How Can VPN Be Free

From time to time, users ask, “How can a service provider give me free access to a virtual private network?” What they really want to know is: what’s the catch? The issue is that the kind of privacy and anonymity that is provided through this kind of service, especially for so many users en masse, can’t be expected to be provided for free. Yet and still, despite the expectations of some kind of monetary cost, there are many providers out there who do seem to be providing this service for free, and they aren’t all that difficult to find either. It begs the question: what’s wrong with this service? Is there something dangerous about committing to a free VPN service provider?

HTTPS

It’s true that many providers are, indeed, able to provide these services for free. The issue is that all of your data is being transferred across the Internet but through a singular point, which means that it is entirely within the realm of possibility that it is still being monitored. In fact, this usually indicates that it is almost undoubtedly being monitored. This is partly due to the lack of HTTPS transport, and the lack thereof lets the providers see all manner of usernames and passwords among other sensitive items.

Adverts

Providers are also able to insert their own adverts, executable programs, and information into your data stream. This is a significant capability you are giving the provider because, whether it is important to you or not, they then gain the ability to do things that increase your susceptibility to viruses on the connected system or device. Obviously, this is one of the main threats from which users typically want protection, so in a sense, it can, indeed, be dangerous to use certain free VPNs depending on the provider’s methods. To be fair, though, this susceptibility to viruses really only matters if the provider actually intends to see to it that your computer contracts a virus.

Profiling

There are many free providers of VPN service out there who do not seek to infect your system with any kind of virus. Many of them do not have ulterior motives and, thus, do not intend to insert any programs that they can run remotely or any adverts that you need to worry about. In fact, they also may use HTTPS transport as they should, so you may not be in the kind of danger that you fear most when hearing about these free VPN service providers; regardless, one risk remains constant no matter what free VPN service you decide to use.

No matter which of the aforementioned things they do or don’t do that may or may not concern you, they all likely profile your behavior when you’re browsing, which indicates that you still never achieve the privacy for which you sought them. These free VPN providers will very likely study your browsing habits and the types of communication you prefer from most to least often. This is the kind of information that some of them opt to sell to other companies who can benefit from this kind of consumer intelligence.

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