How should I protect my Windows PC from malware and viruses?

Gwilym isn’t convinced his anti-virus software is worth the money, and wants to know what protection I’d recommend

Windows has changed, as has the threat landscape. A third-party anti-virus program may no longer be necessary.
Windows has changed, as has the threat landscape. A third-party anti-virus program may no longer be necessary. 
I am using Avast to protect my computer: you recommended it quite some time ago. I am not entirely convinced it’s worth what I am paying, and it is constantly suggesting, in a variety of less than subtle ways, that I should upgrade. What protection would you now recommend? I am prepared to pay for something that works. Gwilym

It’s complicated. I’ve spent more than 20 years recommending various anti-virus programs as an essential part of any Windows setup. However, Windows has changed, and the threat landscape has changed. I am no longer sure that a third-party AV program is essential, and some of them may be detrimental.

Of course, needs vary. Some people are more accident-prone than others, and some are less sensitive to threats. Some venture into riskier parts of the internet. Some need to protect very valuable information. All these factors should be taken into account.

A risk-aware Windows user can probably survive without any anti-virus software at all. I ran Windows XP for a year to try to prove it. Less knowledgeable users can get their PCs infected no matter how much protection you give them. Software can’t protect people from themselves.

Malware threats

Most of the major AV products started out when many viruses were written by amateurs who were showing off. That’s no longer the case. Today’s malware is written by professionals who are in business to make money. They are less interested in viruses that replicate themselves – their delivery mechanisms are emails and websites. They don’t want to show off: they want their malware to stay hidden.

They are interested in collecting financial information and passwords etc, but there’s also a trend towards ransomware. They know they can blackmail people into paying for something they value – their personal files, financial information, family photos etc – and the arrival of Bitcoin has provided a secure way to collect the cash.

The best defence against ransomware is an offline backup of all your essential data.

Coding and screening

Most of the major AV products started out when Windows and its major browsers were insecure. That’s no longer the case. In 2002, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates launched the Trustworthy Computing Initiative to make security the company’s highest priority. TCI training and methodologies changed the way Microsoft designed and developed software, and the result has been a dramatic reduction in Windows PC infection rates.

Windows 10 now includes a vast array of security and “threat mitigation” technologies, to the point where the main threats to Windows users come from third-party programs such as Oracle Java and some Adobe software.

There has also been a huge improvement in the security of web browsers, particularly Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge. Chrome is securely sandboxed, which helps protect the underlying operating system from web-based attacks. Google also runs a “bug bounty” program, which pays researchers up to $100,000 for each exploitable hole they find in Chrome or Android. It paid out more than $3 million last year, making Chrome even more secure.

Further security improvements have come from “safe browsing” systems, which blacklist websites that host malware. Google Safe Browsing is now part of Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi and Apple’s Safari, while Windows 10 has its own built-in SafeScreen filter. If you are worried about a website, you can check it manually at Google’s website.

The result is that Windows 10 users are not sitting ducks, like Windows XP users, as long as they keep their software up to date. This includes updating browsers and other third-party software, using a free tool such as Flexera’s Personal Software Inspector (PSI), Patch My PC, or Kaspersky Software Updater.

The AV problem

Anti-virus companies started out protecting vulnerable operating system and browser code, but we may have reached the point where vulnerable anti-virus software is doing more harm than good.

Issues that have been debated in back rooms became very public last November when Google Chrome security expert Justin Schuh launched a tweetstorm against renowned Bulgarian AV expert, Vesselin Bontchev. Schuh tweeted: “You misunderstand your own ignorance. AV is my single biggest impediment to shipping a secure browser.”

The gist of Schuh’s many complaints was that AV programs messed up the security of other programs while being written insecurely themselves. He tweeted: “You ignore all security best practice, piling dodgy format parsing and other unsafe code into the kernel. I expect it’s possible to make an AV that isn’t more harm than good, but none of you are even trying.”

In January, former Firefox developer Robert O’Callahan chimed in with a confirmatory blog post, Disable Your Antivirus Software (Except Microsoft’s).

Normally, programmers won’t talk about these problems, because they need the AV supplier’s cooperation when AV cripples or crashes their software. And they can’t tell users to turn off their AV, because they’ll be blamed if something bad happens. That leaves one alternative. As Schuh tweeted a few days later: “Browser makers don’t complain about Microsoft Defender because we have tons of empirical data showing that it’s the only well behaved AV.”

Windows Defender may not do the most good, in protecting you from malware, but it does the least harm.

Security strategy

Stop thinking that malware protection means running an anti-virus program and adopt a layered approach.

First, run Windows 10 with Windows Defender, the SmartScreen filter, cloud-based heuristics and basic telemetry (which is largely security related) all turned on. Do that and you are probably safe enough. All our PCs at home, including my wife’s, are set up this way, and we’ve not had any malware problems after 20 months.

Second, run Windows as a standard user, not as an administrator. (MacOS and Linux users already do this.) Running as a standard user may eliminate 90% of threats.

Third, make sure Windows and all your PC’s software is updated. Most malware exploits security holes that have already been patched, sometimes several years earlier. For maximum security, run Google Chrome or a Chromium-based browser such as Vivaldi.

Fourth, make sure you have good backups of all your personal data. In addition to normal PC backups, I use FreeFileSync to copy my main data folders to an external hard drive every day, and this gets backed up later to a second EHD. Blu-rays are another good option, because they can’t be encrypted by ransomware.

Fifth, run periodic scans to make sure your chosen anti-virus program hasn’t missed anything. Microsoft does this with its MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool) before installing major updates, and Kaspersky offers a good alternative. I run spot checks with Malwarebytes Antimalware and Hitman Pro, among others. There are also free online scanners from many AV firms including Bitdefender, Trend Micro, ESET and F-Secure.

Sixth, remember that Windows 10 provides good refresh, reset and recoveryoptions. If those don’t so what you want, be prepared to wipe your hard drive and reinstall Windows 10 from scratch, either from a DVD or a thumb drive. Microsoft provides instructions. Your authentication and preferences are stored online against your Microsoft account, and the Windows Store will reinstall any apps you’ve downloaded, so it’s relatively easy to get back to where you were.

AV Choice

If you are not on Windows 10, if you are accident-prone, or if you have other reasons for wanting better protection, there’s still a place for anti-virus programs. From the current free programs, I recommend Avira or Bitdefender, though both Avast and AVG (which is now owned by Avast) are still acceptable choices. Kaspersky is probably the best paid-for option, but Trend Micro is worth a look.

Try a couple of AV programs to see if you like any special features, the user interface, the impact on performance (eg on web page and file download times), whether it seems to interfere with any other software, the scanning speed and so on. There are at least a dozen decent alternatives, so you don’t have to use one you don’t like.

Advertisements

Free VPN

Enjoy all the premium features you would expect from a paid vpn provider but all for FREE!, and by free we do not mean low quality. In fact, our mission is to build a free vpn service by providing all the commercial/enterprise level features to the end-user with no charge and no registration required.

So feel free to take advantage of this free vpn service and tell your friends about it, because everyone has a right to privacy, freedom of opinion and access to an open and unrestricted online internet experience.

“An Anonymous VPN Service created by pro-privacy supporters of Net Neutrality to ensure your online privacy.”


Features

 

No Logging

All our servers are hosted in off-shore locations where logging user traffic is not required by any local laws.

Strong Encryption

Even after combining all the world’s super-computers together, it would take millions of years to crack AES encryption.

Free OpenVPN

Why would you use closed-source clients of other providers? OpenVPN is the best most trusted open-source vpn client in the world.

Free Double VPN

Using a Multihop network, encrypted traffic is passed through additional layers of security so no one will ever be able to find out your real IP address or track your browsing habits.

P2P Allowed

Download Torrents and use file sharing services safely and anonymously without fear of letters from CISPA or your ISP.

Unlimited Bandwidth

Wether you are an occasional web surfer, or a heavy downloader, you will always receive the best speeds possible with no bandwidth restrictions.

Staying safe on public Wi-Fi

Free public Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient, but security can be an issue. Here’s how to minimize the risk, whether you use a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

 

Stuck without a data connection on the road? Free public Wi-Fi is one of those little luxuries that can make travelling easier, but you do need to exercise caution in how you use it.

Here are some tips on what to look out for when using public Wi-Fi, whether you use a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Choose your network wisely

wifithumb.jpg
Dave Cheng/CNET

Tempted to connect to that elusive “Free Wi-Fi” hotspot? It’s worth doing your homework before selecting any network that’s open or not familiar to you. For example, if you’re in a coffee shop or public library, make sure to verify the name of the network with staff or on signage before connecting.

It’s pretty easy for someone who wants to intercept your data in a man-in-the-middle attack to set up a network called “Free Wi-Fi” or any other variation that includes a nearby venue name, to make you think it’s a legitimate source.

If you are connecting via Windows, make sure to turn off file sharing and mark the Wi-Fi connection as a public network. You can find this option in the Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings. Under the Public heading, turn off the file sharing toggle. You may also want to turn on the Windows Firewall when connecting to a public network if it’s not already activated. These settings are also found in Control Panel > Windows Firewall.

windows-sharing.jpg
Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

On Mac, open up System Preferences and navigate to the Sharing icon. Then, untick the checkbox next to File Sharing. Here’s a full rundown on how to disable sharing and removing public home folder sharing options in OS X.

You can also turn on the firewall within OS X by heading to System Preferences, Security & Privacy and click the Firewall tab.

Use a VPN

Creating a virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to keep your browsing session under wraps. A VPN client encrypts traffic between your device and the VPN server, which means it’s much more difficult for a would-be intruder to sniff your data.

android-vpn.jpg
Setting up a VPN on Android.Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

If you don’t already have a VPN set up through your employer or workplace, there are other options available. One free implementation is SecurityKISS which offers ad-free VPN access with data limited to 300MB/day. That’s plenty of scope for checking email, looking at maps and other casual Wi-Fi uses.

CyberGhost is another option that offers a free tier, but also has a paid version that boosts speed.

For detailed instructions, here’s how to set up a VPN on an iOS device and on Android.

There are many other VPN services available, including paid and free options. It’s worth doing your research to work out which is best for your needs, especially if you are a heavy-duty user.

Disconnect.me helps to protect against session hijacking via browser extensions for Chrome, Opera and Safari, but on the VPN front it also offers a standalone Android app called Secure Wireless that automatically detects unsecured Wi-Fi and activates a VPN where needed.

Check for HTTPS

Like the old saying goes, check for the lock in your browser to make sure it’s secure. One way you can force your browser to use HTTPS is through an extension, such as HTTPS Everywhere. This is available for Chrome, Firefox, Firefox for Android, and Opera.

It’s important to note that HTTPS Everywhere works by activating encryption on all supported parts of the website. As outlined in its FAQ:

“HTTPS Everywhere depends entirely on the security features of the individual web sites that you use; it activates those security features, but it can’t create them if they don’t already exist. If you use a site not supported by HTTPS Everywhere or a site that provides some information in an insecure way, HTTPS Everywhere can’t provide additional protection for your use of that site.”

Patch it up, check your apps

It’s time to start forming some good patching habits. Keep your browser and internet-connected devices up to date with the latest versions, but make sure to do this on a trusted home or work network — not on public Wi-Fi.

There have been instances of travelers being caught off guard when connecting to public or hotel Wi-Fi networks when their device prompts them to update a software package. If accepted by the user, malware was installed on the machine.

Also, if you’re on a mobile device, don’t assume that your apps are automatically secure or using HTTPS. Unless outlined by the app developer, it’s safest to presume that the app is not conducting a secure transaction. In this case, you should use your browser to log on to the service, and check for a HTTPS connection in the status bar.

Enable two-factor authentication

It’s good practice to enable two-factor authentication on services that support it, such as Gmail, Twitter and Facebook. This way, even if someone does manage to sniff out your password when on public Wi-Fi, you have an added layer of protection.

On the topic of passwords, try not to use the same password across multiple services. There are plenty of password managers available to make your life easier — here are six of our favorites.

Forget the network

Once you are all done with your Web browsing, make sure to log off any services you were signed into. Then, tell your device to forget the network. This means that your phone or PC won’t automatically connect again to the network if you’re in range.

In Windows, you can uncheck the “Connect Automatically” checkbox next to the network name before you connect, or head to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center and click on the network name. Click on “Wireless Properties” and then uncheck “Connect automatically when this network is in range.”

network-mac-names.jpg
Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

On Mac, head to System Preferences, go to Network, and under the Wi-Fi section click Advanced. Then uncheck “Remember networks this computer has joined.” You can also individually remove networks by selecting the name and pressing the minus button underneath.

In Android, you can do this by entering into your Wi-Fi network list, long press the network name and select “Forget Network.” On iOS, head to Settings, select Wi-Fi networks, click the “i” icon next to the network name and choose “Forget This Network.” As an extra precaution, you should also turn on “Ask To Join Networks” which is also found in the Wi-Fi networks menu.

Finally, be very careful with what you do on public unsecured Wi-Fi. It’s best to save that Internet banking session for when you’re able to connect via cellular data, or on a secure network.

mobile VPN (mobile virtual private network)

A mobile VPN is a network configuration in which mobile devices such as notebook computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs) access a virtual private network (VPN) or an intranet while moving from one physical location to another.

An effective mobile VPN provides continuous service to users and can seamlessly switch across access technologies and multiple public and private networks. The functioning of an effective mobile VPN is transparent to the end user without compromising security or privacy.

From an article on SearchMobileComputing.com, Lisa Phifer, vice-president of Core Competence Inc., explains the special requirements of mobile VPNs and how they work:

PPTP, IPsec and SSL VPNs identify the device at the far end of the tunnel by IP address. This works well for users who tunnel from stationary devices: a home PC over residential broadband, a laptop over a hotel LAN, or even a PDA at a Wi-Fi hot spot. But put that device in motion, and physical connectivity, point of network attachment, and IP address are all likely to change. A conventional VPN client simply cannot survive such changes. The tunnel breaks, application sessions disconnect or time out, and the user must restart the business communication from scratch.

Mobile VPN solutions from such vendors as Columbitech, Ecutel, IBM, ipUnplugged, Motorola, NetMotion, Nokia, Padcom and Radio IP are designed to adapt transparently to these changes. In a mobile VPN, a VPN server still sits at the edge of your company network, enabling secure tunneled access by authenticated, authorized VPN clients. Mobile VPN tunnels are not tied to physical IP addresses, however. Instead, each tunnel is bound to a logical IP address. That logical IP address sticks to the mobile device no matter where it may roam. For example, a mobile VPN client can:

  • Roam from one wireless AP to another at a public Wi-Fi hot spot.
  • Leave Wi-Fi coverage and start using a 3G connection (e.g., EV-DO).
  • Leave 3G coverage and start using a slower 2G connection (e.g., 1xRTT).
  • Return to the office and start using a docked Ethernet LAN connection.

In this example, the mobile VPN client uses four or five different physical IP addresses while retaining one logical IP address. Applications running on the mobile device and inside the corporate network communicate through that one logical IP address, remaining blissfully unaware of the user’s motion and associated physical/network transitions.

5 Best Free VPNs in 2017. Services You Can Trust!

What Is a Free VPN?

A free Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online service that allows people to unblock websites. In addition, reliable and trusted free VPNs provide privacy and security for their users. Although there are many complimentary VPN services on the market, it is really important only to use certain costless VPN services.

If you’re looking for the best free VPN software, then you still require a service that provides privacy and security. A VPN without those things is like an umbrella that is full of holes. That’s why we’ve created this list of the five best free VPNs. Now, you can quickly find VPNs that are free, protect your digital privacy AND allow you to unblock anything.

A free VPN allows you to conceal your real IP address from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the government. This means you can overcome local censorship and do so without anybody knowing.

A VPN is also awesome for entertainment purposes because it lets you unblock online services and streams from all over the world. What’s more, a VPN’s privacy means you can even access pirated content if you want.

5 Best Free VPNs Reviewed

The Best Free VPN Services in 2017

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award    1. TunnelBear

 

Tunnelbear-Home-Page

PROS:

  • Simple setup, incredibly easy to use
  • Excellent encryption
  • Can connect up to 5 devices
  • 500MB of free data every month

CONS:

  • No peer-to-peer (P2P)
  • Few advanced settings
  • Usage capped

TunnelBear VPN is a free service that constantly impresses people. This VPN is super secure and even opened up its software to third-party analysis this year! The outcome? Security researchers found the VPN to be secure and reliable. It also keeps no logs. The service is restricted to just 500 Mb per month. Despite this, it is brilliant for people who need a VPN in locations with severe censorship and where privacy is essential. It is perfect for securely unblocking news, for example.

TunnelBear has plenty of server locations to choose from, located in 20 countries. Free users may use all of the servers that it offers apart from Australia. This makes it great for unblocking a whole range of websites and services. Having said that, because of the data limit it will be difficult to do much streaming with this VPN company. One of the best VPN providers around and one of the most secure services you will find for free! Finally, this VPN provides fantastic speeds.

2. hide.Me

hideme-review

 

PROS:

  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in 3 countries
  • Zero logs
  • Superb privacy policy
  • Highly experienced customer care

CONS:

  • Limited to 2GB per month

This awesome Malaysian VPN provider has an excellent free service. Although users are limited to just three server locations (Singapore, the Netherlands, and Canada), users get a whopping 2 Gb per month of free use with this VPN company. That’s a very reasonable allowance, and because of the fast speeds that this VPN provides, we think this is an excellent choice for people who want a complimentary VPN service.

Sadly, the lack of server locations means that it isn’t as good for unblocking content from all over the world. If you need US or UK servers, or those in other locations, please look elsewhere. On the plus side, this VPN has a strong privacy policy and provides robust encryption to keep your data secure. It is also available on all popular platforms. As such, this VPN is ideal for protecting your privacy both at home and on public WiFi. With one of the best data caps we’ve seen, we definitely recommend this service!

3. ProtonVPN

maxresdefault (1).jpg

PROS:

  • Fast connections
  • Excellent encryption for privacy
  • Lots of features
  • P2P: yes
  • No logs

CONS:

  • Fewer server locations

ProtonVPN is a service created by the developers of the secure email service Proton Mail. It is a brand new service that has really impressed us. Encryption is strong and it has a zero logs policy. That makes it exceptional for privacy, especially for a free VPN. This VPN also has no limitations, so if you want a free VPN you can use all the time it is a great option.

As with all free things, there are some drawbacks. For free users get access only to servers in three countries. So if unblocking in particular countries is needed, this VPN might not be the ticket. Overall this free service is blinding.

4. Windscribe

cover

PROS:

  • Strong encryption
  • Great privacy policy
  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • High transparency

CONS:

  • Limited support options
  • Usage capped

Windscribe is one of the only free services that will allow you to stream video content. That’s due to its massive 10 Gb monthly usage limit. For a free service, that’s pretty mind-blowing. We love this VPN because, as well as being free, it’s easy to use and is available on all popular platforms. Privacy is excellent on this VPN thanks to strong encryption and the VPN company has a fantastic no logs policy.

Users can connect to eight out of 50 locations and may use the VPN on unlimited devices. The free version even has stealth mode, which makes this the best free VPN for China. This VPN sometimes suffers some complaints about its support team being rude, which is why it is down in fourth. Having said that, it truly is superb and considering it is free, it’s well worth a try!

5. GOOSE VPN

maxresdefault (2)

PROS:

  • 30 day unlimited VPN use for free
  • Servers in 22 countries
  • Strong encryption
  • Can be used on unlimited devices
  • Reasonable speeds
    1. Select a VPN service from this article and click the link to its website.
    2. Subscribe and get the free VPN download that you need.
    3. Follow the instructions and install the free VPN software onto your device.
    4. Run the app and choose the encryption option you want. We recommend OpenVPN, as it is the most robust.
    5. Select a VPN server address in the location that you would like to pretend to be and click Connect.

    Once the VPN connection is established, the software will let you know. As soon as it connects, you can access any censored or geo-restricted content securely.

    What to Look for and What to Avoid with Free VPNs

    If a free VPN isn’t being provided by a firm that also has a premium service, you may need to think twice about getting it. Even some free VPNs that do offer a premium service have very dangerous privacy policies.

    The VPNs in this guide are provided for free as a loss-leader. They aim to hook people into purchasing a full subscription. That’s why their service has either a bandwidth limit or a download limit.

    Why You Should Stay Away from Betternet and Hotspot Shield

    These VPNs both belong to a company called Anchor Free, and they both have very dodgy practices. They have been found injecting unwanted scripts onto people’s machines in order to serve adverts. In addition, their policies allow them to sell data to third parties. In fact, a privacy advocacy group in the US has filed a complaint about Hotspot Shield with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    Providing a VPN service is technical, expensive, and time consuming. For this reason, if any VPN is offering the service for free, ask yourself: How is this VPN making money?

    If you can’t figure out the answer then the VPN is probably collecting, retaining, and selling your data to third parties. A leaky VPN is a useless VPN (just like apps that ask for too many permissions are a huge security risk).

    A Free VPN For Your Needs

    Everyone wants a VPN for different reasons. In this section, we address the most common needs for a free service. The free services in this list are by far the best ones available in 2017 (we know because we constantly analyze this list and update it). However, each VPN will be better for some things than others, so please check this section so you know what to look for in the free VPN summaries.

    A Free VPN for Streaming Netflix

    If you want a free VPN for Netflix you are sadly out of luck. Netflix cracks down hard on servers belonging to VPNs, so only the very best premium VPN services can unblock Netflix. If you want to access US Netflix then check out our best VPNs for unblocking Netflix. You’ll be happy to find out that some are very, very cheap!

    A Free VPN for iPlayer and Other Services

    BBC iPlayer is another online service that actively restricts VPNs. Although many free services don’t unblock iPlayer, most of the VPNs on this list do! Tunnelbear will unblock it. However, hide.me won’t because the free version doesn’t have a UK server (the free plan only includes Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore).

    Most other TV streaming services, including the awesome US cable TV subscription service SlingTV, don’t block VPNs. Thus these free services will unblock them. The same goes for TV streams from around the globe. As such, if you want a free VPN for Australia, free VPN for Brazil, or free VPN for TV streams from elsewhere in the world, these VPNs are perfect!

    A Free VPN for Torrenting and Peer-to-peer (P2P) Filesharing on BitTorrent

    Although most of the VPNs in our guide do permit P2P, getting a free VPN for torrenting is not really plausible.

    Most people want a torrent-friendly free VPN to keep them secure (by concealing their IP address from other users on the peer). The free services that we recommend will do that, because we’ve only recommended VPNs that don’t skimp on privacy. However, trusted free VPNs tend to impose bandwidth or download limits that make torrenting a less than enjoyable experience.

    For torrenting securely please check out our list of the top five VPNs for torrenting. The VPNs in the link all provide a money-back guarantee – which means that you can use them to torrent for free (unlimited bandwidth and no download limits).

    A Free VPN for Windows Desktop PCs and Laptops

    If you came here wondering what the best free VPN for Windows 10 (or Windows 7 or 8) is, then the good news is that all of the VPNs in this article will work perfectly.

    Any free VPN for PC in this article will keep your data secure and allow you to unblock content. It is also worth keeping in mind that if you require bigger download limits, the VPNs on our best five VPNs for Windows 7 & 10 have money-back guarantees. That means you can test them as much as you like for up to 30 days.

    A Free VPN for Apple Macs and MacBooks

    Finding the best free VPN app for Mac isn’t as easy as for other platforms. The good news is that all of the VPNs in this guide will work on Mac, even if you have to connect using the third party free OpenVPN Connect software. For much more info on using a VPN on Mac OS X please check out our best five VPNs for Mac OS list.

    A Free VPN for Android and iOS Mobile Phones and Tablets

    If you’re looking for a free VPN app for Android or a free VPN for iOS (free VPN for iPhone) then you’ve come to the right place. The free VPNs in this article work on both of those platforms. Simply follow the link in the table above to get access to the free VPN app download.

    One thing to bear in mind is that a free Android VPN will most likely give you the option to run OpenVPN encryption. A free iOS VPN, on the other hand, will most likely run on Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) or Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2). For people who want a more in-depth look at VPN encryption and what it all means, check out our ultimate guide to online privacy.

    A Free VPN for Kodi

    Many people want to know what the best free VPN for Kodi is so that they can use a free Kodi VPN for streaming in HD. Sadly, finding a reliable free service for unblocking on Kodi is close to impossible. The same goes for people looking for a free VPN for Kodi Fire Stick.

    Our recommended VPNs will work but they require some setup and will be hugely restrictive because of bandwidth/download limitations.

    If you really have your heart set on unblocking content on your Kodi box, we strongly recommend reading our Using Kodi with a VPN guide.

    A Free VPN for Gaming

    So you want a free gaming VPN? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that all the free services in this article work for gaming. The bad news is that even the best free VPN for gaming probably won’t be good enough to really enjoy the experience. Gaming requires a lot of bandwidth and a free high-speed VPN is not an easy thing to find.

    For this reason, people who want to use a free VPN for online gaming will probably need to use the money-back guarantee on one of the VPNs in this article instead.

    A Free VPN for Popcorn Time

    If you came to this article by searching for “Popcorn Time VPN free,” you’ll be happy to know that any of the VPNs in this article will work fine for using Popcorn Time securely.

    All of these VPNs have strong encryption and watertight privacy policies, unlike most of the free services that are on the market. However, due to the fact that streaming is so data intensive, you may want to use a 30-day money-back guarantee for Popcorn Time instead of a free Popcorn Time VPN.

    A Free VPN for Sports

    If you want a free service to unblock a sports competition that is geo-restricted, then any of the VPNs apart from hide.me will work. Hide.me restricts the free service to servers in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore. So unless the competition is in one of those countries, please use a VPN with a server where you need it! For a more in depth look at unblocking sport with a VPN, please take a look at our best VPNs for sport.

    Free VPNs: Conclusion

    In this article, we’ve described everything you might need to know about using a free Virtual Private Network. These free services are at the top of their game. They provide a VPN service for free without skimping on privacy.

    Most free VPNs make a profit from their subscribers by harvesting their web browsing habits to sell to third parties. This is exactly the opposite of what a VPN should do.

    All of the VPNs in this article have secure privacy policies and strong encryption to keep your data private. However, each VPN does offer slightly different features and restrictions on its free service. As such, please take a good look at the provider summaries in order to make the best decision for your needs.

    Finally, remember that these services are free – so if you want to use all of them, go right ahead! Also you should use research paper and report writing even without using any VPN services.