With so many people talking about the dark web and being safe while online, a lot of people have considered going to a VPN. However, it’s always at the back of their minds whether or not they can trust the VPN. So, I have done some research to find out if you can really trust your VPN provider.
Are VPN providers trustworthy? VPN providers that are trustworthy tend to be the paid VPNs as these have a reputation to follow and many of these use third party auditors to verify their no logs policies. Free VPNs on the other hand can abuse privacy by keeping logs, include malware like spyware in their software and can also sell information about their users browing habits.
The first thing that you should know when it comes to a VPN provider is that, just like anything else, some are going to be better than others. Some of the VPN providers play by the rules and actually offer everything they say they do. Whilst others, don’t do what they say and use many under hand techniques which ultimately lead to their users getting a poor service.
The signs that may mean a VPN provider isn’t trustworthy include the VPN encryption they use is low grade, they offer a free service or they have an unclear or absent logging policy.
VPN Encryption is Low Grade
The encryption is what helps you stay safe and secure when you are using your VPN. If the encryption level’s not high enough, your data may not be protected. That’s why you want to make sure that you are choosing the right service which guarantees as high as 256-bit encryption (check out my list of VPNs with military grade encryption here).
VPN is free
Sadly, a lot of free VPNs make their money in other ways. Most notably selling your information to third parties and by placing a lot of ads on their app. There also could be malware on the VPN that may infect your device. Although you are saving money by using a VPN that is free, chances are that you will pay for it in another way.
VPN has unclear or absent Logs Policy
A VPN that you can trust is going to tell you what their policy is for logging activity. If you don’t see that anywhere, or you find it hard to understand, look for another one. There’s a good chance that they are logging your information and are either trying to hide it or are writing it in some legal mumbo jumbo so you can’t understand.
Now that we know three of the signs that a VPN may not be trustworthy, we’re going to delve a bit deeper into VPNs, their prices, and why paying extra for a decent VPN is worth it.
Is It Worth Paying for a VPN?
It is worth paying for a VPN as free VPNs are in the main not trustworthy as they use dubious techniques to try to make up for the lack of a subscription being paid, with some being malicious. Using a paid for VPN may offer a better route to peace of mind from knowing the VPN provider is trustworthy.
We have already looked at the trustworthiness of VPNs and how they often become less trustworthy when you choose a free one. So, trustworthiness aside, is it worth it to pay for a VPN? In my opinion, it is. Let’s go into this a bit further and I’ll tell you why.
- Genuine Protection – Once you have disconnected from the internet, the data from your session will disappear when you pay for a VPN. Even though some of the top providers will keep part of the connection logs, usually used for diagnosing, these won’t be sharing your data or tracking your activity at all.
- The Best Security – Since they aren’t relying on advertisers to get their money, they have to have the best security so that they keep their subscribers. They provide 256-bit encryption as well as support many tunneling protocols. This includes the very secure OpenVPN. Some of them even will have features such as kill switches, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, Double VPN and split tunneling. This means that your data’s not exposed when you suddenly disconnect.
- No Speed/Bandwidth Limits – One of the best things about paid VPNs is that you have safe browsing and don’t have speed throttling or data caps. This is great when you’re using the VPN for P2P activities, gaming or streaming videos. There are even servers that are optimized for the activities, so there’s no worries about really slow downloads or buffering.
- Many Server Locations – A paid VPN will let you access the whole server network without limits, and these are huge and go around the world. This means you can access more websites and services that are geo=restricted. In general, when there’s more servers, you will have better connection speeds and chances to unblock sites. This means you don’t have to worry about seeing those annoying messages that say it’s not available in your country.
Why are VPNs so Expensive?
VPNs are expensive as they require a monthly subscription for the service, with a minimum sign-up period. However, by choosing a longer sign-up period, the cost per month falls and along with special deals, the cost can be as low as $3 to $4 a month.
A paid for VPN is better than a free one, but if you have looked at the sticker prices for the paid VPNs, they seem expensive. The prices might be a bit expensive, to you, but once you realise there are deals out there, it makes financial sense to pick a paid for VPN. Paid for VPNs offer many benefits including:
- No Advertisements – If you’ve ever used a free VPN, there’s a chance you have noticed how many advertisements they had on it. You’d be watching a video or playing a game, and BAM, an ad pops up. How annoying, right? Well, that’s one of the ways that a free VPN gets its money. But since a paid VPN doesn’t have those advertisements on it, the money that it gets is from its subscribers, hence the monthly amount.
- Better Data Protection – One thing that a lot of people go onto a VPN is because they want to surf the dark web, or they are doing other things that they would rather keep private. Unfortunately, with many free VPNs, their activities aren’t kept private and they are risking their identity by using them. With a paid VPN service, you are going to get a much better encryption and your data is protected. Whether you are doing something nefarious or you’re simply watching your favorite videos that are geo-locked, you are much safer with a paid service. That technology and the ability to provide it takes money.
- Better Staff – A VPN that charges a monthly cost for their service is going to hire some of the best staff that they can. After all, they want to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that their subscribers are happy with the services. Since they are charging for the service, they can afford to hire some of the top minds available.
What to Look for in Your VPN
Now, to wrap things up, we’re going to go over some of the things that you should look for in your VPN.
- No Logging – This is a big one. You don’t want to choose a VPN that logs your activities. If you aren’t sure what their policy is on this, read their website and see. If you can’t understand it or if there’s no information, go to the next one.
- Pay is Better – Although you may think that you’ll be just fine using a free VPN, this is usually not the case. Even though it doesn’t mean that your VPN is going to sell your information or put malware on your device, there’s a good chance that the speeds are going to be slow. So, it’s not really worth it.
- Read the Features – Finally, you want to read the features of the VPN that you are considering. See what they have to offer. Some are better than others based on what you will use the VPN for, so think about what you want the VPN for and then look for the one that has those features.
Thanks for reading our newest post and have a great day! Good luck with your VPN search and please keep coming back to find more great tips and tricks for using VPNs.