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Free VPN vs Paid VPN: What is Best For You?

Paid VPNs vs. Free VPNs

Digital security is more vulnerable than ever. Digital transformation has opened up people to all sorts of crazy new threats. There was a time when people only had to keep themselves safe from the dangers in the physical world. However, the threat has transcended the digital border and appeared online.

Now, the commodity that people are after is information. And what people go to great lengths to acquire said information. Be it via spying, targeted ads, or scams; everyone is busy getting their hands on as much information as possible. Thus, the need for a VPN emerged. VPN services came into existence to counter these dangers for people. But, there is still one significant concern that bothers people – Free VPN vs Paid VPN. People can choose between either of the two, but the difference between the two options is still unclear to some.

For this reason, let’s take a closer look at difference between Free VPN vs Paid VPN in 2023, and educate readers about the unique benefits they offer and what would be the right fight for each consumer. So, without any further delay, let’s get started:

 

What is VPN?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network combines software and hardware that allows users to access the web in a private and secure environment. A VPN service hides a person’s IP address from the public eye. Instead, it replaces the IP address with a different IP address from another geographical location.

This practice is useful in several ways. First, VPN users can access geo-restricted content from almost anywhere in the world. Second, it hides a person’s physical location and other personal information that could be used to track them.

What is a Paid VPN?

Before clarifying the difference between free VPN vs paid VPN in 2023, readers ought to know what a paid VPN service is. A paid VPN service charges its users a subscription fee that is paid on a monthly, biannual, or annual basis.

By subscribing to paid VPN services, users acquire access to premium security services, including additional VPN servers, enhanced VPN protocols, choice of protocol, prioritized connections, and much more.

What is a Free VPN?

A free VPN service does not charge any subscription fee. VPN users can sign up for a VPN account without providing payment details. All they need to do is use their email address to sign up for a VPN account, and they can gain access to a VPN server almost instantly.

So, why opt for a paid VPN service instead of a free VPN when deciding between paid vs free vpn? A free VPN service may enable users to connect to a remote VPN server, but free VPN services are often known to spy on their users themselves. Since they are not charging users any subscription fee, they would want to generate revenue elsewhere.

As such, free VPN services often sell user data to third parties to generate profit. And this ultimately comprises the privacy of users beyond redemption.

Comparison Between Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs

There are some considerable differences between paid VPN vs free VPN services. And VPN users would want to consider them before signing up for either of them. Here are the key differences between a free VPN vs paid VPN that all VPN users must consider before making an informed decision:

Safety of Data

Free VPN services often share users’ data with third parties. Since free VPN services are not charging any subscription to the users, they turn to third parties to generate profit. And it is common sense that such activity completely violates the privacy and trust of the users.

Access to VPN Servers

Choosing between free VPN vs paid VPN services also requires the choice of freedom. Free VPN services often provide access to a limited number of VPN servers. And VPN users cannot do much to switch to a VPN server of their choice.

In contrast, paid VPN services host many VPN servers that the users can enjoy access to. In addition, paid VPN services also sometimes enable users to connect to a VPN server of their choice. Thus, making it possible for VPN users to enjoy enhanced freedom.

Choice of VPN Protocol

As a free VPN user, one cannot determine the VPN protocol they are connecting to. A free VPN service will automatically assign a VPN protocol, which the VPN user cannot change.

In comparison, paid VPN services often enable users to decide the specific VPN protocol they desire. Since each VPN protocol serves a specific purpose online, this choice tilts the scale in a paid VPN service’s favor between a free VPN vs paid VPN.

Pop-Up Ads

Another aspect worth considering between a free VPN vs paid VPN service is the pop-up ads that appear in between. While a free VPN service will not charge any subscription fee, it will still make an effort to generate revenue otherwise. And this is usually achieved by displaying pop-up ads to the users while using a free VPN service.

On the other hand, paid VPN service users can opt out of this feature simply by paying a nominal subscription fee each month.

Premium Features

Another difference in deciding between a free VPN vs paid VPN service is the premium features it offers. A free VPN service will only provide access to the basic functionality that every VPN service claims to offer.

On the other hand, a paid VPN service will enable users to enjoy enhanced security features that ensure a safer and more private experience online. For instance, VPN services such as Ivacy VPN offer an internet kill switch and a counter for ISP throttling. While the internet kill switch ensures that VPN users stay private even if the internet connection is interrupted, the choice of VPN servers makes it easier to avoid ISP throttling altogether.

Problems and Risks Associated with Free VPN

As mentioned above, a free VPN service also comes with significant security and privacy risks. And before subscribing to any VPN service one would want to know about those risks. Well, here they are:

Personal Data Leaks

While a free VPN service might claim to secure a user’s communication and information, the reality is often the opposite. Free VPN services often sell off user information to third parties without the users’ consent. And this goes against the concept of privacy and security in a gross manner.

Slower Internet Speeds

Free VPN services often rely on outside VPN infrastructure to cater to their users. And this, in turn, results in poor internet speeds for all users. Users might have to suffer through long buffering and slower downloads if they decide to save a few bucks when choosing between a free VPN vs paid VPN service.

Weaker VPN Protocols

Free VPN services often do not offer as complex VPN protocols as a paid VPN service. Free VPN services may talk a big game up front, but at the back, the connections are usually routed via the most basic VPN protocols.

As a result, information traveling through a free VPN server can be hacked without making much effort. The data would not be encrypted properly, and the threat that needs to be avoided would still exist.

When is it OK to use a Free VPN?

Even though a paid VPN service is the way to go, there are still times when a free VPN service will do the trick. Sometimes, a person merely needs a VPN connection for a short trip, or they may attempt to connect to a public Wi-Fi network in a hurry. In such instances, a free VPN service would still suffice if a paid VPN service is inaccessible.

Moreover, one would need to compromise on a paid VPN service’s premium features. There is no freedom when choosing a VPN server or other features like an internet kill switch in a free VPN service.

The Boons of Using a Paid VPN

A paid VPN service is, without a doubt, the winner between a free VPN and a paid VPN service. Here are a few prominent benefits of using a paid VPN service:

Air-Tight Security

A paid VPN service is reinforced by strong military-grade encryption and strict no-logs policies. Users can, without worry, conduct their sessions online, and their data will not leak to third parties.

Additional Security Features

Paid VPN services also enable users to access enhanced security features that allow them to create a safer online environment for them. For instance, the internet kill switch that VPN services like Ivacy VPN will automatically terminate the internet connection if the VPN connection ever drops.

A Larger VPN Server Pool

Often, VPN services that charge a subscription fee allow users to choose from a larger VPN server pool. VPN users can connect to various servers spread across different parts of the world.

Which Option is Right For You?

The answer to this question is that it depends on the type of utility an internet user wants from a VPN will determine the type of VPN connection they want to adopt. A free VPN service might suffice if it is the occasional connection to the web. But for hardcore internet users whose main concern is internet privacy, a paid VPN is surely the way to go.

On a Final Note

Choosing between a free VPN vs paid VPN service is not an easy task. While a paid VPN service is safe of the two, a free VPN service may still be useful for on-the-go usage. In either case, a VPN service will always be better than logging online without a VPN connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Free VPN?

Ivacy VPN also offers a freemium plan that enables users to connect to a relatively safer environment.

Is There a 100% Free VPN?

Ivacy VPN’s free plan allows all VPN users to connect to a VPN server without needing to pay a penny.

Should you use a free VPN?

You can use a free VPN service in some cases where privacy is not the biggest priority. In all other situations, paid VPN plans are the way to go.

Is free VPN safe?

Most free VPNs are hardly safe. That said, a paid VPN plan will always be better than a free VPN service.

Are paid VPNs worth it?

Paid VPN services are always worth the investment. Users might be paying a certain sum each month for the service, but that service allows users to encrypt their communication and hide their personal information from third parties. Such practice prevents users from being targeted by phishing scams, identity theft, frauds, and other cybercrimes.

Should I use a VPN in 2023?

One should always secure their internet connection with a VPN service. Especially in modern times, the threats have transcended the digital barrier. Now, a person must also stay safe from looters and criminals online. And a VPN service can help protect a person’s identity and location, which help keep such criminals at bay.

Are VPN services legal?

VPN services are completely legal in most parts of the world. That said, there are still regions where VPN use is illegal. Getting in touch with a lawyer who knows local laws is a good idea to avoid any hassles.

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