Free Facebook VPN? No thanks

Do you know how a VPN works? A Virtual Private Network (VPN), as its name suggests, is a way to connect two computers using a public network, such as the Internet (the public network most used for this purpose). Through tunneling, the VPN network serves to encrypt and encapsulate your data, which provides safer browsing.

It turns out that big companies have started to move to offer their own VPNs. Facebook, for example, is now offering the Onavo Protect application, a company that was bought in 2013 by Mark Zuckerberg’s team.

Facebook didn’t buy Onavo just to offer the user protection

The Facebook app for iOS, as TechCrunch indicates, has an area called “Protect”. In it, the user is redirected to the Onavo Protect page in the App Store.

Onavo’s VPN promises to alert users about dangerous and malicious sites, in addition to leaving personal information safe while browsing. However, Facebook did not buy Onavo to offer user protection, recalls Techcrunch:

“Onavo’s VPN allows Facebook to monitor user activity across apps, giving Facebook a huge advantage in identifying new trends within the mobile ecosystem.” This means that Facebook will be able to quantify the change in access between applications and which new applications are most sought after by Onavo VPN users. The VPN app’s own privacy policy says this: “analyzes how you use apps” and “provides market analysis and other services to affiliates and third parties”.

This all indicates that the product here is obviously you.

The application purchased by Facebook is not small: there are 33 million downloads on the App Store and Google Play, with 62% of users using Android smartphones. Today, the United States still leads as the largest user base, followed by India and Brazil in third place.

This all indicates that the product here is obviously you. Your data is sold to third parties while using the Onavo VPN.

Response? Alternatives!

On this, Facebook responded as follows: “We recently allowed people in the US to access Onavo Protect through the Facebook app on iPhones. Like other VPNs, it acts as a secure connection to protect people from potentially harmful websites. the app may collect your mobile data traffic to help us recognize tactics that malicious actors use. Over time, this helps the tool work better for you and others. We let people know about this activity and others from Onavo, how we use and analyze data, before downloading”.

The Tecnoblog staff, fortunately, was right to indicate alternative services for you to use:

  • Hola: free, but your connection can be used by another client (“borrowed” IP). In the paid version, Hola Plus, this does not happen
  • Private Internet Access: Paid and feature-packed for $69.95 every two years
  • AnonVPN: Paid and Robust, for $69 per year
  • ProtonVPN : One of the best options, with both free and paid plans (from $48 to $288 per year)

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