VPNs are becoming in popularity, as more and more people are getting involved with internet privacy.
With the massive growth of the VPN market, there are currently over 1,000s free VPNs in the market promising you to make your identity safe and secure online, with charging a penny.
This sounds like a great deal, almost an excellent choice to be true. VPNs are a bit expensive and difficult to use and need a good amount of money to keep them in running. They also have to be up-to-date with the changing world of online web privacy.
Free VPN service providers have to fulfill their costs and make a profit from their products. Still, they have to make money from their customers using hidden tools, tricks, and strategies. These tricks and strategies aren't only dishonest and dangerous, however completely against the principles of VPNs.
Using a free VPN online will not only make you less safe but also costs you more money, which results in a really bad internet experience.
Free VPNs have to make money from their users free & paid both somehow – however else would they do to generate income?
However, rather than providing the best user experience and charging a small minimum fee, they use you to make money off you indirectly. Their strategies are often dishonest, annoying, semi-hidden from users, and, sometimes, more dangerous.
Before signing up to a free VPN, make sure to read VPN reviews and be aware of the following several problems and dangers involved in free VPNs.
1. Compromising Your Security
The core purpose of a VPN is to protect you from hackers and keep your privacy safe and secure. Simple! But, it’s confusing that there’s a lot of VPN that actually hacked you. I mean they’ve malware - one amongst the biggest security risks.
A recent study of 283 VPNs found that a lot of free VPNs actually have malware - including Betternet, CossVPN, and SuperVPN and other famous ones.
In fact, the 38th of VPNs contains the infection.
The majority of the malware/infection is related to advertising – that makes sense.
Free VPNs make their money from advertising. That’ also mean why a VPN that limits your data, less likely to be dangerous than one that offers a free product.
On the other side, many other premium VPNs provide built-in malware protection, ad blockers, and unlimited bandwidth which is a much better deal than the free one.
2. Tracking Your Online Activity
It’s perhaps the worst and disturbingly thing a free VPN makes and it’s common.
The biggest reason you use a secure VPN is to protect your privacy and keep you safe and secure while browsing the internet. Thus, it's surprising that the same study found 72 of the free VPNs embed third-party trackers in their software systems that track your activities without your permission.
Instead of keeping you secure and protecting your privacy, your VPN is doing the opposite, by assembling your data and selling it to third-party bidders.
3. Surrounds you with ads
This approach sounds simple. Because their free users aren’t paying them for anything so they have to find a way to make of them. Many free VPNs use this strategy to make money off them. By showing ads they’re making money as they were charging their paid subscribers but, more securely.
4. Limiting the amount of data you can Use
As I mentioned earlier, a few most popular free VPNs limit the amount of data you can use. They are doing this invite you, then push you into upgrading to a paid plan out of free option.
Tunnelbear is a good example of this practice, which limits the users to measly data monthly to 500mb.
5. Slowing Down Your internet
It might be a reason that the slowness you’re facing on the internet might be of VPNs. However, your VPN deliberately
Your internet slowing down is an issue you’ll face usually with poor quality VPNs. However, your VPN purposefully slowing you down usually sounds frustrating.
This is ProtonVPN’s strategy. although ProtonVPN provides great security, to encourage their free users to upgrade to the paid plan, they prioritize them less than their paid subscribers – which means your internet speeds can usually slow to a snail’s pace.
Free VPNs can slow down your internet speed by displaying ads and by selling your bandwidth.