VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are programs that are installed on any device that has an Internet connection to achieve safe navigation of all the dangers that can be found on the web.
It is estimated that around one-fifth of Internet users have ever used a VPN, for different reasons. In general, they are more common among the younger population, although statistics are increasing as the level of education of users improves.
Next, we will briefly analyze the use given to VPNs and according to that, we will study the pros and cons of using a free service.
The Uses of a VPN
According to most of the statistics and market studies we have been able to consult, the main reason for installing a VPN is to unlock multimedia content. Virtual content platforms such as Netflix are the main cause that drives users to install this type of software on their devices, despite their constant efforts to avoid it.
In fact, this company has embarked on a fruitless crusade to prevent the use of VPNs by its customers, forcing developers to find new ways to avoid detection and driving a new technological revolution in the world of online privacy.
However, the uses of a VPN are not limited to unlocking content. Security, which should be a top priority, is unfortunately near the bottom of the list.
Among the main reasons is the use of social networks, websites, and new internet services in general.
Other major drivers of VPN use are censorship and judicial or political persecution. While this factor is not present in many parts of the world, sadly millions of people have to hide their identity in order to express themselves or get information in countries where there is not complete freedom of expression.
Last but not least, many users resort to virtual private networks to download torrents or any kind of P2P services, communicate with relatives and loved ones abroad, or access news agencies in other countries.
The use of VPN on mobile devices has grown exponentially in recent years, responding to an obvious need, as we increasingly use smartphones and tablets, we are simultaneously introducing a large amount of sensitive information.
The False Promises of Free VPN
When reading the dangers of unprotected browsing and the multiple uses that can be made of a VPN, as well as proxy services, there is no doubt that many people may be inclined to hire these services for free.
Among the priorities of many Internet users when looking for a VPN, savings and economy are often above others such as the possibility of customization, encryption systems, available languages, or customer service.
But the truth is that paying attention to the economic aspect more than these other aspects we mentioned is a very common mistake that can turn out to be very expensive in the long run. Below, you will see why installing a free VPNs like these ones can be truly beneficial.
The best premium VPN services are distinguished, among other things, by their ability to protect and hide your browsing without having to keep any records of your web activities. In fact many of them claim that they do not even monitor their customers’ use of their own software, correctly advertising it as an advantage.
That’s why the most reliable VPNs are those that don’t restrict the number of devices that can use this service. This is the exact opposite of what free VPNs do. It is known and easily verified by the number of complaints they receive year after year, that these types of companies control in detail what the users who install their programs do.
However, the worst thing is not that they keep and collect information, but what they do with that data: they sell it to the highest bidder or allow interested third parties to use it for commercial purposes.
Moreover, because they are free, the investment in new technologies they make is often very low and insufficient, and this makes them easy targets and vulnerable to attacks by hackers who can easily breach their defenses, even if these free VPNs have no bad intentions.
Challenges of VPN services
Another challenge to improve is the balance between productivity and safety. This is certainly a debate that has always been present: choose more safety but lower performance or opt for higher performance but without safety? It is a reality that if we navigate through a VPN service, no matter how good it is, we will lose some performance. That is, in short, a pending improvement that will have to come in the future.
It is also worth mentioning that VPNs sometimes fall short for mobile devices. They were developed to use a protocol that requires a lot of resources in the configuration. When it comes to mobile devices, this can be a major problem, since it takes a while to connect to the VPN every time we change the network. That is, the VPN is interrupted and you have to reconnect. Even many mobile applications do not support these tools.
A final challenge is a workload. VPNs today are not designed for today’s workplace ecosystem, where multiple users connect remotely. In many cases, access is restricted to administrators.
Should you use a free VPN service?
Upon reading this article, you probably feel a little lost and are not sure whether you should pay for this service or continue using the free version. Because of this, we are going to list some reasons why a free VPN service is a good idea. However, keep in mind that its features are restricted meaning that if you want to be able to use them, you will have to pay for them.
As we have already mentioned, the most frequent reason why people opt for free service is that it allows them to avoid geographic restriction. As you know, many streaming services are not available all around the world, so, with the help of VPN people can easily gain access to them and watch their favorite content.
In addition, your data will be protected. This doesn’t mean that you are completely safe, but a free VPN can protect all your private information when using a public Wi-Fi connection. Yes, we know, one should always avoid these, but sometimes you simply don’t have a choice.
Even though we have already listed a number of reasons why people opt for VPN services in the first place, we believe that these two benefits might be more than enough reason for you to continue using the free version. Naturally, if you need some additional features that are not available to you, then you should investigate the best program and buy it.