A free VPN or virtual private network is a wonderful thing – like many things that are free, too. But as is often the case, you get what you pay for, and a paid VPN is often better. That said, it all depends on what you need. Which is the best VPN for you, free or paid?
The price difference between these two options is clearly large, ranging from completely free to the average monthly price of a VPN which is around $ 10. But if you subscribe for longer, you will save money.
The downside to a free option – and one of the main differences between the two – is the amount of data you can use. A free service in most cases has a limit on your data usage, be it daily or monthly. Once you have exceeded this data limit, you will no longer be able to use the VPN. There is unlimited service, but there are other limits, more on that below.
So a free VPN is a great option for those who want it for limited usage – for example, to check a map or a specific website while abroad. But for those who want to check email in bulk, stream music, and watch online videos, a paid VPN is required.
How Much Data Does a Free VPN Offer?
One of the best free VPN options is Hotspot Shield VPN, which also has a premium version in case you want to upgrade. Basically, the free service is sufficient for up to 500 MB of data per day. Not a small amount to surf websites, but very little if you want to watch your latest Netflix show, for example.
A monthly data volume of 15GB, which is the equivalent of that sounds like a lot, but since you can’t exceed that daily limit, it’s not that much. But of course it depends what you need it for. For bulk usage, you might want to go for a service like Windscribe, which has a smaller 10GB of data but is spread out over the month so you can use it as you need it. When you tweet about the service you get an extra 5 GB and every time you refer a friend you get an extra 1 GB.
ProtonVPN has no data limits, but before you get excited, there are other limits to encourage you to upgrade. This means that only one device can be used and there are only three server locations and the speeds can be limited. The speed will be throttled when there are a lot of paying users online as they have priority. There is also no P2P torrent support from this service.
What are the problems with a free VPN?
In addition to the data limit, there is also the problem of connection speed. A service like Hotspot Shield Premium has over 2,500 servers in over 70 international locations. However, if you choose the free version, you won’t be able to choose servers. The result is spotty speeds.
You might get lucky and have a really great connection on a local server. But you could end up connecting to a slower server that is really far away and struggling with speed. In the case of Windscribe, which offers a more liberal free data usage, it is only limited to servers in the US, UK, Hong Kong, and Canada.
Another problem is that the free service requires you to allow ads. Yes, nothing is ever really free as they say. But if you don’t mind pop-ups then this could be a great option to save some money and still give you the security of a VPN.
What’s Good About a Free VPN?
Even though it’s free, you still have access to secure servers. This means that your location and identity are hidden via your IP address. This helps you stay anonymous online and is more secure than using an open connection.
In the case of Hotspot Shield, you get military-grade encryption, which means that your data is kept super secure while in transit. Even if someone somehow got their hands on it, they still wouldn’t be able to decipher it.
What does a paid VPN do for me?
This is the crucial question when committing to a monthly or yearly payment for a service. Of course, you get the security of an encrypted connection, but you also get unlimited data. That said, you could be abroad and still watch all of your favorite Netflix shows without worrying about running out of data.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that you can choose the server you want. This is a huge benefit as you can connect to US Netflix in Europe, for example. This is also very helpful if you are in China where VPN usage is restricted and you may need to try out some server locations to actually get online.
Best VPN Services 2020
The speeds are usually higher with paid VPN services. There is the free option Speedify, which is about fast connections, but it will be limited to only 1 GB data volume per month. We recommend ExpressVPN for anyone looking to pay for a VPN.
What’s the Best Free VPN?
Depending on your needs, Hotspot Shield is ideal as an all-round service for free access to 15 GB of data per month at 500 MB per day at reasonable speeds and maximum security. Do you want to get bulk data that you can use whenever you want? Then the 10 GB per month Windscribe service is for you. When it comes to speed and you don’t need a lot of data, Speedify is ideal. Not interested in speed but want unlimited data? Go to ProtonVPN.
What’s the Best Paid VPN?
If you’ve decided that what you need can’t be provided by a free VPN, you should check out ExpressVPN. It is consistently top in all of our tests. It’s fast, secure, has great customer service with 24/7 live chat, takes you overseas Netflix, supports torrenting, and works on five devices at the same time with many clients for all types of technology. The price is average but what you get is anything but that.
How do I find the best VPN deals?
Free versions don’t cut it for you? You don’t have to go broke signing up for a new VPN service. We have put together the best VPN deals for you. We’ll keep it updated with coupons, price cuts, and other promotions available. Make sure to stop by more often!
We test and review VPN services in connection with legal recreational use. For example:
1.Access to a service from another country (subject to that service’s terms and conditions).
2.Protect your online security and strengthen your online privacy abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Future Publishing neither endorses nor approves the consumption of pirated copies that are liable to costs.