Free services and products are always tempting. But, when it comes to your privacy and Internet security – it could prove to be risky. Of course, there could be someone offering a free service in good faith to let people easily protect their privacy – but you need to know a lot of factors when considering any of those services.
Here, we’re focused on free VPN providers – which is always a bad deal.
Oh wait, are you already using a free VPN thinking that you’ve easily protected your privacy and your Internet activity is private?
Well, I hate to break it to you – but you’re going to get a shock (not literally!) after reading this article…
If you want to protect your privacy and learn more about securing your Internet connection, I recommend you to save this article to read later (if you’re in a hurry).
Note: If you’re someone who doesn’t care about Internet security and privacy while just aiming to bypass geolocation restrictions – you’d have no problem, but your information is being exploited!
1. Less Secure than Paid VPNs
Free VPN service providers do not offer a robust security layer when you connect to any of their server locations. You might be assuming that you’re safe – but you aren’t really.
Of course, the free solutions might come handy if you do not have a budget for VPNs but if your aim to secure your network – you’re wasting your time using them.
If you compare the privacy policies of a paid VPN solution to that of a free one – you will notice some significant differences.
We don’t want to be the bad guy by pointing any of them specifically – but I can definitely say that your information/Internet activity isn’t protected by a strict policy. It is highly likely that an attack can get to your information and target you.
3. No Zero Log Policy
Zero log policy is often a marketing gimmick unless there’s an independent audit of the logs recorded. However, with paid VPNs like Express VPN, Mullvad VPN you get a strict no zero log policy which you won’t get with any of the free VPN solutions.
Even if you find a policy listed, it is purely a marketing gimmick.
4. They Sell Your Data
If the VPN is backed up by an organization with a different source of income – that might get my attention because they have the resources to offer a VPN service (with limited features) for free. However, if it’s primarily a VPN-centric company – it has to generate revenue from somewhere.
And, most of the time, it is your data which is exploited by the advertisers. They sell your information to the advertisers so that they can run a perfect ad campaign to target the best potential customers. Of course, if the product being advertised is helpful – that’s good. But, selling your information isn’t.
So, stay away from free VPN providers if you are concerned about your personal information.
5. Shared Bandwidth
First of all, free VPNs come with limited features, such as – fewer server locations and lower speeds. In addition to that, they utilize your connection as an endpoint to share the resources.
It could seem convincing that they’re doing this to let you protect your privacy for free. But, in reality, if someone operates an illegal activity through your shared endpoint – you are going to get in trouble.
Also, your IP address will be scattered all over the Internet (and not just limited to the sites you browse). So, bye bye privacy!
I’m not sure how do you expect this mechanism to protect your privacy? You be the judge!
A clear example is one of the most popular free VPNs – Hola VPN. It was caught selling your bandwidth.
6. Advertisement Targeting
Let’s assume that your free VPN provider isn’t selling your data or selling your bandwidth and is completely honest with the logs being recorded.
How do they make money?
The resources do not run on fumes – you need a huge sum of money to provide VPNs to users. So, how do they achieve that?
The answer is simple – Advertising!
When you’re using their VPN – they load up targeted ads while you visit a webpage. It is not rocket science.
In other words, when you connect through their network – they can monitor and control the network activity – so it is easy to show effective advertisements through the ad networks.
Do you really appreciate this shady approach of making money?
7. IP/DNS Leak
A VPN is utilized to hide your IP address and prevent DNS leak. However, a free VPN does not enforce the latest and greatest standard of protection in order to hide your IP.
So, if you feel confident that your IP address cannot be traced back to you while using a free VPN – you’re wrong.
8. Limited Data or Speed
With all that said, you will have a bad online experience when using a free VPN.
It is because they restrict the usage with limited data or limited speeds. You might have a good Internet connection with 100 Mbps bandwidth, but when you connect through your VPN – you might end up getting just 1 Mbps of speed.
That’s too low!
Also, some of them limit the data you can use – which is usually low. I mean, come on, what will I do with just 2 GB of transfer limit for 30 days? (as an example).
If free means -> bad user experience. I’ll stick to my ISP with no VPN or just get ExpressVPN.
9. Free VPN Apps are Dangerous (Especially, for Android)
You might have observed that there are tons of VPN apps on the Play Store. However, at least 40% of those are malicious apps or contain a 3rd party tracker to know your Internet activity.
Don’t fall for the lovely screenshots – tricking you think that this looks dope! I should definitely use this VPN – No! Don’t do that!
Instead, consider the paid alternatives like ExpressVPN – which is one of the most recommended VPN providers across the web. It’s just not me promoting it – you can just Google it and see for yourself why it is so popular.
Now that you know the reasons for avoiding free VPNs – consider the best-paid VPNs available out there. Of course, your preference will vary. But, our recommendation to our lovely readers will be ExpressVPN.
You are responsible for your privacy!