Every day our smartphones suffer attacks, viruses, malware and information theft. In this article you will be able to deduce if you need a VPN in your mobile phone to safely surf the Internet, to avoid possible attacks on public Wi-Fi networks and also to filter out advertising and malware in general that we can find when surfing the Internet with it.
Here we will explain what it is for, its advantages and disadvantages.
The evolution of the way we connect to the Internet
The way we connect to the Internet has changed a lot in recent years. Until not so long ago, we mainly used desktop computers such as PCs or Macs and in certain cases, a laptop. However, in the last decade, things have changed a lot and mobile phones have become more important.
In our daily lives, we are increasingly connected to the network and use more devices. In addition, in some cases the use of computers has taken a back seat. Sometimes it is more convenient to use messaging platforms or answer an email on a smartphone.
Another factor to take into account is that the use of banking apps and mobile payment has become increasingly widespread. As you can see, the smartphone is becoming more and more relevant. We must also study the best way to protect it so as not to end up being a victim of fraud.
Then, it comes to the point of asking if you need a VPN on your mobile phone to surf safely. In that case, what you use that particular mobile phone for has a big influence.
Advantages of having a VPN in our smartphone
At some point, we may need a mobile VPN to browse safely. If we have a VPN, it can help us improve our privacy and security on the Internet. Below, we will explain the positive points of having a VPN installed in our mobile.
Secure Browsing on Public Wi-Fi Networks
One of the fundamental advantages it offers is that we can safely surf on public WiFi networks. If we are going through a shopping centre, train station, airport or cafe we may want to connect to an open Wi-Fi network to avoid wasting mobile data, this is especially true when we are going abroad and do not have data roaming. These public and open Wi-Fi networks, we do not know if it is really safe, who is behind it or if another user is a cyber criminal who is lurking to steal our data.
In this sense, one of the best ways to improve security and avoid problems is to use VPN services. Thanks to these, our connections will be encrypted from our smartphone to the VPN server, and we avoid possible fraud and scams that could be caused by the theft of our data. For this reason, we recommend that on public networks you do not use your banking apps and others that you consider important and private. If you do not have a VPN, you should at least use your mobile data or your home network. This way we will keep our finances safe.
Avoiding geographical blockages
Another important point in favour of the use of a VPN is that it avoids geographical blockages. It is becoming increasingly common for us to subscribe to streaming platforms such as HBO, Netflix or Disney+. Sometimes we want to watch a series that is not available in our region, for example, one that is in the United States. This could be solved by using a VPN on our mobile phone. What we do in this case is to "pretend" that we are in another part of the world, since we will go out to the Internet through the public IP address of the VPN server, and thus avoid geographical blockage.
Netflix-type streaming services use your public IP to determine your location. When you connect to a VPN server, the website you access only sees the public IP address assigned to us by our VPN and you can then enjoy that audiovisual content.
Hide data traffic from our Internet provider
Another positive point is that it allows us to hide our traffic from our Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is an efficient way to maintain our privacy on the network. In case you don't know, your ISP always knows what public IP address we are using, and is even able to collect the traffic we exchange, websites we visit, and even if we use their DNS servers, they will know it more easily. Of course, all traffic encrypted with HTTPS or through a VPN, you will not be able to "see" it since all traffic is encrypted and authenticated, but the rest of the traffic like the DNS requests that are normally made in clear text, you will be able to see it, unless you use DNS over HTTPS or DNS over TLS.
Please note that for an Internet Service Provider, keeping track of your browsing history is easy for them. The moment we connect to the network, we do so through a public IP assigned by them. In addition, our WiFi router is often the one they provide. Sometimes, for example, they can access our routers and check if everything is in order. Afterwards, this data should in principle remain stored for a while and then be destroyed. In principle, they should not leave the site unless required by the court. However, depending on the legislation in each country you may be able to use more or less of this data to do business.
Another advantage of VPNs is that they serve to hide P2P downloads. Obviously, you will not be able to download from a smartphone. We comment on this because when you contract a service of this type, it allows you to use it on several devices. Therefore, another one of them could be a PC. In some countries such as Germany, P2P exchange is very much pursued, and it becomes almost essential to use a VPN so that we do not get the corresponding fine.
Connect to our home or work by setting up a VPN server
The most obvious use of a VPN connection is for interconnectivity in networks that are not physically connected, such as workers who are currently out of the office or companies with branches in several cities that need access to a single private network.
Also a place where it can be important is to improve our security with teleworking. This is a practice that is becoming increasingly widespread. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to some extent to its increase, although it must be recognised that in the medium/long term many more people will work from home in the future. When we telework, access is password protected, but this may not be enough. However, a cybercriminal could capture that password, for example, when the employee is on a public network. On the other hand, we find that the risk decreases if the employee and the company connect via a VPN connection. In this way we have protected access as the connection between the two is encrypted.
As you can see, a mobile VPN for secure browsing can offer us greater security and privacy.
Limitations of having a VPN in our mobile
Although most of the positive things there are a number of considerations to be made about the use of VPNs on our mobiles. Although there are free VPN services you cannot expect much from them, both in terms of speed, latency and reliability. They will offer you fairly slow connection speeds, much more than paid VPN services. Another debatable point is their privacy, although there are some who do respect it, others could take advantage of your data to do business, in this sense for occasional use could be worth.
However, if we want a mobile VPN for secure browsing that guarantees anonymity and privacy we need to contract a paid VPN, or use free VPNs such as Cloudflare's WARP.
Another negative aspect is that connection speed suffers. We must recognise that there is a substantial difference between connecting to the Internet directly or through a VPN, especially if we have Internet connections over 300Mbps. If we do it through a VPN, we will have more latency and less download and upload speed. Finally, they do not give you total anonymity, even though you are much closer to achieving it. The experts believe that the best way to obtain that anonymity is to use VPN and the Tor browser.
Paid VPN services for secure mobile browsing
A mobile VPN for secure browsing is a good option. We know that our Internet operator monitors our browsing and, to avoid this, it is best to use a VPN. In addition, we also have cyber criminals who, at the slightest oversight, will take advantage of this to steal our data, and a VPN is also another defence barrier.
If we want one that guarantees our privacy and good speed, we will need to hire a paying one. Next, I will present some of the VPN services that offer us the best performance together with the promotion they have in place at the moment.
The first is PureVPN which for 0.99 euros allows us to test your service without restrictions for a week.
The second is HMA VPN which has a discount offer of up to 73 % and rates starting from 2.99 Euro per month.
We also have SurfShark which for $1.69 offers us unlimited devices, 15 Netflix libraries and ad blocker.
Finally, we cannot forget about NordVPN, one of the best services and which provides us with the best Internet connection speed. Moreover, the application for smartphones is very intuitive and fast.
In short, we have these four good VPN services on the mobile to surf safely.Technology vector created by vectorpouch - www.freepik.com