Free vs Paid VPN- How to Choose?

Not all products are perfect even though when they are offered for free. Another challenge is we don’t know if they are a good fit for our requirements.

This is also applicable to Virtual Private Network. With the number of VPN users increasing every day, it is self-evident that free VPN solutions have their benefits and side effects. It is very crucial to be able to detect their flaws, so they don’t hinder your online activity. However, does it mean paid VPN services are without flaws?

We have scoured through expert opinions on what you need to know when shopping for VPN. These tips will help you make informed decisions about whether to choose between free and paid VPN services. Always remember, nothing is free on the internet. There is still what to pay. Most free VPN vendors sell user privacy to keep their server up and running.

The Federal Trade Commission advised that thorough research be carried out before using VPN applications. It means before hitting the download button, find out about the VPN app. Learn all that you can. Read what users are saying about the service, especially the reviews. The fact that a VPN application promises anonymity, privacy, and internet security does not make it secure.

Also, review the various permission requested by the application. Apps always provide the requests needed on the app store page. You can take some cues from the types of information the apps will retrieve from your internet traffic and devices. It does not make sense to grant VPN permissions to read your SMS, for instance. This brings about the question of trust and integrity.

It is advised that prospective VPN users to find out how long the VPN service has been around. Reliability is based on the track records and trust built over time. Does the VPN vendor log your internet traffic? The best choice is to find out those VPN vendors that promise neither to divulge your user privacy nor log your internet traffic. It is also recommended to find out if they have been living with their words. Does the VPN vendor utilize encryption? The foundation also supports VPN users to look beyond vendors that use centralized payment systems like Paypal or credit cards to those who adopt a decentralized payment system like Bitcoin.

Some say the decision should be based on user experience. Do they go an extra mile to ensure their clients understand how to appropriately use the VPN service safely and securely? Do they manage client’s expectation on the limitations of utilizing the service? This could be informed of simplifying esoteric, yet vital concepts like IPv6 leaks or DNS. Also, the payment mechanism matters. If it provides a decentralized payment system, it is a good choice.

Should I use Free VPN services?

A recent study conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) studied the impact of Android VPN applications on client’s privacy and security. About 283 Android Virtual Private Network applications were analyzed by the research. The outcome shows that seventy-five percent(75%)of the tested application utilized 3rd-party tracking archives, and cannot be trusted. Eighty-two(82%)  required permissions from users to access personal and sensitive resources like user accounts and SMS. The worst part of it was that thirty-eight (38%) had malware such as trojan, riskware, adware, malvertising, and spyware.

Popular VPNs like Tigervpns, VPN Free, Rocket VPN, EasyOvpn, and Cyberghost downloaded over millions of times had malware embedded in them.

Eighteen (18%) of the VPN apps used tunneling protocols that downplayed on encryption even though they promise users anonymity and internet security.

How They Generate Revenue

VPN service providers incur high expenses in maintaining their server. It takes a lot of money to buy or lease servers in different countries VPN vendors also need fund to encrypt traffic, assure high speeds, and support all clients.

So, are free VPNs,  free in real sense?

If you are not being restricted while using free VPNs, them they must be making their money somewhere. No VPN  service provider is offering community service to online users.

For instance, Hotspot Shield, which is a top-rated VPN provides free VPN that permits users up to 750MB daily in usage. It was recently criticized for intercepting and redirecting internet traffic to third-party sites like online ads firms based on findings by the Center for Democracy & Technology.

Though it denied the allegation and affirmed that online privacy of users had been their primary priority, that is not still enough reason or explanation of providing the service for free.

Protecting Your Traffic- Which one is effective?

It takes a military-grade technology to guarantee security, internet privacy, and uninterrupted access to restricted content. This is the bottom line of an efficient VPN and what they offer users.

Paid VPNs guarantee industry-grade encryption and extra features such as internet kill switch that completely masks you while you browse the internet.

Free VPNs not only lack these features, but the encryption enabled are sometimes not secured.


The concept of a free VPN is appealing. But when the real cost of utilizing the service is at the detriment of user’s privacy, exposure to cyber attacks, or poor connections, as well as, limited access, the appeal vanishes quickly.

A trusted premium VPN provides better security and optimization with a lot of user-focused features.

However, the annoying thing is that most of the premium VPNs are not also trustworthy when it comes to user security and privacy. This is why finding a reliable VPN service-free or paid is a lifelong endeavor.