Why Pay For VPN if They Have Free VPN Extension
Finding the best VPN deal for your needs might be quite challenging. On the one hand, you can opt for a free VPN, but they often appear to be insecure. On the other hand, there are multiple service providers offering to choose between a premium VPN application and a free VPN extension for your web browser. But wait, why use the paid version if the free one is just the same?
Well, the thing is, they aren’t really the same. Read along to learn the difference between free VPN browser extension vs. paid VPN apps and find out which option suits your needs best.
What is a paid VPN application?
A dedicated VPN application is the VPN software you can install on your device, whether it is a phone, PC, laptop, or tablet. Once you do, a VPN will encrypt your entire traffic and protect your data. How? All your search requests, messages you send, videos you watch, files you download, and any other Internet activities will move through an encrypted tunnel while connected to a remote VPN server.
Besides, premium VPN applications like VeePN provide many additional privacy and security features to protect users from different cyber threats, such as man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, phishing websites, malware-infected links, scammy emails, and more.
Let’s look at the main specifics distinguishing a paid VPN solution from a free browser extension.
The specifics of paid VPN apps
- It has a full-fledged user interface
The VeePN application is designed to perfectly fit your device. Even if you’ve never used VPNs before, you can set up and run the app in a few simple clicks. All you need to do is sign up, download the app, and install it on your phone or laptop. And there it is – now you can turn your VPN on and browse the web securely. All features, servers, and advanced settings are easy to manage and control. You don’t need to be a tech guru to use such an application.
- It’s available for various devices and operating systems
You can install apps like VeePN on any device running the following operating systems: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. VeePN can even be installed on your Wi-Fi router (but of course, in this case, you cannot benefit from a convenient user interface). If you need a VPN to stream media, there are solutions for Apple TV, Smart TV, Android TV, and Fire TV. And if you want to protect your online gaming experience, you can benefit from a VPN for Xbox and PlayStation.
- It covers your entire Internet traffic
The main difference between a paid VPN app and a free extension is that the app protects not only your browser-level activities, but the entire system. No matter how many browsers, applications, and other services connected to the Internet you’re using. The app will encrypt all of your traffic, leaving no chance for hackers and snoopers to compromise your activities.
- It provides access to thousands of VPN servers
All of your traffic is rerouted through the chosen VPN server. This allows you to hide your actual IP address. Instead, third parties will only see the VPN server’s IP. With the VeePN app, you can opt for over 2,500 servers across 89 locations in 60 countries.
- It has more powerful features to benefit from
With the VeePN app, you get access to all the essential VPN features and even some additional perks. Let’s take a look.
- NetGuard is a powerful ad-blocking tool that also protects you from malware and third-party monitoring.
- Kill Switch protects your data by interrupting your access to the Internet if the VPN connection suddenly fails.
- Double VPN enhances your security by adding an extra layer of encryption to your traffic.
- Split Tunneling allows you to exclude some websites and apps from the encrypted tunnel if you need them to work faster (due to the encryption process, a VPN might slightly slow down your connection speed).
- DNS leak protection can prevent potential DNS leaks that reveal some of your data to your ISP (Internet service provider).
- It allows you to change VPN protocols
The VeePN app provides reliable AES-256 encryption, the most powerful solution to date. Moreover, you can manage VPN protocols in your app’s settings. These are rules that define how stable, secure, and fast your VPN connection is. Different VPN protocols might be more or less suitable for various needs, such as streaming content, gaming online, or bypassing Internet limitations. VeePN allows you to choose from the three most modern and efficient VPN protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard®, and IKEv2/IPSec.
- It’s fast and reliable
If you need stronger protection that doesn’t compromise connection speed, the VeePN app can handle even the most traffic-intensive activities.
Now you know what you’ll pay for if you choose a paid VPN service. And now it’s time to talk about the free alternative offered by VeePN – the VPN browser extension.
What is a free VPN extension?
A VPN browser extension is a lightweight version of a VPN you can add to your web browser. Just like an application, the extension will run your traffic through a remote server and hide it from prying eyes. However, this applies to your activities within a single browser. Other Internet activities are left unencrypted.
The limited version of VeePN for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge is free. However, make sure not to confuse it with free VPN services. Unlike reputable VPNs like VeePN, such apps and extensions may do more harm than good to your cybersecurity. Although some free VPNs are relatively safe, they are often inefficient and lack some essential functionality. Moreover, there are many fake VPNs. Such software may collect your private data and then sell it to third parties it was supposed to protect you from. For more detailed information, you can read our recent blog post comparing free and paid VPN services.
Now that we cleared up the potential confusion let’s explore the main specifics and features you can access with a free VPN browser extension.
The specifics of free VPN extensions
- It only works within your web browser
Again, the effect of a free VPN extension is limited to a single browser. Unlike the VeePN application, it won’t cover the rest of your traffic. So your activities in other browsers and apps will remain unprotected.
- It has a limited number of servers to choose from
The free version of the VeePN browser extension provides access to up to 10 servers in 6 countries. It may be enough to change your IP. But for more specific activities, it’s best to upgrade your plan.
- It has fewer features than the app
The browser extension has several strong features to opt for. In particular, these are:
- AdBlock, an analog of NetGuard that blocks intrusive ads and protects you from malware and third-party trackers
- Smart Location allows you to manage which websites can access your real IP address and which ones will only see the VPN server’s IP.
- Exclude List is a lightweight version of the app’s Split Tunneling feature. It allows you to exclude certain websites from the encrypted tunnel.
There are even more functions available for free VeePN extension users. For example, WebRTC Blocker prevents IP leakage during real-time communication. Some other handy features block tracking social media widgets and buttons, remove “Accept cookies” notifications and pop-ups, and more.
That said, is a paid VPN more secure? Of course it is, as several powerful tools, such as Kill Switch and Double VPN, are unavailable to free extension users.
- It’s not as fast as the VPN app
Although a free VPN extension doesn’t slow down your Internet speed significantly, it may not be a great choice, especially for activities requiring higher connectivity speed, like, for instance, online gaming.
Now, let’s make a round-up summarizing the comparison of a paid VPN app and a free browser extension to get a better picture of how things look like.
Paid VPN app vs. free browser extension. The round-up
|Free VPN browser extension||Paid VPN app|
|The level of protection||Limited to a single browser||Covers the entire Internet traffic|
|The number of server locations||Up to 10 locations in 6 countries||89 locations in 60 countries|
|No Logs policy||Yes||Yes|
|Ad blocking feature||Yes (AdBlock)||Yes (NetGuard)|
|Split Tunneling||Yes (Exclude List)||Yes|
|Access to VPN protocols||No||Yes|
As you see, although both solutions are efficient, a paid VPN application has much more to offer. Basically, with a premium version, you get better online security and more privacy features, enhanced connection speed, and a vast number of servers to choose from.
So, when is it enough to use a free VPN extension, and when you can’t do without a paid app? Let’s find out.
When it’s OK to use a free VPN extension
Let’s look at the situations when a free VPN extension will effectively cover your needs.
- You need quick access to the basic VPN features. If you need to instantly alter your IP address and enhance your cybersecurity while surfing the web, a free browser extension will come in handy. It will take you a single click to hide your activities from your ISP, ad agencies, and other potential snoopers.
- You need to access geo-limited content via your browser. As mentioned above, the number of VPN servers available with the free browser extension is limited. However, if you don’t have any preferable location when reaching a geo-limited website or service, a browser extension might suit your needs.
- The connection speed is not your main priority. If you go online to scroll your Facebook feed or shop online, you may not need top-tier connectivity. That is where a free VPN extension will likely be enough. However, for more intensive activities, it’s better to subscribe to a dedicated VPN app.
When you need a paid VPN app
Now let’s see when it’s a good idea to switch from a free extension to a premium plan and install a dedicated app on your device.
- You’re dealing with sensitive data. Some activities, such as money transactions and crypto trading, require a more advanced approach to cybersecurity. Thanks to some extra features, such as NetGuard and Double VPN, a paid VPN app will take your safety to the next level.
- You’re visiting a country with limited Internet freedom. Online censorship is a hot topic today, as many governments limit users’ access to certain websites. And those are often quite popular services you probably use every day. For instance, when visiting China, you won’t be able to enter Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, and so on. Censors use advanced techniques, such as the Great Firewall and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), to block restricted websites and monitor your traffic. To overcome those limitations, you will need the capacities of a full-fledged VPN solution.
- You need to encrypt your traffic across all browsers and apps. If you truly value your Internet privacy, encrypting your data within a single browser may not be enough. Third parties can still track many of your activities performed outside the browser. Besides, malicious third-party apps can monitor your location, attack your device with malware-infected pop-ups, and even spy on your phone. From this perspective, a dedicated VPN app protecting your data at all levels can become an essential component of your security toolkit.
- You want to improve your gaming experience. As already said, online gaming requires the highest connection speed possible. An upgraded VPN plan ensures a more seamless gaming experience without compromising your security. Moreover, when using a VPN, you can avoid lags and even stop Internet throttling often imposed by Internet providers.
Looking for a trustworthy VPN service? – Try VeePN!
So what’s the bottom line of our comparison? A free VPN browser extension may be suitable for regular Internet activities. It provides the essential functions and increases your security on the browser level. In contrast, a paid VPN application is the best choice for those striving for protection at all levels. It offers even more advanced features, servers in many different locations worldwide, and top-tier connectivity.
Luckily, VeePN provides both solutions. You can try our service with a 30-day money-back guarantee and secure your data on the preferred device, platform, or browser.
Is VeePN free?
VeePN offers a free extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers. However, note that this is a lightweight version of our product. While powerful and efficient, it has fewer features than the premium VeePN application and provides access to a limited number of VPN servers.
So if you want to take your Internet privacy and security to the next level, you can upgrade your plan and try the VeePN app with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our dedicated VPN solution is available for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. You can even install VeePN on your TV, game console, or Wi-Fi router.
What is a free VPN?
A free virtual private network (VPN) is software that is supposed to encrypt your traffic, alter your IP address, and protect your data while surfing the web – all for no charge. However, many free VPNs appear to be either ineffective or dangerous. Some even steal users’ data and sell it to make a profit. And if we compare commercial VPN tunnels vs. free ones, paid services provide more reliable encryption. So if you want to use a VPN for free, it’s better to opt for a limited version of a reputable service, such as VeePN’s browser extension. For more details, check out this article.
What is the difference between a free VPN and a paid VPN?
While you don’t have to pay for a free VPN with your money, its real price can be even higher. The risk of a free VPN is that such software often compromises users’ privacy by collecting their data. In contrast, a VPN service that offers paid subscription plans is much more reliable. Besides, many reputable services, including VeePN, provide free lightweight versions of their solutions. For details, read this article.
How do free VPNs make money?
A free VPN doesn’t get money directly from users. However, it may take advantage of your private data to make a profit. The thing is that if a VPN service doesn’t follow a transparent No Logs policy, it can collect information about users and then sell it to third parties, such as marketing agencies, corporations, researchers, and so on.
Is it worth getting a paid VPN?
If you do value your Internet privacy and want to protect your online activities at all levels, it’s definitely worth it. A powerful VPN app will encrypt your entire traffic, leaving no chance for hackers and snoopers to compromise it. Besides, if you opt for a powerful solution like VeePN, you get access to multiple advanced features and thousands of VPN servers across many locations worldwide. Read this article to learn more.