VPNs are a necessity in this digital age primarily for security and privacy purposes. A VPN achieves its functionality by implementing encryptions, protocols, and servers for IP addressing. But not all VPNs offer the same features. Premium VPNs provide robust VPN functionalities while free VPNs may lack a thing or two. Usually, free VPNs are not that private, and your security can be compromised. Security experts have cautioned against the use of free VPNs and here are 4 reasons why:
1. Free VPNs may track and sell your data
VPNs require special infrastructure such as servers for them to run efficiently. Maintaining the infrastructure is expensive, and like any other business, costs will be incurred. If you have ever wondered how free VPNs make money, here is how: you are the product. Most free VPNs log all your internet activities, and others have been found to have trackers. To make money for maintaining the VPN service, free VPNs (unlike reputable VPN providers) sell your data to third-party organizations.
2. Annoying ads
Everybody hates ads especially when they are intrusive or obstructing with what you are doing. Free VPNs are notorious for bombarding you with these ads. Why do they push ads? The answer is to make money. Since free VPNs attract a large base of users, it makes sense to push third-party ads as they will earn them a profit. Sometimes these ads can track you and also may contain some malware.
Most free VPNs have low-end infrastructure that cannot implement all VPN functionalities. Usually, they may not provide services that cater for DNS and IP leaks, and they may not have a kill switch. Without these functionalities, if a leak occurs and they usually do, your privacy and security will be at risk.
The ‘Free’ label attracts a lot of users to the extent that the VPN infrastructure cannot service them all. This results to server load and congestions which in turn hinder performance. Low performance translates to low speeds to everyone that’s connected to the VPN service. This means even light web browsing will be a problem for the VPN service. Congestion can also lead to service outage as the VPN service will be down for some period.
Not only your privacy and security will be compromised, but you will also be bombarded with ads and miss some functionalities when using a free VPN. In a nutshell, using a free VPN can be likened to not using a VPN at all.
Gurupriyan is a Software Engineer and a technology enthusiast, he’s been working on the field for the last 6 years. Currently focusing on mobile app development and IoT.