Free VPNs Are Best For Short Term Uses Or For Testing Purpose But If You Are Looking For VPN For Long Term You Must Dig For A Paid VPN Service
Virtual Private Network or as we shortly call VPN, allows users to securely connect their server over the internet and offers complete anonymity for surfing on the web. It can be easily used to access restricted websites, hide your online activities from prying eyes and much more. These days the popularity of VPN is sky high, and there is a number of free and paid VPN service providers available on the market with various features. So Free VPN is free to use only you need to register their service and start protecting your online privacy But to use faster and premium VPN service you have to pay some penny. That provides a number of fastest servers, customer service, higher class security and more. So which option is best for you? To help you decide on this here in this post we are going to discuss the difference between free VPN and paid VPN so that you can make the right decision.
Risks Of Free VPN Providers
Not every free VPN provider is problematic. But if a free VPN or free proxy is malicious, there are several ways for them to monetize your internet traffic, including:
Injecting targeted ads and spam into your browser
Logging your browsing history and selling it to advertisers
Stealing your bandwidth and serving it to the highest bidder
Recording all your usernames, passwords, and bank details
Donât just take our word for it an independent study of over 25,000 free proxies found the vast majority of them blocked HTTPS, injected data, or modified content in some way.
What Is A VPN
A VPN can be defined as an online service that helps internet users create a personal/ private network over the internet. In a laymans language, it can be said be to a distinct tunnel through which two or more computers can interact remotely and safely through the internet.
The safe tunnel is facilitated by encrypting personal data while using the internet. Literally, your internet pathway is shifted from your Internet Service Provider to that of the VPN servers. You then now access the internet from the VPN servers.
All the interactions on the internet are encrypted in such a way that if intercepted by hackers are unreadable. The encrypted data can only be deemed readable using a special decryption key only known by the VPN server and the users computer.
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Their Security Can Easily Be Cracked
Just like I mentioned earlier, operating a world-class secure network platform can be quite expensive unless you cut corners. A lot of free VPNs use a weak security encryption level that can easily be cracked by anyone.
This means that your personal data that you are sharing online can easily be hacked by anyone with the know-how. If you are in a country like the USA that monitors online activities, then you should know that you are not safe with a free VPN.
How Much Data Does A Free VPN Offer
One of the best free VPN options is Hotspot Shield VPN, which also has a premium version should you want to upgrade. At its most basic, the free service is good for up to 500MB of data per day. Not a small amount for browsing websites, but very little if you want to watch your latest Netflix show, for example.
A monthly data allowance of 15GB, which that equates to, does sound like a lot but since you can’t roll over that daily limit, it’s not that much. But, of course, it depends on what you need it for. For bulk use, you might want to go for a service like Windscribe which offers a lower 10GB data allowance but it’s spread over the month so you can use that as you need. Tweet about the service and you’ll get an extra 5GB, and each time you refer a friend you get an extra 1GB also.
ProtonVPN has no limits on data but, before you get excited, this has other limits to incentivize you to upgrade. That means only one device can be used and there are only three server locations plus speeds can be limited. You will be throttled on speed if a lot of paid users are online as they get priority. There is also no P2P torrent support from this service.
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Tracking And Selling Your Browsing Data
While you might think that nobody cares what you do online, your online data is a high commodity.
Advertisers buy user data from data brokerage companies to learn more about user shopping habits, tastes, and preferences and make their campaigns more effective.
One of the main ways free VPNs make money is by selling your personal data to brokers. The information they sell might include what websites you visit, what you purchase, how long you stay online, and what kind of device you use.
Best Free VPN For Your Computer Or Mac
Most free VPNs are available for Windows and Mac. There are three ways in which you can use a VPN on your computer:
Some VPNs are only available as a browser extension on Chrome or Firefox. This means they do NOT protect your other internet traffic, including torrents and emailing. The only thing a VPN browser extension protects is the internet traffic running through your browser, such as online banking via your banks website.
Different operating systems require different kinds of VPN software. Linux users will often have a harder time setting up a VPN connection compared to Windows or Mac users. Setting up a VPN connection on Windows or Mac is usually just a matter of Linux users often have to manually configure their VPN connection.
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Is A Free VPN Better Than No VPN
It depends. If you need to bypass some restrictions then no VPN is obviously not going to help. But even in that case, its better to use Tor.
Why? Because comparing a free VPN to no VPN, we see that privacy threats dont go away, but simply change form:
To boil it down, the only real difference between no VPN and a free VPN is not if you give away your data, but to whom.
An Extensive Server Network
NordVPN operates more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries, guaranteeing the best speed wherever you are. It also offers several servers for different purposes:
- Obfuscated servers to access information in countries with severe internet restrictions.
- Onion Over VPN for extra security when accessing .onion websites.
- Double VPN redirects your traffic through two servers instead of one for extra security.
- Dedicated IP exclusive servers for users who purchased dedicated IPs.
- P2P servers for smooth and secure file sharing.
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What Does A Paid VPN Get Me
This is the key question as you’re committing to a monthly or annual payment for a service. Of course, you’ll get all the security of an encrypted connection but you’ll also get unlimited data. That means you could be abroad and still watch all your favorite Netflix shows without the worry of running low on your data allowance.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll be able to select the server that you want. This is a huge advantage as you could connect to U.S. Netflix while you’re in Europe, say. This is also really helpful if you’re somewhere like China where VPN use is restricted and you may need to try a few server locations to actually get online.
Speeds are usually faster on paid-for VPN services. Although there is the free option, Speedify, which is all about rapid connections but that will be limited with just 1GB of data allowance per month. We recommend ExpressVPN for anyone looking to pay for a VPN.
Limited Features And Overall Usability
The benefits of using a paid VPN are that you get access to a complete feature set, unlimited bandwidth, and a much more extensive server network. With free VPNs, all of these things get significant limitations.
Free users are usually limited to a small portion of the available servers, with their connection speed being slowed down and access to advanced features like Multihop restricted.
Therefore, using a free VPN means giving up a lot in terms of features and general user experience.
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Protonvpn Best Free VPN With Unlimited Data And Many Extra Benefits
ProtonVPN is the most well-known free VPN, ideal for those seeking a free VPN with unlimited data and zero logs.
|Visit the Proton website|
Why choose the free version of ProtonVPN?
Proton can justifiably be called one of the best free VPNs on the market. This popular provider from Switzerland offers user-friendly software, an excellent free package of security tools, and applications with good encryption.
The free version of ProtonVPN has no data limits, which is unique amongst free VPN providers. It also doesnt have any speed limits. This means youre free to use this VPN as long as you want, for whatever you like to do online.
Another of ProtonVPNs features is that it functions well on all your devices. Proton works with Mac, Windows, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, and even certain routers.
On top of that, ProtonVPN is a very safe provider. It does not keep any logs of user data and is well-known for its focus on security and privacy. As long as your VPN connection is activated, youll be protected.
Finally, creating a Proton account gives you access to a whole suite of other security services. These include:
- Proton Calendar, with end-to-end encryption
- Proton Drive, including 1 GB of free secure cloud storage
If you choose to upgrade to a premium Proton plan, you get upgrades in all these services, making it a great all-in-one online privacy provider.
Disadvantages of the free version of ProtonVPN
Verdict on ProtonVPN
Privacy: Do Free VPNs Sell Your Data
Unlike digital security, digital privacy is all about keeping your online activities and identity anonymous. Besides security features, the best VPN for privacy offers a strict no-logs policy as an assurance it wont collect, store or share connection logs or the trail of your digital footprint.
Additionally, top-tier virtual private network providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have undergone third-party audits to guarantee privacy and security, including finding and patching up errors that could cause their infrastructure to accidentally store user data.
Many fully free VPNs dont state their logging policy, and they gather user data to varying levels, including details about the websites you visit, your real IP address and more. Some sell it on data marketplaces or use it for commercial purposes.
Facebooks Onavo Protect is a good example. Facebook lured mobile users into using its now-defunct free VPN service little did subscribers know the VPN was a data-mining tool for the social media giant. Instead of safeguarding user privacy, the free service harvested valuable information that Facebook used for commercial interest.
Betternet, which is owned by Aura , has also been embroiled in controversy. In 2016, a report showed how the free VPN service was one of the VPNs with the highest number of embedded third-party trackers. These are not isolated cases of privacy violation its a fair reflection of the privacy dangers that free VPN services pose.
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Free VPN Vs Paid VPN: Which Is Best For You
A free VPN, or virtual private network, is a wonderful thing as many things that are free tend to be. But, as is also often the case, you get what you pay for and a paid VPN is often better. That said, it all depends on what you need. So which is the best VPN for you, free or paid?
The price difference between these two options is clearly big, going from totally free to the average monthly price of a VPN which is about $10. But subscribe for longer and you save money that way.
The downside of going for a free option and one of the main differences between the two is the amount of data you can use. A free service will have a limit on your data usage in most cases, be it daily or monthly. Once you’ve gone over that data limit you will no longer be able to use the VPN. There is one unlimited service, but there are other limits, more on that below.
So a free VPN is a great option for those that want it for limited use perhaps to check a map or certain website while abroad, for example. But for those that want to check emails in bulk, stream music, and watch online video a paid VPN is going to be needed.
Data Collection And Selling
Operating a virtual private network isnt cheap. One of the ways free providers turn a profit is by monetizing your data. When youre connected to a free VPN, your provider can log and monitor your online activity, including your browsing habits. Once this data is compiled, your provider sells it to third-party bidders.
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Pushing You To Upgrade To A Paid Version
Some free VPNs offer users limited features and set restrictive data caps to pressure customers to upgrade to the paid service. Many apps use this strategy to attract paying customers, and free VPNs are no exception.
Since its recommended that you have a VPN enabled on your device at all times to stay secure, you might run out of free data in just a couple of days. So you either have to upgrade to a paid version or only use a VPN occasionally.
Atlas VPN Best Free VPN For Android And Ios
A fast, free VPN with generous bandwidth and some great features on mobile devices.
|Visit the Atlas VPN website|
Why should you choose the free version of Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is a relatively new provider, but it provides a feature-rich free VPN that is on top of its game. The VPN is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Its mobile apps are particularly good, as they come with a few exclusive features. One of these features is split-tunneling, which allows you to use the VPN connection on some apps, but not on others. This way, you can protect your online activity while still seeing relevant pages on your local news app, for example.
Furthermore, you can use the free version of Atlas VPN immediately after installing the app: you dont have to create an account or sign in. You get a relatively generous bandwidth of 10GB per month without any speed limits. This isnt the unlimited data use that Proton offers, but can still be enough for your everyday use, provided you dont use it for streaming and torrenting all day long.
Free users can access three locations, namely The Netherlands, Los Angeles, and New York. Our speed tests indicated that Atlas VPN offers pretty high speeds across its servers.
In terms of security, your data is protected by AES-256 bit encryption and the highly secure WireGuard protocol as well as IPSec/IKEv2. The free version also offers a kill switch, which you can enable from the settings menu.
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They Provide Weak And Easily Crackable Security
As we said, operating a solid, secure network infrastructure is a costly process unless you cut corners.Unlike premium VPNs, many free VPNs use unreliable security measures and weak encryption that can act similar to malware. Often, this poor protection means that your data can be easily deciphered by hackers and spying agencies like the US NSA.
Pricing: How VPNs Make Money
All VPN companies need financial resources to keep their operations sailing along. That means the VPN provider has to generate income somehow. Premium VPN services collect money from subscription fees, which is enough to keep the company running and turning a profit.
Freemium VPNs, like Windscribe and ProtonVPN, use the free plan to entice users toward their paid plans. However, completely free VPNs dont charge you a penny. That begs a question: What price do you pay for using a free VPN?
A few VPNs might ask for donations. Other free VPN providers may also serve up targeted ads in the app. However, some free VPNs will collect your personal information and sell it to third parties to make money.
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They Provide You With Limited Features So Youll Later Need To Upgrade To A Paid Service
Maybe you are lucky enough to get your hands on a free VPN that does not sell your online data and keeps the ad at a minimum level you will likely face another major drawback, which is service limitation. However, depending on the reasons why you need a VPN, you might be able to manage the limitations.
Most free services are offered by the popular VPN providers that will like to convince you that the paid plan is the better plan for you. So what they do is that your data will be secured, but they will ensure that you do not have access to all the extra exciting and important features. Some of these services will limit your bandwidth and your network access, and you might not be able to have access to streaming platforms that have been blocked in your location.