Free VPNs can be found everywhere and are quick and easy to use. They seem tempting: they don’t cost money, installation and configuration is a breeze and they offer many possibilities. But what many users fail to realize is that they are often the product themselves. Many of the VPN apps are careless with customers’ personal data.
Users would like a VPN app to surf with more privacy, yet many free providers do not handle the privacy-sensitive data well. A study by Proprivacy shows that 40 percent are even careless with the data of their users. The apps did not provide an IPv4 address, were not functional or leaked data via IPv6, or via WebRTC.
Disadvantages of a Free VPN
- Then the revenue models have not even been discussed: many free providers earn from their services by selling users’ personal data. They also keep track of what their users are doing and sell this data to marketing companies. With the money collected, the servers offered can be paid and of course, there is still something left on the bow.
- Anyone who has ever used a VPN or a proxy knows that the real IP address of the user is hidden. The user connects to, for example, abroad and then temporarily receives the IP address from abroad. This makes it appear to the website or service to which it is connected as if the user is from abroad.
- At least that’s the intention. In practice, it appears that many free providers cannot guarantee that anonymity at all. The user is then not optimally protected and the reallocation and the original IP address will be leaked. As a result, the user is not really anonymous.
- Not all free VPN providers intend harm. Some providers are just legitimate and reliable. Unfortunately, they have other drawbacks: they throttle the speed of the connection or work with a data limit or limited bandwidth. For example, they try to entice users to use the paid version of the service.
Remember that free VPNs could never exist if they offered the same functionality and security as paid VPNs. With a free VPN, the user is usually the product. Free providers often show advertisements. If the user clicks on it, the provider earns money. And then the question is which data is sent.
Advantages of a Paid VPN
- It is a better idea to use a paid VPN. Paid providers tend to be more careful with their users’ personal data, provide true anonymity, encrypt data, and do not display annoying advertisements.
- A VPN can be used for a few dollars per month. In addition, good providers do not keep logs: they do not keep track of exactly what the user does on the connection.
- Most providers of paid VPNs offer the option of using the connection on a trial basis first. The customer can then try for 30 days whether the provider meets his or her wishes. After that, you can opt for a paid subscription.