Everyone has a mobile phone. It has become a staple of modern life, these tiny complex computers in our pockets.
You may think that setting up a VPN on your smartphone would be difficult, but this guide will prove to you that it’s quite easy.
Andrew Gitt and Lance Gross, researchers from VPNBrains, state that using VPNs on smartphones today is vital as never before.
The average number of monthly mobile attacks in the second half of 2020 increased by more than 25% of the average in the first half of the year.
From 5.19 million to 6.52 million in six months, that is a staggering increase in cyber attacks on mobile users.
VPNs provide an extra layer of protection that more mobile users are recognizing and necessary, as shown by this survey of 2,000 people in 2021 that 89% of those people who use a VPN, use it on their iOS or Android device.
There’s plenty of reasons to use a VPN for your smartphone.
Most notably, for privacy.
Why You Should Use a VPN on Your Smartphone
VPNs Protect Your Phone
Just like a computer, smartphones are susceptible to a wide range of cyberattacks.
Moreso, mobile phones can be even more vulnerable to attacks against their privacy, if the software is no longer being supported for security updates.
This is especially worrisome for how much they are relied upon.
This Forbes article gives a few good reasons why hackers target mobile devices and how it could affect a small or medium-sized business.
But even if you aren’t associated with a business, your security is still very important.
Even if you don’t keep all of your passwords on a notepad app, if your smartphone is compromised, an attacker can access anything your phone can access.
That means your email, your apps, and even your phone’s camera and microphone.
A hacker could even gain access to other devices on your network through a security breach on your phone, leading to other WiFi-enabled electronics in your home being compromised, like a computer.
Your phone even has its own IP, and it can be exploited just as easily, if not more easily, than your computer’s.
That’s why it’s important to use a VPN, which will mask your IP address with the IP of the server you’re connecting to, keeping your IP address safe and hidden in the process.
A VPN will also encrypt your data when browsing online, keeping your online habits out of the hands of advertisers and malicious actors alike.
The encryption will also prevent you from being browser fingerprinted, which is a technique that compiles all of the data websites collect from you and uses it to track your online activity.
Overall, VPNs are a great way to further protect your phone’s security and your privacy.
VPNs Are Also Great for Entertainment
VPNs have several practical uses as well, like allowing you to access region-specific content on streaming platforms.
IP addresses are tied to a physical location, and by connecting to a server in another country, your IP will be masked by an IP from that country.
Websites you visit will see this IP address and recognize its location, giving you the version of the site people see from that region.
This can be used to spoof your location to anywhere in the world your VPN has a server.
Using a VPN, you can watch all your favorite shows that are only available in another country or even spoof your location when playing Pokemon Go on your smartphone.
How to Use a VPN on Your Smartphone
You’re convinced of the usefulness of a VPN for your smartphone.
The next step is finding a VPN that will work for your device.
Most of the VPNs you will find have an app for iOS and Android, they can be found on the VPN’s website or by searching the name of the VPN on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store respectively.
Once your VPN app is installed, return to your home screen and tap the icon for the VPN app to open it.
If this is a paid VPN (which all the best are), the first time you open the app it will ask for login credentials or for you to sign up for the service.
Most paid VPNs operate under a subscription service, typically monthly, with some even having discounts for choosing a 6-month or yearly plan.
Keep an eye out for a VPN with a refund or money-back policy, many offer you a refund within 30 days of the initial payment.
This is useful if you discover the service isn’t up to your standards or doesn’t work with your device, or to simply test out which VPN works best for you.
Once you have an account and an active subscription, connecting with the VPN should be simple.
There will either be a list of servers to connect to, often with the name of the country they reside in, or a map with buttons over each country that, when clicked, will connect you to an associated server.
Some VPNs even have a “Quick Connect” button that will automatically connect to a server in your region. These servers typically have the fastest speeds for your location.
Once you are connected, you are free to browse safely.
You should also have access to the same features your VPN has on its PC version, like a kill switch or split tunneling for example. Check your app settings to enable any such tools.