As the internet user base becomes increasingly aware of cyber security threats, and their online privacy becomes increasingly jeopardized due to invasive online monitoring laws, online VPN services that put control over their online security back into the consumers’ hands has gone from being a novelty to a necessity.
While most VPN providers charge a monthly / bi-annual / annual subscription fee for their anonymizing services, there are some which offer the VPN service free of cost. Usually, there’s a catch involved, but for certain consumers, it is still worth it after the compromise.
Read on to ascertain whether a free VPN is useful for you, or if a paid service is what you need after all. Also included is an appraisal of the best VPN free in New Zealand.
Are there any free VPNs?
There are a couple of pretty compelling reasons to set up a VPN that’s free on you device:
- No risk of investment: Paid VPNs require you to supply your payment information (credit card, PayPal account etc.) before you get access to the trial version. Some of us may not be comfortable sharing this information even with a private VPN service for the first time, before we’ve decided whether we need a VPN or not.
A free VPN is the perfect demo for testing the basic capabilities of the software, without having to sign up for a trial version that you may not even use later on.
- You don’t use the internet intensively: The best free VPN NZ products will typically let you comfortably surf restricted websites that aren’t heavy on multimedia content, so if that’s what you typically use your internet for, there’s no need to spend the extra money on a paid product.
A decent free VPN – CyberGhost free VPN ReviewThis is one of the rare free VPNs that New Zealanders can use with a reasonable degree of confidence. Quite unusual for a free VPN, our CyberGhost review found it to be a surprisingly simple and functional software which let you surf the web anonymously without bombarding your browser with advertisements or restricting your bandwidth to a couple hundred megabytes.
The speed is good enough to sustain even the occasional 480p video, but nothing more than that. Unfortunately, you still have to wait in a queue to log in to the free service if the network is experiencing loads due to huge volumes of paid subscriber traffic; also, CyberGhost VPN torrenting is not possible with the free package.Click here to get a CyberGhost Free Trial
The inherent limitations to not paying for the VPN notwithstanding, there is one major flipside to the free version: it is only available in the desktop clients. All in all though, for the casual desktop user looking to securely conduct an online transaction or access a restricted website, this is definitely the best free VPN NZ.
Why a paid VPN is still better:
If your online usage extends beyond casual surfing, then it is strongly recommended that you get a paid VPN for the following reasons:
- It is more secure: Paid VPNs will utilize stronger encryption methods such as military grade ciphers as well as industry standard OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols (some may even use proprietary approaches to defeat advanced privacy intrusion threats) – those who are seriously concerned about protecting their online activity should consider such a solution.
- You get better connection speeds and more server choices: Having an extensive network of servers spread out all over the world allows paid VPNs to provide you with a far more robust network in terms of the bandwidth and reliability of the connection. Furthermore, you have a better selection of global servers to choose from.
This is especially important for individuals who wish to stream large amounts of data either through a digital content service such as Netflix, or over a filesharing platform such as Bittorrent.
- You can be sure of your privacy: Even free VPN setups require critical infrastructure to run, and money for that has to come from somewhere – some free services tend to sell the registration information e.g. email addresses of their users to third parties for cash needed to keep the service running.
With paid VPNs, you’re already paying for the services you get, so there is no genuine motivation for the VPN provider to violate your privacy (other than a court issued warrant – and that too only in specific countries such as the US, UK and Australia).
NordVPN – a good choice for a paid serviceHaving a 550 strong server network spread over 47 countries; a Panamanian origin with no compulsion of data logging; and incredibly strong OpenVPN encryption utilizing AES 256 bit ciphering as well as multi-hop and Tor-over-VPN connections, Nord VPN is a remarkably strong VPN offering embodying the qualities of paid VPN discussed above.
The extensive server ensures topnotch connection speeds, and P2P filesharing is allowed on servers located in a number of countries. You’re also allowed to make as many as six parallel connections through a single subscription.Click here to get NordVPN
The desktop client is designed from a utilitarian perspective yet still manages to remain accessible to newbie users, and the same applies for clients on other platforms. The comprehensive support pages are complemented by full 24/7 Live Chat service.
All in all, this is one paid service you should definitely consider if you’re genuinely concerned about online security and anonymity.