As of May 2012, Android is the world’s leading mobile operating system. But the Google-controlled operating system still lags behind its Apple counterpart on the cybersecurity and privacy front.
This is why Android users tend to gravitate towards Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). To help you protect your identity while connected to the Internet, learning how to set up a VPN on Android is a must.
Read on to master the basics, learn how to use a VPN on Android without being a techie, and discover the best providers to consider.
What is a VPN?
So what is a VPN?
A VPN allows you to use the Internet more securely and anonymously. You can achieve these goals by combining two concepts: tunneling and encryption.
Tunneling is a process of encapsulating data with other data. It makes it harder for nosy people like your internet service provider to see what you’re doing online.
Encryption is a process of rendering data unreadable, to the point where the text becomes incomprehensible to malicious threat actors and other unwanted parties. This way, only the intended recipient can see the message in its original form.
Together, tunneling and encryption act as a two-tier defense that can protect your sensitive data from anyone who might gain access to it.
How to set up a VPN on Android?
Setting up the VPN usually requires three simple steps. For this short guide, we have installed VeePN on a Huawei phone running Android 8.1 Oreo.
Of all the good VPNs we tested, we chose VeePN because its user interface exemplifies classic VPN design. If you are familiar with the VeePN setup process, you will know the process of setting up a VPN on Android from any other provider.
- Download the VeePN app from Google Play and install it on your device
- Create an account. You will have a free trial for one day. Once your free trial ends, you can upgrade to a paid subscription.
- Activate your mobile VPN app to connect to the Internet more securely.
How to use a VPN on Android?
NPVs are rarely one-dimensional. Here are some tips on how to change VPN servers and how to enable some useful features.
Change VPN server
Unless the default country option is what you need, click the Locations button to choose another.
The Locations screen displays the selection of countries and regions where VeePN has servers. This mobile VPN provider organizes its options alphabetically.
In places with VPN servers in multiple locations, you can choose by city. Each option comes with an indication of the speed at any given time.
choose your favorites
Click the star icon next to your favorite server locations to mark them at the top of the Locations screen.
Maintain optimal position
VeePN recommends the city with the fastest Android VPN server right now. This is the default location that you will find when you first installed your app.
However, this Android VPN client shows the last used server instead of offering the fastest connection available. But you can simply click Best Location in the server list to instantly connect to the one with the most promising performance.
View available tunneling protocols
Go to Settings to see the list of all mobile VPN protocols supported by VeePN. The app is set to Automatic by default, so you don’t have to worry about getting started.
A protocol is a set of instructions that a VPN provider follows to deliver their service. No protocol is perfect, but most specialize in a specific area. Some are known for speed or connection stability, while others are trusted for stellar encryption.
That’s why techies consider some dial-up VPN protocols acceptable for streaming media and others unreliable for torrenting.
In addition to the aforementioned tunneling protocols, VeePN supports Double VPN. It is a combination of two protocols designed to double-encrypt Internet traffic data as it is transmitted through a pair of VPN servers in different locations.
The list of dual VPN server pairs is also found on the Locations screen.
Enable kill switch
Kill switch is a security feature that cuts off your device’s internet connection when your VPN is down. VeePN has this disabled by default.
To enable the VeePN kill switch, go to Settings. So, turn it on to ensure that your device’s internet traffic data only passes through a secure VPN tunnel and is not leaked when your free or paid Android VPN connection fails.
explore split tunnel
Split tunneling is a useful feature that allows you to include or exclude certain apps stored on your device from your free or paid VPN for Android.
In other words, you can choose not to send all of your traffic data through an encrypted VPN tunnel. Some applications can connect directly to the Internet to avoid compromising speed.
To include or exclude VeePN Android VPN client apps, go to Settings.
Change the language
It is not uncommon for a VPN for mobile phones and tablets to attract international users. Although English is the default language, you can choose from 12 more in the Language menu under Settings in VeePN.
What are the best VPNs for Android?
Now that you know how to set up a VPN on Android, it’s time to narrow down the options. Of the 27 VPNs we’ve reviewed so far, these are our favorites.
PIA (Private Internet Access)
With a network of 25,000 VPN servers spread across at least 99 cities in 77 countries, PIA is in a great position to deliver reliable performance wherever you want to connect.
It allows up to ten simultaneous connections, making it a good option if you have a small family with several Android electronic devices.
In addition to kill switch and split tunneling, PIA supports MACE for Android, a memory-efficient ad and malware blocker. In addition to reducing battery consumption on mobile devices, MACE does not require any browser extensions, making it easy to implement.
scribe of the wind
Although Windscribe only has a fleet of 157 servers in 62 countries, their Android mobile VPN app puts privacy first.
Windscribe blocks categories of unwanted websites, particular IP prefixes, and specific domains. It also supports GPS spoofing (marketed as Location Warp) and has streaming-optimized servers in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.
TunnelBear is a cross-platform VPN, but Android users can benefit from desirable features not available to iPhone fans.
VigilantBear (TunnelBear’s version of the kill switch), split tunneling, and GhostBear (a mechanism for bypassing geo-restrictions) are some of the distinctive features that stand out.
HMA has designed a VPN for versions from Android Pie to Marshmallow. It also supports kill switches and split tunneling, which are missing from its iOS iteration.
You can get up to five simultaneous connections as an individual plan subscriber. It also gives you access to nifty features like IP Shuffle, which automatically changes your IP address in your chosen range to confuse sniffers.
CyberGhost stands apart from many VPNs by being compatible with both Android mobile devices and TVs. It has a sizable server network of 6,500 with a dedicated infrastructure for streaming and torrenting.
As you can see, learning how to set up a VPN on Android and how to use a VPN on Android is not as complicated as it seems. But the real challenge is choosing the right provider from dozens of companies.
Take the time to discover and understand the pros and cons of each VPN. It’s the only way to determine which service makes the most sense for your Android devices and online activities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
How do I create a VPN connection?
Simply download a VPN that is compatible with your operating system. Once installed, you can encrypt your Internet traffic data through a VPN tunnel with a single click. Usually, vpn configuration it’s simple on personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Routers, smart TVs, and other hardware components may require manual configuration.
Does Android have a built-in VPN?
Yes, Android has a built-in VPN client. However, there four main reasons because you might be better off with a third party VPN app.
- An enterprise mobility management console is required to configure the integrated client.
- The process can make you dizzy.
- It is advisable to have separate VPN servers for personal business and work.
- The built-in client only supports three tunneling protocols (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec). Compared to the advanced ones, none can offer excellent speed, stability and level of encryption across the board.
How does a VPN work on Android?
It works just like it would on any other operating system. One thing you may notice, however, is the more features which you can access. This is often the case because many VPN developers tend to provide Android users with more features than iPhone owners.
Which free VPN is best for Android?
windscribe is the best free vpn for a android phone. Windscribe provides 2 GB of free data and you can increase the limit to 10 GB per month with a confirmed email address. You can unlock most locations with a premium membership, but you can access many servers in North America and Europe for free. To find out how to set up a VPN on Android in less than five minutes, read our full article.