When it comes to VPNs, there are some household names out there, including brands like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. The catch, though, is neither NordVPN nor ExpressVPN offer truly free versions of their services. You can, however, take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee with both.
A VPN trial may be branded as “free”, but you still need to use some form of payment to take advantage of the trial. Paying more for a premium VPN service may potentially lead to a longer money-back period. But if you don’t cancel ahead of the trial expiry, you’ll be charged the full amount. While that’s not great on the money front, both the trial and premium experience offer a fully featured VPN.
Free and cheap VPNs all compromise in one way or another. Some like Hotspot Shield Free restrict data usage to 500MB per day. Most limit the number of servers you can access or the number of simultaneous connections per free account, while other free VPNs also restrict overall connection speeds. Some free and cheap VPNs don’t respect user anonymity, which means your connection isn’t as anonymised as premium options. Others will use ads to make ends meet, while others still champion paid-for or more expensive plan options.
Thankfully, where most of the better free and cheap VPNs don’t compromise is when it comes to security. Military-grade encryption is standard, with AES 256-bit a safe baseline, so you shouldn’t have to worry about connection security on a free or cheap VPN (unless they don’t advertise AES 256-bit encryption).