VPN

NordVPN Free Trial: Can I Try NordVPN for Free?

Author
Martin Gschwentner
Translation
D Bare
Last update
1. Aug 2023
Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.

"Try the NordVPN free trial for 30 days" - This is the claim NordVPN makes on its website, however, you won't find a free trial anywhere. What's going on?

In this article, we'll let you know how to start your NordVPN free trial, how to make the most of it, and what truly free alternatives there are out there.

Does NordVPN Offer a Free Trial?

Best Overall 2023
NordVPN
NordVPN
(828,546 )
NordVPN is our number one VPN because it combines speed, ease-of-use, and functionality in a slick package that's also pretty affordable.
5,500+ servers, 60 countries
excellent performance
no logs
6 devices simultaneously
affordable 2-year package
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.49
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee

Let's start with the most important question: Is there a way to try NordVPN for free, or not?

Sort of: If you'd like to use NordVPN, you'll need to sign up and pay for a subscription. However, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all new subscribers. In other words: Within 30 days of starting it, you can cancel your (paid) NordVPN subscription, and have your payment refunded.

NordVPN claims to offer a "free trial", however, this is just a clever way of marketing its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Once the funds have been returned to your account, you've tested NordVPN "for free", or more accurately, at no cost. Still, we can't help shake the feeling that NordVPN is hiding something by marketing this money-back guarantee as a "free trial". Most people would imagine a period of time during which they could use a piece of software at no cost, after which they'll be asked to pay for continued usage.

Below, we'll introduce you to a few VPN services that you can actually try or use for free. In case you'd like to make use of NordVPN's "trial", we'll walk you through how to claim your refund.

Use NordVPN's Money-Back Guarantee

You'll only get a refund from NordVPN if you cancel your subscription on time. The best way to do this is to cancel it as soon as you've started your contract. Here's how:

Step 1: Select and purchase a subscription, and create a Nord account*.

Hint: To be on the safe side, select a monthly package: That way, you'll only pay for a single month. Even if you forget to cancel your subscription, it will only be extended for another month, rather than an entire year or longer.

To be as flexible as possible, choose the monthly subscription.

Step 2: Now you can log in to your Nord account. We recommend immediately canceling your subscription so that you'll get a refund at the end of the trial.

Step 3: To do this, click on "Billing" in the menu. Then head to the "Subscriptions" tab.

Cancel your NordVPN subscription as soon as you sign up so that you can take advantage of the service's money-back guarantee.

Step 4: Next to "Auto-renewal", click on "Manage" followed by "Off".

Your subscription will be automatically renewed by default - Let's change that.

Step 5: Click on "Cancel Auto-Renewal" in order to finish the process.

Confirm that you'd like to turn off automatic contract renewal.

Step 6: To ensure that you really do get your money back at the end of the month, you'll need to get in touch with NordVPN's customer support. The easiest way to do this is via the provider's live chat, which can be accessed by clicking on the chat button in the bottom left. Open the chat, wait until someone greets you, and write something like "I'd like to request a refund."

Request a full refund in NordVPN's live chat.

The NordVPN team will now process your refund. It should be credited to the account you paid from within a few business days. While waiting, you can use NordVPN as much as you'd like until your "trial" ends, for example, to bypass geo-blocking or to freely access the Internet in China.

NordVPN Alternatives

NordVPN's "trial version" isn't what you thought it would be and you don't want to risk falling victim to the dreaded "subscription trap" or are afraid that you won't get a full refund? That's understandable, and the good news is that there are plenty of free alternatives to NordVPN:

VPNs With a "Real" Free Trial

Several of NordVPN's competitors take the phrase "free trial" more literally and only charge users if they've exceeded the trial phase. Here's our Top 3:

Surfshark: Free 7 Day Trial (Excluding Windows)

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN
(144,499 )
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but it's a lot more than a great budget option: the relatively new VPN boasts strong protection, many features, and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
3,200+ servers in 100 countries
unlimited number of devices
many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
cheap 24-month plan
expensive monthly plan
8.8
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website*
Get 83% Discount

Payment method required: Yes
Operating systems: macOS, Android, iOS

Surfshark was the price-performance pick from our VPN comparison, scoring with its wide array of features, excellent performance, and intuitive apps. You can try Surfshark for free for seven days so long as you're using macOS, Android, or iOS. Windows users can try the service out too but in the same way as NordVPN (30-day trial, cancel and request a refund before renewal).

You will need to supply payment data, however, your account will only be charged if you exceed the seven days.

HideMyAss: 7 Days Free

HideMyAss! VPN
HideMyAss! VPN
(86,173 )
HideMyAss' main claim to fame is its impressive server infrastructure, but the VPN also delivers solid speeds and handy features like its IP Randomizer. When it comes to streaming, however, it's not always the most reliable choice.
290 locations in 210 countries
IP Randomizer
strong performance
support with live chat
unreliable for streaming
8.6
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
1
Contract Period
12 - 36 months
HideMyAss! 36 months
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee

Payment method required: Yes
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

During testing, HideMyAss impressed us with its huge server infrastructure, practical features (like IP changing), and its overall solid performance. But don't take our word for it: Thanks to the service's seven-day trial, you can make your own impressions.

As with Surfshark, you'll need to input your payment data when registering, however, your account will only be charged if you fail to cancel your subscription before the trial expires.

CyberGhost: 24 Hours on Your Desktop

CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN
(200,346 )
CyberGhost offers a lot of bang for the buck, especially in the 2-year plan. It has lots of features, even more servers, and quick support including live chat. We had occasional performance issues, however.
8,000+ servers
affordable prices
7 simultaneous connections
fast support with live chat
7.8
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
7
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
CyberGhost 2 Years
$2.37
monthly price
Visit Website*
45 days money-back guarantee

Payment method required: No
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

With CyberGhost, you'll need to hurry up, not because you're being chased by any spooky apparitions, but because the free trial is only active (on Windows and macOS) for 24 hours. However, you won't have to supply any payment information, unlike either Surfshark or HideMyAss. And there's more good news too: Android users get 3 days of testing, while those on iOS get a full 7 days.

You can find out more about these free trial versions and guides for how to use them here:

VPNs With Free Versions

A free trial is only valid for a short time, at the most, 30 days. At the same time, users get access to all of the VPN's features and capabilities. However, there are some VPN providers that offer a different kind of "free trial": A completely free version of their service, with reduced functionality and features. Here are our Top 3 free VPNs:

ProtonVPN: 3 Locations, No Data Limit

Proton VPN
Proton VPN
(129,822 )
With its open source philosophy and extra security features, Proton VPN targets security-conscious VPN users. But thanks to its user-friendly interface and suitability for streaming, it's worth a look for a wide audience.
open source & external audits
2,900+ servers in 67 countries
great performance
free plan without data limit
not suitable for China
9.1
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
Proton VPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Free forever

The most generous free VPN is offered by ProtonVPN: Users won't need to worry about any data or speed limits but can surf on their VPN connection as much as they'd like. You'll only have three server locations to choose from though, and can use only a single device at a time. Bear in mind that the free version does not support video streaming.

hide.me: 10 GB, 8 Locations

hide.me VPN
hide.me VPN
(28,273 )
Hide.me secures its place in our top 10 with good to very good grades in all test categories. The app is filled to the brim with handy features, the performance is solid, and with 10 GB of data per month, the free tier is also worth a look.
78 locations in 49+ countries
many features, incl. split tunneling
free plan with 10 GB monthly
anonymous payment
no recent audit
8.4
good
Data Volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Free forever

You won't get unlimited surfing with the free version of hide.me, however, 10 GB is still quite a bit of data to burn through every month. Speeds aren't capped either, and you'll have eight different server locations to choose from - five more than with ProtonVPN.

Windscribe: 10 GB (When You Register Your Email Address), 10 Countries

Windscribe VPN
Windscribe VPN
(138,374 )
With its flexible pricing and a generous free plan, Windscribe is a solid option for budget-minded VPN users. It also has a nice, lean app with lots of features – but sadly, its performance can't keep up.
lots of features
free plan with 10 GB limit
unlimited devices
weaker performance
smaller server network
7.8
good
Data Volume
10 - ∞
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
2
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Windscribe Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Download for free

Windscribe also offers a very generous 10 GB of data per month at no charge. The only condition: You'll need to input your email address. If you don't, you'll only get 2 GB of data per month. Whichever path you choose, you'll have 10 server locations to choose from - the most of any of our free VPNs.

For more information about all of the free VPNs from our sample, as well as details about using them, be sure to check out our guide:

Conclusion

NordVPN has a very loose understanding of the phrase "free trial": Most would call it a "money-back guarantee" since you'll need to pay to start it in the first place. However, so long as you cancel your subscription within 30 days and request a refund, you will be able to use the service's premium version for (up to) 30 days at no cost.

Of course, there are a few VPNs from our sample that offer "proper" trials, such as Surfshark, HideMyAss, and CyberGhost, as well as others with full-fledged free versions of their services, like ProtonVPN, hide.me, and Windscribe.

FAQs

Can I try NordVPN for free?

NordVPN does not offer a traditional "free trial", however, you can use its 30-day, money-back guarantee to pay for a subscription, test it out, and cancel within 30 days. To start, you'll need to pay for the subscription, however, after requesting a refund, you'll get your money back so long as the 30 days have not elapsed.

How much does NordVPN cost?

The exact price of a NordVPN subscription varies depending on which package you choose as well as its length. The most affordable subscription is for 2 years and costs $3.49 per month, while the best-priced monthly package costs $12.99 per month.

Which VPN is free?

The best free VPN from our EXPERTE.com comparison was ProtonVPN since it lacks data or speed limits. hide.me and Windscribe also offer good free versions. All three are "freemium" which means that their functionality and features are limited, in order to entice users to upgrade to a premium subscription. In contrast, we don't recommend "free" VPNs since they usually fund themselves by selling your data.

* Ad disclaimer: For links marked with an asterisk, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. The commission has no influence on our editorial rating.
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translation: D Bare
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