Free VPN

Free VPN

‘The dangers of a free VPNs and why you should use a paid VPN (with a free trial perhaps)’

We all like something for free and a quick internet search will bring up a plethora of free VPN solutions for desktop and mobile devices. The use of virtual private networks (VPN) is becoming increasingly widespread as users value their privacy, while governments and hackers continue to prey on unprotected devices.

The best free VPNs you can find can provide viable solutions to the growing security and privacy concerns in many parts of the world. However, you should be aware, that there is a price to pay when getting a “free” service of any kind. In the case, of VPN services and apps, you pay by compromising your device or network and becoming an easy prey for spying eyes.

We will assess all the dangers associated with the use of free VPN service in the below sections while providing suggestions on how to mitigate risks arising from the usage of affordable VPN apps and add-ons. A list of carefully assessed services will familiarize you with the best free VPNs and their paid alternatives.

Top 3 Free VPN Plans

Risks of Using Unlimited Free VPNs

No manufacturer or service provider, even the largest multinational, can afford to provide free goods or services to customers. The cost is always calculated and offset somewhere on their balance sheet. No business starts with the intention to lose money in the long run, and VPN app developers and VPN providers are no exception to the rule.

Running multiple servers all over the world is a costly undertaking and you also need to support, maintain, and update these VPN servers. One should also invest heavily in app development as online dangers and new network penetration methods occur on a daily basis. Someone has to pay the price for a free VPN, of course.

If you get an unlimited free VPN service, it means, in theory, that you have a solution for which other users pay in the range of $4 to $10 a month, on average. How can a free VPN cover these costs? These free VPNs monetize you and your online behaviour; thus, you are the product here. Such a totally free VPN service has no other ways to be in the black, even if they aggressively push ads to you via their VPN app. They sell your private data and browsing habits to interested third parties to cover their costs and actually profit on your most sensitive online data.

It is not the worst-case scenario, however. You will be lucky if you get a fully functional VPN app in exchange for your private data. A good number of the unrestricted free VPNs are not providing even the basic protection one would expect from a VPN. Encryption is another issue, as many completely free services do not bother to secure your data through encryption, which in fact makes them completely useless from a security point of view.

Freemium VPNs Are Good for Testing Purposes Only

The freemium VPN model differs from the unlimited services by setting certain limitations over the use of the service. Most freemium VPNs are actually paid apps offering a trial period during which you can use most (but not all) of the functionality provided by the paid version.

A freemium VPN is safer to use compared to an all-free model but you need to feel comfortable with using a limited service. VPN providers usually limit the bandwidth you can use during the free period as well as certain advanced options that may hinder your privacy.

So, the freemium VPNs are good when selecting a paid VPN that best fits your needs and requirements. This way you can assess and compare speed, server locations, service level, and other features of a number of VPN apps before selecting the best VPN service for you.

Major Dangers of Free VPNs

We have touched only the top of the iceberg when dangers arising from the use of free VPNs are concerned. Let’s dig deeper into the hazard associated with these free apps.

Malware and Tracking Protection

A free VPN will rarely provide working protection against malware or malicious websites. What is more, a free VPN might be packed with malware itself. In most cases, this will not be a ransomware-type malware but tracking piece of code that monitors and records online activities, website visits, and other personal data.

The VPN app developer will use these data to spam you with targeted ads or get access to sensitive data. In the worst possible case, you can expose your online and bank card details to malicious parties. Security experts estimate that close to 40 percent of free VPNs contain a sort of malware.

Even more free VPNs track your actions and collect private data. According to estimates, about 75 percent, or two-thirds, of all free VPN apps collect private data, which they can use for various purposes, ranging from data analytics to consumer behaviour to targeting ads on you.

External Access to Data

Many free VPNs are actually data collecting tools aimed at providing access to your private data that is collected by third parties. Actually, many legitimate VPN services apply one of the oldest tricks in the book to make this in a completely legal fashion.

How many of you read the fine print on the terms and conditions or the privacy policy of a free, or even paid, service provider. Most users rush to take the free service not realizing that this way they and their private data are becoming the product. Your details and sensitive data are on offer to advertisers while you are wondering how to get rid of unwanted ads and offers.

Lost Bandwidth

Sometimes a free VPN service will offer a certain bandwidth, and then it will put shaping on your connection, which will set your bandwidth to a lower limit and will resell the bandwidth to other users.

Sure, you can rarely achieve your full bandwidth even with a legitimate VPN but this is due to lost packets, the server being far way, or other networking factors that are completely acceptable. Limiting your bandwidth below the agreed level is a totally unacceptable practice.

Data Leaks

The primary goal of any VPN should be to protect and secure your data transferred over an online connection and only then come functions such as the ability to circumvent geo-restrictions imposed on specific websites and online services.

Many free VPNs fail to protect your personal data by leaking your IP address, for instance. It is a problem with paid VPNs as well, but the difference is that legitimate VPN services make it due to software bugs developers try to rectify, while others are just incapable of properly preventing data leakage.

Best Free VPN Services

So, how you know which are the best VPN services in the light of the above mentioned? First of all, forget about unlimited free VPNs and start researching paid VPNs that have a free trial. You can start by checking a few options we have selected as legitimate VPN apps offering a trial version for you to assess.

NordVPN
NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN is among the leading VPN services in the world. They’ve been this for several years now, so you can be certain that they offer excellent service. The main thing to know about them is that they are based in Panama. This is important because it keeps them safe from the reach of copyright holders and the NSA. As privacy is obviously important to them, it’s no surprise that they keep no logs whatsoever, so you can be certain that you are safe.

They have 4,567 servers in 62 countries and they use a range of encryption technology to keep you safe, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec (you can even double-up your servers to create a chain if you’re really into privacy). And what are the downsides of their service? Well, they practically have none.

They are among the most well-known market players that offers a long trial period for checking the capabilities of their VPN app. NordVPN offers 30-day money-back guarantee on all their pricing plans.

Advantages of NordVPN

  • Fastest VPN connect recorded.
  • 4,402 servers in 62 countries, including 1,695 servers in the USA.
  • Double VPN, Dedicated IP, P2P, Anti DDoS and Obfuscated services.
  • 30-Day Money back guarantee.

Disadvantages of NordVPN

  • Nothing.
  • It delivers strong performance at a competitive price.
CyberGhost Review
CyberGhost

CyberGhost

The best thing about CyberGhost is that they have more than 800 servers and global coverage. Thus it’s not surprising that they offer high speeds and a really good looking app that’s bound to be appealing to most people.

Furthermore, CyberGhost is really dedicated to civil rights and a full supporter of an uncensored internet, so you can be sure that your privacy is assured with them. They also have a no logs policy.

This VPN service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, with their monthly service plan, so you can test their network before committing to an annual plan.

Advantages of CyberGhost

  • 2nd Fastest VPN connection recorded.
  • Up to seven simultaneous connections.
  • 1,747 servers in 60 countries, including 177 servers in the UK.
  • Dedicated IP, P2P, Anti DDoS and Obfuscated services.
  • 30-Day Money back guarantee.

Disadvantages of CyberGhost

  • Some performance issues.
ExpressVPN Review
ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in general, not just for it trail offers. Their main focus is user-friendliness so you can expect to have an easy time using their service. Furthermore, if you get stuck on something, you can be certain that their customer support will definitely be very helpful. as they are actually helpful, unlike many others.

When it comes to servers, they have them in 94 countries, which is definitely enough. They have plenty of those close to China, and even stealth servers in Hong Kong whose main purpose is to defeat the Great Firewall.

You can try the service of ExpressVPN for 30 days, with a money-back guarantee across all their VPN packages. They are another legitimate VPN service provider that is on the market for a long time.

Advantages of ExpressVPN

  • Fantastic streaming speed with no buffering.
  • Up to five simultaneous connections.
  • Huge range of server locations and IPs to choose from.
  • Dedicated IP, P2P, Anti DDoS and Obfuscated services.
  • 30-Day Money back guarantee.

Disadvantages of ExpressVPN

  • More expensive than the rest of the pack, but worth the money.
TunnelBear Review
TunnelBear Review

TunnelBear

TunnelBear was recently purchased and is now part of a much larger group of VPN brands, offering extensive security and features. What makes TunnelBear a little different from its rivals is their trial promotion, which you can test for free. The free version is limited to 500MB a month. If you are satisfied with their service, their prices start at $9.99 a month.

In Summary

To conclude, you should always choose a trial version of a genuine VPN app over an unlimited free VPN. The best free VPNs, actually the trial version of a paid VPN, will not sacrifice your privacy and security and will provide full-grade encryption and data leakage protection. What you can expect as drawbacks are limitations on your bandwidth and data usage during the free trial period.

One more thing to bear in mind. As increasing number of people use mobile devices to access the Internet, both at home and at work, you should pay particular attention to the features and characteristics of any mobile VPN app you install. Do not fail victim of positive reviews about a free VPN for mobile. These reviews go a dozen for a dime, and malicious free VPNs are on the official online stores of Apple and Google. They might not be ransomware but you can get tracking codes and data-stealing malware even by downloading such an app from Google Play or Apple Store.

So, bet sagely and take no chance that an unlimited free VPN can rank among the best free VPNs on the market. You can test a viable VPN for free during a limited period but you cannot have it for free forever.

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