If you’ve never used a VPN service to connect to the internet before, then it’s only natural that you will want to try one out before you commit to spending money. This is especially important for the many VPN services that require you to commit to a year or more of service when you first sign up to them.
Fortunately, there are many VPN services that offer a free trial. This can last up to 30 days which means that you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether the service is worth it before your credit card is charged. It’s also a great option if you only require VPN access for a short period of time, such as during an overseas trip when you want to be able to watch your favourite streaming services. However, there are so many advantages to using a VPN when you browse the internet that there is every chance you will decide to start using one on a permanent basis.
There are all sorts of reasons why using a VPN service makes sense. One of the biggest is that it allows you to access content that is usually not available in your country. This could be something as simple as Netflix, Hulu or another online streaming service that does not operate where you live, or which offers a different catalogue. In more extreme cases, it will allow you to access websites that your government has restricted access to. Some European countries prevent access to certain parts of YouTube for instance and other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia restrict huge parts of the internet and keep users within a fairly small walled garden. Connecting to a VPN is a great way to get around all of these problems.
There are other advantages to using a VPN as well. The first big one is the security of your connection. Over the last decade or so, it has been revealed that many governments are collecting records of the websites that their citizens access and how long they are connected to each site. Not only is this information a potential infringement of your liberty if it falls into the hands of the police but it is also a giant database that could be leaked and reveal the embarrassing but totally legal browsing habits of millions of people. In addition, many ISPs are collecting information about the websites that their customers visit and using this to build a profile of their individual users that they can then sell onto advertisers and others for profit.
By connecting to a VPN, you ensure that your browsing activity remains totally private. Some of the VPN providers that we mention in this article use military grade encryption to ensure that all of their users’ data remains secure. All of them use at least 128-bit encryption for security purposes. Most of the VPN services that we mention here do not retain any information about the websites that their users connect to or even what servers they connect through and for how long. This setup means that it will be far easier for you to browse the internet anonymously and avoid leaving a trail of information that could easily fall into the wrong hands.
Before deciding which order to place the VPN services with a free trial we mention on this page in, we have looked at a number of factors. Obviously, every user will have different priorities when it comes to selecting the right VPN service for them and it is almost impossible to create a totally balanced view. Nevertheless, these are the factors that we have considered before including a VPN service on this page.
Of course, it may be the case that one of these factors is more important to you than the others. In that case, take a look at the review and you’ll be able to find the information that you are looking for. In each case, we’ll cover security, how easy it is to use the VPN with a streaming service, and the ongoing cost.
Having crunched the numbers, we have come to the conclusion that the best VPN services on the market that offer a free trial are:
Read on below for more information on the features that have got each of these VPN services into our top recommended list.
This is one of the lower cost VPN options on the market if you’re looking at one for ongoing use. In many cases, choosing a cheaper VPN option means that you lose access to some features or have a lower number of servers to choose from, but this is generally not the case with VyprVPN. While the number of servers that it offers is not quite as high as ExpressVPN, it still has more than enough coverage to keep even the biggest fan of online streaming services happy.
There are servers in all of the places that you would expect including in the UK, offering access to BB C inlayer and the British Netflix catalogue which includes many old BBC shows that are not available in other markets; the USA, where you will have access to online video streaming services such as Hulu and HBO go and Australia where Stan operate and Netflix has a fairly different catalogue to the one that it offers in most other western markets. There are also asserters in other countries, including most major markets in Europe and East Asia, which will prove useful if you are looking to stream content in a. particular minority language or from a certain country. The service is also very easy to set up and offers apps for most major desktop computer and mobile phone operating systems that allow you to connect to the VyprVPN network with only one click or tap.
Security is another of the reasons why VyprVPN has managed to secure such a high position on our list of the top VPN services that offer a free trial. The company owns all of the VPN servers in its network. This means that they have total control over what goes on these servers and that they are able to totally guarantee that there is no unknown software on the system that could be monitoring user data without their knowledge. The company is based in Switzerland which puts them beyond the reach of the US government if it attempts to ask for records of browsing activity. On top of this, the company also has a ‘no logs’ policy which means that they do not keep information about the servers that individual users connect to or the websites that they connect to through the VPN. Put simply, this means that even if a government did find a way to request records of the websites that a user has been browsing, the information is simply not there for the company to hand over.
The main drawback of VyprVPN compared to some of the other VPN services that we will look at later in this article is that the free trial period is very short at only three days. This is balanced out by the fact that the ongoing subscription price is very low, at only $5 per month This is less than half of the price charged by some of its rival VPN services such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. The trial of VyprVPN is really only for technical evaluation purposes and doesn’t offer a solution if you are looking for a VPN that you can use to watch your favourite shows during a vacation overseas. If you do chooser this trial option, make sure that you remember to try out all of your favourite streaming services during the first three days so that you know that VyprVPN is definitely right for your needs before you commit to paying anything.
ExpressVPN is one of the biggest and longest established of the VPN providers and is known for having the biggest network off servers located in the largest number of countries. At last count, the company offered its users access to servers located in almost 100 countries around the world. This means that no matter what content you are trying to view, there is almost certainly a server on the ExpressVPN network that will grant you access to it.
As you would expect from the size of its network streaming is a big priority for ExpressVPN and the company works hard to ensure that its users always have access to the major streaming services. This means that there is a large number of servers located in the UK and the United States that allow users to circumvent any IP blocks that websites such as Hulu or BBC iPlayer put in place to stop VPN users from outside of the country from using their services.
The server connection speed is fast and generally offers throughput of between 20 and 25 MBPS. This is more than enough if you are trying to stream video and will even support 4k streaming if your internet connection is up to it. If there are multiple devices in your house that will be accessing the content, it’s worth setting up ExpressVPN at the device level, rather than the router level so that each device has an individual connection with the server and is able to take full advantage of the available bandwidth. However, this may not be possible if you are using a device such as a Samsung Smart TV that does not allow you to install additional software on the system.
One feature of ExpressVPN worth noting, compared to some of the other options that we have covered is security. While the company is based in the British Virgin Islands and lies beyond the reach of the US government authorities (and most other major western governments), it does record a little bit more information about its users than some of the other services that we have covered here. While it does not keep a record of the websites and IP addresses that its users connect to, it has previously logged the VPN servers that users connect to and the amount of time they remain connected as well as how much data is sent between the server and the end user. ExpressVPN has now changed this policy and says that it keeps no logs of the activities of its users while they are connected. For most users, this would not be a problem as there is little chance that this type of information could get them into trouble. However, for some users, especially those that live in countries where using a VPN service is illegal, it’s worth reading the terms and conditions to ensure that you are comfortable with the way in which ExpressVPN will store and use your information.
When you do sign up to ExpressVPN, you will be able to take advantage of the website’s 30-day trial offer before you have to start paying for the service. You will have to give your credit card information when you first sign up and there will be a charge at the end of the trial period unless you remember to cancel the agreement.
Overall, ExpressVPN iOS a great choice for first time VPN users thanks to the huge variety of servers and the easy to setup software that makes it easy to connect your system to the VPN. The main drawback is that the ongoing price is slightly higher than for some of the other VPN services that we have covered here
This is another of the major VPN services that has been established for several years and has built up a strong reputation during that time. While the NordVPN network is not quite as large as ExpressVPN, covering only around 50 countries, it’s still more than big enough for the vast majority of VPN users. In addition, the ongoing cost of a NordVPN subscription is slightly lower than ExpressVPN, although still at the higher end of the market as far as the full range of VPN service providers goes.
NordVPN prides itself on the level of security that is built into its software. There are a number of features in the NordVPN applications that are designed to stop any information being sent to or from your computer without the protection of a VPN service. This includes a ‘kill switch’ which can completely shut down your internet connection when the VPN is not running which means that there is no change of data leaking out if you’re VPN server has an issue, or the connection is momentarily dropped. This is well worth considering if you are in an area where internet use is restricted, and you are worried about inadvertently creating a trail of your activity. The company also offers very strong levels of encryption on all VPN server connections and has a ‘no log’ policy, meaning that no details are kept of the internet sites that customers visit or which servers they connect to and for how long.
This doesn’t mean that security is the only reason to pick NordVPN over another option. Support for streaming services is also very strong and like many of the other VPN companies we have covered, the company works hard to ensure that access to some of the most popular streaming services are always available to its customers. In the event that you do run into any problems with connecting to the service or using it, a 24-hours a day live chat support function is available to take care of any queries that you might have.
The apps offered by NordVPN are also very good and the whole range of major operating systems is covered. On the desktop, there are apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux that make it easy to get your VPN connection up and running, while on mobile you have a choice of apps for iOS and Android. More advanced users also have the option of configuring their router to automatically route to a NordVPN server. This requires a little bit more technical setup and makes it more complex to switch between servers to access content from different countries but makes it easier for individual users of the network to get to the content they are looking for. If you are technically adept and all of the content you are looking to view can be accessed by connecting through a particular country then this may be an option that is worth considering.
Finally, we come to the price. There are various discount codes available online that can substantially reduce the cost of NordVPN on an ongoing basis, but the standard price is currently $11.99 per month. However, if you want to trial the service before you commit to paying, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial. There are also discounts available for customers who pay for a long period, such as 12 or 24 months in advance. The 30-day trial should give you plenty of time to try out the service on several devices.
HideMyAss, also known as HMA is the provocatively named VPN service that offers access to servers in a large number of countries. While the range of countries supported is not quite as large as some other services, it does offer an easy to use app that can manage your VPN (although the iOS version of the app sometimes has trouble connecting to streaming media sites based in other countries) and has a heavy focus on privacy.
This privacy focus means that it shares the ‘no logs’ policy with all of the other VPN networks that were have looked at and also uses military grade 256-bit encryption to protect the traffic of all of its users. Connection speed is fairly fast although not as strong as some of the other services that we have mentioned on this page. The main advantage of HMA compared to some of its rivals is the ease of use of the overall package. There are apps for all of the major computer operating systems and mobile devices. Accounts do take a little while to set up however and it can take more than an hour for HMA to generate your password and allow you to connect to its network after you have set upon a free trial. If you are looking for a VPN service because there is a certain piece of geoblocked content that you want to watch right away, then you may be better off looking elsewhere.
Compatibility with streaming media services, outside of the iOS problems that were mentioned earlier, is very good and we had no problems connecting to BBC iPlayer in the UK, Hulu in the United States and CBC Gem in Canada when we tested the service. Speeds were not a problem and we had no issues streaming programmes from these services in the highest available resolution.
A 30-day free trial of HMA is readily available. The main drawback is that at the end of your trial you will be charged for a year of service in advance. This means that it’s important to remember to cancel your trial once you are finished with the service. Despite the somewhat conflicting and confusing information displayed on the HMA website, it is possible to cancel the trial and then continue using the service for the rest of the trial duration. It might be worth doing this for peace of mind when you sign up for the service if you are worried about your credit card being stung for a large bill after a month. If you don’t continue using the service, remember to uninstall the supporting software as HMA will nag you to continue using the service if you allow your membership to lapse.
Hopefully, one of the VPN services that we have mentioned above sounds suitable for your needs. This is a great way to trial VPNs if you have never used them before and are curious about how they can make your internet browsing experience better. Even if you feel that you have nothing to hide (and most internet users certainly shouldn’t have to hide anything), the scale of data that many governments are collecting on internet users in their country should give you pause for thought about the profile that they are creating on you. Besides this, the freedom to see the internet as people around the world do and to watch programmes from all sorts of countries and get a better idea of global cultures should be enough reason for anyone to get a VPN connection on their computer, at least on a trial basis.
Even if you’re not convinced yet, you have nothing to lose by giving one of the free trial services on this page a go. If it’s always sounded a little too technically complex to get a VPN up and running, then hopefully the advice that we have given will show you that this is not the case. After 30 days of using a VPN service free of charge like the ones that we have reviewed here, we are sure that you will agree that they are a safer, more fun and all-round easier way to browse the internet. The level of security they offer will soon become second nature and switching between servers to get to the content that you really want to see will become second nature after only a few days of using a VPN service.
Head of content