Can free VPNs be trusted? No — for the following reasons
Free VPN services, like any other business, must make money in some way.
Have you ever heard the statement, “If you don’t pay for [a product], you are the product?”
Sorry to have to tell it to you, but free VPNs work the same way; you and your data are the product.
Free VPNs profit from unscrupulous business tactics such as selling your data to third parties or selling your bandwidth. Apart from ignoring their primary goal of keeping your data safe and confidential, free VPN services have a slew of other drawbacks.
Here’s a comprehensive list of all the problems you’ll encounter if you use a free VPN.
1- Free VPNs Monitor Your Online Behavior
One of the most important reasons for using a VPN is to preserve your privacy and hide your internet behavior. Your data will be encrypted, and your ISP will not be able to see what you’re doing online.
They acquire information about your internet activities and sell it to third-party ad networks.
Most free VPN companies have a section in their privacy policies saying that they utilize adverts to fund their service. Their advertising partners, they claim, offer adverts based on your usage data, which they obtain by analyzing cookies.
Surprising? Not at all.
Because you aren’t paying, the free VPN companies must find a way to make money, and this is how they do it.
Bottom line: If you want to utilize a VPN for internet privacy, a free provider is not the way to go.
Instead, go with a high-end VPN service. The majority of premium VPNs feature a no-log policy, which means they don’t keep track of your online activities and your data is kept entirely hidden when using the service.
2- Free VPNs Are Insecure and Dangerous
VPNs can also help protect you from hackers and other cyberattacks
That is a very reasonable explanation, because the correct VPN can do the following:
It keeps you safe from uninvited man-in-the-middle attacks. This is most typically seen when a hacker takes over a Wi-Fi network and routes all traffic through their machine. This means that the hacker can see all of your unencrypted activities (e.g., browser traffic, email content, and file transfers).
Keep you safe from DNS hijacking. The DNS transmission is always unencrypted, always on the same port (53, UDP + TCP), and for the great majority of domains, the response is simple to modify.
Cover up your IP address (and location from potential hackers).
Encrypt your data and internet activity to ensure that no one can track you.
Most free VPNs include malware as part of the software. Indeed: a study done on 283 VPNs found that over 40% of free VPNs had malware.
Malware may be classified as:
Adverts that aren’t wanted, usually in the form of pop-ups.
Backdoor access to your device is masked within a “legitimate” app. Meaning, without your knowledge, the VPN provider can exfiltrate data (e.g. keyloggers).
Again, it’s unwelcome advertising, but this time it’s the kind that drives you to virus-infected websites.
These are only a few examples.
Premium VPNs, on the other hand, are malware-free and provide enhanced privacy (no data monitoring), improved security (high encryption standards), and a variety of additional data-protection features.
You can view the best recommended VPNs that have been tested and ensure their effectiveness and security
3- Free VPNs only give you a little amount of data.
The majority of free VPN services provide very little data bandwidth. Typically, 500MB to 1GB is the maximum size.
To put it another way, if you wish to:
Listen to music online
Watch a movie online
Download a large file
The probability is that you will have run out of your data by the end of the day, at best (and the free VPN will try to upsell its premium version).
With premium VPNs, your online activity will be safer all the time, not only on a single day.
Checklist for VPN Services
VPNs are not all made equal. There is an equally corrupt provider lurking in the wings for every excellent security service in the industry. Though VPN services may appear similar at first glance, identifying the good from the bad is simple if you know what to look for. Use the VPN service checklist to distinguish trustworthy privacy defenders from dubious competitors.
4- A free VPN is incredibly slow.
When you use the internet, you expect a quick and seamless experience. With a free VPN, you’re certain to receive anything except that.
Certain free VPNs intentionally slow down your internet speed in order to entice you to upgrade to their premium subscription.
Others simply give you access to their slowest servers (either to ensure that you upgrade or because they can’t afford anything else).
And, on occasion, it can be far worse. They not only impede your online experience, but also bombard you with advertisements that consume your bandwidth!
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of advertisements…
5- Free VPNs Inundate You With Doubtful Advertisements
Apart from selling your data, free VPN services generate money by assaulting you with advertisements.
Some of the finest free VPNs may show adverts right inside the VPN client. Others, such as displaying adverts while web pages are loading, are more doubtful.
However, it isn’t all. Malware and virus-infected advertising are common in the worst free VPNs.
6- Free VPNs Sell Your Bandwidth
Some free VPN companies have devised an even more novel method of monetizing their user base: they sell their bandwidth.
That is, they are selling the computing power of your gadget to third-party corporations.
You may be wondering at this point, “how horrible can this be?”
Here are just a few of the issues that free VPNs present:
Your device has the potential to be utilized as a botnet. This is exactly what happened to one of the most prominent free VPN providers: their user base was compromised and exploited in a DDoS attack.
Your computer and online experience can be substantially slowed down (since your computing power is used up by third-party companies).
You expose yourself to potential danger. If a hostile hacker gains access to your computer, he or she can abuse you in a plethora of ways.
For a Safer, Better Browsing Experience, Use a Premium VPN
We could go on and on about all of the safety concerns associated with free VPNs, but you probably get the point: free VPNs are dangerous, with numerous potential drawbacks.
So, what are your options?