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What is the difference between free and paid VPN providers?

Hailey Avatar By: Hailey | Last updated August 15, 2020

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As VPN services rose into popularity, the people within the digital era came to understand their importance to guide secured Internet usage. Time goes by, and its name inch by inch paves a way towards recognition, and now at this moment, it enjoyed its position as one of the way to get access over contents worldwide with no hesitations.  We review all the top paid and free vpns in our listings and it is no surprise that you get what you pay for when it comes to VPNs. We have found that while the free ones do offer some benefits that come with using a VPN, they usually end up not having all the features or the quality of features that the paid VPNs provide.

As competition gets heated between VPN providers and the impact of features offered has been useful, services are split into free and paid ones

Notable Differences When the VPN service is paid

  1. Guaranteed high-grade quality - Depending on your VPN service, expect a high-quality feature set that comes only when your service is being paid. One example is the server load. Low-grade servers are often susceptible to congestion and low load rate. This can cause slow internet connections. These kinds of servers are usually offered by free VPN services.

    2. The effectiveness of features - A VPN service, when paid, will ensure the best efficacy of its features. Unlike free VPN services which only offer basic features, the paid ones add other advanced highlights that are needed for extra convenience and security.

    3. Free VPNs are not a forever service - These free VPN services do not last for a long time. They are only offered within 7 or 10 days. After that, you have a choice to pay and continue the service or to end it. By paying for the best VPN service and not subscribing to free trials you save time.

    4. Security protocols used – Security is one of the main features offered by VPNs. However, security protocols offered vary between a paid and a free VPN service. The majority of VPN services give you a PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol which now seems to be outdated, while paid VPN services offer a high level of encryption such as the 256-bit AES protocol which is also used for military intelligence and government data.

    5. Reliability - When we hear the word ‘free’ as a wise and rational digital consumer, we should know some of its services are mediocre or unpromising compared to the paid ones. Some VPN services say they offer this feature, but it lacks or does not function at all. When we pay for a reliable VPN service, they help us with everything we need to know and to do. They should guide us by giving courses, help centers, and offering the features that are functioning well.

How do paid VPNs do their pricing?

IPVanish Pricing Tier



Free Trial



Special Offer

20% off for first billing of plan






$8.99/mo or $35.96 per year



$6.49/mo or $77.88 per year (paid every year)


Notable features include unlimited bandwidth, an AES-type security protocol, anonymous torrenting, censored apps & websites access, multi-device connections (up to 10), and many more.