Would you like to access a website that is not visible from Italy? Would you like to surf the Net anonymously without communicating your real IP address to the outside and, therefore, without detecting your real identity? For these and many other purposes, the password is only one: VPN. I'm sure you've heard of it before, but today I want to help you shed a little more light on the subject.
VPNs (short for Virtual Private Network) are extremely useful tools, thanks to which you can disguise your connection and bypass the regional restrictions applied by Internet sites (as they make the connection appear as coming from other countries). To simplify the concept as much as possible, they are intermediaries who act as a link between the user's computer and the sites visited, thus hiding the identity of the latter.
Maybe it seems too complex a subject for your computer knowledge, but I assure you you're wrong: using VPNs is less complex than it seems and, above all, does not require the outlay of money (not necessarily at least). Do not you believe it? Then take five minutes of free time and take a look at the list of best free VPN that I have prepared for you: I bet you will be amazed by the potential and flexibility of this tool, not to mention the simplicity with which you will be able to use it!
What Does VPN Mean
Ready to enter the VPN universe? Perfect, I want to start immediately by explaining to you in detail what this word means: VPN is the abbreviation of the English phrase Virtual Private Network, which we can translate into Italian as a "virtual private network", and it is a particular technique designed to make information about what you plays on the Internet.
In detail, this camouflage of activities is achieved through a specific type of connessione cipher (o tunnel, in jargon) that is created between the device that connects to the Internet and the server that offers the VPN service: to be precise, speaking of Internet browsing, the VPN server is required to browse on its own, and the data relating to navigation, are exchanged between the server and device from which you navigate, in mode protected e encrypted, so as to prevent anyone from accessing it from the outside.
In very simple terms, this means that a website you browse will actually see the IP address of the VPN server, and not that of the user who actually looks at it, thus ignoring the real location from which you visit it. Numerous applications for VPNs, especially those not linked to the browser, allow you to apply the same criterion not only for Internet browsing, but for hide the incoming and outgoing data of any application that uses the Net, increasing the level of protection even more.
To be honest, not even the Internet service provider (TIM, Vodafone, Infostrada, Fastweb, etc.) is able to enter the tunnel and trace the traffic generated through the VPN: this means that your operator can know that you are connected. to a VPN, but it can't know anything about how you exploited it or the data you exchanged through it.
The criterion of tunneling VPN it can also be exploited in the professional sectors, especially if a company gives its employees permission to work from locations outside the headquarters: if the company offers VPN access, the employee will be able to connect to the internal local network even from their own home or from any other location, by entering your login credentials and using the virtual tunnel established by the VPN. So, thanks to the VPN, you can work from your desk at home on the company's internal files and documents, with the absolute certainty of not being spied on from the outside, and to communicate with your workplace through a encrypted and secure connection.
How VPNs Are Used
Understanding what I have explained to you so far, you are surely thinking that to understand how to use a VPN it may be difficult for you: let me tell you that you are wrong, because thanks to the explanations I am about to give you everything will be very clear to you. Time a few minutes and you will be able to do everything independently even without being an IT genius.
I repeat, first of all, that through the VPN the traffic between you and the Internet is protected, encrypted and hidden, and that everything happens through a virtual tunnel between you and the VPN itself. They take care of creating this tunnel programs o app specific for the purpose, which are made available by the VPN services themselves: you must therefore first identify the VPN that best suits your needs, then carry out any registration to the service (not always required), download the program or app made available and, finally, configure them using your login credentials if necessary. Once this is done, the software will take care of creating the tunnel between the user and the server, and of encrypting and "locking" the communications inside.
Once in the VPN tunnel, the data traffic can no longer be seen or intercepted from the outside, exactly as happens when a satellite “loses sight” of a car entering the tunnel. Moreover, as I have already mentioned to you, Internet services do not know the real location or the IP address of those who use them, but those of the VPN. This means that your carrier cannot know what is happening inside the tunnel, but at a cost, often paid in terms of speed: if the VPN service is not fast, or the servers are particularly far from the geographic location of those who use them. , they could in fact occur significant slowdowns in the use of the Net. Is everything clear? Well, then let's go ahead and take action by discovering the best free VPN services together.
Best Free VPN Services
Before getting to the heart of the matter and giving you the list of what I believe are the best free VPN, let me warn you about a couple of things: First, exploiting dubious VPNs can be risky, because the server itself could register your traffic (it is able, as the tunnel is configured inside it) for advertising or data analysis activities. Let me be clear, the VPNs that you will find in this list do not carry out (at least not at the time of writing) any profiling activities, but always read carefully, and carefully, the terms of service, which you can consult during registration.
Also, know that hiding behind a VPN is not safe from the law, as there is no way to not leave traces of what you do on the Internet: I want to point this out because, often, it is thought that by exploiting VPNs you become authorized to perform practices. illegal. I guarantee you that this is not the case, since a crime remains a crime even from inside a tunnel, and the judicial authorities could - always with mandates and particular legal procedures - trace the IP address of those who use a VPN, in the case of a investigation, and severely punish him. Therefore, use this practical service with awareness, conscience, and in full compliance with the law.
That said, keep reading the following to find out which are currently the best VPN services that you can also take advantage of for free.
While not a free service, I absolutely cannot overlook it NordVPN- one of the most popular and used VPN solutions in the world. The reasons for this success? Well, I would say the high degree of security, flexibility, ease of use and convenience it offers.
NordVPN is compatible with all popular devices and operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS / iPadOS, Smart TV, Android TV, Raspberry Pi, NAS, router, etc.) and offers a huge range of VPN servers scattered all over the world. This allows you to protect browsing, even on public Wi-Fi networks, by hiding all data from malicious people and Internet providers (not even the NordVPN managers themselves can access any data, as nothing is recorded of the activities carried out by users); to overcome regional restrictions and access overseas catalogs of streaming services.
There are many servers available, all quite fast: some of them are even optimized for specific activities, such as exchanging files on networks P2P (eg. BitTorrent), browsing via the Onion protocol (the one used by the anonymous network Tor) or browsing with dedicated IP.
As mentioned above, the service is not free, but it includes various plans, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee: the most convenient plan is to 2 or 3 anni in base alle promo in corso, proposed at 3,11 euros / month (billed annually); alternatively there are the plan from 2 years to 4,44 euros / month (billed annually), the one from 1 year at 6,22 euros / month (billed annually) and that from 1 month to 10,64 euros. In addition, during the promo periods, extras can be included in the price (such as the password manager North Pass, worth $ 194.61). The use of the service is allowed on a maximum number of 6 devices at the same time.
To start using NordVPN, connect to the official website of the service, choose the plan of your interest and create your account. After that you need to install the official NordVPN client on your devices: if you use Windows, then open the file .exe che hai ottenuto, click on the button Yes, wait for all the files necessary for the correct functioning of the program to be downloaded from the Internet and complete the setup by first clicking on Next and then install e Finish. A Poppyinstead, you can download NordVPN directly from the Mac App Store.
On smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, open the store of your device (eg Play Store on Android or App Store on iPhone / iPad), search NordVPN in the latter and first tap onicona dell'applicazione and then on the button Installa / Ottieni. On iPhone / iPad you may be prompted to verify your identity via Face ID, Touch ID or Apple ID password.
Once the installation is complete, you just have to start the client NordVPN, carry out the Log In to your account and select the VPN server to connect to by choosing one of the nationality available, one of the servers in the section Specialty servers (those optimized for P2P, browsing via protocol Onion o Dedicated IP) or by making a search to find the best VPN server for you.
When you're done browsing, open it again NordVPN and click on the button Disconnect, to disconnect from the VPN. If any of the steps aren't clear to you and / or you need more information on how NordVPN works, please read my review of the service.
Surfshark (Windows / MacOS / Linux)
Another VPN service that you definitely need to consider is Surfshark, which allows you to surf in complete safety through advanced encryption (which makes communications impossible to intercept for malicious people, Internet providers and even for the service operators themselves) and the use of over 1040 server scattered in more than 61 Countries around the world.
Surfshark can be used to overcome geo-restrictions, censorship and access overseas catalogs of streaming services. In addition, there are advanced functions that allow you to fully customize the operation of the service and protect the connection at 360 degrees: Whitelister to create an exception list with programs that should not use the VPN; CleanWeb to protect yourself from malware and other harmful / annoying content online e Kill Switch to automatically deactivate the Internet connection if you disconnect from the VPN.
The Surfshark application is available for Windows, macOS and Linux on computers (where it is also available via extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers), for Android and iOS / iPadOS) on smartphones and tablets, on Amazon Fire TV Stick), Smart TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox and even other devices that do not directly support VPN installation, via Surfshark's intelligent DNS system). The use is allowed by several devices simultaneously, without limits.
As for pricing, Surfshark's most affordable plan is the 24 months for € 1,79 / month billed every 24 months; alternatively there are the plan from 12 months for € 4,99 / month billed annually and from 1 month for 9,89 euros; all with a 30 day money back guarantee.
That said, let's take action. To install Surfshark on your PC, connected to the official website of the service, click on the button Buy it now, choose the plan you want to subscribe and pay via credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, I suffer, Amazon Pay o Cryptocurrency. Then download the program for Windows or macOS and install it: su Windows, just launch the file .exe obtained and click on the button Yes; on MacOS just use the Mac App Store or package .dmg).
To install Surfshark on smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, open the application tab in the store of your device (using the links I gave you before) and press the button Installa / Ottieni. On iOS / iPadOS, you may also need to verify your identity via Face ID, Touch ID, or Apple ID password.
Once the Surfshark application is installed on your device, you just have to start it, choose whether create an account o enter to an existing account and press the button Connect, so you can connect to the fastest VPN server.
Alternatively, go to the section Positions and choose the server to connect to "manually". At the end of the browsing session, then, press the button Disconnect, to disconnect from the VPN. More information is available on the official Surfshark website.
Opera VPN is the best example of VPN for free: of few pretensions, it is integrated directly into Opera, the famous browser for surfing the Internet (which I also told you about in my tutorial on the best browsers). In reality it is not a very structured service: optimal speeds are not guaranteed and there is no possibility to choose the part of the world from which to simulate the connection.
Opera VPN is a service that you can easily take advantage of if you need to mask the IP address while browsing the Internet, in order to be able to access blocked sites in your country, but the protection offered does not go beyond browsing the Net, and is limited exclusively to the sites visited through the browser.
Having made this necessary premise, it's time to explain how to activate Opera VPN: if you use a computer Windows or macOS, download the browser from this page by pressing the green button Download now, open the file you just downloaded and, if you use Windows, press the button Accept and Install, then click the button Yes, while if you use macOS drag the icon of Opera in the folder Applications of your Mac.
Now open Opera from the menu Start Windows (the flag icon, bottom left) or from the folder Applications macOS, click the button with the Or red that you find at the top right, then on the item Settings, on the item Confidentiality & security that you find in the left bar and, finally, click on the box Activate the VPN to place the check mark.
It then returns to your browsing activity, which is now protected through the VPN. To deactivate the service, repeat the procedure in exactly the same way, unchecking the box Activate the VPN to return to "normal" navigation.
While this VPN's malware detection service leaves something to be desired, I still decided to include it among the best free VPNs because, in fact, Betternet it's a great service that can be used for free for 7 days. At the end of the trial period, however, it is necessary to subscribe, at the price starting from 11,99 $ / month.
Show a small advertisement before each connection and include in-app suggestions, but this is an acceptable exchange for the free use of the service; also because the VPN offered by Betternet has no data limits or devices that can be used simultaneously, the connection speed is pretty good, and there are several locations from which to "simulate" a connection.
Betternet is available on Windows computers, as an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers, as well as on Android and iOS platforms. All you have to do to use it is to go to the download page that best suits your operating system, then press the blue button Get The App: if you use Windows, wait for the BetternetForWindowsxyz,exe be downloaded, then start it with a double click and press the buttons Yes, Next, install, Install e Finish to install it.
To install the Google Chrome, connected to the Chrome Web Store and click on the buttons Add e Add Extensionwhile on Android e iOS you simply have to download the Betternet app from the store of your smartphone / tablet.
To take advantage of this VPN no need to register and, as I have already explained to you, all you have to do to use it is to view a small advertisement on every connection. I recommend that you do not visit sites notoriously full of malware, and have a good antivirus available when browsing through Betternet: as I already told you, this VPN does not offer such an effective malware detection service.
tunnel Bear it is definitely one of the best VPN services in circulation, which guarantees anonymity e protection to those who decide to rely on it, and who can mask both the data relating to Internet browsing, using the extensions for the Google Chrome and Opera browsers, and the entire Internet traffic between the device and the server, using the programs for Windows computers or macOS, and apps for Android and iOS.
To install TunnelBear on Windows or macOS, go to the program download page and wait for the installation file to be downloaded to your computer, then double-click on the file you just downloaded and, if you are on Windows, premium pulsating I Agree, then on the buttons install e Yes and follow the onscreen instructions to access the VPN. If you use MacOSinstead, drag the TunnelBear icon into the folder Applications of your Mac and call the program from the folder Applications. Regarding Google Chrome, go to the Chrome Web Store page dedicated to TunnelBear and click on the buttons Add e Add extensionwhile on Android e iOS you have to go to your device's app store and download TunnelBear.
The VPN offered by TunnelBear has a mode of use completely free, through which you can make free use of 500 MB of VPN traffic per month, as long as you simply register from this page: enter a valid e-mail address and password in the boxes provided, press the button Create Account and follow the instructions that will come to you via email to validate your registration. You can use the credentials thus obtained within the programs or apps I mentioned earlier.
Furthermore, if the data limit is tight or you decide to invest some money on your security, you can subscribe to the service by paying about dollars 10 per month or dollars 60 year.
Avira Phantom VPN
You've certainly heard the name of Avira talking about computer antivirus and no, you are not getting confused: Avira Phantom VPN is the VPN solution offered by the same manufacturer, has extremely stable servers and allows you to use IP addresses, both for navigation and for accessing Internet services, in different countries around the world.
Available as a program for Windows e MacOS, and app for Android e iOS (all can be downloaded from this page), this service is not limited to protecting only the activities through the browser, but the entire data traffic between the device and the Internet, and can also be used by multiple devices at the same time. To install Avira Phantom VPN on a computer, go to the program download page and click on the green button Download the free VPN, wait for the file to download and start it with a double click.
Now, if your operating system is Windows, click on the green button Accept and Install, by pressing the button Yes, and wait for the installation of all services to complete. Otherwise, if you are using MacOS, drag the downloaded file to the folder Applications, then click on the button Accept and Install and wait for the installation to complete. The program will start by itself at the end of the procedure.
Avira Phantom VPN is among the best VPNs ever, and allows you to take advantage of 500 MB of free traffic per month after a simple registration to the Avira services (you must then enter the credentials in the programs or in the dedicated apps). Alternatively you can take advantage of the free PRO version for one month, with no data limit, and then proceed with the subscription of a pay subscription at the price of 7,95 euro / month.
WindScribe is one of the best free VPN currently available. It offers programs and apps for many platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers and for the Kodi program, as well as apps for Amazon FireTV, Nvidia Shield, plugins for DD-WRT and Tomato for routers, and configuration generators for OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SOCKS5; all easily downloadable from this page.
If you want to use Windscribe on your computer, go to the program download page and click on the icon for the operating system you are using (eg. Windows). Then wait for the file to be downloaded to your computer, start it with a double click and, if you are on Windows, press the buttons Yes e OK. Next, put the check mark on the box I accept the terms of the license agreement and finish the setup by pressing the button twice forward and then on end.
It was used MacOS, after downloading Windscribe to your computer, simply drag and drop the downloaded file into the folder Applications of your Mac and then start the program by double clicking. As for Android and iOS, all you have to do is install the app through your device's store.
La free version Windscribe, which you can use after a small registration to be made by pressing the blue button Use For Free, allows you to take advantage of ben 10 GB of monthly traffic and to connect from multiple devices at the same time, with a limitation - in addition to data - only on the locations from which to access (some are available only and exclusively for paid users). This does not mean that, overall, the quality of the service is good and that the browsing speed offered, despite the free nature of the data traffic, is absolutely acceptable.
To get rid of traffic and location restrictions, you need to take out a Pro subscription, but it's not that expensive - it costs money 4.50 dollars a month or 45 dollars a year. More info here.
Another great free VPN service is Hide Me, which has widespread servers in 22 countries, therefore it is possible to exploit 22 different positions during the connection phase. All in all, the connection speed is more than acceptable, the traffic is encrypted at the global connection level (and not just for the browser), through programs for Windows, macOS and Linux, and apps for Android and iOS are available.
To download Hide Me on your computer, connect to the download page that best suits the operating system you are using, then press the blue button Download Now, wait for the file to download, start it with a double click and, if you are on Windows, press the buttons Yes, install e Finish to finish the setup, while if you are using MacOS you have to drag the Hide Me icon into the folder Applications of the Mac (to then start the program with a simple double click).
A bit like the solutions I proposed to you at the beginning, the free version of Hide also offers me 2 GB of monthly traffic after registration, and guarantees, in addition to anonymity and security, of do not store any logs regarding the activity of its users, thus guaranteeing the security of what is performed through the VPN. To unlock the data limit, you can subscribe to the service at a price starting from dollars 4,99 per month, directly from this page.
Have you seen? Not only have you learned easily what a VPN is and what it is for, but now you are able to safely navigate the various free VPN services and choose the one that's right for you. How do you say? Now that you understand what this is all about, do you feel that using a VPN is excessive for your purposes, as you simply need to access blocked internet sites while browsing? Then I invite you to consult my tutorial on how to hide IP, in which you can find solutions that are certainly more suitable for your purpose.
Article made in collaboration with NordVPN and Surfshark.