In this post we are going to look at VPN services, how they work, the downsides of using free VPN services and why you should consider paid VPN services over free VPN if you’re really concern about security and anonymity.
What is VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a type of network that connects you securely to the internet by encrypting your data. VPN services also keeps you anonymous online by constantly giving you an IP address different from your current location.
Basically, VPN services were used by corporate businesses to remotely access their services securely while away from the office. Recently VPN services are used by lots of people using laptops, tablets or smartphones to securely connect to the internet and stay anonymous. Users normally download a VPN app and then the app will install a VPN profile in your device. Most users will choose a free VPN service instead of a paid service, but the question is, are these free VPN services safe?
Are Free VPN Services Safe?
The concept of VPN is to encrypt your data from your device to the VPN server and then to the open Internet, vice versa. Most of these free VPN services shouldn’t be trusted. They provide it for free with limited services and also a paid service, some of them charge $5 per month.
Now let’s understand this, in this business you’re either the customer or the product. The customer is the user paying for the service and the product is the person using it for free. There is some data you always give back unknowingly to the VPN provider. Free VPN services could be use for marketing purposes, to track all the different websites you visit and other analytics and that’s a relatively valuable thing and the VPN provider can sell that to different companies. Most VPN services will tell you that they don’t keep logs in their servers, that means they don’t store the data passing back and forth of their servers. Well, do you actually believe that?
Now let’s look at a scenario, imagine if your government wants to keep track of what websites are being viewed by users, they can provide a free VPN server and when users download and install connect to the server, the government could keep track of all your web activities without you knowing it. Now remember this all the time, “free is not always free“.
Why Should I Use Paid VPN?
Well, you might be asking why you should use paid VPN while free is available, well most average users in some parts of the world do not care much about security, all they want is to be able to access blocked websites and apps.
By using paid VPN from a reputable and trusted company could obviously guarantee that your data is safe because it is a company that is worried about profit, because most companies will have to return back profit to their shareholders.
Always know that 100% security and anonymity is not always guaranteed on the internet. No matter what kind of security you have the NSA can find you. So always be cautious with using free VPN services.
Ousman Faal [Digital Vigilante] is a Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Skills Trainer who teaches both in the classroom and online. He has experience in various technologies and likes sharing it with others. Ousman has published 144 articles on this blog. He is the CEO of Faalen Technologies and Skills.gm.