Free vs Paid VPNs: Which One Should You Choose?

Free vs Paid VPNs: Which One Should You Choose?

by Dan

If you’re looking for a private and secure way to browse the internet, stream movies and play video games, VPN’s are the best option. Now more and more people are starting to see the benefits of using a VPN but now lies the question, should I a free VPN or pay for one?

Both paid VPNs and free ones have their advantages and disadvantages but we’re going to break down some of the most important services that a VPN offers, compare and contrast the free version of the service against the paid version.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Whether You Should Use a Free or Paid VPN Service 

Quality of Service

Free – Even if a VPN service is free, usually the company makes their money through selling your browser history to third-party providers, which means your information is not 100 percent protected and you’ll probably be dealing with weak data encryption, the slow band-width speeds and ads all over your screen.

Paid – With a paid VPN service, the quality is much better as they make money by their monthly subscriptions and not ad partners, which eliminates you from seeing invasive ads. You’ll also find that paid VPN services have much more (potentially thousands) connection points.

Price

Free – So free will always beat paid in terms of pricing but with free VPN services, you are getting what you pay for. You cannot guarantee fast speeds, a minimum amount of or no ads and browser security.

Paid – While paying monthly can be an inconvenience depending on the price of your VPN service, it can ensure you that you’ll have the best possible experience when it comes from everything from security to speed. If you are still unsure about whether you should or should not pay for a service, try a free VPN and compare it to a paid version with a free trial so you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

Security

Free – There is plenty of free VPN’s that openly acknowledge that they share your browsers session data with third-party providers and once your information is shared, your online privacy is compromised, which defeats the purpose of the VPN.

Paid – When it comes to using a paid VPN service, your security is tightly guarded by a 256-bit (if it is a good quality VPN) rather than a free service that usually has a lot less. You’ll also notice much more flexibility with choosing an open-source protocol or a tunneling protocol. You may also notice that some services only offer PPTP and if they do it is best to stay away from those.

VPN Connection Speed

Free – If you are using a free service, you can expect for there to be thousands of other people using this same service, and while it is free you’ll most likely be dealing with issues such as:

  • Lack of bandwidth
  • Overcrowding
  • Unreliable connections

Paid – Paid VPN services take a nice size of their investment and put it back into the bandwidth and the servers to ensure that their customers not only have a stable and secure connection but that they are able to connect from a multitude of places and all of this without injection scripts into your computer to show you advertisements, which can also lower your user experience.

Protocols

Free – If you are looking into a free service, more times than not they will be providing PPTP VPNs which are not secure. PPTP is actually one of the oldest protocols that are still currently being used and while it does offer a fast connection, the low level of encryption still makes your information vulnerable to third-party providers and other much more dangerous sources.

Paid – Paid services use much more protective protocols that use AES 256-bit encryption and these codes are routinely checked for underlying security flaws throughout to make sure your information is never compromised.

Anonymity

Free – Using a free VPN service, you probably won’t be asked to make an account and even if you are, you can use fake details without a problem, so anonymity with a free VPN is great.

Paid – When you are paying for a VPN service, you’ll have to enter not only your name and other information but your billing details as well, which includes your address and credit card information. So when it comes to the anonymity the free VPN is a better option.

4 Risks of Using A Free VPN

  1. Other Users Have Access To Your Connection – It has been a common practice for free VPN providers to operate as a P2P network, which means your data gets sent to another user’s device and it routes other users traffic through yours, meaning that you’re very vulnerable to a DNS attack.
  2. Your Browsing is Interrupted – The way a free VPN company usually profits is by selling advertising to its users and even though some free companies do not sell your information, the constant annoyance of ads can really negatively affect the user experience.
  3. Slow Connection – If you are looking for quick download speeds, in order to play video games or stream TV services you may be highly disappointed. When using a VPN, the encryption process slows down the speed, now this is with any VPN but it’s hardly noticeable with a paid service, but you will greatly see the effects with a free VPN.
  4. Selling Your Data – If you take a look at some free VPNs there are quite a few that openly admit that they sell your information online to others and once these third parties have access to your data they can harvest it and at that point, your security is compromised and that’s never a good thing.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing your VPN service and whether it is free or paid, it is always best to think about some of the most important services that a VPN offers and visit free and paid VPN websites and compare their policies and quality of service. VPN’s although some are free and can serve their purposes, you’re risking your information being leaked or your browsing data being sold to third party companies. It is always best to evaluate your needs, compare services and their quality and utilize useful articles like this one to make informed decisions about your VPN purchase. 

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