Best Free VPNs: 5 Reasons Why They Don’t Exist

Best Free VPNs: 5 Reasons Why They Don't Exist

A free service may be paid for in another way: by collecting your data.

Private virtual networks, known as VPNs, have become increasingly popular, whether among gamers, people looking for more privacy, or those who use them in work or leisure situations. In addition to allowing data traffic, which is often safer, they grant access to networks outside the country, that is, many services unavailable in national territory barred by IP, can be freely accessed with the use of the service. 

According to Top10VPN, demand for VPN services rose by 44% in the second week of March alone (the beginning of quarantine in Brazil). It is estimated that by 2022, the sector’s global market value should reach US$ 35 billion (approximately R$ 182.4 billion in direct conversion). ADVERTISING

In view of the growing market and the constant need to ensure information security, choosing a really secure VPN becomes an essential task. However, amid so many possibilities, you have to be careful when choosing the service. That’s because free tools, although they promise security, can be much more harmful than you might think.

To redouble this care, we have listed below 5 important reasons why free VPNs are not a good deal for data security. Check out:

1. Free VPNs are not secure

Paid VPN apps charge fixed amounts for maintenance and smooth operation, ensuring user data protection. But what about the free ones? Well, these collect your data as “payment”.

According to a 2018 survey by Top10VPN, around 86% of free VPN apps on Android and iOS devices have unacceptable privacy policies, from hiding information in clauses to sharing user data with Chinese authorities.

In a more recent survey by the institution, in August 2019, of 77% of applications flagged as potentially unsafe, 90% of them were free VPN programs.

2. You can get malware

As ironic as it sounds, 38% of free Android VPN apps contain malware, according to a CSIRO study.

And with the increasing cases of ransomware attacks – scams in which cybercriminals encrypt infected system files and request an amount to rescue the information – the question arises: pay a few thousand bitcoins to recover your company’s files or disburse a derisory amount on a minimum package and be sure of data protection?

3. “Tracker Ads”

It is common agreement that excessive advertisements take the patience of anyone, but this practice is not limited to offering only products according to the user’s activities on the Internet. On some free VPNs, ads hide trackers in browsers.

Accused in 2017 of privacy violations, HotSpot Shield VPN not only sold user data to advertising networks but also installed five different types of tracking and redirected customer traffic to secret servers.

4. “Theft” of speed and personal information

Some VPN applications manage to “steal” your bandwidth – bandwidth that measures the transmission capacity -, reducing the speed of the connection and being able to turn your device into a bot (“zombie device”).

Botnets can be used to carry out DDoS attacks, send spam, steal data, and allow the attacker to gain unrestricted access to the victim’s device and connection.

5. Paid options are best

With the growth of the VPN market, companies have offered different types of contracts, according to the user’s needs. Many of them offer year-round discounts and become more pocket-friendly. Among a variety of them, it is possible to find monthly services ranging from R$ 15 to R$ 70. 

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