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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Set Up a VPN On Your Smartphone

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Once upon a time when computers were only connected to online services and before smartphones, you didn’t have to constantly worry that you were being spied on by retailers and cybercriminals. Today, however, it’s a constant struggle to make sure that you are always completely protected against hackers and companies who can’t keep their fingers out of your smart devices. When you browse online you leave behind an easy-to-follow digital footprint for anyone with the right skill set to follow. This is especially true on your smartphone where you are connecting a variety of public networks as you travel. If you want to keep your digital identity safe, you might consider using a VPN. Read on to find out how you can set one up on your smartphone.

What is a VPN? A VPN is a hardware or software device that is designed to keep your browsing activity private whenever you decide to surf the web.

How Does It Work? A VPN gives you the ability to access the internet by securely routing your connection through to a secure server, which successfully hides your online activities. Places you visit on the internet will not see your data as coming from your real location, but rather from the location of the VPN server. This ensures much greater security for you, especially if you are doing online banking or other work of a sensitive or personal nature. Your personal information will stay safe and secure and your ISP will not be able to access your information at all.

Some of you might be okay with people knowing what your surfing history is, but here are some of the things people can track if you aren't using a VPN:

  • Avoid bandwidth throttling — By using a VPN you are able to avoid the frustration of your ISP targeting you with bandwidth throttling. This is when your Internet Service Provider lowers your bandwidth to reduce bandwidth congestion and also to manage network traffic. This usually happens when you are live streaming content, so if you want to continue to enjoy faster network speeds, make sure you make use of your VPN when live streaming.

  • Change locations when shopping online — Some online stores will block purchases from other countries due to concerns about credit card fraud, etc. You can easily bypass this by simply changing the location on your VPN so that the online store thinks you are shopping from their country.

  • Using a VPN can allow you cheaper flight, hotel, and rental car rates — While it may not be commonly known it is a true fact that airline companies, hotels, and car rental companies will use your location to determine the price you will pay for your car rental, your hotel room and flight, etc. This is one area where you will get some serious benefits from using your VPN. By using your VPN you can also make use of discounts that are available in other countries, simply change the location on your VPN app.

  • Tricking the crooks — By using a VPN whenever you go online you will be hiding your IP address from all of the crafty crooks out there waiting to steal your private information. This ensures just one more layer of security for your private network and allows you a bit more peace of mind. All you have to do is remember to start up your VPN before browsing.

How to Set Up a VPN on a Smartphone. Now that you know what a VPN is and why you need to get one, let’s take a look at how to set up a VPN on your smartphone. Whether you are using an Android device or an iPhone, the process is basically the same. First, you will need to open your Play Store or Apple Store and search for the VPN application that you want to use.

Here is a list of some of the most popular VPNs for mobile devices:

  • NordVPN: Best Overall

  • TunnelBear VPN: Best for First-time Users

  • ProtonVPN: Best for Speed

  • Surfshark: Most Server Locations

  • ExpressVPN: Smoothest App Interface

  • Windscribe VPN: Most Generous Free Plan

  • CyberGhost: Best for Long Trial Period

Once you've downloaded the VPN app, tap on Install and allow the program to install on your smartphone. Once you have finished installing the application on your device, you can open it up and start the registration process.

You will be asked to sign up and register by entering all your details such as email address and also password. Once you have done this you will then be able to log in to your account. The first time that you open up your new VPN app, you will be asked to provide your login details.

You will also be asked to confirm your email address, so be sure to check your emails (and also your junk email folder if it hasn’t gone to your main email inbox) so that you don’t miss it. Once you have confirmed your login details you can then start to use your new application.

After this, you are good to go — as you can see, it is a really easy and simple setup process. For the most part, this process is the same for most Android and iPhone users, although it may differ slightly depending on the version of the smartphone you have.

I hope you can use these tips to install a VPN to your smartphone. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help.

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