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Should You Install a VPN On Your Smartphone?

You store lots of personal data on your smartphone. How can you avoid being hacked? Perhaps a VPN is the answer. 

By
SurfShark BV, Partner
4-minute read
The Quick And Dirty

A VPN is used to:

  • Protect your Internet browsing when you connect to a public Wi-Fi,
  • Access sites, or versions of sites, available in other countries,
  • Prevent websites from collecting your IP address, and your personal data.

VPNs for smartphones are a reliable way to securely protect your Internet activities. Since tons of personal data is sent when using your phone, some hackers like to target data on these kinds of devices. To avoid this, you can familiarize yourself with the uses and benefits of these software. This will help you protect yourself and browse online safely. 

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, which is in other words an encrypted internet connection tunnel. The software does not rely on the IP address of your computer or phone for online connections. It creates another IP address that allows you to exchange information, or access data, anonymously and securely.

A VPN is often used because it can change the geolocation of the IP address used. This allows you to access the Internet as if you were in another country. Thus, you can access websites available abroad, without moving from your home.

In a more professional use, VPNs are used to secure information exchanges or to protect a person's identity. For example, journalists can use it to research topics that are censored by search engines in certain countries.

How to Stay Secure With VPN

More precisely, a VPN is used to:

  • Protect your Internet browsing when you connect to a public Wi-Fi,
  • Access sites, or versions of sites, available in other countries,
  • Prevent websites from collecting your IP address, and your personal data.

A VPN for smartphone protects your privacy

So, what is a VPN used for?

Whether your smartphone’s operating system is Android or iOS, it is almost impossible to surf the Internet anonymously without using a VPN. Despite the application of the GDPR or the private browsing mode, a lot of information is collected when you surf. Cookies, geolocation trackers, tools to collect your IP address, activity and device are collected for commercial or more malicious purposes, especially if you use a public network.

Other threats such as DNS hacking or rogue sites can be avoided with a VPN. The latter will prevent all these scripts from tracking you, since your connection is encrypted, and it necessarily goes through a remote server.

Bypassing geo-blocking

A VPN does not only give the option of securing the Internet connection of smartphones. It also allows people to bypass geo-blocking. For example, by relocating an IP address to the United States, you can make apps believe that you are located on the other side of the Atlantic.

This is very practical for SVOD services like Netflix. All you must do is launch your VPN, connect to the USA, and then launch the streaming application. It will automatically detect that the user's connection is in the country of the VPN server and offer the catalog of the country in question. More concretely, if you connect to an American VPN server, the American Netflix catalog will be displayed. Combined with the offline mode of the platform, imagine all the possibilities.

The Dangers of Unsecured Wifi Hotspots

Access all the world's content

When you browse the Internet, some content from other countries is not accessible. For example, you cannot access some websites, or at least, some are not accessible to you. The other advantage of using a VPN is that you can connect from a server in any country. You will be able to browse as a local and have all the content of the country.

The use of a VPN for a smartphone is not a luxury, it is really a powerful protection service not to be neglected, especially when you know some of them are very affordable.

Foreign travels with a VPN for smartphones

If you are traveling to Egypt or to other countries where Internet access is restricted, a VPN is simply indispensable. Whether it is for accessing email, messaging or social networking applications, a VPN allows you to bypass government blocking. After all, it would be silly to go on vacation on the other side of the world and not share your adventures with your friends back home, isn’t it?

Which Internet Browser Should You Use?

Is the use of a VPN legal?

Using a VPN is legal and brings many advantages. However, since it is impossible to trace a person’s identity with this type of software, some users use it to hide criminal acts — and it is this use that is sanctioned by the law. A VPN is a tool, so it is neutral and has no purpose. Only the user of the tool can define its purpose, because the same tool can be used in many ways.

For example, a computer is a neutral tool that can be used to work, watch movies and so on. Hence, it can also be used to access illegal sites and therefore be misused. It is the same principle for VPNs.

VPNs for smartphones: what else can we say?

The security of a VPN depends on its data usage and storage policy. You should remember that the VPN will route your data to its servers and then connect to the Internet on your behalf. If they keep data logs, make sure you understand what they do with them. Reputable VPN providers (such as Surfshark) generally put your privacy first, so choose a trusted provider!

Check out the Tech Talker for more technology tips. 

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