Is Free VPN safe while, like everybody, they must maintain the hardware and expertise required by large networks?
It’s not a secret that VPNs have expensive bills to pay to keep users secure and provide high-quality services. Therefore, you either pay for their services with your dollars or your data.
Reasons why free VPNs might not be a good solution
Selling your bandwidth
To maintain an extensive network of servers, some free VPNs might use you as a server for their network. It’s also possible that they sell your bandwidth to a third party. This way, they can reduce costs. Unfortunately, you pay with some implications; your internet speed will decrease to support other users who use your bandwidth. There is an even higher risk because the whole activity of the VPN network that goes through your connection uses your IP address. Therefore, you might be responsible for other users’ online actions. Any illegal acts may be traced back to you instead of the originator.
Selling collected data
Most free VPNs collect your data, including IP address, contact number, email address, home address, and online activities. Then, later, they sell it to third-party companies. On the other hand, most of the top paid VPN providers have a strict logging policy, and your data will not be stored and sold to anybody.
The main reason for getting VPN is to secure your online identity and keep you anonymous on the internet. Unfortunately, free VPNs and even some commercial ones don’t maintain their own encryption protocols. Therefore the information passing through the tunnel might be captured by some unwanted people causing security failures. So if you want to be secure and keep your data private, avoid free VPNs as they don’t provide secure connections.
Security risk by giving access to scammers
When your internet request goes through free VPN servers, it’s possible to make money by modifying the web code and displaying many ads on your browser. Therefore, you should check their terms and conditions to find out if they mention collecting personal information to sell it or showing advertisements during your online activity. In many cases, it isn’t easy to figure out where it comes from, and sometimes it’s required to completely wipe out your computer to get rid of their code. So it’s good to avoid downloading free software.
VPN vs. censored countries
Most VPNs, whether paid or free, work without problems in countries like the United States or the countries in Europe. However, some countries like India, China, Vietnam, Iran, Myanmar, Cuba, and others control their citizens by imposing severe internet restrictions. So it can be challenging to use it in places with high censorship levels. The difference between free and paid VPN services is enormous in this case. Sometimes, even low-cost VPN brands cannot provide services in countries like China because the infrastructure and encryption protocols are crucial. Therefore we suggest investing a little bit more in a reliable VPN provider.
Although we do not advise using the free VPN services because they might be dangerous, some good providers offer VPN services for free, aside from their premium services. But unfortunately, it’s expected that their services are limited, encouraging users to upgrade to paid plans.
Therefore, test the VPN service for free for 30 days.
Unless you can accept some limitations in privacy and service levels. Then read our ProtonVPN review that offers limited VPN for free.