The VPN market is overcrowded and there are probably tens of good providers. How can you choose between them? How do you know which one is right for you? A safe approach is to “try before you buy”. A free trial VPN can give you a better view over a service before deciding to proceed with a payment.
What does a free trial mean?
A free trial is a way to test a service without actually paying anything. Some services consider this is a great opportunity to convince potential clients about the qualities of their service.
Free trials for VPN services are usually time limited and restricted to several servers or bandwidth usage, but there are several exceptions.
What can you expect from a free trial VPN?
The best scenario is to find VPN services that offer full trial, meaning that they allow access to all servers available in the paid versions, without any bandwidth or traffic limitations.
Most of the time you may expect that a free trial:
- requires registration (at least a name and an email);
- is limited to a short period of time (from several hours to days);
- offers access to dedicated free trial servers and it does not offer exactly the same experience as the paid service;
- is limited to certain bandwidth usage;
- does not allow P2P traffic;
- logs your activity (most VPN providers do it but deny it).
Top VPN services with free trial
Probably the best VPN service in terms of free trial is ibVPN. Firstly, they offer a 6-hour full trial with access to all servers plus ibDNS (the SmartDNS complementary service) without any speed or bandwidth limitations. If the trial is not enough you may ask for an extension. Additionally, if you register an account using their iOS or Android apps you get 15 days of free service but only on 4 servers located in US, UK, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
Another good option is Hideman. The VPN service offers lifetime free trial with monthly limited bandwidth usage (2GB/month). Also, only the following server locations are available: China, Russia, Panama, Netherlands and Singapore. Unfortunately, this option does not show you how the other locations are performing (especially US and UK).
Mullvad also offer free trial VPN accounts. It is available for 3 hours. The best thing about Mullvad is that it does not require any email address to register. Simply click on the “Create Account” button and you are ready to go. Awesome!
CactusVPN offers 24-hour free trial VPN with access to all servers in US, UK and NL, and access to Smart DNS and proxy services.
Another VPN service that can be tested before moving to a premium account is proXPN. You may register a free account without a time limit, but we several restrictions regarding the server locations and speed.
There may be other VPN providers that offer free trials. If you have tried one and you would like to share their names, feel free to do it in the comments below.
Can I create multiple trial accounts for the same VPN service?
You probably asked yourself this question already. Yes, you may try, but you need to keep in mind that the VPN providers have mechanisms to prevent abuses. You may end-up with your real IP address blacklisted or even your email (the one that you used for registration).
Don’t forget: the objective of the free trials is to test drive the service, not to use them permanently.
If you were satisfied with the free trial then you probably plan to proceed with the order for paid account. What should you look at before making the purchase?
For me, the availability and quality of the support is very important. While using a VPN service there may be a lot of issues (performance, servers availability, payments, etc.) and it is important to get professional help when you need it. My advice is to send a pre-sale question to the VPN provider that you consider and see the reply you get. If you don’t, it comes too late or simply you don’t like the answer you get then you should probably search for another provider.
Also, take a look to the money-back policy. Every serious VPN provider has one and you should make sure it is a “no question asked” policy, meaning that you may get a full refund for any reason.
Another safe approach is to subscribe for the shortest billing period available (usually a month). You will be able to fully test the service for a longer period of time and, afterward, you may switch to longer billing plans with better price per month ratio.
Finally, if you are not happy with your choice you may move to another provider. There are plenty of good VPN services on the market. Enjoy!