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The old maxim “Nothing in life is free” is arguable. But when you are talking about quality and meeting realistic expectations, it is 100% true. Free VPN services cannot provide what users expect, and often put their privacy and security at risk.
Free VPN Services Can Be Misleading
There’s another saying that serious users must not forget. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Most users who are interested in VPN services are serious. They are truly concerned about getting unhindered access to websites, connecting blocked applications, securing traffic, protecting data, maintaining privacy and securing anonymity online. This isn’t that easy to manage, especially on a large scale like most VPN companies do. Any VPN provider claiming to provide all this for free is just too good to be true.
Users should be careful when they see the name “VPN”. Not all VPN services are alike. Users get their hopes up when they see this and fail to check what functions are really performed by the VPN providers. It is risky to put confidence in just three little letters without knowing what they actually refer to. Like the rose which is not always a rose, there are varieties of VPNs. The services can get watered down to the point that they no longer resemble the original VPNs that were built for user security and privacy.
Most users with paid Internet connections sign up for the service because they somehow benefit from it. Paying for a VPN service is no different. You can use free WiFi or leech off a neighbor, but your own connection ensures you a quality connection. You get dedicated bandwidth, ensured speeds, and connection security. Free services cannot offer you this.
Free VPNs are Highly Inconvenient
Free VPN services are notoriously slow. Just like with free web proxies, there is a lot of competition for bandwidth. The services do not monitor how many people are using the connection. And the servers are rarely upgraded to accommodate new users. Free VPN users are just not prioritized. The service is then often unreliable, and just getting a connection is difficult and time-consuming. Frequent disconnection is a common occurrence with free VPNs. As if this weren’t bad enough, being able to reconnect soon after disconnection is not easy. During high traffic hours, it is nearly impossible to get a connection. And the connection is often too slow to load most popular web pages properly.
To provide free services, VPN companies need to generate income somehow. In most cases, they maintain the service through showing ads to their users. The ads can be annoying enough to ruin the browsing experience. Ads affect how content appears to users. They can use up a lot of viewing space and even be distracting to the point that users cannot properly accomplish what they came to do.
Free VPNs Provide Insufficient Security
The lower security standards applied to some free VPN services puts users at risk. The service does not guarantee data and traffic protection. It actually cannot guarantee security because the service is unreliable. The connection is unstable as well, meaning it can cut out at any time and without warning. This leaves users unprotected. For those who are in countries that have strict censorship laws, it can be dangerous as they can then easily be identified by their ISPs or government monitoring agencies.
Paid VPNs usually guarantee user anonymity, but free VPNs do not. The user data is often used to control users’ connections. Bandwidth shaping is necessary to ease congestion. Users who are deemed by the service to abuse the connection are often blocked. Some free VPN services are also known to scrape user data for the purpose of selling it or sharing it with ISPs and other agencies. Government monitoring of file sharing sites is one example of when a VPN service might share user data to avoid trouble.
Some of the ads featured by free VPN services may appear interesting enough for users to appreciate them and click on them. But the sources of these ads cannot always be trusted. VPNs can prevent intrusive malware from getting into the system. But once a user purposefully clicks on a link, the VPN cannot prevent the user’s device from being infected. The proliferation of ads on free VPN networks increases the chances that users will be taken to a page that was designed to install devastating malware on their systems.
Only a paid VPN subscription can provide truly unlimited access, real protection and assured privacy and anonymity. For users who are not concerned with privacy and who are content to surf only when allowed to connect, free VPNs are suitable enough. But for those who need to stay secure and depend on the service, free VPNs just won’t cut it.
From among the paid VPN services available, one stands out as a fast, secure, anonymous VPN. ExpressVPN has a wide network of secure VPN servers. ExpressVPN users around the world can get unlimited access through the service to Internet content. All applications connected to the Internet are encrypted and pass through the VPN server. Subscribers are not monitored, bandwidth is not throttled, and there are no ads or other potentially dangerous links shared with users. The ExpressVPN connection is stable, and the availability of fast and secure VPN servers is reliable. Privacy and security through an ExpressVPN tunnel is supplied by high data and traffic encryption. ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN by default, with the option for L2TP/IPSec and switching to other protocols depending on security needs and device compatibility. With added SSL protection, this is the highest security for data transmission and Internet transactions to date.