If you search on the internet, you will find many free and paid VPN service providers. At first glance, both seem the same and as human nature, we do not like to pay initially and resort to free options. But have you thought these free VPNs are safe to use? The main reasons behind using VPN are security and privacy, but what if these two aspects are not a priority of free VPNs?
We all know that VPNs provide an extra layer of protection to your online activities and protect you from hackers and cyber attackers. Are all VPNs the same? Should you use a free VPN service or pay for a premium option?
The Main Benefits of Using Free VPNs
This is the most obvious benefit of using a free VPN service. When you don’t have to pay anything, you are obviously saving a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Paid VPN service providers charge a few dollars a month to around $10 a month. A free service can provide significant savings if you only need a VPN occasionally.
Quick and Easy Setup
Free VPN apps typically have simple sign-up processes without needing to enter payment information. This makes them fast and easy to start using right away. The lack of complex configurations also makes free VPNs accessible for beginners.
Access Geo-Restricted Content
Most people install VPN apps to spoof location on their mobile phones and computers. Free VPNs allow you to spoof your location and bypass geographic restrictions to view content blocked in your country. This lets you access more shows and videos from streaming platforms.
Potential Downsides to Be Aware Of
Strict Data Limits
Most free VPNs limit how much data you can use, usually capping it from 500MB up to 2GB per month. This makes them impractical for daily web browsing unless you upgrade to unlimited data.
To reduce costs, free VPNs often limit your connection speeds, which can hamper browsing and streaming. Paid VPNs generally offer unlimited bandwidth and faster speeds.
Free VPNs frequently show ads in their apps or sell your data to make money, undermining your privacy. They also often lack funding for proper security and infrastructure.
Limited Server Locations
With fewer servers, free VPNs may only allow connections to a handful of countries rather than thousands worldwide.
Minimal Customer Support
Paid VPNs provide 24/7 live chat support. With free VPNs, you’ll likely be on your own troubleshooting any issues.
Tips for Using Free VPNs Safely
- Check the provider first and read reviews about their policies and security. Avoid shady apps with no information.
- Don’t use free VPNs for highly sensitive activities like online banking. The risks likely outweigh the benefits.
- Never enter confidential info over public Wi-Fi, even with a free VPN enabled. Use VPNs to complement other security habits.
While free VPNs can save money and provide basic privacy, most experts recommend avoiding them for daily use if possible. The small monthly fee for premium VPNs brings faster speeds, unlimited data, robust encryption, and better reliability. But a vetted free VPN could suit your needs for limited occasional use. Ultimately, your privacy and security may be worth paying for.