Have you switched to a new phone or decided to boost the security on your current device? Either way, this article will help you set up and learn how to use a VPN on Android and iPhone devices. Let’s explain what a VPN is and why it’s worth using it before delving into the technical features.
What is VPN and Why to Use VPN?
A VPN (short for virtual private network) is a service that connects your device to a remote server and sets up an anonymous connection. That way, all your sensitive information, including passwords, addresses, and financial data, are hidden from any unwanted eyes. All data transferred to and from your device goes through an encrypted tunnel and thus prevents any third parties from accessing it.
VPNs are mostly used for online security, as they add an extra layer of protection to your devices. But there are other benefits to using a virtual private network, such as the ability to bypass geographically blocked content.
As the VPN replaces your real IP address with the address of their server, you can access content that is not available in your region. For example, if you live outside the United States, using a US server will allow you to unlock all US-based sites.
How to Setup a VPN on Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod
Although it is essential to use a VPN on public networks where you don’t have any protection for your data, you also need a VPN service on your smartphone. Regardless of whether you are using an Android or an iPhone device, the installation process is quite similar. The good thing about VPNs is that anyone can use them — you don’t have to be a tech expert to understand how this service works.
The first step to setting up a VPN is choosing which service you are going to trust. There are dozens of high-quality VPNs out there, ranging in pricing, features, and server locations. Choose one that fits your budget but also provides a decent number of servers.
Keep in mind that most high-quality VPNs are designed like ordinary smartphone applications. Thus, all you have to do is access the Google Play Store on Android or the App Store on iOS to find a VPN app.
Once you find the application, install it like any other app. Then head over to your home screen to open the app and start the signup process. Both Android and iOS users will receive the same signup forms where they have to set up an account and confirm their email address to proceed. The VPN will present you with a selection of subscription plans to choose from once you’ve signed up. Select the desired plan and proceed to choose the server.
From here, the process will depend on the VPN you chose, although most apps function based on the same principle. They will most likely provide an automatic recommendation of servers based on your current location. The servers closest to your physical address tend to provide the best speed and connection quality. You can choose one of the recommended servers or browse through the remaining available servers to select one. Once you choose it, the VPN will be activated.
Free VPN vs Paid VPN
As you can see, setting up a virtual private network is easier than you would expect. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you are new VPN user:
● Never settle for free services available online. As tempting as they might look, free VPNs always come with a catch. They either have very poor servers and fail to provide security and encryption, or they log the users’ data and sell it for ads and profit. Either way, free VPNs should not be an option. Instead, you can take advantage of free trials at the beginning if you choose a paid VPN.
● Don’t get in the habit of running a VPN all the time on your smartphone. It is advised to activate the service when you’re about to connect to a public or unprotected network or share some sensitive information online. Letting the VPN running all day will dry out your battery quicker than expected.