There is a general consensus among web users that if you want to retain your privacy and security online, having a VPN is essential. VPN’s meaning is easy to understand - it encrypts your connection, hiding your IP address and personal information for anyone, even your Internet service provider. That’s why there are countless options for VPN services, ranging across price points and features. Among the many VPN services, there are also some free options.
It may be tempting to try and save some money on VPNs with so many free services out there. In reality, free VPNs are not much of a bargain. No matter how well the company may present the product, there is no way to deliver the same quality services without any fees if you want real protection. Here are 5 reasons why you should not use a Free VPN over a paid one.
If you are not paying with money, you are paying with something else. Even if you as a client are not aware of it. Companies offering free VPN services still have to make a profit somehow. While there are many questionable practices that these companies use to make money, one of the most hypocritical ones is data harvesting. These free VPN apps look at your browsing history to show you targeted ads, defeating the entire purpose of using a VPN. They don’t respect users’ privacy and try to prey on naive clients.
Aside from the fact that the absolute majority of these free VPNs have bad design and are often confusing to use, they also cut corners regarding actual security features. Because they are not charging their clients, they also don’t really have much money to invest in their product. This is why most of them will often use third-party components and fail to disable many permissions entirely contradictory to VPNs. These types of VPNs can't protect users from any real danger online and just put up a facade of having effective security services.
Limitations on Data
Free VPNs will usually have data caps for the users. If you’ve never had a VPN before, you may fall for this strategy, but anyone who has had a VPN knows that having data caps is extremely inconvenient and often makes having a VPN pointless, as you can't properly use it in the first place. With so many risks associated with shady, free VPNs, no matter what the data cap, is it is probably not worth it.
If you are using a good quality VPN service, you should not be able to detect any problems when browsing online, especially regarding the connection's speed. That is not the case with free VPNs. When you surf the web using a free VPN, expect major delays in connection are to be expected. This happens for a couple of reasons. One is too many advertisements that slow down your connection. In other cases, if the VPN company also has paid customers, it will always prioritize their connection, leaving you with a slow, unreliable one.
Not only will the advertisements slow your connection, but they will also pop up every time you try to connect to a VPN, which becomes annoying pretty quickly. Not only is this form of service invasive, since there are no strict guidelines about what the company can advertise in their app, but you could also be misled or end up on a malicious website. You would think that a VPN company would avoid this at all costs, but since they have no other income course, most of them will advertise just about anything to you.
There is really no reason to choose a free VPN over a paid one, especially since there are so many options across the price range on the market. All things considered, having a free VPN is more of a risk than a step towards enhanced protection. Paid VPNs are much better able to protect your privacy, they have better apps and customer service, and you won’t have to worry about getting overwhelmed with various shady advertisements every time you want to use a VPN.