You should never use a cracked VPN, full stop. There are no two ways about it! Never mind a cracked VPN, you should never use any cracked software at all. But wait, you say, what in the world is ‘cracked software?’ Don’t worry, a lot of people are not familiar with this term. Let’s make it easier on you: the term cracked usually alludes to software that is a pirated (therefore unlocked or cracked open) version of legitimate software. For example, you can either pay for Adobe Photoshop or download a pirated version for free online via the torrent network (which is never recommended). It is more likely that you have heard about pirated software and downloaded a few torrents on the web via a portal like The Pirate Bay, for instance. The files you see on the platforms are pirated files, which is why you can get them for free (if you haven’t known already).
Just the fact that software is pirated carries with it enormous risks, as you are downloading software from an unknown source. When you download legitimate software and pay for it, you will have a legitimate company behind this process that operates legally. On top of that, you do not receive any contracts, guarantees, or things such as Privacy Policies or Terms and Conditions when downloading pirated/cracked content. Cracked content is content offered by pirates on the internet. This content can be anything from applications to TV series. A lot of times, there is even cracked VPN software on offer on these forums. Downloading this type of software would be like getting your car repaired by scammers and criminals. If you did that, you might get a bomb attached to your car, or a piece of it may fall off. Would you like to have a cracked VPN infect your systems? The answer is certainly a resounding no.
What is a VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a type of network security application that you must subscribe to (pay a monthly fee) and download the correct version for your given operating system and device. A VPN can encrypt all internet traffic at a software level as well as anonymize you from IP traces. It will also reduce your spam, you will get plastered with ads much less and internet criminals will not be interested in spying or compromising your connection. You can even save money on online purchases with a VPN as well as bypass internet restrictions if that is the case in your country/region.
VPNs come in several forms. Some are free, some can be downloaded from app stores while others can be downloaded the old way via a website, and some are higher-end. Naturally, since your data is in question, you want a no holds barred VPN service. Even the most expensive VPN service will cost you a few dollars a month which is nothing compared to the level of protection you get for your files.
What is a Cracked VPN?
As we mentioned earlier, a cracked VPN is a pirated VPN. Anything that is downloaded on a pirate platform might contain malicious software such as malicious executables, key generators, or scripts. Most times, downloading pirated material is a gamble if you are unprotected. No reputable VPN provider will give out free activation for what is a premium software. Therefore, if you come across this, it is certainly too good to be true and you might damage your system or compromise (or both) your files in the process. What is more, you might get in legal trouble because you’ve just activated a VPN app that belongs to someone else. In fact, you might get into trouble with both law enforcement and the VPN company itself.
What Happens If You Use a Compromised VPN?
What may happen if you decide to gamble and try to use a cracked VPN that might include a stolen account, you ask? Well, first of all, you might get infected with viruses and ransomware. Secondly, you will certainly get some adware included in there. Furthermore, you will definitely not get legitimate updates (or any updates at all) for the software which effectively makes it useless down the road. Hold on, it gets worse! Continuing on, there are privacy risks involved in using a cracked VPN such as someone spying on your internet transmissions or hijacking your devices because you’ve downloaded infected software. Another thing you definitely won’t have is customer service, naturally.
You want to avoid cracked VPNs, and all cracked software at that, if your goal is the continued protection of your data and security of your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or whatever else you use your VPN on. To stay optimally protected, you want to always use the official VPN provider website for any purchases. Also, do not be apprehensive about using third-party VPN review sites, as they will give you both the in-depth information and the bigger picture you desperately need. A VPN provider’s official website will usually pop up first in Google search results and will have a lock and key in the address bar. The address itself must include an ‘HTTPS’ prefix.
Like we said earlier, legitimate VPNs do not have to be expensive. If you are really tight with cash, try to opt for legitimate free and low-price VPNs such as ProtonVPN Free or Cyberghost. For a few dollars more a month, you can get the top grade which are versatile and feature-filled VPNs such as NordVPN.
Final Security Recommendations
Always use a premium-grade VPN and heed the tips above to resolve the most common issues that users experience. On top of that, you should look at premium antimalware software, a good privacy browser, and use common sense when browsing the web at all times. Remember, a good VPN that is backed by a real company will get you; customer support, consistent service, legal protection, several other features as well as peace of mind.