Virtual private networks -or VPNs– are not the panacea to being safe, secure and private on the internet. However, a VPN is an essential component of the arsenal for individuals inclined to seek these liberties. And according to TechRadar, if you don’t have a VPN service yet, you can grab one for free, without having to pay a single penny for one. Here are five questions you need to ask yourself before you download and install one. First, what is its business model? VPN providers are in for the money and running such a service does cost a lot especially if it is a popular one. Some, like Windscribe, will use free, just like Dropbox, as a marketing tool to entice potential customers to move to a paid version once they are happy with the free one. Most however will sell user data or provide a service to third party that will, again, compromise your privacy. Second, how does it protect your PC? Third, what do you lose by going free? Bandwidth? Ad blocking? Or something else you really care about?
Fourth, does your provider log anything about your internet activity? Look for a VPN service that will erase everything after your session closes and don’t keep logs. And finally, can you sign up completely anonymously? Having a VPN provider that you can subscribe to without an email address and one that accepts Bitcoin payments, for maximum privacy, is pretty much the best you can expect online.
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