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What is a Cracked VPN? A Short Summary

A cracked VPN is a pirated version of premium VPN software. Although it may seem to work like a regular VPN service, there are many hidden dangers of using a cracked VPN, including:

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

It’s best to steer clear of cracked VPNs. Instead, invest in an affordable premium VPN service. Surfshark is a great choice. It costs just a few dollars per month and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try it risk-free now!

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

VPNs come with many benefits: they anonymize your online activities, enhance your security, and unblock geo-restricted content. However, since good VPNs cost money, and free ones are often less effective, some people opt for a cracked VPN. This is an illegitimate free download of a VPN that would otherwise come with a paid subscription. With a cracked VPN, these users hope to enjoy a premium service without paying for it.

However, using cracked VPNs is illegal and dangerous. That’s why we don’t recommend using them. You might be wondering: Does a cracked VPN protect you? And how is it dangerous? We’ll tell you all about it in this article.

What is a Cracked VPN?

A cracked VPN is a pirated version of premium VPN software. There are cracked versions of most top VPNs, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost. Hackers use various techniques to create cracked VPNs, including tampering with the VPN client.

Cracked VPN shield icon

You can download cracked VPNs for free or cheap from certain websites. They often come with an activation code. While purveyors of cracked VPNs may go to great lengths to make them appear legitimate, they are fake and unlawful. Moreover, using a cracked VPN can be extremely dangerous as it may contain malware that can infect your device, steal your private data, and pose other threats.

You may come across cracked VPNs on random websites, forums, and social media. And, while they may seem to function just like a regular VPN, using a cracked VPN can end up costing you much more in the long term.

There are also unscrupulous vendors on dark web marketplaces selling premium VPN subscriptions at slashed prices. These offers might seem attractive, but they are usually stolen VPN accounts from premium users with weak passwords.

So, don’t be fooled: always buy VPN subscriptions directly from the provider. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to stay safe online. Some of our top-rated VPNs, like Surfshark, cost only a few dollars a month and will give you better protection than a cracked VPN. Moreover, Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee means you can try it for a month and get your money back if you decide it’s not for you!

Do Cracked VPNs Work?

Cracked VPN shield icon with question mark

Yes, cracked VPNs may work, but there are many risks involved in using them. Apart from the threat to your security and privacy, a cracked VPN is pirated software, and using one could land you in trouble with the law.

While a cracked VPN might help you browse the web anonymously and access geo-restricted content, it’s not worth the risks. In fact, in some cases, using a cracked VPN is worse than using no VPN at all.

Is it Safe to Use a Cracked VPN?

Using a cracked VPN can be unsafe. These pirated apps can cause serious damage to your device and your online privacy. Even if they seem to work fine, you may be exposing yourself to risks. We highlight some of the dangers associated with cracked VPNs below.

1. Viruses and ransomware


When you download a pirated copy of a VPN from a random webpage or anonymous server, you could be downloading dangerous malware. It can be difficult to get rid of some malware. 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 locks all your files, and you’ll need to pay a lot of money to access them.

2. Adware

What harm does Adware cause icon

If you’re lucky and don’t download some pesky virus or ransomware, you could still run into other kinds of malware, like adware. While it’s generally less dangerous, adware can be a nuisance.

Adware is a type of malicious program that floods your computer or mobile device with ads. You’ll see annoying pop-ups everywhere, and there’s no easy way to get rid of them. Adware can slow down your system, and you could end up on malicious websites if you accidentally click on certain ads.

3. No updates

Desktop computer updating

VPN providers regularly release updates for their software to fix bugs and protect against security vulnerabilities. Cracked VPN software do not receive updates. This means they can malfunction and compromise your security. They are also easier to hack.

If you attempt to update pirated software, it might stop working.

4. Privacy risks

Privacy violations icon

When you download and use a cracked VPN, you put your privacy at risk. 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. This means all your online activities and data may be exposed to third parties. This is a major privacy concern.

5. No access to customer support

Customer service icon

When you use cracked VPN software, you don’t get access to technical assistance. Most VPN providers offer customer support, which is invaluable when you’re not satisfied with the service or if something goes wrong.

But when you’re using a pirated VPN, you’re on your own to sort out any issues that come up. Ultimately, this could jeopardize your security, causing you more harm than good.

How to Avoid Cracked VPNs

We strongly recommend that you avoid using cracked VPNs. It’s better to use no VPN than to risk your online security and privacy with a cracked one. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t accidentally use a cracked VPN.

1. Purchase a subscription from the provider’s official website

Ensure you’re purchasing your subscription from the official website of the VPN provider. Below are some pointers to help you determine whether you’re on the right page or not:

  • A legitimate VPN provider’s website will usually have a URL with the brand or company name, and it will also often start with “https://.” The “s” indicates that it’s a secure site. However, there are fraudulent websites that use HTTPS as well, so also make sure to pay attention to other things on the site.
  • A genuine VPN site should look clean and well-organized. It shouldn’t have irrelevant pop-ups or ads. The “About Us” page should tell you more about the owner of the website and the VPN if you’re in doubt.
  • Clicking on links from trusted review platforms, like VPNOverview, will send you to the right page on the right website.

Want to get started right away? Click the button below to head straight to Surfshark VPN’s official website.

2. Get a subscription instead of a one-time payment

Most trustworthy VPNs that we have tested have a monthly or annual fee. However, some VPNs come with a one-time payment, meaning you pay for a lifelong account. Although some of these offers are legitimate, it is wise to be wary of VPNs that demand a one-time payment instead of a subscription-based system.

Generally, subscription-based services will be more capable of providing you with security updates, new features, and increased protection in the long term.

3. Research deals and prices

VPN providers often have great temporary deals you can use to get a cheap subscription. However, not all deals are offered by those official providers. Never believe a deal that sounds too good to be true, especially if you come across it on social media or forums.

At VPNOverview, we conduct extensive research and tests, presenting all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing or downloading any software. Want a look at the latest prices? Browse our VPN reviews to discover the best VPN deals and discount offers.

Alternatives: Cheap and Free VPNs

Given the risks associated with cracked VPNs, you’re better off using a free or cheap VPN. We’ve listed our top two recommendations below.

Proton VPN Free: The best free VPN with unlimited data

Screenshot of ProtonVPN, website homepage

Proton VPN has a free version that works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. Some of its features include:

  • Unlimited data
  • Access to servers in three free locations
  • An automatic kill switch to keep your personal information protected if your connection to the VPN server drops
  • No logs of user data to protect your privacy
  • Additional features like 1 GB of secure cloud storage on Proton Drive

On the downside, this free VPN can be slow sometimes and has a very limited number of available servers. It also lacks the ability to unblock Netflix and geo-restricted content on other websites — unless you opt for the paid version. Nonetheless, it works well and is a better choice than a cracked ExpressVPN or NordVPN app.

Proton VPN Free
$ 0.00
  • Free servers in the Netherlands, Japan and the US
  • No data limit
  • Servers often slow and crowded
Visit Proton VPN Free

Would you like to know more about Proton VPN’s options and its premium service? Check out our detailed Proton VPN test.

Surfshark: The best value-for-money VPN

Screenshot of Surfshark homepage

Don’t want the limitations and slow servers that come with free VPNs like Proton? We recommend going for an affordable premium VPN like Surfshark. Some of the key features of this VPN include:

  • Fast and reliable speeds
  • Over 3,200 servers in 100 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • The ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming services
  • Built-in ad and malware blocker
  • No logs to keep you anonymous online
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs we’ve tested. Many of us use it on the daily! It offers high-speed performance, a wide network of servers, and great unblocking capabilities. It might be more expensive than a (free) cracked VPN, but you can count on Surfshark to do its job right for just a few dollars per month.

Deal Save 82% + 2 Months free and pay only $2.30 a month
$ 2.30
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

You can take advantage of Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service before committing to a subscription. Would you rather learn more about the many features this VPN has to offer first? Our Surfshark review will tell you everything you need to know.

Final Thoughts: Avoiding Cracked VPNs

It may be tempting to get a free cracked VPN to unblock streaming sites like Amazon Prime and Netflix or to download torrent files. However, we advise you not to do so. Cracked VPNs are dangerous, as they can infect your device with malware and compromise your privacy.

We recommend choosing an affordable VPN like Surfshark or a free VPN like ProtonVPN. We’ve tested these VPNs and can vouch for their performance.

Interested in learning more about using VPNs? Check out the articles below:

Cracked VPNs: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about using a cracked VPN? Check out the FAQ below for answers. If we haven’t answered the question on your mind, let us know in the comments, and we’ll be happy to help you.

What is a cracked VPN?

A cracked VPN is a pirated version of premium VPN software. There are cracked versions of software from all the top reputable VPN providers, including ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost. You’ll usually find cracked VPNs on shady websites and forums. While they may seem like a great choice, cracked VPNs can pose security risks. Read our article on cracked VPNs to learn more.

Do cracked VPNs work?

cracked VPN may help you access geo-blocked content and give you the illusion of privacy and security online. But it’s highly risky as it could allow third parties to see everything you do online and access your personal data.

Is it safe to use cracked VPN?

No, it’s not safe. It may infect your device with viruses, adware, or ransomware. Moreover, it could expose your personal information to hackers. Instead of a cracked VPN, we recommend using a cheap VPN like Surfshark.

What's the alternative to using a cracked VPN?

The best alternative to a cracked VPN is a cheap, premium service like Surfshark. If you don’t want to spend money, there are some good free VPNs like Proton that can help keep you safe. Keep in mind that free VPNs generally come with some disadvantages, like slow speeds and a limited server network.

What if my VPN is cracked?

If your VPN is cracked, you’re using an illegitimate version of the software. There are some telltale signs that let you know if you’re using a cracked VPN. For example, you’ll be unable to update the app. If you suspect you’re using a cracked VPN, we recommend you delete the app immediately and get the legitimate version from the provider’s website.

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