Everyone loves free stuff. Why? Why else, it’s free! But some free things are better than others.
A free VPN, for example, is one awesome free thing. Not only will you get protection from the big bad world of the internet, but you also get to access restricted content all the while anonymously.
The truth is, there are lots of options when it comes to free VPN providers.
Most of these VPN companies also offer subscription-based packages alongside the free one.
This way, when you are finally flush enough to pay, you can easily upgrade to a paid subscription.
Plus, they get to dangle all the advanced features available to paying members to entice you to upgrade.
Free VPN NZ?
If you are a resident of New Zealand, or maybe if you are just travelling, you have likely encountered the brutal geo-restrictions imposed on internet content.
In New Zealand, you can only watch very few shows on the local channels and that’s it! Fortunately or unfortunately (depends on how you look at it), the internet has spoiled us.
We know that there is so much more that the world has to offer in terms of entertainment. So, you can’t exactly blame us for wanting more variety.
The truth is, however, that you cannot access any of the restricted content without a work around.
And by work around, I mean a VPN. A good VPN is the only tool to help you be borderless and access any content from anywhere in the world without the third degree.
Now, why a Free VPN?
Well, VPNs cost a subscription. But, there are some very good VPNs that offer a free version that you can use to dismantle geo-restrictions and access the content you want.
Additionally, a free VPN is better than no VPN and here is why.
In case you didn't know, New Zealand is a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance, a body of countries that agreed to spy on their citizens' personal and private data and correspondence and share the information with each other.
Even though it is an initiative geared towards better security, it still means you have no privacy whatsoever.
Hence, any internet activity you indulge in whether legal or illegal is clearly being monitored.
Trust me, you do not want that.
ISP Bandwidth Throttling
Some unscrupulous ISPs throttle your bandwidth especially when they realize that your internet activities include streaming, torrenting and gaming.
I call them unscrupulous because the main reason for throttling your bandwidth is to get you to subscribe for more expensive packages in a bid to reduce the buffering and such.
You want to keep your internet activities a secret from even your ISP.
This way, you will get exactly what you pay for.
Encryption is arguably the most important feature in a VPN.
This is because this feature forms the baseline for security.
With a good encryption, it doesn't matter if some hacker manages to crack into the VPN tunneling.
This is because the encrypted data will be gibberish that doesn’t make sense.
A VPN with both tunneling and encryption makes it that much harder for hackers to get access to your information much less decipher what it really means.
This is a feature you need a lot especially in New Zealand.
The only way entertainment channels enforce geo-restrictions is by checking and verifying the IP location.
For this reason, it is easy to get around geo-restrictions since all you need to do is change your IP address to one that is located in the “acceptable” region.
Most good VPNs offer a selection of servers in most continents so that you can always find a server in your preferred region.
These are just a few of the reasons why you need a VPN in NZ.
Next, we will indulge in my list of the best free VPNs for NZ.
This way, you will have a healthy list to choose from.
Best Free VPN NZ
As promised, here is my list of the best Free VPNs for New Zealanders.
1. SurfShark VPN :- Best Free VPN NZ
SurfShark is an excellent VPN choice for any occasion.
With its 1700 servers in 63 countries, you are guaranteed that you can always find a server that is convenient.
Additionally, SurfShark has servers in New Zealand offering premium features such as Camouflage Mode, Private DNS, OpenVPN protocols, P2P data transfer, and extension support among other features.
You can access SurfShark on all your devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Firefox, Chrome and so on.
SurfShark allows an unlimited number of devices which means a single SurfShark account can have any number of simultaneous connections.
In essence, SurfShark does not offer a free version.
However, you can sign-up for the 30-day money back guarantee policy.
So, for a month, you will enjoy premium SurfShark features including 1040+ encrypted servers, unblocking geo-restricted content, strict no-logging policy, and a full refund at any time within the 30-day period.
The only catch is that you will have to cancel your subscription before the “free trial” period lapses lest you be billed.
2. Proton VPN
Proton VPN is a well-known name in the free VPN arena.
This, in my opinion, is because Proton VPN is one of the very few VPN providers with a free version that offers unlimited bandwidth.
Additionally, Proton VPN does not flood your screen with ads which is another huge plus.
However, with the Proton VPN limited plan, you only have access to servers in Japan, Netherlands, and the US.
As you can imagine, if all the Proton free users can only access servers in these locations, congestion is on another level.
With it comes slow connections. However, you can be content with the fact that Proton offers servers in the US which means if you want to stream content only available to US residents (like HBO), you can with Proton VPN.
Another great attribute about Proton VPN is the fact that even free users gain access to premium features including Quick Connect ( a feature that finds and connects you to the fastest and most convenient server), multi platform compatibility, powerful encryption, DNS Leak protection, Kill Switch, and split tunneling among other great features.
As you can see, Proton VPN has quite a lot to offer.
3. Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield is probably storied for having no DNS Leaks.
This also means that Hotspot Shield offers military-grade encryption and user-friendly, one-click connections.
Whether you are using the free or premium packages, Hotspot Shield offers reliable connections, P2P traffic, a strict no-logs policy, and multi-platform compatibility.
More specifically, Hotspot Shield has clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, and routers among others.
So far, the Hotspot Shield free version sounds pretty good, wouldn't you agree? Well, here is the limitation.
Hotspot Shield offers only 500mb of data per day for the free subscribers.
This data is way too little to stream or torrent anything really.
However, as a way to determine the worth of Hotspot Shield as a viable VPN option, it is plenty. You can check your email and browse a bit of social media.
In addition, while Hotspot Shield boasts over 3000 servers in 70+ countries across the world, the free version only allows access to the US virtual servers.
While this means you can unlock US-based geo-restricted content, there isn’t much else you can do.
Hotspot Shield does this deliberately so you can upgrade to a paid subscription to access the rest of the servers.
If all you wanted was to access some geo-restricted content, Hotspot Shield can help you by masking your IP address and assigning you a US-based IP address.
4. Windscribe VPN
Windscribe is very generous when it comes to data.
As we discussed, Hotspot Shield offers 500MB of data every 24 hours. This also means that Hotspot Shield offers 15GB of free data per month.
Windscribe offers 10GB of free data per month.
In addition, Windscribe VPN will award you another 5GB when you tweet the company and another 1GB of data a month when you refer a friend.
Perhaps the best Windscribe feature is the fact that both paid and free users can access all of Windscribe’s advanced features including ROBERT, a AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key encryption, Port Forwarding, Forward Secrecy, ad and malware blocker, Split Tunneling and much more.
This is a very rare attribute in a VPN provider so you should be eager to hop on to the Windscribe bandwagon.
In addition to all the security features, Windscribe offers secure tunneling so all your data will pass through a secure tunnel.
This feature makes it that much more difficult for internet hackers to get at your data.
With all these advanced features, you can be sure that Windscribe will serve as an excellent free VPN for NZ.
You can browse and perform light social media indulgences though if you want to stream or torrent, the data allowance per month may not be sufficient.
5. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear has, time and again, been dubbed the most fun and whimsical VPN provider.
It has built the entire VPN service in a bear theme such that honey pots represent servers and there are animated grizzly bears all over the screen to help you navigate.
Fun aside, TunnelBear is a formidable VPN provider with great advanced features including end-to-end encryption, high speeds, no logging, vigilant mode and so on.
The free TunnelBear version offers 500MB of data every month and servers in 22+ countries.
This is a decent number of countries for a free service, so you can do much more with TunnelBear than with other free VPN services.
Also, TunnelBear subjects itself to independent audits which means their no logging policy is legit. Unfortunately, if you want to stream using the TunnelBear free version, it can’t be possible.
TunnelBear does not work with Netflix or any other streaming services.
Advantages of a Paid Subscription over a Free VPN Subscription
The truth is, a paid subscription will always be better than a free subscription.
Why, you ask? Here are my most compelling reasons.
a) Free VPNs harvest your data and sell it to third parties
It is true that free VPNs do have some positive features as seen above.
However, the bottom line of having a VPN service is to make money.
Now, if a VPN offers its services for free, then you should know that they are making money off you somehow.
The most common way for free VPNs to make money is to track your internet activities, harvest your data, and sell it to advertisers.
As a result, you will be bombarded with targeted ads for all sorts of things.
And since you are not paying a dime for their services, some VPNs will go as far as redirecting you to other third party websites without your consent.
Beggars can’t be choosers, am I right?
b) Weak Security
The entire point of getting a VPN is to ensure your security.
But free VPNs will not crank out their best encryption and security features for free users.
Truthfully, the kind of security you will get from a free VPN subscription is basic at best.
What this means is if you really value your data, a free VPN service cannot sufficiently secure you from hackers, phishers, and spies.
c) Routing other people’s data through your device
Most free VPN providers use the P2P network to route data.
This means that sometimes your data will be routed through another persons’ device and vice versa.
If you ask me, this defeats the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place since the information you are trying to protect will be sent through a stranger’s device anyway.
And that’s not all.
Some VPNs (read Hola VPN) even sell your unused bandwidth online! Crazy right?
d) Slower Connections
In addition to the myriad of disadvantages of free VPNs, they also slow down your connection considerably.
This is mainly attributed to the process of encryption.
Also, you can expect a whole lot of ads with your browsing experience, most of which take away precious bandwidth as they load.
Oddly, if you get a paid subscription, you will hardly notice any slowing down since you are working with top-notch servers and speeds.
So, if you were thinking of a free VPN for streaming and torrenting, it will be a challenge.
Be ready for a whole lot of buffering.
e) Limited Features
You may be lucky to find a free VPN provider that does not frustrate you with ads or sell your bandwidth.
But what you can be sure of is you will always be entitled to much less in the feature department than paying subscribers.
Some of the limitations include bandwidth cap, limit on servers and server switching, and basic features just to mention a few.
Ultimately, this is a tactic to get you to upgrade to a paid subscription so you can access all the other features.
These are the limitations of using a free VPN service compared to a paid subscription VPN service.
And even though we have given you the best list of free VPNs to try, we still recommend that as soon as you can afford it, get a paid VPN subscription service.
Frequently Asked Questions
True, there are lots of Free VPN services in the market. Also true are the facts we have listed above about why a paid VPN subscription is better than a free VPN service.
Think about the Hola VPN example and how they were selling their customer’s unused bandwidth online without their knowledge.
Well, as earlier stated, a free VPN is better than no VPN at all.
That said, free VPNs offer bare bones in terms of security and anonymity.
They will not only sell your data online, they will also route your data through other people’s devices.
Only opt for a free VPN when you absolutely cannot afford a paid service.
But as soon as you can pay, upgrade to a paid subscription.
You may be deceived into thinking that a free VPN offers a premium service out of the goodness of their heart.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Information, and especially the kind that people reveal through their browsing habits is very lucrative.
Free VPNs make a fortune selling this information to advertisers and digital marketers.
As a result, you will get aggressively targeted ads all the time interrupting your browsing.
Also Check other Guides in NZ
A VPN is a very necessary tool to have in your arsenal.
And internet security is nothing to joke around with.
If you can’t afford a paid VPN option, take time to find a free VPN service that features as few cons as possible and essentially ones which will not ultimately expose you to more risk.
Our list is stellar, so that is a good place to start.
Do you have any experience with any of our select free VPN options?
Please let us know in the comment section below.