If you’re a business owner or a freelancer, you know how important it is to keep your data secure and private. Without the right tools your business is vulnerable to cyber threats, which can result in financial loss, damage to reputation, and legal consequences. Therefore, you might think about getting a free VPN.
Nevertheless, many no-pay business VPN services may not cater specifically to the needs of businesses. Moreover, some of them can do more harm than good. Therefore, in this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of free VPNs for businesses and see whether they are a worthy choice.
Understanding VPNs for business
If you’re new to virtual private networks, they are tools that create secure and confidential tunnels between your devices and the internet. In essence, a VPN encrypts your data, routes it through a secure server in a different location, and lets you access content or websites anonymously.
The primary mission of a VPN is to boost your safety and privacy online. This extra layer of security will ensure that hackers or malicious actors have a hard time accessing and taking advantage of your precious data. And while it sounds ideal on paper, can a free VPN ensure
The appeal of free VPN services
Below, you’ll find the main reasons why business owners or freelancers choose free VPN services.
The most significant advantage of a free VPN is its price (or the lack of it). It makes no-pay services an appealing option for those who are on a tight budget. Plus, if you don’t like it, you won’t have to go through the hassle of canceling your subscription and getting your money back.
Some level of security & privacy
Note that this only applies to reputable services. Free VPNs can boost your privacy and prevent your ISP, the government, or other snoopers from seeing what you are up to online. It can also give you a different IP address, which will make it harder to track you. On top of that, a free VPN can encrypt your info. The scrambling process reduces the risk of data theft. This is especially important if you’re a frequent public wifi user.
In most cases, free VPNs offer multiple simultaneous connections. Not to mention, they work on various OS. For example, if you need the best free VPN for iPhone, it will most certainly work on your Windows or Android tablet.
The risks and limitations of free VPNs
While the appeal of free VPN services is undeniable, it's essential to approach them with a critical eye. Here, we’ll investigate why using a free VPN might do more harm than good.
Inferior security features
Trusting free VPNs is risky, as most of them won’t provide the right amount of safety due to various limitations and challenges. For example, many no-pay services use outdated and weaker encryption methods as they can’t afford robust add-ons like their paid counterparts. More so, their servers might be more vulnerable to cyberattacks because of the lower-quality infrastructure and fewer servers.
Plus, free VPNs won’t have much-needed add-ons. For instance, you won’t find multi-hop or streaming-optimized servers. You can forget about ad/malware blockers. And you can only dream about additional free password managers or secure storage.
Some free VPNs might lie about their privacy policies and collect your information to make a profit. They usually sell it to data brokers or advertisers. When a VPN provider logs user data, it can include information such as IP addresses, websites visited, online activities, and timestamps. This data can be used to track and monitor your online adventures.
Furthermore, if a free VPN stores your data and gets hacked, malicious actors could steal your sensitive information. This could result in massive financial losses, identity theft, and other catastrophic consequences.
Bandwidth & performance limitations
Unlike paid counterparts, most free VPNs have strict data caps. And there are a few reasons why that happens. First one being the lack of infrastructure. Most no-pay services don’t have enough money to maintain a large and high-quality network, which results in poor performance. Furthermore, loads of people want to use free services, resulting in severe congestion.
If your free provider has a paid version of a VPN, they will prioritize paid customers over free users. That means you’ll get snail-like speeds most of the time. Lastly, many free business VPNs use bandwidth limitations as a way to encourage users to upgrade to premium. By restricting bandwidth, they incentivize users to pay for higher-speed, unlimited plans.
Lack of customer support
VPN technology is not foolproof, and if something goes wrong, you might need some help from a specialist. Most premium providers have 24/7 live support that will help you with your issues. However, that won’t be the case with free VPN providers.
Like in most other cases, free VPN services don’t have enough funds to have that. In the best case scenario, you’ll find an FAQ section and a customer support email address. That makes it a lot harder to resolve burning issues quickly.
Apart from the things mentioned above, a free VPN might actually bombard you with ads. Many free services utilize ads to get some profit. They are incredibly annoying to the point where it’s nearly impossible to browse. Not to mention, some of these advertisements can be malicious, so you’ll have another problem on your hands.
Speaking of digital threats, some VPNs might actually be scams. Their purpose is to fool you and take advantage of your trust and data. Some “providers” can create fake apps that will siphon your information, bandwidth, or even money. Moreover, they can install hidden tracking libraries on your devices without consent. And undoubtedly, they will leave you exposed to other third parties.
How to choose the best free VPN for your business
With so many free VPNs out there, you need to be extra careful when picking a free business VPN. To make your life a tad easier, we’ve created a list of things that you should pay extra attention to:
Better free business VPN alternatives
Using a completely free VPN is always a gamble. In most cases, you won’t get the features that ensure smooth performance and total safety. Therefore, you might want to consider investing in a premium VPN. And don’t worry, it won’t cost you a fortune.
Trustworthy paid virtual private networks provide everything that free services lack. When using an industry-leading VPN, you’ll barely notice speed drops. Moreover, you’ll get to choose from thousands of servers globally.
Not to mention, you’ll enjoy enhanced security and privacy, so malicious actors will be virtually powerless. Plus, some services offer additional features, such as password managers, ad/malware blockers, secure cloud storage, and so on.
And most of the best premium VPNs have free trial versions and money-back guarantees making them even more appealing.
With so many digital threats around, protecting yourself with a free VPN is a wise decision. However, it shouldn’t be a long-term solution. There are very few truly reliable no-pay virtual private networks that will guarantee the security and privacy of your business.
Moreover, most of them come with a plethora of limitations, such as slow speeds, data caps, below-average geo-block bypassing capabilities, and very few servers to choose from.
So, is a free VPN good for your business? We would say not really. If you want total security, privacy, and functionality, we would highly suggest getting a premium VPN. That way, you won’t have to worry about limitations or breaches that might harm your business.