The short answer is: yes, free trial VPNs are a notch above free VPNs in quite a few areas, which you can find below. Spoiler alert: there aren’t many cases where a free VPN plan is the superior option, but that will become apparent soon enough.
Looking to try out the full VPN experience without needing a credit card for the sign-up process? Then you can find plenty of free trials here, a great first stop after reading our comparison.
The Dark Side of Free VPNs
VPNs were intended as security software before finding widespread usage in unblocking content. Nobody would be happy to find out that their free VPN is doing more harm than keeping them safe online. Unfortunately, that’s very often the case. Here’s what you risk with the average free VPN:
– Major security issues (such as outright containing malware) or mobile apps not following App Store and Google Play guidelines.
– Aggressive advertising practices, including injecting ads into your browser.
Not a great look for free VPNs, though there’s a good reason why so many people still use them.
What Free VPNs Bring to the Table
Despite the many problems of free VPNs, we don’t want this to sound like a hit piece against them. They have their own uses, such as letting you unblock most common services:
– Social media – free VPNs were useful during the Istanbul protests several years ago, in case of a net crackdown by the Turkish government.
– News sites – due to GDPR regulations, you might find that many local US newspapers have shut their doors to EU readers. Luckily, a VPN can help you bypass such blocks.
– Blocked YouTube videos – arbitrary licensing rules means your favorite content might not be available in your area. YouTube doesn’t really block VPNs (like Netflix would), so you have okay chances of unblocking that one song published by UMG or Sony.
– Some may even allow you to get past firewalls at school, work, hotels, and other public venues that block websites.
Essentially, they’re a free tool against Internet censorship and geo-restrictions. Of course, you can use free trial VPNs for the exact same purposes, and without all the limitations of a free VPN. Well, aside from the limited trial period.
Why Free Trial VPNs Are Better
As mentioned, free VPNs have limitations that can harm your overall online experience. Here’s where free trial VPNs have the upper hand:
– Can unblock streaming sites that filter out VPNs, through the use of obfuscated servers. These servers hide the fact that you’re even using VPN software in the first place, making them great for privacy as well.
– No data caps, the one thing that will stop your Netflix binge in its tracks. Luckily, free trial VPNs don’t impose data limits, so watch away!
– Large number of high-performance servers, guaranteeing less congestion and faster speeds.
Free VPNs often impose these limitations as a way to incentivize people to get on their premium plan. Of course, you’d need to put your faith in the VPN provider’s marketing, seeing as you’re not testing the “complete” product. With a free trial VPN, you know you’re seeing their full capabilities, and whether it’s worth committing to a subscription.
Another subscriber “perk” includes the possibility of a refund for up to 30 to 45 days, depending on the provider’s policies. Not getting the performance you were expecting? Don’t feel like you’re using the VPN enough to justify the price? That’s what money-back guarantees are there for.
In the end, you don’t have much reason to go with a free VPN over a free trial – whether you’re looking for security or a way to unblock your favorite content from around the world.