Cyber security is not for the light-hearted. Every day, you’ll hear stories of data breaches and stolen crypto wallets, which are often down to human error. We all make mistakes online, and that’s how we grow and learn.
But some mistakes are more costly than others, and one way you can protect yourself is by using a virtual private network (VPN).
Not all VPNs are alike, however. Like buying a padlock for your suitcase, they vary in size and complexity, and some are easier to break open than others. It might be tempting to get a free VPN to save money, but they usually offer their services in exchange for targeted ads.
So is a paid VPN better? Let’s dig into the free VPN vs. paid VPN debate.
VPN, simply explained
A VPN is online software designed to protect your privacy by hiding your whereabouts and identity. It encrypts your Internet traffic by hiding your location and routing it through remote servers. This way, you can browse safely and privately online.
With a VPN, you can also switch your IP address to a different country and browse geo-locked content without restrictions. A free deal might sound great on paper, but can you trust a free VPN with your Internet privacy?
What is a free VPN exactly?
Simply put, a free VPN doesn’t require paying a monthly or yearly subscription.
However, VPN software is expensive to maintain. It requires a vast network of thousands of servers to be routinely updated by software developers and designers.
Companies that give their services away for free will inevitably want a return on their investment. So what’s the catch?
Well, not only will free VPN companies spam your social feeds with ads, but your browsing data may fall into the hands of third parties.
Are free VPNs safe to use?
In July 2020, an estimated one billion online records were exposed in a massive data breach, potentially affecting over 20 million users of free VPN apps.
This leak contained personal details about users, including email addresses, home addresses, passwords, and IP addresses.
If this wasn’t bad enough, some free VPN providers who oversaw this security breach were selling users’ data for profit.
Since free VPN companies sell your data to advertisers, you can basically say goodbye to your Internet privacy if you use their services.
Advantages of a paid VPN
Paid VPNs are a secure and easy way to stay safe online, especially if you use public Wi-Fi hotspots or work remotely.
A VPN subscription is a bit like car insurance, where you pay a monthly or yearly fee to guard against accidents and criminal behavior.
So when looking for a VPN provider, you need to pick one that suits your lifestyle.
Let’s say browsing anonymously is important to you, then getting a “no logs” VPN is essential. When a VPN offers this service, it means they don’t collect your information, such as your login details, location, or what you view and download on web browsers.
If you require unlimited bandwidth and no buffering for gaming, make sure it promises fast connection speeds and see if the reviews match their claims.
If you only require a few security features, it won’t take long to determine which VPN is right for you. Just remember, if a company’s good at something, they’ll never do it for free.
FastVPN by Namecheap benefits
FastVPN doesn’t sell your data to third parties because its subscription-based business model puts your needs first.
When you download the FastVPN app, you can browse anonymously online, secure all your devices with one account, and unblock entertainment platforms unavailable in your region.
It also provides a number of benefits, including:
- Access to 1000 servers and 50+ locations
- Worldwide streaming with unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited downloads
- No logs
- Military-grade protection
- Always-on security for iOS devices
Try FastVPN risk-free for 30 days
FastVPN’s subscription model means they’ll reinvest in the latest protocols, bandwidth capability and introduce new features to improve your user experience.
Long-term users are essential to FastVPN’s ecosystem, so like any reputable provider, their priority is your security and privacy.
Also, if you’re not ready to subscribe, you can try FastVPN free for 30 days, take it for a test ride, and see if you’re satisfied with their service.
Either way, avoid using free VPNs at all costs, as while you may save a few dollars a month, you’ll pay with your privacy and potentially a lot more instead
Paid VPN vs free VPN: What works better? .