Free VPN: Why should you avoid using it?

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The lack of adequate IT tools can bring innumerable problems to corporate systems. Especially, when it comes to connectivity resources, such as virtual networks. Using a free VPN, just to reduce costs, can be more expensive than you think.

The vulnerabilities of the free VPNs have time in the ITsec arena. Five years ago, the VPN Hola was one of the most functional free services for accessing blocked websites. However, in 2015, a scandal-hit users: Hola was selling its private data to an affiliate platform that was used by hackers to run DDos. The Hola‘s botnet had more than 9 million IPs in its possession.

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This case is one of many. The problem of free VPN has not changed in the last five years. A study from The International Cybersecurity Institute of the University of Berkeley revealed that 38% of free VPNs have malware; while 72% sell the browsing history of their users.

There is no doubt that using a free VPN has more risks than benefits. In this article we tell you all about it:


The problem of free VPNs

VPNs guarantee the security and privacy of navigation. However, the story is different when it comes to free software, as the lack of bills comes with small print. In other words, vendors of a free VPN must generate profitability in other ways. And these are usually the sale of information to third parties, for advertising or criminal purposes.

Likewise, the lack of  income affects the performance of the tools. Moreover, a certain budget is needed for the use of proxies servers, human resources, maintenance and systems uptadates. For this reason, threats are both internal and external.

These are some of the main drawbacks of free VPN:


  • Data theft

Phishing is one of the main threats of large companies. With this practice, cybercriminals enter systems through infected links or simply through sign-up forms.

They only require an unsuspecting user to put at risk the data of the entire corporate network.

In this way, free software is the most effective hook. The  study of The International Cybersecurity Institute shows that many attackers have used fake VPNs in order to obtain bank information, emails, passwords, and IPs. Besides, the user of the free VPN can be infected with a man-in-the-middle attack.

  • Botnets

Every time you use a free VPN, your computers navigate into a private network. In principle, the administrators of such a network have the responsibility to protect it and prevent its recycling. However, when there is no contract in between, the ethical commitment is often more flexible than you think.

In this way, your computers could be part of a malicious network. Botnets are the most commonly used resources to execute DDoS attacks, financial product fraud, and spam. Therefore, they are highly profitable.

  • Activity Tracking

Only 28% of free VPNs are free of third-party crawlers. In most cases, navigation is monitored by organizations and individuals interested in knowing your online activities, preferences and sensitive data. Undoubtedly, this is a practice widely used by free software to keep the service afloat.

  • Toxic advertising

With these software, you receive an ingested amount of advertising or infected adds while browsing. Free VPNs provide advertising spaces to other companies for a reasonable price as part of their business model.

Functional errors

  • Slow internet connection

Free VPN services tend to be slower compared to premium software. In many cases, a slow connection is a strategy to encourage the purchase of upgrades.

The slow navigation has another explanation: more resources are allocated to load advertising information, while the users’ searches are secondary. Due to the congestion generated, errors often occur during the download of content and the unblocking of sites.

  • Bandwidth limitations

Free versions have serious bandwidth limitations. This is another way to promote business plans or obtain bank details for malicious purposes. In most cases, free VPN users tend to switch services frequently, increasing the risk of fraud or receiving harmful data packets.

Despite the risks of free VPN, premium software can offer you a secure connection and keep you away from cyber attacks. Here are the key points for choosing a suitable VPN:

How do you choose the right VPN for your business?

The premium corporate VPNs are the best choices for safe navigation. These tools work solely for you and your interests, so you will not have to deal with advertising, bandwidth restrictions, or the interference of unwanted third parties in the activities of the company.

Also, if you’re looking for complete confidentiality of your systems, we recommend using VPNs that accept cryptocurrencies to keep any threats away from your bank details.

Besides, you must take into account the type of data that these tools store. Before purchasing the product and accepting the terms of use, verify what information is stored and what information is deleted. In this way, you prevent the voluntary transfer of sensitive data.

You can optimize the security of your private browsing resources with other security tools such as SIEM and PAM.

At GB Advisors we can offer advice and installation services to make the most of your IT resources. Contact us.

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