SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, US: VPN services, while not pricey, can be perceived as an inconvenient expense. You may wonder if it's worth buying a VPN package when you can just use anonymity services for free...
Yes, there are "free" anonymous services that let you surf the Internet privately. They are relatively easy to use too, since some applications do not require any special downloads or installations.
You simply type a web address through the anonymiser site, and then surf "securely." It should be explained however, that most of these sites do not offer true VPN protection. Some may only offer proxy technology, which involves routing proxy servers continuously when you send data, so that you avoid direct communications with the point of contact. This is a handy feature, but it is limited in comparison to VPN, which actually creates a virtual private network for you.
Protecting your anonymity
Furthermore, when companies do offer free proxy hosting they still log all of your surfing data. The best VPN hosts log for a temporary basis and eventually delete all history files. Therefore, using free proxy surfing features does imply a level of vulnerability. Full VPN also offers substantial advantages beyond proxy, including technologies of OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP, and others.
When you use VPN features from a paid service you can choose between a direct installation or remote access. Using the system makes your connection secure (even if it's open) through encryption. Furthermore, using a paid host guarantees that your real IP address will be masked. Some companies offer thousands of fake IP addresses to choose from and the ability to choose your own country.
What you should consider when selecting a service
The paid hosting plans provide for extra features with that money, including multiple servers spread out across the globe, as well as no limitations on bandwidth or speed. Some free providers may use a legitimate VPN service, instead of a proxy only connection, though these programs will operate similarly to free trial periods, given the limitations.
In order to sign up for these free services, you may need to provide registration information. They usually make their money through referrals or advertising, so they are only "free" to you, the user. Do you need paid VPN services or can you survive on free proxy-style connections? The more you travel and perform financial transactions online, the better it is that you have professional level VPN rather than take a risk using a low quality connection, or inconvenient program.
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