Why you should stay as far away from free VPNs

Why you should stay as far away from free VPNs as possible

A VPN is the ideal option to ensure your online security and privacy. Nowadays, you have many free options in addition to paid ones. Still, it’s really a better idea to spend some pennies on a VPN.

A good VPN routes your Internet traffic through a secure server that hides your IP address. This keeps your Internet traffic encrypted and your personal information protected from prying eyes.

There are countless VPN options ready to download. Both paid and free. But you should think carefully about the latter. In fact, there are a lot of drawbacks to using free VPNs.

6 reasons why you should definitely not use a free VPN

In the list below, we discuss the pitfalls you will face when using a free VPN. If you are considering a free option, make sure you do proper research on the service before you agree.

#1 A free VPN has limited features

After downloading a free VPN, you usually get a basic set of the most important features. But chances are pretty good that these options won’t be enough for you. Free versions often lack advanced features, such as split tunneling.

Also, free versions often do not allow you to bypass geographical restrictions if you want to stream from another country, for example. So a free version can limit your online experience and probably does not offer the full protection you are looking for.

#2 Weak encryption

One of the main reasons to use a VPN is to provide additional security for your data. However, many free options use weak or outdated security methods, which can leave you vulnerable to hackers or data theft.

Dangerous Google Chrome extension is nightmare for your cryptoA hacker. (Image: Nahel Abdul Hadi)

#3 Data limits

As mentioned earlier, with a VPN you would prefer to have as few restrictions as possible. But with a free VPN, this is pretty tricky. Many of these services impose data limits. This limits the amount of data you can transfer through the service.

After reaching your data limit, you have to wait a long time before you can use the service again. In most cases, the data cycle restarts once a month. If you are a fanatical user, for example downloading high-quality videos or streaming games, you can do almost nothing with this.

#4 A free VPN is tremendously slow

A free VPN is usually used much more than a paid option. Therefore, you can assume that servers get overcrowded. This eventually leads to slow connections and long loading times. It undoubtedly has a big impact on your browsing, streaming or gaming experience.

#5 Ads and pop-ups

When companies get no revenue from subscription fees, they really have to find other ways to make money. Free VPNs do this through ads, among other things. And not by much, either. If you’re unlucky, you may be bombarded with intrusive ads and pop-ups while using the service.

Spam caused by adsCompletely spammed (Image: Pexels)

#6 What happens to your data?

In addition to ads, many free VPNs generate revenue by collecting personal data and selling it to third parties. This is actually quite crazy, because the very purpose of a VPN is to protect your privacy.

It can be even worse. Some more unknown VPNs may have malware hidden in their software. That poses a big risk to your device and personal data. If you download a potentially malicious VPN, you make yourself susceptible to hacking or data theft.

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