Is a free VPN going to protect you? Are paid VPN services worth the expense?
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one of the best ways to protect your privacy and Internet security. They are designed to provide a secure and encrypted tunnel that securely sends data between remote users and corporate networks. But is there a difference between a paid and a free VPN?
Whether you are using a public network or a private home network, there’s always the possibility someone is spying on you, and the quality of your VPN might make all the difference. Whether it’s the perfectly normal looking person at the coffee shop or your own Internet Service Provider (ISP), you want them out of your data.
Even though there several VPN providers available, not all services are equal. Price is especially volatile, with no specific connection between cost and quality much of the time. With that in mind, is the paid version worth the cost or will a free VPN be enough?
Why Some VPNs Charge for Service
First, let’s look at why VPNs may cost money. To host a VPN service, providers maintain dozens or hundreds of servers in remote locations to relay your traffic through. Some will even have servers in several countries so that their customers can enjoy geo-location masking.
Unfortunately, starting and maintaining server farms is incredibly expensive. Many purely free VPN services have found ways to subsidize their costs, and while these can entirely legitimate, they also might be shady.
What a Bad Free VPN Can Do
Many free providers give you security not so that your data will be safe, but as a way of getting exclusive rights to it. VPN services are ultimately built on trust, and some free VPNs will collect your data and sell it, even if they don’t let others do the same. Part of the reason why PrivadoVPN is a no-log provider is that we want to make sure that there are no records of your activity to be found by anybody.
Several free VPNs use ads to make their service profitable. Again, this doesn’t protect you so much as it makes your data an exclusive gift to the provider. You might not even notice at first, but pay attention to how often you see ads while using a free VPN and see if it increases. If it doesn’t, like it won’t on PrivadoVPN, then you’re fine. If it does, you might want to consider switching to another service.
And of course, some free VPNs save on costs by using substandard equipment, resulting in unstable connections. Because we offer a paid service to access all our servers and remove data caps, it affords us the ability to build a strong network with high speeds and stable data transfers.
Paid VPN Service
Paid services will generally be higher quality than their free VPN counterparts, or the same quality with fewer restrictions. You can surf the web, secure that your data won’t be sold in exchange for the service, nor will you see more advertisements.
Paid VPNs are contractually obliged to provide a certain degree of security and privacy services to their clients. The highly competitive nature of the market keeps service levels high while prices remain low in most cases.
Another benefit of using paid VPN services is that you can safely browse with no data limits or speed settings. This is ideal for streaming online videos, P2P activities, or online gaming.
Should You Get a Paid or Free VPN?
The idea of a free VPN is, of course, very attractive, and services with free and paid tiers are often acceptable for many people. However, the expenses that go into running a virtual private network require that either restrictions are put on how it is used or it not be free at the point of use. Otherwise, there’s a chance your data is less secure than it was before.
Ultimately, the price of a paid VPN is going to be worth it for anyone who expects to use their computer for anything other than web surfing and social media. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Absolutely! Your privacy and security should never be handed over to fragile services. Do your research, watch for deals, and gather that loose change to ensure that your digital traffic is always in good hands.