We here at Business Writing Blog like to step away from writing for time to time in order to discuss other topics that might be relevant to the working professionals. This time around, we are looking at VPN.
For those of you reading this with minimal technical experience, the mechanics of a VPN and an Android might be outside of your skillset. Don’t fret, this article is designed for readers of all different technological skillsets and competencies.
So, let’s start with the basics.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a layer of privacy that helps people to surf the web more safely by routing their internet connection through an encrypted server.
Usually, VPNs come in the form of a browser extension (for Chrome and Firefox), a downloadable software client, or a mobile app. It depends on what device you’re using.
Ever connected to a public wi-fi hotspot and worried what dangers it could bring? Well, if you use a VPN, there are none. Your private information is not exposed, you cannot be identified, and the VPN will show up as the source of data (rather than your IP address).
Perhaps you can see why many businesses choose to use VPNs (especially for their remote workers) to ensure personal data privacy. It makes it a lot harder for sensitive information to be hacked, stolen, and sold on to bad actors.
What is Android?
Android is a mobile operating system. So, like Windows is an operating system for computers and iOS is an operating system for Macs and iPhones, Android is a mobile operating system for a number of handheld devices. Android’s technology doesn’t limit itself to mobile phones, in fact, it’s the most popular operating system for tablets, Smart TVs and ebooks too. You’re likely to find Android running your digital camera or Smart watch as well.
Most commonly, Android is known for being the chosen operating system of Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Pixel, Sony, Xiaomi, and HTC. All of these devices will be loaded up with a Google Play store to help find great Android apps to download.
The Benefits of a VPN
Now that you’ve got a good grasp of VPNs and Androids, let’s look at some of the reasons why it might be time for you to finally download your own VPN.
- Stream content that is blocked regionally. For example, you might be really keen to watch a popular new series on Netflix, but it isn’t available in your country. No worries, just use your Android’s VPN to change your server to a different country
- Protection on public wi-fi connections. That free wi-fi network you connect to in the airport, park, or city might not be what you think it is. A hacker can easily replicate a network and steal your data, but an Android VPN can trick them whilst protecting you
- Avoid censorship. Some countries, such as China, face very tight censorship laws whereby much of the internet is made inaccessible. This is a real shame for people in those places who want global information. Fortunately, VPNs offer an escape from censorship
- Security for shopping and banking. When doing your online banking or making payments online, it’s advised to keep your activity private through the use of a VPN. Without the VPN, a hacker could be watching every move you make…
Of course, there are way more reasons than these, but it’s time we explained how to access VPN on Android devices.
How to Access VPN on Android – Add, Connect, and Keep It On
In just five steps, you can go from exposed and unprotected to being a secure web surfer whose VPN runs quietly in the background to ward off malicious entities. Note that some of the first Android VPNs required a lot of manual data input to get the VPN up and running, now, it’s much simpler. We’ll use Surfshark as an example.
Step One: Choose a VPN app and download it to your Android device, in this case, Surfshark. You’ll need to go to the Google Play store and search for Surfshark, or search for VPNs and browse the other options
Step Two: Once installed, open the app and choose either ‘Free Trial’ or ‘Log In’ (if you have an account already)
Step Three: If using the free trial option, follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the homepage. At this point, there will be a large circle that says ‘How to Connect?’ and a blue button beneath that says ‘Connect’ with a toggle stating ‘Fastest server’
Step Four: Click connect! Now your VPN is connected and active. If you want to change your location, click ‘Locations’ and choose one of the available servers
Step Five: In Surfshark as in most VPNs, head to the Connectivity panel and search for either an ‘Auto-Connect’ or ‘Always On’ feature, which will activate the VPN any time you connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Most VPNs run in more or less the same way as this. Download, login, connect.
Should You Use a FREE VPN?
Some people download a VPN and then at the point where it asks for card details to unlock the free trial, they get frustrated and go to look for a free VPN instead. Well, this isn’t such a slick move as it would seem. Free VPNs are very limited, slow, offer few servers, and have restricted features. Most of them are freemium too, so if you want to do anything useful, you’ll have to pay eventually anyway.
In reality, setting up a top quality VPN on your Android device is a quick and painless process that takes about 5 minutes. Follow the steps and get yourself protected.