VPNs are becoming increasingly popular as more individuals get concerned about their online privacy. Free VPN companies have to cover those costs and make a profit, therefore they use hidden tools and tactics to collect cash from their consumers.
These practices are not only risky and dishonest, but they also go against VPN principles. At times using a proxy server can be so much safer than such free VPNs. You can check those proxy benefits here.
But free VPNs can put you at risk online, costing you more of it than you think, and damaging your overall internet experience. So, here are the 5 things you should be aware of.
1. Security Threats
One of the main functions of a VPN is to keep you safe from hackers. As a result, it’s concerning that some VPNs contain malware, which is one of the most serious internet security threats.
Bugs and battery life are frightening statistics: 30% of people have complained about them. Bugs can set off an avalanche of problems, including security flaws on your device that make you vulnerable to viruses and malware.
A minor hiccup may not seem like much, and it isn’t something you want with an app you’re entrusting with your sensitive data. The majority of malware is associated with advertising, which makes sense.
Advertising is how free VPNs make money. That’s also why a VPN that restricts user data is less harmful than one that gives a free service.
Also Check: Types of VPN & How They Work | Function
2. Online Activity Tracking
This is perhaps the most serious mistake a VPN can make, and it’s also the most often.
One of the main reasons you use a VPN is to preserve your online privacy. As a result, it’s breathtakingly ironic that 72 percent of free VPNs include third-party trackers in their software, according to the same survey.
These trackers collect information about your internet activities so that advertisers can better target you with adverts. The amount of premium VPNs that utilize these monitoring libraries is incredibly low, as seen in the graph, and they do exist since not all premium VPNs are made equal.
Instead of giving you privacy, VPNs harvest your info and sell the information to the highest bidder.
While some VPNs mask the fact that companies sell your information, others openly declare it in their privacy rules.
3. Annoying Ads
The reasoning for this strategy is straightforward. Free VPNs require an alternative way of making money because their users aren’t paying them on a monthly basis.
This model is used by Betternet, for example. Despite the fact that they claim on their site that they don’t display you bothersome adverts, ads appear anytime you connect. In truth, customers are bombarded with advertisements every time they connect to a VPN.
Ads are not only irritating, but they would also hold down your internet connection or contain viruses.
Ultimately, advertisers like to target customers with targeted advertisements. The presence of advertisements on a VPN creates privacy concerns among users.
4. Bandwidth Selling
Apart from permitting advertisements, the VPN Hola discovered another way to profit from their free users: it let paying customers to access your device’s processing power, thus selling your bandwidth for profit.
They make no mention of the fact that Luminati has been utilized in at least one botnet attack.
A botnet attack infects a huge number of computers with malware and then combines them to carry out an attack. In other words, cyber-criminals took control of all of the computers in Hola’s network, including those pertaining to their free users.
It’s possible that this isn’t a one-time occurrence. Hola presently does not track how Luminati users abuse the Hola network, making it an ideal weapon for cybercriminals. To know more about such tech news and to understand the skills, do visit techiexpert.com.
5. Leakage of IP Address
A properly operating VPN is similar to a hidden tunnel. All of your traffic is sent through the tunnel and out of sight of inquisitive eyes. It’s impossible to tell where it came from once it hits the open web.
When you’re using a free VPN, though, the tunnel’s workmanship is less robust, and it’s more likely full of holes. Your information and IP address can pass through those cracks and be scooped up by anyone watching.
The procedure is known as a “DNS leak” or “traffic leak.” Both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses can be compromised, leaving you completely vulnerable.
Paid VPNs, according to several experts, are also guilty of traffic breaches, but they are less widespread. Spending more for a builder will almost always result in a better job, and paying more for a VPN service will almost always end in a well-built tunnel.
We sincerely hope that our guide to things to be cautious of while using a free VPN has given you a general understanding of how to keep secure and has possibly made you reconsider using a free VPN. Because the risks are so significant, you’re best off to not use one at all. Instead, route all of your traffic via your ISP.
If you’re still seeking a free VPN, the Urban VPN chrome extension will provide you with all the security you require. Check their Chrome proxy settings for a safe and secure Internet experience.