It’s easy for anyone to gain access to a device these days. This is why we’re constantly looking for ways to stay safe online and protect our data from hackers and scams.
But anti-virus and other malware detection programs only go so far. Hackers are getting smarter every day, so we need to add an extra layer of protection to our devices to secure our data and keep it out of the wrong hands.
Contrary to popular belief, open or public networks aren’t safe to use when conducting private business. These networks are easily infiltrated by hackers. So before you connect your device to that free Wi-Fi network at Starbucks, consider downloading a VPN first.
Chances are, if you use the Internet as often as most people do these days, you know what a VPN is. But if you don’t, VPN simply stands for virtual private network. These private networks work within a public network – usually the Internet – to allow users to share data securely.
Companies and other institutions use VPNs to encrypt sensitive data and to connect with remote data servers. An individual might use a VPN to secure their data if they’re connected to a public network.
Let’s take a look at how VPNs work to protect you.
How it Works
A VPN can connect you to a secured, remote server anywhere in the world. The primary way VPNs do this is by replacing your IP address with that of the VPN provider.
So, if you access an American server from, say, China, you’ll be able to use Facebook or other blocked sites because the server will think you’re in America.
VPNs use a variety of encryption techniques and security protocols in order to keep you safe. Even if hackers did somehow access your computer while you were connected to the VPN, they wouldn’t be able to use your information due to the encryption.
You’ll need a VPN client (which we’ll discuss later in this article). Once the client launches, you’ll need to log in with your user details, if you have any. Your computer or device will then exchange keys with the remote server.
Once the connection is established and secured, you can rest at ease. Any and all data you share, send, or receive over the network will be safe from eavesdroppers or other hackers.
Who Uses VPNs
We’ve already covered this briefly, but let’s take an in-depth look at the types of VPN users. Chances are, you’ve used your device for some of these purposes.
Schools and universities often have their own VPNs. If you’ve ever attended a university and had to log in to a special site to access certain materials, you’ll know this.
It usually works the same way for businesses as well. Users won’t want to access their company’s private information while connected to a public network without using a VPN. Otherwise, this information could be compromised.
People who constantly download content from the internet through a torrent client are also likely to use VPNs. Avid downloaders want to prevent anyone from snooping around and finding the torrent client on their device. This could land them in legal trouble – despite whether the downloads were obtained legally or illegally.
VPNs are also popular with people who want to access international content that may not be available in their country. Maybe Facebook is blocked where they live, or they can’t watch their favorite TV show on their own network. Whatever the case, VPNs are useful for breaking those region-lock barriers.
Why You Should Use a VPN
Even if you don’t fall into any of the abovementioned categories, it’s still a good idea for you to use a VPN.
We’re used to everything being bought and sold these days, including our own personal, private data. Ever had spam or viruses in your e-mail inbox? It’s likely because your email information was sold by a third party.
This kind of data selling can seem tame when compared to other forms of fraud or scams. But that’s no reason to get complacent about your Internet security.
Keep in mind that you use your devices for some pretty important stuff. Whether it’s paying bills, shopping online, submitting work, or watching movies, you’ll want to use a VPN to keep your private data, well, private.
Best VPN Apps for Android
If you’re familiar with VPNs already, you probably know they’re most often used on laptops or computers. Now, you can keep the information you share on your Android phone or tablet safe with some of the best VPNs on the Play Store.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Hotspot Shield Free VPN ProxyHotspot Shield is one of the most trusted VPN service providers for both computers and Androids alike. Boasting more than 300 million downloads and a 4-star rating on the Play Store, Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular ways to keep you protected.You can use VPNs from over 20 different countries or regions with Hotspot Shield. Access international media content and keep your IP address private from hackers – forever. No gimmicks, no in-app purchases required.
This app is available for free on the Play Store. You can test drive the Elite (paid) version with a 7 day free trial. The paid version will cover up to five devices, while the free version only covers one.
The free version comes loaded with all the basic features, but it does include ads. (Your browsing won’t be interrupted by ads, though.)
Download Hotspot Shield (Free Version)
- SecureLine VPNThis VPN app is made by Avast, a household name in computer virus protection, so you know you can trust in it to keep your information safe.You have two options if you choose to use this app. SecureLine is free for the first seven days, after which you must upgrade to the premium service for $1.99/month. Or you can use SecureLine free for fourteen days and then upgrade to the annual subscription service, just $19.99 per year.
You have the option to cancel your free subscription at any time through the Play Store.
SecureLine keeps you anonymous and secure even when you’re connected to public networks. You can choose the location of your server. You can also add the SecureLine widget to turn your encrypted connection on or off with a simple tap.
Download SecureLine VPN
- HideNinja VPN by SupernetThis app is completely free to download and use. The cool name is just a bonus.In addition to all the usual features, HideNinja lets you unlock VoIP (voice over IP) messaging services like Skype or other instant messengers. You can also sidestep those pesky firewalls at school or work with HideNinja.
HideNinja makes it easier than ever to keep your device protected. You don’t even need to register for anything. Just download the app, enable on the VPN, and surf the Internet to your heart’s content.
- Spotflux VPNSpotflux offers a simple and fluid user interface, making it easier than ever to protect your data. Pricing for Spotflux is a bit less flexible than the other VPN apps for Android we’ve looked at so far. However, Spotflux also offers more features that other VPN services don’t, compensating for its price.You can use Spotflux on a three-day free trial basis. After that, you must upgrade to a monthly or annual subscription.
A self-proclaimed “intelligent VPN”, Spotflux keeps you safe by monitoring data that is sent and received for malware, viruses, suspicious activity, and other forms of hacking. Because of this double analysis, Spotflux keeps your device protected using a connection that addresses security threats in real time.
In addition to these standard features, Spotflux helps you preserve bandwidth and get the most out of your data package. If you use a lot of data, you might want to consider choosing Spotflux as your trusted VPN.
Download Spotflux VPN
- F-Secure Freedome VPNF-Secure Freedome VPN is one of the most powerful Android VPN apps on the market. There are no bandwidth restrictions, giving you complete control over your Internet experience.With F-Secure Freedome, you have the ability to choose the amount of protection. Enable tracking, browsing, and connection protection with a single tap. You can also block phishing websites.
F-Secure Freedome VPN is available to use on a fourteen-day free trial basis. After that, you must upgrade to one of their paid services. F-Secure Freedome offers more pricing flexibility than some of the others we’ve seen so far. You can choose a daily subscription option from less than $1 per day.
If you download the free trial but decide you don’t want to subscribe, you can still use the App Security feature for free. Additionally, there are no device limits no matter which plan you choose. All devices using the same Google Play account information are covered with F-Secure Freedome.
Download F-Secure Freedome VPN
- SuperVPN Free VPN ClientSo far, we’ve found that most VPN apps for Android are only free for a short time. This isn’t the case for SuperVPN – it’s completely free, making it one of the most popular VPN choices for Android users.There is a slight catch, though. Use SuperVPN’s full range of features on an unlimited, free basis for 20 days. After that, you can only use the app for up to an hour at a time. Luckily, you can reconnect as soon as the connection ends, making it truly free, although a bit cumbersome.
All you have to do is tap the connect button for instant Internet security. With no registration, setup, bandwidth or speed restrictions, SuperVPN Free VPN Client makes it easier than ever to get protected fast.
Download SuperVPN Free VPN Client
- VPN MasterVPN Master offers an unlimited free trial as well as unlimited bandwidth. It comes loaded with all the standard VPN features we’ve seen so far.There’s no registration or special setup required to use VPN Master. Simply connect and surf – safely.
VPN Master will automatically choose the optimum server based on your location. Alternatively, you can choose any location in the Americas, Europe, or Asia.
However, if you’re using your device to download using a torrent client (like BitTorrent or similar), it is not recommended that you choose this VPN. If you download content through a torrent client while connected to a network through VPN Master, you will be banned from using the app.
Download VPN Master
- Fast Secure VPNFast Secure VPN is one of the best-rated VPN apps on the Google Play Store, boasting 4.3 out of 5 stars. Considering the app has more than a million trusted users and 45,000 reviews, that’s a pretty impressive rating.Fast Secure VPN offers a wider range of server location choices, including servers in Romania, Brazil, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, among others.
You can also test your connection speed using the app’s built-in test tool. With a simple tap, test your preferred VPN connections in sequence to determine which is the fastest and most suitable for you.
Pricing of Fast Secure VPN has been difficult to ascertain. The website claims that they offer an unlimited free trial,
If you want to download an older version of the app, visit their website to access mirror links to previous versions.
Download Fast Secure VPN
In this day and age, we have to ensure our devices are protected. It’s almost too easy for hackers, phishing sites, and other scammers to access our information.
These are some of the best VPN options for Android users. If you’re looking for extra device protection, give some of these apps a try. Shop around and sample free trials until you find the one that works best for you.
Stay safe and smart with any of these VPNs.
Are you already using one of these apps to protect your Android smart phone or tablet? Are you using another VPN app that works better? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments!