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What are the dangers of a free VPN, and why is it better to use a paid one?

2 October 2021

Many users do not like to pay: they think that they can find a free service for any task. We explain what are the risks for the user who has decided to avoid identification with the help of free VPN software.

VPN services are popular in many countries, primarily because they provide access to content that is blocked in the user's country. By changing their IP to a foreign one, users get access to the desired resource and use it without problems. But the anonymizer is needed not only to bypass blocking, but also the elementary preservation of privacy on the Web. For example, if you do not want the sites you visited to collect information about you and use it for their own purposes. Traffic encryption significantly increases the security of Internet surfing when using public Wi-Fi networks.

What are the dangers of a free VPN for the browser?

VPN services allow users not only to block Internet resources in their country but also provide a certain level of anonymity, which depends on the quality of the service used. VPN service, as well as a similar in functionality proxy server, is an IT product. The development of such a product costs a considerable amount of money. And, as we know, if we are given an opportunity to use some service/product for free, most likely the developer considers its users as "goods for sale". 

How can a VPN developer make money?

The most obvious answer is by selling the information they have. They stream all of your traffic through their own servers, so they know almost everything about you. That is, the services can sell to third parties all the information that you are trying hard to hide. By the way, passwords and logins are also theoretically available to a free anonymizer. Agree, not at all the effect you hoped for.

How is a paid VPN different?

When you pay for a product, you already bring income to its developer. Accordingly, there is no need for them to look for other ways to make money. In addition, a good reputation is important for the owners of paid VPN, so they will not "leak" data about their own customers and put them in danger.

What to pay attention to when choosing a VPN service?

To summarize

Everyone knows that free cheese comes only in a mousetrap. It would be foolish to think that in the case of VPN services it should somehow work differently. Therefore, you should accept the fact that using a free VPN you can get not quite the expected result: data about you can be leaked sometimes even faster than without it.

And if using a VPN is important to you, after such an incident, you will still come to the use of paid services. So why put yourself at risk in the first place? As the saying goes, buy nice or buy twice.