What to Look for in a VPN Service
By creating a tunnel to hide your IP address, a VPN protects your identity from hackers and marketers alike.
The best free VPN providers offer software for a variety of devices, including both Mac and Windows products, as well as unique features, friendly customer support and special perks for paid versions.
No matter which version you choose, you are guaranteed high-end encryption, access to hundreds of servers across the world and connections for multiple devices.
When to Use a Free VPN Software
If you use public Wi-Fi for shopping, for example, your credit card and personal details are open for the taking. But a VPN will ensure you remain anonymous.
Free VPNs or free trials of the top VPNs on the market are a great way to protect yourself while you go about your business online. They are generally very easy to download and install and shouldn’t slow down your computer too much. With that said, there are a few things a free VPN just won’t handle.
Why to Avoid a Free VPN Service
A free VPN is simple way to take your protection up a notch, but there are some drawbacks as well. In the past free VPNs have allowed certain users to operate under other users' connections, which eliminates any benefit to anonymity you may have had before. Along with data logging, this practice can lead to some serious consequences.
Free VPNs have also been known to provide shaky connections that are very unreliable, and generally fail to provide security protocols.
Reasons to Choose a Paid VPN Provider
If a free VPN won't provide the necessary protection it's smart to start with a free trial of a paid version. Some of the best VPNs have free versions, including ExpressVPN, which has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try ExpressVPN for 30 days >>
When you upgrade to a paid version you will immediately see an impact in terms of security protocols and anonymity. With a paid VPN, such as NordVPN, you will have access to the most common types of security protocols, including PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP. This gives you even more freedom and helps ensure that you remain secure and anonymous online.
On top of the extra security, a paid VPN will also speed up your computer’s performance and speed. This is especially crucial if you are live streaming an event or gaming online.
Advantages of a Paid VPN Service
- Secure Protocols
- Better Customer Service
- Faster Server Connection
- Better Server Selection
Disadvantages of Paid VPN Services
With a paid VPN service you can rest assured that your details are secure, so what could the disadvantages possibly be? For starters, not all paid services are made the same and each offers different features and perks.
For example, some offer 24/7 customer support while others are only available during specific hours, and sometimes only via email or phone. Lastly, the prices for VPN services vary greatly. Depending on the type of coverage you are looking for, you can find prices as low as just a few dollars per month.
It’s pretty obvious to most internet users that a VPN can help them remain secure while browsing, streaming and shopping. The question for most internet users therefore is whether or not to spend the extra cash on a paid VPN service.
To read more about paid VPN services, visit our detailed reviews.