Using a VPN is always a good idea since it offers more security for your online experience. With a VPN, your data is encrypted and secured, something that will surely make you feel better. But, is a VPN service so indispensable that you should pay for it?
There are various free VPN services for you to choose from, but can they be trusted? Is that VPN company really willing to give you a top-notch service for nothing? These are some questions to keep in mind the next time you want to use a free VPN.
Free VPNs Might Spy on You
Unlike paid VPNs, a free one might track your online activities and log your data as well. Since a free VPN has to get its funding from somewhere, it might sell your data to third parties.
After all, you may not pay with cash, but instead end up paying by having your personal information sold. Because it’s free, you just can’t be sure if the VPN is real or fake, and you can’t count on online security.
A majority of free VPNs do not have privacy policies that can be trusted. Some of them even made it clear that by using them you allow them to transfer your user data to China. Since you may not read the small print, you’re not aware of what you’re agreeing to.
Free VPN’s Speed Is Slow
Everybody loves free stuff. And when everyone is connected to the same free VPN service, it is inevitable that the speed is affected. Most free VPN services don’t have a lot of resources allocated, and when there are too many users, you will start to experience speed throttle or even a lost connection.
Your Bandwidth Is Stolen
Since free VPNs need to get their funds from somewhere, it’s not uncommon for them to sell your bandwidth to third parties. There is no way to know if the person using your bandwidth knows that they are using stolen bandwidth. Also, if the person using it is doing something illegal, (since it’s your bandwidth) you’re the one that’s going to get in trouble with authorities.
They Contain Annoying Ads
Since free VPNs need to get their money from somewhere, get ready to deal with a lot of ads. Not only are these ads annoying, but they can affect your Internet speed. In some cases they have links to malicious sites. They can also make you waste valuable time by making you swipe past all those ads.
You Have to Deal with Limits
If the free VPN also offers a paid service, they will limit you so you will eventually upgrade to the paid service. Make sure to do your homework when dealing such circumstances.
These types of VPNs make the free users’ computers exit nodes for the users that pay for the service. This means that if a paid user is doing something illegal, you’re the one who is going to get in trouble.
You Can’t Select the Country to Connect To
Choices are limited in free VPN services. One of them is the ability to select the country to connect to. If you are looking to stream content from another country, most free VPNs will not work or give you the choice to connect to your preferred server.
You Expose Yourself to Malware
Free VPNs will try to get your information one way or another. One of those ways is to include malware to steal your information. You also expose yourself to having a hidden rootkit that is hard to get rid of, and it can put you at risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. Not only that, but it can also steal your login credentials, passwords and even take screenshots of whatever it is you’re doing.
Your Browser Can be Hijacked
If you’re not careful, the free VPN you use can redirect you to pages you never intended to visit. The sites you are taken to will not necessarily be malicious sites, but it can be frustrating when someone or something makes you do something you don’t want to. You can be taken to specific sites that give that VPN a commission for bringing you to their site.
If you are really interested in protecting your privacy and enjoy the security benefits of having a VPN, getting a premium and well-trusted VPN is a must. When a product is free, you (and your data) are often the product.