Removing a VPN isn’t a decision made easily. After all, using a VPN brings many benefits to the online aspect of your life, and the merits carry over to multiple devices you or people close to you use daily. Unfortunately, not all VPNs are created equal, which will shortly become glaringly obvious. There’s also a massive difference between free and paid VPNs and not all paid VPNs uphold the same privacy standards. That’s another thing you’ll realize after doing your research on points we bring up. So, let’s not dwell on it any longer and get into several crucial reasons why you should uninstall a VPN right now.
1. Unknown headquarters
Considering what VPN does for users, it’s not unusual for your VPN provider to have an unknown founder and/or CEO. They might also have a “puppet” persona or a public representative to build trust and help with media presence. However, what a VPN should never hide is its true headquarters. After all, they must register their company somewhere, which means that they fall within the jurisdiction of that country’s law. With that in mind, your VPN service shouldn’t be registered in a country with mandatory data retention laws. Countries that are part of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes alliances are especially worth avoiding in a wide berth. Or, if a VPN provider has chosen to base itself in the aforementioned countries, it must have rock-solid encryption. More importantly, it must only collect aggregated, anonymous data that can’t identify you personally.
2. Shady history
Another red flag that can make you uninstall your VPN immediately is dishonest past. Some VPN services were spotted adding malware or selling questionable products or services before or concurrently with the VPN. Others were caught red-handed at collaborating with the authorities, ISPs, or the government. While this was usually due to a court order and led to arrests of criminals, it still broke the trust of good-natured users. Also, it shouldn’t surprise you if they try to bury the reports by changing the company’s name, executives, or another company takes over. Our stance is to look on the positive side, however. If they claim they’ve changed their ways and provide solid proof, we’d consider it a lesson learned.
3. Dishonest data logging practices
4. Information manipulation
We’ll preface this by saying – if the product or service is free, you are the product. Some VPNs, especially if you got a free VPN or installed a VPN browser extension, misuse the data they collect. Granted, there’s no way to tell without whistleblowers. Therefore, we suggest getting suspicious if the VPN provider doesn’t have a paid service that covers the operating costs of their free counterpart. Unsurprisingly, very few, if any, would provide an international product, especially one that requires equipment, free of charge. Therefore, companies can resort to selling the data to marketing and advertising agencies. Some were even suspected of auctioning off the data on the Dark Web.
5. Data leaks
Regardless of how fast your VPN provider is, if the websites you visit or the services you use can pinpoint your real IP address and location, you’ve achieved nothing. The most common reason for data leaks is the improper configuration of their VPN servers and a mismatch between the IP address and DNS server. Therefore, we suggest using test sites to check a VPN regularly. You can also prevent a disastrous leak by enabling a kill switch feature. If your VPN provider lacks it, that’s one more reason you should uninstall a VPN.
6. VPN use may be illegal
We mentioned the legality of Virtual Private Networks among the facts about VPNs you may not know. Ergo, depending on the location, you can get in trouble with the law, at least in theory. In reality, very few people were charged with the offense and were only warned or asked to uninstall a VPN on the spot. Nonetheless, we suggest you play by the rules.
7. Small VPN server network
This is something we also mentioned under facts, specifically under number 4. While we wanted to prove a different point there, the takeaway still stands. Their network of physical VPN servers may be drastically smaller than the numbers they boast. We also broke down why that’s detrimental to you and how it benefits them. With hundreds of companies looking to profit off of the VPN hype, a little research goes a long way.
8. Sluggish VPN speed
Security goes out of the window when you can barely use the Internet. This is, unsurprisingly, one of the most common sources of VPN uninstalls. We always suggest trying to boost VPN speed but this is commonly only a temporary and incomplete solution. Therefore, we suggest switching sides in favor of one of the VPN services with the best speed.
9. Increased data usage
This is another matter that we analyzed extensively when we posed the question, “do VPN consume more data?” We concluded you can reduce VPN data usage, but only under specific circumstances. And, if your VPN service doesn’t offer features to make that happen, and you’re on a limited data plan, the next course of action is obvious.
10. False sense of security
The use of VPNs makes users feel invincible online even though nothing can fully mitigate bad decisions. Ergo, if your current one doesn’t, consider switching to a VPN service that offers features such as an ad, tracker, crypto miner, or malware blocker. Don’t disregard other crucial features only to get these, obviously.