Are Free VPNs Worth the Risk?
A simple search for the term “Free VPNs” on the Google Play Store reveals over 250 apps that provide access to a virtual private network. While some of them are good enough for what you need them to do, many of them might be sabotaging you. Researchers have discovered that many of these free VPN apps send data to third parties which allows them to spy on a connection you think is secure, track you, and worst of all, some of them do not work at all.
Not All VPN Apps Are Bad
Although you might be wary of free VPN apps due to the preceding sentence, some of them actually work really well. These are VPN apps that are offered by reputable antivirus companies. That said, most of these VPNs are usually part of a software package such as Avast VPN for Android that comes bundled with the paid version of the Avast Mobile Security app.
So, Are Mobile VPN Apps Worth the Risk?
The simple answer is – it depends. Although having a VPN that provides some level of security is better than not having one, consumers must do their homework to see if the apps they are considering are worth it.
A good place to start is to see the origin of the VPN service. Researchers advise that you stay away from VPNs that come from China, Russia, or other countries that are known to have questionable security histories.
Nothing Is Ever Really Free
Companies that offer free VPN apps and services have to make money somehow. Because they still need to pay app developers and cover other overhead costs, they often make money by selling ads at best and selling your data in the worst cases.
VPNs are very expensive to run and because these apps are free, their parent companies have to find ways to cut costs on bandwidth. Researchers have found out that some VPNs use your bandwidth to support other users and most people do not even realize this is happening.
Also, free VPNs apps might not go through the rigorous checks and quality control processes that paid VPN apps go through. Because of this, a misconfiguration in the way they encrypt your data might leave the door open for third parties to intercept this data as it heads to the server.
Picking the Best VPN App
The best way to ensure you have the best VPN app is to go with one from a reputable company. If you can find a paid VPN service or a free one that offers in-app purchases, you should consider it. If you take your security seriously and need a good VPN, you should check out Anonymania’s VPN reviews. Anonymania provides VPN apps and services reviews, screening everything about them so it is easier to find the best VPN for your Android phone.
You should also try as much as you can to pick a VPN created by a security company, a desktop VPN provider, or an antivirus company. Although most of these services are paid, they often give you some free bandwidth per month.
According to security experts, most free VPN apps and services are not worth it. Ensure you go with a reputable company and do thorough research to ensure the app or service you end up with will not lead to your data being compromised.