VPN

VPN Trials » The Best Options to Try a VPN 2022

Martin Gschwentner
Author
Last update

Some Internet users could hardly imagine their digital lives without a VPN. They don't only make sure that whenever and wherever you surf, you do so anonymously, even if on public WiFi, they also let anyone circumvent geographic content restrictions. One of their few disadvantages is that access to the most useful VPN services requires a paid subscription. But don't worry, a number of options available for trying out the best services.

In our article on the best free VPNs, we already introduced you to our favorite options for those on a budget. These are what is referred to in the industry as "freemium" software: Even though you'll have access to basic features, you'll need to contend with limitations, such as how many servers you can connect to, the number of devices that the connection can be shared over, or how much data you're allotted per month.

For anyone that wants to take advantage of everything a VPN has to offer, there really is no way around booking a subscription. However, before committing to a service, you should keep in mind that some offer free trials of their full versions. Below, we'll introduce you to the best of these, sub-divided into three groups:

  1. VPNs that offer a free trial.
  2. VPNs with a money-back guarantee.
  3. VPNs with free versions.

Top 3 VPNs That Offer a Free Trial

1.

Surfshark

Trial duration: 7 days
Input of payment method required: Yes
Operating systems: macOS, Android, iOS

Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(99,770)
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount
Review
4.4 / 5
good

In EXPERTE.com's comprehensive assessment of VPN providers, Surfshark staked out a strong third place, owing to its variety of features, impressive speeds, and user-friendly applications. In fact, so far as speed is concerned, Surfshark was second only to the best service overall from our sample, NordVPN.

A free trial version of the provider's software is available for macOS, Android, and iOS, but not for Windows users. However, all subscribers can take advantage of a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Lots of features, including split tunneling

Top speeds

30-day, money-back guarantee

No free trial version for users of Windows

How Can I Take Advantage of Surfshark's Free Trial?

1. Download the Surfshark app in your Android, iOS, or macOS device's app store and click or tap on the "START FREE TRIAL" button.

It only takes a few steps to configure Surfshark's free trial, however, you will have to input a payment method.

2. Create a Surfshark account with an email address and password.

3. Input a payment method and sign up for a subscription.

You'll only be charged for the subscription selected in Step 3 after the 7-day trial period finishes. We recommend canceling the subscription as soon as possible so that you won't be charged.

2.

HideMyAss

Duration: 7 days
Input of payment method required: Yes
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

HideMyAss! VPN Test
HideMyAss! VPN
(81,984)
1100+ servers
290 locations in 210 countries
7 days free trial
Excellent performance
Unreliable for streaming
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
Review
4.3 / 5
good

HideMyAss impressed us with its server infrastructure, which in our minds, is unparalleled. The provider cut a very fine figure in our speed test and offers a number of interesting features such as automatic IP changing.

We did deduct some points for its dated user interface and video streaming shortcomings (we couldn't access foreign Netflix or Amazon Prime Video content).

High speeds

Huge server infrastructure, even in less common regions

Automatic IP changing

Apps look somewhat dated

Only partly suitable for streaming

How Can I Take Advantage of HideMyAss's Free Trial?

Starting a free trial of HideMyAss is fairly simple since you'll find "Free Trial" buttons almost everywhere on its website.

1. Click on a "Free Trial" button on HMA's website.

2. Supply your payment details in the form.

You can test out the full version of HideMyAss for seven days.

3. Download HideMyAss and make a mental note to cancel your subscription before the seven-day period has elapsed, otherwise your account will be charged.

3.

CyberGhost

Duration: 24 hours
Input of payment method required: No
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

CyberGhost VPN Test
CyberGhost VPN
(187,367)
6400+ server
90 countries
Saves no logs
45 days money-back guarantee
Reliable Streaming
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
7
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
CyberGhost 3 Years
$2.48
monthly price
Visit Website »
45 days money-back guarantee
Review
3.9 / 5
good

When it comes to trial length, CyberGhost isn't as generous as the two other services we've outlined above, as you'll only get 24 hours with it. Still, CyberGhost doesn't require you to supply any payment information to start the trial, so there's no risk of inadvertently being charged.

Beyond that, we also liked CyberGhost for its top-of-the-line server network, user-friendly applications, and solid support. CyberGhost's parent company (Kape Technologies) does cause a bit of concern though. In the past, it earned a bad reputation as a malware smuggler, and now, owning several VPN services also operates a few supposedly 'objective' VPN reviewing websites.

User-friendly applications

Large network

Good support

Dubious parent company

Occasional instability

How Can I Take Advantage of CyberGhost's Free Trial?

Since starting CyberGhost's free trial doesn't require any payment details, it's even easier to set up than the other two services above.

1. Click on the "Start your free trial" button on CyberGhost's website and download the installation file.

To give CyberGhost a try, you won't need to input any payment information.

2. Install CyberGhost on your device.

3. The trial ends automatically after 24 hours. Since you aren't asked for any payment information, you don't have to worry about cancelling before the trial expires.

Top 3 VPNs With a Money-Back Guarantee

1.

NordVPN

Validity: 30 days

Best Overall 2022
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(655,084)
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.29
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

NordVPN secured the coveted top spot in our comprehensive VPN assessment, combining performance, user-friendliness, features, and price in an unbeatable package. One of the few problems with the service is that to give it a go, you'll need to purchase a subscription. All the same, you'll have 30 days to request a full, money-back guarantee, meaning that anyone has a de facto month-long trial.

Elegant, map-based app

Excellent performance

Tons of features, including split tunneling, server categories, and CyberSec

Server network could be enlarged to include more countries

How Can I Get My Money Back From NordVPN?

1. Start a subscription to NordVPN via its website.

2. Pay attention that your contract isn't automatically extended. To do this, log in to your NordVPN dashboard and click on the "Billing" area. Then, go to the "Subscriptions" tab, and click on "Disable Auto-Renewal". Your subscription status should then show "Cancelled".

You can disable auto-renewal of your NordVPN subscription in the platform's app.

3. To request a refund, you'll need to contact NordVPN's customer service within 30 days of starting your subscription. You can get in touch with them either via live chat or contact form in NordVPN's support area. If using live chat, you can simply say that you'd like to cancel your subscription and get your money back. For the contact form, send a line or two stating something like: "Hi there, I would like to request a refund for my NordVPN subscription, made on the Xth of X, 2022 via the following email address "johnsmith@website.com."

4. You should receive the refund to the account you paid from within a few business days.

2.

ExpressVPN

Validity: 30 days

ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(505,256)
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

ExpressVPN, which came in second in our VPN assessment, also offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee. This means that you can take the popular VPN service, which offers high speeds, a huge server network, and user-friendly apps, for a free month-long tour. This is good because ExpressVPN is considerably more pricey than most of the other services from our sample.

Top-performing

Straightforward app

Huge server network

Expensive

Offers few extra features

How Can I Get My Money Back From ExpressVPN?

1. Book an ExpressVPN subscription via their website.

2. log in to your ExpressVPN account and deactivate subscription auto-renewal. To do this, click on "Dashboard", then "Automatic Renewal Settings", and finally "Turn off automatic renewal".

To prevent any nasty surprises, we recommend immediately turning off automatic subscription renewal.

3. Make sure that you contact ExpressVPN's support team within the 30-day deadline in order to receive your refund. As with NordVPN, you can cancel via live chat or email. For the latter, we suggest a message like the following: "Hello, I would like to request a refund for my ExpressVPN subscription, made on the Xth of X, 2022 via the following email address, johnsmith@website.com."

4. You should receive the refund within a few working days to the account you purchased the subscription from.

3.

Private Internet Access

Validity: 30 days

Private Internet Access Test
Private Internet Access
(161,838)
34,000+ servers in 75 countries
Very good VPN client
Wide range of features
No independent security audit
Weak performance in speed test
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
10
Protocols
2
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
Private Internet Access 3 Years
$2.19
monthly price
Visit Website »
Review
4.1 / 5
good

What we liked most about Private Internet Access was its unique VPN app, with combines a nice catalog of features and user-friendliness, with the ability to customize the modules displayed in the dashboard. Unfortunately, the platform's performance wasn't up to the same level as that of the leading providers in our sample. Like CyberGhost, Private Internet Access is also owned by the dubious Kape Technologies.

Module-based, customizable apps

Nice combination of user-friendliness and variety of features

Large network of more than 34,000 servers

Disappointing speed test performance

Dubious parent company

How Can I Get My Money Back From Private Internet Access?

1. Start a Private Internet Access subscription via their website.

2. log in to your Private Internet Access account and deactivate automatic subscription renewal. To do this, click on Subscription Overview and then on the three dots next to the "Subscription" heading.

It's a good idea to turn off automatic subscription renewal in the Private Internet Access app.

3. In the next step, provide a reason for your cancellation and click on "Continue" (to the left).

Private Internet Access does its best to keep you subscribed, however, after a few clicks, you'll be free and clear.

4. Reach out to Private Internet Access support in order to request your money back. The provider doesn't have a live chat, so you'll need to make your intentions known via contact form. Simply send a message like the following: "Hello, I would like to request a refund for my Private Internet Access subscription, made on the Xth of X, 2022 via the following email address, johnsmith@website.com."

5. You should receive the refund within a few working days to the account you purchased the subscription with.

Top 3 Free VPNs

1.

ProtonVPN

Data limit: No
Speed limit: No
Server locations: 3
Video streaming: No
Devices: 1

ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(68,360)
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.3 / 5
good

ProtonVPN offers the best free version of a premium VPN from our sample since it doesn't have any data or speed limits, which are usually two of the biggest issues with free versions. You'll only be able to connect to servers in three countries with one device, and you'll have to make do without video streaming from platforms like Netflix. Still, at the end of the day, you get a lot for a free VPN.

Review
4.3 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
5.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
5.0 / 5
Performance
4.3 / 5
Customer Support
3.7 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5

No data limits

No speed throttling

Intuititive application with plenty of features

No video streaming

Only three server locations

Possible to only connect one device

2.

hide.me

Data limit: 10 GB/month
Speed limit: No
Server locations: 5
Video streaming: No
Devices: 1

hide.me VPN Test
hide.me VPN
(23,248)
1900+ servers
75+ locations in 47+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.2 / 5
good

You won't be able to enjoy unlimited surfing with the free version of hide.me, however, 10 GB per month is still quite a bit, and your speed isn't throttled. With five different server locations, you'll have two more than with ProtonVPN, but won't be able to establish multiple, parallel connections.

No registration necessary

No speed limits

10 GB of data per month

Doesn't support video streaming

Only possible to create one connection

Review
4.2 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Bedienung & Features
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Sicherheit & Privatsphäre
3.7 / 5
3.

Windscribe

Data limit: 10 GB/month
Speed limit: No
Server locations: 10
Video streaming: No
Devices: Unlimited

Windscribe VPN Test
Windscribe VPN
(118,936)
500+ servers in 60+ countries
Free version with 10 GB limit
Connect unlimited devices
Good for video streaming
Headquarters in Canada
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
2
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Windscribe Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Download for free
Review
3.9 / 5
good

Windscribe also gives users of its free version 10 GB of data per month, provided that they supply their email address. In the event that you don't want to do this, you'll only get 2 GB. The outstanding feature of the VPN is that you can use it on multiple devices simultaneously. Like the other two free services we picked above, you won't have to contend with any speed throttling.

10 GB of data per month

10 server locations to choose from

Intuitive app with plenty of features

Only 2 GB of data should you not want to supply an email address

No video streaming

Review
3.9 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.0 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
3.0 / 5

Conclusion

If you want to try out a VPN for free, you have three options: Some VPN providers offer free trial versions of their premium solutions. For most (Surfshark, HideMyAss), but not all of these (CyberGhost), you'll need to supply payment information. The good news is that your account will only be charged after the free trial deadline expires (usually, this is seven days).

Other platforms (NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access) offer a money-back guarantee for a specific period of time (usually 30 days) following the start of a premium subscription.

The third option is free versions of premium software (ProtonVPN, hide.me, Windscribe), that come with certain limitations, such as the monthly amount of data, number of server locations, or ability to stream video content. It's also common for these to have reduced features compared to their 'full' versions.

Should you be interested in learning more about any of the providers we've referred to here, you can consult our extensive reviews of 22 VPN services.

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.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
Other languages:
Deutsch Italiano