Published on Nov 14, 2023
Why is a paid VPN better than a free VPN?
We are expanding our digital footprints with every login to the internet. With an increasing number of our assets being moved online, protecting our online presence has become more crucial than ever. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are an essential step in safeguarding our online lives and activities.
Every year millions of cyber attacks and data breaches account for over 6.9 billion dollars in losses. They could have been stopped with just an active VPN service and some basic internet safety tips. Also, with government surveillance concerns increasing every day, no wonder that the use of VPNs is rising by as much as 76% in some countries.
Online you can find a plethora of free and paid VPNs but do you really have to pay for them? Believe it or not, the differences between the free and premium VPN services are significant.
Before we dive into the differences, it's important to understand how a VPN service works. Virtual Private Network ensures that there is a secure connection between you and the internet. When you turn VPN on all your data is being redirected through an encrypted virtual tunnel, which changes your IP address, making your activities untraceable. To check if your VPN actually works, just check your IP address - it should be different when your VPN is turned on.
When you opt for a paid VPN service, you're making an investment in your online security. VPN providers offer advanced security features like military-grade encryption, which ensures that your internet traffic is virtually impenetrable to hackers. You are also being protected from cybercrime and government tracking. Free VPNs usually do not provide the same level of security, leaving your data vulnerable.
Paid VPNs put your privacy first. They often have strict no-logs policies, which means that they don't track or store your online activities. Some free VPN services might sell your data to third parties for advertising purposes, with as many as 26 out of 117 of the most widely used VPN companies doing so.
Paid VPN services typically offer faster connection speeds. They invest in high-performance servers and advanced infrastructure to ensure that your internet connection remains fast and reliable.
Free VPNs, due to their limited resources, often suffer from slower speeds, latency and because of that are considered to be less reliable, making them not as suitable for demanding tasks like streaming or online gaming.
One of the significant advantages of paid VPNs is their customer support. When you encounter issues or need assistance, paid VPN providers typically offer 24/7 customer support through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone. With free VPNs, customer support may be limited or even nonexistent, leaving you to troubleshoot problems on your own.
Paid VPN services come with a host of additional features that enhance your online experience. These may include:
Kill Switch is your best online friend. If your VPN connection stops working because your computer connects to an unreliable public network or your PC restarts in the middle of the night, then the Kill Switch is there to cut off your internet connection. There are two types of Kill Switches, depending if you want all your applications to be cut off from the internet or just some of them.
Multi-device Support: Do you need to use a separate VPN for every device? Good VPN service can be used on multiple devices. It’s definitely much easier than finding and installing different clients on every PC, tablet or mobile phone you use.
Global Server Network: Paid VPNs connect you to a broad range of servers worldwide, allowing you to access content from all over the world. This means that you can access Netflix and Youtube content that would normally be hidden from you.
Malware blocking: If you encounter a website and your VPN finds something suspicious on it, it will prevent you from accessing it. Note that in 2021 data of 21 million internet users was listed for sale on the dark web. All of them were users of free VPN services.
Ad blocking: Some paid VPNs offer built-in ad and malware blocking. Ad blocking works by preventing advertisers from collecting your personal information that’s used for targeting ads back at you.
Importance of Layered Protection
While VPNs are a crucial aspect of online security, they primarily protect your data in transit. To be completely safe from online treats you should consider using other means of protection.
Antivirus software detects, quarantines or deletes malicious code, in order to prevent malware from ever damaging your device. Here you can find a list of 10 of the best Antivirus programs in 2023. Combining the encryption and anonymity provided by a VPN with the threat detection capabilities of an antivirus provides protection for both your device and the data that is shared online.
Only relying on VPN services and Antivirus software isn’t enough. Reliable password manager makes all your accounts secured and ready to use without worrying they could be hacked and finally making sure that your software is updated makes you well-prepared to defend against all online threats.
Whether you want a faster connection and military-grade secure encryption, or just to feel secure while browsing the internet, you can find a VPN service that suits your needs. A paid VPN offers enhanced security, privacy protection, faster speeds, excellent customer support, and a host of additional features that improve your online experience.
While free VPNs may be tempting due to their cost, they often come with limitations and risks that could compromise your online safety and privacy. VPN providers face high costs for personnel and the hardware used for maintaining big networks. It is their users that pay for those - either they pay with money for protection or they pay with data for free services.
Ultimately, the choice between a paid VPN and a free VPN should align with your priorities. Privacy, security, and speed matter to you, investing in a paid VPN is a wise decision. However, if you have more relaxed requirements and are willing to accept potential limitations and risks, a free VPN may suffice.
In the digital age, your online security and privacy are invaluable. Choosing a paid VPN is only one step towards a safe online presence and a secure online experience.