Are free VPNs safe to use?

There is a flood of free VPN/Proxy apps on play store. But should you get one of them on your phone? Well, not always.

First of all, ask yourself if you really need a VPN. A VPN routes your internet activity through another computer located elsewhere. The websites you browse think that the middleware computer is the actual one. This may help you watch movies from an inaccessible site. In technical terms, we call the middleware computer “vpn server”. Your device is called “client”.

What is an IP address?

Like you need a road to go somewhere in real life similarly, you need an internet protocol (IP) to go somewhere (access services) on the Internet. When your device connects to the Internet through an ISP, you are given an IP address.

Can my IP address be used to find out my home address?

No. IP address can only be used to find your ISP’s location. Since, your ISP is in your city, an IP can be used to tell which city your device is in. There maybe a hundred thousand devices connected to that ISP.

Can my ISP track me?

For HTTP websites, the ISP can see the full url of the webpages you visit. For HTTPS website like this one, the ISP can only see the webserver’s IP and domain (example.com). Also, if you submit any text or password to an HTTPS site, ISPs can’t see it since its encrypted.

If you use your ISP’s DNS server instead of a secure DNS server (Cloudflare DNS, OpenDNS, Google DNS), they can log all the domain names (e.g. google.com, y99.in, etc) you have been surfing.

What information can my ISP see when I am on a VPN?

When you use a VPN to visit websites, ISP can only see that you are connecting to a VPN server. The website names, urls, content you see or send will be mathematically ciphered.

Technically, you do not need a VPN if you are going to be on HTTPS websites. However, if you route traffic through a VPN, ISP cant even know the names of websites you visit.

Does a VPN make me more secure?

A VPN asks a server to connect to websites on your behalf. This
server can be programmed in a way that it records your browsing activity & also keep a copy of your submitted forms. Technically, a middle-ware proxy/vpn server can be created in a way that it collects your account information, passwords, browsing history & much more. How important is it to have a vpn? How do you think this makes you secure? If you can not trust your ISP & the websites, can you imagine trusting a third party intercepting server?

In a coffee shop, a VPN can protect you when you login to a HTTP website. However, since most websites are on HTTPS, a VPN is unnecessary.

Trustworthy VPNs may protect you from getting hacked. An untrustworthy VPN might hack you. If you have nothing to lose, you may use a VPN. Buy a trustworthy VPN if you really need it. If you don’t need one, it would be wise to invest that money in two cups of coffee one for you & one for me.

How to use VPN safely without being detected?

You may not avoid getting your VPN blocked by gov/school/isp.

Last Updated: September 7, 2020

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