Time and time again, we have often mentioned the dangers of free VPNs vs paid VPNs. Free VPN services repeatedly claim to protect your online privacy and some even openly tell users “Stop wasting money on paid VPNs”.
We get it. Paying for a VPN service seems unnecessary when there are plenty of VPNs out there which claim to do the same thing for free. Heck, I have even been told by friends personally
Yes, there is no denying everybody loves free stuff. However, it is worth to note what you are potentially in for when you sign up for a free VPN.
We would not list out any names but here are a few cases of what existing free VPNs on the market are doing.
A common thing users have to put up with free services are ads. After all, this is the basic way the company is able to fund their business.
Ads can be obtrusive, but some VPNs have been even reported to take it one step further by changing your default search engine on top of targeting the ads you will see as sponsored by your free VPN.
Additionally, with the recent dissolution of US internet privacy laws, criminals have been getting really creative with their fake VPN services. The dangers of free VPNs also lie when there have been cases of many VPNs advertising themselves to be free which turned out to be injecting malware into devices.
Bandwidth costs money, and it may be one of the largest overhead for a VPN. A paid VPN service would typically route your traffic through its own servers.
However, one very popular VPN was discovered to be passing of this cost to its users by using other users’ PCs to route traffic. With this, you never know what other users are using your bandwidth to browse on the internet.
Access to limited servers. Unable to choose which server you can connect to. User logged out after a few hours. Limited data allocation (usually around 100MB/500MB). No access from iPad/mobile.
These are often the features restricted on a free VPN which would otherwise be fully-accessible on a paid VPN subscription.
Speeds are usually severely limited with unstable connections on free VPNs because of the limited servers available and bandwidth sharing (See point #2).
For anyone who signs up for a VPN for the purpose of online streaming or torrenting, slow connection speeds would be the last thing you want.
Did you read that five-page long Terms and Conditions when you signed up for that free VPN? Probably not.
Unbeknownst to you, you could be giving up all your personal information such as your email address, browsing data, bank details and other information.
And how do you complain when you are not paying for anything and agreed to the conditions?
As mentioned, a typical VPN provider has costs to bear. When they route your data through their VPN server, that server is not free and they need to pay for it in some way. If you are not being charged for it, how are they paying for it?
That is where your data becomes the goldmine for free VPNs. How long were you browsing, what is that you are buying online?
If a free VPN provider is not being paid, what incentive do they have to protect your privacy? Their main interest would be to sell your personal data to earn from the highest bidder
A free VPN provider may have zero incentive to protect your privacy when their main interest is to sell your personal data to the highest bidder to sustain their business.
At BolehVPN, we understand that our Bolehians are users from all over the world, and at any time in the day you guys could encounter enquiries which needed to be addressed.
So although our team is based in Malaysia, we have a dedicated crew who works around the clock to address your trouble tickets (yes, even your 4 a.m. ones).
This may not be the same case with a free VPN. If users are not paying for a service, it is less likely that a company would take their time and effort to cater to their customer support or continue improving themselves.