Free VPNs: Are They Worth the Risk

Free VPN services are appealing.

No one wants to add another monthly payment to their already lengthy list of subscriptions.

The $0 price tag is a convincing argument, but consider the dangers of using a free VPN before you decide. Read through this short article to understand the distinctions between free and paid VPNs so you can determine for yourself whether the risks are worth it when a legit VPN you know you can trust is only a few dollars a month from a paid provider.

Also Read: How to Configure Global Proxy Settings on a Windows 10 PC

Why Use Any VPN in the First Place?

There are several benefits to utilizing a VPN.

You may access and view any online material, regardless of location. Online content is still region locked. US, Japanese, Thai, Korean, UK and Australian Netflix has dozens of series you can’t watch outside of the country they are licensed in.

Online services like Hulu, Skysports, Pandora, and BBC iPlayer are all inaccessible outside of their country of origin. Using a VPN lets you view any online content as if you were in the country it is based in.

Another reason is that you may remain anonymous while online. Your internet service provider (ISP) is unable to see the sites that you are visiting. All they can see is that you are connecting to a remote server. Likewise, the sites you are visiting can’t see where you are visiting from. The only information they are privy to is the public IP address of the VPN server.

Your traffic is encrypted, making it difficult for others to spy on your web activity or steal your personal data if you are on public WiFi, or a shared network using HTTP.

Why are There Free VPNs?

When a business gives things away for free, it generally implies that it generates money in other ways.

Marketers and big tech companies value data more highly than gold.

Because it is constantly monitoring your online activity and selling what you do on the internet to advertisers who utilize that data to target you for advertisements, a free VPN does not charge any money.

The irony is that most people use VPNs to protect their privacy. Using a free VPN has the opposite effect. The gathered data may be used to construct a profile of your surfing habits and interests, which may subsequently be sold to third-party firms. 

With a free VPN, there’s a much greater chance your browsing history is being recorded, packaged, and sold.

Spam and False Advertising

With a premium VPN, you won’t be exposed to advertising. Simply activate the VPN and go about your business without being subjected to time-wasting advertisements.

With a free VPN, however, this isn’t the case. These ads are how these VPNs earn money. The advertisements that appear on these pages aren’t reviewed by the VPN provider, so they may lead to malware, pornography, or unsecured sites that endanger your privacy.

Sure, you’re saving money, but you’re also putting your device at risk.

VPNs that promise free services are known for their spammy marketing tactics. If you aren’t vigilant, you could accidentally install the malware in your system.

Why Does a Free VPN Slow My Internet Speed to a Crawl?

Any VPN will have an impact on your internet connection. By establishing a connection with a server located far away and encrypting data, there’s inevitable latency added. All your traffic makes an extra stop on the way to its final destination.

As a result, your speeds will be slower. With premium VPNs, we are talking about a few hundreds of a second. You won’t notice much of a difference. They have sufficient resources and the technical knowledge to deliver a quality service with little to no influence on speed.

However, if you use a free VPN, things are quite different. Not only do they employ outdated encryption methods, which reduce the speed of your internet connection., according to research by Norton, but 84 percent of free VPNs also do not encrypt data adequately.

There are several VPNs out there that slow down your connection speed to persuade you to upgrade. There’s also the question of frequent advertising and pop-ups to consider. Because of all these interruptions, constant advertisements and a throttled connection will cause you to notice the spinning circle of death more frequently while watching a movie.

Are Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Safe?

It depends on which one.

When all your data is routed through a server, and if that server is keeping logs, you’re at a far greater risk than you’d have been without a VPN.

Good VPN with proper end-to-end encryption provides a lot of security. Paid VPN services use IKEv2/IPsec or AES-256-GCM, which are both strong encryption protocols. These are cutting-edge security methods that encrypt each data packet in real-time.

However, using free VPNs means trading privacy for security. And even privacy isn’t guaranteed. These VPNs not only keep track of your surfing habits and sell them to third parties, but they also provide insufficient encryption that is often an invitation for hackers. Furthermore, when you surf the web, you’re exposed to malicious advertising and pop-ups.

Final Thoughts

While they don’t cost money, and that’s always a plus, there are several disadvantages to using a free VPN. They can have a detrimental influence on the quality of your online experience, making it both time-consuming and unpleasant. There’s also the concern that your personal information will be shared without your consent with numerous businesses across the world. You should never use a free VPN because of these concerns. If you’re looking for a decent service that’s reputable but not so popular that all the servers are on VPN blacklists, we recommend SurfShark VPN.

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