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VPNs offer a great deal to conceal your online identity. They hide your traffic in such a manner that not a piece of information can be intercepted by ISPs, government authorities, or even miscreant hackers. Needless to say, VPN ensures that you are 100% secure when surfing the web.
But, wait! Do all VPNs ensure you get 100 % security? Do all VPNs promise that you will have no qualms in accessing Netflix libraries that are not available in your country? Every other VPN makes such promises, but only the genuine ones keep up to these.
You must be wondering what we mean by that? Well! Scams are being conducted in the name of VPNs. Not only do these VPN scams can rip you off your hard-earned money but as opposed to a genuine VPN, they also put your online (and offline) security in grave jeopardy.
Also Read: Is Your VPN Blocked By Your Router?
Common VPN Scams To Look Out For
1: Free VPNs – Why Are They Free?
A popular saying goes there are no free lunches. It holds true for VPNs. And, trust us such VPN scams are on the loose. A 2016 CSIRO study reported that out of 10 VPNs infected by malware, 6 were free.
You might instantly sign up for a free VPN thinking that there are no charges, but ponder on how they will then make money? The answer is – through you. Free VPNs collect your data and sell it off to third parties.
Quite recently, a free VPN was caught on Google Play Store and it was injected with malware. The worst part is that it had over 100000 installs already. The event tells us that at times free VPNs pose themselves to be so credible that they even get through Google Play Store.
Beware! It is always better to sign up for a reputed VPN even if it means investing some money because then you can rest assured that none of your traffic will be logged, your computer or device will stay malware-free and your data will be encrypted.
2: VPN Offering Lifetime Worth of Subscription
Just because you see a meager price tag for a lifetime subscription on a VPN, doesn’t mean it is something you can invest your hard-earned money in. Putting it in simple terms, a VPN vendor incurs recurring costs to operate global servers that are fast, safe, and secure. On top of that most VPN providers even have robust standalone apps. Do you think that by just taking money from you once, they can bear recurring operational costs? No!
Secondly, ask yourself – when a VPN exclaims “Lifetime subscription” whose lifetime are they referring to yours or theirs. Here a VPN provider might cancel the so-called “lifetime subscription” after a year or two or shut itself down and poof away. As a matter of partial scam, if a VPN offers a lifetime subscription, they might provide with wonderful speed and a large number of servers for instance, but then later reduce bandwidth or downgrade the number of servers.
However, not all VPNs offering lifetime subscriptions are scams. For instance, Windscribe, a reputed VPN provider offered a lifetime deal for a limited period to get maximum exposure.
We’d urge you that whenever you see a “Lifetime Subscription” tag, read the VPN provider’s business model thoroughly.
Also Read: What Does My ISP See When I Use A VPN
3: Fake VPNs – VPNs That Don’t Walk The Talk
As genuine VPNs are rising, so are the fake ones. These VPNs are VPNs just for the namesake. They offer no VPN services – they won’t encrypt your information, they will log your data, sell this data to third parties, and might even inject viruses into your PC. In the past, there have been VPNs that used customer’s devices to produce a botnet that helped others feed on your bandwidth for free.
So, what is it that they are asking for? Just so that they can rope you in, take all your money and vanish off. Some fake VPNs even go to the extent of getting access to your bank account details, your Wi-Fi credentials or data, SSN, and a lot more.
How do you discern a genuine VPN from a fake one?
A genuine VPN is transparent about its protocols, services, features, and even encryption systems. There are no contradictions or inconsistencies in their terms and conditions. You might have to run a fine-tooth comb but that’s okay knowing the fact that a VPN can easily make or break your online security.
4: No Logs Policy – Check What’s Logged and What’s Not
Not exactly a scam, oftentimes even the most reputable VPN vendors promote “No-logs policy” as their VPNs feature. Consider a VPN that has a headquarter in a country that is a part of five-, nine- or 14-eyes. It can be presumed that at some point or the other, government authorities can tap into a user’s online traffic.
So, the question arises – even if a VPN, that for example, is located in the above-mentioned country states that it has a “no-logs” policy, how can it log users’ data? They may keep logs of the protocol used by the user, the connection stamps i.e. when the user established an internet connection, and even an IP address.
5: High Price, Heavy Claims
Read the two words in the title and the kind of scam we are talking about starts to take shape. Some VPNs charge oodles from their users. They substantiate their high price tag with claims which are mostly gimmicky, impossible, or too good to be true. We have already discussed the “Lifetime subscription scam”, apart from that they may offer connectivity on unlimited devices, no logs policy, etc.
6: Dead VPNs With Sites That Are Alive
Some fraud VPNs try to mint money from VPN services that have already shut off their services long back. How can you stop falling prey to one such VPN?
Whenever deciding to buy a VPN, first don’t be enamored by flashy web pages on a website. Before you even exit out of the checkout page, make sure that you go through the customer reviews. You may come across customers who after having paid for the service, found no servers or couldn’t get connected in the first place.
Looking For A VPN Service? Here Are Some Honest Options –
We have compiled a list of some of the best VPN services across a variety of platforms. These VPNs are known for their features and transparency.
If you are looking for a genuine and feature-rich VPN to safeguard your online information Windows, you can consider Systweak VPN. Let’s weigh its pros and cons –
4500+ servers in 53+ countries across 200+ locations
Supports OpenVPN, TCP/ UDP, and Smart DNS protocols
Kill switch terminates your internet session if VPN drops
AES -256- Military-grade encryption
DNS leak protection
Price: US$ 9.95 per month or US$ 71.40 per year
Special deal: Get 12 months + 3 months free
30 days money-back guarantee
Available only for Windows
Occasional connection drops when trying to connect to few servers
How does the Systweak VPN work?
Download Systweak VPN
Review on Systweak VPN
- Download and install Systweak VPN
- Sign-up using credentials you have received in email
- Select the server you want to connect to
- Toggle the On/ Off switch to the right
How To Avoid VPN Scams?
We’ll quickly tell how you can avoid VPN scams –
- It is always recommended to opt for a VPN that If you haven’t heard the name of a VPN, it’s better that you first look for the reviews conducted by experts
- Check if the VPN whose service you are deciding to opt for has gotten into any data breaches recently
- Always buy a VPN subscription from the main website and not from a third-party website. Furthermore, check the address bar for the padlock and if the VPN vendor’s website starts with an “HTTPS”
- When searching for reviews, make sure that you don’t just look at the reviews on the vendor’s website, but try and gather as much insight as you can about the VPN
- It is better to steer clear of VPNs based in five-, nine- and 14-eyes alliance countries
- Before investing in a lifetime deal, make sure you go through the vendor’s terms and conditions and their business model
Steer Clear of VPN Scams
No doubt VPNs are a great tool to have when surfing the web but what’s even more important is that you don’t fall for false gimmicks and scams and repent later. If you found the blog helpful, do share it with your friends who are looking for VPNs. For more tech-related info keep reading Tweak Library.
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