Free vs Paid VPN
Nothing sounds great as free! Free gas, free food, free delivery services, all those free stuff are good and enticing. But it’s a different case in the IT world, especially when its matters regarding the internet and cyber security. VPNs are no exceptions as they are drivers and sometimes handlers of your security and privacy. VPN providers offer VPN services in two bundles, premium or free and it’s literally you get what you pay for. The dilemma sets in when you have to choose between a free and paid VPN service. Below are cons and pros of both.
Depending on what you do on the internet while using a VPN, the connection speed of a VPN matters a lot. Free VPNs usually offer a bandwidth cap and have limited servers. This means that everyone using that VPN might be connected to the same server hence causing congestion and server overload. This leads to poor VPN speeds. Paid VPNs (e.g. Goose VPN, StrongVPN, PrivateVPN etc) usually have a lot of servers to choose from and also offer unlimited bandwidth. This is why premium VPNs have blazing high speeds.
Security and protocols
These are the essential building blocks of a VPN: they ensure security and how securely communication is done. Usually, free VPNs use the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) which offers speed but doesn’t care about strong encryptions. With this foundation, anyone can violate your security and privacy with free VPNs. Paid VPNs offer a ton of protocols with military grade encryption to ensure your security and privacy is intact. Some of the protocols include: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and others.
Besides security, logging policies decide whether your privacy will be intact or not. Almost all Free VPN services state clearly that they track, monitor and record your activities when using their VPNs. This information might be sold to third parties, cybercriminals can tap into it, and it can be used to implicate you in a court of law. On the other hand, Paid VPNs have a strict no logging policy. This means they know nothing about you, nothing on what you do with their VPN service, and definitely they don’t keep any information about you. With paid VPNs, you rest assured your privacy is intact.
Quality of service (QoS)
This is where the phrase ‘what you pay for is what you get’ matters a lot. In general, free VPN services offer poor services with the exception of a few as compared to reputable paid VPNs. Besides security and privacy, QoS in VPNs can be determined in terms of customer support, number of servers and bandwidth and availability. In these aspects, paid VPNs have higher ratings and also positive reviews. However, the same can’t be said for free VPNs (or proxy servers) as they have lower ratings.
This is the best aspect of free VPNs as you don’t have to pay anything. But in the long run, you might find is not worth it. This is because almost all free VPNs have ads, data mining capabilities and also lack some features which are reserved for premium users.
With all the above, now you know what VPN service is best for you!