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For those who aren’t yet aware, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that will connect your device to an offsite secure server that will handle your requests for you and use an encrypted connection to keep your data safe as it travels over a network. People use them often to torrent inconspicuously, to get around regional restrictions and to safely navigate public networks. They have become an essential security and privacy tool, and they cannot come more highly recommended. Smartphones have a particular need of a VPNdue to their frequent public network use and the privacy concerns of some common applications.
Yet the question remains, which of the many VPNs out there is best for your smartphone? Here is some information that might help you:
What to Look for in a VPN
There are a number of “free” VPNs that will advertise themselves as the very best option for your smartphone while costing nothing. They lie.There is a fundamental problem with these services, and it is that they slow down your internet connection, often to the point where you cannot realistically use the internet. This is the reason you need to use a paid service to get any proper utility. All VPNs will slow down your speed a little bit due to the nature of how they work, but this slowdown can be mitigated drastically based on other factors.
The connection speed of a VPN depends on a number of things, including server load, your distance to the server, the quality of the servers the service uses and any methods that the service uses to transfer your data. Lower quality VPNs will try to cut corners; while the very best will make every effort to keep your internet speed nearly as fast as using no VPN at all. This factor also relies heavily on where you are, so customer reviews won’t be too helpful here. Trust the numbers and professional reviews who take such things into account.
Number of Servers
One of the best parts about using a VPN is that you can appear as though you are browsing the internet in a different country or region just by connecting to a server in that area. This allows you to bypass regional restrictions and avoid government censorship. The best VPNs will have servers in as many countries as possible so you can access content restricted to those countries and have more options when trying to avoid censorship or restrictions in your own country.
The number of servers is also directly related to the speed of your connection. A service with more servers available will be able to handle more people, and if there is a proper balance, then you will have a lot more freedom online while using your service. Make sure to keep in mind the popularity of the service when looking at the number of servers;customers per server is the statistic to look at if available.
Other considerations aside, security is the fundamental reason that you are likely to get a VPN and the mainfactor that should help make your decision as to what VPN to get. Every VPN out there will have some form of encryption on its connection (otherwise it wouldn’t be a VPN), but this level of security can vary.
For your smartphone, you want at least 256-bit encryption in order to keep your data safe. Anything less and you could put yourself at risk against future tools hackers might develop to crack it and current tools hackers are just starting to use. Any more security is great, but it can make your phone sluggish.
Top 3 VPN For Smartphones
The general user can consider ExpressVPN the best service out there for protecting your smartphone. Not only does it have apps directly meant for both Android and iPhone, but it has probably the best customer support in the business that is available at any hour on any day. If you are having trouble setting up your VPN or if you have any questions regarding the capabilities of your VPN, you will get a quick response via email or live chat.
While it might seem a little expensive to some at roughly $10 a month, there are still more expensive options out there, and you won’t find a better value in the VPN market. It meets every benchmark and then some.
IP Vanish prides itself on its speed, meaning that you won’t have much slowdown to deal with when you are using a VPN to protect yourself. On already slow networks or regions that already have a poor internetinfrastructure, that means IP Vanish should be your first choice. It also has absolutely no logs of your activity, meaning that you have absolute privacy while using your VPN.
While IP Vanish is possibly the fastest VPN out there with good security measures, IP Vanish only has servers in about 60 countries, significantly reducing your options when compared with some of the others VPNs out there.
HideMyAss, as the name might imply, is one of the best VPN providers when it comes to masking your location and appearing as if you are in a different country. There are very few countries where the service doesn’t have a VPN, and you can expect a large number of IP addresses that can mask yours should you choose this service. They are also one of the more experienced providers in the business, having been around for almost a decade at this point. It is clear that they know what they are doing and that you will get stable service.
While less expensive than many other services out there, there have been complaints of customer service sluggishness in the past that potential users might want to keep in mind. The immense popularity of the service also means that you might have to deal with slowdown at peak times.
I hope that the above recommendations and tips have been helpful to you and that you are able to choose the right VPN for your particular needs.
About Our Guest Author: Isa Cox is an internet security bloggerwho enjoys writing about data privacy, travel, and new technology. For more information about keeping your smartphone use secure and protecting your privacy, check out Secure Thoughts, an expert source for VPN info