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5 Best VPN Free Trials in 2024 | 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.

 

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, 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. 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. But, if you're looking to binge a series on a streaming service, you can sign up for a free trial and watch the entire show over the course of a weekend!

With free trials, however, most VPN providers will require your credit card information, even though you won't get charged for a limited time – unless, of course, you exceed the set limit. This arrangement serves as a backup for VPN companies in case you decide to continue using their services. It also saves you from having to go through the whole process of signing up again. If you're happy with the free trial, or service itself, you can just continue using it as a regular customer, and you'll get charged accordingly.

Although meant as a way of simplifying your transition from a tester to a user, not everyone feels comfortable with sharing their credit card details – even with the most reputable VPN companies, such as those in this article. Luckily, some of our recommended VPNs offer a way around it. Surfshark and PrivateVPN, who are dedicated to your privacy, offer you cryptocurrency payment as a backup option (known to be more anonymous), and CyberGhost refrains from taking your payment information altogether.

So, keep reading and discover more about the best free VPN trials in 2024. We'll share some of the terms and conditions that apply to each trial and also the specific benefits and features of the VPNs themselves, so you can choose the best VPN trial according to your own needs.

Our expertise

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.

  1. Surfshark - The best VPN free trial in 2024. You get a 7-day free trial of a blazing-fast service with a huge fleet of servers.
  2. TIP

    In testing we found that the 'Surfshark Starter' plan (the cheapest) works perfectly for Netflix.

  3. PrivateVPN - Get full access to PrivateVPN's amazing features with a 14-day trial, no card details required, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  4. Hotspot Shield - The best VPN free trial for gamers. The trial lasts 7-days and offers great speeds, but users will have to input payment details.
  5. CyberGhost VPN - The best value VPN with a free trial. Offers a 3-day and 7-day trial with no credit card details needed.
  6. Proton VPN - A quality VPN with a free option to test its service. The trial has no data or speed limits, but it's not the fastest and it offers limited servers.

EXPERIENCE SURFSHARK WITH A 30-DAY FREE TRIAL

Sign up on this page to enjoy a full-featured 30-day trial from Surfshark. Dive into the world of the #1 rated VPN for privacy, and especially if you're keen on trying a VPN Free Trial.

Transparent terms—contact the support team within 30 days for a hassle-free refund if you're not satisfied. Click here to start your Surfshark trial.

See full list & in-depth analysis

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:

So, let's take a closer look at which VPN free trials are worth your time.

TEST WINNER Surfshark PrivateVPN Hotspot Shield CyberGhost VPN Proton VPN
Website Surfshark PrivateVPN Hotspot Shield CyberGhost VPN Proton VPN
Ranking for VPN free trials 1 2 3 4 5
Performance 9
7
7
7
6
Reliability 8
7
7
7
6
Free trial
Total servers 3200
200
1800
11625
4500
Payment PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
Unblocks: Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Supported platforms Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

The best VPN free trials in 2024

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!

1. Surfshark
Editor's Choice | June 2024

Surfshark is the best free trial VPN. You can use it for 7-days, but it requires a credit card upfront. However, it's super fast and secure, making it excellent for all data-intensive activities.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 3 months FREE: $2.79/mth
      82% OFF
    • 1 month: $15.45/mth
  • Pros

    • 7-day free trial
    • Vast server network
    • Additional 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Works with all major streaming services
  • Cons

    • One-month subscription is not exactly cheap
    • Lacks port forwarding
    • Blazing speeds, but not always consistent
  • Free trial length

    • 7 days
  • Credit card required for trial?

    • Yes
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Simultaneous connections

    • Unlimited
  • Website

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo Surfshark Demo


Surfshark burst onto the VPN scene a few years ago and has since come to be regarded as one of the most versatile and reliable services on the market. The VPN is a fantastic all-rounder, particularly good at unblocking streaming services, and offers all interested users a 7-day free trial!


A premium free trial


You'll need an Android, iOS, or Mac device to download the Surfshark free trial, which is available on the Google Play and Apple App stores – but that doesn't mean that users with different operating systems will miss out! Once you've downloaded and activated your trial subscription, you'll be able to use it on any device, at any time, for 7 days. I particularly like that Surfshark notifies you near the end of your trial period so you don't get blindsided by a fee. Plus, if you do miss the reminder and end up paying for a full subscription by mistake, you'll still be able to take advantage of Surfshark's 30-day money-back guarantee to claim your money back.



Whilst finding and downloading Surfshark's free trial can be a little tricky, it's well worth it! Very few VPN free trials give you unfettered access to the service's premium features, after all, but Surfshark does. You'll also be able to hop across Surfshark's huge network of servers and browse a whopping 25 different Netflix libraries! So, if you're serious about your streaming, and want to get the most out of your Netflix subscription, Surfshark's free trial is a fantastic option.


Super security


Surfshark doesn't play around when it comes to privacy, either. The VPN makes good use of AES 256-bit encryption and a number of battle-tested protocols – including WireGuard which is a secure, but fast protocol, and the super secure OpenVPN. Plus, you can check out Surfshark's obfuscation (stealth) feature, called Camouflage mode, to hide your VPN usage entirely. Camouflage disguises your VPN traffic as regular traffic, so it's much easier to bypass any pesky VPN bans that might be enforced in your country or workplace. And, as you'd expect from such a high-profile provider, Surfshark comes with its own kill-switch that'll keep your original IP address from leaking if your VPN connection drops. Just remember to turn the kill-switch on via your settings, first!


Being based in the British Virgin Islands keeps Surfshark out of the reach of invasive US and UK jurisdictions, and there are no mandatory data retention laws to worry about, either. Surfshark also easily qualifies as a no-logs provider, seeing as it won't track your online whereabouts or actions, and has even invested in a third-party security audit!


No limits


As I mentioned earlier, Surfshark is a great VPN pick for anyone interested in unblocking restricted content from around the globe. That might be streaming services, news outlets, blogs, social media pages, or torrenting sites – whatever you plan to check out, Surfshark has you covered with servers in 100 countries across the globe. In addition to unblocking tons of Netflix content and international libraries, Surfshark has no problem accessing BBC iPlayer and Hulu, amongst others, and even has its very own Smart DNS service that comes in handy if you'd prefer to watch the latest flicks and box sets on your smart TV.


Surfshark has neat and intuitive apps for all platforms, allows unlimited simultaneous connections, and is supremely easy to use – so it doesn't matter if you're a VPN novice or a tech veteran! Plus, the VPN's free trial lets you play with all the premium features. Surfshark's ad-blocker is particularly cool, seeing as it shoos away any annoying ads and trackers, and the provider will even enable its NoBorders mode if it detects any internet restrictions. And, for any burning questions, reach out to the customer service team available 24/7.


How to find Surfshark's free trial


Click the link below to land on Surfshark's free trial page. In order to activate the trial, however, you'll need to download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and then run through the installation process. After you've installed the app and created your account, you'll need to select the “12-month” plan and choose a payment option – but don't worry! You won't actually be charged unless you forget to cancel your trial. Alternatively, you can contact Surfshark's customer support for detailed instructions on the free trial.


PrivateVPN is an excellent free trial VPN. It offers users a two-weeks long trial with no card required and it is also great at unblocking streaming services.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2/mth
      84% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • A generous 14-days free trial
    • No advance payment required
    • Unblocks Netflix (almost) everywhere
    • Great beginner-friendly apps for all platforms
  • Cons

    • No independent audit
    • Based in Sweden
    • Comparatively small network of servers
  • Free trial length

    • 7 days
  • Credit card required for trial?

    • No
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Simultaneous connections

    • 10
  • Website

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo PrivateVPN Demo


PrivateVPN gets top marks for its free trial! You can test the service for 14 days without any commitment – all you'll have to provide is a valid email address (which can be a disposable one) and you're ready to go. And, if you fear that's not enough to test all its features thoroughly, don't worry! PrivateVPN offers an additional 30-day money-back guarantee on top of its free trial.


What you get with PrivateVPN's free trial


Free trial users get full access to PrivateVPN's features, as well as its growing network of servers in over 63 countries across the globe. You can connect up to 10 devices at once, torrent to your heart’s content, or watch Netflix localized to 15 regions worldwide (and not just the US and UK). I tested PrivateVPN on Windows, iOS, and Android, and found that the default settings make the apps incredibly easy to use, even if you're a VPN beginner.


Private by name and nature


PrivateVPN more than lives up to its name, too, with a robust suite of security tools designed to safeguard your digital privacy. Strong AES 256-bit encryption keeps your identifiable data out of the hands of snooping third parties (like your ISP or government), and users can take their pick from a number of VPN protocols, like OpenVPN and IKEv2. I especially like that PrivateVPN comes with an auto-connect feature in addition to its customizable kill-switch! This handy combination of tools means that, if your VPN connection drops for any reason, your original IP address won't leak, and you'll be reconnected to the VPN as soon as possible.



It is also a no-logs provider that is based in Sweden – a country with, unfortunately, some nasty data retention laws. However, PrivateVPN has reassured us that they're sticking in Sweden in order to maintain full access to their central data center. This makes sense, and I always like to hear that a VPN owns all its own hardware, though it'd also be great to see PrivateVPN invest in a third-party audit of its logging policy!


Unblocks content from around the world


During my tests, I found that PrivateVPN was more than fast enough to handle HD streaming and Zoom calls – and all without buffering interruptions or lag. The service can also unblock a surprisingly long list of streaming services, including the likes of BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+. What's more, thanks to PrivateVPN's dynamic dedicated IP addresses, you'll also be able to browse through various international Netflix libraries! So, don't expect to run out of box sets to binge anytime soon.


PrivateVPN currently allows for up to  10 simultaneous connections. This matches the industry standard and is pretty generous when you consider just how cheap a subscription is. In-house developers handle customer service, which is a nice touch, and even free trial users will have access to 24/7 support via live chat and email.


How to find PrivateVPN's free trial


You'll need a code to get your 7-day free trial – and usually, you'd need to get in touch with the PrivateVPN team via live chat support or email to request one. However, we've done the legwork for you, and you can use our quick link to the official PrivateVPN page by clicking the button below. From there, all you need to do is contact customer support at the bottom of the page and ask for a free trial code.


Hotspot Shield is a great VPN free trial for gamers. It offers a 7-day trial, but you'll need to provide card details upfront. We'd recommend this trial if gaming or streaming is a priority.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2.99/mth
      76% OFF
    • 12 months: $7.99/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • 7-day free trial
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • Cons

    • Based in the US
    • Free version throttles user data
    • Gatheres anonymous data
  • Free trial length

    • 7 days
  • Credit card required for trial?

    • Yes
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Simultaneous connections

    • 5
  • Website

Hotspot Shield Demo

Hotspot Shield Demo Hotspot Shield Demo


Some free VPN trials are better than others, and Hotspot Shield's free plan is known across the globe for being particularly useful! The free Hotspot Shield plan has been used by those in need in times of crisis (during protests, political upheaval, or government blackouts), though it has a single US server that is available to anyone, at any time.


Get unlimited access to this VPN


You can use Hotspot Shield's free plan for as long as you want – and that's massively important for folks who might otherwise be beholden to oppressive internet restrictions and censorship. The free plan is available for all platforms, too, though you'll only be able to use it with one device. I like that Hotspot Shield is transparent about the fact that its premium subscriptions offset the cost of operating a free plan – there are plenty of free VPNs that don't work this way, unfortunately, and will sell your identifiable data to pay their bills instead.


If you give Hotspot Shield's free plan a go and ultimately decide that you need a bit more than what it’s offering, you can unlock the rest of its server network and additional simultaneous connections with a 7-day free trial of its 'Premium' plan. This paid service provides access to servers in more than 80 countries countries across the globe – and can unblock some of the most popular streaming services, as well as any news outlets, blogs, or social media sites that might otherwise be blocked in your current location.


No more prying eyes


Hotspot Shield doesn't disappoint when it comes to security and boasts AES 128-bit encryption that'll keep your browsing sessions secure whether you're at home or on the go – nobody wants their ISP, government, or network admin taking a look at the sites they're visiting, after all. The VPN also uses its very own proprietary protocol called Catapult Hydra. Catapult was evaluated by third-party experts, but because it isn't an open-source protocol, it's hard for us to determine how it works and how secure it really is. However, I still use Hotspot Shield confidently and comfortably, and appreciate that the VPN also comes with its own kill-switch (though you'll need to switch it on, first).



Despite being based in the infamously privacy-unfriendly United States, Hotspot Shield is a no-logs provider – though I'd like to see the service invest in a third-party audit to really cement its commitment to user privacy!


A great service for streaming


I used Hotspot Shield on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac, and was impressed with how well the VPN performed. The apps are well-built and as easy to use on a mobile device as they are on a desktop. Plus, the free service is more than quick enough to handle HD streaming – so you don't need to worry about buffering hiccups or low-quality pictures. I was able to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ without any issues, and would definitely recommend Hotspot Shield to anyone who loves getting the most out of their streaming subscriptions.


It was particularly cool to see that Hotspot Shield offers optimized streaming and gaming "modes" – and the service even supports P2P activity. If you need help getting your free trial set up, or are wondering which server would suit you best, you can always ask the 24/7 customer support team via live chat or email.


How to get Hotspot Shield's free trial


Hit the button below to go straight to Hotspot Shield's official page where you can find the free trial option. You'll need to enter your email address and payment details. Note that you'll need to cancel your trial before the seven days are up to avoid starting a paid subscription. If you do forget, Hotspot Shield gives subscribers up to 45 days to change their minds and ask for their money back. 

CyberGhost has a great VPN free trial for mobile users. It only lasts three days for Android, but it doesn't require a credit card to sign up.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • No advance payment required
    • Additional 45-day money back guarantee
    • Unblocks in-demand streaming services
  • Cons

    • Linux users must sign-up for free trial on another platform
    • Last audited in 2012
    • Lacks obfuscation measures
  • Free trial length

    • 1 days
  • Credit card required for trial?

    • No
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Simultaneous connections

    • 7
  • Website

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost is a hugely popular VPN service from Romania – and prospective subscribers can put the provider through its paces with a free three-day trial for Android and a more generous seven-day trial for iOS. You'll only need a valid email address to access this trial, and if you're after some added privacy, you can always sign up with a burner email address.


A full and free trial


The CyberGhost free trial lasts for three days on Android. While this isn't as long as some, it should be enough time to play with the service and try a range of the VPN's servers and features. iOS users can actually enjoy a seven-day free trial – but you will need to cancel the trial via the App Store before the end of your free day to avoid being automatically charged for a one-year subscription. And unfortunately, because there isn't a Linux CyberGhost app, Linux users will need to sign-up for a free trial on another device.


CyberGhost stands out from the crowd by offering a free trial as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee. When I first downloaded the service, many years ago, that generous money-back period allowed me to test the VPN in my own time, without any pressure, and it's why I recommend CyberGhost to VPN newcomers! There's nothing worse than paying for something and finding out that it's nothing like you expected it to be – so it's encouraging to see a provider like CyberGhost giving customers the option to change their minds and reclaim their dollars.


Championing security


The service is solid and secure, packing AES 256-bit encryption that'll ensure all your browsing sessions are private and not subject to third-party snooping. I like that users have three robust protocols to choose from, though I'd recommend sticking with OpenVPN if security is your main concern, and CyberGhost also protects against DNS and IP leaks! Plus, the VPN comes with its very own kill-switch, which is enabled by default.


CyberGhost easily qualifies as a no-logs provider, and they simply aren't interested in keeping tabs on your digital habits. Plus, the VPN is based in Romania, a country famed for its privacy-friendly outlook and lack of mandatory data retention laws.


Versatility across popular platforms


As I mentioned earlier, CyberGhost is a fully-featured service that just about anyone will be able to use! Stylish apps are available for all platforms, and users can play with up to seven simultaneous connections – even on a free trial account.


CyberGhost is a particularly good pick for folks interested in streaming. The service flawlessly unblocks sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime, and even has dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting. Plus, you can count on CyberGhost to recommend you your perfect server depending on your current location and preferences with a streaming option within the app. I loved this feature and I think this is another good example why CyberGhost is a great option for VPN beginners. On that note, if at any point you need help, or if you have any burning questions, you can get in touch with CyberGhost's expert customer service team. They're available 24/7, via live chat or email, and in four languages!


How to find CyberGhost's free trial


Accessing the CyberGhost free trial is as simple as clicking the big yellow button on its free trial page – which you can visit via the link below.

ProtonVPN is a quality service that offers an unlimited free VPN instead of a free trial. The service is slower than others, especially at peak times, however, it's perfect for everyday browsing.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.59/mth
      65% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Totally unlimited - use it as much as you like
    • No adverts
    • Zero-logs provider
  • Cons

    • Heavy congestion can mean slow speeds
    • Not suited for streaming
    • Free plan limited to five server locations
  • Free trial length

    • 7 days
  • Credit card required for trial?

    • No
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Simultaneous connections

    • 10

Proton Demo

Proton Demo Proton Demo


ProtonVPN comes with a stuffed roster of security features and sleek apps, and a free plan that can be used indefinitely! As a result, ProtonVPN is an excellent pick for anyone looking to shore up their day-to-day web surfing.


Examining the free plan


ProtonVPN has consistently set the bar when it comes to demonstrating what a good free VPN can do. Free users will be able to unblock a ton of restricted sites, like YouTube and Twitter, without paying a penny, for example. Additionally, by not restricting the amount of time you can use the free trial for, folks in desperate need of a VPN will still be able to protect their online privacy even if they can't afford a premium subscription.


It's worth bearing in mind that ProtonVPN's free plan, like all trials and free tiers, is still designed to tempt you into upgrading your subscription. Free users are restricted to dedicated free servers that often get congested during peak times – which ultimately means that ProtonVPN's free plan won't pack the speeds necessary to hop into online games, stream HD content, or engage in other data-intensive tasks. However, if you're looking for a service that prioritizes your security and don't mind missing out on some of the bells and whistles of a premium VPN, then ProtonVPN is still a superb choice.


A privacy champion


ProtonVPN's security features are seriously impressive, and a huge part of why I recommend the service to anyone dealing with intense internet restrictions or issues of censorship. Tough AES 256-bit encryption keeps your traffic intact and out of the hands of meddling ISPs or hackers, and users can pick their preferred protocol – and it's great to see that ProtonVPN also offers WireGuard. The ProtonVPN kill-switch activates if your VPN connection drops, and works perfectly in tandem with the VPN's always-on feature, which will automatically re-establish your connection to a VPN server.



ProtonVPN owns its own servers, and all of its apps are completely open source – which means that you could comb through the code for vulnerabilities yourself if you wanted to! In addition, ProtonVPN keeps users safe from DNS leaks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and network-based attacks (thanks to the VPN's Secure Core architecture). As a final cherry on top, ProtonVPN uses Perfect Forward Secrecy, so you don't have to worry about your encrypted traffic getting decrypted at any point.


Necessary features


Admittedly, the ProtonVPN free trial comes with some drawbacks – like limited servers and some congestion – but free users can still play with the kill-switch and VPN Accelerator feature, which can help improve your speeds. The free ProtonVPN servers are located in the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, Poland, and the US and come in particularly handy if you're trying to stay abreast of international news or keep in touch with friends via social media. Also, I like that ProtonVPN clarifies that it believes that privacy is a fundamental human right – hence the need for a free version of the VPN.


ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which isn't the privacy safe-haven it used to be, but is still not a member of the nefarious 14 Eyes surveillance network. In addition, ProtonVPN abides by a sturdy no-logs policy, and has taken part in third-party audits, which is just what I like to see!


How to find ProtonVPN's free trial


Finding ProtonVPN's free trial is easy-peasy! Simply click on the following link to be directed straight to the trial page – click the "Free" option on the left, then download the installer on whichever device you prefer.

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:

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 own 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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    best VPNs to use when torrenting

     

    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.

Alternatively, if you want a low-cost service, take a look at our cheap VPN or VPN deals pages.

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 CyberGhost, 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:

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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FAQs

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.

This post available in: Russian English

Written by: River Hart

Originally hailing from Wales, River Hart graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1:1 in Creative Writing, going on to work as an Editor across a number of trade magazines. As a professional writer, River has worked across both digital and print media, and is familiar with collating news pieces, in-depth reports and producing by lines for international publications. Otherwise, they can be found pouring over a tarot deck or spending more hours than she'll ever admit playing Final Fantasy 14.

19 Comments

Robert
on March 6, 2024
None of the ones you listed offered a free trial without card details as you promised
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/2024/01/danka-delicpng-avatar_image-small_webp.webp
Danka Delić replied to Robert
on March 8, 2024
Hello Robert. Thanks for your comment. PrivateVPN and CyberGhost offer free trials without credit card details. CyberGhost can be downloaded directly from the app store, and for the PrivateVPN free plan, all you need to do is contact their customer support and they will send you the link for the free trial. The update of this article is coming soon.
FvF
on May 24, 2022
As far as I can tell, these all require payment info to try even the free trials. Why do they say PrivateVPN doesn't require CC for the trial, when every link to every free trial sign up page requires selecting a plan and entering payment information??
Amaya
on May 6, 2021
So annoying. Most of these "free trials" aren't free trials at all. They're money back guarantees, which mean you STILL HAVE TO PAY FIRST. For example, Nord, Express, and SurfShark ALL say they do not provide "free" trials, only money back guarantees. I need a VPN now, but don't get my paycheck until Friday.
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/2024/01/ray-walshpng-avatar_image-small_webp.webp
Ray Walsh replied to Amaya
on June 30, 2021
Check out our best free VPNs page rather than our best free trials page. You can find free VPNs there that provide a limited-service that you can use completely free.
Don R
on February 1, 2021
What this article does no say is that all the "free" options limit the possibility to try only a few countries to change the server location for streaming, and the one you want will surely not be on the list.

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