It’s not easy to find a free VPN that will work so well on your mobile phone. Most of the services out there are very slow, and some don’t even give you the full protection they promise. Other annoying things we noticed about mobile VPNs are the presence of too many ads and even data leaks. Sometimes, it isn’t worth spending all your money over. To help you make the right decision when selecting the VPN to use on your mobile phone, we’ve compiled the best free mobile VPN for Android and IOS devices based on performance, speed, and security.
Why Use a VPN on Mobile?
Your online activities are susceptible to a number of security risks, especially while utilizing public Wi-Fi networks or cellular data to access the internet. Mobile VPN services offer a secure tunnel for your internet traffic, guarding against possible data theft, identity theft, and spying.
Additionally, VPNs can assist you in getting around censorship and accessing geo-restricted content, giving you access to a genuinely open free-for-all internet.
What to look for when choosing a free mobile VPN service?
All free VPNs are not good. You should be aware of the things mentioned below before blindly going for a free VPN app on your smartphone –
Protection and encryption
A VPN’s main function is to increase your online security. AES-256 and other strong encryption techniques should be used by a mobile VPN service to safeguard your data from unauthorized access. Check the VPN service provider’s stringent no-logs policy as well to make sure they don’t keep any records of your online activity.
Speed and server locations
A VPN must offer a broad variety of server locations all over the globe in order to be effective. You may do this to connect to servers in several nations, increasing your possibilities for getting past geo-restrictions and accessing material from all over the world. Furthermore, to avoid any internet speed slowdowns, make sure the VPN service offers quick and reliable connections.
Bandwidth and data limits
Free VPN services usually include restrictions on how much data or bandwidth you can use on a daily basis. It’s crucial to pick a mobile VPN that provides enough data limitations and bandwidth as per your requirements. Make sure the VPN service can support your usual internet usage without any limits by taking into account your daily internet consumption.
Simple user interface
Especially for those who are not tech-savvy, a mobile VPN service that offers a user-friendly interface would be a huge lifesaver. Look for VPN apps that have an easy-to-use interface that makes configuring your VPN settings and connecting to a server a breeze.
Free VPN Apps for Android
Securing your Android phone is equally important as any other device such as your computer or laptop. So, here are the best free VPN apps that you can use on your Android smartphones or tablets.
Windscribe is a great VPN for Android users. The only issue we had with it is that it has a data cap of 10 GB/month on the free plan. Even though you’re paying nothing, you get access to over 10 servers across the world. You also enjoy browsing at a fast speed and can choose from the four VPN protocols – Stealth, OpenVPN, UDP/TCP, and IKEv2. They claim to maintain a no-log policy and allow you to see your entire log in the settings. You may decide to use Windscribe to stream, but this means your data will be exhausted sooner.
ProtonVPN has shown us that you can also get great things for free. It doesn’t take any charges, sell your data secretly to advertisers, display any ads, or have data caps. You can enjoy this free open-source Android VPN that uses AES-256-bit encryption, 4096 RSA encryption, and DNS leak protection to keep your data secure. It also supports two VPN protocols – Open VPN and IKEv2/IPsec. It uses split-tunneling to remove some apps and services from VPN traffic, and a kill switch to keep the device from connecting when the VPN gets deactivated. The only issue we have with this VPN is the network speed. It doesn’t have any streaming support.
Hide.me is another free mobile VPN service that Android users will enjoy. You can easily click the ‘Enable VPN’ button on your home page and start enjoying the service. With the free version, you only get 10 GB of data per month. Of all the apps on this list, it is the fastest. You’ll enjoy streaming movies with no buffering. The free version also offers up to 5 locations, but you cannot choose your server manually. Hide.me supports two VPN protocols: IKEv2 and OpenVPN. It also has a split tunneling feature and uses a kill switch.
PrivateVPN is not completely free. It only offers you a free 7-day trial to see if you’ll like to use this service. You don’t need to worry about being automatically charged when the 7-day period expires, as you don’t have to input your payment details. For security, it uses 256-bit encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. It also has a strict no-logs policy. You can connect your PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices at the same time, and use it to stream on Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
Hotspot Shield is a VPN service that will keep your browsing anonymous. But, as a free VPN, it comes with several limitations. Firstly, if you’re using the free version of this VPN, you get access to only 1 server in the US. You are also restricted to 500 MB of data per day (15 GB data cap per month). It also doesn’t unblock Netflix on the server you have access to, and displays numerous ads to pay up your subscription fee. Also, even though it has a no-logs policy, it still shares anonymized data with advertisers.
Free VPN Apps for iPhones and iPads
If you are using an IOS device such as an iPhone or an iPad, you can use any one of these VPN applications available on the iOS Store to secure your device.
TunnelBear is a popular VPN app that ensures secure browsing on your IOS device from several locations. It gives you the option of selecting the locations that you want manually, or allowing the app to decide the best location for you. The issue we have with this app is that it only offers you 500 MB of data per month on the free plan, which is low. However, if you don’t plan on streaming movies and playing games, this may be okay for you. It has a clean interface and is easy to use, and uses AES-256-bit encryption to keep your data secure.
VPN by SurfEasy is one of the most popular and highest-rated apps on the Apple Store. This app selects the best location to pass your traffic through, but you can also choose to pick your desired location. It has a no-logs policy, so your data is never stored on its servers, and it also uses A-256-bank-grade security to ensure that your personal information never leaks. VPN by SurfEasy also offers a tracker-blocking algorithm that blocks cookies. To get all the best features from this VPN, you can upgrade to the premium plan at $1.99/month.
Betternet is very easy to use, and it also has many positive ratings on Apple Store. The free version displays ads on your phone and has limited features. It protects your browsing data using strong encryption, and also has a no-logs policy, so no one gets access to sensitive personal information. Betternet automatically connects to the fastest server available, so you don’t have to go through the stress of finding the best servers. It also has multiple servers in various countries, so you enjoy fast browsing speeds.
Hotspot Shield doesn’t work great on Android devices alone. It has also received very high ratings on the Apple Store. When you install the app and launch it, Hotspot Shield asks you to sign up (or sign in). You can also decide to skip this step, as it allows you to use it without creating an account. It has multiple servers in over 70 locations and guarantees fast speed. To protect your data, this app uses military-grade encryption. You can also manage your passwords with ease by using its 1Password feature. To get the most out of Hotspot Shield, you can upgrade to the premium version for $7.99/month.
5. VPN in Touch
VPN in Touch is another good app you can try on your IOS device. It doesn’t come with as many features as the others, but it will provide you with adequate protection when surfing the net. It uses a data compression algorithm to help you reduce data usage, and also has an ad blocker to improve your browsing experience. Just like other free VPN services, the features are limited. You can access the more advanced features of VPN in Touch by subscribing to the pro version ($29.99/year).