6 Reasons Why You Should Never Opt for a Free VPN
Jul. 05, 2020
This journalist has worked for leading online magazines for the past 12 years in the roles of writer, editor and marketer.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are designed to keep your online activity completely private. There are many companies that offer extensive VPN subscriptions to ensure your anonymity is protected. However, some people opt for free VPNs to save money.
The free VPNs may offer a few features that paid subscriptions give but there are many hidden dangers to these free of charge platforms. Today we’re going to discuss six reasons why you should never opt for a free VPN especially from an unknown company.
1. Lack of Security and Safety
Some well-known VPN brands offer a complimentary trial on their platforms that typically lasts between seven and 30 days. The VPN company will always tell you what the software can offer you in the free and the paid version.
But unknown companies that claim to offer free VPNs are never honest with their users especially when it comes to safety and security. Therefore the first topic we want to talk about is the security and safety differences between the paid subscriptions & free VPNs.
Network management and user security are extremely expensive to maintain. That’s why reputable VPN companies rely on subscription fees to generate money to maintain servers. Furthermore, free VPNs typically have outdated encryption protocols and public DNS servers.
Free VPN services are sometimes understaffed and lack resources. So these platforms don’t have the means to secure your network. As a result, your security is compromized and your IP address can be leaked.
Furthermore, there are some free VPNs that have been caught selling your bandwidth which could get you into legal trouble depending on what the buyer does with it. There was a case of this with a VPN company called Hola. They were caught in 2015 stealing their users’ bandwidth and selling it to people to use it as a botnet.
2. You Could Potentially Fall Victim to Malware
Did you know there are some free VPNs that contain malware? This is a major online security risk especially for businesses that work on digital devices. 38% of free VPNs showed signs of malware infections and most of it is related to adverting. The reason for this is because most free VPNs rely on adverts to generate revenue.
If you opt for a paid VPN subscription from a reputable company you may get extra features such as ad blockers and malware protection. Unfortunately, you don’t get comprehensive safety covers from free VPNs.
3. Aggressive Advertising and Sales Tactics
As mentioned before, free VPNs rely on adverts to make money. But this can be extremely frustrating because ads will pop up randomly when you’re trying to work or stream a movie. They also use aggressive sales tactics to try and get you to purchase software from them.
You may also get spammed with emails or texts with promotions on unreliable products that don’t work. There’s also a potential risk of ad trackers that make their way inside your browser’s media reading.
These ad trackers collect information such as URLs and cookies. To someone who is serious about keeping their online activity secure from third parties, ad tracking is a violation of their privacy.
4. The Slow Connection Will Cause Frustration
VPNs are naturally slower than your internet speed because all your browsing information gets encrypted and unencrypted through a remote server.
Free VPNs tend to affect your internet connection speeds more so than paid versions. This could be because there are too many users and not enough servers to accommodate everyone, so the platform can’t handle the pressure. Therefore when you’re trying to stream from your favorite sites such as Hulu or Deezer it may buffer every two to three seconds because of the poor connection.
Furthermore, free VPNs sometimes install junkware on your device which can take up space and potentially make the software on your PC or phone run slower.
5. Free VPNs Will Record All Your Private Information
If you think that free VPNs will keep your private information secure, think again. Some shady sites will record your details to sell it to third parties for profit. There was a study that showed 72% of free VPNs embed third-party trackers into their software.
So instead of providing you with a means to keep your activity private, these free VPNs are doing the exact opposite. It’s advised that you read the terms and conditions of your VPN when you sign up to ensure they have a no-log policy.
6. It’s Futile Trying to Access Restricted Sites
Another purpose of a VPN is to unlock your favorite sites such as Netflix or Spotify when you’re in a location that has limitations. However, free VPNs sometimes can’t unlock these sites and even if they could the speeds would be too slow to stream.
Free VPNs simply won’t allow you to get around restricted sites. So if you’re traveling to a country that blocks your favorite sites, rather opt for a VPN subscription from a well-known company that will offer you the following benefits:
- Fast connection speeds
- No-log policies
- Access to restricted sites
- Has military-grade encryptions
- Keeps your data safe
One aspect you must remember is that reputable VPN services that offer paid subscriptions can afford to generate lists of fresh IP addresses to mask their users’ activities. Unfortunately, free VPN service providers can’t afford to do this for you so your IP address will be leaked. This means your security is compromized as well as your online anonymity.
Free VPN services simply can’t offer you secure connections because they lack the resources. As mentioned before some VPN services are shady so they sell your online information to third parties. To protect your online activity and to get all the benefits that VPNs are supposed to provide, select software from a company that cares about the end-user.
And now you know why you should always opt for a paid subscription from a trustworthy VPN provider: don’t fall victim to ad tracking, malware infections and data sharing ever again.
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