We all love free products. The only thing is, we rarely ever expect them to be perfect—just enough will do. The same applies to everything there is, including VPNs. Millions of people use VPN services to protect their online privacy every day, with many of them opting for free options. Now, we agree that some free VPN extension services do provide a considerably better level of security—but everything free comes with a catch.
To decide if a free VPN is the right choice for you, it’s important to know the key differences between free and paid VPN extension.
The risks and problems with free VPNs
Paid VPN services make money just like every other business—through purchases and subscriptions. The real question with free VPN services is ‘how do they make money?’
It’s a clear fact that no business can operate or even hold its digital presence and infrastructure without money. So, how do free VPNs do it? Here’s the secret; they don’t. Let’s discuss this in a little more detail.
Most free VPNs earn money by selling your data
Most free VPNs acknowledge that they track your online activities and share your data with advertisers, which then show you ads.
Since VPNs are essentially cybersecurity tools, this goes against what they are supposed to do in the first place—which is to provide online security. Letting third-parties access and track your information and online activities means compromising your online security.
Some even give other users access to your data
Some free VPNs use your devices like servers, routing your traffic through another user’s device and another user’s traffic through yours. Instead of keeping you safe and secure, this immediately puts you at a greater risk for malware and other cyberattacks.
That’s not all, though. Some VPNs sell your unused bandwidth on the data market, making it even more dangerous to use them.
Most free VPN networks are easy to crack
Operating a secure and robust network infrastructure is expensive. Unlike premium paid VPNs, several free VPNs use weak and unreliable security features that are cheaper to install and maintain and offer poor security.
These weaker security features often put users at a greater risk of falling victim to cybercrimes and other security issues.
When is it okay to use a free VPN Extension?
Even though free VPNs have their flaws, they are not all bad. Premium VPNs that offer a free trial period leading up to a paid subscription are excellent to use. As premium VPNs that are only free for a limited time, these are built on high-quality security features that will offer you optimum online security.
Apart from that, some premium vpn extension firefox also offer restricted free plans, which means that you’ll have access to a free version with limited features. Even though these might slow your internet or not offer you the full range of features, these still won’t compromise on security.
Paid premium VPNs and advanced security features
Free VPNs are a last-resort option—that much is clear. Moving on to paid ones, many people assume that they are expensive tools. On the contrary, you’d be surprised to know how easy many are on the pocket, especially with several of them offering some incredible deals.
Let’s look at some features of paid premium VPNs and the benefits they pose for their users.
- Advanced security features and optimum data privacy
Most premium VPNs do more than just mask your IP address and letting you browse anonymously; they offer additional advanced security features.
These could include a dedicated kill switch that temporarily severs your connection with the internet if your VPN connection has glitched, protecting your online activities.
More advanced security features could include malware and DDoS protection, P2P support, and high-level security protocols.
- Fast internet speeds
While free VPNs with their limited access could slow down your internet, paid VPNs are less likely to do so with their advanced infrastructure and better features.
If you want breakneck internet speeds, it’s better to go with one that offers split tunneling. This feature lets you use the internet with and without an encrypted channel simultaneously—at the same time. This makes sure that you can enjoy high-speed internet even while using the internet.
- Military-grade encryption
Encryption adds a second layer to your security, making sure that your entire communication between the internet and your device is encrypted. This means that even if a hacker or a sniffer tries to intercept your connection, he won’t be able to make out what information is being exchanged.
Most premium VPNs offer up to 256-bit military-grade encryption, which is almost impossible to crack.
- Large server networks
As a rule, the more servers a VPN extension offers, the better it is for unblocking websites, content libraries, and services worldwide.
Almost all premium VPNs come with an extensive server network to access more geo-restricted websites, services, and platforms.
The ones with smaller server networks also make sure of advanced technology and pleasantly surprise us with how much they can offer with them.