Why Paid VPN is Preferable Over Free VPN?

Boris_yo

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Oct 22, 2011
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Hello,

I thought about getting VPN subscription but used some of VPN's free services. I am not sure what speeds are good or poor but I got around 2-5MB/s on some of them. On others I would get twice of that.

Do I still need paid subscription if I want to use VPN for online banking and surfing on darkweb? I don't watch Netflix and I torrent rarely. Anything I am missing in terms of paid membetship benefits?

I heard that free VPN is not really free and I am the product. Sounds like defeats the purpose of using VPN in the first place? Would they less reluctantly give away private information of client who uses free service over client who pays?

Thanks
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
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Using a VPN to 'hide' doesn't actually hide you at all. A VPN is like using an extension cord to use someone else's power--you're still using power, and while tougher, it can still be traced.

If you want something completely anonymous, you need an Internet connected system you can remotely control--then you're just looking at the screen and the data is still at that system, not yours. But I'm sure even this could be traced.
 

Boris_yo

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Oct 22, 2011
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If you want something completely anonymous, you need an Internet connected system you can remotely control--then you're just looking at the screen and the data is still at that system, not yours. But I'm sure even this could be traced.

Rent private server with Tails OS, connect to it through VPN and use VPN to connect from it to destination?
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 24, 2001
Messages
7,107
When you're on the internet, you're giving 'someone' all of your data.
If you're using, say Spectrum (replace with whatever ISP), they have all of your user and browser data (and so do basically all the server providers. Amazon AWS, Google and all of the major players with site trackers that are exchanging services of data, Facebook, Instagram, etc).
Enter the VPN, the VPN is the intermediary which makes it so no end point has all of your user data.

The problem? Now the VPN knows everything you do instead of the ISP or other endpoint sites that are logging all of your information.
So, why pay for service? Other than speed the major issue is 'trust'. Any free VPN service isn't doing it out of the goodness of their own heart. The point is, your data has value. Free services are selling your data. So in addition to not being secure (as in the police or anyone else who files a data request will likely get it filled nearly immediately) they're selling your data likely to as many possible suitors as they can get. Not just once, but of course multiple times.

The other issue is of course whether or not the paid service you are on is secure. Because it's not as if there is anything from selling your data or doing anything unsavory either. ExpressVPN as an example was recently sold to Kape. Which is questionable in terms of security and privacy.
https://www.privacyaffairs.com/expressvpn-bought-by-kape/

So, in short, if you're privacy AND security concerned then getting a VPN, even a paid one isn't an easy proposition. And this is setting aside other issues such as total cost as well as speed.

I used Express before the buyout in 2019-2020, and they had a bunch of problems. Just being glitchy and a not-great user experience. I went ahead and got a 36month subscription to Nord, and basically it's really similar to the Express experience I had, but I will note that they have been improving their software regularly and I do notice that I'm having fewer and fewer problems.

However, both of those above services while offering the best speeds have, not the best track records. To get a really good VPN, you're likely looking at either something you've built yourself, or from an organization that more or less focuses on security, privacy, and pledges to never sell your data and fight all law enforcement agencies.

I do have them for easy peace of mind though. And I use Little Snitch on top of that for additional cookie and connection management.
 

Boris_yo

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Oct 22, 2011
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Free services are selling your data. So in addition to not being secure (as in the police or anyone else who files a data request will likely get it filled nearly immediately) they're selling your data likely to as many possible suitors as they can get. Not just once, but of course multiple times.

In other words they will extradite me to government agencies with no brainer?

ExpressVPN as an example was recently sold to Kape. Which is questionable in terms of security and privacy.

And I was tempted to subscribe to CyberGhost... No logs policy, country outside of 9 and 5 eyes etc...

To get a really good VPN, you're likely looking at either something you've built yourself, or from an organization that more or less focuses on security, privacy, and pledges to never sell your data and fight all law enforcement agencies.

Like renting virtual private server?
And what are your thoughts on WindScribe and ProtonVPN?
 

UnknownSouljer

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In other words they will extradite me to government agencies with no brainer?
Another way of looking at it is that free VPN services have no stake in the game. They won't "keep" or "lose" subscribers based around security. They have no incentive.
And I was tempted to subscribe to CyberGhost... No logs policy, country outside of 9 and 5 eyes etc...
I would say: do your own research. There are lots of sites that more or less dedicate themselves to figuring out which organizations have the best track records and are the most trust worthy.
Like renting virtual private server?
And what are your thoughts on WindScribe and ProtonVPN?
Again, to this, I would say do your own research.

But also to add to this, the reality is for most of us we have to play a balance between security and just being able to function with our devices that connect to the internet.

If everything is super secure but it makes your speeds go to a crawl or you otherwise can't access the internet then it isn't worth all of the time and effort. Paying other people who can 'afford' to put servers all over the world, so you have that benefit of a VPN service as well, is part of the equation for a lot of us.

I know some people rent an AWS server to run a VPN through, and I'd argue that defeats the point, considering that AWS is running something like 1/3rd of the internet and they already want all of your data. It will be fast though.
 
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