VPNs have become the de facto means of getting round restrictive internet settings, hiding your true location online (most commonly to access services like Netflix or sports abroad) or simply to put extra privacy measures in place. This is especially true, for example, when connecting on public networks (libraries, coffee shops) or regions where you think your internet traffic might be monitored.
VPNs work by connecting two computers securely and privately over the internet. When you open up a web browser and enter a URL on your device, the request is sent to the VPN server, which then acts as an intermediary, requesting the web page from the site and sending it back to you. That means the website can only see the VPN server - not the client device requesting it and therefore (hopefully!) decoupling your internet activity from your IP address.
However, be warned, some experts advise against using free VPNs on the basis that some of them have been discovered to be selling your data onwards to third parties. As the saying goes, if you're not paying for the product, chances are, you are the product – so read those Ts&Cs carefully.
For anyone with concerns, there are plenty of inexpensive versions out there too, that could offer a more secure option - listed here.
But if you are comfortable with the risks, or really can't afford to shell out – here are just a few of the best free VPNs available right now.