Many of today's popular VPN services are now offered for free. With a free VPN provider, internet users can experience a truly unlimited, profoundly secure and private online world, all courtesy of robust encryption and geo-censorship bypassing, granting users access to currently blocked websites, video streams, downloads, apps, music and games.
But are free VPN services really safe? Generally speaking, the answer leans towards yes with shades of grey – but it really all depends on the VPN provider's software, global servers, encryption levels and general security protocols, among other technical factors.
Beyond the technical side of things, you'll definitely want to take note of the brand’s data usage policies on free accounts. In other words, does the VPN provider have a strict ‘no log’ data policy, guaranteeing that your vital data (IP, browsing history, etc) will never be stored on their system and shared with a third party?
If you’re stuck in limbo, wondering whether to sign up for a free or paid VPN, it would be very wise to ask yourself exactly what you intend to use the service for, how often, and perhaps what part of the world you reside in (especially if your country enforces strict internet censorship laws).
You also have to consider that there’s more than likely going to be significant benefits – be it features, security, support – provided within paid accounts. That’s usually just the case in life, and so it naturally makes sense that you’ll probably get a lot more for reaching into your pocket. And in doing so, that extra bit of reassurance usually comes for free.
So, to wrap up, there is no simple answer. Approach with caution, asking yourself ‘why’ the provider is offering a free service, always remembering that the security of your data traffic – personal information, IP address, location, browsing history, transactions – is more important than saving money.