There’s no doubt that most people do not treat online privacy concerns with the urgency they deserve. There are good reasons for this; For one, it seems overwhelming these days, with social media sites which know everything about us and smartphones that track our every move. For another, it’s a problem of our own creation. Accepting that privacy issues might lead to our downfall means accepting the blame for our own naivety.
The problem is that while we’re all avoiding what we need to do to keep our data safe and our privacy secure, hackers and governments are either stealing our data or keeping track of us.
There are, of course, things that can be done to make us more secure. First off, increase your social media security settings, or leave social media entirely. Next, make sure you only use the internet when you have a VPN turned on. If you don’t want to commit money to pay for a VPN, find out what is the best free VPN.
The enlightenment towards the need of VPN could lead you to a few questions though. And the most important ones among all of those could possibly be:
- Is a free VPN actually worth it?
- There are definitely benefits, but do they outweigh the downsides?
The simple answer is Yes and No!
Don’t get carried away with long lectures available online that sounds more of marketing piece than portraying the right picture for you. However, there are few aspects of it worth your attention though:
Pro: It’s better than nothing
No matter what way you look at it, using a free VPN is better than nothing. It may not have all the functionality that a paid VPN has, and it may force you to use the internet in a more limited way, but at least you’re protected. Good free VPNs are reliable in that sense.
Con: No targeted advertising
This might not seem like a con at first. After all, most of us can’t stand advertising on apps, let alone targeted advertising. The problem is that targeted advertising is the reason tech companies can provide a free service. Facebook makes tons of money without ever soliciting money from its users. You probably have many free apps already, with ads popping up but not stopping you from using the app.
The thing is that the entire point of a VPN is to hide who you are. Targeted advertising is not an option. And that means the provider has to make money some other way. In the past, some companies have actually sold user data, but that’s not the case with those mentioned in the link above. What most free VPNs do is limit the bandwidth or speeds you can use for free.
Pro: Try it with no strings attached
However, that does not mean that free VPNs aren’t worthwhile. What they do provide is the ability to try a VPN service without having to commit money. You get an idea of what it’s like and what you’re gaining from it. Ultimately, VPNs have more uses than just the security, and you can get a feel for this.
Con: You’ll upgrade soon
This isn’t so much a con as it is a reality. Once you’ve been using a free VPN for a while, you will realise that you need more and you will choose to upgrade. The safety, as well as the added benefits, will become your status quo, and you’ll realise you never should have gone without it