Free VPNs have been a very controversial topic in the Cybersecurity community for a long time. While some people argue that free VPNs are a great way for people who do not have the money to enjoy better security, others counter with the fact that it is not feasible to run a free VPN company and most free VPNs are capitalizing on their users in one way or the other. The truth lies probably somewhere in the middle.
In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you can browse the internet safely if you are using a free VPN, and that is the question that we are going to answer.
Do free VPNs have good security?
The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you might expect since there are a lot of free VPNs in the market and all of them have different business models to a certain extent.
The one consistent we have seen is that if the VPN that you are using is completely free for use, then it is probably going to make its money by other, shadier means.
However, most VPNs currently available for free in the market are usually treated as a marketing expense for the actual product by their companies. These VPNs usually have restricted features which are there to give the users a trial for the actual product which has all of the features.
These VPNs usually have good security and can protect you to a fair extent. However, the VPN providers make sure that some of the features are still locked behind a paywall in order to entice customers to buy their product.
Free VPNs are still good for some things
If you are someone who feels like they do not need the additional security that a VPN provides (although you probably do) and just want to access websites that are geo-locked, then a free VPN can get the job done for you.
One thing you need to make sure is that your VPN does not end up spying on you and monitoring your data. While it is fairly obvious that the governments intrude into our lives way more than they should be allowed to, the last thing you want is a private enterprise doing the same thing.
In case you are not someone who uses the internet a lot, then you can simply use a free VPN such as Windscribe or Tunnelbear. These services restrict your data (Tunnelbear offers 500MB/month and Windscribe 10GB/month), but you are guaranteed to have a safe internet experience.
ProtonVPN is the one exception to totally free VPNs
ProtonVPN may very well be the only good free VPN that allows you to download as much data as you want without paying a dime. Instead of restricting their service by limiting your data, they only allow you to access a small portion of their server base and only allow you to connect one device at a time.
ProtonVPN is a huge company so they are able to spend more money on their free VPN than their competitors. Because of this, you will be able to use their service without having to constantly be in fear of being spied on and having your data sold off to other companies.
ProtonVPN also has a very solid full version which you can purchase if you like the free one. This is how they make their money, by showing they have a solid product.
You can still try full-version of VPNs for free
This is something that many people do not know about. Most of the industry-leading VPNs offer a free trial in the form of a money back guarantee.
The way this guarantee works is extremely simple. Once you purchase the VPN, you have a set number of days (usually 30) before you can get a refund for the VPN for no reason at all. During this time, you will be allowed to use all of the features that the service offers and there will be absolutely no restrictions placed on you.
If you are someone who is serious about protecting their privacy and anonymity, then we recommend purchasing a VPN. You can try a lot of paid VPNs through the money back guarantee that we just mentioned and pick the one that works best for you.
However, if you are a casual user who just wants to access geo-locked content and enjoy a decent amount of security, then a free VPN may get the job done for you. All you need to do is to pick the correct service (e.gProtonVPN or Windscribe) and you will be good to go.