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Virtual Private Network Showdown

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Paid Versus Free VPNs

Many internet users want to improve their online privacy. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are one of the best ways of doing just that. A VPN is a type of digital tool that you can typically download as a computer software or mobile app. They increase privacy through two main methods.

Free vs Paid


a VPN can change or mask your IP address with one of their own

Doing so increases your anonymity because the new IP address does not contain identifying information about you. That means websites can’t collect your data or build profiles about you.

Encrypted Tunnel


VPNs encrypt your internet connection with a secure tunnel.

The term “tunnel” simply describes an internet connection where the only two parties who can see activity over that connection are you (the user) and the website you visit. This prevents third-parties with prying eyes from seeing potentially sensitive information.

There’s no doubt that a VPN is a crucial tool to increase privacy in a time when user data is one of the hottest commodities on the market. Thankfully, there are dozens of options on the market, some of which are free, while others require a monthly subscription. However, not all VPNs are created equal. Although the free options may seem tempting, the vast majority of them lack the basic features that make a VPN private, secure, and functional.

What’s Wrong with a Free VPN?

Normally, the word “free” is a delightful surprise. Free pizza, free furniture, free car. But, sometimes, there’s a catch: ​why​ is the pizza, furniture, and car free? The same notion applies to VPNs. Sure, it may be free, but what’s the catch? Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to free VPNs that should make users question whether or not they’re worth using. These are just a few:

Data Collection
  • Data Collection​​

    ​​Normally, when you use a VPN, you do so in order to protect your privacy and data online. However, many free virtual private networks remain free because ​they​ collect your data, all while claiming to protect it. This data includes your browsing activity, usernames, passwords, and maybe even your banking info. Then, once they have your information, they can sell it to third-parties at will. Is that the protection you want, all to save a buck?

Usage Limits
  • Use Limits​

    ​​A lot of free VPNs only give you a small amount of data to use with their service. The amounts can vary, from megabytes to gigabytes. However, no matter the amount, they all have one thing in common: the VPN gives you a taste of private browsing then takes it away. If you want more, you have to pay for it. So why not choose a reputable paid service in the first place?

  • Ads

    ​​​​Many free VPNs are free because they use ads to earn money. At best, ads are an annoyance that affect the experience of using a service. At worst, they’re so inconvenient that the VPN forces you into paying for an account to get rid of them.

Slow Servers
  • Slow Servers with Little Choice​

    ​​Some of the most popular VPN services earn their status because of the range of servers they offer. Many have hundreds of servers in dozens of countries, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs. In addition, their servers are likely to be fast and can access any websites blocked due to geo-restrictions or censorship. Unfortunately, a free VPN is less likely to have any of these features. Their server choices are often limited, slow, and unable to unblock content.

Weak Encryption
  • Poor Encryption​​

    ​​​​In order to be secure and private, a VPN must use up-to-date encryption protocols. However, these protocols can be expensive to implement so many free VPN services choose to use inferior options. Sure, your activity ​might​ ​be secure with these protocols, but it also might not. Is the risk worth taking?

Poor Customer Service
  • Minimal Customer Service​

    ​​​Another shortcoming of free VPNs tends to come in the form of their customer service. Many of these services lack a formal customer service team so user problems are rarely dealt with in a timely manner, causing you more hassle and frustration than the service is worth.

No Trust
  • They Can’t Be Trusted

    ​​​​Even if you use a free VPN, you can never trust them with complete certainty. Isn’t the trust of a paid service and peace of mind worth the cost?

What Are the Top Benefits of a Paid VPN?

In general, free VPN services are too good to be true. Whether they secretly collect user data or simply don’t protect it very well, their clients risk their privacy with every use. Although some things are better free, a VPN isn’t one of them. Fortunately, paid VPNs make up for the cost by coming packed with features worth every cent. Just a few of the services offered by HotBot VPN include:

No Logs
  • A Strict No-Logs Promise

    ​We take your privacy as seriously as we take our own. Because of this, we promise never to collect any sensitive data about you or your activities on our service. We only collect the bare minimum of data needed to provide you with our service, all with your consent and full knowledge.

  • More Than 2000 Servers to Choose From

    ​​​Our VPN has servers in almost every country of the world, allowing you to pick one that best suits your needs. In addition, our servers offer fast speeds and can unlock geo-locked and censored content with the click of a button.

  • Military-Grade Encryption

    ​Our service employs some of the world’s best encryption, with the military-grade AES-256 encryption protocol. The HotBot VPN team also works tirelessly to implement the latest encryption technology to keep you safe, always.

Multiple Devices
  • Multi-Device Use

    ​​​​​Another perk of subscribing to our service is that you can use HotBot on six devices simultaneously. You can protect your entire family for the low price of one account.

Customer Service
  • Fast Customer Support

    ​​Many free VPNs offer the bare minimum of customer service, if they offer it at all. HotBot VPN, on the other hand, has a dedicated team of professionals standing by to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Kill Switch
  • Safe Kill Switch

    ​​​​​​​If your connection to HotBot VPN unexpectedly drops, we still have your privacy covered. Our app has a built-in kill switch to halt any incoming or outgoing traffic to your device so your information remains safe and secure.

  • P2P Support

    ​HotBot VPN allows you to easily use peer-to-peer file sharing sites while protecting your identity from fellow users.

Best Price
  • One of the Best Prices on the Market

    Some VPN services can be expensive. However, HotBot VPN’s subscriptions start at just $2.99 for an extended plan term.

Is it Worth Paying for a VPN?

Is it worth it?
  • Overall, it is ABSOLUTELY worth the cost to pay for a VPN.

    ​Of course, we’re a little bit biased in our answer. However, even if you choose not to use HotBot VPN specifically, we ​highly​ recommend using any reputable, paid VPN service on the market. Although the word “free” is certainly enticing, free VPN services often remain so at the expense of you, the user. Their operations are paid for with your data, which they promised to protect. In addition, free services lack features and support networks, which improve the overall experience. So what do you say? Can you afford ​not​ to pay for the best privacy tool on the internet?

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