Paid Vs. Free VPN – Which to Choose?

If you’re a frequent internet user, then you’ve probably been subjected to several online threats already. Several governments around the world impose laws that censor and limit the internet; internet activists, in particular, need a VPN to stay informed and safe. Moreover, wherever you go, you will always run into geo-restricted channels, which result in blocked content for expats and travelers. Here again, a VPN is much needed. But one question you will face when shopping for a VPN is: should I pay for one?

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VPN Review: Paid Vs. Free – A Quick Intro

There are two kinds of VPNs available on the market, free and paid. A quick search on any search engine, Google Play, or Apple’s App Store will bring up a lot of free VPN options. And we all know that free always looks like the more attractive option. Nevertheless, the use of free VPNs comes with a lot of limitations and risks we don’t want. On the other hand, the use of a premium VPN will cost you a few dollars, but it gives you what you want in terms of security, privacy, and other benefits. You can check the table below to take a look at some the best paid VPNs out there.

Editor's Choice Provider
Editor's Choice
RatingStatsVisit

1
Price
85
Security
95
Features
95
Speed
95
Support
90
Visit Now

2
Price
90
Security
95
Features
95
Speed
85
Support
90
Visit Now

3
Price
85
Security
90
Features
95
Speed
90
Support
90
Visit Now

4
Price
85
Security
90
Features
90
Speed
95
Support
90
Visit Now

VPN Providers – Paid Vs. Free

We’ve all heard about VPNs. And most of us know they’re made to encrypt our internet traffic and prevent our own ISP from spying on our browsing activity. However, if you’re not tech-savvy, you might still have a few questions wandering around in your head. The first thing that probably pops up in your mind is the question of why pay for something when there’s a free version available. This is quite normal actually. I would’ve done that if I didn’t know the difference between the two. So, to better understand why this question has one obvious answer, check out the feature by feature comparison between Free and Premium VPNs below.

1. Internet Speed

A VPN connects you to several servers around the world. Once you’re connected, you will inevitably start noticing a drop in your internet speed. Free VPNs tend to tamper with your connection speed on a drastic scale. Pages will load significantly slower than usual, files won’t download as fast, etc. On the other hand, paid VPNs can usually sustain simultaneous connections with a barely noticeable drop in speed. How?

It’s simple. The trick here is that more care is placed on distributing the servers around the world, creating shorter pathways for your data to travel. This, in turn, helps you get around digital obstacles with a minimal reduction in speed. The quality of the servers also plays a key role.

2. Accessing Geo-restrictions

You’re probably sick of your local TV channels and want more content. Regions such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia have the best TV broadcasting services in the world. However, if you live abroad, you won’t be able to access any of them as most of their streaming platforms are geo-restricted.

But with a VPN, you can change your IP address and appear to be browsing from any country. Simply connecting to the right server will unlock all the content from that country. Free VPNs typically have small server networks, which means that there are fewer countries to access. What’s more, streaming sites can sometimes spot them and block traffic coming from them. For example, studies show that Netflix cannot be unblocked by free VPNs. On the other hand, if you’re using a paid VPN, you can get almost any streaming channel in any country across the globe with a push of a button. Finally, even if you manage to bypass the blocking, the poor internet speed will ruin your viewing experience.

3. Bandwidth Limit

More often than not, free VPNs will allow you to surf and stream whatever you want provided that you don’t exceed a bandwidth limit. For example, TunnelBear gives you 500 Mbs a month. I download more than 2 GBs a day! On the other hand, with a paid VPN, you are always guaranteed unlimited bandwidth. You get to go all out while using the VPN connection.

4. Server Availability

The number of servers that you can connect through is one of the most important features in a VPN. Free providers don’t give you access to many servers around the world. For example. if you’re using Winscribe, Free users are limited to servers in 11 countries instead of 52, that’s not good at all. Hotspot Shield asks you to pay if you want to access servers outside the United States.

On the other hand, VPNs like ExpressVPN offer you more than 2000 servers across 94 countries. This is great for unblocking geo-restrictions and gets you blazing speeds at the same time. Come on, 2 birds with one stone, How good is that?

5. Privacy and Security

We all know the term “Nothing in life is free”. Well, that is certainly true for VPNs as well. Free VPNs come with an indirect cost; at the end of the day, the seller will try to monetize you somehow. Free VPNs typically collect your private information and sell it to third-parties for a profit. Not to mention that these VPNs often come with basic encryptions algorithms that are relatively easy to breach.

Any party with bad intentions can present itself as a free VPN. This would easily allow them to monitor all of your activity and gain access to sensitive data, such as user accounts, email addresses, passwords, and bank information.

Users of paid VPNs usually have more options when it comes to internet safety. Unlike free ones, premium VPNs offer a number of protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP over IPsec. If you’re using a well known paid VPN, then you’re probably protected by the military-grade 256-bit encryption, and trust me, that’s what you need to stay safe and away from prying eyes.

6. Customer Service

Why would a free VPN offer customer support? Well, actually, they’re the ones who need support the most. So fo all inconveniences that happen and all the technical issues that occur, you’re left to figure it out on your own. But in the end, why should they care if you offer nothing in return.

However, when paid users face the same problems, premium VPN providers usually have a 24/7 live chat support. Whenever you have an obstacle in your way, their dedicated team is there to help and they’re quite friendly I have to add. A few bucks every month will buy you the privilege of surfing the web with no worries.

VPN Review: The Verdict

Can you guess what I’m going to say here? After this whole article do you think I’m going to side with free VPNs? Even though not all free VPNs are bad, and I personally provided you with a table of the best free VPNs out there (you can read a detailed article about them here), it doesn’t change the fact that if you’re a paid user, you’ll get to roam the whole virtual world without having to look over your shoulders. With high-level encryptions and a Kill Switch to match, a premium VPN will give you the online anonymity you’ve always dreamed of. Pay a small fee, think big, and always stay safe.

Editor's Choice Provider
Editor's Choice
RatingStarsVisit

1
Price
75
Security
65
Features
85
Speed
85
Support
90
Visit Now

2
Price
75
Security
80
Features
75
Speed
80
Support
70
Visit Now

3
Price
75
Security
75
Features
80
Speed
90
Support
60
Visit Now

4
Price
70
Security
85
Features
75
Speed
65
Support
65
Visit Now

5
Price
70
Security
75
Features
65
Speed
75
Support
60
Visit Now

VPN Review: Premium Vs. Free – Parting Words

There you have it guys. For people that don’t know the difference between free VPNs and premium ones, now you’re all set and done. You have an idea about what’s the best to do when it comes to browsing the internet with a VPN. If you trust my opinion, I always go for a premium VPN without a second thought. Safety is the most important thing for people online. Get a Premium VPN and stay safe.