The vast majority of VPNs are freemium services. This means that you can use a limited version of them for free and get the full package by paying a premium fee. For VPNs, the fee is usually around $10 a month or as little as $2.99 a month if you pay for a year in advance. However, using the free service is very tempting and many people go down that route. Sadly, this is the reason why they are unable to truly benefit from the added security and other perks offered by VPNs.
Understanding Free VPNs: Why Are They Free?
Amy adult knows that nothing comes truly for free in this life. Therefore, companies offering free VPNs get their money from other sources. If it’s a freemium service, one could argue that they get revenue from premium accounts. To a point this is true, and that’s why you should stick to a trusted freemium if you are determined not to pay for your VPN.
Another major source of income for such companies is an advertisement. It’s always included in free packages. In fact, ‘no ads’ is one of the main advantages marketed for premium accounts.
These ways of making money are completely legal, ethical, and reasonable. However, if you study an objective opinion about free non-paid VPNs, you’ll see that there are some much more serious issues involved in these solutions than annoying ads. One of them is that these VPNs are severely limited.
Low speed, few supported connections, and limited bandwidth are the most common limitations you’ll encounter. These are the things that make using a VPN exceedingly difficult because it slows down your browsing. This also means that you might not be able to enjoy streaming videos, which are one of the main reasons why people use VPNs by default (CompariTech).
However, there is another, more dangerous reason, why free services might be free. It turns out that some unscrupulous companies make their income by monitoring your data and selling it to third parties. This might be rather innocent matters, like selling information about app usage to marketing or consumer research services. However, as the desire for online privacy is the number one reason that makes people use VPN at all, this breach of trust is a very serious matter. It alone makes paying for a VPN premium account worth it.
Benefits of Paid VPN Services: Are They Worth It?
If you want to use a VPN to get some solid protection and access to geo-locked content, a paid service definitely is a worthy investment. The main reason for this is that this kind of VPN will be unlimited in all ways that count (bandwidth and speed). Therefore, you will be able to actually enjoy all the benefits that a VPN offers.
Other important factors to consider when deciding between a free and paid VPN include:
- VPN protocols.
Paid services offer you a chance to use a variety of protocols, including SSH, SSTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSEC. They are more secure and fast than regular VPN protocols used for free services.
- Server control.
Top-quality paid VPN apps will allow you to pick your server and monitor how busy servers are so you can choose the best one for you. Free services usually pick one at random and the stability of your connection is questionable at best.
- Customer support.
Free VPN apps might have a support service sometimes, but it’s rarely effective. Paid accounts, on the other hand, should come with professional support that will help you resolve any issues quickly.
Free VPNs usually don’t require any personal information from you. This gives an illusion of anonymity compared to a premium service that will demand some basic info as well as payment details. However, this is merely an illusion because free service owes you nothing and thus might do whatever it likes with the data it can collect from you indirectly. But when you pay for a premium account, you can check whether complete anonymity is guaranteed in the Terms and Conditions.
Overall, paid VPNs definitely win over free services in all ways that matter. They are superior in quality and reliability. You can definitely use a free VPN to get a feel for this solution and see whether it’s something you need. However, if you want to use this kind of tool long term, a paid service is the way to go.