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What's wrong with a free VPN?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

21 July 2015

There are a lot of VPNs out there these days. Some providers are well known, some less so, and whilst some VPNs are paid for, an increasing amount of them are offered as a free service.

This seems like a win-win: Secure browsing for absolutely nothing. However, it’s not quite that rosy.

So what’s wrong with a free VPN?

To quote your grandpa’s favorite phrase, there’s no such thing as a free lunch – especially when the production of that free lunch involves a lot of technical know-how, a number of staff and the set up and maintenance of a secure network which costs money to run.

In short: VPNs cost money to create and operate, so someone is paying the bill. If it’s not you, then who is it? Well, if the VPN is 100% free then the chances are, there’s a business model that involves your data.

If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.

As the recent controversy around free VPN Hola showed, there’s a lot of money to be made from a provider selling access to your data. Big data is big business, and as VPN providers see 100% of the data in and out of your device, there’s a lot of data to be sold.

Of course, you might decide that you’re okay with companies having access to your data. That’s fine – that’s your decision. But you should at least be given all the information about how your VPN works and how they make their money, so that you can decide whether that’s a risk you’d like to take.

However, if you decide that you want your VPN to be truly secure, there are some VPNs that allow an amount of browsing for free so you can try their service before committing to an affordable paid subscription. With SurfEasy VPN, we give you 500MB of free data per month, so that you be sure our service is for you. This is a cost of marketing for us.

When you have decided that SurfEasy is for you, you can pay $4.99 per month ($3.99 when billed annually) for unlimited coverage on up to 5 devices, or pay just $2.99 per month for coverage on your mobile device. If you decide you want to stay on the free plan, you can earn more free data by completing simple tasks like tweeting about us. This acts as a piece of marketing for us that offsets the cost of your free data.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, but you might decide that you’ll pay for that lunch with your personal information. If not, head over to and get started with a real, secure and reliable VPN today.

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