Three Cheap Ways To Ensure Online Privacy: Are They Worth It



Privacy should not be reserved only for those who can afford it. Hiding your presence from corporations and other praying eyes is a human right. Before we have made it into law, we must take measures to impose it ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done with no funds.

Most free tools to hide your IP address do more harm than good for protecting your privacy. You must know what tools to choose and how to approach them with minimal risk. This article will discuss three of the most trusted ways to protect your privacy under a tight budget.


Proxies are intermediaries that route your network requests through a third-party server to show a different IP address. If you use a proxy server from the US, for example, the websites you visit will only see the IP address from there and not your original one.

It will allow you to bypass various restrictions and avoid being tracked. That’s because IP addresses are tied to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the location it shows. Once you use a proxy server, none of it will be visible on the website. ISP also does not see what websites you visit as he only has access to your data being sent to a server in the US.

Challenges Of Using It: 

The problem is that proxy servers are expensive as they require proprietary software and, in some cases, special hardware to set up. It all costs money for providers, so good proxies are hard to come by for cheap. There are two main ways you can acquire proxy servers on a budget. 

Free trials are a great way to try out premium proxies for a short time. Some providers offer just a few days. Others can even give you close to a month. If you change providers often, you can easily get proxies for half a year for free.

A free proxy list is a set of IP addresses, ports, and passwords of proxies that are unused, slow, or blocked on some crucial websites (such as Google). However, reliable providers, such as IPRoyal, offer them also, and the quality is significantly better.

Decentralized VPNs

Decentralized VPNs

Similarly to proxies, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) change your IP address by routing it to a server somewhere in a different location. Unlike proxies, VPNs also encrypt your traffic, so they require additional software to run on your device. That’s why they are less usable in professional scenarios and more popular among the common crowd.

Maintaining an efficient VPN network is even more expensive than with proxies. All good providers charge subscription fees from their customers in order to keep the business running. Some VPN services are quite affordable, but, as a rule, cheap VPNs carry a couple of risks. 

Challenges Of Using It: 

First of all, cheap or free VPNs are slow and might eat up a lot of your device’s resources. Secondly, There is a risk that the free provider will intercept the data you send and sell it online to data brokers. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more targeted ads after using free VPNs.

Decentralized VPNs offer a solution to this problem. Instead of paying with your data or money, you can pay by letting other users connect to your device. This transforms your device into a VPN for others. Each gigabyte you transfer is converted into cryptocurrency, which you can use to pay for your own VPN.

This is possible because decentralized VPNs (or dVPns for short) don’t use one central server to encrypt and route user data. Instead, multiple volunteer devices are used, and cryptocurrency payments encourage people to participate. It has some privacy benefits, but there are also some concerns about the network being infiltrated.

Tor Browser

The most well-known method of improving your online privacy for free is the Tor browser. It uses the so-called onion network to encrypt your data packets in three layers. Each request is encrypted when it enters the network, and then it’s encrypted again, and then the third time before racing the destination.

None of the nodes used have the full decryption keys. So, Tor not only changes your IP address but encrypts data extremely securely. No one on the network, including the target server, can access the data you transfer.

Just like dVPNs, Tor uses volunteer devices, but due to the multi-layered encryption, it’s much safer. The network is widely used for many purposes, and there is little evidence of it ever being used against its users.

The most common use cases of the Tor network are anonymous browsing and messaging in countries with severe internet censorship. Activists and journalists use it to stay anonymous yet still surf the web freely. However, Tor is also used for illicit means by criminals.

Tor browser allows one to access what is known as the dark web. It’s a series of websites that are not indexed on common search engines and are accessible only through the Tor network. They are commonly used for secret marketplaces of drugs and other illegal goods or services.

Challenges Of Using It: 

But you don’t need to surf the dark web only with Tor. You can access most ordinary websites as well while staying anonymous. The biggest drawback of using Tor for this purpose is speed. The threefold encryption takes a lot of bandwidth and processing power.

In the end, Tor is one of the best options for staying private, not just when you are on a budget. However, the lack of performance discourages most users from using Tor constantly, so it’s seen more as a temporary privacy solution.


At least one of the methods will work for you from this list. Free proxies are the safest option in terms of performance, and the Tor browser is most likely to be absolutely free, while decentralized VPNs sit somewhere in the middle. Neither is perfect when compared to paid counterparts, but it’s the best privacy you can get for free.

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing her profound thoughts and opinions on social media, lifestyle, beauty, and social business.

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