Paid vs Free VPNs

By: Top10 Best VPN Staff 

A virtual private network, or VPN, is your best way to access the internet with complete anonymity, no matter what you like to do online. If you are looking for complete access to services like Netflix and Hulu or want to access geographically-restricted content, a free VPN can certainly help. But if you need more security for online banking or the transfer of files with personal data it might be best to switch to a paid version.   

Keep reading to learn more about the best paid and free VPNs, or check out our expert comparisons of the best VPNs for more information.

What to Look for in a VPN Service

By creating a tunnel to hide your IP address, a VPN protects your identity from hackers and marketers alike.

The best free VPN providers offer software for a variety of devices, including both Mac and Windows products, as well as unique features, friendly customer support and special perks for paid versions. 

No matter which version you choose, you are guaranteed high-end encryption, access to hundreds of servers across the world and connections for multiple devices. 

A free VPN provides you basic coverage when browsing online

When to Use a Free VPN Software

If you use public Wi-Fi for shopping, for example, your credit card and personal details are open for the taking. But a VPN will ensure you remain anonymous.

Free VPNs or free trials of the top VPNs on the market are a great way to protect yourself while you go about your business online. They are generally very easy to download and install and shouldn’t slow down your computer too much. With that said, there are a few things a free VPN just won’t handle.

Still not sure about a VPN? Check out the top 10 benefits of using a VPN.

Why to Avoid a Free VPN Service

A free VPN is simple way to take your protection up a notch, but there are some drawbacks as well. In the past free VPNs have allowed certain users to operate under other users' connections, which eliminates any benefit to anonymity you may have had before. Along with data logging, this practice can lead to some serious consequences.

Free VPNs have also been known to provide shaky connections that are very unreliable, and generally fail to provide security protocols.

A paid VPN can help keep you truly secure

Reasons to Choose a Paid VPN Provider

If a free VPN won't provide the necessary protection it's smart to start with a free trial of a paid version. Some of the best VPNs have free versions, including ExpressVPN, which has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try ExpressVPN for 30 days >> 

When you upgrade to a paid version you will immediately see an impact in terms of security protocols and anonymity. With a paid VPN you will have access to the most common types of security protocols, including PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP. This gives you even more freedom and helps ensure that you remain secure and anonymous online.

On top of the extra security, a paid VPN will also speed up your computer’s performance and speed. This is especially crucial if you are live streaming an event or gaming online.

Disadvantages of Paid VPN Services

With a paid VPN service you can rest assured that your details are secure, so what could the disadvantages possibly be? For starters, not all paid services are made the same and each offers different features and perks.

For example, some offer 24/7 customer support while others are only available during specific hours, and sometimes only via email or phone. Lastly, the prices for VPN services vary greatly. Depending on the type of coverage you are looking for, you can find prices as low as just a few dollars per month.


It’s pretty obvious to most internet users that a VPN can help them remain secure while browsing, streaming and shopping. The question for most internet users therefore is whether or not to spend the extra cash on a paid VPN service. If you are not sure, check out our in-depth articles that cover everything from parental controls to gaming mode and streaming while traveling abroad.

Ready to check out the best VPNs on the market? See all the top-rated VPNs.

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