Our investigation uncovered that over half of the top free VPN apps either had Chinese ownership or were actually based in China, which has aggressively clamped down on VPN services over the past year and maintains an iron grip on the internet within its borders. Furthermore, we found the majority of free VPN apps had little-to-no formal privacy protections and non-existent user support.
Apple and Google have let down consumers by failing to properly vet these app publishers, many of whom lack any sort of credible web presence and whose app store listings are riddled with misinformation.
People will generally prefer not to pay for something when there is a free alternative. The thing is, there is no such thing as free — you just pay via alternative means. In the case of VPNs, you’ll be paying with your privacy and security, which is what a VPN is supposed to help with. Do not use free VPNs.