Yes, you need a VPN app on your iOS or Android phone to keep your internet and browsing history private from your ISP, law enforcement entities, copyright trolls, hackers, and online snoops.
Additionally, a VPN can help unblock geo-restricted content on your mobile phone and ensure additional protection on public networks at airports, hotels, concerts, coffee shops, or anywhere else.
If you’re ready to start enjoying what a VPN offers on your mobile devices:
Why Do You Need a VPN on Your Phone?
The benefits of having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your phone center on privacy. However, there are other perks of using a reliable VPN provider, such as:
IP/DNS Address Privacy
Your internet data over a reliable VPN provider will pass through a remote server, spoofing your IP and DNS addresses. Additionally, it won’t store logs of your online activity, making sure that you remain permanently anonymous.
Access Region-Blocked Content
A VPN will enable you to switch servers to another country/region, giving you access to international/domestically-restricted content at home.
Likewise, while traveling abroad, you can use a VPN to retain access to home content (websites, online banking services, streaming services, content libraries, etc.).
Block ISP Tracking and Data Throttling
Your internet service provider (ISP) may deliberately throttle or track your data.
Some laws (such as US laws) even legally empower these ISPs to collect and sell your data to third-party businesses.
Thanks to AES 256-bit encryption on reliable VPNs like NordVPN, your ISP will only see scrambled data whenever you connect to the internet.
Thus, it can’t collect anything that’s personally identifying enough to sell or see what you were doing online.
Avoid Censorship Issues
Some ISPs, school/work networks, and governments censor torrent sites, online gambling websites, pornographic content, social media, news platforms, etc.
A VPN will help you bypass these restrictions to access censored content hassle-free.
When to Use a VPN on Your Phone?
You can choose to always have your VPN enabled or leave it off till you need it.
In the case of the second option, here are times to ensure your VPN is active:
- Accessing Region-Blocked Content – Use your VPN’s server-switching to access region-blocked libraries on video/music streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Pandora, Qobuz, etc.
- Booking Travel Accommodations – Flight and hotel sites use price discrimination technology to artificially increase prices if they notice interest from you or determine you have a higher disposable income. Luckily, a VPN can anonymize you, giving you access to the “true” costs of these services.
- Over Public WiFi – Connecting to the web over open or public WiFi puts your phone at risk as the WiFi network operators, hackers, and snoops can see your private data. A VPN (one with AES 256-bit encryption is preferred) will encrypt your data to keep you hidden from prying eyes.
- Accessing Private Corporate Files – It’s best to access confidential documentation from your company’s database over a VPN, especially if you’re doing so remotely. That removes leak potentials and keeps hackers at bay to ensure a secure connection.
- Playing Online Games – Reliable VPN providers offer DDoS protection, valid for mobile gamers, on top of the unlimited server-switching to play with peers anywhere.
What Are the Best Mobile-Friendly VPN Apps for Your Phone?
Not all VPNs are great for smartphones. Thus, I tested 15+ providers and streamlined them to the top three for Android and iOS devices. Here they are:
- NordVPN – Compatible with Android and iOS, this VPN offers 5,400+ servers in 60 countries and blazing-fast speeds to stream, unblock, browse, and download content worry-free.
- Surfshark – Packed with a highly intuitive mobile UI, this VPN offers 3200+ servers to unblock content in 100 countries, unlimited simultaneous connections, ad blocking, and fast mobile speeds.
- ExpressVPN – This remains my best streaming VPN to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or other libraries, thanks to its fast obfuscation of over 3000+ servers. You can simply activate it via a one-tap interface for uncompromised safety.
How to Set up a VPN on Your Phone?
Setting up a VPN on your phone is a straightforward process.
Follow the steps below to set up NordVPN, my preferred mobile VPN, on your phone:
- Buy a NordVPN subscription. You can get discounts here.
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android phone or the App Store on your iPhone and search for “NordVPN.”
- Tap “Install” and wait for the app to download.
- Once the download is complete, tap “Open.”
- Tap “Log In.”
- Enter your login credentials. They’re the username you signed up with in step #1 and your chosen password.
- Tap the “Quick Connect” button to get the fastest/nearest server, or search for a preferred server location to connect.
Do Phones Have In-Built VPNs?
Some phones, such as the Google Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro, have in-built VPNs, but they aren’t as robust as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and such reliable options.
Luckily, all iOS and Android phones support third-party VPN apps to ensure you stay protected and can bypass geo-restrictions/censorship every time.
Can Your Phone Be Tapped With a VPN?
A reputable VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and keep your browsing sessions private. However, it won’t protect you from everything, such as website cookies, ad trackers, browsing history, and social media sites that can still track you.
Therefore, practice safe online browsing habits for situations where a VPN can’t protect you.
Is a Free VPN Good for Your Phone?
A free VPN is unreliable for daily use on your phone. For starters, it’ll limit the amount of data you can use. Additionally, it’ll likely sell, misuse, or exploit your data as it doesn’t have your best interest in mind.
Thus, avoid using a free VPN but opt for affordable premium providers (like NordVPN) that don’t cost more than two cups of coffee per month.
Stay Secure While Using Your Phone
Data protection goes beyond just setting a good lock screen password.
You’ll need to secure every data inside your phone, including your online data sessions.
Thankfully, a reliable VPN will help keep your identity and data secure.
You can get started with these NordVPN discounts to test it risk-free for 30 days or get a refund if it’s not your cup of tea.