A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is software or an application that helps to keep Internet users secure online. There’s no wonder that the popularity of VPN software services is growing, especially now that the new censorship laws and data retention regulations are taking place all over the world. There are various VPN service providers that differ in features as well as pricing, but for some, the best VPN is a free VPN. While some of the free VPNs in the market are good, be aware that they are free for a reason, most often – at the expense of user security. However, there is a fraction of free VPNs that are genuinely good.
What is a VPN and what is it used for?
A VPN is security software that is mostly used for keeping Internet user data safe and private, as it creates a secure tunnel between a user’s device and the Internet. The created tunnel is encrypted and all the information that passes over is encrypted as well. This means that no one, even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can know about what you’re doing online, what kind of websites you’re browsing, what you’re downloading and more. Nowadays, a VPN is used not only for security, but for its other features as well. For example, a VPN service provider gives you a wide list of servers located all around the world. By connecting to such server, your virtual IP address changes and makes it seem that you’re located in another country. This helps a great deal to users who want to access geographically blocked websites or restricted streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other. Moreover, by changing your IP address, you become hidden and no one can trace back your original location. Some VPN services provide advanced features to enhance privacy, speed or the overall user experience.
What is so unsafe about free VPNs?
As it was mentioned before, free VPNs are rarely REALLY free; usually a VPN service provider has another agenda or limits its user in some way. Most of the time, user bandwidth is limited, meaning that free users can use up only a limited part of data. Sometimes, VPN providers restrict the availability to use a VPN on multiple devices and sometimes they restrict the servers you can connect to.
What are the risks a free VPN can pose?
One of the greatest risks is fraud. Users can put out their personal information as well as financial details that can get easily stolen by a scam like or fake VPN service provider. Moreover, the personal information received could be sold to third-parties or advertisers. Most users do not know much about third-party tracking. Studies have shown that about 70% of free VPNs tracked its users. This means that user private information is collected and can be sold to third-parties, which then can analyze user activity and habits.
Malware is something every user avoids. However, malware can be also used to steal credit card information, personal information and other sensitive data. Moreover, what malware does best is hits users with certain spam emails and messages, fake ads, promotions and other types of scam. If you accidentally click on such an email, your computer might get infected by downloading a virus.
There are numerous instances when free VPNs steal your bandwidth. Furthermore, if the security of such VPN is weak, other users might use your bandwidth for their means, and you won’t even notice.
Program or browser hijacking is one of the risks that the users face all too often. A VPN or other related software can take over programs or browsers on your computer and divert them to certain sites as well as install unwanted extensions and more.
Another big problem with free VPN service provider is that usually it does not offer great privacy or anonymity. This means that VPNs usually leak user original IP addresses as their security is lacking and the user is left exposed.
While truly, there are numerous quite good free VPN service providers, we suggest using paid VPNs, as they will always be better in terms of security or privacy. You can check out our top-rated VPN services right here.
What will you be using the free VPN for?
You can take a look at our list of the best free VPNs, as they offer extensive money-back guarantees and free trials. Try these VPN service providers without risks!
Tunnelbear has to be one of the best, if not the best free VPN service provider. It’s a fun, well-designed and easy to use VPN service. Moreover, the free TunnelBear practically does not differ from the paid service, but is limited in the available data. The free subscription offers 500 MB of data each month. Tunnelbear also has strong encryption available and 5 simultaneous connections that you can use on Windows, Mac as well as iPhone, iPad and Android. This VPN service lets you connect to servers that are located in 20 countries and also use its advanced features.
Hide.Me offers a great free plan. It might be limited in many ways, but it’s probably one of the better free plans available at the moment. You can get the free plan easily, as no credit card information is required, so you will be sure that money won’t be withdrawn from your account and automatically purchase the paid subscription. There are 3 locations available to the free users as well as 2 GB of data. The speed is also restricted to 3 Mbit/s and you can only use PPTP, SSTP, L2TP and IPSec encryption protocols. One simultaneous connection is allowed per free account.
Windscribe is a relatively new player in the VPN market, but it already offers quality VPN services. Moreover, it has a free plan available. One simultaneous connection is available and users can choose from 8 locations to connect to. Also, Windscribe provides a Firewall, Adblock and P2P and 10 GB of bandwidth per month. Windscribe has strong AES-256 encryption as well as DNS leak protection.
SurfEasy is a VPN service provider that has good server speed, strong encryption as well as a few decent advanced features. SurfEasy offers 5 simultaneous connections, hundreds of servers in 28 countries and allows P2P/Torrenting activity. This VPN service provider has a free plan as well and gives its users 500 MB of free data with tracker blocking. Furthermore, SurfEasy is easy to install and use.
Speedify is a VPN service provider that is known for fast speed and stable, reliable server connections. Speedify has servers located in 24 countries scattered all around the globe. For its free users, Speedify offers 1 GB of data. What is more, there are no other restrictions on the free plan, which means that strong encryption and speed boosting features also apply to the free users.
Why using a paid VPN is better?
While some free VPNs are great and offer high-quality services, they will never be on the same level as the paid VPN service providers. What happens usually with a free VPN is that it has slower speeds and rarely offers more than thousands of server locations. Another drawback is customer support or a lack of it thereof. As the VPN is free, it does not have customer support agents helping you out, so you are left in the dark. So, in general, a paid VPN will always have more stable server connections, better speeds and offer more servers around the globe. When you get a paid VPN, you know it will be a reliable service provider.
An exclusive list of our top-rated VPN service providers