You’ve most likely heard of a virtual private network – or VPN, for short. But even if you know what a VPN is, you may have some lingering questions about its usefulness for your Android, like:
- Do I really need a VPN installed on my Android?
- Will a VPN help keep me safe?
- Will an Android VPN help avoid surveillance?
- How does a virtual private network work with Android, anyway?
If you have any (or all) of these questions, you’re in the right place. It’s understandable for you to be a little dubious of how effective VPN clients can be for use with your Android phone.
After all, not all software is created equal. In this post, we walk you through the answers to these questions and how leading android VPN apps can help keep you secure.
Why You Need a VPN Installed on Android
VPN clients are no longer just for your desktop PC. These days, there are many VPN apps designed specifically to secure Android devices. Most of the top VPN clients – like ExpressVPN and NordVPN – offer Android apps will mobile-specific protection.
These VPN apps encrypt outgoing data from your phone so that you have a private and secure network no matter where you use your device. To get started with an Android VPN app, you can read reviews online or find the right option in the Google Play store.
But do I really need a VPN installed on my Android, and will it help keep me secure? The short answer is yes.
Not all Android VPN apps are created equal, but the best-in-class options will offer you protection and privacy while using your mobile device.
For starters, a VPN app will hide your true IP address and location, making your connection with eCommerce and content sites relatively anonymous.
A virtual private network will also protect your privacy while you use public WiFi since it introduces a third party IP address before sending out information across the network.
Finally, a VPN client for your Android can give you more flexibility in your browsing and watching habits. The right VPN solution will allow you local access to a range of eCommerce sites and content providers (like Netflix) regardless of your true geographic location.
All of this is only possible with a VPN client made for your Android phone.
Android VPNs and Surveillance
Using a VPN client for your Android will certainly keep your browsing private and your connection secure from individuals trying to access your network.
But will using a VPN help avoid cell company and governmental surveillance?
The answer here is a little more complicated: it depends on the VPN. Nearly every effective VPN will, by default, block your browsing from your Internet Service Provider.
This is because the VPN client runs your connection through a separate IP address, blocking third parties from access to your browsing (though no VPN will be effective at blocking from government surveillance, unfortunately).
But which VPN will keep you more secure depends on their own internal policies.
In an interview at The Verge, EFF’s Jacob Hoffman-Andrews explains: “VPNs are essentially a way of moving your trust. Normally, you trust your ISP not to snoop on you, but if you can’t trust your ISP anymore, you can pay somebody else.”
In short, you want to opt for a VPN client that will not sell your data or use it for other purposes. The goal of using a VPN is to avoid third parties from having access to your data, and a good VPN will promise exactly that.