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Which VPN to choose for your smartphone?

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We use our smartphones everywhere while traveling. It may then be necessary to use WiFi connections that are not always secure. In this case, using a VPN may prove to be a solution. But which one to choose for your phone?

What is a VPN for?

For some users, a VPN is still something rather obscure. If we hear more and more about it lately thanks to an ever increasing adoption by the general public, it is sometimes difficult to understand the value of using one.

In reality, VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. It is then a connection tunnel that will be located between your smartphone and the website you are going to try to access. Everything that passes through this tunnel is then encrypted, meaning that no one can know the information passing through and your identity is protected.

Clearly, you are anonymous on the internet and your IP address is hidden, because it has been replaced by that of the VPN server. You no longer directly access the websites of your choice, but the server will load all the information before sending it back to you, all in an encrypted manner.

Using a VPN can therefore have several advantages. First of all, it makes you always more anonymous. You are browsing without being able to be tracked and no one can therefore know what you are doing on the internet. In the eyes of your ISP as well as the website you access, you are therefore not really locatable and identifiable.

Your IP address is the means of identifying you on the internet. Each Internet user has a different one and it allows you to go back to you while locating you. Thanks to a VPN, your IP becomes hidden and is replaced by that of the server. By this means, you can therefore falsify your location.

When you use a VPN, you can indeed choose the vast majority from which server you want to connect. A list of countries is available to you, so it becomes very easy to move from one territory to another. In the eyes of the sites you access: you can therefore locate yourself in France, the United States or Japan in a few clicks!

Another thing: a VPN can also secure your connection. Who says private and secure tunnel, says that no one can then be able to obtain your possible information which circulates there. Connecting to a public WiFi network can be dangerous, as malicious people can potentially intercept the data flowing there. Thanks to a VPN: you protect yourself and it becomes impossible.

Finally, a VPN will allow you to bypass censorship. In some countries like China, many websites are indeed blocked. In this case, it is difficult to be able to access Google Maps from your smartphone to get around town. Know then that by using a Virtual Private Network, you will be able to bypass these blocks and access Google services or even Facebook without problem.

Why use is it interesting to use a VPN on a smartphone?

Using a VPN isn’t just for computers. Today, it is very easy on your smartphone to install and use them on a daily basis. Whether over a WiFi or 4G connection, it only takes a few moments.

There are free and paid apps. In either case, these tools can be of interest for several reasons. First of all, we consume a lot of videos on our smartphones today, but did you know that the replay of some TV channels is blocked abroad?

Indeed, if you want to watch the latest TF1 or M6 programs in replay while traveling in Japan: it will simply not be possible. An error message will tell you that you cannot access this content from your territory. Thanks to a VPN, you can then pretend that you are connecting from France and regain access to your favorite catch-up shows.

That’s not all, you can also use this technique to bypass Netflix’s geographic filter. Each country has its own catalog with more or less recent novelties. For example, in the United States, the catalog of recent films is much larger than that in France. Thanks to a VPN, it becomes possible to simulate a connection from the USA and thus access a much larger catalog.

If there’s a reason to use a VPN on a smartphone, it’s probably for public WiFi connections. We can easily connect with a few clicks from our mobile devices running iOS and Android, but the latter can be risky. So consider using these services to encrypt your data and browse with more peace of mind.

What are the criteria to take into account when choosing a smartphone VPN?

When choosing a VPN for your smartphone, you will need to take into account several important criteria. It will depend on how you want to use it. However, some elements are essential for pleasant navigation on a daily basis.

First of all, a VPN offers a variety of functions. This can be for example double encryption or a tracker blocker. Anyway, these little additions that make your experience better on a daily basis also allow the different services to differentiate themselves. They can play in balance.

Another important criterion: the choice of servers. The more servers a VPN offers in many territories, the more it will allow you to pretend that you are connecting from different places. To bypass censorship or the geo-blocking of certain services, it is important to have a wide choice.

The ease of use of these servers and their level of security is obviously essential. Respect for your privacy must be ensured by these services and you must therefore be particularly vigilant in this regard. For that, nothing better than to read the general conditions of use of these tools.

Some VPNs also allow Peer-to-peer (torrent) downloads and others allow streaming to only a few servers. It is therefore important to check this if you especially want to use them for these purposes.

Last essential point: the data quota to which you are entitled. Some VPNs limit you in the use of their bandwidth and you can then be limited to the only 500Mb for example. Once this data has been consumed, it is then necessary to go to the cash register for example. Some VPNs also limit the speed granted to you.

Some would say that the price of the VPN is obviously an important criterion. This is a reality, but in fact, a paid service of this type will always be more efficient and will respect your privacy more importantly.

What is the difference between free and paid VPN on phones?

Free VPNs are plentiful on smartphones. They are mostly based on a Freemium business model or funded through advertising or the sale of user data. Indeed, running a VPN represents a cost and some of these VPNs do not hesitate to collect your data to resell them to advertising agencies.

Who says free often say limited. It is a fact because the cost of these services is too important to be able to offer a large number of servers or even an unlimited bandwidth permanently for example. A paid VPN can in its case have more means to offer you a more qualitative service on these points.

Paid VPN services often offer great additional features as well as enhanced security. Add to that customer service that is often more responsive and more respect for user privacy and you will understand that checking out can be interesting.

Some of these free VPNs are also located in countries like China. As much to say it to you, we do not really know where the collected data goes. Not to mention the fact that in the event of a court request, certain laws in these countries require VPN services to communicate all your information. We are a long way from the exemplary protection of your privacy.

Pooja Kaintura
Pooja Kaintura is Managing Editor at TechGrits. Unconditional fan of technology and culture wants to share the knowledge acquired with everyone.

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