Free VPN's are becoming more popular each day as people don't want to pay for a premium service. But using a free vpn comes at a risk and can contradict the reason you are using a vpn. Here are 5 ways how free vpn's make money!
1. Selling Your Data To Third Party Companies
You may find this hard to believe, but Data is now worth more than gold. This is due to the amount companies are willing to pay for collected user data. By using a free vpn, you are leaving yourself at risk of your personal data being collected.
Some free vpn’s may tell you they will collect data for marketing purposes. This would be a clear sign that the vpn is logging your data and will more than likely sell it to third parties. But not all free vpn’s will make this clear and they will more than likely try to hide it if they do. So even if you don’t find anything stating they collect data, just know that theirs a strong possibility they will be.
Not only is it your browsing data that can be sold, but also your email address. You email address is very valuable to scammers as email is the best way to get you to click on links that look official, but thay are not. This could leave you vulnerable to Phishing, Scams, Spam etc. Clicking on a link from these companies can reveal you whole identity, usernames, passwords, banking and more. So you can see why this is one way how free vpn’s make money.
2. Hijacking Your Browser
Browser Cookies are tiny packets of data that can track your browsing history without you even knowing about it.
Web Beacons are similar to browser cookies. They can track your internet usage buy using a clear picture profile.
Taking Over Ads
Another way a free vpn can make money is by removing any ads served and replacing with their own.
Serving Cloned Landing Pages
This 1 could be the most severe if it was to happen. We don’t know how common this is but it’s a possibility. The vpn could redirect you to a cloned Website/Login Page. So if foe instance you were to sign into Gmail using 1 of these cloned pages, the vpn would be able to log you username and password.
3. The VPN Has A Premium Version
It’s not uncommon for vpn companies to offer a free version of their service for you to test before upgrading to thr paid premium version. Vpn’s such as Proton VPN & Windscribe use this method to give users the chance to test the service first.
You may find the free version has a data limit, a select few servers available, or some other kind of limit in the hope you will upgrade to receive all the features. Although we are looking at how free vpn’s make money, they can also be used as a trial or incentive.
4. Using Your IP Address
This is something you don’t want to happen as it totally contradicts the reason for using a vpn and could infact get you in a lot of trouble.
Although you are using a vpn for the purpose of connecting to a different ip address/region for whatever reason, other users could be using your ip address. So any browsing or downloading will look like it has come from your connection which is ‘NOT’ something you want. Basically using your connection as a vpn server.
1 VPN in particular is Hulu that use a p2p connection. This means if there are 1000 people with an active vpn connection, each user will be using another users ip for their vpn connection.
5. Selling Your Connection/IP Address
This is 1 of concern but yet another way how free vpn’s make money!
You may see streaming apps now ask if you would like to get an ad free version and in return it will use your devices idle resources. When you allow, you connection is sold to companies such as Luminati. That company will then use your connection and ip address and sell as a residential proxy.
A residential proxy means somebody can access the internet from your location. You may see that vpn servers can be blocked by websites and apps, but by using a residential proxy this isn’t an issue as it’s a personal connection and not a server. So things such as fraud can take place as it looks like it’s been done from a legitimate address.
The free vpn app itself can also be used as a way for somebody to gain access to your device. This meaning somebody can access the internet using you mobile data and do as they please. The more I read into this, the more concerned I was. The app can be used as a backdoor for harmful malware, connections etc to enter you device