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Free VPNs - Are they worth the risk?

Updated: Mar 12



We decided to write this short blog after being called by a client that was using a free VPN.


He woke up one morning to find all of the files on his server had been encrypted and he had a message on his screen saying 'Your files have been encrypted and if you want them back contact us ****@**.com to arrange bitcoin payment. If you do not contact us within 5 days they will be gone forever'....




What is a VPN?

A virtual private network, better known as a VPN, is a key way to help protect your privacy when online. A VPN connection establishes a secure connection between you and the internet. Via the VPN, all your data traffic is routed through an encrypted virtual tunnel. This disguises your IP address when you use the internet, making its location invisible to everyone. A VPN connection also adds an extra layer of security against external attacks.


In these hi-tech times we spend a lot of money on the latest smartphones, tablets, gaming machines etc so why would we risk trying to save a few pounds by using a free VPN? Would you trust a stranger with your wallet and all of you personal details?


Danger of Free VPNs


What's wrong with a free VPN? It hides my IP address and that's all I need..

It will hide your IP address from the outside world but doesn't hide your data from the Free VPN provider. Who is the 'Free VPN provider' are they who they say they are? and why would you trust them?


Every keystroke, website visited, Banking, Social Media, shopping transaction will pass through the Free VPN provider who can log and intercept all of you data including passwords, PIN numbers, address, date of birth and from this can clone your identity, empty your bank account, take out loans in your name and carry out other criminal activities as you!


VPN provider could infect all of your devices with malware

According to a CSIRO study Malware related to advertising could be used to infect devices. That isn't surprising considering that free VPNs often rely on advertising to make money.


VPNs can use embedded tracking software

According to the CSIRO study, 10 percent of free services had one tracker, another 10 percent had two, and 25 percent relied on three. The study found that 8 percent had four trackers, while 18 percent of free VPNs had third-party trackers.


Free VPNs may allow delivery of online ads

Free VPN providers need to make money, and many do this by sending users a steady stream of pop-up ads. This is not only annoying but can also slow down your Internet connection speed.


Free VPNs may hijack your browser

Some free VPNs can highjack your browser and redirect you to other sites without your permission. According to the CSIRO study, HotSpot Shield did this to its users, for example, redirecting them to alibaba.com and ebay.com


What are the best, safest VPNs?

Our favoured VPN Providers include (in no particular order)

Click the links to read more and grab our exclusive deals.

These are all paid VPNs and chosen for privacy, security, speed, support and logging policies. They are also fully supported by our Guardian Security App and Express VPN Routers


To celebrate UK Schools returning we are offering £20 off any order of Guardian Security App or Express VPN Routers throughout March - Just use Coupon Code SCHOOLSBACK and save today!



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