Many people are wondering if free VPN services are as reliable and functional as paid VPN services, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of free and paid VPN? There are plenty of free VPN options, but does it work?
The use of virtual private networks to protect the Internet has long been used, but now, especially with the proliferation of mobile devices, there is more VPN services available for the private consumer market than ever before. Many VPN service providers also offer free or partially free services.
While a free VPN may well fit a specific purpose, as usual, there are hardly any free products or services. Because of this, there is always some sort of compromise between what you want and what you are willing to pay for.
Your data through a free VPN connection may be compromised because many free VPN services provide, for example, a slightly out-of-date VPN connection that operates through the so-called Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. If the user does not need strong encryption, for example, if you just want to watch open streaming videos from another country, then PPTP can work quite well for that purpose.
However, if you want to make sure your information is safe, you should avoid VPN services that only provide PPTP or do not tell you which protocols they use or support. Paid VPN services are able to offer more encryption options. Paid VPNs can use, for example, OpenVPN encryption based on open source or, for example, Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol encryption in combination with an encryption protocol called IP Security Architecture for a truly secure connection.
The way VPN services work is largely based on the fact that because there are no user fees charged for the product, other means are used to generate revenue. This means that your information is not 100% private. For example, free VPNs may sell your information to third parties for advertising purposes. You may also run into advertising yourself using a free VPN connection.
Some paid VPN service providers may also offer free VPN software as a roll-in product, but this is often subject to ad viewing or similar. While ads as such are not as harmful, if the service is otherwise in order, their continued display may eventually lead to an “upgrade” to a better paid version of the same product. These partially free services, which are generally reputable, set a limit to how much information a user gets, how fast he gets it, or how many servers he has to choose from for different destinations.
Fully paid VPN services provide virtually always a better user experience and, of course, security. They provide unlimited data and a wealth of different access points, and usually do not limit the bandwidth used, for example. With paid VPN, you also usually have good quality support and customer service ready for any problem.
In conclusion, a paid VPN service would provide much better protection and more unrestricted protection for users’ sensitive information, while a free service could always include some kind of hook, such as serving ads or selling information to third parties.