Free VPN vs Paid VPN

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you are new to the world of private networks, you may look to compare a free VPN vs a paid VPN. Some of the best VPNs, after all, are free, while others offer paid subscriptions. Which of these two types is better, and what do they offer to garden variety consumers? Keep reading to find out.


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Differences Between Paid VPNs and Free VPNs

Before you can pick the best browser for a VPN, you have to choose between a free or paid service. Free VPNs are, well, free, which is a budget-friendly way to learn how to watch Hulu with a VPN. Paid VPNs, on the other hand, offer an increased suite of services if you are looking for the fastest VPN. These subscription options often include better encryption if you are comparing incognito mode vs a VPN. They also offer end-to-end encryption if you are comparing a DNS vs a VPN.

Insider Tip

No matter which you choose, be sure to follow the instructions as indicated by the VPN service to make the most out of it.

Additionally, some companies offer both free and paid tiers if you are, say, comparing Mullvad vs NordVPN. Many of the best free VPNs, however, do keep up with certain feature sets. Let’s take a look at more differences between free and paid VPNs so that you can get to that Spotflux review or a review of any other related service.

Personal Data

Free VPNs have to make their money from somewhere, which often includes selling your personal data. Paid VPNs do not typically commit this egregious practice, but read the fine print before signing up for anything. Read the fine print with free VPNs, also, because they don’t all do this.


Paid VPNs offer much higher security when compared to free VPNs, on average, though this can vary depending on the offering. The security offered by many free VPNs is on the weaker side and easily crackable. If you are looking for ultra-high security, go with a paid offering.


Again, free VPNs need to get their money somehow, and many do this by forcing ads as you surf the Internet. Paid VPNs should never interrupt your experience with advertisements. Of course, not all free VPNs do this, so make sure to thoroughly read the marketing material ahead of time.


Free VPNs don’t cost a cent, and premium paid VPNs typically charge a monthly subscription fee, averaging out to around $10. If you are on a strict budget, go with a free service for your browsing and streaming needs.

STAT: A VPN service relies on a huge network of thousands of servers that have to be continually maintained. Operating this type of infrastructure requires hundreds or even thousands of employees and a significant amount of money. (source)

Paid Vs. Free VPN FAQs

What are the risks and problems with using a free VPN?

Free VPNs offer reduced online security and lower connection speeds when compared to a paid VPN service. Additionally, Internet traffic restrictions apply here. Free VPNs also do not typically offer unlimited bandwidth, as they do not have access to the thousands of servers of a paid VPN.

Why are some VPNs free but others are not?

A free VPN service encrypts Internet traffic without charging you a dime, though these VPN providers are extremely limited when compared to paid service providers.

What is a free VPN?

A free VPN uses limited server locations to offer some online security, though at a reduced level. These companies don't charge, as they accrue money via other methods.
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