4 Should I choose a free VPN?
We all like a free online service, and the same can be said for a VPN. However, there are many untrustworthy free VPNs out there. Some may even sell your search data, while others simply do not work properly.
In other words: ‘If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re actually the product being sold.’
There are a handful of reliable free VPN providers, like Proton or Hide.me. But even with these, there could be a data cap, preventing you from using the free service without restrictions. Moreover, you are likely to experience performance issues when using a free VPN.
In general, free VPNs are not an optimal solution, so definitely consider paying for a good service. A four or five star VPN shouldn’t set you back more than €3 to €5 per month. Keep in mind that prices go down considerably when choosing a one or two year plan. Moreover, all providers offer a 30-days-money back guarantee, so you can test their services without spending a penny.
5 What are the main things to look out for when choosing a VPN?
There are a few things to look out for when choosing a (paid) VPN-provider.
‘Privacy is key. So make sure you choose a provider with a no-logs policy,’ says Kuijper. ‘Secondly, it is smart to get a VPN with its head office in a country with favourable privacy laws, like Switzerland, Panama, Romania, Malaysia or the British Virgin Islands.’
Other important aspects to take into account include:
- Speed: how is the performance when browsing, streaming and downloading?
- Ease of use: are the apps easy to use on your laptop and smartphone?
- Tech support: is there a 24/7 live chat to help you with any issues you may have?
- Server list: a decent VPN lets you choose from a huge list of servers, spread over at least 50 different countries. Make sure it has one in the Netherlands and your home country.
- Device support: some providers have no limit to the amount of devices you can link to one VPN-account, whilst others prevent you from connecting more than five or six devices.
Finally, don’t forget to take a look at the available payment options that the VPN providers offer. Most of them support iDEAL, credit card and PayPal. But if privacy is your top concern, you will likely want to search a provider that allows you to pay anonymously using cash or a crypto currency, like bitcoin.
To make choosing a VPN a bit easier, there are several comparison sites that have reviewed all the popular providers for you.