5 Best VPN Free Trials in 2023 | Get a free trial VPN with no credit card details
Want to try a VPN without committing to a lengthy subscription plan? In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best VPNs with free trials, and show you how to make the most of your trial period.
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VPN free trials are as varied as VPNs themselves – but they’ve all got a few things in common. They tend to be pretty short, for example, with some trials only lasting 72 hours! It can also be difficult to find trials on provider websites. This is by design, seeing as VPNs would rather you subscribe to their service, so you may need to hunt down the trial page.
Unlike a money-back guarantee, a free trial really is free – meaning you won’t have to pay a penny. Free trials also aren’t as limited as free VPN plans. So, whilst you can use a free VPN plan indefinitely, they’ll often come with serious drawbacks, like bandwidth caps, fewer available servers, and the inability to unblock geo-restricted services. Plus, if you’re looking to binge a series on a streaming service, you can sign up for a free trial and watch the entirety of the show over the course of a weekend!
The ProPrivacy team has been putting VPNs to the test for over a decade – and this includes their free trials. In this guide, we’ll take a look at their speeds, encryption settings, and apps to help you make up your mind.
A list of the best VPN free trials
Here’s a quick look at the top VPN free trials we recommend for 2023.
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Virtual Private Networks can seem expensive to those who aren’t familiar with the technology. Discounts are typically only applied when you commit to a longer-term subscription plan (one or two years, for example).
Nowadays, most reputable VPNs offer a money-back guarantee lasting around 30 days, giving you the chance to test whether the provider does what it says on the tin without risking your cash. While it would be nicer to be offered a free trial, these aren’t often available.
Nevertheless, if you’re willing to look, there are several good quality VPNs that do — at the time of writing — offer a free trial. We’ve put together a list of our favorites in this guide. 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 trial. But, we also check that our recommendations have:
- Well-implemented privacy and security tools
- Consistently fast VPN speeds
- A large server network
So, let’s take a closer look at which VPN free trials are worth your time.
The best VPN free trials in 2023
Below you’ll find our shortlist of the best VPN free trials. We’ve put each of these trials to the test ourselves and can vouch for their speed, access to streaming services, and security. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to visit our dedicated review pages!
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How we pick VPNs with a free trial – VPN testing methodology
There are dozens of competing VPNs on the market and they are not all created equally. Many VPNs lack important privacy and security features. Others are slow and run on outdated apps and servers. Some even contain spyware in their apps, which makes them dangerous to use.
At ProPrivacy we work hard to distinguish reliable VPNs from services that are overpriced or insecure. To achieve this, our team of VPN experts use a precise VPN testing methodology that we have developed to fairly compare VPNs. As part of this review process, we test market-leading VPN providers using specific metrics.
We check that the encryption is strong enough to protect your data against eavesdroppers and hackers. We also ascertain that there are no DNS or IP leaks to be sure that the VPN provides adequate privacy levels. Finally, we check that the VPN is fast and able to access the services netizens are interested in.
Below, we have included a list of features we looked for when recommending VPNs with a free trial:
- Fast servers located around the world to let you stream in HD or play games.
- A reliable no-logs policy that ensures the VPN never tracks what you do online.
- Apps for all devices to let you gain online privacy at home or on public wifi.
- The ability to access leading services like Netflix US, Hulu, and HBO Max
- Strong AES encryption and DNS leak protection to let you surf the web with complete privacy.
- A free trial to let you test the VPN without risking your hard-earned cash.
- Apps that offer plenty of useful features, including a kill-switch.
Why are free trial VPNs useful?
It can be difficult to understand exactly what a VPN can do for you (and your digital privacy) if you haven’t used one before. That’s why most VPNs offer either a free trial or money-back guarantee (and sometimes both). Reputable providers understand that by letting you test their services to unblock US Netflix, or to bypass local area network restrictions at work, you will be more likely to take out a subscription.
However, nobody wants to hand over their credit card details just to check whether a VPN can unblock streaming sites and social media platforms. You shouldn’t have to divulge personal information if you’re looking to bypass local government-imposed censorship efforts, either. This is exactly why VPN free trials are so useful – they allow you to test the service’s features in your on time.
Free trials are even more important these days, seeing as more and more VPNs are actively blocked by in-demand services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Prime Video. With your free trial (or a money-back guarantee), you’ll be able to make sure that your chosen provider actually works with the services you frequent before committing to a long-term subscription.
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! 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
VPN free trials aren’t all alike – some are more restrictive than others. That’s why we recommend that you consider the following key features when shopping around for a trial:
Length of the trial
This one’s a no-brainer, and it’s important to be aware of the length of your free trial before you install it. Some trials only last a day, whilst others stretch on for up to a week.
The best free trials out there won’t ask you for your payment details. Some do, however, and may even automatically roll on to a paid subscription after the trial period is over. So, you’ll need to know exactly how long your trial lasts and when it’ll run out.
Finally, seeing as these trial periods tend to be brief, it’s a good idea to claim your free trial when you have a few days to spare to test the service thoroughly!
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).
VPNs that impose these limitations can still be a good way to trial the service – you’ll just need to be aware of what you’re getting into 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 you’re an avid torrenter, you’ll want to make sure that the VPN permits P2P activity. If it does, then it also needs to provide a kill-switch and zero-logs policy to ensure your online privacy remains airtight.
Need to torrent?
Want to check out our list of the best torrenting VPNs in 2023? Click the button below for the full rundown.
Depending on your personal use case, you’ll need 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 check out a VPN can be a rewarding experience. However, if you’re totally new to the world of VPNs, then you might not know how to get the most out of the trial – or how to determine whether the service is up to scratch. To help you out, we’ve outlined a few basic, but important, things to test during your VPN free trial period.
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 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 huge problem, seeing as these leaks could tip your ISP off about what you’re doing, or the sites you’re visiting, online. 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 use a VPN for iPlayer, then you can try accessing the stream using a couple of different VPN server locations to check that you’re getting 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 by visiting our dedicated VPN review pages.
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.
Can you get a VPN for one month?
Absolutely! Plenty of VPNs, including all of the services listed above (aside from HMA) allow customers to subscribe for one month at a time.
There are plenty of reasons why a person would want to do this, of course:
- To save money – VPNs shout from the rooftops about how much money you’ll save if you jump into the deep end and commit to a 24-month plan, but you’re usually expected to cough up a few hundred dollars on the spot. Who has that sort of money lying around?!
- To avoid commitment – A 24-month, 12-month, or even a 6-month VPN subscription is a pretty hefty commitment. Financial situations can change, tech can evolve, and new competitors can emerge, and it can all happen quickly. You can be a free agent with a one-month subscription.
- To unblock content on vacation – You might not need a VPN in your day-to-day life, but you might also be interested in their benefits if you’re planning a long stay abroad or a series of trips. A VPN can make sure you don’t miss any new episodes of that series you like as they’re released back in your home country, and bypass strict censorship laws in conservative countries.
All in all, we’re glad that the majority of VPN providers offer one-month subscriptions. You’ll find them on the service’s pricing page – just remember that if you do decide to stick with the VPN for more than a month, it works out cheaper in the long run to commit to a lengthier plan.
How to get your money back after your free trial has ended
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 involves initially paying for a subscription, the VPNs that we recommend are known to honor their money-back guarantees. This is great, as 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 with the trial itself lasting for anything between one and seven days.
Finally, some VPN providers 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.
Will a VPN free trial work for streaming?
Yes. Unlike a full free VPN plan, which is usually extremely limited, a free trial provides access to the full premium VPN and all of its features. This makes a huge difference because it means that the free trial will provide you with access to all of the servers, and unlimited bandwidth.
Free VPN plans usually only provide access to a few server locations, and those servers do not usually work to stream popular services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, ESPN, BBC iPlayer, etc. This is because the VPN reserved these streaming-optimized servers for its paying customers.
VPN providers know that reserving access to streaming for paying customers, will cause most users to upgrade their service. Thus, the free plan is there for two reasons; to let people try out the apps and get a feel for how the VPN looks and works; and to give people in countries with severe online blocks freedom of access to news, social media, and other important services that have been blocked by the government.
A VPN free trial is different because it lets users try out the full, unrestricted VPN plan. This means that you will be able to access streaming-optimized servers to watch your Netflix account on vacation, or to access international TV services for example.
What else can I do with a VPN free trial?
If you are new to VPNs, you may be wondering what to do with a VPN when you get one. Below, we have included a list of things that you can do with a VPN:
- Use the internet without being tracked by the local network. This lets you access blocked internet services at work without being tracked, for example.
- Use public wifi without being tracked and protected against hackers.
- Bypass any website restrictions imposed by your work, school, public wifi hotspot, ISPs, or the government.
- Use VoIP services in countries where they are blocked.
- Bypass government censorship to use social media, read news websites, access humanitarian or educational resources, use social media, or any other website that has been censored by overreaching governments.
- Watch international TV services.
- Access your streaming services and internet banking on vacation.
- Check the prices of products and services abroad, and make purchases for less (great for downloadable items and services such as games, for example).
- Plan your travels and purchase flights or hotels for less by making yourself appear to be in a different country.
- Use foreign bookies and online casinos.
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?
A VPN’s logging policy remains the same whether you’re subscribed to a premium 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 queries, 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=”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.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Do VPN free trials have usage restrictions?” answer=”No! Although permanently free VPN plans have usage restrictions (including bandwidth limitations, fewer server options, and download limits), this is not true of VPN free trials. A free trial is there to let you see how the premium VPN performs. To this end, the VPN company allows you to test its service, and all of its features, for a limited period. This is why the VPN does not restrict how much you can use the VPN – or limit your speeds. Other VPN companies opt to provide a <a href=’/vpn/comparison/free-vpn-services’>permanent free plan</a> instead. Those VPNs provide this free service to allow people who cannot afford a VPN to get limited use of their service. These free VPN plans usually provide access to between one and three server locations. They are also much slower than a premium VPN because of bandwidth restrictions (designed to keep the free VPN servers running smoothly for large numbers of free users around the world). In addition, free VPNs often limit how much data you can download each month. This makes the free VPN useful for accessing educational content, news, and social media. But rules it out for streaming and torrenting. In addition, completely free VPN plans, like the ones provided by <a href=’/vpn/review/atlasvpn’>AtlasVPN</a> or <a href=’/vpn/review/protonvpn’>ProtonVPN</a>, for example, will not work to access popular streaming services like Netflix US. The good news is that none of these restrictions apply to VPN free trials. When you use a VPN trial or a VPN money-back guarantee, you will get full access to the VPN and all its servers. That means you will be able to play games, stream on Netflix, and do anything else that you want for the duration of the trial.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Why do VPNs have free trials?” answer=”Most of the time, VPN free trials serve to promote VPN services. VPN companies that are confident about their products offer them as testing samples for potential users to try and (possibly) purchase later on.
That being said, you as a user, can also benefit from these free trials. It’s a great opportunity for anyone, especially VPN newbies, to test a service, without risking money or committing to any long-term plan. Free trials usually last up to 30 days, which is more than enough to put a VPN through its paces and even compare it head-to-head to other VPNs.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Is a VPN free trial the same as a money-back guarantee?” answer=”Although the terms are often used interchangeably, VPN free trials usually differ from VPN money-back guarantees. For a start, free trials are shorter – usually limited to 7 days, and sometimes don’t include the full range of the service provider features. Money-back guarantees, on the other hand, offer the same level of service and range of features as the regular, paid plans. Next, certain VPNs, like <a href=’/vpn/review/surfshark’>Surfshark</a>, only offer free trials on some devices (iOS, macOS, and Android). Finally, most VPNs don’t require you to leave payment details to access a free trial, while you might be required to leave your credit card number to get entitled to a money-back guarantee. ” /]]