Disclosure: Tech Daily is reader-supported. If you make a purchase or sign up for a service through our links, we may earn a commission (at no cost to you).
Surfshark – Best Budget Friendly VPN
- 3,200 servers in 65 countries
- Unlimited devices on one subscription
- Ad blocker technology
- As low as $2.21 per month (USD)
- Risk free 30 day money back guarantee
Surfshark Reviews and Ratings
Rated 4.3 stars out of 5 by over 6,500 customers on Trustpilot
Although Surfshark is not a free VPN, it is by far one of the most affordable providers out there.
Their low cost combined with the ability to connect unlimited devices on your plan, provides customers with the greatest bang for their buck.
We do not recommend using a free VPN provider as they don’t tend to work very well and can do more harm than good for your privacy (we cover risks of a free VPN in depth below).
Although Surf offers their services at a lower price than most competitors, their technology is top notch and they take their customer’s privacy very seriously.
Surfshark follows a very strict “no-logs policy,” meaning that the company will not monitor or collect any of your data.
Free VPN Canada
VPNs are one of the most searched for apps online.
With millions of installations, VPNs are useful tools for safeguarding your privacy and data.
With corporations on a feeding frenzy to collect your digital footprint, you need to protect yourself against online threats to your safety and digital identity.
VPNs come in various formats from dozens of companies.
The best companies charge an affordable monthly fee, and you can often find deals online for deep discounts on annual and multi-year packages.
However, despite VPNs being reasonably priced, there is still a huge demand for free VPN services.
Why pay for something if you can get it for free?
The reality is free VPNs are nothing like a paid service.
You get what you pay for, and using a free VPN service might even end up actually costing you money.
This post will examine the benefits and drawbacks of using a free VPN service in Canada.
6 Reasons Why a Free VPN is Not Really Free
Do you think a free VPN is really free?
Here’s what the fine print in the terms and conditions isn’t showing you.
1. Safety Is a Concern
There are dozens of free VPN providers.
However, there’s very little due diligence available on most of these companies or the app itself.
Many free VPNs come with technology, developed by firms with no or poor reputations.
Therefore, using a free VPN from an unverified company is like giving your data away for free to a third-party.
Free VPN providers can collect your data and do anything they like with it.
Most free VPN providers load their platform with ads.
You might find annoying pop-ups appearing from time-to-time or banner ads on your screen.
Considering most people use a VPN to get away from ad tracking and increase privacy, adding adverts to the platform seems counterintuitive.
If that’s not bad enough, you might be unaware of other programs running in the background.
These programs push ad-serving trackers into the browser’s media-reading capabilities.
The trackers monitor and report your digital footprint and all online activity to advertisers.
3. Slow Connection Speeds
Paid VPN services might slow your bandwidth somewhat, depending on the latency and ping of the network.
However, with a free VPN, you can expect throttled speeds.
There’s no incentive for them to improve or upgrade the service if you’re not paying for it.
You’ll get the most basic VPN service available as they want to use the least amount of resources possible to provide you with a VPN.
4. Some Free VPNs come with Malware
As mentioned, many free VPNs are developed by relatively unknown companies.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if there are bugs and even worse, malware in the software.
Buggy VPNs cause a cascading effect in your system and network that can lead to a potential security breach.
Hackers look for chances to exploit these problems and steal your data.
They might even leave malware or viruses on your system.
Using glitchy apps to safeguard your data doesn’t seem like a pragmatic solution to the problem.
5. Free VPNs Track You
When was the last time you purged the cookies from your browser?
Chances are you have hundreds or maybe thousands of tracking cookies slowing your browser performance.
Free VPN developers embed third-party tracking in their software.
The trackers collect your data as you browse online, and the VPN company sells it to advertisers to make money.
One of the major reasons for using a VPN in the first place is to avoid this exact practice.
6. Free VPNs Won’t Unblock Netflix
One of the useful features of a paid VPN service is using it to unblock geo-restricted content.
If you’re in Canada and want to access Hulu or ESPN+, a VPN helps you work around geographical content and access restrictions.
However, with a free VPN, you can’t get around geo-regional blocks.
There’s no free service that offers this function.
Some of the top-rated VPNs may struggle to break geo-blocks on some of the platforms, so you can forget about using a free VPN to bypass these region restrictions
How Do Free VPN Providers Make Money?
Free VPN providers have to make money somehow, and they do so by selling your data.
The VPN provider collects your data and sells it to third-party companies, such as advertising companies, who use it to serve you tailored ads.
Most people are unaware of what’s going on behind the scenes when using free VPNs.
Therefore, it’s hard to call out a VPN provider without having a security expert analyze the product.
If you don’t have technical knowledge of VPNs, you could end up making a costly mistake.
Is a Free VPN Worth It?
After reading through the top six problems with a free VPN service, you need to ask yourself if a free VPN is worth it.
If you sit back and consider the tracking, data harvesting, and other shady practices involved with free VPNs, it’s pretty clear that the cons outweigh the pros.
Reliable VPNs have become relatively cheap, so paying a few dollars a month to a reputable company that’s been vetted and follows appropriate policies is a better idea than moving forward with a free VPN.
There are definitely risks associated with using a free VPN, and generally it’s not worth it to take the chance.
4 Reasons Why You Should Pay for a VPN
VPN products might cost money, but it’s usually an affordable monthly fee.
If you take a two-year or three-year bundle deal, you could end up paying less than $3 per month for your VPN – that’s less than Starbucks Grande Latte in most cities.
2. Ad-Free Experience
With a premium VPN package from a reputable provider, there’s no need to worry about in-app advertising, banners, or pop-ups.
You get an ad-free experience, and you know no one is collecting your data to sell to advertising agencies.
3. No Tracking
A paid VPN service with a credible reputation does not track your data online, and they don’t keep logs of your sessions.
Therefore, there is no tracking of your online activity.
It’s critical to select a service provider with a “No-logs” policy.
4. Premium Safety and Security Online
If you like shopping for deals online or completing your banking using their online app, a reliable VPN is important.
A VPN creates an end-to-end encryption between your device and the banking or shopping server.
Hackers can’t intercept your data when you’re using this encrypted connection.
As a result, your account numbers, passwords, and PINs stay safe from prying eyes.
No-one can see your IP address, and there’s no way anyone can trace your location.
Benefits of Using a Paid VPN Service
1. Enhanced Security and Privacy
A paid VPN service is different from a free provider.
You get a guaranteed encrypted end-to-end connection that’s impenetrable by third parties.
The encrypted connection ensures hackers can’t view or steal your data.
That’s especially important if you’re working with your personal, sensitive information.
With a VPN, no-one can see your IP address.
The system flips your IP through a series of proxy IPs, and none of them are your real location.
The best VPN companies operate server locations in countries across the globe, giving you local access to services from a foreign location.
A VPN protects your privacy from prying eyes.
2. Access Geo-Blocked Content
Canada misses out on plenty of the best entertainment due to licensing agreements.
With a VPN, you can access geo-blocked content from your PC, laptop, or mobile device.
As mentioned, companies like Netflix make it challenging to get around geo-blocks on their platform.
Only the best paid VPN services have the protocol required to work around these controls.
3. Protect Your Data from Hackers
There’s no question that cybercrime is on the rise.
With more people working from home, hackers are using the opportunity to exploit loopholes in network security.
With a VPN, you can protect your network from bad actors, keeping your important work and client data secure.
On an individual level, a VPN helps protect your system from attacks that lead to identity theft and online financial crime.
A VPN protects your computer and network from hackers, making you “invisible” online.
Ransomware and malware are serious problems for internet users.
However, with a VPN, there’s less chance of your system experiencing a breach.
If you’re using a public Wi-Fi service at a coffee shop, you have no idea if a hacker is sitting somewhere in the store intercepting your data.
4. Better Gaming Speeds
One of the most irritating things about being a gamer is choosing an ISP.
All ISPs promise lightning-fast connections and the best speeds.
However, when they see you playing online games, they tend to throttle your bandwidth.
Bandwidth costs the ISP money, and they don’t want you taking up increased network capacity.
Therefore, they throttle your account, and your gaming speed slows, or your video starts buffering.
With a VPN, your activities are kept private from your ISP and they can’t tell your gaming.
Therefore, they’re less likely to throttle your account.
To learn more about the benefits of a VPN, you can check out our comprehensive article which covers all of the potential uses for a VPN.
Start with a Risk-Free Trial
Considering VPNs are affordable, there’s no need to take the risk of using a free VPN provider.
If you sign up for a two or three-year subscription, it drives down the monthly costs.
Some companies offer free trials of their VPN.
However, most paid VPN services offer you a money-back guarantee on your purchase.
Therefore, you usually have 30-days to try the VPN to see if you like it.
If you have problems with speed or access, you can claim your money back within 30 days.
The guarantee period varies from provider to provider, with some companies only offering the guarantee for the first week.
Regardless of the length of the guarantee, you get a risk-free trial of the VPN provider.
If they don’t meet the level of service you were hoping for, you have to option of requesting a refund and finding another provider that will better suit your needs.