Having a VPN on your phone is more than just protection against hackers and snoopers. Having a VPN on your phone means you can connect to whatever you want, whenever you want, without needing to think about it. You can let your guard down and connect to the VPN at random times when you need privacy, or you can always stay connected when you’re in public places to avoid censoring or being tracked.
Unfortunately, connecting to a VPN on Android is not as straightforward as it could be, and there’s a couple of different ways in which it can be made much easier. Let’s explore the different ways you can connect to a VPN on Android and how you can use them to their fullest extent to stay protected and private whenever you use your device.
Use the VPN App
The best way to connect to a VPN on Android, and the simplest one too, is by using the VPN app. As the name would suggest, the VPN app is exactly that – a simple VPN client that connects to servers all over the world and protects your privacy when you use public Wi-Fi or 3G networks. It’s one of the most popular and most used VPNs out there, and for good reason.
One of the great things about the VPN app is that it’s extremely easy to use, even for non-techies. Just log in with your details (email address and password if you’re using an account, or leave that part blank if you’re using a free account) and you’re good to go. You don’t need to set up anything else, and you don’t need to worry about server speeds or connections as everything is taken care of by the app. You simply need to install it on your phone and use it.
What makes the VPN app such a great choice is that, since it’s open source, you can ensure its no hassle to maintain and that it’s always up to date with the latest security patches. You’re also not putting your trust in a single company, as with other apps or services that you might use for connecting to a VPN. Plus, you can feel reasonably assured that a VPN developed by the community cannot be corrupted or altered by any third parties, giving you the best of both worlds: the freedom to connect to a VPN and the security of knowing that the app or network you’re connecting to is trusted and hasn’t been tampered with by strangers or hackers.
If you’re interested in trying out the VPN app, you can download it from the App Store or play store and use the links below to get started.
Use a Dedicated Ethernet Cable
Another great way to connect to a VPN is with a dedicated Ethernet cable. With a dedicated Ethernet cable, your computer or device can connect to the internet directly through a cable, rather than using Wi-Fi or 4G/3G to connect to a remote network which then provides internet access. This can help ensure greater speeds and less latency when connecting to a VPN.
Dedicated Ethernet cables are commonly available from computer stores and online retailers. They’re often bundled with routers too, which means you can simply plug the cable into a port on the back of the router and you’re good to go. No need to mess around with VPN config files or download extra apps.
Dedicated Ethernet cables save you the effort of having to set up a VPN on your phone each time you want to connect, and they allow for greater speeds and less lags. They’re also easier to use since you don’t need to worry about your phone’s data allowance or Wi-Fi connection dropping out.
However, despite their benefits, dedicated Ethernet cables have one significant disadvantage – they’re rather bulky and take up more room than a mobile VPN. Since you can’t bring a dedicated Ethernet cable into the bathroom with you, you’ll need to find a place for it where you can use it when needed. If you have limited desktop space or a crowded room, you might not have the room for a dedicated Ethernet cable, especially if it’s big enough to cover both your computer and internet connections. What’s more, if you need to move the cable during use (for example, when switching between wireless networks), you’ll need to unplug it and reconnect it after you’ve completed your task. This makes it easier for viruses or malware to hitch a ride on your network due to your lack of attention or carelessness.
Use a VPN Server That’s Trusted.
A trusted VPN server is a great place to begin your search for a VPN. A trusted VPN server is one that has been thoroughly vetted by reputable third parties to ensure it is secure and provides the level of privacy you’re looking for. You can find a trusted VPN server for just about any country or region you choose, so long as you’re fine with vpn servers located in that area.
Once you’ve found a trusted VPN server that suits your needs, the next step is to set it up on your device. The process for doing this will depend on the type of device you have. If you’re using a desktop or notebook computer, install a VPN program first and then connect to the VPN server through the program. You can use the same VPN program on multiple devices, so long as they’re connected to the internet at the same time (through either a smartphone hotspot or a dedicated Ethernet cable).
For most Android users, setting up a VPN is extremely simple. All you need is the Open VPN app, which is highly recommended (especially if you’re looking for a free VPN). Once you’ve downloaded the app, simply open it and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to a VPN server.
You can find more information about setting up a VPN at the OpenVPN website, or by visiting the Android App Store or Google Play store and searching for “open vpn.”
Use an Incognito Mode Browser
An incognito mode browser is a special kind of browser that does not save any of your browsing history or data. This ensures you can go back and forth between private and public modes without leaving any traces behind. There’s no need to keep a log of your activities or use temporary cookies to remember what sites you’ve visited because once you leave the site, the next time you visit that site, your browser will ask if you want to login again or if you want to keep using it anonymously. Most major browsers, including Google Chrome, come with this feature built in already. Just make sure you don’t use the same browser to browse the web in private as you do to browse the internet at large. Otherwise, it’s like playing hide-and-seek with your browsing history.
Incognito mode is one of the great features of the Google Chrome browser, for example. If you download the browser to your phone or computer, you can be sure that any sites you visit will be secure, private, and completely anonymous. You don’t need to worry about your identity being stolen or privacy being violated because all your personal information is erased when you exit the site. Even better, since the information is being deleted as you go, it means there’s no way for hackers to look back and see what you were doing online before you deleted the data.
If you have a Gmail account, you can also take advantage of the ‘Incognito mode’ within the Gmail app. Just go to Settings, then Account, and you’ll see an option for ‘Incognito mode’. When you activate this feature, all of your activity within the app, including email, attachments, and browsing history (even when using private browsing mode), will be stored on the server but none of it will be recorded on your phone. This mode provides the same privacy and security benefits as using an incognito browser, but it’s available within the Gmail app. Just make sure you have one email account in particular connected to your phone (via email or Google Fi) so that you can ensure your Gmail is up to date and any suspicious activity is captured and recorded by the cloud servers. Otherwise, you might have some trouble figuring out what happened if you suddenly find your phone acting suspiciously (e.g., sending out lots of texts or making calls without your permission).