Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (2024)

Free VPN downloads seem too good to be true — and they often are. Most won’t let you download without signing up or are low quality. Worse yet, testing each can put your device and privacy at risk.

After testing 62 free VPN downloads, my team and I found only a few that will keep you safe online. However, even the best free VPN download has limitations like data caps, small server networks, and slower speeds. That’s why I included 2 premium VPNs you can test without risk using their money-back guarantees.

My top recommendation is ExpressVPNbecause of its excellent security, superior speeds, and global server network. You can access the most popular streaming services and watch content in UHD. It’s not 100% free, but you can try it risk-free and get a refund within 30 days if you’re not impressed.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs to Download in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — Delivers consistently fast speeds on thousands of global servers. It’s secure, private, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can confidently try it.
  2. CyberGhost — Offers servers optimized for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. A 45-day money-back guarantee means you can test it first.
  3. ProtonVPN — Unlimited free data, so you don’t need to worry about hitting caps in the middle of a movie or a file you’re downloading.
  4. Avira Phantom VPN — Protect all your devices with unlimited simultaneous connections.
  5. hide.me — Protect your online activity with top-notch security features.

See 2 More Free VPN Downloads

Best Free VPN Downloads — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Excellent Speeds for Uninterrupted Streaming

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (1) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (2)

Editor’s Choice Editor’s Choice Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (3) Try Risk-Free for 30 Days
Tested February 2024

Available on:

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Try ExpressVPN >

www.ExpressVPN.com

Best FeatureProprietary Lightway protocol that prioritizes speed without compromising security
Server Network3,000 servers in 105 countries to access your accounts when traveling
Can AccessNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Max, and more
Free OptionA 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve tested. Its Smart Location feature takes the guesswork out of server selection by automatically connecting you to the best server based on your location. My speed dropped by only 4% while testing ExpressVPN’s Smart Location feature and using Lightway. For comparison, the free VPNs caused a 16-40% speed loss when connected to local servers.

I could access most streaming services with ExpressVPN, including the ones that usually block VPNs, such as Netflix and Hulu. Unlike the vast majority of free services, you get unlimited data. There’s no need to worry about hitting caps while streaming or being stuck without a VPN until your allowance is renewed.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (4)ExpressVPN accesses over 20 Netflix libraries — more than most premium VPNs

It beats most free VPNs in terms of privacy and security, too. Its strict no-logs policy has been audited by multiple third parties, which confirmed that it doesn’t record your online identity or activity. A kill switch also prevents IP and data leaks by temporarily pausing your internet connection in case the VPN drops. Additionally, it uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data from unauthorized access. Many of the free VPNs I tested only offered 128-bit.

There are easy-to-use apps for the most popular platforms, plus its customer service is available 24/7 via live chat, so you can get help at any time. The only real downside is that it isn’t free. However, I didn’t have to fulfill any special requirements to use its 30-day money-back guarantee. So, feel free to try ExpressVPN without risk.

Useful Features

  • Simultaneous device connections. Under one account, you can use ExpressVPN on up to 8 devices at once without a performance drop.
  • MediaStreamer. It’s a smart DNS solution that lets you access US and UK content on devices that don't have built-in VPN capabilities, such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming media players like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
  • Split tunneling. With this, you can access local resources and use ExpressVPN simultaneously by choosing which traffic gets routed through the VPN.
  • Threat Manager. This feature stops your device from communicating with third parties known to engage in malicious behavior or track your online activity.
  • RAM-based servers. Because its servers run entirely on volatile memory, they’re wiped clean every time they reboot. So, the VPN can’t store any of your data.

ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Reliable Streaming, Gaming, and Torrenting

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (5) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (6)

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (7)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome Router Smart TV More

Try CyberGhost VPN >

www.cyberghostvpn.com

Best FeatureEasily access your favorite streaming sites in just a few clicks
Server Network11,666 servers in 100 countries to bypass geo-restrictions
Can AccessNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Max, and more
Free OptionA 45-day money-back guarantee

If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, gaming, or torrenting, CyberGhost is my top choice. It has servers that are optimized specifically for these activities and tests them regularly to make sure they work. Streaming sites block most free VPNs, but with CyberGhost, I connected to a server optimized for Netflix US on my Firestick and watched The Witcher in HD.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (8)Torrenting servers can be sorted by distance, so it’s easy to find the fastest ones

I had great results while testing CyberGhost's speeds, with only a 5% speed drop on the nearest server. Although it’s a little slower than ExpressVPN, I could stream HD shows, download large files, and play games on international servers without noticeable lag. Even the fastest free VPN caused some buffering when I was watching YouTube.

CyberGhost has strong encryption and a strict no-logs policy to safeguard your data and protect it from prying eyes. Additional security features, like an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, take it a step further. I ran a test on ipleak.net to confirm that it successfully hid my IP. When I ran the same test on a few free VPNs, I found leaks, but CyberGhost held up well.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost isn't free. However, it offers an extended money-back guarantee on longer plans. It can also be used simultaneously on up to 7 devices. So, you can use CyberGhost free for 45 daysto ensure it meets your specific needs before committing.

Useful Features

  • NoSpy servers. Situated in a secure data center in Romania and operated solely by CyberGhost, these servers add an additional layer of protection to keep your data safe from third-party interference. However, it comes at an additional fee.
  • Free Chrome proxy extension. It’s a convenient way to secure your browsing activity directly from your web browser. However, you only get access to 8 servers.
  • Content blocker. It helps you enhance your online browsing experience by blocking intrusive ads, malware, and trackers.
  • Port forwarding. This feature enables you to redirect specific internet traffic through a designated port on your device. It’s beneficial for gaming, file sharing, and hosting servers, ensuring that incoming requests reach the desired applications or services on your device.

February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Proton VPN — Unlimited Free Data for Unrestricted Browsing

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (9) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (10)

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (11)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome Router Smart TV More

Try Proton VPN >

www.Proton VPN.com

Best FeatureUnlimited bandwidth to browse the web without slowdowns
Server Network100 free servers in 3 locations (Japan, the US, Netherlands)
Can AccessYouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Kodi, Netflix (originals), and more
Free Option100% free plan

Proton VPN is the only safe, free VPN I found that doesn’t cap your data. Most only offer between 500MB and 10GB per month. So you can browse and enjoy social media without restrictions.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (12)I like that there are symbols showing server load next to each server

The free VPN download comes with top-notch security features such as AES 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. I tested its server locations and didn’t find any IP or DNS leaks. Proton VPN also has a strict no-logs policy which has been verified by independent auditors.

On its free version, it only gives you access to servers in 3 locations, so the servers can quickly get overcrowded. This isn’t much compared to ExpressVPN. Even though my average speed drop was only 18%, I couldn’t stream without buffering or torrent using Proton VPN’s free plan. This was disappointing after testing CyberGhost, which has optimized servers for both activities.

Proton VPN also doesn’t offer a 24/7 live chat, so I had to contact them through a support form. Although it took 3 days to receive a response, the customer service was very helpful with my questions.

Useful Features

  • Split tunneling. It allows you to choose which applications or websites you want to route through the VPN while keeping others directly connected to the internet. Proton VPN is one of the very few free VPNs with this option.
  • Quick Connect. This feature enables you to connect to the optimal server with just a single click, allowing for fast and reliable VPN connections.
  • VPN Accelerator. ProtonVPN's VPN Accelerator is a proprietary technology designed to optimize and enhance your VPN connection speed. By reducing latency and increasing data throughput, the VPN Accelerator ensures faster and more efficient performance.
  • Customizable DNS settings. With this feature, you can choose to use ProtonVPN's secure DNS servers or configure your own preferred DNS servers, ensuring optimal privacy, security, and performance for your VPN connection.

4. Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Protect All Your Devices

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Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (15)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome More

Try Avira Phantom VPN >

www.avira.com

Best FeatureCompatible with all major operating systems to use on your favorite devices
Server NetworkFree servers in 1 country, but 49 locations on its mobile apps
Can AccessNetflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more
Free OptionTotally free plan, but only up to 1GB of monthly data

Avira Phantom VPN allows you to connect as many devices as you want. Most free VPNs only allow one device at a time. The installation process is easy, and I didn’t need to sign up, which is great for privacy. However, you'll be limited to 500MB of data — to get 1GB, you must provide your email.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (16)Most free VPNs only offer a few locations that might be far away from you

When I tested Avira Phantom VPN’s speeds, I had a speed loss of 28% on the nearest server. This is okay, but it can’t compare to ExpressVPN, which had better speeds even on servers thousands of km from my location.

It has some top-tier security features, like military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. However, I’m disappointed that there’s no kill switch. Even with encryption, you need a kill switch to keep your data safe if the connection drops. That’s why premium VPNs always have them.

You can only connect to the 'Nearest Location' server, so you may be unable to access local services while traveling. I also couldn’t use its customer support because I’m not a paying customer. Luckily, you can find answers to most of your questions on its website.

Useful Features

  • Auto-connect VPN. This is a convenient feature that automatically initiates a VPN connection whenever you connect to a new WiFi network, ensuring your online activities are protected.
  • Launch at system start. By enabling this option, you can seamlessly integrate Avira's VPN into your system startup process, providing continuous privacy and security from the moment you turn on your device.
  • Block malicious sites. It actively blocks access to known malicious websites and filters out harmful content. This helps safeguard your online browsing experience, reducing the risk of encountering malware, phishing attempts, and other threats.
  • Supports torrenting. Unfortunately, I quickly ran out of the 500MB data allowance while using P2P.

5. hide.me — Advanced Security Features to Keep You Safe Online

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (17) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (18)

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (19)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome Router Smart TV More

Try hide.me VPN >

www.hide.me

Best FeatureYou can use obfuscation to hide that you’re using a VPN and get around network restrictions
Server Network50+ free servers in 8 locations, including the US, Germany, and Canada
Can AccessYouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and more
Free Option100% free plan with 10GB of data per month

Your online data is secured when using hide.me. It has strong AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and multiple security protocols. The VPN also offers IP/DNS leak protection and helps avoid intrusive ads that often plague free VPN downloads.

I was pleased all hide.me servers support P2P, making it an excellent choice for maintaining security while torrenting. While testing hide.me's free plan, I had an average speed loss of 40%. This slowed things down considerably compared to ExpressVPN’s 5% loss.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (20)I find this useful for secure torrenting while maintaining access to my local services

With 10GB of free data a month, you can watch around 10 hours of videos in standard definition. However, if you want to stream Netflix, you’re better off with ExpressVPN or CyberGhost — I couldn’t access streaming sites with any of hide.me's free servers.

hide.me only allows 1 simultaneous device connection. However, it offers router support so you can protect all your devices connected to your home network. You can download the app without signing up, which is great for maintaining your privacy. Plus, you get access to its 24/7 live chat.

Useful Features

  • SoftEther VPN protocol. An open-source protocol that enables secure and flexible VPN connections, offering high performance and compatibility across various platforms.
  • Stealth Guard. This feature is similar to a kill switch, but it can work even when your VPN is off. You can set it up only for specific apps, or for your entire system. It blocks your internet connection when your VPN is inactive.
  • Customizable Best Location mode. You can decide if you want the Best Location feature to connect you to the nearest location, a server with the lowest ping, or the one with the lowest load.

6. Hotspot Shield — Proprietary Hydra Protocol to Maximize Your Speeds

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (21) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (22)

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (23)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome Router Smart TV More

Try Hotspot Shield >

www.HotspotShield.com

Best FeatureImpressive speeds for a totally free VPN
Server NetworkFree servers in 5 locations, including the US, the UK, and Singapore
Can AccessDisney+, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix, more
Free OptionUnlimited data on the forever free plan

Hotspot Shield's free version comes with the advanced Hydra protocol, which aims to optimize VPN performance. It can provide relatively faster speeds compared to many other free VPNs — my speed only dropped by 16% on its UK server. However, the actual speed you experience may vary depending on your location and network conditions.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (24)The VPN has several other useful settings, including auto-connect and auto-protect

When it comes to security and privacy, Hotspot Shield's free version uses 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch. I experienced no data leaks while testing Hotspot Shield. Although it’s based in the US, which means it’s obliged by law to hand over user data if requested, it doesn’t store anything that could compromise you.

What I didn't like were the annoying popups asking me if I wanted to upgrade. It also bothered me that I could see the streaming service on the home screen, but you can't use them on the free version. However, I could successfully access Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix UK with Hotspot Shield's free servers.

Useful Features

  • Prevent IP leak. This feature adds an extra layer of security, which helps prevent your true IP address from being exposed while connected to the VPN.
  • Easy-to-use apps. Hotspot Shield is really well designed, making it suitable for beginners.

7. TunnelBear — User-Friendly Apps That Are Great for Beginners

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (25) Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (26)

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (27)

Available on:

Windows Mac Android iOS

Chrome More

Try TunnelBear VPN >

www.tunnelbear.com

Best FeatureSimple apps for most operating systems to get started immediately
Server Network5,000 servers in 47 countries, the same as it's paid account
Can AccessNetflix, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram
Free OptionForever free plan with 2GB of data per month

For those unfamiliar with VPNs, TunnelBear is user-friendly. By clicking the question mark adjacent to each feature, you're directed to an article elucidating it. The bear motif adds a playful touch to the experience. However, its whimsical design shouldn't detract from its robust security capabilities. Similar to ExpressVPN, it offers AES 256-bit encryption, reliable protocols, a kill switch, and obfuscation through its GhostBear feature.

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (28)TunnelBear’s support agents were kind and helpful each time I contacted them

The VPN allows you to connect to more countries than any other free VPN I tested. I could reliably unblock my Netflix UK account. However, this still isn’t as large as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost’s networks, probably one reason I got a higher speed loss of 30% connected to a US server.

Another drawback is the free version has a data limit of 2GB per month, which stops you from streaming too many movies. There's also no router support, but you can use TunnelBear on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Useful Features

  • Unlimited device connections. There’s no limit on how many devices you can protect with TunnelBear’s free plan.

Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPN Download Features

To help you decide which VPN is the best for your needs, here’s a quick overview of the most relevant features to look for when comparing free VPN downloads from my list. Take a look below to decide which option is the best for your data and compatibility needs.

Servers NetworkAverage Speed DropData CapsSimultaneous Device Connections
🥇ExpressVPN3,000 servers in 105 countries4%Unlimited8
🥈CyberGhost11,666 servers in 100 countries5%Unlimited7
🥉Proton VPN100 servers in 3 locations18%Unlimited1
Avira Phantom VPNUnknown amount of free servers in 1 location (49 locations on mobile)28%500MB per monthUnlimited
hide.me50+ servers in 8 locations40%10GB per month1
Hotspot Shield1 servers in 5 locations16%Unlimited1
TunnelBear5,000 servers in 47 countries30%2GB per monthUnlimited

Tips on Choosing the Best Free VPN Download

Choosing the best free VPN isn’t easy, since they come with so many limitations. We’ve selected the best ones according to our criteria, but if you have special requirements and want to do additional research, here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Server network. To access regional content and maintain a fast and reliable connection, it’s important to choose a VPN with enough servers in your desired location. If a VPN has under 100 servers in total, it will likley be too slow due to server overcrowding.
  • Speed and performance. Fast and consistent speeds are essential for a smooth browsing and streaming experience. Choose a VPN that uses fast protocols, like WireGuard and OpenVPN.
  • Data limitations. Some free VPNs may have data caps or bandwidth restrictions that could impact your download needs. Don’t settle for anything under 500MB per month.
  • Security and privacy. Protecting your online privacy is vital when downloading a free VPN. Look for providers that offer strong encryption, a no-logs policy, and additional security features to safeguard your data.
  • Unblocking capabilities. Even some premium VPNs have trouble bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing streaming services such as Netflix. When choosing a free VPN to download, make sure it can access your accounts when traveling.
  • Intuitive interface. User-friendly apps make the VPN download process quicker and easier to use. Look for free VPNs with simple setup procedures and beginner-friendly apps for a seamless experience.
  • Customer support. Reliable customer support can be invaluable in case you encounter any issues during the VPN download process. Look for providers that offer 24/7 responsive customer support to assist you when needed.

Warning: Some Free VPNs Aren't Safe to Download

Some free VPNs have been associated with data breaches and privacy incidents, compromising user information and online security. These incidents serve as a reminder that not all free VPNs can be trusted with your sensitive data.

For instance, one notorious case involved Hola VPN. This popular free VPN service was found to be selling users' bandwidth and operating a botnet network. Another example is Cross VPN, which suffered a data breach that exposed millions of user records, including personally identifiable information (PII) and device data.

Remember, regarding VPNs, the adage "you get what you pay for" holds true. While free VPNs may seem appealing, the potential risks and compromised security outweigh the benefits. Prioritize your privacy and opt for a premium VPN service that can deliver the security you need.

Opt for a reputable paid VPN service like ExpressVPN to protect your data. These VPNs invest in strong encryption, strict no-logs policies, and regular security audits. They’ve built a solid reputation in the industry and have a track record of safeguarding user information. If you’re hesitant about spending money on a VPN, choose one with a money-back guarantee.

FAQs on the Best Free VPN Downloads

Which free VPN download is best for streaming?

Most free VPNs aren't great for streaming because they can rarely bypass geoblocks. Even the best ones have limitations, such as fewer servers, slower speeds, and data caps, so you won't be able to stream anything with them. A premium VPN with a money-back guarantee is a more reliable option since they have fast servers worldwide and unlimited data.

What is the best free VPN download for torrenting?

Free VPNs usually aren’t safe for high-risk activities like P2P. However, with its high-level encryption and fast speeds, Hotspot Shield is the best totally free VPN for torrenting. Unfortunately, it limits you to 5 locations, which can cause delays due to server congestion.

For a faster and more reliable torrenting experience, go for a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. CyberGhost even has servers optimized explicitly for file sharing.

Are free VPN downloads actually safe?

Free VPN downloads can vary in terms of safety and reliability. While there are some reputable free services available, it's important to approach them with caution. Some free VPNs will compromise your privacy by logging and selling your data, displaying intrusive ads, or even injecting malware into your devices.

They usually need more security features, such as stronger encryption or outdated protocols. To stay safe online, use a trusted and reputable VPN service that prioritizes user security and privacy.

What’s the best free VPN download for Android?

Of all the recommended 100% free VPNs, Proton VPN is an excellent option for Android devices. Its free version has no data caps and does not display ads. Proton VPN also has a strong privacy policy and offers decent security features.

However, you can only use Proton VPN on 1 device at a time and are limited to 3 server locations. A premium VPN with native apps for Android, like ExpressVPN, has servers all over the world and is straightforward to use on multiple devices simultaneously.

How do I download a free VPN on my PC?

You need to visit the VPN's official website and download its desktop app. After that, simply follow the installation prompts. However, it's important to note that free VPNs often have limitations. For a more comprehensive and reliable VPN experience, consider opting for a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee like ExpressVPN, which offers advanced features and greater performance.

Download the Best Free VPN

After testing dozens of providers, I found some free VPNs you can download, but they all come with certain limitations. Ensure the one you download has free servers in your desired location, fast enough speeds for uninterrupted browsing, and can keep you safe online.

If none of the free VPNs I shortlisted meet your requirements, I recommend trying ExpressVPN. It’s one of the best VPNs I tested regarding speed, security, server network, and unblocking abilities. You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free, as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, these are the best free VPN downloads...

Rank

Provider

Our Score

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1

Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (29)

9.9 /10

9.9 Our Score

Save 49%!

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2

9.7 /10

9.7 Our Score

Save 84%!

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3

9.5 /10

9.5 Our Score

Save 50%!

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4

9.4 /10

9.4 Our Score

Save 42%!

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5

9.3 /10

9.3 Our Score

Save 73%!

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Privacy Alert!

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Your IP Address:

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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering49% off.

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Best Free VPN Downloads — The Top 7 Free VPNs in 2024 (2024)
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