3 Hidden Drawbacks of Using Free VPNs

Using a VPN is considered to be one of the most reliable tools for enhancing online security and privacy.  Unfortunately, not all VPN services are the same.  There are a number of free options. These are used by a growing number of people.  While free services sound like a great idea, they rarely deliver value to the user.  The problem is that most people who use free VPNs are using this technology for the first time and have not identified the risks associated with it.  Let’s take a closer look at three hidden drawbacks of using free VPN services.

1.  Poor Infrastructure

Network infrastructure is critical to every VPN service, both free and paid.  It will largely determine how useful the connection is.  Low-quality network infrastructure creates a variety of problems for the end user.  Unfortunately, these problems are extremely common among free VPN services.

 

The biggest problem is slow data transfer speeds.  Encrypting data is a very CPU intensive process.  Low-quality networks lack enough servers to quickly process and encrypt the data being sent to everyone connected to it.  As a result, it takes a long time for data to be sent from the server to the end-user.  Additionally, bandwidth limitations lead to slow transfer speeds once the data packets have been sent.  People who use VPNs for the first time don’t realize that slow transfer speeds are not the result of the connection, but rather a lack of network infrastructure.  As a result, they assume that every service will be equally slow. They often either stop using it altogether or continue struggling with slow transfer speeds.

2.  Dealing with Advertising

Another common problem of using free VPN services is dealing advertising.  Bandwidth, servers, and IT staff cost money.  In order to offer free services, the service providers must find ways to monetize their VPN connections.  The easiest way to do this is by bombarding users with advertising.  Free service providers will either sell ad space to marketing agencies or rely on pop-up ads.

3.  Free VPNs Track What Users Do Online

One of the primary reasons people turn to VPN connections is to avoid being tracked by online marketing agencies and websites.  One method of monetization free VPNs is to track the user’s online activity.  They sell this information to online marketing agencies and websites.  This tracking defeats the purpose of using a VPN for privacy.

Using a free VPN service sound like a great idea, but the practical application is lacking.  Premium service providers own their own network infrastructure which allows them to maintain high connectivity rates and fast data transfer speeds.  They do not rely on advertising in order to generate income.  Since premium VPN services require only a nominal monthly fee, they should be considered the best option for anyone interested in using an iPhone VPN.

 

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