vpn free trial

The Best VPN Free Trial in 2021: Try VPNs at No Cost

It’s no secret that people love free things. If you had the options to go on a test drive in a killer car or buy a nice steaming cup of cocoa for yourself at no cost, you’d take it. It’s no surprise that this logic also applies to testing out the best VPN free trial. 

Doing your due diligence before shelling out the big bucks is always a good idea. Lucky for you, I’ve gone ahead and researched VPN trials to compile this list of the top 10 VPN providers that offer risk-free trials. 

shopping bags full of vpns
Imagine shopping bags filled with free VPN trials. Ah, the dream.

So let’s get cracking and find you a great VPN free trial! 


At a Glance: The Best VPN Free Trial Options

  1. ExpressVPN — Provides a 30-day money-back guarantee with a seven-day free trial on mobile devices. Has lightning-fast speeds and is a premium VPN service. 
  2. NordVPN — Get a 30-day money-back guarantee and seven-day free trial on mobile devices. Provides access to a large and speedy server network and is also great for torrenting.
  3. Surfshark — Offers a seven-day free trial option with card information. Great for torrenting securely.
  4. CyberGhost — Offers a one-day free trial on desktop, seven-day on mobile and 45-day money-back guarantee. It’s a solid pick for mobile devices. 
  5. Windscribe — The best free VPN you can use in the market. Offers a 10GB per month data plan. 

The Best VPN: Free Trial vs Money-Back Guarantee vs Free VPNs

Before we get cracking on the best VPNs with a free trial, you should know the difference between the three most common options you’ll see with VPNs. Which one should you choose? Each one has its share of pros and cons.  

VPN Free Trial

A free VPN trial allows you to use a VPN with no strings attached to your purse strings for a limited time, usually between a day to a week. However, most VPNs restrict this offer to mobile devices and don’t grant access to all devices, which limits the functionality of truly testing a VPN. 

Money-Back Guarantee

Some VPNs don’t offer a genuine free trial and instead offer to use their premium features for a limited time under a money-back guarantee. In such cases, you’ll have to provide credit card details or other payment information. 

Not only that, you’ll have to say bye-bye to a certain sum of money at the initial period and wait to get it back when you cancel before the guarantee ends. However, for that time you’ll get instant access to top features, like the entire server network and OSes for all devices. The period can vary from 30 days to 45 days.

Free VPN

Here, you get permanently free plans. That’s right, you can get a free plan with a VPN, but there’s a gamble with security when it comes to free VPNs. Even reputable free VPNs have disadvantages, including data caps and limits. 


Choosing the Best VPN: Free Trial & More

So you’re on the lookout for a VPN service, but where do you start? In addition to making sure the VPN has a free trial or money-back guarantee that you can use as a trial, here are a few more things to consider when choosing a VPN.

1. Security

A good free VPN nails its security. Whether you use a free service or not, you want to make sure you can access streaming sites, and torrent and surf to your heart’s content without your online security being compromised. 

Be on the lookout for VPN features like an automatic kill switch, which cuts your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. A VPN should also have a strict no-logs policy, DNS leak protection and a variety of secure VPN protocols.

2. Reliable speed

The VPN connection speed can waver depending on the server you are connected to, the distance to said server and the VPN’s own network. Having consistent and fast speeds will help with streaming or gaming.

3. Streaming services

Several consumers use VPNs to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and other services that impose geoblocks. Some VPNs offer optimized streaming servers specifically for this purpose. 


The Best 10 VPN Free Trial Comparison

Here are 10 VPNs you can opt for if you’re looking for a free trial. Keep in mind the best VPN free trial for you can vary depending on many factors, some of which I’ve mentioned in the below table to give you a bird’s eye view for when you make a decision. 

VPN Service:VPN free trial periodMoney-back guarantee periodPayment method required?Free trial restrictions
1. ExpressVPN7 days on mobile30 daysYes, except for a free trial on AndroidiOS restrictions: no kill switch or split tunneling
2. NordVPN7 days on mobile30 daysYesNo
3. Surfshark7 days on mobile30 daysYesNo
4. CyberGhostDesktop: 1 dayAndroid: 3 days
iOS: 7 days
45 daysFor mobile devicesLimited to one device
5. WindscribeFree plan30 days NoLimited to 10GB per month
Access to only 10 countries’ servers
6. VyprVPN3 days on mobile30 days YesNo
7. ProtonVPN Free plan 30 days NoSmall server network, Limited speeds
8. TunnelBear Free plan 30 days No Limited to 500MB per day
9. Hide.me Free plan 30 days No Limited to 10GB per month
10. Private Internet Access7 days on mobile30 days Yes No

The Best VPNs With Free Trials, Money-Back Guarantees & Free Plans

Keep reading to find out the detailed pros and cons of the free trial VPNs mentioned above and how you can get started. 

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn free trial
Lightning fast ExpressVPN’s free trial tops our list.

PROS

  • Incredibly fast speeds
  • Secure & safe
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial on mobile

CONS

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is the top VPN provider out in the market. It offers unlimited data and an impressive network of more than 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries, which means you have a lot more choice when choosing a server that works for you.

It’s got all the standard features: a strict no-logs policy, a handy kill switch and encryption that gives you access to all major streaming services. ExpressVPN has modern VPN protocols, like its in-house Lightway, its proprietary open-source protocol designed to increase the speed and reliability of the VPN connection.

With ExpressVPN, you get an easy-to-use 30-day money-back guarantee, which grants access to all the premium features of the VPN. Alternatively, you can use the seven-day free trial available purely for mobile devices. The catch is if you opt for the trail, you can’t use the money-back guarantee (at least, not with the same account details).

Check out ExpressVPN’s pricing here or read the full ExpressVPN review for more details.


2. NordVPN

nordvpn free trial 
Explore NordVPN’s expansive server network free for 30 days!

PROS

  • Large server network
  • Strict no-logs policy & solid security measures
  • Solid choice for torrenting & streaming
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial on mobile

CONS

  • Inconsistent speeds on some servers

NordVPN is a solid runner-up to ExpressVPN. There’s no doubt that its impressive server count is one of its most attractive features, boasting a whopping 5,000 servers across 60 countries. All of its servers offer P2P traffic with DNS protection, making it a great option for those looking to torrent.

Security-wise, NordVPN uses the NordLynx protocol to keep your data encrypted and away from the prying eyes of malicious hackers. It also offers split tunneling, allowing you to be more selective about which apps pass through your VPN protection. It also offers double-hop protection, which means your connection is doubly protected, your IP address “hopping” twice through two different servers.

The drawback with NordVPN is that its speeds aren’t always reliable across longer distances. You might experience lag when connecting to a distant server, and switching servers can also take longer than expected. However, the NordLynx protocol helps mitigate that issue, so you can select it manually if you need to connect somewhere far from home.

NordVPN offers a seven-day free trial on mobile devices and a 30-day money-back guarantee on other devices. However, NordVPN’s mobile app isn’t quite as fully-featured as its desktop counterpart. I recommend trying the refund guarantee on the desktop app to unlock more access to this VPN’s handy features.

Check out NordVPN’s pricing here or read the full NordVPN review for more details.


3. Surfshark

surfshark free trial
Get ready to ride some waves with Surfshark.

PROS

  • Unlimited connections
  • Servers in underrepresented regions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial on mobile

CONS

  • Middling speeds

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN in the market, but it’s been making waves since its arrival. It has 3,200 servers across 65 countries and offers the typical features as other VPNs — a decent kill switch, trusty encryption and split tunneling. 

If you’re an avid streamer, this might not be the best VPN for you unless you’re willing to test your patience. It doesn’t offer optimized streaming servers, and the speeds are no match for ExpressVPN, but if you’re down to just do some casual browsing, Surfshark does the job.

You can give Surfshark a whirl on desktop devices by opting for their 30-day money-back guarantee. If you like your mobile devices, there’s a seven-day free trial you can check out. 

Check out Surfshark’s pricing here or read the full Surfshark review for more details.


4. CyberGhost

cyberghost free trial 
Get started with the spookiest VPN trial out there.

PROS

  • Amazing servers for streaming
  • Up to 7 simultaneous device connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free trial option on mobile & desktop

CONS

  • Unreliable access for streaming
  • Inconsistent speeds

CyberGhost VPN has over 7,000 servers across 90 countries, with the ability to access optimized servers for streaming purposes. Its security features are right up there with the other premium providers in the market, offering an in-built kill switch, AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy.

CyberGhost VPN offers two different versions of its free trial depending on whether you’re using a mobile or desktop app. In both cases, the free trial is limited to one device. You don’t have to provide payment details with the desktop free trial, but you don’t get access to optimized servers. On mobile, it’s the opposite. You can use the optimized servers, but you have to provide payment information.

To get past these hurdles, you can always opt for the 45-day money-back guarantee, which is also the longest period offered for money-back from all the VPNs on this list.

Check out CyberGhost’s pricing here, or read the full CyberGhost review for more details.


5. Windscribe

best free vpn for streaming windscribe
Check out Windscribe’s free plan if you’re in the market for a free and secure VPN.

PROS

  • A free plan with a customizable build-a-plan option
  • Accesses major streaming services
  • Unlimited devices

CONS

  • Some slow servers
  • 10GB limit on the free plan

I would be remiss in creating a list of the best VPN free trials without mentioning Windscribe. This VPN is like a breath of fresh air thanks to the permanent free plan it offers its users, that is if you’re not big on data consumption. 

The free plan is limited to 10GB of data per month, so it’s perfect if you’re on a budget and aren’t looking to binge content or download heavy files. For casual users, Windscribe is a great pick. 

Windscribe’s server count isn’t the best, but it covers 63 countries, with 10 countries available on the free plan. You don’t have to worry about security being lax either just because it’s free. Windscribe has solid security, offering the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logging policy in place.

The drawback with the free plan is that the limited network might not offer the location you want — there are only 10 locations included in the free plan. Also, the limited data cap means you can’t necessarily stream to your heart’s content. However, you can expand the free version with the build-a-plan option, with each additional server costing $1 and coming with 10GB of data

Check out Windscribe’s free plan and pricing here or read the full Windscribe review for more details.


6. VyprVPN

vyprvpn free trial
Use VyprVPN’s money-back guarantee for free to unblock your favorite streaming sites with ease.

PROS

  • Unlimited bandwidths with solid speeds
  • Up to 30 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 3-day free trial on mobile
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • Slow at times
  • No Linux app

VyprVPN has 700 servers across 70 countries, which is smaller compared to some of the premium VPN providers on this list. Still, it’s a worthy contender if you’re looking for a short free trial. That’s because of its impressive Chameleon protocol, which can bypass some of the toughest VPN-blocking tech and geoblocks, even in countries like China that ban VPNs. 

VyprVPN is incredibly secure, featuring all the standard VPN safeguards plus support for WireGuard on its servers. Its VPN servers have also been audited independently by the Leviathan Security Group. VyprVPN owns all its servers, and since it’s located in Switzerland, it’s in one of the most privacy-friendly jurisdictions in the world, making it doubly secure. 

With all these security features, it’s a bummer that the VPN’s mobile free trial only lasts three days. However, you can test all its premium features for free using the 30-day money-back guarantee and easily request a refund using live chat support before the end of the period.

Check out VyprVPN’s pricing here or read the full VyprVPN review for more details.


7. ProtonVPN

protonVPN free trial
ProtonVPN is one of the best secure free VPNs you can use.

PROS

  • Excellent free version
  • Secure servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Limited servers on free plan
  • Slow customer service

ProtonVPN is one of the best VPNs you can use to get a totally free plan, which it intends for you to use as the free VPN trial. The VPN has over 1,300 servers in 50 countries, but you only get access to servers in three countries (the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands) through the free plan. 

It has decent speeds for its free plan, which will do the job but can’t promise a great streaming experience. Security-wise, rest assured that ProtonVPN’s got your back even though it’s free. It has an automatic kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol. It also offers a verified, transparent no-logs policy.

You can opt for the free plan with ProtonVPN, but you’re bound to face slower speeds. To avoid this, you can opt for its 30-day money-back guarantee and unblock access to all major premium features. 

Check out ProtonVPN’s free plan and pricing here.


8. TunnelBear

tunnelbear free trial
TunnelBear offers one of the best free plans in the market.

PROS

  • Free plan
  • Includes a kill switch
  • Secure & safe

CONS

  • Free version is limited to 500MB per day
  • Not many servers offered

You might have heard of TunnelBear thanks to its fun, bear-themed marketing. The free plan it offers is solid, if limited, offering 500MB of daily allowance. However, the free version unblocks access to Netflix U.S. and even HBO Max. But keep in mind this won’t last you more than one or two 20-minute episodes of any show.

TunnelBear is a great option for the casual surfer. You can stick to its free plan if all you’re going to be doing is regular, low-key browsing. There’s no doubt about security either as TunnelBear has a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy. It also offers split tunneling — branded as SplitBear — but only on Android devices. 

Apart from the limited plan, the drawbacks with TunnelBear also include the limited servers. Its speeds can also be unreliable, especially compared to ExpressVPN.

If you install the Android TunnelBear app, you can get an extra 1GB add-on. In the long run, you may be more tempted to go with the Pro plan, which offers unlimited data at affordable prices. 

Check out TunnelBear’s free plan here or read the full TunnelBear review for more details.


9. Hide.me

hide me free trial
Hide.me’s easy to use interface is a great starting point for VPN noobs.

PROS

  • User-friendly interface
  • A great free plan
  • Kill switch & split tunneling

CONS

  • Lacks access to all streaming sites
  • Poor speeds with servers farther away

Hide.me offers a decent free plan to try the VPN out. It has nearly 2,000 servers spread across 75 countries. The VPN also comes with strong security features, sporting 256-bit encryption, a no-logs policy and an automatic kill switch. It also has DNS and IP leaks protection, meaning your online identity will be preserved throughout usage. 

Hide.me’s free plan restricts users to 10GB of data per month, but with only one device connection and access to only five server locations. This free version is only suitable for casual surfing and occasional streaming. On the other hand, you can opt for the VPN’s “no questions asked” 30-day money-back guarantee, which unlocks access to high-speed servers for streaming. 

Check out Hide.Me’s pricing and free plan here.


10. Private Internet Access

private internet access free trial
Looking for some strong connections? PIA should be on your list.

PROS

  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Great for P2P networks

CONS

  • Unreliable speeds on certain servers
  • Not the best for streaming

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great VPN to use if you want a simple VPN packed with useful features. In addition to PIA’s 30-day money-back guarantee, the VPN also offers a seven-day free trial on mobile, which allows you full access to all the VPN’s features. 

With servers across 78 countries, you have an abundance of choices even if one server doesn’t perform so great. It’s also got DNS leak protection, a no-logs policy and solid encryption which means your online security is assured. 

PIA offers fast speeds overall, so you’d expect it to perform well with streaming. That’s not the case, though. You may have trouble unblocking Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming platforms with this VPN. 

Check out PIA’s pricing here.


Honorable Mention: Hide My Ass (HMA)

HMA free trial
HMA boasts a large and tempting server network for its customer base.

PROS

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Free trial
  • IP shuffle

CONS

  • Privacy issues
  • Inconsistent speeds

HMA offers a seven-day free trial for both desktop and mobile devices (which is super rare), but you’ll be asked to provide payment information on signing up. You can also give their 30-day money-back guarantee a whirl if that’s more your style. A bonus is you can use both and extend your free trial using the money-back guarantee, giving you a total of 37 days. 

HMA has servers in a whopping 210 countries, which is by far one of the larger networks on this list. This reduces any worries around finding a server that works since you have access to over 1,000 around the globe. Its speeds are also decent, with even the long-distance servers doing a consistent job for torrenting and surfing.

HMA vows to keep your online identity safe with its AES 256-bit encryption, leak protection and automatic kill switch. It also has a feature called “IP shuffle,” which randomly changes your IP address periodically to keep you extra safe. 

These features notwithstanding, HMA logs the user’s data usage and the days connected to the VPN. However, none of this can be traced back to you. Still, the lack of a promise not to log data relegates it to an honorable mention, despite it actually having a free trial for desktop and mobile devices.


Conclusion: The Best VPN Free Trials

Hopefully you’re more clear about what a true VPN free trial is and which provider you want to go with. But honestly? Nothing beats actually testing it for yourself. Whether you have a fondness for VPN mobile apps or prefer browsing through your laptop, there are VPNs out there that offer free trials you can use to test the water.

My money’s on ExpressVPN, though. Not only is it the most reliable VPN on this list, but its speed is also just uber-tempting. I’d go with its 30-day money-back guarantee if I could do a free trial multiple times. But, alas…

What about you? Would you rather opt for either a free trial or a money-back guarantee? Which VPN is your favorite to use? Drop a comment below!

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