If you’ve been worried about your online privacy and personal security lately, making the move to a VPN service is a good idea. The benefits of having your data and communications encrypted and protected every time you sign into the internet go without saying. But what about a free VPN service? What are the benefits of using a service that likely offers some trade-offs in quality and functionality in return for the benefit of not having to pay?
In short, are free VPN services worth the non-payment? Let’s take a look.
Five Benefits of Using a Free VPN Service
Here are five reasons that you should consider using a free VPN service:
It’s Free. Of course, this would be the number one benefit so we’re not going to spend a lot of time on it—it’s obvious that using a free VPN will save you money. How much? The cheapest you can get a serious VPN service for is going to be a few bucks a month, upwards of $3 right now. If you sign up for longer periods of service (i.e. 3-year plans, etc.), you can likely get that monthly fee lower. On the other hand, a free VPN service is free, so in reality, this is the lowest price you can pay—zero.
Your Data will be Encrypted. Even if you are expecting some drop off in service, the main benefit to a free VPN provider is that your data will be encrypted and your identity and personal information will be protected. You will remain anonymous on the internet—if the VPN service doesn’t provide at least this, it is not a VPN service, paid or not.
Even if you are just using the free VPN when you get on public Wi-Fi hotspots, using a free service is well worth your time because this is the number one place where data gets stolen. While you should only use purchasing and banking apps and sites on secured networks, sometimes you have no choice. This is when a free VPN will certainly come in handy. Plus, your passwords and usernames will remain secure, even if you’re in a public, unsecured internet cafe or airport.
Bypass Geographic Restrictions. For those of you who wish to get around geographic restrictions on sites, movies, music, databases, etc., a free VPN will still allow you to bypass them. Essentially, you can access any LAN in the world even if you’re not physically in that local area network. A VPN secures your connection through remote servers that are in different locations than your physical location, thus allowing you access to other countries, or even your own if you’re traveling abroad. In essence, you can virtually reside in any country you want and the website you are trying to access will be tricked into thinking you are granted rightful access.
Free VPNs Prevent Data Leaks. So, with the Fappening still fresh in our minds, or the Sony email hacks, the simple question is this: how comfortable would you be with all of your pictures, all of your emails and all of your personal files, data and browsing history put out on display for the entire world to see? No problem? Fine, don’t use a VPN. But if you want to protect your privacy and your rights, a free VPN service will do just that.
And even if you feel like you have nothing to hide, don’t fall for the “if I have nothing to hide nobody will try to find me.” This is the internet: there are people who have nothing else to do but fish into other people’s personal lives for something that entertains them. It might not seem like much to you, but when your personal space and privacy are violated and that picture of you doing shots at the bar on New Year’s gets you fired or prevents you from getting hired, you’re going to wish you used a free VPN!
Protect Your Future. Finally, did you know that even if you download torrents, movies, music, apps, and data legally, your data can still be collected by the companies you are downloading from? Picture this: you legally download a movie today but a few weeks from now, the company states that it has always been illegal to download from their site because a big movie company is threatening to sue them. In fear, they turn over the list of information of everyone who has ever downloaded movies from their site and the next thing you know, you are named in a lawsuit by Miramax or Sony. You now have to pay hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars in restitution or face jail time. Think it can’t happen? Remember Napster?
As you can see, there are many great reasons to use not only a VPN but a free VPN as well.