The Best Free VPN 2018 (Actual No-Cost Services)
What is a Free VPN?
A free VPN UK users might be looking for is a piece of software or an application which takes your internet connection and tasks and encrypts data which passes through it. These can come in various forms from browser extensions or full-blown clients for desktops and mobile devices.
It should be noted that there is no totally free VPN and you do pay somewhere along the line. Many larger virtual private network suppliers also use their stripped down IP hider free versions as an introduction to their full software package.
Along with this, there are some companies which offer a VPN hider which has no links to a premium package, but these can be more of a marketing tool rather than fully protecting a user’s data. Looking at this you can see nothing is free or there is no best cheap VPN.
|1. Windscribe||Short | Detailed||4.5 / 5 Stars|
|2. Tunnelbear||Short | Detailed||4 / 5 Stars|
|3. Cyberghost Free||Short | Detailed||3.8 / 5 Stars|
Why do I even need a VPN?
From what used to be a free for all service, is manifesting into something very different. As time goes by there will be many more restrictions imposed on freedom of speech on the internet. It is also now a fact we aren’t only spending more time online, but a lot more business is being conducted using the internet for all walks of life.
Since we are online so much, we are continually faced with threats from many areas, or there are services which might not be able to access from our home country, or we are away from home and wish to catch back up with our favourite TV shows.
A UK VPN would cover all these bases even though services and ISP’s are attempting to limit VPN usage through a VPN blocker. Prime examples of this are streaming services such as American Netflix which is geo-locked unless you are in the USA. With a VPN changer, you can change the IP address of your VPN to one which this service doesn’t recognise.
A lot of this is very similar for downloading torrents. If you more than occasionally download torrents you could leave yourself open to copyright infringement, and it is always advised for any user to look at how to get a VPN and download through this and protect your location and your identity.
Many businesses can benefit from VPN’s when they have roaming workers who work on the road, or they have sensitive data which needs to be sent to another location. This was, in fact, the reason VPN’s were invented in the first place.
The most significant areas where there are threats come closer to home than hackers. Marketing companies are continually finding ways to get our internet usage patterns to bombard us with adverts.
This is more than annoying and is also an infringement on our privacy. All this tracking leaves users wide open to manipulation, and this is where large ISP’s and governments want to know everything we do online.
Data retention laws are in place in many countries, and in the UK all of our internet lives is stored for a period of 12 months. VPN’s will help avoid all of these issues, but as time goes by governments and large institutions wise up to VPN’s and it could be time to change VPN to one which is under no threat of being compromised.
The Best 5 Free UK VPNs
- Number of IPs: 50+
- Number of Server locations: 11
- Country: Canada (5-eyes jurisdiction)
This Windscribe review takes a look at the popular Windscribe free which has been popular for quite some time due to a full feature set and a generous amount of data usage which is offered.
- Secure and Safe
- Built-in Firewall
- Unlimited free VPN connections available
- Windflix (Allows connection to Netflix)
- 10GB data each month
- Based in Canada (5-eyes jurisdiction)
- No Logging claims contradicted
- Mediocre internet connection speeds
- Below par customer support speed
- No killswitch included
With your free Windscribe download you can access the internet fully protected for as long as you like. They impose no time restrictions, and the only downside is you are limited to the number of servers which are available.
This free package allows you to access geo-locked content while it prevents anyone accessing your connection from home or while using a public Wi-Fi zone.
The company does not retain permanent logs but does store connection data which they say is deleted after three minutes of you disconnecting. They also use the current best encryption for your safety which is AES-256 cyphers with a 4096-bit RSA key. Is Windscribe safe? Yes, it is as safe as any other free VPN service if not more so.
For a single user or small family Windscribe free can be an ideal solution, however, for heavier users of the internet in the UK might find an alternative more suiting.
- Number of IPs: 350+
- Number of Server locations: 20
- Country: Canada (5-eyes jurisdiction)
This is one of the better-known names, and TunnelBear free does come with plenty of features which helps make it so popular. The thing is, being popular doesn’t mean it has to be good, so this TunnelBear VPN review will take a quick look and find the strong points and the weak points.
- Zero data logging policy
- Works on all major devices
- Simple to use
- Killswitch (VigilantBear)
- 500MB data allowance
- Lack of advanced settings
- Falls inside the 5-eyes jurisdiction zones
- Not very good customer support
- Torrenting or Netflix not supported
- Inconsistent speeds
The most significant drawbacks for UK VPN users is the lack of support for content streaming and downloading torrents. TunnelBear Netflix isn’t working, and torrents are also not allowed. These are two critical areas for any UK user. With speeds which can’t match the market leaders and a customer support service which isn’t the best, will leave users wanting, even if the service is a free UK VPN.
The entire service is more geared around security than content streaming or downloading, so users might find this better for using on the road rather than being a permanent solution to their UK home internet connection.
- Number of IPs: 1045+
- Number of Server locations: 27
- Country: Romania
The CyberGhost free review takes a quick look at this eastern European favourite. And although not technically a fully-fledged free option the
CyberGhost free version gives you seven days usage before it converts to a premium service. Is this 7-days’ worth the effort and can CyberGhost turn this 7-day trial into a sale, or will UK users look elsewhere?
- Zero Logging
- Free unlimited VPN bandwidth and data usage
- Based outside of the 5-eyes regions
- Torrents and Netflix supported
- Built-in Ad-blocker
- Allows 7 connections
- Free VPN Service has mixed internet reviews
- Not the fastest speeds
- Interface niggles
The CyberGhost VPN Review showed this VPN is pretty good but still has a long way to go to rank top VPN of our lists. If you find things go wrong or you’re not happy with the service they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee. You do have access to the full feature set although as an overall VPN package Cyberghost free VPN server trial falls right in the middle of the rankings.
When you start the app, you are presented with a dashboard type screen which displays all the main options. Here is Ghost Browsing, Ghost streaming, Ghost Wi-Fi, Ghost Downloads and Ghost AntiCensor. Which makes it super easy for beginners who are unsure of which settings to change to get the optimal setting for their connection.
CyberGhost VPN free trial uses the same industry strength protocols and encryption as most others in the market, so rest assured your connection will be safe.
- Number of IPs: Not supplied
- Number of Server locations: 20
- Country: Romania
Hotspot Shield Elite is one of the easiest VPN’s you could find yourself using as a free option. Unlike the other VPN’s this can be sufficient to act as the sole VPN on a mobile device. It has enough data for browsing, but anything more substantial would require a beefier option of VPN. Is there more to it than a decent daily data cap, or does it fall short in this Hotspot Shield review?
- Fast data connections
- Only 750 Mb data allowance per day
- Killswitch included
- Ad Blocker and Cookie blocker
- High levels of security
- No Netflix on the free package
- Slow customer support responses
- No torrents
- Data collected for marketing purposes
Aside from this small snippet of Java code can be included in website code which lets adverts be displayed. Is hotspot shield safe to use? It does give protection against everyone else, but if you can’t trust the VPN provider, it is hard to say.
- Number of IPs: 115
- Number of Server locations: 23
- Country: Malaysia
This Hide.me review takes a look at what is marketed as the fastest and most secure VPN on the market. For something which looks too good to be true, it might be the case or Hide.me VPN might be the one size fits all good free VPN.
- No Logs guaranteed – logs are erased after a few hours
- Automatic Wi-Fi connection
- Supports SoftEther VPN protocol
- Allows Anonymous payment
- 2 GB monthly data allowance
- Limited speeds on the free version
- Limited global server coverage
- Unreliable Support
- No Netflix or BBC iPlayer
- IP leaks detected
Hide.me appears to offer a lot but when you look under the surface, all is not clear. Encryption is as good as any other VPN and is full of features IP leaks were detected so is Hide.me safe? Not really all of the time.
The company also offer their Hide.me proxy for anyone to use and all this requires is you visit the proxy page and type in the IP address you wish to visit. Other restrictions in their free forever VPN is only 3 locations available, and the bandwidth is the best effort, so you get what you’re given. On top of this, there is limited protocol support.
On the whole, it’s not bad a top free VPN, and could be very much better in specific areas. For any UK user, it might be wise to look at another option.
Popular VPN Uses
Best free VPN for Android
With 500mb per month data allowance, it might not appear much. However everything else about TunnelBear VPN free trial makes it an ideal VPN for protecting any individual on the move. With its ease of use and almost one-touch connection to your free VPN server, you can see why TunnelBear is the best free android VPN and can allow you to keep up to date with your social media.
Best free VPN for iPhone
Not all free VPN’s are ideal for the iPhone. The Windscribe iPhone VPN is fantastic for protecting you in Wi-Fi hotspots and unblocking all of your favourite content no matter where you are. Now you can enjoy anonymous browsing knowing you can’t be tracked from using such an easy app.
Top free VPN for Windows
The top free VPN for PC would be Cyberghost. For new users, everything is ready to run out of the box, and the interface allows you to quickly choose the use you need your VPN for. Changing between services is as simple as opening the client and clicking on another service to get the best UK connection.
Top free VPN for Mac
Any desktop can make full use of the generous 10GB data allowance, so Windscribe would be the Mac VPN of choice when looking for a free VPN service. This can provide plenty of data for everyday use using a Mac to surf the internet in total privacy and with no worry you are being tracked or watched.
Best free VPN for Kodi
Due to the content, you would find on Kodi the usage could be quite high. A Kodi VPN free option would need to cater for the amount of data. Windscribe offering the most substantial amount could cater well enough for a few content streaming sessions without you falling foul of copyright infringement. Windscribe Kodi VPN UK also provides plenty of speed to allow no stuttering on your favourite TV shows.
Best free VPN for torrenting
Free VPN torrenting needs decent speeds and a service which allows torrenting. Cyberghost is one who does and caters for it well by selecting it from the client’s interface. This then chooses the optimal settings when you are downloading torrents securely without anyone being able to see what you are accessing.
Best free VPN for Netflix
Windscribe would come out on top because of their dedicated Windflix feature which allows you to watch Netflix from anywhere. There is also a slight benefit in it being an American VPN so you are guaranteed local servers which can provide the best connection. Not all services allow a connection to Netflix or have the speed and data allowance in a free package. Windscribe manages to cover all these with ease.
Why a Paid VPN service may be a better choice?
Although users will direct themselves to free options of software, this is not always the best course of action to take when looking at protecting your privacy and being able to unblock locked content.
Free isn’t always free as shown when a VPN provider uses it as an advertising medium. With apps which are used as advertisement placeholders or code being inserted into the web pages you visit the threats are right under your nose, but in this instance, there is nothing you can do apart from opting for a paid version.
As you can see from above, there is not one service which gives free forever without missing out on features or cutting back on the amount of data you can consume. It doesn’t matter which one you choose you will always come up short.
If you decided a paid for option might suit you better and meet all of your internet habits while securing your connection and providing the best security there is only one option which would come recommended.
The best paid VPN UK internet users could sign up for does offer the best of everything. It connects to Netflix, allows torrenting and provides unlimited data while protecting your privacy and giving world-class customer service. It also comes with an excellent no question money back guarantee.
If you would like to find out more of the best VPN for the UK, you should check out the ExpressVPN review where all details are provided. When looking for any VPN solution, one of the first things to do is scour their terms of service, because this can highlight many things which aren’t disclosed up front, unless the VPN provider makes an effort to be transparent in their operations.
From the above list there are some VPN’s which can meet your needs, and at the end of the day, it is your needs which will dictate which VPN free version might suit you. Most of the above will encrypt your data while performing your online activities.
Where they fall short is on features, and many do this because they want you to sign up for their premium offering. It is only the completely free VPN’s which generally use less than ethical practices to use your supposedly protected data for their own benefit.
In the short term or if travelling one of the above free VPN’s could serve you good enough while you are away from home, or for a child’s mobile device while they are using public Wi-Fi areas.
In the long-term, there is only fully paid up options which will serve you well. Then choosing one can bring you back around to some of the above VPN providers but with the full features or data, cap removed.
We have seen which the best-paid VPN option for the UK is so you can bypass all the double research, and head for the top VPN provider already knowing you’ve got everything covered.