Free VPNs give you tons of downsides, and we’ve covered “free VPNs” a lot here on Best10VPN–like this article, “free vs paid VPN”. We’ve warned you why you should avoid them and how you can get good deals on paid VPNs. A few free VPNs that are popular are Hotspot shield, Tunnelbear, Hidemyass, Windscribe, and others. Today we just found some disturbing information about Hotspot Shield, and how it’s actually redirecting users to other third parties as well as collecting data.
Hotspot Shield markets itself as any other VPN–in that it protects your user anonymity. Hotspot promises a “free VPN” service that protects your anonymity, unlocks your browsing, and that “hotspot Shield does not store activity logs so your privacy can never be compromised”.
However, all of these buzz words, directed copy, and stylish website design fall apart when people dive into the VPN and actually do some research. We already don’t like Hotspot VPN that much since it has slow speeds, as seen in our review, but what we’ve now read turns off us even more.
A privacy group based in the US has now filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Hotspot Shield. According to a report made by ArsTechnica (which by the way, we don’t really recommend this site as a valuable resource, as we’ve explained in this article),points out that the company is collecting data from users and redirecting them to other websites to make money off user traffic. Hotspot Shield displays cookies to other third party companies for advertising in order to make money, which is a huge privacy concern. In the report, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) explain that Hotspot is using “deceptive trade practices”.
Free VPNs often have slow data, poor apps, and tons of privacy concerns. This case is a great example to prove why paid VPNs have much more incentives to protect your data instead of profit elsewhere. But even with paid VPNs, you need to be careful. Check out some of our top VPNs in the chart below: