With free VPNs becoming more and more popular, to research conducted by Hola studies how effective these services are for their protection and to what extent they will be needed in the future.
VPN software has become quite mainstream with many users around the world using it for various reasons. Some people just want some protection from cybercriminals, others are paranoid that the government is tracking their every move. Overall, VPNs are a worthwhile investment as they are usually not that expensive and provide users with a comfortable degree of online privacy which they can then use as they wish. Online privacy is generally hard to come by these days, with every website trying to track your data through necessary cookies. Third-party advertisers have used Facebook and Google as starting points, so it’s nice not to come across weirdly specific ads every now and then.
A major talking point throughout Hola’s research article is geopolitical interference on the internet. Some countries around the world have certain forms of online censorship that affect the average citizen’s browsing. China and the United Arab Emirates are prime examples, with many publicly accessible platforms having already been banned in these countries. In fact, Hola lists China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam among the biggest censorship violators; naturally much to the chagrin of local internet users (i.e. everyone these days). Hola, which itself is a free VPN service, conducted a survey for the publication, which found that 82% of the sample population sees VPN usage increasing in the coming years. Among Chinese respondents to this poll, 93% shared the same sentiment, expressing concerns about accelerating censorship in the coming times.
TechRadar, also writing about Hola’s research, cited its top picks for free VPN software; ProtonVPN, Privado, and Hide.me were among the most popular and well-regarded names that popped up. It’s always good to do your research before using free VPN software; it is impossible to know if and when you will accidentally encounter malware.
Illustration by Vectorjuice/freepik
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