Are 30-day Free Trial VPNs Actually a Thing?
There is no shortage of free trials for quality VPNs out there. However, you may have come across a couple of free trial VPNs that promise 30 days of free usage. “How is that a thing,” you ask? Well, they’re not actually “free” in the literal sense of the word – but we’ll get to that in a second.
Free or Not?
What providers call a 30-day free trial actually refers to their money-back guarantee policy. First, you pay for the subscription duration of your choice. Afterwards, you have 30 days to change your mind about your purchase and receive a full refund, with no consequences whatsoever. Well, at least if the provider has a “no questions asked” refund policy (like some of the entries on the list we linked above).
That’s why it’s a good idea to read the terms of service whenever you sign up for anything. In this case, the VPN provider felt confident enough to market its service with the 30-day free trial tag. As such, you’re not likely to run into any trouble with your refund if things don’t work out.
Even so, there’s not much to worry about. Worst case scenario, customer support will ask a few general questions on why you want a refund, and offer to solve any issues you have with the VPN. Was their service too slow? Did the VPN not unblock the streaming sites you wanted? Just regular feedback, presumably used to improve their service.
If you’re absolutely sure the service is not for you, just insist on the refund – but keep things civil.
Are 30-Day Free Trial VPNs Worth It?
Despite the misleading marketing, you should definitely take advantage of such offers. Over the course of 30 days, most people discover just how useful VPNs can be. Whether it’s to:
- Unblock your favorite streaming content from around the world
- Bypass online censorship in your country (just take a look at the Great Firewall of China, which forces Chinese citizens to use a VPN to see a good portion of the Internet)
- Get past firewalls at school, work, hotels, and other venues with public Wi-Fi that feel the need to block the fun parts of the web
- Secure your network traffic from hackers and money-hungry ISPs looking to profit off your browsing data
VPNs are highly flexible and it’s worth sticking with the subscription. That is, if the provider can actually deliver on the quality they promise on their homepage. Fortunately, you have 30 whole days to test out their claims.
Free Trial VPNs vs Free VPNs: What’s the Difference?
What if you don’t want (or can’t afford) to pay at all? Wouldn’t completely free VPNs be a better alternative? Well, not exactly. What you’re not paying upfront can cost you in other ways:
- A chunk of free VPNs on the Google Play store were found containing malware or intrusive permissions. These weren’t exactly unknown providers, as the apps totaled 518 million downloads, combined (as of August 2019).
- On top of selling your data, free VPNs may also serve you targeted advertising, sometimes injecting ads directly into your browser while you’re connected.
Obviously, not all free VPNs are like that. But even legit providers impose limitations on the free version of their product. Slower speeds, a smaller number of servers (leading to congestion), data caps, or even being unable to unblock most streaming sites. These are all things you’ll have to deal with on a free plan.
As you may have guessed, this is meant to incentivize users to get a subscription and remove those limitations. In the end, you’re better off trying out 30-day free trial VPNs, rather than waste your time on a limited product. At least you know what you’re paying for, right off the bat.
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