What is a Cracked VPN and is it Safe to Use?

Flower in a pot, question mark icon, laptop with broken VPN shield icon on the screen, mug and pencil holder
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What is a Cracked VPN and Is It Safe to Use? A Short Summary

A cracked VPN is a pirated version of premium VPN software like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or CyberGhost. Although it might seem to work just a regular VPN service, there are many hidden dangers involved such as:

  • Viruses and malware
  • Adware
  • Privacy risks
  • No updates
  • No customer support

That’s why it’s best to steer clear of cracked VPNs. Instead, try a free VPN or invest in your security with an affordable premium VPN subscription. A great choice is CyberGhost. This VPN costs just a few dollars per month.

Read the article below to learn more about the risks of using cracked VPN software.

There are many benefits to using a VPN service. These include anonymizing your online activity, enhancing security, and unblocking content. But of course, good VPNs cost money and free ones are often not as effective. Some people solve this problem by downloading a cracked VPN. This way, they hope to enjoy a premium service without paying for a subscription. However, this can be illegal and dangerous. Many VPN users wonder whether they should use a cracked VPN: does a cracked VPN work to protect you? And is it safe to use? This article will help answer these questions so you can make an informed choice.

What is a Cracked VPN?

Cracked VPN shield iconA cracked VPN is a pirated version of premium VPN software that you can download from the internet. It comes with an activation code to appear legitimate but is in fact fake and unlawful. No reputed company will give out free activation codes for their premium software. And as the saying goes, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!

You might come across websites or individuals on forums and social media offering links to free downloads of premium VPN software. For instance, an ExpressVPN crack file might be said to work just as well as the full-fledged premium ExpressVPN software, without you needing to pay the subscription fee. But these kinds of offers and assurances are just a scam. Even though you may get the cracked VPN for free, you’ll be paying for it in other ways, namely by sacrificing your security.

There are also unscrupulous online vendors selling premium VPN subscriptions at slashed prices. These might seem like attractive offers, but they are in fact just stolen VPN accounts from premium users with weak passwords. This means your information could be viewed by the people selling such VPN subscriptions. So, don’t be fooled and always buy subscriptions directly from the provider.

Now that you have an idea about how cracked VPNs work, let’s consider whether they’re even effective or not.

Do Cracked VPNs Work?

Cracked VPN shield icon with question markYes, technically a cracked VPN will work, but there are many risks involved. It could be harmful to your device and your privacy, as explained in detail below. Moreover, you should remember that a cracked VPN is pirated software that is illegal to use. You could get in trouble with the VPN company and the law if you’re detected using such software.

So while your cracked VPN might work to help you browse anonymously or access geo-restricted content, it’s never worth the security risks involved. In fact, in a lot of cases using a cracked VPN is worse than using no VPN at all. Let’s check out some of the potential dangers.

Is it Safe to Use a Cracked VPN?

Using a cracked VPN can be very unsafe. These pirated crack files can cause serious damage to your device and your online privacy. Even if they seem to work fine, you may be exposing yourself and your device to risks that can be very tricky to deal with. Here are some of the dangers involved:

1. Viruses and ransomware

What-is-Ransomware-IconWhen you download a pirated copy of a VPN, it’s usually from a random unknown webpage, a link someone has given you, or an anonymous mirror or server. All of these make you susceptible to downloading dangerous viruses and malware in disguise. These can infect your device and be difficult to get rid of. Even the best antivirus software might not detect all types of viruses and threats.

What’s more, you could unknowingly download ransomware onto your system. Ransomware will lock all your files and ask for money to release them. Is it really worth risking your security and exposing yourself to such trouble for the sake of a free VPN that may or may not work? We certainly don’t think so.

2. Adware

What harm does Adware cause iconSuppose you get lucky and don’t download some pesky virus or ransomware. You could still run into other kinds of malware. For instance, adware can be just as much of a nuisance, even if it is generally less dangerous. This kind of program floods your computer or mobile device with ads. You’ll see annoying pop-ups everywhere with no easy way to get rid of them. This can slow down your system and also lead you to malicious websites if you accidentally click on the ads.

3. No updates

Desktop computer updatingVPNs constantly release new updates for their software to protect against new bugs, threats, and vulnerabilities. Cracked software will not have this advantage, which can lead it to malfunction and compromise your security. Even if your pirated software does receive the latest updates, it might stop working because it’s not genuine software. This makes it pointless to try and use a pirated VPN.

4. Privacy risks

Privacy violations iconWhen you download and use a cracked VPN, you risk your online privacy. This completely defeats the purpose of using the software in the first place. Even if the VPN works, it may be connecting to unknown servers set up by hackers or whoever pirated the software. This means that all your online activities and data may be available for third parties.

So, complete strangers could be seeing everything you’re doing online and might also collect your personal data. This can include sensitive information like login credentials, credit card numbers, and so on. Obviously, this is a major privacy concern that cannot be ignored. It could make you the victim of fraud and other kinds of harassment.

5. No access to customer support

Customer service iconWhen you don’t use genuine VPN software, you can’t benefit from the technical assistance and guarantees that it offers. Most of the best VPN companies have great customer support that can help you deal with any issues you might face when using the software. This is invaluable when you’re not satisfied with the service or something goes wrong. But when you’re using pirated VPNs, you’re on your own to sort out issues and could end up jeopardizing your security, doing more harm than good to your device.

How to Avoid Cracked VPNs

Considering all the disadvantages of cracked VPNs explained above, we strongly recommend that you steer clear of them. It’s better to use no VPN at all than to risk your security and online privacy with a cracked one.

You might wonder how you can make sure you don’t accidentally use a cracked VPN. Luckily, it’s quite easy to make sure this doesn’t happen. Here are some tips to avoid falling for a cracked VPN download.

Subscribe via the official website

Ensure you always subscribe via the official website of a VPN provider. Here are some pointers to help you determine whether you’re on the right page or not:

  • An official VPN provider website will nearly always have a URL carrying their brand or company name. It’ll also often start with https://. The “s” indicates that it’s a secure site. However, there are fraudulent websites out there that use HTTPS as well, so also make sure to pay attention to other aspects.
  • A genuine VPN site should look clean and well-organized. It shouldn’t have any irrelevant pop-ups or strange ads. The “About us” page can tell you more about the owner of the website and the VPN, if you’re in doubt.
  • Using links from trusted review platforms, like VPNOverview, will instantly send you to the right page on the right website. If you’re in doubt, you can always use the buttons on our website.

Get subscriptions instead of one-time payments

Be wary when VPNs appear to offer a one-time payment instead of a subscription-based system. Most trustworthy VPNs have monthly fees. If you come across a provider that will give you an account for life, you should be suspicious, especially if you read in other places, like on their official website that this same provider uses a different system.

Research deals and prices

Never believe a deal that sounds too good to be true, especially when you read about them on fora. Do your research about the pricing of good VPNs and make an informed decision before purchasing or downloading any software.

Alternatives: Cheap and Free VPNs

Free VPN iconInstead of a cracked VPN, a good alternative is to try free VPNs that secure your online activity with a few limitations such as speed or data limits. We recommend checking out the free version of ProtonVPN.

ProtonVPN Free has no caps on speed or data and works pretty well across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Although this free VPN might be slow at times and has a very limited number of available servers, it’ll help you stay safe and anonymous on the web.

ProtonVPN Free
  • Free servers in the Netherlands, Japan and the US
  • No datalimit
  • Servers often slow and crowded
Visit ProtonVPN Free

If you’re in the market for an affordable premium VPN that will offer more features and higher security than a free one. we suggest you try CyberGhost. Its pricing starts as cheap as a couple of dollars per month, which is definitely worth sparing for the sake of your online security. On top of that, CyberGhost can help you unblock all kinds of content on the internet, including US Netflix.

Try CyberGhost for $2.29 per month!
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

Moreover, you can get a free trial of CyberGhost or other VPN services that will help you experience the benefits before paying for a subscription, so you know you’re getting a good deal.

Cracked VPNs: FAQ

Do you have any other questions about cracked VPN usage or risks? Check out our FAQ or let us know in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help you out.

A cracked VPN is a pirated or stolen version of VPN software like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and so on. You can usually download such cracks from unscrupulous vendors and websites online. You should never trust such software because it can pose several security risks. These include:

  • malware, adware, and viruses
  • leakage of your sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card details
  • no access to customer service or updates

A cracked VPN might work to help you access geo-blocked content or give you the illusion of privacy and security online. But it’s in fact highly risky as third parties may be able to see everything you do online.

No, it’s definitely not safe. You might end up infecting your device with viruses, adware, or ransomware. Moreover, you could give away your personal information to hackers without even realizing it. It’s therefore advisable to never use a cracked VPN.

The best alternative is to spare a few dollars each month for a premium VPN subscription. Most of the major providers like ExpressVPN or NordVPN offer money-back guarantees that you can use as a free trial.

If you really don’t want to spend any money, there are some good free VPNs that you should check out. However, keep in mind that these often have their own disadvantages, such as a limited number of servers or slow speeds.

Tech journalist
Mehak has been writing for over a decade and is passionate about helping people have safer, healthier relationships with all things tech. She has a master’s degree in communication and is especially interested in the impact of technology and the internet on global communities.