Want to try a VPN without committing to a lengthy subscription plan? In this guide, we explore the best VPNs with free trials on offer and how you can make the most of your VPN trial period.
The best VPN free trials list
Here's a quick look at the top VPN free trials we recommend.
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Virtual Private Networks can seem expensive to those who are unsure about the investment. Discounts are typically only applied when you commit to a longer-term subscription plan (1 or 2 years, for example), and it would be unreasonable to expect you to jump right in without being able to try before you buy.
Nowadays, most reputable VPNs offer a money-back guarantee which tends to average around 30 days, giving you the opportunity to test whether it does what it says on the tin without risking your cash. However, it's not as common for a VPN to offer a free trial. VPNs with free trials do exist, though, and in this guide, we've listed the best ones available today. In order to qualify as a legitimate free trial VPN, the provider must offer users full access to test its premium-tier service for free – without having to provide payment or credit card details upfront. This is distinctly different from a free VPN that offers a limited-access free-tier to its service.
When recommending a VPN service with a free trial, obviously the main thing that we're looking for is that the provider offers a legitimate free trial. But, we also check that our recommendations offer:
- Well implemented privacy & security
- Fast VPN speeds
- A large server network
So, let's take a closer look at which VPN free trials we recommend.
The best VPN free trials to try in 2021
Here's an in-depth look at the top VPN free trials on the market today.
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Why are free trial VPNs useful?
If you haven't used a VPN before, it may be difficult to understand exactly what it can do for you. That is why most VPNs offer either a free trial or money-back guarantee (and sometimes both). Providers understand that by letting you test their services to unblock US Netflix, or to bypass local area network restrictions at work, it will be easier for you to decide if you want to purchase a subscription.
It's not ideal to be asked to input your credit card details just so you can check whether a VPN service can actually unblock the streaming sites you're subscribed to. Likewise, you shouldn't have to fork over personal information if you're looking to bypass local government-imposed censorship efforts. This is what makes free trials so handy, seeing as they let you test the VPN for a few days, and you can play around to see how the service works and what it offers.
These days, free trials are becoming even more important, because an increasing number of VPNs are being blocked by sought-after video-on-demand services like Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, and Prime Video. Free trials and money-back guarantees allow consumers to check that the VPN is working with those services, before fully committing to the service for the long term.
If the service you're considering doesn't offer a free trial, or if it comes with heavy restrictions, consider taking advantage of its money-back guarantee (if one is offered). Just make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully because sometimes VPN providers will impose certain usage thresholds that, if exceeded, can void your eligibility for a refund.
What to look out for when choosing a VPN free trial
When it comes to free trials, not every VPN is the same. That is why we recommend that you keep your eye on some important factors that could make all the difference:
Length of the trial
It is important to be fully aware of the length of the free trial before you install and use the VPN for free. Some free trials may only last a day, while others can stretch on for a few days and even up to a week.
While the best free trials don't ask you to provide any payment details, some services might. These may automatically roll on to a paid subscription after the free trial ends, which is why it is important to understand how long the trial is and when it will run out.
Even if the free trial doesn't require you to enter a valid payment method, it is still worth understanding the length of the free trial. And it is a good idea only to start your trial when you have a few days to spare to test the VPN properly.
Number and quality of the servers
VPN free trials don't always give you unlimited access to the full, premium VPN. You'll often encounter a reduced selection of servers, bandwidth caps, and monthly data allowances. Frustrating? Yes, but the VPN provider enforces these limitations to try and get you to pay for a premium plan. Think of the free trial as a sample.
The problem with this is that a free trial may not give you all the functionality you get with a paid plan. If, for example, you want to access Netflix US, you may want to check that the free trial comes with a VPN server in the USA (and that the server is allowing connections to Netflix – which not all free plans do).
Sometimes, VPN free trials may impose certain limitations, but they are still a good way to try out a VPN. Just be sure to understand exactly what you are getting before diving in headfirst. It is also worth remembering that not every VPN provider works with Netflix. If the VPN doesn't work with Netflix on its paid plans, it definitely won't work with the free trial!
Does it allow torrenting?
If torrenting is important to you, check out our guide outlining the best VPNs to use when torrenting.
Depending on your personal use case, it is important to consider whether the VPN provider’s features and capabilities will allow you to accomplish what you want it to do before signing up for a VPN free trial.
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Choosing a Free Trial VPN
Using a free trial to test a VPN can be a great experience. However, if you are a total neophyte, then you may not know how to get the most out of the free trial – or know how to ensure the service is up to par. To help you out, we have included a few basic but important things to check during your VPN free trial below.
Follow these tips to properly test a VPN:
- IP and DNS Leaks – The best thing about a VPN is that it lets you use the internet with complete privacy. However, for a VPN to protect your browsing habits from your ISP and the government, it must work properly to keep your data secure. The presence of any critical data leaks – known as IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks – could mean that the VPN isn't working correctly. This is a big problem because these leaks could cause you to have a completely false sense of security. To ensure the VPN is providing proper levels of privacy, test the connection using our VPN leak test tool. Read more in our guide on IP and DNS leaks!
- VPN Speed – While connected to the VPN, run a quick speed test through a service such as Speedof.me or Speedtest.net. Keep in mind there are a number of factors that may affect the connection speed of a VPN, including the speed of your own connection, VPN server load, and the physical distance between you and the VPN server you are connecting through. Check out our VPN speed tests to see which providers offer the fastest servers!
- VPN Features – There are tons of useful features with a VPN service that should be considered during a free trial period. These features can be as simple as allowing torrenting on servers, or more technically advanced like double VPN encryption or network kill-switches.
- Customer Support – If you are having issues with any of the points above, submit a support ticket or jump on live chat (if available) to see what level of assistance the VPN service provides for customers.
Additionally, if you are looking for a VPN for Netflix or want to unblock BBC iPlayer abroad, try accessing the stream using a couple of different VPN server locations to ensure proper coverage and the ability to watch in HD quality.
VPN Free trials vs VPN money-back guarantees (MBGs)
As mentioned above, a decent VPN free trial will allow you to use the VPN for free for a set amount of time – anywhere from a day to a full week. These types of free trials can be extremely useful, but unfortunately, they're just as rare.
You're far more likely to come across a VPN that offers a money-back guarantee. This allows you to trial the VPN and its features, but you'll need to initially pay for the service to get access. Money-back guarantees may last for anything between one week and a month, with some rare providers, like [[post-object type="gotolink" provider="cyberghost"]]CyberGhost[[/post-object]], even offering a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Do VPN services with money-back guarantees always honor their guarantee?
Sadly, this isn't always the case. If you're thinking of subscribing to a VPN that isn't on our list, it's worth checking out whether we've reviewed it on ProPrivacy.com. Check out our VPN reviews.
The price section of our reviews will let you know if there are any limitations or clauses in the VPN’s money-back guarantee that might catch you out.
Please note: The most common limitation placed on money-back guarantees is a data limit that, if exceeded, voids the guarantee.
How do I cancel a VPN free trial?
It's as simple as getting in touch with your VPN provider via email or live chat. Just let the provider know that you'd like to cancel your trial, but remember most free trials are so short that you'll barely have time to cancel them! There's also no real financial benefit to canceling early, seeing as most VPN free trials don't require an upfront payment.
If the VPN provider requires payment details prior to signing up for a free trial, then it is important to contact the provider to cancel before your credit card is automatically charged for a full subscription.
Free trial VPN restrictions
When it comes to VPN free trials, there are a couple of variations that VPN providers commonly offer. The most common is a money-back guarantee and although it does involve initially paying for a subscription. The VPNs that we recommend are known to always honor their money-back guarantees. This is great because it will let you trial a premium VPN with all the trimmings without actually having to risk your hard-earned cash.
Less common than the traditional money-back guarantee is a limited-time free trial. With this kind of free trial, you’ll typically get a full premium account and the trial will usually last for anything between one day and seven days.
Finally, some VPN providers do offer a fully free service. This kind of free VPN is not a trial but rather a free service that has a number of restrictions designed to make people want to upgrade to the full service. Check out our guide to find out more about free VPNs.
Are free trial VPNs secure?
Free trials for VPNs are always for the full premium VPN service. That means that you are getting all the same privacy and security features that you can expect to get if you pay. The free trial is specifically designed to let potential subscribers try the full service, with all its bells and whistles. All the free VPNs in this article are secure and provide watertight digital privacy.
Do VPN Free trials keep logs?
The logging policy remains the same whether you're subscribed to a premium VPN service or using a free trial. Each of the providers in this guide are known to enforce a no-logs policy, or a policy that involves only a minimal amount of non-invasive connection logs, meaning you can go about your browsing with peace of mind. To find out more about the nuances of these no-logs policies, as well as what they mean for your digital privacy, check out our no-logs VPN page.
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Below you will find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about free trial VPNs. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a message in the form below the article.
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Do I need a credit card to sign up for these free trials?" answer="For some you do, and for some, you don't. With CyberGhost, PrivateVPN, ProtonVPN, ZenMate, Windscribe, AirVPN, and CactusVPN, you won't need to enter any payment information upfront in order to access their free trials. It's worth it, though, to check with any provider you're thinking of trialing to inquire about whether payment information is required in order to access the free trial. If payment details are required, be sure to cancel prior to your payment method being charged if you don't wish to commit to the paid service." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Where are the VPN free trial servers based?" answer="Since you're getting full, premium access to the VPN service with your free trial, you will have access to the full list of server locations offered by the VPN provider. Just check with the provider to see where its servers are located. Most providers will have a list of server locations easily accessible on their websites. Of course, if you can't find the list of server locations, you can always contact customer support and inquire directly from a company representative." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="How do I use a free trial VPN on my Smart TV?" answer="With an Android Smart TV, you'll be able to <a href='/vpn/guides/install-vpn-on-smart-tv'>install a VPN directly onto the TV</a>. By doing so, you can take advantage of the VPN's free trial on your Android Smart TV. Other Smart TVs can be used with a free trial VPN too, but you'll need to share the TV's connection with a PC or laptop that is running the VPN software. Alternatively, you could use the free VPN trial on a flashed router." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I use a VPN free trial on a Kodi box or Fire TV?" answer="It's possible to sign up for a VPN free trial so long as you're using a Kodi box on a Fire TV stick, or something similar. Kodi grants you access to premium VPN services, and you can count on these providers to be fast enough to handle HD streaming. Be sure to get your free trial set up nice and quickly, however, so you can get the most out of your limited streaming time! To help, we have a handy <a href='/vpn/guides/set-vpn-amazons-fire-stick-fire-tv'>step-by-step guide to setting up a VPN for Fire TV</a> for you to follow." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I sign up for a VPN free trial more than once?" answer="It's technically possible to sign up for a VPN free trial more than once, as long as you have multiple email addresses. However, it can be a cumbersome process to sign up for a new free trial every few days! It'll likely be more trouble than it's worth, but definitely possible in certain instances." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Will installing more than one VPN free trial cause issues?" answer="It shouldn't cause any issues with your computer if you download more than one VPN free trial at once. You may run into issues if you attempt to run two or more VPN programs at the same time, however, as they'll likely interfere with each other to the point of being impractical. But yes, theoretically, multiple VPN programs can reside alongside one another on your computer without problems." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question= answer="Can you sign up for a VPN trial anonymously?" answer="Of course you can! In most cases, you'll be able to get a VPN free trial without handing over any payment details. This makes it nice and easy to stay anonymous. If you'd like an extra layer of obfuscation, sign up for your free trial with a disposable email address." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="How to upgrade from a free trial?" answer="You'll find that it's a seamless process to upgrade from a free trial to a paid VPN service – this is because most free trials exist in the first place to tempt you into upgrading. You can either purchase a paid subscription directly from the VPN provider’s purchase page or contact the provider’s support staff by email or live chat to inquire about the easiest way to go about it. Either way, you'll be able to upgrade in a few clicks regardless of the provider you choose." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I unblock streaming services with a VPN free trial?" answer="Yes, as most VPN free trials will typically grant you full access to the VPN provider's premium service. During your trial, you'll be able to unblock any streaming services in the same way you would with a premium subscription. Just make sure that the provider offers servers in the country or countries from which you want to access the streaming services." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I get a VPN free trial on iPhone and Android?" answer="Yes, just sign up for the free trial using the links above and then install the VPN app on your mobile device and sign in! Then, you're good to go!" /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Is it possible to use a VPN free trial to bypass censorship?" answer="You can bypass censorship efforts with a VPN free trial, be they government-imposed or enforced by your work or school. You'll connect through a remote VPN server and have full access to a world's worth of content." /]]