A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to alter your IP address so you can appear as if you’re operating in another part of the world. They allow you to circumvent government blocks on websites and protect your privacy. It should come as no surprise that people all over the world use VPNs.
But what about using them on Android? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s Not as Easy as Using Software on a PC
The way a PC works is different from how an Android device works. Regular users of VPNs will find that they can’t use the same software as they did on a laptop or PC. That can make them think that VPNs aren’t viable on Android devices. It’s true you need to take an alternate route, but they still work.
Standalone VPNs have Started to Hit the Market
Standalone VPNs are services with dedicated Android VPN builds. This means you can literally download the app and be on your way. However, many of these standalone VPNs do cost. There are a few that offer free tiers, but many of them are not fit for purpose.
Expect this segment of the industry to grow in the coming years, though.
OpenVPN Networks are Popular but Unsupported
Some people consider the best VPN to be OpenVPN networks. To use these, you need to be able to download a third-party app and work from there. The official app for OpenVPN is OpenVPN Connect, but there are others that do the same thing.
You should aim to have Android 4.0 or higher to use these networks. For older versions of Android, you’ll need to root the device. After you connect, you’ll have a choice of networks and all you have to do is click.
Android Does Have Some Support
Google already has brought in the VPN-only option. Enable this and no data will be sent across the network unless you’re protected by a VPN. This will maintain your privacy and ensure you don’t send data if you accidentally disconnect from the VPN.
It also comes with integrated support for L2TP and PPTP VPNs. These VPNs can always be connected to without the help of any outside apps. Just go to the Settings app and look for it under Wireless & Networks.
Is it Worth the Hassle?
You may think that VPNs are only for advanced users sending sensitive data across the web. But the truth is that governments are becoming more intrusive than ever before. Data gathering is increasingly being sanctioned, so you’re vulnerable if you’re not using a VPN.
Even if you just want to watch your favorite TV show when you’re in a foreign country, or access social media in Turkey, a VPN can prove useful. No government or private company will be able to track you or gather any information on your activities. You can operate with peace of mind. Set it up today and you won’t regret it.