A VPN (a virtual private network) helps you make the most of the internet, by adding a layer of protection to shield your private information from prying eyes [source]. A VPN provides enhanced security and maintains robust encryption, hiding your digital activities and identity from those with questionable motives, government surveillance, and third parties that might compromise your privacy. These days, where we find more employees distributed to protect everyone from the pandemic, rather than working from a central office, such security and privacy are at a premium. But before your jump on board the express with a free VPN, think about what you give up by opting for a free option. I think you’ll find a free VPN isn’t worth the savings and we’ll discuss why in this post.
VPN software is flexible and provides stable, secure connectivity to all your household devices even with simultaneous use by multiple users. Whether you access public WiFi, like that at a coffee shop or hotel, or have a private connection in your residence, a VPN gives you the peace of mind of knowing your digital footprint is masked, and your identity is safe, together with all your sensitive data.
There are many benefits you get when using a VPN, while still gaining access to high-speed, reliable, and safe communications, for instance, unblocking geo-restricted websites and online games, or streaming services is possible with a trustworthy VPN provider.
While the government permits your internet service provider to keep logs of all your digital activities, using a VPN masks these activities, and reliable service providers ensure there’s no record of your digital transactions.
With all the benefits you get with a virtual private network, it’s vital to weigh the benefits and consequences offered by the many VPN service providers.
Once you’ve done due diligence, I think you’ll agree you should distance yourself from using any free VPN service. Such services, and there are a huge number of providers touting their free service, are enticing, to begin with, because providers don’t charge a fee and have an easy customer interface to make the process simple for even the most inexperienced users. Who wouldn’t want a service that you get for free instead of subscribing to a paid service, especially when the features and benefits section of the website appears to offer a similar product?
Why you should avoid using free VPN services
One primary reason you should not use a FREE VPN is the hidden features and security problems hidden behind the service. Obviously, no business provides a disclaimer indicating potential dangers so, without doing your homework, you won’t discover the hidden ways free providers are able to offer their services without charge.
A paid service won’t compromise your privacy and security, the way the free ones do. You’ll find paid providers don’t log your transactions, sites you visited, and other private information so you stay anonymous, no matter where you are when you log in to the VPN or what you do. Paid VPNs provide complete security, that is why people recommend ExpressVPN because of its reliability, stability, and robust encryptions. True to what they say, when they say you are protected, they mean it. There is no hidden agenda behind their offer.
Here’s a quick rundown of the five reasons why you should AVOID FREE VPNs:
1. They aren’t secure
Free VPNs don’t have standard security protocols like OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP, PPTP, and other high-end security protocols you get with the most reliable, paid services. Free services don’t have the resources and incentives needed to provide acceptable industry-standard internet encryption and security, especially given the technical expertise and other costs needed to implement security protocols.
In fact, according to this source (see table below), free VPNs are infected with some type of malware.
2. Free VPNs log your online activities.
Free services need to support their mechanism, after all, these aren’t philanthropic organizations, they’re in business to make a profit and, the sad truth is, you are their product once you decide to use their services. Free providers log your digital activities, details, sensitive data, personal information, etc. to later sell your activity to third-party interests or, even more treacherous, to exploit your personal information for criminal activities.
So if you think your identity is hidden just because you’re using a ‘free’ service, think again. One of the primary reasons you use a VPN is to keep your information private and as secure as possible. A free service is actually less secure and private than using public WIFI.
Browsing without annoying ads is relief and protection at the same time. Ads are often a source of malware and are nearly always annoying. Just like free services, these ads work in the background, not only to affect your browsing experience but generate revenue from you.
Poor customer support
Any software and services must have an active support team that helps you answer and resolve the technical issues you encounter quickly and expertly. Free VPNs don’t guarantee a reliable support team to assist you should you need help in the future and provide support 24/7 so it’s available whenever you need help.
Most free VPNs limit the amount of data covered under their “free” plan then force you into higher tiers when you use up the very limited quota provided. This feature might result in higher costs than choosing a paid VPN provider in the first place and still result in a relatively poor product. For some of these free providers, it’s a concerted strategy to tease users with a free tier only to force them into a higher tier with stringy features
A related problem is that free VPNs slow your internet down by hogging your bandwidth so every action takes longer and time is money.
The bottom line is that you want to secure online activities, sensitive data, protect personal information, and more. A reliable and trusted paid VPN provides all of this while keeping in mind all the possible pain points you might encounter and providing solutions. Reaching out for support is conveniently easy.
Ironically, free VPNs take advantage of your data for their benefit. While you’ll never pay a single cent with free VPNs, you’re putting yourself in great danger and exposing your privacy, which negates the rationale for using a VPN in the first place. A free VPN is suitable for nothing; service features are enticing at first yet they have tons of setbacks and compromising your overall privacy.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.