With all the developments in mobile devices these days, it is easy to let some things slip you by. For users making their way from beginner to intermediate user and beyond, there might be some components of mobile devices with which you are not familiar. Here we'll go over some basic information on VPNs to help you understand what they are and how they are used - and with this, you might get some indication on whether or not they're right for you.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and in simple terms can be thought of as a go-between between your computer and the internet at large. When connected to a VPN you receive your data from the VPN, and the VPN service itself is responsible for sending and receiving your internet data requests. The benefits of this come primarily down to security, geo spoofing and evading various limitations imposed by your connection point.
When you have a VPN, any attacks have to come through the VPN service, rather than directly to your computer. As VPNs (especially professional ones) have improved security over most basic computer setups, they manage to take a lot of slack for the end user. There is also the added complexity in attacking through a VPN, which again benefits the end user.
Geo-spoofing is a term applied to tricking a website or server into thinking you are from a different location. Sometimes websites or videos are locked behind geographical requirements, so this can be an easy an effective method of circumvention. The same can be said for limitations placed by the connection point themselves. Commonly, this can be seen in free Wi-Fi places like public transport. While the blocking of certain websites is a good idea, they can be overzealous, blocking places which are safe and offer no significant bandwidth drain.
The Modern VPN
Modern VPNs are far from the sluggish old behemoths we had to deal with a decade ago. These days, VPNs can not only access largely the exact same web pages and services as natural connections, they also can do so at a speed which renders them similar in performance.
These days there are an enormous amount of VPNs to choose from, thanks to improving technology and a great market demand. If security is a big concern for you, as it should be, then check out our other articles. These can help to help to decide whether the rest of the features are a good fit for you.
Once you have decided on a VPN service ExpressVPN, we recommend checking out some of the many online reviews, which can help you narrow down the pros and cons, and get the most out of what is right for your devices. Remember to be thorough and read closely, some of them might come with features you didn't even know you would like.
The Take Home
VPNs are becoming more common for a reason. With issues like Net Neutrality raising to the forefront of social conscience our privacy, safety, and freedom of choice and speed have never faced so many threats. The right VPN can help protect you not only now but can help ensure that in the future you are inoculated against many of the issues that governments or businesses see fit to throw at you. Just be sure to use your powers for good.
It's the only way to surf
VPNs are a super-useful bit of kit and with mobile phones now able to handle the brunt of tasks that would formerly be reserved for desktop or laptop computers, privacy whilst browsing on-the-go has never been more important. With that in mind, we thought we'd give you the lowdown on the best VPN apps for either your Android or iOS handheld devices.
If you were hoping to find the best free mobile VPNs, unfortunately, you'll probably be disappointed by our top threes. As the old saying goes, if you don't pay for something then you're the product!
Below you'll find our three favourite VPNs for both operating systems. It doesn't matter if you're wanting to stream Netflix shows from another country, bet on the football when you're on your holidays (VPN ready online casinos are easy to find), or just paranoid about people snooping on you when you browse, you'll find the perfect product to keep you safe amongst our selections below.
Top Three Android VPNs in 2019
ExpressVPN offers users a secure VPN with exceptional speeds and server distribution. The application itself is very intuitive to use and this elegant user interface makes protecting yourself when browsing as easy as it gets.
One of the standout features of the ExpressVPN package is certainly its exceptional customer support. Live chat is available 24/7 for any problems you may encounter when using the Android app.
Coverage is another strong point of ExpressVPN for Android. It features a total of 2,000 servers, in 148 different locations, across 94 countries.
Drawbacks of the ExpressVPN include the lack of a kill-switch and the fact that users can only connect three devices simultaneously. Another issue is its above-average price point. However, there is a week-long free trial of the software, as well as a 30-day money back guarantee. Add this: Occasionally, you can also save some bucks off the subscription by taking advantage of various VPN deals.
Next on our list of the best VPNs for Android phones is VyprVPN. This high-performance mobile VPN is beautifully presented with an extremely user-friendly interface.
The VyprVPN Android app can connect to over 700 servers in more than 70 locations. Although these figures are lower than those claimed by ExpressVPN, the Switzerland-built VyprVPN can reportedly connect via more than 200,000 different IP addresses, compared to Express's stated 30,000.
If pure security is the name of the game, then NordVPN might be privacy-enhancing product for you. It features innovative "Double VPN" technology. This is essentially like running your connection through two VPNs simultaneously! Such a robust security model has made NordVPN one of the most popular products on our list with over five million downloads to date.
It's not all under the hood with NordVPN though. The application has been designed to be super-straightforward to use. Unfortunately, this does mean that users aren't given much scope to tinker with the configurations, as they are with less basic interfaces.
Server distribution isn't an issue for NordVPN either. The Android version of the product can connect to a total of 5,241 in 62 locations. Users can also connect six different devices at the same time.
In terms of pricing, the NordVPN is competitive and offers both a free trial and a month-long money back guarantee, making it a strong contender for the best value-for-money mobile VPN too.
NordVPN isn't quite perfect, however. Its major flaw is that the performance isn't spectacular. The developers certainly had to compromise on speed for all that extra security. It's not bad but if you're already using a weaker connection, it might be an issue.
Top Three iOS VPNs in 2019
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
First in our top iPhone VPN category is the VPN Unlimited by KeepSolid. A great interface, rock solid security, and fantastic customer support easily make it one of the must-have iOS applications of 2019.
The user experience couldn't be any simpler on VPN Unlimited. You are literally protected at the click of a button.
Along with being great to look at, VPN Unlimited boasts exceptional security credentials. It uses the OpenVPN tunnelling protocol to evade unmasking efforts. This is one of the few iOS VPNs that can boast such a feature.
The VPN Unlimited also features a highly competent, 24/7 live chat customer support department. This is another strong plus since VPN providers are notorious for their poor user relations efforts.
If we had to pick one thing to criticise the VPN Unlimited package for it would be speed. Again, this weakness might impact those using the application via weaker connections.
NordVPN (for iPhone)
A familiar name is next in our list of the best iPhone VPNs for 2019. NordVPN also offer a sterling privacy-enhancing service for those browsing on the move on Apple devices. Just like its Android counterpart, the iOS-facing app can connect to over 5,000 different servers in a plethora of locations, as well as using six devices with it simultaneously.
In addition to being exceptionally safe, the NordVPN for iOS is effortlessly easy to use. Its ultra-minimalist interface makes tailoring your VPN to your requirements an absolute breeze.
Unlike NordVPN for some operating systems, the one tailored to iPhones does not use the OpenVPN protocol. This is because of the process by which Apple vets potential listings for its app store.
Along with some of our other suggestions, NordVPN bucks the trend within the VPN industry by choosing to offer round-the-clock customer service, seven days a week - a clear point-scoring quality.
Finally, we have the iOS-facing version of the popular CyberGhost family of VPN products. If you wanted an iPhone VPN for the whole family, this one might well be ideal. It features connectivity to a massive 10 devices simultaneously.
In terms of server numbers and distribution, CyberGhost can connect to more than 3,000 spread out over 90 different locations in more than 60 different countries. The product is also notable for its coverage of the continent of Africa - a market often overlooked by VPN providers.
Like NordVPN, CyberGhost for Apple products does lack OpenVPN support. However, it uses IKEv2, which provides nearly as robust a level of stealth for your browsing.
Unfortunately, at about twice the price of NordVPN, CyberGhost isn't so cheap. This is certainly a drawback of an otherwise solid product.