Premium VPNs Vs. Free VPNs – How to Choose?

There are many VPN services out there – Over 100 premium and 50 free VPN software services. VPNs are enticing because they are free. Compared to free VPNs, premium VPNs appear expensive. So what do you get with a VPN – and encrypted tunnel and some IP change or hide IP protection. But once you start to use a free VPN you will experience the downside. They tend to be slow and hard to get a connection and worse, they often place advertising on your browser to pay for the ‘free’ VPN.

And if you look below the surface of advertising free VPNs you quickly realize that what appeared to be free is actually a scam of sorts. When the advertiser puts adverts on your browser they also place a permanent cookie on your machine which means that when you get off the free VPN, the cookie persists and shows the advertiser your real underlying IP so that they can track your browsing habits and send you more advertising. How secure is that? So instead of your ISP getting your IP and browser link history, hundreds of advertisers obtain and store that information on their servers. And advertiser’s servers are rife with vulnerabilities and are hacked regularly so who winds up with your data? The very hackers you didn’t want to have sniffing and stealing your data in the first place. It was easier for them to steal your data from the advertiser’s server then from your directly.

And free VPNs have no server security of their own. Unlike a premium VPN which secures its servers and protects its servers against hackers, free VPNs make no such investment because they can’t afford it and don’t really care as they are selling your security to advertisers, why should they give a damn if your data gets stolen from their servers or from an advertiser’s server. A premium VPN will provide server security as well as many servers to change or hide IP in many countries as well as an encrypted encapsulated tunnel connection that protects users from any threats. One premium VPN even provides many additional features that give you more security than any free and most premium VPNs and that premium VPN also provides antivirus, antimalware, anti spam, anti phishing and firewall protection for its users at its secure servers so that users’ computers are protected against malware long before they get on the users’ network. Now that’s a good premium VPN worth paying for!

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VPN services provide a layer of security over the Internet that makes conducting secure transactions possible. This is why it’s so popular with businesses. Quite frequently, VPN services are used by employees located in remote areas or who are temporarily out of the office to access resources on a private LAN. VPN services are generally paid ones. There are also free services that offer anonymity, which is a component of VPN services. While VPN services do anonymize Internet surfing for the user, the free services have their adherents.

Free Services

Probably the best-known anonymizing service among the free offerings is TOR. This program uses a network of volunteered connections to anonymize your IP address when you visit websites or use other resources. This is a popular solution for those who only need anonymous surfing once in a while. You can do a good job of obscuring your IP address but, given enough skill and the time and resources to make use of that skill, your IP address can be tracked back to you.

There are other free services out there, as well, but they do lack some of the principal advantages of paid VPN. Particularly for businesses, paid VPN services have some significant advantages that cannot be easily overlooked.

Paid Services

If you’re switching from a free VPN service to a paid VPN service, the first improvement you’ll likely notice is speed. Paid VPN services compete partially on the basis of how fast their servers can get their users to webpages, so they do tend to be pretty fast. Free services, including TOR, can be agonizingly slow at times. Additionally, while those free services may obscure your IP address, they don’t necessarily encrypt any of the traffic between you and your destination server, which is a significant issue for business users.

Paid services also have the advantage of there being an accountable party in the event that something goes wrong. For businesses, this is a necessity. It’s really impossible to use a free service for business purposes because of the lack of technical support and the lack of a company that can provide assistance if the product turns out to be possessed of one problem or another. If a free service fails, of course, there’s no way to get your money back and there’s really nobody that you can hold responsible for the failure in any regard.

Overall, paid services are generally much better VPN options for businesses and individuals. The main advantage is that there is a company behind the service and, therefore, there’s someone to call and ask if you have a question. The free services do have some advantages. For example, if you only need a VPN network or an anonymous IP address every once in a great while, it may not be worth your while to pay for VPN services. Other than that, however, the advantages of the paid services are significant enough that they constitute the only realistic choices for business users and for individuals who frequently need anonymity and security.

Michael Maxstead is a computer networking consultant who likes to write about VPN and Networking related technologies. If you visit his website you can learn about hidemyass and download hide my ass.

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