You take your phone pretty much everywhere with you, even to the bathroom, so it only makes sense that you need a VPN on it.
Sure, if you’re only using your phone’s data plan and not connecting to public wi-fi, then you might feel like you don’t need it for privacy. But, you still might need one to access restricted content or just to feel more secure.
Luckily, it’s super easy to get a VPN on your cell phone these days. Even if you’ve never used VPNs in the past, we can help you get all setup for a more secure and private browsing session on your Android or iPhone.
Why You Need It On Your Mobile Phone
Let’s face it, sometimes you’re running low on data when it’s near the end of your billing cycle. And sometimes your phone’s data connection is just to freaking slow for you to deal with.
That when you switch on your phone’s wi-fi and hop onto the public network at McDonald’s, your hotel, or wherever you might be in your moment of internet need.
But as soon you as connect to that public wi-fi network, your privacy and security are at risk.
When you use an unsecured public wi-fi network (one that just lets you log on without a secure password), any one else who is connected to that network can intercept your data. For instance, if you log into your email account, then someone else can see your password and get into your account as well.
You might also just want to use your smartphone to watch an Asian drama that’s blocked in your country, and a VPN helps you unlock and access that content.
What’s The Easiest Way To Setup A VPN On My Cell Phone?
Hands down, the quickest and easiest way to get a VPN setup and running on you iPhone or Android phone is by downloading a VPN app on your phone.
But don’t just download the first VPN app that you see available in the app store! Some of those “free” apps are actually not that secure; so you want to be sure that you’re getting a reputable app on your phone.
Reading the user reviews of the app that you’re considering is an easy way to know if it’s a legit one or not. You can also take my recommendations since I use a VPN on my iPhone (and iPad) when I travel.
Here are the basic steps to getting a VPN setup on your iPhone or Android mobile phone:
- Download a VPN app from your phone’s app store.
- Create an account (if you don’t already have one).
- Connect to your location of choice from the app.
- Remember to disconnect when you’re done.
Yup, it’s really that simple.
How To Choose A VPN App For Your Phone
As you may have already noticed, there are a ton of different VPN apps that you can download for iPhone and Android. Some are free, but most require a paid subscription.
Do yourself a favor and skip the free ones. You can find some great cheap options that work well, so don’t put your security and privacy as risk by cheaping out and choosing a free VPN app.
Luckily, you get a free trial with some of the better mobile phone VPN options out there. That should be enough to give you an idea of how they work.
To help you pick a good VPN app for your phone, here are what we think are the important considerations:
1. Do They Keep User Logs?
Part of the whole purpose of using a VPN is to protect your privacy, which is why you should avoid using any VPN companies that keep user logs. Even those that claim to keep limited logs on their users.
Here are the companies where it is widely know that they keep user logs:
- HotSpot Shield
- VPN Unlimited
- Boleh VPN
- HideIP VPN
- VPN Gate
- Ace VPN
- Flow VPN
I suggest that you avoid downloading any of these apps.
Any company that is reputable will make their logging policy clearly visible. However, keep in mind that VPN providers have lied about not keeping logs in the past.
2. Are They Offering The Service For Free?
Sure, we all like to save money and get things for free, but a VPN service is one of those things that you are just better off paying for in the long run.
Think about it – why would a company give you VPN service at no cost? How can they afford to do such a thing?
The free services make their money by selling data – your data! Yup, they keep user logs that they sell.
Not really worth saving the money, eh?
3. What Protocol Do They Use?
This is a little technical, but it matters because it is directly related to the performance (security, speed, and reliability) that you will get from the VPN app on your phone.
For the highest level of performance and security, you’re looking for OpenVPN protocol.
If you’re looking for what protocol to avoid, that would be Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Though it’s well known for its high speed, it is also one of the least secure protocols out there right now.
Are There Any Downsides To Using A VPN App On My Phone?
Still not sure if using a VPN on your smart phone is a good choice for you?
I won’t lie, there are some negative aspects to using a VPN app on your phone.
You’ll probably notice that it slows things down just a wee bit. This is because the data is being directed through the VPN server instead of just directly between your phone and the target website destination/origination.
That being said, I stream Netflix with a VPN on my phone and it never freezes or lags. In fact, it’s barely noticeable at all.
If you’re interested in a VPN for your phone to hide your location, then you need to remember that your cell phone company also tracks your location. So, the VPN app won’t prevent that from happening.
As you can see, these negatives aren’t really all that negative in the grand scheme of things. After all, we are talking about the privacy and security of your online data. I think you can agree that these minor inconveniences are worth that extra peace of mind.