VPNs are becoming more common, especially with governments, ISPs and other organizations greatly increasing user monitoring. With the need for VPNs on the rise, is it really worth paying for a VPN service while there are so many free ones?
Are there really free VPNs?
I understand that free VPNs are quite tempting. After all, you don’t have to pay anything, right? Well, it’s not really so. Free VPNs aren’t anything near free at the end of the day.
Ever heard of the term TANSTAAFL? If you are familiar with Heinlen, you know that ‘There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.’ The adage was obtained from the 1930’s Old West Saloons that offered a free lunch when you bought a drink. But of course, there’s always a catch. The food was usually so salty that you would end up buying more and more drinks to slate your thirst.
When it comes to free VPNs, the same applies. If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product. After all, running a VPN is quite expensive, and nobody would ever do it for charity. So where do they get the money to run the servers? Well, for you!
How free VPNs handle your Data
One of the primary reasons for getting a VPN is to make your data is kept private and secure. After all, that’s what the ‘P’ in the name stands for. To do this, they encrypt your data and then funnel it to their own servers. You no longer access the internet through your ISP but through your VPN server. This way, your ISP can no longer track your online activities.
However, free VPNs do log your data. Actually, they take full advantage of the data, sometimes even more than your ISP would. To get the money to run their service and also make a profit, free VPNs tend to sell this data to third parties for advertising purposes. A recent CSIRO study that investigated 283 VPNs found that 75% of ‘free’ VPN apps contained some form of tracking. As such, is it really a private network?
Other Reasons Why you should avoid free VPNs
That’s just one of the reasons, and here are a few others:
In a study conducted by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, out of the 234 ‘Free’ VPN apps they tested, 38% of them contained some form of additional malware.
Utilize you as an Endpoint
Hola was once the king of ‘free’ VPNs, but in 2015 it was found to be using a user’s internet connection to power the service for others.
Most ‘free’ VPNs can’t implement IP and DNS leak protection features. The result? Leaking IPs. As such, you are not as private as you were promised.
Most free VPNs normally have a small network, and understandably so. Since they are ‘free,’ a lot of people tend to run to them, and therefore the servers are mostly overcrowded. The result is a network that gives you incredibly slow speeds.
So what can you do?
First, what should you not do? Never run to a VPN just because they tell you its free. Actually, you steer away from free VPNs as much as possible. Luckily, there are premium VPNs that don’t charge you overboard to use their VPN service. IPburger is one of the most reliable and affordable VPNs, and we provide various packages to fit various users. With a premium VPN, you can be sure that they will do anything possible to protect your data and keep you secure. You will however still need to choose yours carefully, as not all VPNs are made equal.