10 Best VPN Extensions for Chrome (Free & Paid)

best vpn extensions for chrome

Whenever you use the internet, your browser is always collecting and sending information about you to every single website you visit.

Some of this information includes data such as:

  • Your IP address
  • Your location
  • Your operating system
  • Your computer hardware
  • Whether any other devices are connected to the same network

While you may not care whether Google knows this information about you, what about other websites that are malicious in nature? When you browse the internet with an unprotected browser, your personal information is ripe for the picking.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though—there are plenty of brilliant extensions for Google Chrome, the world’s most popular internet browser, that you can use to protect your information when you’re online.

These extensions are all offered by leading VPN companies you may have already heard of.

As general consumer awareness surrounding privacy has grown, so has the use of VPNs. There are now several high-quality VPN services out there that you can use to cover your tracks online, hide your information, and unblock regional restrictions through streaming sites such as Netflix.

With just a few clicks on your browser, you can protect yourself from Google tracking your every move.

The 10 Best VPN Extensions for Google Chrome

These are the 10 VPN Chrome extensions that we have come across during our VPN review process and think are the best. Ease-of-use, superior features, and solid privacy protection all factored into our decision.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is by far the best all-around VPN service that delivers fast, secure, and consistently reliable service with its thousands of servers located in over 150 different countries.

With a valid ExpressVPN subscription, you can add their extension to Chrome in a matter of seconds and benefit from comprehensive protection of your Chrome-based internet activity. It’s worth noting, though, that ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension will not work unless you have their desktop app installed.

The Chrome extension itself performs very well, just as you would expect with any ExpressVPN product.

At the time of this review, ExpressVPN boasts having over 501,000 active installs.

Although they do not offer a free trial, their entire VPN product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. This means you can take ExpressVPN for a spin risk-free and get a refund if you’re not impressed—unlikely!

If you do decide to subscribe, their cheapest plan comes to $8.32 per month for a one-year subscription billed annually at $99.84.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is almost exactly the same as ExpressVPN, the only difference being that NordVPN is just slightly less expensive.

Just like ExpressVPN, you need a valid subscription to NordVPN in order to use their Google Chrome extension. It can be installed as a standalone extension though—you do not need to have NordVPN installed on your desktop to use it.

Service-wise, there are thousands of servers located across a smaller selection of countries. Performance is consistently great—you don’t lose much speed up or down—and they operate a proven anti-logging policy.

At the time of writing this review, NordVPN has over 236,000 active installs.

You can try out NordVPN with a 7-day free trial. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but go ahead and use their free trial before making a purchase. 7 days is enough time to decide whether you want to buy a subscription or not.

Their lowest price starts at just $2.99 per month on their 3-year plan for a grand total of $107.64.

Try NordVPN

3. Windscribe

Windscribe offers the full and unrestricted version of its service on the Google Chrome store for free. There is a catch, however—you can only use 10GB worth of data per month unless you pay for a subscription.

We aren’t going to pretend that 10GB of data isn’t a lot though, it is a respectable amount of data that you can easily get a lot of use out of. That said, if you’re someone who wants to remain connected all the time and/or stream a lot of content, it won’t be enough.

So far as their service goes, Windscribe offers strong encryption and a decent number of servers while performing at a level that’s good enough for most activities.

Windscribe VPN is quite popular as a freemium VPN – the Chrome web store shows there are nearly 900,000 users.

Windscribe Pro is available from $9.00 per month or $4.08 per month when billed annually at $49.

Try Windscribe

4. TunnelBear

TunnelBear offers a free version of their premium VPN service that offers access to their Google Chrome extension.

The service itself is very good. It has all the features you would expect–it doesn’t log anything, and it doesn’t slow down your speeds.

The Chrome extension is very easy to use… it certainly passes the newbie test so far as we’re concerned! One drawback, however, is that you only get 500MB of free data per month. This may sound like a lot, but it wouldn’t take a regular internet user long to burn through, even if you abstain from streaming content.

Although there’s a cap, it seems over 843,000 users still enjoy this VPN extension on Chrome.

If you like TunnelBear after trying it out, you can buy unlimited data on a month-to-month basis for $9.99, or $59.99 when billed annually.

Try TunnelBear

5. Ivacy

It only takes a matter of minutes, if not seconds, to install Ivacy on Chrome. You don’t need to install their desktop app for it to work either.

Ivacy is renowned for providing fast and consistently reliable service with over 1,000 servers located across 100+ locations. The breadth of locations is nearly as vast as those offered by ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

When you connect via the Chrome app, you are automatically assigned to an optimum server, but you can easily switch to a different one. The app itself is nifty, fast, and simple to use.

The pricing for their premium service starts at $9.95 monthly. But if you usign up for 2 years, you get a crazy 77% discount. The price drops to a mere $2.25 per month if you get it now.

Try Ivacy

6. ibVPN

Don’t let the missing icon fool you, it’s a great VPN!

To install and use Betternet, you need to create an account. Once you’re logged in, you can manage the VPN quite easily; one click connect and even a nice server picker.

You can sign up for ibVPN for $4.95 per month. And you can even try it for free for 24 hours to get a feel for this VPN Chrome extension.

If you want to sign up for a yearly payment plan, it averages to $3.08 per month. Cheap!

Try ibVPN

7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a free proxy for Google Chrome that installs very quickly and is easy to use—there’s only an on/off button and a menu you can use to switch locations.

While it’s free, fast, and easy to use, you’re very limited in server choice—at the time of writing, there are only four locations available—and the performance isn’t as good as their flagship desktop app. When connected, all your traffic is encrypted, and your information is safe.

CyberGhost says it cannot guarantee that their Chrome extension will protect against leaking when using the free version… this seems like a strange way of persuading people to subscribe to their premium service, but they are quite reputable.

Almost 100,000 users!

Try CyberGhost

8. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs available at a budget-friendly price of $6.95 per month on a rolling monthly basis. This comes down to a tiny $2.91 per month when you purchase a two-year subscription at $69.95.

Their pricing doesn’t mean they compromise on performance either.

We’re big fans of PIA—although they’re based in the U.S., they came out on top of two court cases where authorities failed to force them to disclose information about their users. Given that PIA has an anti-logging policy, the information they did have probably wasn’t very interesting or substantial.

Their Chrome extension is just as fast and simple to use as their flagship desktop VPN, and they use the latest standards in encryption and tunneling to protect your data.

Try PIA

9. Hide.me

For some reason, hide.me doesn’t have their Chrome extension on Google’s Chrome web store. And don’t be fooled by the one being offered by hideme.io – it’s not reliable and is not the same as the one being offered by hide.me.

The nice thing is, hide.me also has a freemium model – you can use hide.me for free. It comes with a 2GB data transfer cap.

You will definitely want to upgrade, in which case, you should remember their monthly subscription cost – $4.99.

If you pay for the most expensive subscription, it’s $9.99 per month.
Try hide.me

10. GoBestVPN Search Extension

To help you in your search for the best VPN products online, we created a simple extension that lets you search for reviews on your Chrome browser.

If you want quick access to unbiased reviews on over 100+ VPNs, simply install the tool and you’re good to go!

Get GoBestVPN Search Extension


DO NOT GET THESE FREE CHROME EXTENSIONS

DotVPN

Nearly 1 million vulnerable users.

DotVPN’s free Chrome extension is very basic and limited. It can still be used as a quick and simple solution when you need to temporarily cover yourself online. It’s by no means restricted to the point where it’s rendered useless, that’s for sure.

You do need to sign up if you want to use DotVPN for free and this means you’ll receive marketing emails with DotVPN trying to get you to sign up for their premium service.

DotVPN’s Chrome extension is slow. Don’t even try to stream anything. Also, it’s worth noting that DotVPN is based in Hong Kong and is subject to China’s questionable privacy laws.

The premium version costs too much  for a slow, non-working VPN – $4.99 monthly.

Read Our DotVPN Review

Hola

8 million+ users who are vulnerable

Hola is a popular Chrome-only VPN that’s free, easy to install, and comes with unlimited usage. The catch is that you need to connect to Hola each time you visit a site you want to be protected on.

It’s easy to use the Hola app to select and connect to a country and the service works well enough. It’s slow but you can’t really complain when you’re using something that’s completely free.

Each time you navigate to a new site, though, your connection to Hola drops. It’s important to keep this in mind as you could accidentally expose yourself.

The VPN is a P2P network, meaning you’re leaving yourself extremely vulnerable as well.

We do not recommend using the free version let alone pay for this VPN.

Read Our Hola VPN Review

Best VPNs for Windows

Windows is by far the world’s most popular operating system. Whether you’re using Windows 8 or Windows 10, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to VPNs. In this article, we’re going to cover all the best VPNs for Windows from best features to most secure or affordable.

Picking the best VPN client for Windows 7, 8, or 10 is pretty similar to picking the best VPN full stop.

Most reputable providers will have a dedicated VPN client for the latest Windows operating systems. However, there are still numerous VPNs that are only browser-based or mobile based – simply put, they don’t work well on Windows.

With the massive selection of VPNs available on the market, picking the right one can be tricky. Luckily, we’re here to help you with our selection of top picks for what are, in our view, the best VPNs for Windows.

What Makes a VPN One of the “Best”?

There’s a selection of key features that make only a small handful of VPNs the “best” available for Windows. Only a few VPNs can consistently provide all of these features and more. Some of these features include:

  • Netflix: Many people outside the U.S. use VPNs to access geo-blocked Netflix content. It’s no secret that U.S. Netflix has all the best TV shows and movies, after all! Netflix knows this and regularly blocks VPN providers’ servers.
  • Torrenting and P2P: Not all VPNs support or allow the use of P2P platforms or torrenting, and some will ban you from using their services if caught. Any good VPN will allow you to hide behind a VPN while torrenting or using P2P platforms.
  • Privacy: The best VPNs in our list will provide secure and complete privacy, allowing you to hide your online activities without storing any of your information, usage data, or exposing your identity through leaks or by using outdated protocols.
  • Censorship: People living in key countries or states that exercise control over the Internet (e.g. China) use VPNs for a secure online platform. For these people, a secure VPN is a must for expressing their views without the fear of state persecution.
  • Speed and Performance: Some ISPs will throttle their customers’ download speeds on key sites such as Netflix if they’re using a lot of bandwidth. By using a VPN, your ISP cannot see what sites you’re using and thus it becomes harder to throttle speeds.

These are just five of the many reasons why people opt to use a VPN. Once upon a time, VPN usage was seen as sketchy. But in an age full of privacy concerns, using a VPN is becoming the norm.

Our Picks: The 5 Best VPNs for Windows

Out of all the VPNs we’ve reviewed, these five stand tall above them all for providing the very best services. While each one has particular strengths, all five of these VPNs can be considered go-to options that perform remarkably on all modern Windows operating systems.

1. Express VPN: By far the best VPN right now

If you’ve been looking into VPNs, you’ve probably already come across ExpressVPN on a review site or two. That’s because it’s by far the best VPN available on the market right now.

ExpressVPN is registered in the British Virgin Islands. This means that it’s outside the scope of so-called 5, 7, or 14-Eyes nations that all work together to share information and intelligence. So your information can’t be requested by government agencies. Plus, ExpressVPN doesn’t log anything, period.

You get plenty for your money, too. With well over 2,000 servers and locations that are constantly being added, the ExpressVPN network is gigantic. You’re certain to find a server that will work with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Speeds are nothing to worry about either (assuming you have a decent Internet connection) because ExpressVPN doesn’t throttle your download speeds and all their servers are lightning fast. You can also download as much as you want and participate in P2P activities.

ExpressVPN is compatible with virtually any device (including Nintendo Switch!) through router installation. You can sign up in a matter of minutes. With payment methods that include everything from debit card to Bitcoin, it’s very hard to find a bad thing to say about ExpressVPN. They are truly the best in their class.

Still not sure? Try out ExpressVPN today with their 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you don’t lose anything! Starting at $12.95 per month on a rolling monthly basis or $8.32 per month for a 12-month subscription (billed at $99.95), you get true value for money with ExpressVPN.

Better yet, take advantage of the 12-month subscription now and get 3 months free with the link below.
Get ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN: A more affordable but still excellent option

NordVPN always ranks highly on VPN review sites, often sitting just below ExpressVPN. It’s renowned for its trustworthy and secure VPN services. With unbeatable prices and industry-leading features, it’s easy to see why millions of people around the world trust NordVPN for their day-to-day online privacy needs.

Based in Panama, NordVPN falls outside of any alliances or agreements with other nations (just like ExpressVPN). This enables them to guarantee that customer information and data will never be shared with third-party organizations.

No matter what you want to use your NordVPN subscription for, you can be sure that it will deliver. NordVPN has a huge range of servers and locations on offer, and these servers include specialty services that operate with a specific purpose in mind such as P2P, obfuscation, or double VPN.

Because of the large server network that is constantly changing and being added to, it’s easy to find a server that you can use to access geo-blocked content on streaming services such as Netflix. With virtually no loss of download speeds, you can stream content without any problems.

NordVPN really impresses when it comes to pricing. While you can opt for a 1-month plan and pay $11.95, there’s a hefty discount at $2.99 per month with their 3-year plan, billed at $107.55.

Want to make sure it really lives up to its reputation? You can try out NordVPN for free by taking advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee. Plenty of time to test all the features for yourself.

Given how good NordVPN is, we don’t think you’ll be asking for a refund anytime soon! Other positives of this brilliant VPN service include insane security backed by industry-leading encryption methods and protocols, cryptocurrency (anonymous) payment methods, a wide range of supported devices, and a sign-up process that takes a matter of seconds.

Let’s not forget about the product interface itself. It’s surely one of the best (if not the best) VPN interfaces in the industry.

Get NordVPN

3. CyberGhost: Constantly updated with new features

20 million people around the world use CyberGhost for its brilliant features, so it’s no surprise that it’s appearing on this list. CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for PC and it’s compatible with all the latest versions of Windows.

Founded in 2011 in Romania, it has managed to go from a relatively obscure VPN provider to industry-leading name in less than a decade. Because it’s located in Romania, it doesn’t fall under any agreements or alliances between nations for the sharing of intelligence and security. This, in addition to their no-logging policy, use of OpenVPN, and AES-256 encryption, makes CyberGhost a go-to for anybody concerned about privacy.

In our comprehensive CyberGhost review, we put the service to the test. It passed everything with flying colors, including IP and DNS leak testing, UI and UX testing, customer support, and speed testing. Throughout all this, we didn’t experience any drops or lapses in connection and our download speeds remained consistently fast across all servers and locations we looked at.

Netflix, torrenting, and P2P are all supported on CyberGhost and it’s very easy to find a suitable server; we were able to stream Netflix shows without any problems.

There are two ways you can test out CyberGhost: try it out for free for three days, or purchase a premium subscription and take advantage of their 45-day money-back guarantee.

We recommend purchasing a premium plan. CyberGhost provides all the above and more for the budget-friendly price of $3.50 per month billed as $63 for the first 18 months, then yearly for three years total. If you prefer a rolling month-to-month service, you can pay $12.99 instead. If you invest in a subscription and aren’t completely satisfied, CyberGhost will refund you with no questions asked within 45 days of your purchase.

Get CyberGhost

4. Private Internet Access: A no-logging policy proven in court

Although Private Internet Access (PIA) is in the U.S. and thus a part of the 5, 7, and 14-Eyes alliances—an agreement that means they share information and intelligence with other nations—two court cases involving the company have shown that their strict no-logging policy is watertight.

A location in the U.S. or any other country within the 5, 7, or 14-Eyes agreements would usually be a big red flag, but Private Internet Access is committed to anonymity, even when put under legal pressure.

Twice within the past three years, PIA’s no-logging policy was tested in separate cases. The policy was held up both times when the FBI subpoenaed the company for user information, only to come home empty-handed.

PIA offers a vast range of servers around the globe. Current locations include North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and they constantly add to their offerings. In terms of speed and performance, our testing revealed very little reduction in download speeds across the servers and only small increases in ping. Just like the VPNs above, this makes PIA perfect for using Netflix and participating in P2P activities like torrenting.

PIA uses OpenVPN as one of its tunneling protocols—widely regarded as the best available—backed up by AES-128 and AES-256 encryption. AES-128 is faster, but AES-256 is more secure. So whether you need to watch Netflix or protect your privacy, you’re covered. In addition to these encryptions, PIA utilizes SHA1 (160-bit) and SHA256 for authentication, handshake encryption, and ECC.

On top of PIA’s no-logging policy, the above encryption methods and a built-in kill switch that masks your IP address if your connection drops make this VPN one of the safest and most secure services on the market.

Pricing starts at $2.91 per month when purchased as a 2-year subscription, or you can instead opt to pay $6.95 on a month-by-month basis. PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market despite all the features on offer. You can try it out risk-free for 7 days thanks to their 7-day money back guarantee.

*Note: For those of you shopping over the holidays, there’s an even better, one-time deal at $2.59/month for a 2-year subscription, where the first three months are free! The yearly subscription gives you the first month for free.

If you want (proven) privacy with the reliability of American-made software, PIA is it.

Get Private Internet Access

5. hide.me VPN: Another VPN committed to privacy

Based in Malaysia, hide.me is not associated with any intelligence-sharing nations under the 5, 7, or 14-Eyes agreements. Malaysia has no data retention laws, and the U.S. cannot interfere. As a result, Hide.me logs zero information.

hide.me also claims to be the “World’s Fastest VPN,” and though this may not exactly be true, it does offer impressive performance which was enough to earn it a spot on our list. After using hide.me for several hours during initial testing, we found it to be consistently reliable and noticed virtually no hampering of our download speeds when connected to their servers.

Although server speeds were good, Netflix access is intermittent and cannot be guaranteed; it depends on the server in question. Speaking of servers, there aren’t as many when compared to ExpressVPN, for example. However, hide.me handpicks all its servers for quality assurance, so the ones that are available are very good.

The VPN did not show any signs of IP or DNS leaks during our testing, and ticks all the boxes due to its use of OpenVPN and strong encryption. Their customer support is great and available through the website.

hide.me VPN has a freemium plan. However, we recommend taking advantage of their 14-day money back guarantee and taking their premium unrestricted service for a spin. Pricing is $9.99 per month for their Premium plan or $4.99 for their Plus plan that has restricted data transfer. Although hide.me VPN is more expensive, it’s a more “boutique” service that’s run by a small team of specialists who provide awesome support and spend time handpicking servers.

For these reasons, hide.me VPN is easily one of the best VPNs you can get for Windows.

Get hide.me

What VPN Do We Recommend?

You really can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.

Just as the lion is the king of the jungle, ExpressVPN reigns supreme when it comes to quality VPNs.

There’s a reason it’s consistently crowned the best VPN service by review sites like ours. It has everything anybody could ever need at a budget-friendly price point. Sure, there are plenty of great alternatives out there, but if you’re looking for the cream of the crop, ExpressVPN has everything you need and more.

So save yourself a headache and try their service for 30 days with a money-back guarantee. There’s no risk with this kind of guarantee.

Top 5 Free (or Freemium) VPNs That Actually Work

You know you need a VPN to access your favorite Netflix content, hide your browsing habits from ISPs and governments, or protect your data from third party advertisers. But how does it actually work?

How VPNs Work

To put it simply, VPNs (which stands for Virtual Private Network, in case you’re wondering) work by connecting you to a secure network of servers. When you’re connected to this network, your traffic (Google searches, for example) is routed through the network to a server that acts as an intermediary. This server then sends your traffic request to the site you’re trying to access.

All while encrypting your data.

By doing this, both your computer (your network and anybody watching, such as your ISP) and the site you’re visiting can only see the VPN server. This detaches your internet activity from your IP address and keeps you hidden and secure.

Some VPNs do a better job of this than others. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check if you’re using a good, trusted, and secure VPN, especially when it’s free.

Why use a free VPN? What’s the difference between free and paid?

Glad you asked.

With our extensive testing of various VPN services, we’ve learned that there’s a distinct difference between free and paid VPNs. The bottom line is that you’ll always be better off with a paid VPN. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

Some VPNs start as low as $5-10 per month. If you’re serious about your privacy, this is a worthwhile expense.

But if paying is not an option, read on.

Generally speaking, free VPNs are the same as regular VPNs, but with restrictions such as:

  • Limited bandwidth
  • Limited access to servers and locations
  • Slower performance
  • Limited protocols and encryptions
  • No access to Netflix or torrent-friendly servers

Found a free VPN with high data allowance? It’s probably very slow and useless for streaming. Got a free VPN with good speeds? You’ll probably only have enough data allowance for one episode of your favorite Netflix show. Two if you’re lucky.

Since these VPN services need to earn money somehow, they’re also more likely to mine your data so that it can be sold on to third-parties like marketing agencies.

Not all free VPNs are like this and you’ll be pleased to know that there are some fantastic ones out there. We’ve tested these so that you don’t have to—just download them and go!

It’s worth noting that these are freemium VPNs. This means they have free plans in addition to their paid, premium options. This is because VPNs that are 100% free tend to be really bad because they have no way to make money, which means they have limited resources to develop their service.

Best Freemium VPNs

Without further ado, here are the 5 best freemium VPNs we’ve tested. For in-depth reviews on each one, check out our full list of VPN reviews.

1. Windscribe

Windscribe is our favorite freemium VPN service. It’s very popular with their users, too. A Canadian-based company, Windscribe operates servers all over the world and was founded in 2015 by Yegor Sak (who is quite active in talking to the community!).

Freemium Plan Details
Windscribe’s free version is pretty good as far as free VPN plans go. With the free plan, you get 10GB/month with access to servers across 10 different countries. You also get the same speeds as their premium users, and none of your information is monitored, mined, stored, logged, or sold on to third parties. Plus, there’s a built-in firewall and ad blocker.

Freemium Plan Limits
Limitations with Windscribe do begin to show up when you start to look at what’s on offer to premium members. For premium members, Windscribe offers over 50 different locations and there are no data caps.

Read our verdict of Windscribe here
Get Windscribe Free

2. Hide.me

Another relatively good freemium VPN service is Hide.me. The company’s based in Malaysia and calls itself the “world’s fastest VPN” that lets you “take back your freedom.” Bold statements, right?

Freemium Plan Details
When using Hide.me’s free service, you still get the good stuff like IP leak protection, a kill switch, one-click connect, and split tunneling. Malaysia is not part of any intergovernmental agreements (e.g. 5 Eyes) either, so your information is safe. Also, the connection speeds are respectable, and you won’t be bombarded with ads.

Freemium Plan Limits

On their free plan, you can only connect to certain countries and none of these include Europe or the United States. This might be a dealbreaker for some of you. In addition to this, your data transfer is capped at 500MB that only renews every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hide.me here
Get Hide.me Free

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a well-known VPN provider and you have probably come across them in one form or another before. They have apps for virtually everything, including browser extensions and mobile devices. While they don’t exactly get the best press online, it’s far from being a ‘bad’ freemium service, particularly when you compare it to what’s available!

Freemium Plan Details

When using the free version of Hotspot Shield, you will still manage to pull impressive download speeds and your traffic is protected and encrypted to the same extent as their premium plan.

Freemium Plan Limits

You’ll only be able to use one of their servers based in the United States, and this can only be accessed from a single device. When accessing content from certain sources, (e.g. the BBC or Hulu) you’ll see a premium payment wall. As for Netflix, it doesn’t work at all. They’ve also opted to include banner ads as part of the freemium plan, and you’re limited to 500MB per day. Still, this is far better than Hide.me’s 500MB every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hotspot Shield here
Get Hotspot Shield Free

4. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN hasn’t been around for all that long, but they’ve certainly made an impression on us. It’s a private and secure service that’s available across several devices, including Linux and iOS. Their founders are scientists who met each other at CERN and started the secure ProtonMail project, so they don’t mess around with their technology.

Freemium Plan Details

Built with security in mind, ProtonVPN has an ultra-secure core architecture that is backed up with AES-256 encryption, supplemented with 2048-bit RSA, HMAC, and SHA256. It uses the OpenVPN protocol, too, which is the industry standard for security. All this is available for both free and premium users. Unlike the other freemium plans we’ve looked at, ProtonVPN doesn’t have any data caps or limitations.

Freemium Plan Limits

Although there are no data limits, you can only use ProtonVPN’s free version on one device and, at the time of writing, there are only three countries that include free servers. It also doesn’t work with Netflix. Speeds are OK, but they’re not the best.

Read our verdict of ProtonVPN here
Get ProtonVPN Free

5. TunnelBear

One of the most newbie-friendly VPN services in existence, TunnelBear is known for all the right reasons. The best thing about TunnelBear by far is how easy it is to use; it’s a plug-in-and-play VPN that works without you needing to configure settings or manually install additional components. It’s worth noting that TunnelBear is now owned by McAfee, A US-based company, which brings with it some potential concerns.

Freemium Plan Details

Aside from how easy it is to use, TunnelBear’s free users benefit from not having any of their data or information logged and disseminated. Unlike Hotspot Shield, there are no ads, and the speeds are respectable.

Freemium Plan Limits

Data transfer is capped at 500MB per month on the freemium plan. Tweeting about the company gets you an extra 1GB (clever, right?). Like the other freemium VPNs we’ve reviewed, you can only access a small handful of locations and servers, and it doesn’t work with Netflix.

Read our verdict of TunnelBear here
Get TunnelBear Free

VPNs With Amazing Free Trials

Most VPN providers will offer some form of free trial for their premium VPN service. In almost all cases, a free trial will give you complete access to the VPN product for a certain amount of time. That means anywhere between 1 and 30 days. After the trial period, you’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan to keep using the service.

These VPNs offer the full premium product during their free trial period:

1. Trust.Zone

Trust.Zone’s free trial lets you use their VPN service for 3 days. You’ll be able to access 141 locations—not quite as many as the 164 offered to their subscribers—and unlimited bandwidth.

Also included is 1GB of data transfer and one simultaneous connection at any given time. (Premium subscribers get unlimited data transfer and can have three simultaneous connections.)

Although the Trust.Zone trial is only for 3 days, it still provides you with an opportunity to try out their VPN and test out over 140 different locations.

Read our verdict of Trust.Zone here
Get Trust.Zone Free

2. HideMyAss

HideMyAss is owned and operated by McAfee, the California-based security technology company. There’s a 7-day free trial on offer for all new customers. After the 7 days, you will be automatically billed for a 12-month subscription, so make sure to stop this by canceling before the trial period ends.

During the trial period, customers can access the full HideMyAss VPN product. This includes total privacy and protection, strong encryption, OpenVPN protocol, and consistent server speeds in locations all around the world.

Read our verdict of HideMyAss here
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3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN offers a 3-day trial for either one of their paid plans. So you can choose between the regular plan for up to 3 devices, or the premium plan which gives you a 5-device limit, access to the cloud server, and the Chameleon protocol which blocks VPN blockers.

Its slick desktop app is easy to use and VyprVPN delivers on speed, features, and a variety of locations. Full access to the VyprVPN product includes all the great security features paid-up members get, such as the choice of encryption or protocols used.

Read our verdict of VyprVPN here
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VPNs With Perfect Money-Back Guarantees

Instead of a free trial, some VPNs offer money-back guarantees. This may be a better option since the “trial period” tends to be longer. As long as you’re willing to pay upfront and get the money back later, this is essentially a type of free trial you can take advantage of.

Typically, the money-back guarantee is valid between 7 to 30 days. If you purchase a VPN subscription and aren’t satisfied, you can get your money back simply by asking for a refund within the given time period.
By doing this repeatedly, you can use premium VPN services for months without spending any money.

Here are three great VPNs that have awesome money-back guarantees:

1. ExpressVPN

Often called the best VPN money can buy, ExpressVPN offers their first-time customers with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Their guarantee lasts for exactly 30 days: if you place an order on the 1st of the month, you can contact customer support for a refund at any point before the 30th.

Money-back guarantees are often much better because you get to access the full product rather than a watered-down version, and this is the case with ExpressVPN. You’ll be able to access awesome features such as:

  • Foreign Netflix content
  • Super-fast speeds on ultra-secure servers
  • Worldwide locations
  • 24-hour live chat support

Read our verdict of ExpressVPN here
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2. NordVPN

Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you explore the full NordVPN service without any restrictions (they also have a free trial, but this is only for 7 days). Their customer support team is available 24/7 and you can get your money back without any questions asked.

NordVPN is another fantastic VPN service that is virtually identical to ExpressVPN in all but name. It regularly features highly on VPN review sites because of its:

  • Secure, strong encryption and protocols
  • Compatibility with Netflix
  • No logging and torrent-friendly policy
  • Double data protection

One downside is that NordVPN is more expensive if you want to pay month-to-month as opposed to annually. So that’s something to consider if think you might subscribe to their service long-term.

Read our verdict of NordVPN here
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3. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a well-known VPN provider that offers new customers a 7-day money-back guarantee. Although this timeframe pales in comparison to Express or Nord, it’s still enough time to get familiar with the service and decide whether it’s for you.

All refund requests must be made in writing and submitted via email to helpdesk@privateinternetaccess.com.

Private Internet Access offers fast speeds, a variety of locations, and a budget-friendly price. They don’t log or keep any information. You can also make Bitcoin payments.

Read our verdict of PIA here
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VPNs Don’t Need to Cost Money

If you look around and do your research, it’s easy to get all the benefits of a VPN without paying any money. While we do recommend investing in a good VPN if you plan to use one in the long-run, for occasional or temporary use there are many options available.

Free VPNs, free trials, and money-back guarantees all let you access a VPN at no cost. Obviously, the quality of the service, as well as the service limitations, will vary greatly depending on which plan you go with (hint: premium VPNs are always better). We hope we’ve helped you go over some of these differences in this post.

For those of you that simply want the best with no hassle, check our list of the best VPN reviews.

hide.me VPN Review

In our Hide Me VPN review, we’ll show how their service attempts to set itself apart from the rest.

Whether you’re looking for a way to enhance your security and privacy online, or simply bypass restrictions set by your ISP or even government, there are more reasons than ever to use a VPN service today.

While there are many providers that advertise a free product, they will often serve you intrusive ads or even record or sell your data – defeating the entire purpose of using a VPN service in the first place.

Yet somehow, Hide Me (hide.me) VPN offers a free plan without mining your data.
Want to watch a quick video review before diving into our in-depth review?

hide.me VPN bills itself as a fast, reliable and flexible service with over 10 million users.

How flexible? Let’s find out.

hide.me VPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name Hide.me
Leak Test No Leaks
Logging Policy No Logs
Speed Average
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Allowed
Netflix Unblocks Netflix
Jurisdiction Outside of Eyes
Servers / Countries 1400 / 35
Max Connections 5
Kill Switch Has Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Crypto
Free Trial Available
Refunds 14 Days
Customer Support Live Chat, Email
Price Starting From $5.41

Hide.me VPN Pros

Servers and Locations: Growing hand-picked network

Like other VPN services, hide.me allows you to connect to a number of different servers across the globe.

Last time we checked, the server count was at less than 200 – a measly figure. At the time of writing (yes, we do update VPN reviews frequently), hide.me grew their network to an impressive 1400 dedicated Gbit servers in 35 countries.

In total, they are spread out over 35 countries across 6 continents.

This includes a total of eight different services in the US, covering both the east and west coasts – giving you the flexibility of faster service, depending on where you live and which part of the country is closest.

While the reach is still less than that of top VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, their servers are hand-picked to fulfill their operational standards.

Not to mention: these servers are all dedicated bare-metal servers. Meaning no one else has access to the servers and hide.me isn’t sharing server resources with any third parties.

VPN Speed and Performance: Very fast

The network speeds are phenomenal – they all operate as dedicated gigabit servers.

After several hours of general use, I’ve found the service to be fast and reliable. This includes streaming 4K video on YouTube, playing music on Spotify at its premium high-quality setting and browsing websites with rich media.

We’ll let our speed test results speak for hide.me:

North American VPN Server Speed Test

NA Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to NA Server)
EU Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to EU Server)
Ping
(5 ms)
8 ms (+3 ms) Ping
(90 ms)
110 ms (+20 ms)
Download
(98.6 Mbps)
68.5 Mbps
(-30.1 Mbps, -31%)
Download
(87.4 Mbps)
58.2 Mbps
(-29.2 Mbps, -33%)
Upload
(98.4 Mbps)
65.2 Mbps
(-33.2 Mbps, -34%)
Upload
(56.3 Mbps)
38.9 Mbps
(-17.4 Mbps, -31%)

European VPN Server Speed Test

NA Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to NA Server)
EU Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to EU Server)
Ping
(93 ms)
119 ms (+26 ms) Ping
(27 ms)
34 ms (+7 ms)
Download
(92 Mbps)
64 Mbps
(-27.9 Mbps, -30%)
Download
(99.1 Mbps)
71.9 Mbps
(-27.2 Mbps, -27%)
Upload
(58.6 Mbps)
41.2 Mbps
(-17.4 Mbps, -30%)
Upload
(98.7 Mbps)
69.4 Mbps
(-29.2 Mbps, -30%)

Asian VPN Server Speed Test

NA Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to NA Server)
EU Baseline
(Without VPN)
Test Results
(to EU Server)
Ping
(278 ms)
306 ms (+28 ms) Ping
(281 ms)
290 ms (+9 ms)
Download
(46.9 Mbps)
17.1 Mbps
(-29.7 Mbps, -63%)
Download
(57.8 Mbps)
30.5 Mbps
(-27.3 Mbps, -47%)
Upload
(7.9 Mbps)
3.3 Mbps
(-4.6 Mbps, -58%)
Upload
(6.2 Mbps)
3.4 Mbps
(-2.8 Mbps, -46%)

Our experience was virtually indistinguishable from using these services without a VPN enabled.

This was despite connecting to the US from our test location in Europe.

Every app and service worked as they should with little to no performance issues, with the glaring exception of Netflix content being completely inaccessible.

Torrenting Policy: Friend, not foe

Torrenters will be glad to know that hide.me will work with your torrent clients. Hide.me public states that they support torrenting, and their forum is full of users sharing their experience torrenting with the VPN.

It also offers port-forwarding for maximum download and upload speeds.

If you’re specifically looking for a VPN for torrenting purposes, check out our top 5 VPNs for torrenting here.

Pricing & Plans: 64% Discount on 2-year plan

Hide.me currently offers some options to choose from. Hide.me used to have a Premium Plan and a Plus Plan where they would restrict some features. It seems today they have merged the two plans and decided to go for the more traditional route of charging per month or year (or two).

Its main 2 Years plan at $5.41 per month on average costs $130 in total for a two-year subscription.

If you’ve tried the paid service and decide to commit to it, paying for it 24-month intervals can net you a 64% discount. This option offers unlimited data, 5 simultaneous connections and access to hide.me’s full set of server locations.

The previous pricing plan was hide.me’s most attractive quality by far and made it an instant competitor to a number of different providers by being one of the more affordable paid services for the buck. The current pricing model still remains quite competitive, especially compared to the best VPNs on the market.

Free Plan: No time restrictions

There is no time restriction for the free plan – you are only limited by server restriction and bandwidth. You will have a monthly limit of 2GB. You don’t even have to go through a lengthy signup process (like Windscribe).

The free tier only allows you to connect to four different countries: the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore and the US (East and West)

This is sufficient for those looking to use the service as a means for increased security and privacy when browsing the web in public locations such as the airport or coffee shop.

By including US locations they have become a viable option for accessing a variety of content such as the many blocked YouTube videos only available for US citizens—for free.

Because it offers a paid option, hide.me is able to offer a variety of options including:

  • Zero information logging.
  • Advertised uptime of 99.9%.
  • Guarantee that it will not store or sell your data.
  • Customer support for every user including the free tier.

The only difference being limited data transfers and the number of server locations and simultaneous locations.

Payment Options: Crypto payments accepted here

Both the Premium and Plus plans offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, with the ability to pay with a standard credit card, PayPal or in crypto.

There are also a handful of crypto payment options including Bitcoin, Ether, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, and Ripple–all processed by Coinpayments.

Device Compatibility: Lots of options

Hide.me is available on virtually every platform that you would need it on:

  • Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
  • macOS
  • Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • Fedora 24+
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Amazon Fire OS
  • Chrome & Firefox
  • AsusWRT-Merlin, AsusWRT (stock), DD-WRT, OpenWrt, Tomato, LibreELEC (Kodi), OpenELEC (Kodi), Synology DSM 6.0+, pfSense, QNAP QTS 4.3+

Some users prefer a browser plugin for their simplicity.

It seems hide.me really knows their user base – offering a free plan for the cheap and browser plugins for the lazy.

If you are one of those people, you’ll be happy to know that hide.me VPN has a dedicated browser extension team.

Product Interface: Lightweight and rich in features

One of the highlights of hide.me is definitely its solid user experience. Downloading the setup file from the website is almost instant due to its size of only 5MB, while the installation process is quick and straightforward.

The native apps are relatively easy on system resources as well. When it was running on Windows 10, the hide.me app used up less than half the RAM of a competing VPN service’s app. The other app wasn’t even connected or sending any traffic, either!

In terms of efficiency, hide.me’s app performs superbly.

After launching the app for the first time, you’ll be greeted with a simple and clean layout:

  1. A big button in the middle to connect to the VPN servers.
  2. The option to change your location.
  3. The handy option to do a quick privacy check to verify your masked location, IP address, and IPv6 capability.

The privacy check page is a convenient way for the privacy-minded folk who need to confirm from time to time that their internet usage is safe, secure and private.

The app’s settings page offers the ability to customize your experience.

Some basic options include:

  • Starting hide.me when you turn on your computer so that you’re always connected.
  • Setting specific DNS servers to always be used.
  • Selecting the exact VPN protocol to be used by the service.
  • Enabling Kill Switch.
  • Making custom scripts for different use cases for advanced users.

This experience extends to all the different platforms that hide.me is available on, as the company built native apps for each.

Customer Support: Fast and helpful

Let’s not skip over hide.me VPN’s excellent support options.

This is available to every user, including those that are using the free tier.

Live Chat worked particularly well.

Having a live chat for the free users require a lot of resources on their end, but they still somehow manage to deliver an excellent response time. An agent was online instantly, and he transferred me to another agent who was able to answer my question all in a matter of seconds.

Product Documentation: In-app support

The app has a dedicated support page in the options screen where you can easily create and submit a ticket, while handy links to the site’s FAQ, Live Chat and forums are also a click away.

The help section of the website is just filled with a ton of guides.

Logging Policy: Strictly no logging

Though hide.me falls short on its streaming capabilities, the service makes up for it in terms of its privacy and security.

It has a zero log policy and states that its systems are created without the ability to log user data or activities. The company is based in Malaysia where the country has no mandatory data retention laws, and where the US law enforcement cannot issue search warrants.

This basically ensures that your data will not reach a third party, government or not.

It does record your email address in an encrypted form on encrypted servers – so make sure you create a fake email account if you’re worried at all.

IP and DNS Leak Test: All passed!

Another security aspect users look for is whether their information is being leaked.

We’re happy to say, hide.me also features protection against IPv6, IP leaks, and DNS leaks.

You’re good to go!

Encryption and Protocols: Standard and secure

This VPN service is equipped with strong AES256 symmetric encryption with 8192-bit public keys.

The app also provides a number of advanced security options. You can select from multiple VPN protocols that are supported:

  • PPTP
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • SoftEther
  • SSTP
  • OpenVPN
  • IKEv2

Hide.me VPN Neutral Points

Netflix Test – No guarantees (but it works)

One key weakness of hide.me is that they do not guarantee getting around Netflix’s restrictions.

Unofficially, Netflix does work on their US Las Vegas location.

On other servers, loading the Netflix website is certainly possible and you can even view the list of content that isn’t normally available to you… But as soon as you try to stream something, you are greeted with a black screen confirming your usage of a VPN. This same black screen will also appear on any other video you choose even if it’s normally available to you in your region.

This makes hide.me somewhat unusable for those looking to use it to stream from the popular website.

When asked for comment on support for Netflix, a company agent responded that they “cannot guarantee for any streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, etc.”

If Netflix streaming is one of the primary reasons you’re looking to use a VPN, then remember: hide.me doesn’t guarantee this. We recommend going with one of these instead.

The company does suggest trying their free option on your service of choice, and while not all streaming services may work, there could be exceptions.

Hide.me VPN Cons

This is not the section you’re looking for (*sweet Jedi hand wave*). On a serious note, nothing we tested under hide.me’s services was specifically a con.

Hide.me VPN as a Business

Hide.me was founded in 2012. They say they’re providing services to over 5 million users. Their revenue range is estimated to be under $2 million.

They’re made up of IT security experts who seem to care deeply about security and privacy online, and are particularly proud of their no logs policy.

They also post annual transparency reports. In fact, they were one of the first VPN providers who have been doing this since 2013. The 2018 report can be found here.

One really interesting figure from the transparency report is the Law enforcement & Police requests section. It shows that they do get data requests from the law enforcement (peak requests being 13 in 2016) but since they don’t log, they can’t share.

Jurisdiction

Hide.me is registered under eVenture Ltd. in Labuan, Malaysia.

Therefore, it falls outside of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Alliance. This is good news for privacy advocates who want to keep their data away from prying government entities.

Hide.me VPN Conclusion: Easily recommended (except for Netflix users)

When it comes down to it, every user will find their own specific use for VPN services.

But the majority will usually fall under two different camps.

  1. Those that are looking for a way to secure their browsing online and avoid tracking.
  2. Those that are looking to bypass restrictions and access content that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Hide.me VPN (eVenture Ltd.) features a compelling option for the former as it operates in Malaysia, outside of any alliance jurisdiction.

…And a lacking one for the latter due to the incompatibility with such a popular service like Netflix.

But if Netflix is not an issue, hide.me’s affordable payment options, solid performance, and great customer support make it an easy recommendation, especially for the free trial.

Try hide.me for Free!

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