It’s not easy to answer this question with a simple yes or no, since it is heavily dependent on your profile as a VPN customer. If you’re a light user, the free versions offered by some providers can be more than enough for you and that alone will save you some extra cash at the end of the month.
But if you need to go a bit further than what the limited free versions provide then you’ll certainly need to take out your wallet. As we have elaborated in our free VPN guide there are free trials, money back guarantees, free versions, and other ways of scoring free VPN usage with VPN providers. However, do be careful when it comes to VPNs that are advertised as a complete service for free.
In these cases, never forget the old motto: if you’re not paying, you’re not the customer, but the product, so it’s best to think there’s always a catch with services that promise everything and yet don’t charge anything for it. Usually you’ll pay with your own information, which is often secretly gathered and sold online for targeted adverts. Additionally you’ll typically have to suffer very limited data caps and slow connections with a limited number of overcrowded VPN servers.
The problem is that this is permitted via dubious privacy policies that are not transparent about what is stored. In addition, sometimes it’s also hard to know which company is behind the service, which doesn’t help if you want to file a complaint, for instance. This is all likely to happen, and that’s without even mentioning the dangers of downloading an untrustworthy program or app.
There’s also another thing that’s good to always have in mind: VPN providers are a business like any other, so they need money to keep it running. The larger a server network of a VPN provider the more it costs for them to maintain it as servers are not exactly cheap and need maintenance and constant monitoring.
And let’s not forget that behind such programs there’s a team of people who, naturally, will need to be paid, otherwise the company could not keep working on developing new features to make the service even better. So if the income doesn’t come from user subscriptions, then it must come from other sources. That’s why some trials or free versions of certain VPNs – even trustworthy ones – are often delivered with ads.
If you want an ad-free life – and don’t we all? – then you’re most certainly going to need to pay for a VPN service. Pricing plans vary according to the range of features delivered and, just like any other subscription service, the more you want access to the more expensive it becomes.
However, different companies have different pricing policies and it’s surely possible to find some nice deals, the best ones being those who have no limits on their features and are cheaper on longer payment terms, usually when subscribed on an annual or longer basis. But before subscribing to any of them, be sure to visit our free trials and coupons pages to get some additional discounts on the best premium VPN services.
The Best VPNs of 2018
Have all your VPN related questions answered by checking our VPN experts' answers to frequently asked questions:
- Can a VPN Company See My Passwords and Data?
- Can a VPN Provider See My Traffic and History?
- Can I Use a VPN Service on My Mobile Device?
- Can I Use Multiple VPNs at Once?
- Can The Use of a VPN Be Detected?
- Does a VPN Hide Torrenting from ISPs?
- Does a VPN Protect Against Viruses?
- Does a VPN Service Bypass ISP Throttling?
- Does a VPN Work on Mobile Data?
- How Do I Get Rid of a VPN?
- How Does a VPN Work?
- How Does VPN Encryption Work?
- How Secure is Using a VPN?
- Is It Legal to Use a VPN?
- Is Using a VPN Service Easy?
- Should I Pay for a VPN?
- Should I Use a VPN All the Time?
- Should I Use a VPN at Home?
- Should I Use a VPN on My iPhone, Android Phone?
- What Does VPN Traffic Look Like to My ISP?
- What Happens if My VPN Disconnects?
- What is a VPN?
- What’s the Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy?
- Why Should I Hide My IP Address?
- Why Should I Use a VPN Service?
- Will a VPN Lower My Ping?
- Will a VPN Speed up My Connection?
- Will a VPN Work in China?
- Won’t a VPN Slow my Internet Connection Down?