A Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN, is a tool that protects your online identity by masking your IP address. It encrypts your data and keeps it safe from hackers. It sends your connection to an encrypted server in a location that you select, thus allowing you to bypass locational restrictions. VPNs are helpful for businesses and individuals that rely heavily on remote access. Many people also use VPNs for gaming, streaming, and when traveling. There is no question about the usefulness of VPNs currently. The problem is that many people do not want to pay for this service, especially now that tons of free VPN services are available. If you are thinking of downloading a free VPN, let us stop you right now! Using a free VPN might save you a few dollars a month, but the payoff will be much more in the long run. Today, we talk about the real dangers that you are getting yourself into with the use of free VPNs.
Inadequate Data Protection
A good VPN uses a reliable method of encrypting your data to protect you from the prying eyes of hackers. Many free VPNs encrypt your data, but most still use the old PPTP method, which is not a reliable solution. But since it is the easiest to implement and does not require costly software, it is naturally the choice of free VPN operators.
The Risk of Malware Infection
Research shows that over 80% of free VPNs carry some malware. By downloading these free VPNs, you are also downloading malware that can wreak havoc on your devices. These statistics are very alarming since many sinister programs will collect sensitive data. Just imagine that even if a single employee uses a free VPN and inadvertently infects one of your computers, it can cause massive losses for your company. Therefore, employee training should be a priority in any company's cybersecurity strategies.
Most free online services come with ads. That's how the provider makes money since the users are not paying for the service. These ads can be very annoying when they keep popping up, but that's not even the worst part. Most injected ads will automatically redirect you to malware-infected sites or display pop-ups. These can cause damage to your system and expose you to phishing attacks should you accidentally click on the links.
Slow Internet Speed
Using a VPN can reduce your connection speed because it involves the encryption and decryption of your data to ensure the privacy of your internet usage. Most high-quality VPN subscriptions use powerful servers that can handle the extra processes, minimizing the lag you will experience on your end. With free VPNs, you will feel the delay. It will waste time while you wait for websites to load.
An MSP Can Help You Find the Best VPN
If you want a free VPN, look for one that uses open-source code, provides reliable encryption, does not slow down your connection, does not pop-up ads every few minutes, and does independent audits. We're not saying these free VPNs do not exist, but they will be very hard to find. And we can help you find a VPN that fits your needs.
The best thing to do is to find a reliable VPN subscription that provides high-end protection at a reasonable fee. Most VPNs come with a free trial period, so you can take advantage of this to see if it would be a perfect fit or not.
If you'd like to learn more about safe VPN use and other ways to protect yourself online, we can also conduct a phishing test in your office to check if your employees are following the proper online safety practices. Call us to learn more!