Have you ever contemplated whether paying for a VPN is worth it? Why should one pay for a premium VPN service when there are free VPNs out there that are, in some cases, much more than enough for the needs of users? This is a question that’s often pondered by VPN users, and frankly, we think it’s not just a question of paying or not paying—there is also something you need to know: the difference between a premium VPN service (paid) and an average (free) VPN.
What you get & not get with a free VPN plan
If you’re considering upgrading to a premium version of your VPN service, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting that you don’t already get with the free plan—and whether the additional functionality is worth the cost. Here are some things to consider:
- How much data do you get? Some free plans provide unlimited data, while others offer just 500 MB (or less) per month. If you’re not sure how much data your current VPN provider offers, check its website—you should be able to find this information in terms of service or pricing pages. If it’s not there, call customer support and ask for details about their free plan.
- What countries can I connect from? Do you need a VPN connection from China? India? Egypt? Or somewhere else where internet access might be limited? It’s worth checking how many countries your current provider supports before paying for an upgrade. You may find that some paid services focus on specific markets such as Europe or Asia/Pacific.
- Which devices can I use with this VPN service? This is especially important if you want to use your VPN when traveling internationally. Some services let you use more than six devices at once, and some limit it to one or two devices per account—it’s up to you which makes the most sense for your business needs, but it is worth noting if your organization has multiple people who need a VPN at once, and also if they have different operating systems (Mac OS vs. iOS). Free plans tend not to be compatible with every device out there, so make sure yours works before committing!
The Problem with Free VPNs
If you’re a big fan of using a VPN to mask your identity and keep snoops out of your browsing, you should probably start thinking about whether it’s worth paying for one. While many people use VPNs to protect their privacy, it’s not really a private activity. Basically, everyone else can see where you’re going online, and they can find out who you are if they work hard enough. There are always security risks involved with free VPNs, and funnily, most casual users don’t even know what is a secure VPN in practical terms because, on the surface, everything looks safe and secure.
It also turns out that free services like Hola and Hotspot Shield are pretty bad at data protection. The same tools that let you unblock websites from within the US can be used by hackers to take over your computer or phone as well. They also have a habit of hosting malware on their servers, making them dangerous to use for security purposes as well as for everyday browsing.
Premium VPN Benefits.
There are many benefits of purchasing a premium VPN instead of continuing to use the free version. These include:
- Reduced advertising. A premium subscription will eliminate the ads that were present on your free version. This is particularly useful if you plan to watch movies online since ads can disrupt the viewing experience and ruin what would otherwise be a great time.
- No data limits. If you’re streaming a lot of TV shows, having no data caps on your bandwidth is especially important because you’ll be able to binge-watch as many shows as you want without worrying about getting cut off mid-episode or mid-season.
- Good encryption standards. Your personal information remains secure when using even the best free VPNs, but sometimes it’s nice to know that an extra measure of protection has been taken for you by paying for more advanced protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec instead of PPTP or L2TP/IPSec which come standard with most paid services these days anyway (and should always be considered less secure than their newer counterparts). However, some users may still want something even stronger–in which case they might want to consider purchasing an additional layer such as SSL 256 bits encryption from their provider just as added insurance against prying eyes!
Premium VPNs might be worth it if you consider what you get and why you want one
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth it to ditch the free VPN service you’ve been using, the answer is yes—but only if you understand what you get out of a premium VPN and why you want one.
Here are some key points to consider:
- A free VPN might not be secure or have as many features. Free VPNs typically have fewer servers and sometimes less reliable service, meaning that speeds could be slower, encryption might not be as strong, and users may experience more downtime. Not all free providers offer native apps for every single platform out there either; in fact, free services generally have minimal support options.
- Premium VPNs offer a more secure VPN service and hence, are considered more trustworthy than free ones. Companies that have gone through the effort of putting together a paid product generally have invested more time into making it work properly than companies offering a basic, limited-features product. In addition to better security and privacy features (for example, top-tier providers like NordVPN use AES 256 encryption, so your data is unreadable), premium services also offer dedicated customer support rather than a simple help page or forum for users to sort through alone.
When you use a free VPN, more often than not, your data is harvested by the VPN service you’re using. In addition, free VPNs are infamous for their lack of reliability and generally clunky user experience. However, free VPNs can be useful if you’re simply looking to protect your privacy. Overall, whether you should upgrade from free to premium depends on your usage and expectations. We hope this article makes it easier for you to decide.