Although a free VPN seems alluring, could it jeopardize your security and privacy? What situations call for the use of a free VPN? Are premium VPNs always preferable? Let’s examine and contrast the benefits and drawbacks of free and premium VPN.
A free VPN: What is it
Let’s begin by defining what a free VPN is. This is a VPN service that you may use without having to pay a monthly or yearly subscription cost, as the name implies. But how is that even conceivable?
The VPN service is supported by a massive network with thousands of servers, all of which need ongoing maintenance. It costs a lot of money and hundreds or even thousands of personnel to operate this kind of infrastructure. Although consumers are not charged a subscription fee by free VPN service providers, they nevertheless need to make money somehow. The issues start at this point.
How Free VPNs Are Paid For
While it could appear that no one is interested in what you do online, some potential consumers are actually clamouring for your information. Data gathering businesses purchase user data, which they then sell to marketers. Consequently, a database of your online behaviours may be required.
Free VPN providers are able to keep tabs on the websites you visit, the things you buy, how long you spend online, and even the equipment you use. They can then make money by selling that data without your permission.
A barrage of advertisements
Running advertising is a common method for making money from a free service, including a VPN service. The service provider receives a fee each time a user clicks on an advertisement. If there are millions of users, this might be sufficient to keep the business afloat.
However, the constant barrage of advertisements is bothersome and occasionally challenging to close. Even worse, some advertisements have been known to virus on your device.
Urging users to upgrade to the premium version
Some free VPNs drive users to upgrade to a paying service by limiting the amount of bandwidth and providing them with a few functions. Free VPNs are not an exception to the trend of apps using this technique to draw in paying users.
Your “free” gigabytes may run out in as little as two days because it is advised to always have the VPN on your device for security reasons. Therefore, you are still required to use a VPN only occasionally or upgrade to the commercial version.
Negative aspects of a free VPN
Low security level. Although a VPN is supposed to boost your online security, a free VPN may really have the opposite effect. Free VPN providers frequently lack a strong server infrastructure, which makes the security and encryption they provide brittle. A trustworthy VPN provider must offer top-notch encryption; otherwise, hackers may target you.
Restricted effectiveness In contrast to premium VPNs, free VPNs take their time introducing the most recent cybersecurity features. Additionally, because of the slow connection speed, streaming and online games will be unstable. There is a better way to go around than driving a 20-year-old car with a CD player, manual windows, and no air conditioning. Inadequate privacy. By masking your IP address, a VPN prevents others from discovering your location and connecting your online activities to your identity. However, you can kiss your privacy goodbye because free VPNs sell your information to outside businesses.
Why premium VPNs are superior to free options
By allowing consumers to subscribe to VPN services, paid VPN providers are able to support themselves. The funds are then utilized to upgrade the infrastructure, add new features, and raise the standard of service delivery. Such a business model relies on devoted customers, so it is crucial for the supplier to look after its clients and keep a positive reputation.
The fact that free VPNs are free is their main benefit. Additionally, you shouldn’t anticipate high quality and level of service from a free VPN because, as the saying goes, you don’t look a gift horse in the teeth. As opposed to this, you have a reason to anticipate improved speed, cutting-edge features, and trustworthy encryption when you subscribe.
A paid VPN is obligated to carry out its functions, therefore it will never let you down. Free VPNs are another matter.
Advantages of a premium VPN
A large server network
To achieve the quickest speeds possible, connect to the server that is nearest to you from among NordVPN’s 5,200 servers spread over 60 nations. Additionally, it has devoted servers:
- For easy and secure file sharing, use P2P servers.
- Confusing (obfuscated) servers are used to get around Internet censorship in totalitarian nations.
- Access to.onion sites is made secure with onion over VPN.
- Double VPN — Rather of using just one server, your traffic is routed via two for increased protection.
- Users who have purchased dedicated IP addresses have access to private servers.
Without encryption, outside parties are able to view your Internet activity, monitor your movements, and steal confidential data. It’s crucial to enable a VPN if you frequently use public Wi-Fi because unprotected networks are routinely targeted by hackers.
Having use of resources
Numerous circumstances prevent access to specific websites and media resources. Several nations, like China, Iran, and Russia, block Western news networks, social media platforms, and other websites and apps. You can access any resources you want without limitations and alter your IP address with a premium VPN.
Free VPNs could not always give you the level of privacy you require or let you get around stringent limits. A premium VPN, such as NordVPN, will get around the restriction and allow you to browse the internet freely. So, is using a VPN a good idea? Yes, you should secure your home gadgets, your workplace’s data security, and your internet privacy wherever you are.
Extra security measures
A shared IP address must be used to connect remote devices to a single network. Paid services like NordVPN have a Meshnet functionality that functions as a virtual encrypted local network to do this. The capability, which enables the connection of up to 60 devices, provides the private transfer of files and data between them and is appropriate for group activities like working and playing.
A good VPN will secure your privacy while also preventing viruses, blocking trackers, and annoying adverts. For instance, NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature provides all of these extra protection services.
Which VPN provider is best for you, then? Although a free VPN could seem like an appealing alternative, using one compromises your security and privacy. Free VPN service providers must find additional sources of income, in contrast to commercial VPN services. Some free VPNs only offer a bare-bones version of their services, which puts your security at risk. Free VPNs occasionally even sell your data to third parties for profit.
Paid VPN services require a membership for a good reason—the money pays for upkeep of the server infrastructure and improved service. After all, having uninterrupted Internet access is worthwhile. You must take all essential precautions if you want to keep yourself safe online. After all, skipping out on cyber security precautions can end up costing you a lot more money.