We’re sure you’ve heard of virtual private networks (commonly known as VPNs) and if you’re concerned about privacy and digital security, you may have done some research on them and dismissed them because of their price. You’ve probably also noticed that there are some free VPNs out there, which may seem too good to be true; After all, if these services have an infrastructure to operate, why would anyone offer VPN software free?
That’s a fair question and, as you can imagine, there’s a big catch with those “free” VPNs. Virtual private networks require hardware infrastructure to operate (which means money) and free providers have to recover their costs somehow.
They typically do this by collecting and selling your data to marketers, which means they probably keep some type of activity log. This defeats much of the purpose of using a VPN: protecting your online habits and information from third parties and other snoops in the first place. In any case, are you really willing to risk your internet security just to save a few dollars each month?
That’s not to say that free VPNs are bad, at least in the sense that they don’t do what they’re supposed to do (encrypt your internet connection and route it through the VPN operator’s remote servers).
Keep in mind that free VPN plans will be quite limited in data and speed. There will be restrictions on security protocols, the devices you can use, and the global servers through which you can route your connection if any of them can be controlled.
In addition, they lack advanced features, such as ad blocking and malware protection, which makes them less secure. These are all reasons why we generally recommend that you ditch the free plans and set up a VPN through a trusted provider like Surfshark. If you’re looking for the best cheap VPN, Surfshark is the one to go for. Its server list isn’t as impressive as other big-name providers, but it offers solid connection speeds and can run on an unlimited number of devices (yes, really no device limits!).
The best part is that it does pretty much everything we want a virtual private network to do, right down to offering built-in ad blocking and malware protection. The fact that it’s cheap and works on an unlimited number of local devices simultaneously makes Surfshark a great option for families and offices.
All that said, good virtual private network providers often offer free “money-back guarantee” periods that act like free trials, allowing you to cancel your plan and receive a full refund (usually within 30 days).
Some often offer special deals including free months. This gives you a little time to give a VPN service a spin and decide if it’s a good fit for your digital lifestyle before having to fully commit to a subscription.
Another good news is that the best VPN services are actually not that expensive when you consider the security and peace of mind they provide, and most also have different plans you can choose from. Longer-term annual plans are the best value and usually only cost a few dollars per month.
So are free VPNs worth trying? The answer is that it depends on which service you are dealing with. If you use free services provided by reputable VPN providers, and it’s usually a free trial, then YES. However, you need to be careful of unpopular VPN services that only say “no fees”. You have to be careful! Hopefully, this short article can answer your doubts about free VPN services.