5 Reasons Buying a Lifetime VPN Could Be a Huge Mistake
There are some VPN Providers that have begun offering a lifetime subscription to their members. This is either in addition to the usual month/year/2-year options, or the only available option. On paper, the lifetime membership looks like a “can’t miss deal”. As a consumer you pay a slightly higher, one-time membership fee, and then you never have to worry about it – for life.
One of the reasons to avoid the “deal” is the uncertainty in the meaning of “lifetime”. Is it the life of the company, the subscriber or a set amount of years that is hidden in the Terms of Service?
The majority of the top VPN providers, such as NordVPN, have dropped the lifetime membership but there are still some VPN providers that offer it.
There has to be a reason that the lifetime membership deal didn’t survive the test of time, and should you see one being offered it is something to be avoided and not purchased.
Let’s Summarize Why You Should Avoid Lifetime VPN Membership Plans
Not to sound overly dramatic but getting a lifetime subscription to a VPN may haunt you for a lot longer than you’ll be enjoying that “sweet deal”. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the reasons these deals should be avoided at all costs.
- Odds are you won’t get your money’s worth
- At best, the service will be unreliable
- At worst, the company may shut down before you die
- Technology is constantly changing
This all sounds pretty bad, and you may be thinking to yourself, I bet in my case it won’t be so bad. So, let’s break down the 4 points.
At first glance the VPN lifetime deal seems to good to be true.
The price is generally a bit more expensive than a yearly plan from a legitimate VPN but stretched out over the course of one’s life it will save money in the long run.
If this seems too good to be true then it probably is.
There is a reason that the top VPN providers don’t offer a lifetime subscription, and that reason is simple economics. It doesn’t make sense. From the businesses point of view, running a VPN with servers in multiple locations around the world is an expensive proposition. There are upkeep fees, maintenance costs, upgrading security protocols and hundreds of other details that need to be taken care of.
ExpressVPN, one of the most reputable providers around today, have expressly written in their terms of service that there has never been a “lifetime subscription, and there never will be”.
ExpressVPN terms of service page
So why would a VPN company offer a lifetime subscription option if it makes little to no business sense?
When I see that included in the sale, I assume they are going after the sucker. The person who will use something once and then forget about it. Because how can I trust a company that doesn’t need any money for upkeep. Which brings us to point number 2.
Customer retention is one of the major focuses for most service-based businesses. Call up your internet provider and tell them you aren’t happy or you’re thinking of leaving and generally they’ll offer you a better deal. Knock a few dollars off the price, and in return you won’t go shopping the competition.
Another retention tool is great customer service. You have a problem, you call them up, they fix your problem and you’re happy. No need to see what else available in the market.
This is one of the biggest problems with a lifetime plan, there is no need for retention. The opposite is actually true, if you leave them for another VPN, you won’t get your money back and they have one less person bogging down the servers.
A company that takes on lifetime members won’t have the resources to upgrade or increase the number of servers, this means that at some point the servers will become bogged down with users and slow down. There won’t be any incoming money to improve the service, and you can’t expect a high level of customer service to help you out.
OK, let’s say you just can’t pass up the deal. You buy the lifetime VPN package and then you start to wonder what does “lifetime” really mean. If you’re expecting to continue safely and securely browsing the internet right up until the day you die, you may be in for a disappointment.
Let me tell you the story of DissembleVPN. This VPN provider jumped onto the VPN scene and was offering a Lifetime package for just $13. People were flocking to it, I mean for a one-time payment of 13 bucks, who wouldn’t want that deal.
Not surprisingly, it wasn’t that long before DissembleVPN shut down their doors and kept all the non-refundable subscription fees. It’s possible they reopened the following day with a new company name and new plan for scamming people out of their hard-earned money.
If the company can just shut down tomorrow with reimbursing their customers what is the real value of a “lifetime” VPN.
Additionally, do you really want to be tied to a company for life? PureVPN offered their users a lifetime membership and then went ahead and turned user data over to the FBI. Would you want to be chained to them, with no way to get your money back?
Unless you’re working on some breakthrough technology, odds are you don’t know what to expect in the coming years from a technological perspective. We could see the development of a new technology that will make your lifetime VPN subscription obsolete. Whether it’s better tracking software from government agencies or an encryption key developed by some hackers. Your VPN provider isn’t going to invest the money to upgrade all their systems and security protocols, it’d be easier to just close up shop.
One of the most popular reasons for getting a VPN is to avoid geo blocked or censored websites and media content. If Netflix can tweak their geo blocking software or China finds a better to way block VPNs do you really believe that a VPN that you haven’t paid for in a while will invest the money and improve their systems? As we mentioned earlier, they have incentive to keep you happy, they’ve already deposited all the money they will see from you.
There are actually good cheap long term alternative to fake “unlimited” deals
There are definitely some good alternatives to the lifetime VPN offers that won’t break the bank and do a good job of protecting your anonymity and security. One option are free VPNs. Now I know what you’re thinking, I just went through a whole list of reasons to avoid using a VPN that isn’t charging a monthly subscription, and now I’m recommending free VPNs?!?
You’re right, it isn’t an ideal solution, but it is an option that won’t cost you anything. These companies are able to sustain their business by showing ads and trying to to up sell you into buying their premium packages.
If you are the kind of person who wants to get into a long-term contract with your VPN provider, we recommend going with a reputable company like NordVPN.
They are one of the best VPN’s that we’ve tested, are constantly adding servers to their network, works well in China, can get around the Netflix geo block, and did really well in our speed test.