A VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, is a commonly used method to protect your data and privacy online. They play a significant role in privacy protection, mainly when signing in from any public place like a coffee shop, hotel, airport, or library.
While signing up with a VPN provider, initially, you log onto a VPN service first before connecting to the internet. As soon as you do this, the businesses, government agencies, hackers, etc., don’t get to see or access your IP address while you’re surfing the internet.
The VPN providers are also responsible for encrypting your data so that hackers cannot see the websites you visit, games you usually play, movies you stream, and files you download.
However, your online privacy is also not guaranteed with a VPN; this is because your VPN provider would know the websites you visit and your IP address for sure. Therefore it is better to work with a reliable VPN like Cyberghost VPN that doesn’t track the data while you are online.
Many VPN providers often charge for the services, and some don’t. Hence you may be interested in signup for the free ones because we look for chances to save money, right?
The question is, are free VPNs safe? If you are planning to use a free VPN, it is better to learn the issues a free VPN can offer, such as;
VPN provider may contain any malware
According to the CSIRO study conducted in 2016, the 10 VPNs were affected by malware; six were the free VPNs.
Mostly the malware is linked to advertising. This is not new as, usually, free VPNs depend on advertising to flourish. On the other hand VPNs charging for their services do not rely on advertising to make a profit.
VPNs slow down your connection.
You might experience a poor online connection when you try to access the internet through a free VPN.
Certain VPN services are offering better quality VPN protection with either a monthly charge or yearly subscription fee. These providers often affect your online connections’ speed deliberately so that users opt for the paid versions.
VPNs may allow the delivery of online ads.
At times free VPN providers to make money often hit users with series of pop-up ads. This can be frustrating and also affects your connection speed. Moreover, few free VPN providers depend on ad-serving trackers to check your online activity and target ads accordingly. So either use free VPN or use free trial VPN like NordVPN free trial.
VPNs may fail at unblocking content.
Many people start using VPNs to access online content unavailable in some particular regions, such as Netflix content.
If you live in the United States, you may have a different Netflix content from the one you can have on Netflix in maybe the United Kingdom. Hence by logging on to the internet with a VPN provider and IP address based in the UK, you can access the blocked Netflix content.
However, the problem here is that free VPNs cannot unblock certain Netflix content, which is why you may end up using alarming resources to access the content.
Remember, it is essential to think of the regional laws and your service agreement’s terms with your content provider.
VPNs might take control of your browser.
Specific VPNs can take control of your browser and link you to sites without your consent.
VPNs may give access to governments to collect user data.
A 2019 study conducted by VPNpro shows that around 23 parent companies supervise the best 97 VPNs, and most of these companies are in countries with relatively frail privacy laws.
What’s distressing about the finding is that countries like China have firm VPN bans, and in such cases, companies might get approval from the government where the parent company may be asked to collect users’ data.
VPNs can use implanted tracking for various purposes.
As per the CSIRO study conducted, about 10% of the free services have one tracker, the next 10% had two trackers, and the 25% depended on three. Moreover, the study also showed that 8% of free services had four trackers, whereas 18% had some third-party trackers.
Therefore, paid VPNs are much better at providing more vital and good encrypting services. This is because they profit from subscriptions, and they usually spend to get more robust encryption methods.