Is it okay to use a free VPN?

Completely free VPNs seem too wonderful to be true. In particular, those that are considerate of your privacy. Operating a publicly available VPN server entails receiving and transmitting a large amount of data, which is expensive. Therefore, why would someone offer to operate a free VPN service available to everyone on the internet?

Data is valuable

Anyone who works with computers is aware of the enormous value of data gathering. Companies like Facebook and Google earn a lot of money from advertisements—that is, from gathering enough data about you to offer you appropriate advertisements.

Apart from choosing which advertisements to display to you, data gathering may fetch hefty sums on the dark web. This includes your email address and password, your credit card and payment information, and even your website login credentials. Free VPNs have the ability to monitor, analyze, and record your traffic to sell it to other parties. Since they do not profit from subscriptions, some of them have turned to privacy-invading methods such as these.

You must have confidence in the VPN service you choose to protect your privacy. Using a commercial VPN with clear log rules, such as ours, provides further confidence that your privacy is not jeopardized.

Utilization of untrusted software

Along with the network, you must trust the service’s applications.

Naturally, any program that you use on your computer or mobile device must be trustworthy. However, VPN applications are unique in that they nearly always need administrator rights. And once an app has been granted such rights, it may do a wide variety of functions on your smartphone. This includes the following:

  • Background on Bitcoin mining.
  • Forcing your device to transmit traffic is not authorized to be sent.
  • Allowing unauthorized access to your device.

While I was working for another VPN business, I was assigned the job of researching a newly discovered free VPN software. We discovered that it was just piggybacking on our network throughout that inquiry. That would be OK in terms of privacy, but their installation included adware that violated the user’s privacy, and their program included harmful (virus) code.

There is a reason why virtually every commercial VPN service allows you to connect to their network using trustworthy open-source software (such as WireGuard and OpenVPN). You must have confidence in the service’s applications and the ability to utilize your own software.

Privacy costs and benefits

There are undoubtedly some big businesses ready to provide a “free VPN” as part of their service or product and just absorb the expense. However, for the genuine free VPN services and businesses out there, it makes much more sense to do evil than it does to do good.

By violating your users’ privacy in the ways mentioned above (including harmful malware and data sales), you may earn money. And when data/access is done in mass, it becomes very lucrative (see the email database dumps, malware, and DDOS rows on the Dark Web Price Index).

Earning your membership is more valuable than selling that kind of data and access to premium VPN services. If they breach your confidence, they risk forfeiting your subscription funds. In comparison, a malicious free VPN service simply loses… someone who was costing them money (they’d presumably already collected enough data to sell, and their applications were already installed, giving them the chance to get administrator access to your device).

VPN services that are paid for make sense

If you’re incorporating a VPN as part of your security plan, it’s critical to choose a reliable commercial VPN.

At NordVPN, they state their identity, provide pertinent information, and strive to earn your confidence. Join now and experience the difference for yourself.

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