Summary: Using a Virtual Private Network service is a great way to secure your connection to the internet and ensure that hackers and your local government cannot track what you’re doing.
However, one downside to many great VPN services is the high price tag that they’re charging when you choose to protect yourself by subscribing to their service.
Some of the most expensive VPN services currently available may not be the best, or may cause issues with your hardware and software, meaning you could end up wasting money.
If you’re wanting to use a VPN service to secure your connection, bypass content restrictions and sidestep surveillance programs without wasting money, ExpressVPN offers a free-trial period.
They guarantee that if you’re not happy with their service, you can receive a full refund on your purchase price. With the strength of their network, we believe you’ll be thoroughly impressed.
To keep yourself safe and secure without wasting money and get a free trial with ExpressVPN, click here now.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN Trial
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top Three VPNs With Free Trials
- Wrapping It Up
Why You Should Trust Us
At SecureThoughts, our research and writing teams take pride in staying up-to-date with changes in the internet security and technology industries.
Our goal is to relay the information we find to our readers to help them stay safe, anonymous and secure while they are connected to the internet.
In 2017, there are countless different VPN services available and they all claim to be the best, which can make it difficult to find a VPN service that works with your hardware and software.
To help ensure you do not get frustrated, we have taken the “best” VPN services and compared them against each other using an extensive testing process.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To help you overcome the issues you’re having with internet security and privacy, we’re going to put 173 different VPN services to the test using a three-step elimination procedure.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
Our elimination process was started by immediately removing services that participate in invasive government surveillance programs and track your network activity.
Then, we moved forward by verifying that the features offered by each service that remained on our list are tools that we believe most people require when trying to secure their connection.
We also verified, through third-party websites, that any service remaining on our list hasn’t consistently received negative reviews from past and current customers.
Finally, we’ve taken the remaining services and put them through an extensive testing process using five criteria to help determine which VPN is the best in the industry.
Those criteria are:
Price – Price is a huge factor when you’re trying to find a trial VPN service, because some of the most expensive services aren’t always the best, and the cheapest aren’t always the worst.
Setup Process – We’ve verified that each service on our list provides software that is easy to install and configure, so you don’t need a Computer Sciences degree to connect to their network.
Ease of Use – Each service is also tested to ensure that getting and staying connected to their network doesn’t create frustrating problems.
Speed – We’ve verified connection speeds for each service on our list by performing speed tests through different servers located around the world.
Customer Service – We also tested each service’s customer support team to ensure they respond quickly and provide helpful answers when you’re having trouble with their service.
Below are the results we’ve found during our elimination and review process.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
When you are searching for a quality VPN service that offers a free-trial period, or at least a money-back guarantee, there are certain signs that point to services you should be avoiding.
For instance, many services are being forced to participate in an invasive surveillance program that different countries have begun implementing, known as “14 Eyes.”
The 14 Eyes program forces internet service providers and VPN services to track what you are doing while you are connected to their network.
When you’re trying to stay safe, secure and anonymous online, these surveillance programs are an invasion of your privacy and could lead to further problems down the road.
That’s why we’ve immediately eliminated any service that is either an active participant or has been forced to participate in the 14 Eyes agreement.
While researching different services, we have found that 123 of the original 173 on our list either choose to participate, or are forced to participate in, the 14 Eyes agreement.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
As we move forward narrowing down our list of eligible VPN services, we’ve started looking for features we believe are required to stay safe and anonymous online.
Going forward, we’re going to cover each of the features that we’re looking for and then give you examples of services we’ve eliminated for not providing the features with your subscription.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Whenever you connect to a VPN service, they are going to use one of many different protocols to manage your connection to their network.
In the internet technology and security industries, OpenVPN is regarded as one of the safest and easiest to use protocols, which is why we’ve eliminated services that do not support it.
Betternet and AnonVPN are two services that do not support OpenVPN that we’ve removed from our list.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Depending on how you use your internet connection, how many files you download and if you watch high-definition video content, you could find yourself consuming large amounts of bandwidth.
Any service that does not offer unlimited bandwidth, or becomes slow and unreliable if you consume large amounts of bandwidth, have been removed from our list.
Celo and Cloak are two services that have bandwidth limiting policies that have been removed from being eligible for our recommendation.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Many VPN services utilize data logging in harmless ways to help diagnose issues you’re having with their service, while others will track your activity to turn the logs over to your local government.
Data logging is invasive to your personal security no matter how it is used, which is why we’ve removed any service that tracks your activity from our list.
Hola!VPN and Seed4Me are two services that will limit your account access for excessive bandwidth consumption and have been removed from our list.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
Every device that you use to connect to the internet can benefit from connecting through a VPN service to keep it safe and secure.
Since each different device typically has a different operating system, we’ve removed any service that provides software that isn’t compatible with most major operating systems.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN are two VPN services that we’ve eliminated because the software they provide with your subscription has issues with many mainstream operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
If you connect to the internet with multiple devices, you’re going to need a VPN service that supports multiple active connections without limiting your account.
Any VPN service that limits your account, doesn’t allow you to connect with multiple devices or becomes slow and unreliable if you do open multiple connections has been removed from our list.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two services we’ve eliminated because they do not support multiple active connections to their network.
Criteria #6: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
To help minimize the risk of wasting your money on a sub-par VPN service, we’ve verified that each service remaining on our list offers a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
Any VPN service that does not allow you to test their service for free, or provide a solid refund policy if you have issues with your account or their network, has been removed from our list.
VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two services that do not offer free-trial periods or refund policies and have been eliminated from being eligible to receive our recommendation.
Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking
There could be times that you find yourself utilizing different Peer2Peer and filesharing networks to download large files, play games online or stream high-definition video content.
Any VPN service that blocks your access to filesharing technology and Peer2Peer filesharing networks has been eliminated from being eligible to receive our recommendation.
LibertyVPN and VPNJack are two VPN services that block Peer2Peer filesharing technology that we’ve removed from our list.
Criteria #8: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking
When you connect to a VPN service that blocks your ability to send emails, you’re going to need to disconnect from the service, send your emails, then reconnect.
This is a frustrating process that shouldn’t happen, which is why we’ve eliminated any VPN service that blocks your ability to send emails.
Tunnelbear and TorVPN are two services that block your access to sending email that have been removed from our list.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
To continue moving forward in our elimination process, we have utilized third-party websites that consolidate reviews from past and current customers.
VPN services that have consistently received negative reviews and developed a poor reputation in the industry have been eliminated from being eligible to receive our recommendation.
Top Three VPNs that Offer Free Trials
After an extensive elimination process, we have managed to dwindle our original list down to a total of three services that are vying to receive our recommendation as the best VPN trial.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
Each of the three remaining services have been put to the test and compared against one another, showing us that ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN service available.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service with a Free Trial
When you’re looking for the best VPN service currently available that offers a risk-free subscription process, ExpressVPN is the best in the industry.
The pricing and subscription packages that ExpressVPN offers are competitive, making them accessible for all ranges of people and available budgets.
They charge $8.32 per month for a 12-month subscription to their service, and $12.95 per month for a single month’s subscription, with a solid 30-day money-back guarantee.
The software that’s provided with your subscription to their service is compatible with most major operating systems, and is easy to install and configure so you can quickly connect to their network.
During speed tests performed on their network, we’ve found that they ranked #1 in tests performed through servers based in the United States and the United Kingdom, and #2 in Australia.
If you happen to have issues with your ExpressVPN subscription, you can contact the customer support team and expect to receive a response in less than 60 minutes, in most cases.
While ExpressVPN did outperform every other VPN service on our list, there were still a few areas of concern which we believe could be addressed to make their service even better.
For instance, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a specific “free trial” period, but does offer a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, allowing you to receive a refund quickly and easily.
They also ranked #2 during speed tests that were performed through Australian-based servers. This, though, could be related to the time of day we performed the tests.
Summary: At the end of the day, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available, with the strongest network, competitive pricing and a great customer service team.
Even though they don’t offer a specific “free trial” period, they do offer a no-questions-asked refund policy and you can easily cancel your account and receive a refund through their online dashboard.
When you subscribe through the link we’ve included below and use the coupon code “COUPON,” you can get three months added to your subscription, 100% free.
To secure your internet connection with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
There may be times that you find ExpressVPN isn’t playing well with your hardware or software, and you need another solution for keeping yourself safe online.
We have found that IPVanish may be the alternative VPN service you’re looking for, and they offer a decent network, helpful customer service and a good pricing structure.
IPVanish provides some of the lowest, most competitively priced subscriptions in the industry, charging as low as $4.87 per month for 12-month subscriptions.
The software that’s provided with your subscription to their network is compatible with most mainstream operating systems and didn’t cause many issues during our testing.
We submitted multiple requests to their customer support team, and received a response within three hours, in most cases. The responses they provided were helpful and concise.
IPVanish offers decent connection speeds, ranking #2 in our speed tests performed through servers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and #3 in tests performed through Australian servers.
IPVanish is another service that doesn’t specifically offer a “free trial” period, but we have found that the level of service they provide doesn’t require a free-trial period.
We also noticed that the customer support team at IPVanish, while helpful, did take longer to respond to the requests we submitted than the team at ExpressVPN.
We believe that the IPVanish development team could improve their service for Australian-based subscribers because of the slower speeds we found while testing their service.
Summary: In nearly every test that we’ve performed, we have found that ExpressVPN was far superior to other services on our list, but understand they may not always be available.
If you cannot subscribe to the ExpressVPN service, for whatever reason, you may find that IPVanish is a suitable alternative with a great money-back guarantee to reduce your risk of wasting money.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
We need to give a small disclaimer to the fact that HideMyAss made it through our elimination process and landed in the #3 spot of our recommendations.
During testing of the HideMyAss service, we have found them to be unacceptable in nearly every area, even if they do offer a free-trial period. Their ranking is not a recommendation from us.
While testing their service, the only area where we did not experience significant problems was with the software they provided with our subscription.
Installing and configuring it allowed us to connect to their network within a few minutes, but once we were connected the problems began happening and persisted throughout the entire review.
HideMyAss is currently one of the most expensive VPN services available, charging $16.99 per month for basic subscriptions, and $9.29 per month for yearly packages.
During speed tests, we’ve found that HideMyAss performed slowest out of all three services we tested, except in tests performed through Australian-based servers.
We submitted multiple requests to the customer support team at HideMyAss, and were disappointed when we were forced to wait more than 24 hours for a response.
Summary: There are far better services available than what HideMyAss offers, even if they do offer a true free-trial period to their subscribers.
If your experience is anything like ours, you will end up canceling the service or asking for a refund on your purchase price and moving over to a service like ExpressVPN, or even IPVanish.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
When you connect to the internet and want to ensure you’re safe from hackers and the government’s prying eyes, you need to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
While many of the best VPN services do not offer a free-trial period, the services that we’ve tested do offer a money-back guarantee, which functions in the same manner.
After extensive testing, we have found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available, with a fast network, great customer support, competitive pricing and an iron-clad 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself on the internet, click here now.