VPNs or Virtual Private Networks can provide you with open and secure internet browsing. These tools are often used to bypass geographical restrictions on content, getting past blocks on websites, and improving access to streaming services. A VPN for PC or mobile will also increase security by keeping your IP address safe from hackers.
If you have to use public networks, a regular VPN or browser VPN provide another layer of protection. Also, a VPN enables smooth torrenting and prevents speed throttling. The freedom and safety offered by VPN are the best reasons to add them to your gadgets.
Free Vs. Paid VPN
The apparent advantage of a free VPN is the price, which is zero compared to other services. However, not all free VPNs provide the same quality of security.
Many free services use a Point-to-Point Tunneling protocol, which is often safe. Still, it is important to confirm that the service uses high-level encryption so your information won’t be vulnerable to hackers. Paid services often provide security options, such as an open-source protocol that uses SSL encryption or double encryption.
Although half the level of premium services, the 128-bit encryption provided by many free VPNs is sufficient to give many users a feeling of security. When looking for a free VPN, find one that discloses what protocols it supports.
A free VPN has to pay for the services it provides somehow. Unfortunately, some free VPNs sell user browsing activity to companies for advertising purposes. Some also limit user data and have intrusive ads.
Types of Free VPN Services
There are many premium and paid VPNs available, but why pay for a Virtual Private Network when you can find a free VPN that is efficient, safe, and easy to use? Here are a few options.
Freemiums provide free services alongside those that are paid. Popular freemium VPNs include Windscribe, Hide. Me, Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN, TunnelBear. A plan, such as Windscribe offers 10GB per month in ten different countries. This is compared to the paid Windscribe service that provides no data caps and access to 50 different countries.
Hide. Me is based out of Malaysia, a country that is not involved in intergovernmental agreements that can compromise data. Its free service offers IP leak protection for added security, a kill switch, and a one-click connection. However, the free service does not allow connection to the United States and Europe.
For security comparable to a paid plan, HotSpot Shield offers the same level of encryption as their premium service. However, its service in the US is limited, and it doesn’t work with major streaming services.
Freemium VPNs can offer some impressive services, given that they are free, but there are often significant enough gaps, such as leaving out major countries or streaming services. Obviously, these companies are encouraging users of the free service to upgrade to premium, but for some, the free service is just fine.
Unlimited Free VPNs
Free VPNs often have limits on speed and data, so it can be a challenge to find an unlimited VPN that costs nothing. The top-rated VPNs that fit this description are NordVPN and ProtonVPN.
Actually, NordVPN isn’t free, but its generous 30-day trial period allows users to benefit from unlimited data and 59 countries at no charge. It works with all major streaming sites, such as Netflix and Hulu, and works at high speeds.
ProtonVPN only works with three countries: Japan, the Netherlands and the US, but it provides unlimited data for free. Also, it has a high-level of security and encryption and is ad-free. The QuickConnect feature connects with the fastest available server near you. ProtonVPN also has a premium version, but the free VPN is sufficient for many users.
Can a Free VPN be Tracked?
Although the purpose of using a VPN is to provide anonymity, some VPNs can still leak information and can be vulnerable to malware and other problems, especially if they are not installed correctly. Free VPNs may pose special risks, particularly if they are not issued by reputable sources.
A VPN doesn’t necessarily solve all the worries about tracking because there are other ways people can be traced on the internet rather than just through their IP addresses. Cookies, for instance, are based on your device and not your IP address, although you can block cookies through Google or another browser if you wish. Certain parties can access browsing habits through digital fingerprinting, even if you have a VPN. A DNS leak occurs if there was a problem with a VPN setup or with the VPN itself. There is also the risk of malware.
Free VPNs and Malware
There are many high-quality free VPNs that are produced by reputable companies. However, several free VPNs were found to contain malware and make its users vulnerable to hacking. Malware is used by cybercriminals to track and extract information from users for financial gain. To protect against malware, avoid using Free VPNs from companies that do not have a track record of reliability. Beware of extravagant offers. It can be reassuring if the Free VPN service admits outright that there will be data caps, slightly slower speeds or only a few countries or servers that can be accessed.
Which Free VPN Is Right For You?
Some users who choose free VPNs may not mind the occasional ad, for instance, if they receive reliable guarantees that their activity isn’t being sold to a third-party. There are some services provided by paid VPNs that the average user may not need, and a reliable and secure free VPN may be a better option.
A free VPN could be the right choice for people who want basic services that will allow streaming, bypassing web blocks or geographical restrictions, and anonymity. Choosing the right VPN depends on your priorities. Do you need a VPN for work or entertainment? If the former, you will need one that provides more consistent service than streaming the occasional movie.
Is security a main priority? Finding a service at no cost that provides encryption and reveals supported protocols is essential. Some users mind advertisements more than others. Researching various types of free VPNs and thinking about what you value are important steps for choosing the right free VPN.
Safe, Unrestricted Browsing
Whether you want to watch your favorite movie on Netflix, need added security when you connect to Wifi in a cafe or need to surf the web anonymously, a VPN is fast becoming an essential part of using the internet. Although many opt for paid services, with some research, you can find a solid free VPN that is safe and relatively fast with a choice of servers from around the world.