Free VPN vs Paid VPN. What is the difference? In as much as getting things for free might be as exciting, we would all probably agree that anything of good value is likely to come at a good expense. The same case applies when you’re comparing free VPN services with those that you pay for.The biggest disadvantage that comes with enlisting a free VPN service is that your security is never really 100% guaranteed in the long run. Think about it; for a network service to work, bills need to be paid, and if you’re not parting with any of your dollars, then your browsing habits are a valuable asset that can be transformed into a source of revenue. Such service providers trade in your information to third parties at a fee, and in so doing, your data privacy gets compromised. This goes completely against the logic behind a VPN service, but the reality is, it happens.
Free VPN vs Paid VPN – What Is The Difference
Free VPN vs Paid VPN – The Break Down
When considering the type of VPN provider to subscribe to for your privacy needs, the following should come into mind:
- Offered protocols
- Customer care
- Speed of connection
- Server selection
- Bandwidth Caps
With free VPNs, you’ll probably get the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP); one that is at least able to mask your IP address, but is sure to be riddled with security risks. This should be reason enough for users to avoid the PPTP protocol.
On the other hand, a reliable and paid for VPN provider will offer an array of protocols such as IPSec, L2TP, IKEv2 and of course, OpenVPN. These protocols allow users to customize their VPN connection, and make the best out of the available options.
A qualified and well trained customer care team that is available 24/7 costs a good amount money to put together. You can only expect such from a paid VPN provider, and their customers would be the only ones to make all this possible.
A well established provider like ExpressVPN for example has a ready team on call to help their customers whenever an issue arises. You’ll be sure to get assistance even on a public holiday where you’d expect nobody would be working.
Speed of Connection
Free things are bound to create a lot of attention and attract a large crowd. If a free VPN service is popular enough to get a good number of people to try it out, their servers just might give in under all that pressure.
If not, users ought to brace themselves for untimely disconnections every now and then; something you’d not like to experience when you’re streaming something like a live broadcast.
Paid VPN providers make it their priority to ensure no matter how big the traffic is, the infrastructure they have in place is well suited to support it. If not, the paying customers make it possible for them to add more, and increase their quality of service.
As mentioned at the beginning, most free VPN providers sell your data info to stay afloat. They also avoid providing any clear statements about how they intend to keep your data ‘private’. This makes trusting them with your details a very risky affair.
Paid VPN providers however make it very clear as to whether they are going to keep a record of your browsing history or not. Those that do probably do so as a layer of protection for their businesses. Those that do not, like IPVanish for example, stay true to the promise of keeping your personal data exclusive to only you.
The more the number of server locations a VPN service has, the less crowded each of those servers will be in terms of traffic. Paid VPNs have a lot more locations compared to free ones.
With experience, you’ll come to find that there are some POPs that are only available for paid VPNs subscribers. This fact becomes most apparent when you’re streaming content through a medium such as Netflix, but through VPN. Users hoping to secure only US content would be easily able to do so since there’s a good number of free VPN servers in the US. Those living in other areas such as the UK or Australia, where it’s slightly more costly to set up servers, might find themselves in a little bit of a problem.
The truth is that most if not all free VPN services have a bandwidth cap. That means you can only download a specific, usually minimum, amount of data unless you upgrade your subscription. Hence, the term freemium VPN. Some free VPN service also impose limits on how many times you are allowed to switch VPN server locations per day. You will not face any of these issues with premium VPN service providers.
Best VPN Service Providers
You can get a VPN subscription for as little as $5 a month. The package includes access to premium VPN servers, unlimited bandwidth, reliable VPN apps, 24/7 support, and a money-back guarantee that usually extends up to 30 days. The benefits you reap are worth every penny in the end. Here are our best VPN services as of 2017.
- Best for streaming and privacy
- High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
- Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
- 24/7/ live chat support
- 3 extra months free on annual plan
- UltraHD streaming
- Free Smart DNS proxy
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Limited Time 72% Discount
- Unlimited VPN connections
- Over 1000 servers
- Ad-blocking feature available
- 7-day free trial
- User-friendly application
- Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
- Extra security features
- Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
- Split-tunneling available
Free VPN vs Paid VPN – Your Privacy Online Is Worth Paying For
Frequent Internet users who rely on the web to carry out sensitive tasks should be aware that free VPNs are simply not capable of keeping up with the level of reliability, security or speed that paid for services have to offer. Keep your data safe by enlisting a VPN service that’ll put your privacy needs at their front and center, and provide the help you need to make the most out of their service.