There are some free deals you come across that seem to be a real no-brainer and well worth taking advantage of but there are also plenty of scenarios where get something for free may not be the best option for a number of good reasons.
For example, there is a fundamental difference between cheap VPNs and a free alternative that comes with strings attached.
Here are some things to look out for and some reasons to think carefully before being tempted by the offer of a free VPN deal.
When the numbers don’t add up
There is an understandable boom in the VPN market at the moment and it is easy to appreciate why so many people are looking to use a virtual private network when you consider all the security issues attached to going online.
You will clearly want to protect your personal data from hackers and may also want to enjoy the freedom to access and browse sites with the degree of anonymity that comes with connecting via a VPN.
You are putting your trust in your chosen VPN provider to have adequate resources and protocols in place to provide a decent level of security. However, investing in the right hardware doesn’t come cheap and that can often mean a free VPN provider takes shortcuts, making them potentially unsafe to use.
A free VPN could infect your device
If you were tempted to download a free VPN for your Android device, for instance, some estimates suggest that as many as a third of free Android VPN contain malware.
All of a sudden your free VPN deal doesn’t look so good when you are subjected to a ransomware attack and have to spend money resolving the issue.
You are a sitting target for advertisers
Clearly, free VPN providers need to earn money somehow and the preferred route is often to let you have access to the network in return for watching some adverts and being subjected to pop-ups.
There have also been allegations of unacceptable privacy violations through the use of trackers that allow your provider to sell marketing data to a third party.
There might be times when you might be prepared to watch a few annoying ads to get something for free but if a free VPN offers this sort of deal you might want to think twice.
Problems watching your favorite shows
One of the reasons you might decide to use a VPN is because it gives you the chance to stream content that you might otherwise not have any access to if geographical constraints apply.
Being able to watch your favorite Netflix box set wherever you are in the world should be an option when you connect via a VPN but you might discover that a free VPN provider could be taking some of your bandwidth from you.
If you don’t mind interruptions to your viewing caused by buffering issues in return for a free VPN deal you are in the minority.
A lack of bandwidth is definitely a plausible reason why you might want to avoid using a free VPN service. When you also consider the potential security issues and the prospect of being subjected to loads of pop-ups, it doesn’t make the offer as appealing as you first thought.