Shannyn Allan | 

Free VPN: How to Unlock Your Streaming & Surf Safely

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If you’re concerned about your safety while browsing the internet or don’t want big companies to buy and sell your data, a VPN helps protect your digital footprint. It also gives you access to content not normally available in your country — bonus! And luckily, you have options to get a free VPN.

A VPN is effective in protecting your privacy. Essentially, it hides your IP address, browsing activity, and personal data on Wi-Fi networks. If you frequent coffee shops or use free Wi-Fi while you’re out and about, a VPN can help mask your identity. This makes it harder for hackers to see what you’re doing.

Using a VPN helps encrypt your data by routing it through secure networks to servers in other cities, even other countries. In doing so, it hides your online identity, helping you to browse the internet anonymously. So if you’re looking for a free VPN, we have ideas.

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Use VPNs to access more shows and movies on streaming services.

person holding phone with expressvpn screenshot next to laptop with disney plus

Sure, security is the most popular reason to get a VPN, but there’s an added bonus — they help you access content that would normally be blocked. Streaming services offer completely different movies and shows depending on which country you’re in.

For example, the Disney+ you experience in the U.S. isn’t the same one you will have elsewhere. According to WODP, the United Kingdom and Ireland have the most Disney+ content available of any country. We’re talking nearly 2,500 different TV shows and movies, compared to 1,596 in the U.S. Singapore follows the U.K. with 2,474, then Australia (2,456) and New Zealand (2,440).

If you want to access it all on Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or whatever service you prefer, use a VPN. It tricks them into thinking you’re in another country, offering access to titles not typically available to you.


A free VPN makes it possible to get a complimentary trial of Disney+.

As of December 2022, there’s no longer a Disney+ free trial for U.S. residents. However, they offer a free trial in some other countries, like Japan and Hong Kong. By using a VPN that connects to a server in, say, Japan, you can sign up for a monthlong free trial that isn’t accessible in the States.


Free VPNs vs. Paid VPN Services

Here’s the deal, free VPNs are not as good as paid VPN services. There are lots of things to love about free VPNs, but plain and simple, when you pay, you get more. Plus, generally speaking, you’ll likely encounter slower loading speeds. You’ll also need to keep a closer eye out for scams with the free options.

Free VPN services have limits on the amount of data you can use, which could pose a challenge if you’re trying to watch streaming content. Moreover, the paid VPNs offer stronger protection for your data and privacy.

That being said, if you’re fine with these caveats and want to save money with a free VPN, we’ve rounded up our top picks for these services.

We’re letting you how many devices you can connect, how many server locations are available, and how much data you’ll be able to use with it. Furthermore, there’s info about whether the service offers a kill switch. This keeps you from connecting to an unsafe connection should your VPN drop off.


Here are our Top 3 picks for free VPN:

1. Proton: Fast speeds, unlimited data

proton vpn screenshots

Proton is a free VPN service that’s well known for fast speeds with unlimited data. This is a rare combination for a free VPN service. While other free VPN services may cap their data at 500MB to 10GB per month, Proton’s unlimited data is a huge plus. It’s especially true if you’re streaming video content. You’re only able to connect one device to this VPN. However, the loading speed is relatively consistent to help you stay connected without dropping or lagging.

  • Amount of devices: 3
  • Number of server locations: 3 (U.S., Netherlands, Japan)
  • Data allowed per month: Unlimited
  • Good for streaming video content? Yes
  • Kill switch? Yes

Related: Is Paramount+ Worth It?



2. Avira Phantom VPN: Unlimited devices, good for mobile

avira phantom vpn screenshots

For a free VPN, Avira Phantom allows you to connect to as many devices as you’d like. It also offers an “auto-connect” feature on the mobile version. This avoids connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network (like at a coffee shop or store) that may be untrustworthy and could steal your information.

Avira Phantom VPN allows you to connect to just one server location on desktop but over 35 server locations on mobile. But you’re limited to 500MB of data per month (which may only be about one episode or 20 minutes of a favorite show in HD). Still, you can get up to 1GB if you sign up with your email address.

Finally, Avira Phantom doesn’t have a kill switch. That means if you’re not sure about having a safe Wi-Fi connection, you may not be protected if your connection suddenly drops. So if you want to connect multiple devices and aren’t looking to stream any movies while on VPN, Avira Phantom could be your best bet.

Avira Phantom VPN will help you unblock streaming sites like Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu if they’re blocked in your home country.

  • Amount of devices: Unlimited
  • Number of server locations: 1 on desktop, 35 on mobile
  • Data allowed per month: 10GB
  • Good for streaming video content? Not ideal
  • Kill switch? Yes


3. Privado VPN: Good choice for smart TVs

privado vpn screenshots

Privado VPN is another great choice for a free VPN. It not only works on your handheld devices or computer but can work on a smart TV as well with the Fire Stick App.

What’s also helpful is Privado offers a variety of locations that can help you unlock streaming content limited in your home country. You’ll get 10GB of data per month. But if you do happen to go over your data limit, you can upgrade to a paid account. Additionally, you can connect to a free emergency server as a Privado VPN user.

  • Amount of devices: Unlimited
  • Number of server locations: 12 locations in 8 countries
  • Data allowed per month:10GB per month
  • Good for streaming video content? Not ideal
  • Kill switch? No


Hide.Me vpn screenshots

Then there is Hide.Me. They offer a free VPN service with five server locations in the U.S., Canada, and Netherlands, plus two based out of Singapore. Unfortunately, with Hide.Me’s free VPN, you won’t get streaming support. If you’ll be doing a lot of content viewing, you can upgrade to a free trial to have access to this feature for three months with their paid plan.

  • Amount of devices: 1 device
  • Number of server locations: 5 servers
  • Data allowed per month: 10GB per month
  • Good for streaming video content? Not ideal
  • Kill switch? Yes



Check out these high-quality paid VPN services with free trials.

Free VPN services are great, but if you and your family have a bunch of devices and your goal is to stream movies without interruption, you may want to upgrade to a paid service. Thankfully, many VPN services offer a free trial so you can stream your favorite series and get a few movies in before you have to pay. We have a few recommendations for VPNs that offer a free trial you can cancel without penalty.

  • CyberGhost: 45-day free trial, 9,000+ servers, 7 devices, no data caps
  • Express VPN: 30-day free trial, 3,000+ servers, 5 devices, no data caps
  • Surfshark: 7-day free trial, 3,200+ servers, unlimited devices, no data caps
  • Hide.Me: 3-month free trial, 2,100 servers, 10 devices, no data caps
  • Hotspot Shield: 7-day free trial, 115 servers, 10 devices, no data caps

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