Can You Change Your VPN For Free?

Competition is very fierce within the VPN market, but it is true that not all VPNs work for everyone in the way intended, and we might want to change providers. Can we do this for free? Can we switch to a different VPN without paying?

The basic answer to this is effectively yes, as long as you take swift action.

You can usually change your VPN effectively for free within the first month of purchasing a subscription, since almost all providers offer a 30 day refund guarantee. You can use this refund to purchase another subscription from a new provider. Changing your VPN outside the standard 30 day refund window can be more difficult and may incur more costs.

Firstly, you can change server locations/IP address within your existing VPN interface totally for free, choosing a different location from all the ones that VPN provider offers. But if that’s not what you want, and you want to switch providers altogether, that’s also possible as long as you do it pretty quickly.

Let’s explore your options to make this happen.

(Note – if you want to switch because of technical errors, make sure you’ve contacted their support and tried all troubleshooting steps first. Also see our guides on fixing a VPN app not opening/starting, not connecting on public Wi-Fi, or not working with streaming services, for more tips on fixing common issues).

Option #1 – Change Your Existing VPN Plan For Free

Firstly, it’s usually possible to change the payment plan and subscription length with your existing VPN provider without too much hassle. You can usually shorten or lengthen your subscription and either pay the difference or get refunded on the difference if you contact their support.

Depending on the provider, plans are offered ranging from 1 month, to 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and sometimes up to 5 years. Switching is usually possible.

If you just want to change VPN brands altogether though, this is also usually possible if you start the process soon after buying a subscription. Let’s cover these options below.

Option #2 – Use The 30 Day Refund Guarantee From Your Provider

This is the easiest case – when you buy a VPN subscription, and realize pretty quickly that it doesn’t work for you. It might not have the server locations you want, speeds might be slow, or it might not be able to access the streaming services you want.

Whatever the reason, almost all major Premium VPNs now offer a 30 day refund guarantee, so you can get a refund on any subscriptions paid within the first month of using.

This includes all the well known ones like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PIA, ProtonVPN etc. And most of the smaller VPNs are also matching this offer as well. The only provider that stands out as offering less is ZoogVPN, who only offer a 7 day money back guarantee. But with most Premium services, it’s 30 days you get to test the product out risk free.

Often, this policy is also a “no questions asked” policy, so you don’t even need to give a reason. You just need to contact their Customer Support, say you want a refund and take it from there.

If you are asked for a reason why you’re canceling, you can just give a generic reason like “it’s not for me”, “don’t use it that much”, “too expensive”, etc.

You might get some engagement from support staff, checking whether you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps if you’re running into difficulties with the VPN. If you don’t want to waste time with this and just want to get your refund so you can change VPNs, say so.

Then, once a refund is processed (can take 5-10 working days with some providers), you can effectively use this money to pay for a new VPN subscription from a different provider. In this sense, you can effectively change providers for free, but there might be  a time lag before all the refunds/payments balance out.

Option #3 – Claiming Refunds Outside the 30 Day Money Back Window

If it’s longer than 30 days since you first purchased a Premium VPN subscription, it can be more tricky changing providers for free. Mostly, you need to start the refund process within the first month of purchasing the service to qualify for a refund.

However, in some cases, some VPN providers MAY allow for a refund outside this 30 day guarantee window (please don’t take that as a guarantee as policies will vary).

If there’s a legitimate reason why you’re asking for a refund outside this initial 30 day window, some companies may offer a discretionary refund. The VPN might have worked fine initially, then stopped working some time after the first month. Or some other reason.

In these cases, you’ll have to speak to your provider’s Customer Support. Competition is strong in the VPN market, so most companies will try and keep customers happy and avoid bad reviews.

If there’s a valid reason, you may offered a refund (or perhaps partial refund) outside the first 30 days. But it’s not guaranteed.

Option #4 – Switch To A Legit Free VPN Provider

If you do run into the tricky situation of not being allowed to cancel your subscription from your current provider, but also needing to change to another VPN, you can sometimes avoid having to pay for two VPNs at once by using a good free one instead.

There are a lot of trash free VPNs out there, but there are also some good, legit ones that do work quite well and offer generous data allowances. Switching to one of these at least means you’re not paying any more if your current Premium provider won’t offer you a refund.

Check out the table below for some good free VPN options:

ProviderFree Server LocationsData LimitMore Info
ProtonVPN3 (USA, Amsterdam, Japan)UnlimitedSee here
AtlasVPN3 (USA East, USA West, Amsterdam)5 GB/monthSee here
TurboVPN4 (USA, Germany, Singapore, India).UnlimitedSee here
ZoogVPN5 (USA, UK, Netherlands)10 GB/monthSee here
Hide.me5 (Netherlands, USA, Germany, UK, Canada)10 GB/month (random server selection)See here
PrivadoVPN10 (USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand)10 GB/monthSee here
Windscribe10 (USA, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark).10 GB/monthVisit site
Tunnelbear49500 MB/monthVisit site


ProtonVPN always offer excellent performance and even unlimited use also on the free version if one of their 3 free locations works for you. PrivadoVPN offer the best free server choice and good performance. ZoogVPN also works pretty well when I’ve tried it.

If streaming is your main issue and reason for cancelling though, you’ll need another Premium VPN that’s good for streaming access. ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN are your best choices here.

Also, for budget Premium VPNs, there are also some good options – check out our article on low cost VPNs for some choices there to save money.


As a regular VPN users for 7+ years, I like providing useful info to help people find free or low cost VPN solutions for online security and privacy.

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