If you rely on your phone for work and play, you’re probably familiar with annoying restrictions that hinder your connectivity. Whether it’s cellular data limitations or limited apps that work on mobile, you’re often forced to choose between efficiency and utility.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. If you rely on the privacy and security of NordVPN, you can ensure that your data is always safe and accessible, regardless of where you use or store it. In this article, we’ll explore how using NordVPN on your phone can help fix some of the problems that come with mobile connectivity.
NordVPN’s Mobile App
To begin with, let’s take a look at the NordVPN app. If you’ve ever used a VPN before, you’ll be familiar with the concept behind the app. When you launch it, you’ll see a login screen with the option to create a new account or log in to an existing one. If you’ve already got a NordVPN account, you can log in from here.
After you’ve logged in, you’ll see a main menu where you can choose among various tools that the app provides. The basic suite of VPN features is:
- OpenVPN – The most popular and commonly used open-source VPN protocol
- L2TP/IPSec – L2TP is a VPN protocol developed by Cisco and used in Apple’s iPhone and iPad. IPSec is the more advanced protocol that’s been around for a while and offers similar functionality to OpenVPN. (In the above screenshot, you’ll see “IPSec” in brackets after “OpenVPN”.)
- Chrome Extension – This option is for Google Chrome users who want to take advantage of its built-in VPN functionality. Simply click the button to the right of the address bar and you’ll be connected to a secure site within seconds. (If you’ve never installed a Chrome extension before, be sure to read up on how to do it on their site so that you can use this feature properly. It’s easy to use but doesn’t always provide the best experience.)
- iOS App – For those who use Apple products, the iOS app offers similar functionality to the Chrome extension. However, instead of using the Google Chrome web browser, the iOS app uses Safari. If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad, you can download the app for free from the App Store and try it out.
Using VPN On Your Phone
Once you’ve installed the app, you can click the settings icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose to either Turn On Device Features or Use On A Vast Network. If you’ve opted to use the app on a vast network, you can see the various servers that the app has connected you to across the globe. Simply click on the server that you’d like to connect to and you’ll be prompted to enter a password to continue. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see a dot next to the server name, indicating that you’re connected to that server.
If you’ve turned on device features, you can click on the settings icon to the right of the server name and choose among various protocols (categories) that the app supports. You can’t see the various servers that the app connects you to because you’ve opted to use them on a phone, but you can still access the settings from here. (The settings icon for a VPN is typically located at the bottom of the screen on a phone. For more information on the different settings that you can tweak, refer to the manual that comes with your device. Some devices don’t have a manual and it can be tricky to find help online if you don’t know where to look.)
Why Does NordVPN Work?
To begin with, NordVPN offers an OpenVPN connection that’s fast and easy to use. OpenVPN is the most popular and most commonly used VPN protocol, and that’s likely because it’s accessible to everyone and easy to set up. In fact, NordVPN’s website is extremely user-friendly and makes it easy for anyone to get started with a VPN. The website includes helpful step-by-step instructions for both novice and experienced users and offers a live chat support option if you need help.
Then there’s the security of NordVPN. The app works with top-notch security protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and Chrome’s built-in VPN solution. These security protocols are all widely used and proven to be secure. When you combine that with the fact that NordVPN is incredibly lightweight and requires almost no system resources to function, you’ve got a recipe for safety and privacy. Even if someone were to hack into your device and gain access to your personal information, they’d still need to break into the protected network to get at the data. That means that your personal information would be protected by the encryption algorithms that the app uses.
Another downside to mobile connectivity is data limitations. If you’re on a limited data plan, connecting to the internet becomes particularly expensive when you’re using a VPN. That’s because the data usage for a VPN is relatively high. However, since most people use VPNs to protect their personal information when they’re online, privacy-conscious individuals are often forced to forgo virtual shopping or social media browsing when they’re on the move. (In case you’re wondering, the data usage for a typical email or website visit isn’t particularly high. So, while using a VPN is beneficial for protecting personal data when online, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on the internet as long as you’re mindful of your data usage.)
If you’ve ever used an Apple product, you’ll be familiar with Shortcuts. Shortcuts are essentially shortcuts to apps, files, and websites that you might regularly use. If you’ve used Google Maps, you’ll know what shortcuts are referring to. For example, if you used the Maps app on your iPhone, you might see a shortcut on the home screen labeled “Map[S]”. That shortcut will take you directly to the Google Maps app if you click on it. Shortcuts are incredibly useful, and you can create your own customized shortcuts on your phone with the click of a button. (More information on creating shortcuts can be found on Apple’s site.)
Once you’ve created shortcuts for the apps, files, and websites that you use frequently, you can access them easily from any screen. So, if you’ve got an important meeting or presentation tomorrow and you want to quickly access your calendar, you can create a shortcut for it. Similarly, if you use an online storage service, you can create a shortcut to it so that you can access your files anywhere. For example, you can create a shortcut to Dropbox so that you can access your photos and videos from anywhere. (More information on online storage services and how to use them with your phone can be found on our blog.)
Other Apps And Features
Aside from the above items, NordVPN also offers a number of other apps and features that can make your experience on the move a little safer and more enjoyable. If you’re out of network coverage, you can toggle airplane mode on and off from the settings. (Alternatively, you can use a network monitor app to view your coverage and choose whether or not to turn on airplane mode.) If you choose to use a VPN on a vast network, you can restrict the number of devices that can connect to it. (More information on restricting the number of devices that can connect to your VPN can be found on the app’s website.) Finally, if you use Safari on iOS, you can set the app to ask for permission to access your personal information when you launch it. This feature ensures that Safari will not track your online activity without your permission, as default settings often do. (Privacy and security settings within Safari can be found in the Settings app.)
In closing, using NordVPN on your phone or other mobile devices is a great way to instantly improve your overall internet experience. There’s plenty more that you can do with a VPN on the move, and you can find out more on NordVPN’s website. (For more information on the various devices and operating systems for which NordVPN is compatible with, refer to this page.)