- 1 Summary
- 2 Free VPNs and Data Selling
- 3 The Reality of Free VPNs
- 4 Key Points
- 5 1. Selling User Data
- 6 2. Privacy Concerns
- 7 3. Risks and Limitations
- 8 4. Choosing a Reliable VPN
- 9 Questions and Answers
- 9.1 1. What information do free VPNs sell?
- 9.2 2. Is it safe to use a free VPN?
- 9.3 3. Do VPNs sell your information?
- 9.4 4. Do VPN services sell your data?
- 9.5 5. Do free VPNs track your online activities?
- 9.6 6. What VPNs don’t sell user data?
- 9.7 7. What are the disadvantages of free VPNs?
- 9.8 8. Can I trust my VPN?
- 9.9 9. Can my data provider see what I do on VPN?
- 9.10 10. Can the police track free VPN users?
Free VPNs and Data Selling
Free VPNs have become popular for those looking to protect their online privacy and access restricted content. However, there are concerns about whether these free services sell user data to third parties.
The Reality of Free VPNs
Many free VPNs generate revenue by collecting and selling user data to advertisers or data brokers. This means that your browsing history and online activities are being tracked and monetized.
1. Selling User Data
Free VPNs use technologies like cookies, web beacons, and tracking pixels to record your online activities and sell this information to advertisers and data brokers.
2. Privacy Concerns
Using a free VPN can result in targeted ads, privacy breaches, and even identity theft. The purpose of using a VPN to protect your privacy is defeated if your data is being sold to third parties.
3. Risks and Limitations
Free VPNs often come with limitations, such as slower speeds, data restrictions, and limited server options. Some may also use less secure encryption protocols, putting your data at risk.
4. Choosing a Reliable VPN
It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider that respects your privacy. NordVPN, for example, is a trusted VPN service that does not store user logs and is based in a privacy-friendly country.
Questions and Answers
1. What information do free VPNs sell?
Many free VPNs sell your personal data, including your browsing history, to advertisers or data brokers.
2. Is it safe to use a free VPN?
Using a free VPN can compromise your privacy, as many of them collect and sell your data to third parties. It is recommended to choose a paid, reputable VPN service for better privacy protection.
3. Do VPNs sell your information?
Some free VPNs do sell or share user data with third parties as a way to generate revenue. It is important to read privacy policies and choose a VPN that prioritizes user privacy.
4. Do VPN services sell your data?
Not all VPN services sell user data, but it is a concern with free VPNs. It is crucial to research and choose a trustworthy VPN provider that prioritizes user privacy.
5. Do free VPNs track your online activities?
Many free VPNs track your online activities and collect data, which is then sold to advertising companies. Some VPN providers may have clauses in their privacy policies stating their use of advertisements to support their service.
6. What VPNs don’t sell user data?
While it is a common practice for free VPNs to sell user data, there are reputable VPNs like NordVPN that prioritize user privacy and do not sell data.
7. What are the disadvantages of free VPNs?
Free VPNs often come with limitations, such as limited server options, slower speeds, and data restrictions. Some may also compromise user privacy by collecting and selling data to third parties.
8. Can I trust my VPN?
The trustworthiness of a VPN depends on the provider. It is crucial to choose a reputable VPN service that has a strong track record of protecting user privacy and does not engage in selling user data.
9. Can my data provider see what I do on VPN?
When connected to a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a VPN server, making it difficult for your ISP to see your online activities. However, it is important to choose a reliable VPN provider to ensure your data isn’t compromised.
10. Can the police track free VPN users?
Live and encrypted VPN traffic cannot be tracked. However, if authorities need information about websites visited, they can contact the user’s internet service provider, who may have logs of the activities.
Sell your personal data
Many free VPNs make money by tracking you in some way. They use technology like cookies, web beacons, and tracking pixels to record where you go online. They then sell your browsing history to advertisers or data brokers.
Many free VPNs generate revenue by collecting and selling your browsing data to third parties, which, in a weird way, defeats the purpose of using a VPN to protect your privacy. Data collection like this can result in targeted ads, privacy breaches and even identity theft, and that isn't worth using the free VPN.
Many free VPNs can sell or share your data to 3rd parties… Editor's note: Research was done in 2018, some facts are updated in November 2022. At TheBestVPN, we generally advise against the use of free VPNs. The reason is simple – many of them simply sell your data to 3rd party advertisers.
Each time you're connected to a free VPN, all your activities are being logged and stored. This data is often sold to advertisers. By installing a free VPN, you're giving consent for your data to be harvested, knowingly or not.
NordVPN – overall best no-log VPN in 2023
Few VPN services can boast of something similar! Better still, NordVPN is legally based in Panama, which is a very privacy-friendly country and doesn't have any data retention laws.
The cons of using a free VPN
For example, some free VPNs might use less secure encryption protocols, like PPTP, which is more prone to security vulnerabilities. Risk of data theft or selling user data to third parties: Some free VPNs may collect and sell your data to third parties, compromising your privacy.
Limited network: Typically, free VPNs offer a limited number of servers, locations and countries, making them useless for bypassing geo-blocks. Traffic restrictions: Free VPNs usually come with speed and data limitations that don't work for some users.
A VPN may boast strong protocols and military-grade encryption, but that doesn't mean it's infallible. It can't prevent cookie tracking, viruses, or malware, and it can't protect against phishing scams. Data leaks could occur. But most pivotally, a VPN is only as secure as the company that runs it.
How Secure is a VPN Using a reliable virtual private network (VPN) can be a safe way to browse the internet. VPN security can protect from IP and encrypt internet history and is increasingly being used to prevent snooping on by government agencies. However, VPNs won't be able to keep you safe in all scenarios.
We offer a zero-logs VPN service. That means that we do not store your online activity. Nothing to store — nothing to see — nothing to share with anyone. We engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland to perform an industry-first point-in-time examination of our no-log claims in 2018.
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and reroutes it through a VPN server before sending it to its destination. Because of this, your ISP can't see what you do online once you activate that VPN connection.
There is no way to track live, encrypted VPN traffic.
That's why police or government agencies who need information about websites you visited have to contact your internet service provider (ISP for short), and only then your VPN provider.
So it's advisable to check it on DNSLeakTest.If your VPN is on, DNSLeakTest should show your chosen location and your new IP address.Select “Extended test” to dig even deeper. This test might take a few minutes.If the results now show your new IP address and your chosen country, you are safe. Your VPN isn't leaking.
Which VPNs Should You AvoidHola. Back in 2015, Hola was found to do something that no other VPN service does: turn the PCs of its users into "exit nodes," allowing other Hola users to route their traffic through said nodes.HotSpot Shield.HideMyAss.4. Facebook Onavo VPN.Opera Free VPN.PureVPN.VPNSecure.Zenmate.
While it's important to clarify that a VPN doesn't provide free Internet, it can enhance your online experience by eliminating data caps and ensuring anonymity. However, completely free VPNs may have limitations such as data caps, small server networks, and slower speeds.
We don't recommend using a free VPN because it could compromise and even harm your online security by selling your data to third parties and leaving you vulnerable to malware. Instead, we'd suggest using a reasonably-priced paid option, such as NordVPN, to keep your data safe while you're online.
A free VPN service is typically run by a company or organization that offers a limited amount of bandwidth (data transfer speed) and access to specific servers. Paid VPN services tend to offer more robust features such as unlimited bandwidth, access to multiple servers, and advanced security protocols.
With a VPN on, the user's online activities and data are encrypted. But, if the VPN software has security flaws and vulnerabilities, the police (or any other third party, for that matter) can use them to “break into” the VPN and see what data is being sent and received. So technically, the policy could track a VPN.
Use A VPN. If you truly want to hide your information from your Internet service provider, a Wi Fi owner, or anyone else, a virtual private network (VPN) is the solution. VPNs establish a protected connection, meaning no one can see what you are doing.
A VPN encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address. As a result, it also hides your location, browsing history, searches, downloads, and any other activities, such as gaming or streaming. A VPN hides this information from bad actors, ISPs, websites, and even oppressive governments.
Can police track online purchases made with a VPN There is no way to track live, encrypted VPN traffic. That's why police or government agencies who need information about websites you visited have to contact your internet service provider (ISP for short), and only then your VPN provider.
NordVPN is a good VPN. Its headquarters is in Panama, which isn't part of any international surveillance alliances. It won't track anything about the user's web activity or IP addresses, encrypting both with AES-256. NordVPN allows for Netflix and torrenting use, and it has fast speeds on our Mac computer.
While a VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, it does not hide the type of device you are using. Websites can still gather device-specific information (including operating system, screen resolution and browser type) through methods like browser fingerprinting.
Instead of your real IP address that holds information on your physical location, a VPN provides you with a new IP address. This ensures your real location is never revealed, your browsing history is hidden, and your traffic is private.