What to consider when using a VPN service for your smartphone

VPN services are amongst the best ways to protect your identity online and keep away from cybersecurity threats. When you use a virtual private network, all the data transferred is completely encrypted, which means your information will be kept away from unwanted eyes.

Even though most people use VPNs for their computers or laptops, private networks can also be used on smartphones and are highly recommended, especially when using private Wi-Fi networks, which can be accessed by anyone. Below are some things you need to consider when choosing a VPN service for your smartphone. 

Choose a reputable provider

Since VPNs have gained so much popularity recently, all sorts of providers have emerged, promising to give you the best solutions to keep your internet connection secure. But amongst them, there are also some providers who keep logs and don’t really keep your network 100% private. 

Do your research, read reviews and make sure to check their terms of service, under logging policy, to see if or what kind of information they are tracking. Tunnelbear for mobile, for example, has a pretty open privacy policy that you can find on their website. In some situations, information about logs are hard to find, and there were even cases where providers were not necessarily honest about keeping logs.

Free vs Paid services

There is quite a big difference between free and paid VPN services, and many of the free ones don’t come with the same benefits you would get if you were to pay for a reputable provider. One of the main things that free VPN apps don’t provide is an unlimited data plan. This means that whenever your data runs out, you lose your protection. Another thing that free VPN providers potentially do is keep logs and sell your information to third parties who use this for advertising. This is how they get the money to provide free services. While it is entirely your decision to make, most experts recommend using paid services, as they are more secure. 

Read about protocols

Protocols determine a lot of important aspects about VPN services, such as speed, connection security and reliability, so make sure to read about the protocols that providers use before deciding on one. Based on your needs, you can go ahead and choose a provider that offers the features that best suit you. There are several types of VPN protocols, each providing various security and performance benefits:

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) – responsible for enhancing connection security and protecting the IP

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) – is a protocol that deals with creating a tunnel through which data can travel smoothly 

PPTP (Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol) – deals with the authentication and encryption of data

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) – together with TLS, SSL deals with data authentication, encryption and decryption

OpenVPN – provides the most practical combination of security and performance currently

SHH (Secure Shell) – operates and protects client-server communication