A Guide To Choosing The Best Free VPN
From the moment you go online, you’re at danger of your data being stolen. With so much of our lives now lived on the web, everything there is to know about us is up for grabs. It doesn’t take a huge government organization to get a hold of your data. Any competent hacker can do it. Identity theft statistics have soared recently, and no one should use the internet without protection.
The best protection comes from a virtual private network (VPN), which routes your connection through an external server, hiding your location and encrypting your data. However, most VPNs work on a subscription basis, with a monthly fee that some don’t want to pay. The good news is that there are free VPN options.
But don’t go and download the first free VPN you find on the Android or Apple store. Not all of them work with scrupulous ethics, and some of them can cause more harm than they do good.
To help you choose, here is a guide to the pros and cons of free VPNs.
There’s always a sacrifice
In life, you tend to get what you pay for, so obviously paid VPNs are far superior to free versions. When you do choose a free version, you’re going to have to sacrifice something. This is usually your speed, which will be significantly compromised. Alternately, some free VPNs use ads to make their money. In this case, you’re not just sacrificing experience, but possibly security as well. For adverts to be targeted, software needs to use your data, and so there is no guarantee your information is actually safe.
The best option in terms of speed and security is to use the free version of a paid VPN service. However, this comes with its own challenges.
Free (or trial) versions
Free versions of paid services generally provide everything the paid version provides. The speed is good, you have access to customer service, and you get a range of servers. However, you are capped at a certain amount of data. Most of these services will cap you at around 500MB or 1GB, but Windscribe gives you a full 10GB a month. That’s not much if you’re streaming Netflix or downloading torrents, but it is something if you’re just using the web to do work, research information, and keep in touch with people.
Ideally, you should be using a VPN at all times, and so it is highly recommended that you do take the leap and start paying for the best service. If you’re worried about the commitment, you can try a trial version.
Trials or money back
Some VPN services offer free trials, but most give you a money back option. You will have to pay for your first month, but if you decide it doesn’t meet your needs, you can ask for your money back with no questions asked. Some services will even give you a 60-day window (in other words, two free months).
Trying it out first is important, as you need to know your customer experience is good. After all, you’re going to be using it all the time you’re online.