• Your Location: -
  • Your IP: -
  • ISP: -
  • Status: Exposed

Why Shouldn’t I Use A Free VPN?

Free VPNs sound too good to be true. Especially ones that respect your privacy. Running a publicly-accessible VPN server involves receiving and sending a lot of data, and that costs a lot of money. So why would someone volunteer to run a VPN service for free, accessible to anyone on the Internet?

Data Is Profitable

Anyone who works with computers can tell you how much money is in data collection. Companies like Facebook and Google make a lot of revenue from ads – that is, from collecting enough data about you to show you relevant ads.

Outside of deciding which ads to show you, collections of data can sell on the dark web for big bucks. This includes the emails and passwords you use, your credit cards and payment details, and even your website logins. Free VPNs can monitor, inspect, and log your traffic, and then sell that data to third parties. Because they don’t make money from subscriptions, some of them resort to privacy-violating techniques like these.

You need to trust that the VPN service you use will respect your privacy. Using a paid VPN with explicit logging policies like ours gives you more assurance that your privacy isn’t at risk.

Running Untrusted Software

Along with trusting the service’s network, you also need to trust their apps.

Any app that you run on your computer or mobile device needs to be trustworthy, of course. But VPN apps are special because they almost always need administrator permissions. And once the app has those permissions, they can do a lot with your device. This includes:

While I was working for another VPN company, I was tasked with investigating a free VPN app that popped up. Through that investigation, we found that it was just piggybacking off our network. That would be fine, privacy-wise, but their installer included adware which didn’t respect the user’s privacy and their app itself included malicious (virus) code.

There’s a reason why almost every paid VPN out there lets you use trusted open-source software (like WireGuard and OpenVPN) to connect to their network. You need to be confident that the service’s apps are trustworthy, and have the option to use your own software.

The Costs and Benefits of Privacy

There are certainly some large companies out there willing to provide a ‘free VPN’ with their service or their product, and simply swallow the cost. But for the actual free VPN services and companies out there, unfortunately it makes a lot more sense to do bad than to do good.

Breaking your users’ privacy by doing the above (including malicious code, selling data) is a way to make money. And that data/access becomes really profitable when it’s done in bulk (see the email database dumps, malware, and DDOS rows on the Dark Web Price Index).

For paid VPN services, earning your subscription is more valuable than selling that kind of data and access. If we violate your trust, we can lose your subscription money. In contrast, a malicious free VPN service only loses… someone who was costing them money (they’ve probably already got enough data to sell it, and since their apps were already installed they’ve already had the opportunity to get administrator access on your device).

Paid VPNs Make Sense

Using a reputable paid VPN is essential if you’re including a VPN as part of your security strategy.

At WeVPN we say who we are, give you the info that matters, and work to keep your trust. Sign up today  to see the difference for yourself.

Protect Your Digital Privacy !

Get one of the fastest and most reliable VPN services

Daniel O.

Along with being head of QA for a large VPN company, Daniel has written sites worth of training materials and has worked in many roles across the IT space (particularly development, testing, and security). Daniel loves communication, writing documentation, and copy-editing.