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How to maximize the benefits of using a free VPN

by Marcin Wieclaw
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VPN is a well-known technology for secure data transfer over the Internet. However, most users are unaware of the additional opportunities offered by VPNs, including numerous cost-saving options, increased work efficiency for digital specialists, and the ability to work remotely without letting your employer know. Moreover, even a free VPN provides these opportunities. However, free VPNs are still shrouded in many myths. So let’s find out where the myths are and where the truth is, and explore the additional opportunities offered by a free VPN.

How does a free VPN work?

Free VPN is a technology for a secure Internet connection. This is achieved by routing user data packages through a remote VPN server. In this way, a secure channel is created for the transmission of encrypted data, which is sent to the final recipient not directly from the user but from the VPN server, ensuring the user’s anonymity.

Free VPN has two key functions:

  • replacing the user’s IP address with the IP address of the server’s VPN;
  • data encryption and its transmission over a secure channel created by the VPN protocol.

In terms of basic functionality, free VPNs work in the same way as paid ones. The difference between them usually consists of additional features, such as ad blocking. However, these additional features can be obtained from separate applications and extensions, so they are not mandatory and do not affect the main task of the VPN.

So why are free VPNs surrounded by numerous myths? The VPN industry, like any other tech sector, is highly competitive, and myths are often spread by competitors. Let’s take a look at the most common ones and find out what is true and what is not.

Myths and truths about free VPN

  • All free VPNs are unreliable.

This is a myth. As we mentioned above, the mechanism of both free and paid VPNs is the same. The reliability of the VPN does nothing to do with its price but with the level of encryption offered by the chosen provider and the VPN protocols it uses. Information about this can be found on the VPN website. It is also advisable to look at reviews of the VPN on independent resources.

There are reliable and unreliable services among both free and paid VPNs. To choose a good VPN and avoid spending too much, read the information about encryption and VPN protocols. Look for a VPN that offers 256-bit encryption. This is one of the most secure data encryption methods available on the market. It means that a 256-bit key is used to encrypt and decrypt data, which is very difficult to crack.

When it comes to VPN protocols, you can also find information about the advantages and disadvantages of each of them and choose the right one for you. IKEv2 is considered to be one of the best for use on mobile devices, as it allows you to seamlessly reconnect between different Wi-Fi networks and mobile data, automatically reconnecting to the VPN in case of connection loss. It is often used in Android VPN applications.

OpenVPN is considered one of the best protocols for stationary devices, such as a home PC. It is a fully working open-source protocol that can quickly transfer data and authenticate your device. Experts assert that creating a private virtual network using this protocol is now the best option available.

  • All free VPNs collect and sell user data.

Well, sometimes there are indeed reports in the press that one or another VPN provider is involved in litigation over the unauthorized use of customer data. To be fair, this applies not only to free but also to paid VPNs. However, we cannot equate all providers. The fact that someone in the industry is doing unfair business should not put all market participants in doubt.

It is possible to find a free VPN that treats customer data responsibly. To do this, you should pay attention to those providers that offer both a free and a paid premium product. For them, a free VPN is a way to attract new customers, so they will do everything to fulfill their promises to the users of the free version.

In addition, the country of VPN registration affects how a provider treats customer data. Most of the well-known VPN providers declare that they adhere to the no-log policy. This means that they do not store information about your online activity, the time you connected to the VPN or any personal data. This is exactly what you should look for in a free VPN. However, there is a catch.

Many providers on the market keep a log of the date and time of your connection to the VPN and other data, even despite the no-log policy stated on the website. This may be done so that in case of failures and problems, they can find out the causes. And here the country of VPN registration becomes important. If the VPN is registered in a nation that is a part of the Five, Nine, or 14 Eyes Alliance, there is a chance that any data kept on servers within that nation may be shared with other members.

  • Free VPNs have compatibility problems.

Numerous websites employ various methods to obstruct VPN traffic as unencrypted and non-anonymous communication contains more user data that may be examined and used for personal gain.

Still, VPN technology is developing more quickly than VPN blocking. As a result, there are free VPNs available that are compatible with a wide range of platforms, such as Roblox, Netflix, Disney Plus, and others.

There are also free VPNs for various devices. So you can find a free VPN app for IOS, browser extensions, and apps for almost any other device.

Therefore, there are high-quality products among the free VPNs, and you need to be responsible when choosing one.

There is more to using a VPN than just its security functions, so let’s look at some creative ways to use a VPN to maximize its benefits.

Unobvious ways to use a free VPN

1. Use the VPN to save money.

  • With a VPN you can save money on trips.

Airline ticket aggregators set various prices for users from different regions. Your location at the time of searching on such platforms is determined by your IP address. In addition, such websites track your activity and determine how interested you are in a particular flight or destination. To get the best price offer, search with a VPN. Choose a VPN server located in a country with a lower income than yours. Your IP address will be replaced with the IP address of the remote VPN server and you will be able to avoid price discrimination.

This also works with car rental aggregators and accommodation booking sites. Such sites show users from wealthy regions the most profitable options they have. To see cheaper cars or more options for budget accommodation, use the VPN as described above.

  • Get extended access to free services.

If you like to read news online, you may have noticed that some websites, such as the New York Times, allow you to read a limited number of articles per month for free. By connecting to different VPN servers, you can increase the number of available articles in proportion to the number of servers you have available. These websites often try to block traffic using a VPN, so using a lesser-known VPN can be even more effective.

You can also get an additional free trial period for digital services. If you’ve been thinking about buying a program for work and have taken a free trial to test it out, but didn’t figure out if a particular option is right for you, you can take another trial with a VPN. To do this, connect to the VPN and create a new account. This way, you will have more time to make a purchase decision.

  • Save money on streaming services.

Prices for popular streaming services, such as Netflix, vary greatly from country to country. Some of the cheapest countries to buy a Netflix subscription are India, South Africa, the Philippines, and Argentina. So you can connect to a VPN server located in one of these countries to buy a subscription at a lower price. There are several important nuances:

  • Choose a free VPN that works with Netflix and has servers in the respective countries.
  • Netflix requires customers to pay with a card issued in the country for which the subscription is purchased. To get around this restriction, you can buy a regional gift card and pay for your subscription with it.

2. Use a free VPN for gaming.

VPN is a well-known technology in the world of gaming. However, free VPNs are less popular there because of myths about slower speeds. However, a free VPN can be useful in bypassing unfair IP bans.

If you want to access a game where your IP address has been blocked for some reason, you need to use a VPN. However, gaming companies are aware of this method and actively block IP addresses of well-known VPN servers that are popular in the online gaming world. If you use a free VPN, which is less commonly used by players, your chances of bypassing the IP address blocking increase significantly.

3. Use a free VPN when traveling.

VPNs are often used to access geo-blocked content. However, few people recall it when their native content is blocked.

If you’re traveling and arrive in a country with a high level of internet censorship, or simply find that your favorite sites are not available outside the US, you can restore access to them with a free VPN. To do this, you need to choose a service that has a server in your home country. This way, you will be able to view your native content from anywhere in the world.

In addition, a VPN will help you maintain access to online banking while traveling. Most banks require clients to notify them in advance of traveling abroad. If you forget to do this and try to log in to online banking from an unusual location, your bank may block your account until they investigate. For them, this looks like suspicious activity, and the bank, trying to protect you from fraud, may leave you without access to your funds. A VPN that has a server in your home country will allow you to use online banking.

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The above are just a few of the multiple ways to use a VPN. On forums, you can find information that remote employees use a VPN to work from another country when they don’t want to notify their employer. Someone have restrictions on their employment contract, and someone want to avoid changing the attitude of colleagues when they find out that a person works from the beach in the Philippines. We do not recommend violating the terms of employment contracts, but if you do not want your colleagues to know about your current location for other reasons, a free VPN will allow you to do so. Again, choose a provider that has a server in your home country.

There are many advantages of a VPN for digital professionals. If you work in digital marketing, with a free VPN, you can anonymously monitor competitors and analyze foreign markets as if you were local.

Everyone will find options for using the VPN. All users get the security as a basic declared function. If you stop thinking of the VPN as a solely security technology, you will find many benefits to using it depending on your lifestyle. All of these benefits can be available to you at no additional cost if you choose a free VPN responsibly.


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