If you’ve been searching for ways to protect yourself in the digital world, you probably came across a VPN. It’s short for Virtual Private Network and it indeed can improve your online safety. It helps you change your IP address, therefore conceal your identity and hide from hackers, malware or anything and anyone that would want to spy your online activity.
As it is with all kinds of services, there are many different VPN offers for you to choose from. To use a premium one you have to pay something but there are plenty VPNs to use (or at least try) for free.
Thanks to vpncompare.co.uk, you can compare various services to find the one that suits you best. But you may wonder if a free VPN is even worth thinking about – how can it be beneficial if you don’t pay for it? Well, everything has its pros and cons, and so does a free VPN, so it’s important to know it to consider if it’s enough for you.
Briefly – why should you even reconsider using a free VPN?
- Anonymity – VPNs have private server networks in various countries around the world. When you connect to them, you can replace your own IP address with one owned by a VPN service. Thanks to that, third parties can’t track where you are and who you are, hence your privacy is secured.
- Security – free VPNs may be free but most of them don’t save their money at the expense of your security. They still use security protocols and encryptions – the only difference is that not all free VPNs can afford the strongest and the best ones (some do, though). But even most of the average protocols and encryptions are able to protect you from third parties. So choose well.
- No censorship – when you hear the word censorship, you probably think about countries like North Korea or China. However, not many people realize that censorship is present even in some so-called democratic countries. You can’t always see e.g. adult content or foreign news; if you use a device on campus or at work, certain things may be blocked as well (e.g. social media) to make your more efficient. VPNs are helpful here as well – since you can change the location of your IP, your computer will think that you’re somewhere else and will grant you access.
- No geographical restrictions – many pages and services are accessible only from certain locations or their offer changes accordingly (e.g. streaming services). With a VPN, you can change your IP to the one desired country. The only downside here is that free VPNs don’t have as many servers as the premium ones so they may not have one in the location you want.
Unfortunately, things are never all-black or all-white in the world. VPNs, especially the free ones, may have some strong advantages but disadvantages are present and compelling too.
- Ads – again: it’s a free service so they look for other means to make money. Showing ads while you’re browsing the web is the easiest and the safest way to achieve it. It may be irritating but you shouldn’t complain when you use it to free.
- Outside servers – maintaining servers is too expensive for free VPNs providers so they have to use someone else’s. There’s a third party who owns them and this company (or the government) may not be kind enough to keep your data for themselves.
- The government may access your data – these days many governments try to gather information about their citizens and their online activities; some want to keep you safe by tracking criminals and terrorists but others are all about collecting and sharing data. They can issue an official request for the VPN to share information that they collect. Premiums providers don’t store data at all so they have nothing to give but free VPNs services will be obliged to give up your privacy.
- Slower speed – all free services have some limitations but that is true also for the premium VPN providers (but the difference is definitely smaller with the paid VPN). So if you want a VPN to stream foreign services, you should really think your choice through very carefully. There may be speed problems as well as complete downtimes.
- Worse security – there are free VPNs that provide good quality services that offer you a relatively high level of security. Unfortunately, not all of them; some use weaker protocols and encryptions so there’s still a risk that your data may get stolen and, even if it’s encrypted, you may be exposed.
Now that you have an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of free VPNs, you can make a reasonable decision based on your fears and needs. Remember to research VPN services attentively and be sure you actually choose the best one.