Madskip (CC0), Pixabay

If you are someone who is on the internet most of the time for a lot of reasons, you may have come across the term “VPN” at least once. You may have even used one already at least once. To most people, a VPN is something that gives them more confidence and a better feeling of being secure and safe online. To others, a VPN is the same thing as internet freedom, a way of “beating the system” kind of trick that allows them to cross barriers and restrictions as if they are not there in the first place.

People use a VPN for a lot of things online. Some use it just to be “safe” and “secure” online, some use it for information access, and some use it to ensure their security on apps and ascites where they need to input personal and financial information, such as in an online casino or when shopping online.

But does a VPN make you ”safe?” Before you get to answer that question, you must first understand the basics of what a VPN is, how it works, and how not all services are the same. Here are the most important things you need to know about using a VPN.

How does a VPN work?

When you connect to the internet, your information gets revealed such as your ISP, your MAC address, and your IP address. If you play on an online betting site, your location is determined through this set of information that you automatically share with the app or site. A virtual private network or VPN creates a wall between you and the site or app you are connecting to by routing your connection through their proxy servers to make it seem that your connection is coming from another place and not yours.

There are many types of VPN services, but there are at least two major ways to categorize them–the free ones and the paid ones. Most people opt for the free ones, but does it deliver the same promise? Does it come with hidden risks and dangers?

What makes a “free” VPN different?

As mentioned above, one of the reasons you would use a VPN like VPNSurfers is to keep your personal and financial information safe from prying eyes on the internet, such as when gambling online. However, if you use a “free” VPN, you may not only have that but even end up having your precious info compromised.

Numerous studies have already proven that a lot of VPN services claiming to be free have a secret malware that is hidden deep within their apps that can steal and exploit your personal information. Other, on the other hand, use your personal information and sell them to data brokers–for ad targeting and profiling. So, you may not pay for the services you are getting with your money, but you are still paying for it in some other ways that you would surely not like.

Final thoughts

Using a VPN is not illegal on its own. However, it can be illegal if you are trying to use it for otherwise illegal activities–such as accessing sites and services that are otherwise country- or region-restricted.

Also, if you are serious about using one for your online activities, especially when there is real money involved, consider getting premium services from reputable companies rather than going to a shady free app. That way, not only do you have more confidence when it comes to your safety, you also rest assured that you are getting the level of service that you deserve, and you need it.