If you have done some research about VPNs, you will know their importance and how they can protect your privacy when using an unsecured network. But most premium VPNs are offered as a paid service, and you have to pay a monthly or yearly premium to access their services. So a common question that most people have is, “Do I really need a VPN?” The short answer is absolutely yes. In this day and age, when we spend so much time on the internet and even carry out our financial transactions online, having a VPN installed is a no-brainer. It also provides you with uninterrupted internet and lets you access all geo-locked content.
But there are free VPN options as well, which promise almost everything that the paid VPN offers without charging you a fee. So the real question is, Is it worth buying a VPN when there are so many free alternatives? Let’s find out in this article.
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The issues of using a free VPN
If you are on a tight budget, a free VPN can be quite tempting. You do not need to pay anything and get a host of services that protects your online privacy, or does it? Here are some of the issues you must consider before opting for a free VPN.
Sell your browsing history and personal data.
The way free services work is they use your private data to show you well-curated ads and earn revenue off you from advertisements. Now there is nothing wrong with this business model, except, of course, the main purpose of using a VPN was to protect your privacy. So, in short, using a free VPN is counterintuitive as selling your data is how they sustain their business.
Painfully slow speeds
Another downside of using a free VPN is the painfully slow download speed which makes working unbearable. Free VPNs can not invest in creating high-quality servers and rely on cheap solutions resulting in painfully slow speeds.
Free VPNs usually do not come with a kill switch, which is a mechanism that disconnects your internet usage when VPN servers are down. This is extremely important as a kill switch will ensure that your identity is private even if the VPN suddenly stops working. For people who want to use VPN on a computer for downloading content from torrent websites or unlock geo-blocked content on HULU or Netflix, this is a must-have feature; otherwise, you may get flagged or even banned from these websites.
Can install malware
Most free VPNs can only be downloaded from shady websites that are not reliable at all. There is no way to know if you are downloading an actual VPN or a virus in disguise that would steal your personal data, including bank information. When you factor in that over 560,000 new pieces of malware are detected every day, you must be very careful when downloading free VPNs from unknown publishers.
The sad truth of the software industry is, “if you don’t pay for the product you are the product” it holds true for VPNs as well. If you want to ensure privacy and stay safe from cyberattacks, it is totally worth buying a premium VPN.