Whether you’re seeking extra privacy online or looking to securely work from your mobile phone, VPNs are an attractive option for protecting your digital data. At least….they are in theory. Here’s the thing, though – no two VPNs are created equal, and you need to be careful about which one you decide to use.
Because if you use the wrong one, you might as well not be using anything at all.
“A new analysis of nearly 300 Android VPNs found that 84 percent of those studied leaked users’ web traffic, 38 percent contained malware or malvertising, and 18 percent didn’t encrypt data at all,” reads a piece on The Verge. “Three of the apps even directly intercepted traffic, allowing, for example, operators to read a users’ emails if they visited Gmail. (In these three cases, the developers claimed they intercepted traffic only in order to speed up the connections) You can see a list of the worst offenders when it came to malware below, while the report found Neopard, DashVPN, and DashNet intercepted traffic.”
Eye-opening, isn’t it? It just ties back into the old adage that nothing in this world is really free. A free VPN is very likely to be mining your data – and even if it isn’t, there’s a good chance it’s leaking your data like a sieve.
It doesn’t help that it often isn’t entirely clear who’s responsible for managing the service with a free solution. You have no idea who’s handling maintenance on the platform, and whose hands your data is passing through.
What that means is that if you pass privileged information through a free VPN, you’re very likely going to end up on the hook for some nasty regulatory penalties – or even worse, a lawsuit.
Security isn’t the only advantage paid VPNs have over freeware alternatives, either. There’s also the matter of connection speed and stability. A free VPN generally can’t offer any guarantees as far as quality goes, whereas the host of a paid service can put money towards infrastructure.
You get what you pay for. If you’re paying nothing for a VPN, you can’t expect quality, security, or control of your own data. Especially if you’re using it for business, you need to select a mobile VPN that’s built for enterprise – and the means using one that actually requires you to shell out some cash.
Trust me – that’ll be worth it.