Hey there! Are you interested in trying out a virtual private network (VPN), but don‘t want to commit to a paid subscription before testing it out? I‘ve got some good news for you – many of the top VPN providers actually offer free trials that allow you to experience their services for a limited time, without needing to enter any credit card information.
In this post, I‘ll guide you through everything you need to know to find and take advantage of the best VPN free trials available in 2023. I‘ll share which major VPNs offer free trials, what factors to look for during your free testing period, tips to get the most out of the trial, and answers to frequently asked questions about VPN free trials. Let‘s get started!
Why Try a Free VPN Trial?
Before we dive into the top free VPN trial options, you may be wondering why it‘s worth trying out a VPN risk-free in the first place. Here are some of the main benefits a free trial offers:
- Test VPN performance for your specific browsing needs before committing to a paid plan. You can check connection speeds, reliability, and unblocking capabilities.
- Evaluate if you feel safer and more private browsing with a VPN enabled. VPNs encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address from snoops.
- Experience what it‘s like accessing geo-restricted content like Netflix libraries abroad or blocked websites. A good VPN can bypass geographic restrictions.
- Confirm the VPN provider offers the security features you want like military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection.
- Get hands-on with the VPN apps and software to determine if they are easy to install, connect, and use on your devices.
According to GlobalWebIndex, VPN usage increased by 407% globally between 2019 and 2021. Trying a VPN risk-free makes sense before you become one of the growing number of VPN users worldwide.
How Do VPNs Work? A Quick Recap
Before I get into the specific VPNs that offer free trials, let me provide a quick refresher on how consumer VPN services work in case you‘re unfamiliar:
When you connect to a VPN, it establishes an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote VPN server. All of your internet traffic is routed through this protected tunnel, hiding your IP address and encrypting your data.
This prevents your internet service provider (ISP), Wi-Fi network provider, government agencies, or other snoops from being able to see who you are and what you‘re accessing online. The encrypted VPN tunnel keeps prying eyes out.
From the internet‘s perspective, you appear to have the IP address of whatever VPN server you‘re connected to. This allows you to access content geo-restricted to certain countries by connecting to VPN servers in those locations.
Leading VPN providers have thousands of servers located around the world, giving you many options to route your traffic for improved privacy, anonymity, and access to blocked content.
Now that you have an idea of how VPNs maintain your privacy and get around geographic restrictions, let‘s look at some of the top providers that offer free trial periods.
Major VPNs With Free Trials in 2023
I‘ve researched all of the main consumer VPN services and identified the top options that currently offer free trials without requiring you to enter any payment information. Here they are:
NordVPN is one of the most well-established VPN services, used by over 14 million people worldwide. It offers a massive network of over 5,600 servers located in 60 different countries.
Some key features include:
- Uses AES-256 encryption to secure your connection. This is an ultra-secure protocol used by militaries and banks.
- Offers specialty servers for P2P file sharing, high speed connections, defeating censorship, and more.
- Provides a kill switch that automatically shuts off internet access if the VPN connection drops to prevent data leaks.
NordVPN has a strict no logging policy and is based in Panama, which does not have mandatory data retention laws. This makes it a great option for improving your privacy.
It offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can access its huge server network entirely free for a month before deciding if you want to pay for an annual or monthly plan. The free trial period lets you fully evaluate NordVPN‘s impressive speeds and security capabilities.
With over 3,200 servers located in 100 countries around the world, Surfshark has rapidly become a top VPN contender.
Some of Surfshark‘s key highlights include:
- Provides unlimited device connections so you can secure all your gadgets with a single account.
- Uses industry-standard AES-256 encryption plus additional protocols like IKEv2/IPsec to safeguard your data.
- Offers special modes like NoBorders and Camouflage that make it easier to use Surfshark in restrictive countries like China.
Surfshark also has a 30-day money back guarantee, so you don‘t have to provide any payment details upfront. Take full advantage of the month-long free trial to experience Surfshark‘s excellent connection speeds and suite of privacy tools for yourself.
AtlasVPN‘s free version lets you connect to over 750 servers with unlimited data, but upgrading to its premium version opens up more advanced capabilities.
The premium AtlasVPN plan includes:
- Access to more than 1,500 servers located in over 90 countries worldwide.
- Top speeds delivered over a high-speed network built for performance.
- Security features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and special SafeSwap servers that maximize privacy.
You can access AtlasVPN‘s premium features free for 7 days without needing a credit card to see if you like the experience. Testing out the full set of AtlasVPN tools is a great way to get a feel for this relative newcomer in the VPN space.
With 160 server locations across 94 different countries, ExpressVPN is one of the most widely-used VPN services.
It‘s gained a reputation for:
- Fast connection speeds that are ideal for HD streaming without buffering.
- User-friendly apps for all devices that make it easy to get connected.
- Capabilities to unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
While ExpressVPN doesn‘t offer an official free trial, you can take advantage of its 30-day money back guarantee to essentially test it out for free. If it doesn‘t meet your needs within the first month, you can contact customer support to receive a full refund.
What to Look for During Your VPN Free Trial
Now that you know which major VPN providers offer free trials, let‘s discuss what factors you should evaluate during your risk-free testing period. Analyzing these elements will help you determine which VPN offers the right blend of performance and features for your browsing habits:
One of the most important criteria is testing how much of a speed boost or drop you experience when connected to different VPN servers. Faster is always better, so pay attention to any lag or buffering issues.
According to a 2022 Global Speedtest Index report, average VPN download speeds were approximately 30% slower than non-VPN connections globally. Try accessing websites and streaming video content to gauge impact.
Check if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops or you experience inconsistent speeds during your trial. A VPN that offers rock-solid reliability is ideal.
Look for user reviews highlighting reliability issues or server outages for clues about overall dependability. Testing personally will reveal if a VPN maintains steady performance or frequently disconnects.
Number of Server Locations
Evaluate how many server locations a VPN gives you access to, which expands where you can appear to be accessing the internet from. Wider server coverage is better.
For example, ExpressVPN has 160 server locations across 94 countries. This allows you to shift your virtual location to almost anywhere.
Ability to Unblock Sites and Services
See if you can access content normally geo-restricted to certain countries during your free trial. A quality VPN should let you bypass geographic blocks.
Try unblocking popular sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and ESPN by connecting to servers in different countries. The ability to bypass restrictions is a key benefit of VPNs.
Look for built-in security tools like an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, split-tunneling, obfuscation protocols in restrictive countries, and other enhancements that keep your activity private and data secure.
For example, NordVPN offers specialty servers called Double VPN that route your traffic through two VPN servers for enhanced privacy and anonymity. Test out all security features.
Ease of Use
Finally, pay attention to how user-friendly the VPN provider‘s software is when you first install it during the free trial. Look for streamlined apps that make it effortless to get connected with just a click.
The easier it is to get up and running during your test drive, the more likely you‘ll be satisfied with the overall user experience if you ultimately subscribe.
Tips for Getting the Most From a VPN Free Trial
To truly put any VPN free trial through its paces, keep these tips in mind:
Sign up for the longest trial available – Some VPN free trials last only a few days, while others provide a week or an entire month to test the product. Always opt for the most generous trial length available.
Download speed testing software – Use a tool like Speedtest.net to check connection speeds with the VPN enabled and disabled. This quantifies any speed boost or drop.
Connect to servers in different countries – Don‘t just test one server location. Connect to servers in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, Asia, and other regions to evaluate performance.
Run video streaming tests – See how well the VPN unblocks and handles streaming high-definition videos on Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, and other sites in various countries.
Try accessing blocked websites – Attempt to access blocked sites like ThePirateBay, Leakedsource, and popular gambling sites to test censorship circumvention abilities.
Use public Wi-Fi networks – Connect to public hotspots at coffee shops and airports to see if the VPN keeps you protected on unsecured public networks.
Check multiple devices – Download the VPN onto your smartphone, laptop, tablet, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices you own to confirm smooth performance across gadgets.
Following these tips will help you take full advantage of any VPN free trial to determine if a provider delivers the right blend of speed, unblocking capabilities, and security for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About VPN Free Trials
I know you probably have some questions about how these free VPN trial offers work and any potential catches. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Are VPN free trials really free?
Yes, the top free VPN trials don‘t require entering any payment details like a credit card number. You can access the full VPN service free for the trial length, whether it‘s 7 days, 30 days, etc.
What happens when my free trial ends?
Once your free VPN trial expires, the provider will begin automatically charging you for a monthly or yearly paid subscription. Be sure to cancel within the trial window if you don‘t want this to happen.
Can I use free trials back-to-back with the same provider?
Unfortunately, most major VPNs limit you to a single free trial per user. You may get additional trials by creating new accounts, but this normally violates their terms.
Are free VPN trials safe to use?
Free trials from leading brands like NordVPN, Surfshark, and others are perfectly safe. Be cautious with lesser-known providers offering free trials, as they may not protect your privacy.
Do I need to provide personal info?
I hope these answers help address any concerns you may have about safely taking advantage of free VPN trials!
Choosing the Right VPN Provider for You
If you decide to subscribe to a VPN after testing a few free trials, keep these key factors in mind as you choose the right provider:
- Server network size – More servers across more locations increases performance and unblocking abilities.
- Speed & reliability – Look for a provider touting ultra-fast speeds with minimal connection drops.
- Security features – Robust encryption, a kill switch, and other security tools are vital.
- Pricing – Entry-level plans start around $3-$7 per month for top VPNs when you pay yearly. Monthly plans are more.
- Ease of use – Pick a provider with effortless native apps for all your devices.
Evaluating these criteria will help ensure you select the perfect VPN match for your long-term needs!
The Bottom Line
I hope this overview gives you a great starting point for taking advantage of free VPN trials in 2023. Leverage the opportunity to test drive NordVPN, Surfshark, AtlasVPN, ExpressVPN and other top providers risk-free before making any financial commitment.
Follow the tips I covered to put any free VPN trial through its paces. Analyze the speed, reliability, servers locations, unblocking abilities, security tools, and overall usability before making your decision. This will enable you to confidently find the ideal VPN to meet your browsing needs!
Let me know if you have any other questions as you start exploring free VPN trials. I‘m always happy to help out with straightforward VPN advice and recommendations. Enjoy finding your perfect VPN match!