A Virtual Private Network is known as VPN effectively encrypts all the internet traffic sent over the internet connection and sends it to a far-off VPN server. In this entire process, everything went through the VPN server.
Like for instance, let’s say that you’re residing in the UK and want to connect to a VPN server located in the USA.
You access sites like Facebook and Google. Your web browsing traffic is sent to the internet via an encrypted connection to the VPN server. Your local network operator, or let’s say the ISP can’t see you are getting connected to either Google or Facebook.
They just view the encrypted connection that goes to an IP address in the US. Eventually, Facebook and Google also see you as someone present in the USA.
People globally use VPNs for a variety of reasons. A VPN effectively keeps your browsing history hidden from the ISP. For example, if you are living in a country where the use of the internet is banned or limited.
Their VPN will enable you to evade the censorship and browse in whatever way you want without imposing any restrictions.
Also, VPN allows you to safely use free Wi-Fi networks without the danger of your sensitive data getting compromised. However, when you use a VPN so you should be careful regarding the amount of trust you put in the VPN operator.
A VPN indeed prevents your ISP or Wi-Fi hotspot operator from spying on your browsing. But it doesn’t stop the operator of the VPN server from prying, mainly if you use free VPNs.
Yes! You heard, right. Free VPNs are significantly unsafe to use. They just not risk your online privacy but can also enable hackers to steal your data and sell it on the dark web.
Read the remaining part of the article to get your queries answered.
Are Free VPN Service Providers Trustable?
No! Free VPNs are not at all safe because they can log and keep records of your content.
They might track all kinds of private information like your IP address, length of the service you are using, the websites you are exploring. In reality, everything that you are trying to protect by using a free VPN might monitor you.
Research shows that 84% of the free VPN service providers leak their user activities. While 75% of them use tracking libraries, and 38% of the available VPN apps from the free services have malware within it.
Both time and money invested in making a secure VPN network are not the top priority for the service providers that provide free VPN downloads.
Back in 2017, an investigation led by Metric Labs draws attention to this serious issue.
The study discovers that the majority of the free VPN apps have their links with China. 86% of these free VPNs had unsatisfactory and substandard privacy policies.
If we talk about recent times, so, in June 2019, Apple reportedly brought down the apps that were involved in the sharing of user data with third parties.
However, as per the update of July 2019 on top VPN investigation, it was revealed that 80% of the best 20 free VPN apps in Apple’s App store break those rules.
Four Reasons Why You Should Not Use Free VPNs
Selecting the right VPN for your needs is a bit difficult, but it will make it pretty daunting if you go with a free VPN. The following mentioned below are the top four reasons to stop using free VPNs.
1. Absence of Transparency
To protect the data of the users, the VPN service providers need costly hardware and expertise as well. In other words, they require customers to pay them for securing their privacy.
When you’re not paying them any fees, then how could you expect that they’ll maintain your data security.
2. Buffering and Buffering
One of the most fundamental reasons people get towards the use of a VPN is to get access to their favorite subscription services like Netflix, HBO, and Hulu.
It is especially when they travel to countries where accessing such services is banned. But, do you think any useful point in obtaining the geographically restricted video content if the free VPN service you are using is continually slowing down the internet speed, and you are unable to access your most likable site?
Some free VPNs have been acknowledged to sell your bandwidth, possibly putting you on the legal cause for whatever they do with it. The most famous case was of Hola VPN. The VPN service was caught back in 2015 for stealing the user’s bandwidth and later selling it.
The bandwidth was sold in a mercenary style, and any group can deploy it with their user base as a botnet.
The subscription streaming sites mentioned above are exceptionally clever to all those who try to use their video services for free.
All these services regularly block large numbers of IP addresses, which they find as freeloaders. The free VPNs cannot afford to invest money in a list of new IP addresses for their users in a way that a paid VPN service can.
In other words, it means that you won’t be able to log in to a subscription media service if you use a free VPN service. Hence, think twice before using a free VPN service.
3. Malware Can Get Into Your System
A study declared that more than 38% of the free VPN services contain malware. If users connect them, then there are higher chances of getting malware in your system.
Now, the decision is of the users either they want to pay some money and secure not just their activities but also their system or else expose the system to malware that would steal and compromise their sensitive information.
4. Advertise Your Data
When you start using a VPN so, the VPN company promises to keep all your essential data and information protected and anonymous. But, in reality, they are lying to you. All the free VPNs do keep a log of all your online activities.
They snoop what the users browse and which websites they frequently visit. When a user’s traffic leaves the VPN, the service provider quickly sees the sites you accessed.
In case you’re obtaining the unencrypted HTTP websites, the VPN service provider can also see the full content of the pages.
They gather your data and sell it to the advertisers that can easily redirect your online traffic. By doing so, they earn money from illegal authorities.
If you are a privacy-conscious person and want absolute online protection, then avoid the usage of free VPNs.
You can conserve a few dollars every month then risking your privacy and data. Moreover, using a free VPN can cost you much more than the subscription to a paid provider.
Apart from the security concerns, free VPNs can make the internet a big headache with its slow speed, pop-ups of ads, and limited streaming.
To deal with this situation, shift towards premium VPNs because you’ll experience not just robust security but fast connection, greater privacy, and peace of mind too.