Best Free VPN Services to Consider in 2019
- HotSpot Shield
Over the past three years, a record 73 percent of all U.S. businesses have had its data breached – 67 percent globally.Some of these breaches – like Equifax, Target, PlayStation Network, and others – have exposed the data of hundreds of millions of customers.Even more unfortunate is that an estimate 93 percent of these breaches could have been avoided by putting data security fundamentals at the forefront, according to an analysis by Online Trust Alliance (OTA).Poor data security isn’t just costly to a business, it leads to widespread customer distrust and harms brand reputation. Picking up the pieces after a breach isn’t easy either, and some businesses fail to ever recover.Fortunately, data and network security software have become more accessible over recent years – especially for small businesses and startups, which are actually targeted the most by cyber-attacks.One of the easiest and most popular ways to secure both you and your customers’ data is through something called a virtual private network, or a VPN
What is a VPN
A VPN masks your IP address to prevent outside parties from obtaining your physical location and identifying your internet provider. They can be used in personal browsers, business endpoints, and any other device you can think of.VPNs protect business users anywhere – even in coffee shops and other locations that are renowned for having unsecured internet connections. A VPN can also facilitate the secure transfer of information across networks, both public and private.
How does a VPN work?
For an internet connection to work, there needs to be a mutual transfer of information from your device, to an internet service provider, to the internet itself, and back. This process is constantly in motion.Users without a VPN run the risk of having personal data exploited by hackers, internet service providers, and even government surveillance agencies. This risk is multiplied when placing trust in unsecured internet connections.If this sounds scary, that’s because it is. Without a VPN, all of a businesses’ data on its private server can be accessed anywhere in the world.📷Users with a VPN have an added layer of protection. Information from your device will first be passed through a VPN client before reaching the internet service provider. Then, the VPN server will relay information to-and-from the internet itself.Essentially, the exchange of information through a VPN is fully encrypted – making it much more difficult for outside threats to exploit.
Is a VPN really needed?
The short answer would be yes, a VPN is absolutely needed – especially considering 71 percent of all cyber-attacks are aimed at businesses with less than 100 employees.With limited resources, finding a data security solution can be headache-inducing. But encrypting all incoming and outgoing traffic should be the utmost importance in this age of frequent and costly data breaches.
Free VPN services 2019
Fortunately, there are a variety of free and freemium VPN services available for securing your network. We’ve compiled 10 of the top free VPNs (in no particular order) based on customer reviews and ratings on G2 Crowd, features, operating systems, and more.Don’t want to scroll through the list? Jump to one of the 10 free VPNs on this list that piques your interest:
- HotSpot Shield
1. HotSpot Shield
HotSpot Shield is a fairly standard yet popular VPN tool that launched in 2005.According to HotSpot Shield’s website, its VPN protocol is integrated by 70 percent of the world’s largest security companies and has thousands of servers across the world. Those are some eye-popping numbers.Is it totally free? There are two free options for HotSpot Shield. The first option is totally free; however, it is supported by on-screen advertisements. The second option is a 7-day trial of HotSpot Shield Elite, its flagship product.Pros: Unblocked content around the world, robust data encryption, protection against malware, and email customer support.Cons: The free version limits users to one device and 500 megabytes of bandwidth per day. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, essentially any premium streaming service cannot be accessed with the free version. On-screen advertisements could inhibit the user experience as well.Paid Version Features: Unlimited bandwidth, up to five devices can be connected simultaneously, and one of the best server diversity out of all VPNs.
OpenVPN is one of the oldest VPN solutions around, initially launching in 2001. One of the most attractive features of OpenVPN is its open-source VPN protocol and its dedicated community of developers – who routinely release product updates.Is it totally free? There is a totally free plan for OpenVPN, allowing users to connect up to two devices simultaneously. OpenVPN states on its website that this free plan is for testing purposes and it will remain free up to one year.Pros: More than one connected device, open-source developer community (consistent updates), and secured browsing.Cons: After one year, Amazon Web Services will begin to charge you for usage of their cloud. It’s also noted that one of the drawbacks of OpenVPN is its barrier to entry for novice users, meaning a fair degree of technical knowledge is needed. Lastly, OpenVPN may be blocked by business proxies.Paid Version Features: Same features as the free plan, however, OpenVPN allows users to purchase license keys to increase the number of devices that can connect to the VPN simultaneously.One license key costs $15 per connected device.Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.3. WindscribeWindscribe is one of the newer free VPNs available today, launching in 2015, and has one of the most generous VPN offerings for its users – especially those on a tight budget.Is it totally free? The free plan for Windscribe is its most popular product, and yes, it is totally free. There is a paid plan, but we’ll get into that later.Pros: Up to 10 gigabytes per month are completely free, and an extra five gigabytes will be offered for tweeting about the service. Want to refer a friend to Windscribe? You’ll be awarded an additional gigabyte of data. Through Windflix, users are also able to access Netflix in countries outside the U.S.Cons: There are few cons to the free version of Windscribe aside from a data cap and limited access to servers.Pa
ProtonVPN is brought to you by the makers of the encrypted email service Protonmail. This Switzerland-based VPN is backed by some of the strongest digital privacy laws in the world. It also features strong encryption and VPN protocols that have been rigorously tested.Is it totally free? There is a totally free plan, however, its features are fairly limited. The true strength of ProtonVPN comes in its three-tiered paid plans of Basic, Plus, and Visionary.Pros: Free version VPNs typically have a bandwidth cap. But for ProtonVPN, users have unlimited bandwidth access on a single device.
Psiphon is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service that redirects user’s IP address to a different IP address when it reaches its end point. Psiphon is used to access uncensored and banned addresses and also for protecting IP address from malicious services. Psiphon is an open source tool and all parent IP addresses are circumvented through thousands of proxies that are set up within the network. Download Psiphon and Psiphon 3 Pro to achieve Internet Freedom online.
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