to pass through.
There is also the fact that some of the VPN’s themselves don’t allow Netflix access. The final reason is the double-edged answer. If you have a fast connection and your free Netflix VPN connection is working, it might not last very long because of your limited data allowance.

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Can I download with torrents?

Although there might be a good VPN which offers a free version, not all of them provide enough bandwidth to download any substantial amounts of torrent files.
Windscribe free offers 10GB, and this could be consumed quickly with a few files being transferred.

Again, a free VPN for torrenting might be dictated by the VPN itself because not all of them allow torrents such as TunnelBear.
There is also the consideration of how long a VPN provider will last for. A prime example of this being Opera VPN.
Although this was unlimited, it closed down its iOS and Android apps earlier this year. What could be the best free VPN for torrenting lives in an unsecured balance?

Can I Sign Up Anonymously for a free VPN?

If you want to get VPN protection and remain anonymous when you sign up ,this would require no connection to credit cards or bank accounts. For many of the free versions or the trial VPN versions, they want your user data so they have a person who they can hopefully convert into a user.

For this reason, they will ask for your name, and your payment means will show your details and be linked to your account or card.

The top VPN’s understand privacy policy and will give you options to pay anonymously, although this is rare.

Many say you can sign up for free, but you need payment details from where a recurring payment could come from. The reason they do this is that if you don’t cancel before the end of the month, they’ll automatically charge you.

vpn for data privacy

Why a Paid VPN may be the better choice for you

We saw earlier about how free services can be provided, and the reasons why they can be carried out by unscrupulous characters. Now it’s time to see why it is better to opt for one of the best VPN provider’s rather than the free versions. Here are a few reasons why the best-Paid VPN is the best way to go.

Better Security Levels

Paid for VPN’s will provide a much better level of security than a VPN free trial. If you use a top provider this security will be foolproof in protecting your data. All traffic will be encrypted using AES 256-bit algorithms.

A full range of protocols will be used such as OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, and IKEv2.

Faster Speeds

All the servers on a paid for service will be capable of having thousands of users to be connected at once without the connection slowing down. Much of this is down to the placement of their servers, so the more extensive and diverse placement of servers the better.

Australia is a prime example where some VPN’s don’t have full support and might only have one server in the entire country.
Because the closer a server is to your local connection the faster your connection.
ExpressVPN is a good example and has 4 servers scattered around Australia.

Customer Support

Users of free VPN’s are of little significance unless they are possible customers for a premium package. To this extent, they offer little or no support for free users. A premium subscription will offer 24/7/365 support with live chat as being the preferred method.
Australian users are on a very diverse time-zone so getting help at their daytime could be crucial.

Unlimited Bandwidth

On most free VPN’s the speeds are throttled, even if they don’t openly state this. Premium packages offer unlimited bandwidth with no throttling.
With fast speeds, it’s possible to connect to USA servers and connect to streaming services or download torrents which can be done in speeds almost as fast as native connections while being fully secured.

Platform Support

A lot of free VPN services only cover the basic set of devices. This can make all the difference to a user and a home in Australia. With media boxes, smart TV’s, game consoles as well as PC’s Macs and mobile devices. A top VPN needs to make sure they support all of these, and this is something a free VPN service isn’t in a position to do.

Full features

Although there are some free VPN’s which provide a full range of features, these generally lack on the speed and data side of things.
Split-tunneling, Nat firewalls, DDoS protection, Kill switches are a few of the many features which are included as part of a premium package.

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When it comes to security and preventing any data retention or data logging of your information. The VPN cost can be a small price to pay for safety. How to get a VPN which covers all your needs and protects your privacy is much more comfortable than many individuals understand. When you choose the correct one.