In the business environment, the VPN or Virtual Private Network is used to connect two networks as if they were on a single local private network; in the home a VPN is used to protect the user ‘s anonymity , with an encrypted connection (impossible to intercept) between our device and the VPN server that works as if it were a network proxy.
The VPN services that we will offer you allow you to surf the Internet completely anonymously from your PC and smartphone , imposing (in some cases) some limitations on the data traffic that we will carry out without a subscription (maintaining many servers around the world costs , so it is normal for free services to impose limitations)
Why use a VPN
A possible use of VPNs is to connect different networks together (present in different locations) in a secure way. You can imagine a chain of stores that connects the different branches located around Italy, in a single VPN.
The data transferred between the various offices within the VPN is protected and encrypted while the data exchanged over the internet is not. Many VPNs are installed in offices to encourage employees to work from home or remotely on the computers of distant customers.
A VPN can be created to connect to different computers remotely , so as to be on the same LAN network even if they are located away from the office or home.
Another possible use of VPNs (currently one of the most popular) concerns anonymity : with the right VPN services we can hide our IP, change IP based on the country in which we want to appear and also hide all the traffic generated while browsing (also in the eyes of the telephone operator). In fact, using a VPN we will be able to:
- Surfing on local sites even when we are abroad : it is sufficient to set up a VPN server with an Italian IP and we will be on home territory, even if we are traveling to a foreign country.
- Surfing on foreign sites : if we are good enough with the language and want to watch movies and TV series from a foreign streaming service (such as Netflix in the USA), we can choose a VPN server with IP of the country in which we want to be and browse as if we were there.
- Bypass IP and regional blocks : some providers or foreign governments impose a filter for access to some sites; these filters can be bypassed (in most cases) with the use of a VPN.
- Hide traffic from the operator or control bodies : If we fear that our connection is being monitored, we can hide behind a VPN and browse without being tracked or identified.
- Protect the internet connection , with the security that the incoming and outgoing traffic from our PC is encrypted, without the possibility of being seen in the clear by those who try to intercept it, including the telephone company and the same company that provided the VPN
These are the main reasons why a common user may decide to use a VPN on their computer or portable devices .
Best free VPN services
In this part of the guide we will show you what, for us, are undoubtedly the best VPN services to enjoy for free on a computer or portable device. They differ from the other services (all very good anyway) for the availability of the service (if it is free but with limitations or if it is free forever ), on the speed (also based on our line speed) and on the presence of numerous servers behind to hide.
If we want to use a free VPN without any limitations in browsing, we must go for ProtonVPN .
By installing this client on our device we will be able to browse without bandwidth and time limits, at a decent speed (up to 10 Megabits per second), by choosing one of the 3 VPN servers available for free .
This service can therefore be used for any scenario where a VPN is required, such as streaming (10 megs should be enough for a good streaming) or to hide web traffic. If we want to get a higher speed from the connection and choose a greater number of VPN servers (with as many IPs), we recommend that you purchase a subscription for € 4 per month (one of the lowest), which allows you to access all the servers of the service, connect up to 2 devices at the same time and browse the maximum possible speed (often identical to that of the line).
The most expensive subscription allows Tor to be integrated into the connection, to access ultra-fast servers and use very advanced technologies to completely hide our origin, so as to be untraceable even with powerful government filters.
Another free VPN with no connection or traffic limits is Opera VPN, integrated into the homonymous PC browser .
This browser looks very modern and, with the built-in VPN, we can always protect our privacy wherever we are. We can also unblock services blocked abroad, but it is not possible to choose the server to connect to, but only the continent: this limits its functionality for those who want to unblock foreign sites.
The Opera browser with the integrated VPN can also be downloaded for Android and iPhone , where it presents itself as one of the best solutions to use an alternative browser to Chrome and Safari, since it has an effective VPN.
Another free VPN service that we can use to protect our privacy and change IPs for anonymity is Betternet VPN .
The important feature of this app is that it does not require any type of registration or account: once the client is downloaded to the computer we will be ready to surf immediately, choosing one of the VPN servers in the list. Betternet VPN allows you to take advantage of 500 MB of data every day, so you can surf for free using the 15 GB per month.
If we are looking for a completely free service, without any limitation on the data exchanged and with excellent protection, the only one we can use is Tor .
While it doesn’t work like a classic VPN (which creates a single connection between us and the server), the level of security is very similar (if not even higher) : our encrypted connection is bounced between multiple intermediate nodes, up to get to the exit node (which we can choose, so as to be with any IP, Italian or foreign): from here on we can connect to the requested page and server, masking our traffic behind a fake IP . Even if someone wanted to trace the IP of our original connection, they would have to retrace “backwards” all the bounces made, making it very difficult to recognize the user’s true IP and its possible position.
The only real flaw of the technology is that, given the numerous bounces made and given the voluntary nature of the project (the intermediate and exit nodes are managed by non-profit volunteers), the connection is very slow: in the best of cases it reaches 2-3 Megabits per second , even with a very fast starting connection.
We can therefore use it to hide traffic from the operator or some government agency, but it is not suitable for streaming or to hide the data generated by a BitTorrent client. To use the mobile versions, we can download the dedicated app for Android and iPhone .
Another good VPN service that we can take advantage of for free is Windscribe .
With this VPN we will be able to surf without speed limits, choosing one of the 10 servers made available for free. In the free version we will be able to take advantage of up to 10 GB of data per month, a very high value compared to the competition, difficult to finish if we use the service only to browse the Web. Among its advantages we find a very restrictive policy on cookies and on collected data. (they do not keep any data, since all the traffic generated can be downloaded locally and deleted from their servers with one click), advanced tools to avoid government filters and blocks and the innovative double-hop system, which allows you to connect to two VPN server simultaneously to hide the user’s identity.
Obviously, if we want to use the service also for streaming content, we will necessarily have to buy a subscription , paying 9 dollars a month. There is currently no Android app available, but we can download the iPhone app .
Hotspot Shield Free
The last VPN we recommend using for its connection speed and good amount of traffic is Hotspot Shield Free .
With the free account we will be able to benefit from 25 VPN servers, connect up to 5 different devices and take advantage of up to 500 MB of data per day. If we want to use it to surf the Internet, this is certainly one of the best solutions, also given the high degree of security offered by encryption and the large number of servers that are also offered in the free version. If you are interested in accessing all the VPN servers and to take advantage of all the bandwidth made available by the service, we can subscribe to a subscription for € 15 per month, which can go down to € 3.49 or € 6.99 per month if we choose the plans. tri-annual or annual.
Other free VPN services
The ones we have reported so far are the best VPN services that we can enjoy for free on our computer or mobile device, each with its limitations and constraints. But there are a lot of VPN services that offer a free trial or a limited free account; below we can find some of them:
- TunnelBear is a program similar to Hotspot Shield but better because it guarantees a faster connection. The limit of the free version is 1 GB of bandwidth per month (you have to press a button to send a tweet on Twitter). The IP can be masked to alternatively access US sites blocked in Europe or European sites with IP from England.
- CyberGhost is a free VPN limited to 1GB of encrypted traffic per month. CyberGhost is another Windows-only VPN client, it requires an account registration but does not allow you to choose the server to use. Ideal for web browsing but not a dedicated solution for exchanging files or watching streaming videos (1 GB per month is not much).
- incloack can only be tried for a limited period of time but provides a proxy to browse with the IP of a country of your choice, including Italy and the USA.
- Avira Phantom VPN is a free program to access the web freely without any restrictions, keeping your internet activities anonymous. You can then connect to the internet from a VPN server in the USA, CNADA or other countries, mask the IP address, ignore firewalls.
- VPNBook has no bandwidth limitations and provides information for setting up a VPN connection without account creation. The service is funded by advertising and the sale of paid (virtual) dedicated VPN servers to customers. Installation requires the download of the free OpenVPN client or a procedure explained on the site itself.
- HideIPVPN offers a FREE VPN one account on servers located in the US and UK. On the website, 100 free accounts are offered as gifts every month.
We choose which service to use and, if we always want to surf for free, nothing prevents us from downloading all the services one at a time and using them for anonymity or to access foreign sites.
Whatever our needs, we can use a free VPN with good performance in many cases, without necessarily having to spend something. The best servers and the best connection speed are obviously reserved for paying users, but even with the free limitations we can browse protected, hiding our identity. For those who want maximum privacy and no connection limits, we can always use the Tor network, even if the latter is very slow when compared to other VPN services.