There a numerous VPN providers around the world and many offer a free service. The issue is, what level of speed, reliability, security and support will these free services offer? As you will mostly use your VPN to stream content, speed and a reliable connection are key factors to take into consideration when choosing a provider. In addition, your VPN connection may be carrying what could be sensitive information, therefore it is important to ensure that it is transmitted with robust encryption over a secure and efficient network. Below is a summary of the important elements to consider.
Security is an extremely important factor when choosing a VPN provider. In most instances, free VPN services will offer a PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol) which is the easiest to set up (it is also the type of VPN protocol that all operating systems will have built into them). Some security flaws have been highlighted with PPTP, which can make these VPN connections highly vulnerable to attack. Paid services on the other hand, from vendors such as ExpressVPN and PureVPN, offer a number of VPN protocols including IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol) that are inherently more secure than PPTP.
The protocols being used with the VPN are however just one element to consider when determining the efficiency of a VPN. Another very important factor is the bandwidth available on the VPN service. The reality is that free services will not have the revenue to invest in efficient connections to the Internet, resulting in poor and slow connections. Paid VPNs on the other hand have the funds required to invest in infrastructure and offer their customers more secure and much faster connections.
Coupled with security and bandwidth is the number of servers you can connect to. Paid VPN services have the income to invest in a vast amount of servers to ensure your VPN connection is always live and fast, allowing you to stream content without buffering issues or the connection dropping.
And paid services will almost always have much better customer service than free services. Free services will often require you to troubleshoot and fix your own VPN issues while Paid services come with built-in assistance to quickly resolve the problem. Paid VPNs also offer good customer service over the phone which may come in handy if you can’t fix the problem online.
Paid services therefore have a number of advantages over their free counterparts.
✔ More robust security
✔ Multiple VPN protocols to choose from
✔ Access to a larger pool of servers (and locations)
✔ Higher bandwidth for fast and efficient connections
✔ Professional customer and technical support services, often available 24/7