Free VPN vs Paid VPN

3 min

The “free vs paid VPN” debate is as old as the technology itself. Ever since virtual private networks were born to help us protect our privacy online, there has been discussion on whether one should go with a free service or pay for it. It’s a critical discussion to have right now, especially since we are online most of the time and execute a lot of tasks over the internet than we did when VPNs first came out decades ago.

So, is it better to use a premium VPN than opt for freeware? The answer lies in both what you get from either and what you want. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences.

Paid vs Free: VPN Comparison

When we compare two broad types of particular software, we need to look at them from the same lens. Here we’ll check free and paid VPNs against a few critical parameters and see which one comes out victorious. 

Paid VPNs Offer Better Speed and Accountability

Any software provider can claim that their product is fast. But the advantage you have with premium VPNs is accountability. If a VPN provider markets its software lightning fast, you can report back to them if there is any deficiency in speed. They’ll either fix the issue or provide you with a solution that lets them maintain their claim.

With free VPNs, there is near to no accountability. If the VPN provider in question offers both free and paid VPNs and you face a problem with bandwidth or speed, you will simply be asked to get the paid version. And then, can you trust such a provider?

Note: This highlights why free VPNs are best for one-off activities like unblocking a geofenced website or watching a geo-blocked video on BBC iPlayer.

Paid VPNs Offer Multiple Protocols

When you use a premium VPN, you have the option to choose between VPN protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. This can help you better navigate the web according to your needs, thereby gaining a safer VPN experience. In free VPNs, you are either stuck with a standard VPN protocol or have to make do with less-secure options such as IPSec and IKEv2.

Additionally, free VPNs often depend on non-secure VPN protocols, which can go against the very idea of using a VPN. Your web traffic then becomes equally vulnerable to interception and hacking as it would without a VPN.

Paid VPNs Offer Customizability

The ability to choose from a pool of servers and/or IP addresses is another advantage that paid VPNs have over freeware. When you pay for a VPN service, you get access to the provider’s worldwide server network in addition to other features such as kill switch, split tunneling, port forwarding, and more.

This way you can tweak your VPN software according to your needs. A one-size-fits-all VPN will require you to manage your activities around it, which can be limiting in some cases.

Free VPNs Are Not Reliable

Finally, free VPNs are not entirely reliable in terms of encryption, tunneling, and data logging. There is no way to know for sure if a VPN logs your data even if it claims it doesn’t. As noted in the first point, the lack of accountability makes it a less attractive option.

Free VPNs also do not guarantee 100% encryption. If so, you’ll have to assume that your web traffic is encrypted and therefore hidden from the eyes of hackers

In comparison, paid VPNs carry out third-party auditing to back their no-logging claims and other features that help elevate their reliability in front of their competitors. 

As you can see, the comparison between free and paid VPNs doesn’t hold much ground. In terms of speed, accountability, VPN protocols, features, and logging, paid VPNs are far better than free VPNs. Even if you ignore all the parameters, the accountability factor is enough to decide which type of VPN you want to depend on to secure your privacy.

Looking for a high-speed VPN with superior website-unblocking capability? Check out TuxlerVPN Premium.

BackNext article