If you are an Android user and looking for Free VPN apps on Google Play Store or other alternative stores then you should think again. The latest research by Metric Lab revealed that every one in five of the top 150 free VPN apps could be a potential source of malware and while a quarter of tested VPN apps are breaking user privacy regulations by leaking DNS queries to your ISPs. These apps are left with bugs which are causing these DNS leaks. So if you had been skeptical if the VPN is safe or not then you might be right, after all!
Big Security Flaws Found In Top Free VPN Android Apps | Free VPNs Are Not Truly Safe
Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Metric Lab, who is also the founder of Top10VPN service has made this discovery. According to data from Google Store, these VPN apps have already been installed 260million times and increasing at a huge rate as more and more people are becoming aware of online privacy.
Metric Lab has organized a list of all the issues found in these apps and published all the statistics under the title risk index to help Android users to understand the risks involved in using a free VPN app on their smartphone so they can choose safe VPN service if need be.
One of the major findings is that 27 out of 150 apps are flagged as the potential source of malware when tested using VirusTotal utility.
Second, 25 percent of the top 150 free VPNs available on the Google Play Store are affected by DNS leak privacy issue. DNS leak is explained by Migliano in the source article as:
“This security flaw occurs when a VPN fails to force DNS requests through its encrypted tunnel to its own DNS servers and instead permits the DNS requests to be made directly to the default ISP DNS servers. Even though the rest of a user’s traffic is concealed, such a leak exposes a user’s browsing history to their ISP and any third-party DNS server operator that it may use.”
The third major discovery in this research was that many of these free VPN apps were asking for highly intrusive permissions which they should not need. For example, 38% of 150 top free VPN apps tried to access device status, 25% were asking to access location of users, and 57% had code embedded in them which can retrieve user’s last known location.
Below is the table of top 10 free VPNs which had security flaws and has most installs from Google Play Store:
|Risky Permissions||DNS Leaks||Risky Functions||Virus / Malware|
|Hotspot Shield Free|
|Hotspot Shield Basic|
|Detected||No Leaks||Not detected||No|
|Not detected||Leaks||Not detected||No|
Other VPNs with between 10M to 50M installs
VPN private, VPN free -Betternet Hotspot VPN & private browsing, Touch VPN-free unlimited VPN proxy& WiFi privacy.
VPNs with between 1M to 5M installs
SuperVPN -best free proxy, Easy Ovpn – plugin for OpenVPN, AnonyTun, secureVPN – A high speed, Ultra secure VPN, Thunder VPN – A fast, unlimited , free VPN proxy, free & premium – finch VPN, speedify – bonding VPN, Solo VPN – OneTap Free Proxy, VPN Proxy by Hexatech -secure VPN & unlimited VPN, LinkVPN free VPN proxy, VPN unblocker free unlimited best anonymous secure, free VPN – unseen online, SKY VPN – best free VPN proxy for secure WiFi hotspot, Gecko VPN free fats unlimited proxy VPN, InvinciBull VPN – safe private, invincible, Atom VPN (100% free), Yoga VPN – free unlimited & secure proxy & unblock, X-VPN-free unlimited VPN proxy, TunnelBear VPN, Flash VPN free VPN proxy proxy, VPN robot – free unlimited VPN proxy WiFi security, unlimited free VPN monster – fast secure VPN proxy, TapVPN free VPN, Ultrasurf (beta) – unlimited free VPN proxy, free VPN unlimited proxy – master, Zero VPN, HotVPn – free?unblock? proxy, Hamer VPN, free unlimited VPN proxy: VPNhub – safely hide IP, VPN super free proxy master unblock sites, browse VPN – free and Unlimited VPN, Wuma VPN – Pro (Fast & unlimited & security), VPN lighter – free unlimited VPN, Hi VPN pro – free unlimited proxy & hotspot VPN, super VPN hotspot free secure VPN proxy master, VPN Dog – free & fast & unlimited & unblock, free VPN – unlimited free fast VPN for Android, Troid free VPN proxy, VPN360 – unlimited free VPN proxy, unlimited free VPN proxy by Hello VPN, AirVPN – free VPN proxy best & fast shield, free VPN proxy & WiFi security – safer VPN, Reindeer VPN – proxy VPN, Free VPN and fast connect – OpenVPN for Android, Hotspot VPN – free unlimited & super VPN proxy, VPN express – school VPN & Unlimited & unblock, Bot changer VPN – free VPN proxy & WiFi security, VPN365 – free un limited VPN proxy & WiFi VPN, Free VPN by fireVPN, freedom VPN – free, secure, best service & speed, free VPN master – fast secure proxy VPN, free proxy master, super Turbo VPN unblocker, Easy VPN- free VPN proxy master, super VPN shield VPN easy – best free proxy, secure VPN – free VPN proxy, best & fast shield , free vpn proxy – ZPN, VPN unblock Bokep sites, leafy VPN – free VPN: Smarter And more efficient, Superfast hotVPN free VPN proxy master, VPN Over DNS Tunnel: slow DNS, Best VPN proxy OvpnSpider, VPN unlimited proxy AppVPN, WhatsVPN – unlimited free VPN, VPN proxy master – free unblock VPN & security, Amaze VPN (freeVPN proxy), Rocket VPN – Internet freedom, Windscribe VPN, Kaspersky VPN.
VPNs with between 50 thousand to 500 thousand installs
Secure Web VPN, ACT VPN – Unlimited free VPN & fast VPN proxy, GO VPN proxy master, best line VPN – free & fast & unlimited & unblock, free and unlimited VPN – safe, secure, private!, Hotspot VPN – free, unlimited, fast and secure, power VPN free VPN, Eagle VPN – free.unblock.proxy, Hot VPN – free.unblock.fats proxy VPN free VPN – super unblock proxy master Hotspot VPN, Stark VPN, free VPN by free VPN.org, Hideman free VPN, MoonVPN free VPN unblock proxy, Free VPN Unlimited proxy by fishVPN, Gulf Secure VPN, Hoxx VPN, VPN Secure Touch Master Unblock proxy super free, Joy VPN High-speed free VPN, MaxVPN- free fast connect & Unlimited VPN client, VPN Free Super Hot VPN Touch unblock, proxy, OLO VPN – unlimited Free VPN, USA VPN – free VPN proxy & WiFi security, VPN Unlimited, Unblock websites- IP changer, Robo VPN -free VPN proxy, VPN Melon – unlimited.fast.proxy, VPN Master – USA, 5G VPN, VPN Free super speed unblock proxy master, FastVPN-free secured unlimited fast VPN proxy, UAE fast VPN – free unlimited secured unblocked VPN, MyMobile secure unblock proxy 2018, VPN Tube – free VPN, Webzilla unlimited free VPN, Surf VPN-best free unlimited proxy, Xiaoming VPN, fastVPN – free.unblock.proxy, Str VPN – free VPN proxy app, Super power VPN proxy master-fast security privacy, India VPN – unlimited free& fast security proxy, Combo VPN, Gebehind.me|ultimate VPN provider, Cloud VPN – proxy server- unlimited, Totally free VPN unlimited, secure & free, free VPN – unblock & fast hotspot security proxy, VPN Gate list (Best free VPN), VPN master, 21VPN – unlimited & free VPN, supper VPN proxy, VPN proxy pro 2017, super VPN 2018 – secure, unlimited VPN master proxy, VPN sky – super free VPN master proxy, easy VPN – free VPN proxy & super fast VPN hotspot, smart VPN – unlimited free fast VPN security VPN, super VPN 2018 unlimited free easy VPN proxy, Best free VPN -Squid VPN, Best free VPN Proxy -falcoVPN, Ghost free VPN super VPN safe connect, Meteor VPN- free VPN, Flash VPN-Best free VPN secure for Android, Unblock websites proxy free unlimited VPN, Setup VPN, Panda free VPN, super VPN hotspot – VPN private (Totally free)
So now we can conclude that free VPNs always sound good to ears but they are not good for your privacy. Many of them are compromising user’s privacy when users are entrusting on them with it. It is always said that if a companies product is not their “product” then the user is their “product”. There is always some kind of trade-off when you use any free service or app. We recommend you to research properly before installing any free VPN app or you really need a genuine VPN then you should choose a good paid VPN.