Do you wish to be safer on the internet? Do you wish to have more privacy while you are online? If you will do a simple Google search on how to do that, chances are you would end up being directed to the top free VPN services available. However, are these VPNs safe? Do they give the security and anonymity that they promise?
No matter where you use a VPN for, your anonymity online, hiding your location, for simply masking your presence while playing in an online casino in Malta–here are some of the hidden threats of a free VPN you should know and consider before downloading and using one.
It compromises your security
One of the main reasons why you use a VPN is you are hoping that you are safer from prying eyes online such as that of hackers and phishers. Unfortunately, and, ironically, this is the real case, free VPNs put you in more danger. A study of more than 2000 free VPN apps out there showed that 38% of the top free VPNs contained hidden malware that is meant to compromise your security and even steal your information.
It exposes your online activity
So, you still think you’re safe with a free VPN? How about if you discover that they not only expose you to security threats but also actually sell your information to other people for their benefit?
How ironic is it that you use a VPN hoping to be safer on the internet, but 72% of free VPNs have a hidden third-party tracker on their software that records your activity online such as your search history, browsing history, downloads, and many more. These are then sold to data brokers and are then used to target you with ads that are more suited to you, at least according to the data that they have about you.
It slows down your internet
More often than not, a free VPN service would intentionally slow down your internet by connecting you to a proxy with an extremely slow connection. This is because as a free user, you don’t get to access their “premium” or “VIP” bandwidth which is faster and more stable. This is one of the deceiving strategies that some providers of “free” VPN to scam users into paying for their “premium” package. In the end, the real service is not free, but rather a paid one hiding under the guise of a “free” yet nearly useless version.
Aside from limiting your internet speed, free VPNs also limit the bandwidth and the amount of data you can use within their network. It may be a daily limit, a weekly limit, or a monthly one. Regardless, your “protection” ends when you have consumed the amount of data allowed.
It gives you intrusive and annoying ads
As you may have already figured, maintaining a proxy network, as well as an app where users can access it through their devices, can cost money to keep it under operation. If it’s a free service and no one pays for it, where would they get the money to sustain the service? The answer is by running ads.
It doesn’t even matter if the ads are relevant to your interests and activity or not. Most of the time, ads get displayed for every move you make or every 30 seconds or so. Not only are these are often intrusive, but they are also often linked to a site full of more ads and sometimes, even viruses or malware.