Why pay for a VPN on your mobile when there are free apps: these are my reasons

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why pay for a vpn on your mobile when there.webp.webp.webp

I never tire of admitting something: I am a rat and it is very difficult for me to pay for things that I can find for free, even though I am very clear that (almost) no one does anything for the love of art and that when something doesn’t cost money, it’s because the product is you. And this also happens with VPNs.

That’s why when I needed one VPNfirst I used Opera (it is actually a magnificent browser with a proxy) and then a free VPN. So a few weeks ago I took the plunge and after paying for a VPN for my trip to China and seeing how well it worked, I started using a paid VPN. My option was ClearVPN by letting myself be carried away a recommendation from my colleague Javier Lacortbut I am open to other options.

Use a VPN? Yes please. And if it is paid, the better

Generally, I would recommend everyone to use a VPN, especially those who are concerned about their privacy. It is not a question of believing conspiracy theories, but the reality is that the internet companies that offer us services: Google, Meta, Apple, less clear.

In any case, using a VPN is a good idea for many reasons. For me, they are useful to avoid geographic blocks of all kinds (which, for example, allows me to try products before they are available in Spain and avoid censorship); because I work and connect anywhere and if I use a Wi-Fi that is not mine and I don’t know who controls it, I want to give a layer of privacy to the data I exchange through it. Finally, to anonymize my data both in the face of possible attacks and security breaches, and in the face of the company that provides me with internet services.

Companies that offer VPNs are providing a service and have to make money in some way. The clearest and most transparent way to do this is for the VPN to be paid and I as a customer pay their prices (usually in the form of a subscription). What if they are free? Like so many other applications, they will resort to other avenues and here the monetization becomes more obscure. It usually uses a method that those of us who use free products are familiar with: advertising.

If you ever pay attention to the ads that you usually see in free applications, you will discover that with some exceptions, it seems like anything goes. Come on, there are some well-known and reliable companies and services, but anything is advertised: apps and games that claim to serve one thing but then don’t, of dubious quality… it won’t be the first time that I install a game that for The advertisement seems to have one dynamic and then the reality is another.

NordVPN at 67% off (two years)

*Some prices may have changed since the last review

On the other hand, for advertising to be truly effective, it needs to be personalized. So some of these free VPN provider companies profit by marketing their customers’ activity logs to third parties for profiling purposes for advertising purposes. But of course, this directly attacks the reason for VPNs, privacy.

Finally, When a service is free, you either take it or leave it: you have no “right” to ask. Although obviously the VPN provider company is interested in you using their services, you are within your rights to go to another free VPN if you wish to see if it hopefully works better and is not too shady when it comes to monetizing its activity.

Developing and maintaining a product and its infrastructure requires financial resources and in the case of VPNs it should have a dedicated IP address, a careful security proposal, specialized servers or reliable connection speeds (essential if we are going to use it for gaming or streaming ). If there are problems with a paid VPN We can also change to another (I already said in the intro that I am not married to anyone), but there is also dedicated support in charge of helping you have a good experience and as I have seen, there is interest in it working well.

It is clear that it is a personal matter and a matter of needs, but at least For me, using a paid VPN is profitable.

Cover | Picture of Markus Spiske in Unsplash and Mockuphone with ClearVPN

In Xataka Mobile | Seven free VPNs for our Android or iPhone mobile