We get tons of comments and questions like “Are there any Free VPNs?” or “How can I try a VPN before I buy it?”.
Let’s face it, everybody likes free stuff.
But it’s not just that. Most VPN providers offer a big discount if you choose a long-term subscription. But who wants to commit $40-$100 up front without actually trying the VPN first?
This is the guide you’ve been waiting for…
- VPNs with truly free trials (payment method required)
- PLUS, more than 10 VPNs with a 100% refund policy
Some of these providers allow you to try their service for up to 30 days and then get your money back. In other words, FREE!
Truly FREE VPN Trials
These are providers that will let you try their service for free and they don’t require any upfront payment. Usually you will be asked to provide your email address, and the service with have certain limits.
You may be limited by:
- Time: How long the free trial lasts (usually 1-3 days)
- Speed: Free VPNs are usually on crowded (slow) servers
- Transfer: You might only be able to transfer ‘x’ GB of data per day or month
- Servers: Some VPNs only allow free-trial users to connect to specific servers of locations, so you don’t slow down the network for their paying customers. Can you blame ’em?
Here are the best free trials we’ve found…
Hide.me VPN – Free FOREVER (with restrictions)
Hide.me is a popular ‘anonymous’ VPN service, meaning they keep no logs whatsoever. They were originally famous for advertising on the Kickass Torrents website, but their service is popular with more than just file-sharers.
They have a truly free plan, that gives you 2GB of transfer per month, with no payment method or credit card required. This is great for testing their software to see how you like it, or if you just need a VPN to unblock websites once in a while.
The fine print…
While Hide.me is free, it’s not unlimited. You’re only allowed to transfer 2GB per month per account, after which you’ll be blocked until next month.
It’s ‘best-effort’ bandwidth (meaning it’s slower than the paid plans).
You’re also restricted on which servers you can access, and which VPN protocols you can use. Free users only get the choice of PPTP, L2TP, or SSTP.
And you can only connect 1 device at a time.
But hey…it’s FREE!
Cyberghost VPN – Free forever (w/ restrictions)
Cyberghost is a Romania VPN provider that is famous for two things: Their free-forever plan, and their ‘no-logs’ policy.
Cyberghost offers both free and paid plans, but our experience is that the ‘free’ option is much more popular overall, at least when users first sign up. But over time, many people will upgrade to their paid plans to get more features, no adds, and faster speeds.
The Fine Print…
While their Free plan is technically unlimited (no data cap and it doesn’t expire) there are still restrictions.
- Ads are injected into your browsing experience
- Speeds are approximately 20% of paid users
- No mobile app
- Only 1 connected device
- Limited server locations
- No torrents/p2p
Verdict: Cyberghost is an easy free choice for people that need VPN security infrequently, or speed doesn’t matter much.
If you’re looking for a pro/paid plan, you’ll get much more value from these cheap providers.
Cactus VPN (24 hours, unlimited)
Cactus VPN will let you try their VPN service for a full day (24-hours) and they won’t even ask for a credit card. This trial gives you full access to their network, with no usage or speed restrictions.
The Fine Print: Your free account expires after 24-hours. Besides that, there are no restrictions whatsoever.
Invisible Browsing VPN (24 hours, unlimited)
ibVPN is another Romania VPN provider. They offer paid plans starting at $3.08/month, making them one of the world’s most affordable quality VPN providers.
They support all major VPN uses including streaming, Skype, Kodi, and filesharing. And they offer a truly unlimited 24-hour VPN free trial. This is 4x their previous offer of a 6-hour trial.
Read: ibVPN review, analysis & speedtests
Fine Print: You get 24-hours unlimited access to their total VPN plan, including unlimited bandwidth, unrestricted torrenting. It also includes ibDNS, their own custom SmartDNS technology, designed to unblock popular streaming sites worldwide.
DIY Free Trial (using a 100% refund offer)
Limited ‘Free Trials’ are a decent option, but you shouldn’t really have to choose between limited features or a 24-hour time restriction. But you don’t have to.
There are several VPNs that you can try for up to 30 days for free!
Simple. Take advantage of the 100% refund policies offered by most VPN providers, ranging from a week up to a full month.
Here are 5 great refund policies to take advantage of:
- ExpressVPN (30 days)
- NordVPN (30 days)
- Hidemyass (30 days w/ restrictions)
- Private Internet Access (7 days)
- IPVanish (7 days)
Now we’re not saying that you should abuse this option and keep rotating VPN providers just to save a few bucks. Instead, identify the 2-3 providers you think will be the best fit, and each month sign up for one of them. If you love it, great! Keep your subscription (or upgrade to a 1-year plan for a substantial discount).
But if you’re not 100% thrilled with the service, claim your full refund (within the guaranteed refund period) and try the next VPN on your list.
Here’s how it works:
- Choose a VPN that has a 100% refund guarantee (listed below)
- Pay up front (we recommend the 1-month subscription)
- Know the fine print (restrictions of the refund policy)
- If don’t want to keep your subscription, request your refund before the trial period expires.
Fair warning…some VPN providers are ‘unresponsive’ to refund requests. These shadier providers are usually located in eastern Europe or Asia and value deception of quality customer service.
Instead, our list includes providers that have a good reputation for honoring their refund policy. Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to request your refund several days before the trial period ends, in case there are any problems or processing delays.
Here are the best Refund/Trials we’ve found:
1. ExpressVPN (30 Days)
ExpressVPN has one of the best refund policies in the entire industry. You get 30 days to try their service risk-free and claim a 100% refund if you aren’t totally satisfied.
Their pricing is higher than the industry average (around $11/month) but that comes with faster speeds and one of the world’s best VPN client software.
ExpressVPN is also one of the last VPN’s that is still capable of accessing Netflix, though you may have to contact support to enable this feature (free).
ExpressVPN Refund Policy & Restrictions:
- 100% refund within 30 days
- Claim refund via support ticket or live chat (best/fastest option)
- No maximum bandwidth or usage limit before claiming refund
2. NordVPN (30 Days)
NordVPN is a zero-log VPN service headquartered in Panama (a privacy haven). They specialize in high-privacy VPN uses such as torrents/p2p and filesharing. They also support encrypted chat, tor-over-vpn and more.
Best Feature: NordVPN is one of the last VPN’s that works with Netflix, thanks to their proprietary SmartPlay Technology. SmartPlay is like a SmartDNS network integrated to their VPN software, allowing you to unblock over 100 streaming services from anywhere on earth.
Refund Policy: 30 days for accounts in ‘good standing’
- 100% refund within 30 days
- Email support to claim refund
- No maximum usage restriction, though if you violate their ‘Terms of Service’ your account will likely be deemed ‘not in good standing’ and a refund not granted. But use NordVPN responsibly and getting a full refund should be no issue.
3. Hidemyass (30 Days, w/ restrictions)
HideMyAss is a popular UK-based VPN provider that was recently acquired by AVG antivirus. They were famously founded by a teenager living in his parent’s basement (years ago) who’s now a multi-millionaire.
One thing that has fueled HMA’s growth over the years is their 30-day refund policy, which lets users try their service risk-free.
Unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN’s refund policy, however, this one does come with some restrictions…
Hidemyass Refund Policy & Restrictions:
- Refund must be requested within 30 days of your order date
- This must be your first order from HMA
- You must not have violated the Terms of Service
- Used less than 10GB of bandwidth (up + down combined)
- Less than 100 unique VPN connections
Overall this is a pretty big list of restrictions. We’ve heard several complaints of refunds being denied by HMA users, though in almost every instance it turned out that they had gone over the 10GB data restriction or done something to violate the TOS.
You can see their entire policy below:
If you do claim a refund from Hidemyass, let us know how it goes. Though most users will be better served by NordVPN, which offers more features, and is even cheaper than HMA with this offer.
4. Private Internet Access (7 days)
Private Internet Access is currently our top-ranked VPN provider, and with good reason. Plans start at $3.33/month, and include unlimited bandwidth, a rock-solid VPN client, and legendary privacy.
But PIA still offers a 7-day 100% refund policy, because they know even at this low price many buyers still want reassurance.
About PIA’s refund policy:
- Claim within 7 days
- Email support in order to request the refund
- Make sure to include order # and your registered email address
We will say that PIA has been one of the best VPN providers when it comes to honestly and fairly processing refunds. They don’t use stall tactics (or flat out ignore users) like some other VPNs.
But odds are you won’t want a refund anyway. We see a refund rate less than 4% from our referred subscribers.
And they’re an excellent VPN for torrents. Checkout our torrent proxy setup guide for more details.
5. IPVanish (7 days)
IPVanish is widely regarded as the fastest VPN provider under $10/month. And they’re also one of the fastest growing, with a network of over 1000 VPN servers in more than 60 countries.
Like PIA and NordVPN, IPVanish is a ‘logless’ VPN provider, striving to offer maximum anonymity to their users. Most major VPN uses are allowed, and IPVanish is a popular choice p2p/filesharing.
Tutorial: How to use IPVanish’s Socks5 proxy for utorrent/bittorrent
It’s also quite stable when installed on Kodi Boxes or a Fire Stick (yes this is possible, here’s how).
IPVanish’s Refund Policy: 7 days, no restrictions
According to IPVanish’s Terms and Conditions…
If you are less than 100% satisfied with the VPN service, we will gladly refund your payment if the refund is requested within seven (7) days from the date of the purchase…
The only caveat is refund are only allowed for payment methods where processing a fee-free refund is possible. So basically this rules out Bitcoin, but Credit Card or Paypal payments can be refunded no problem.