Whether you use it for watching your favorite Netflix shows, to keep your browsing protected or to bypass government censorship, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is always a good investment. The rise of the smart phone—and it’s two billion-plus army of users always growing—there’s a real need for protection for those who prefer hand-held browsing. Thankfully, VPN providers kept up with the shift – and mobile users can receive the same level of protection as desktop users.

If you’re an Android user, you’ll find out how to set up your VPN subscription on your phone below. For information on setting up a VPN with iOS, just click here.

How can you set it up?

Usually, once you’ve installed an application from the Play Store, a notification will pop out and you can easily enable your VPN. Some offer guides on how to set up their services on your device, which can be found on the provider’s website. However, in case they don’t have them, you can follow a few very simple rules.

  1. Install a VPN of your choice (you can choose yours from the best voted here)
  2. Go to settings and select the ‘Wireless & Networks’ option
  3. Click ‘More/More connection settings’ and you’ll notice there is a ‘VPN’ option
  4. Click the ‘+’ option to manage your VPN
  5. Enter your login information
  6. Select desired protocol and save
  7. Choose your ideal server

If you want to disconnect, or switch services:

  1. Open the ‘Wireless & Network’ settings
  2. Select VPN
  3. Click on ‘Disconnect from this network’

Most VPNs are simple to use nowadays so, if you’re struggling with the instructions, choose one that’s easy to set up, or that comes with instructions of its own. Plus, if you choose a trustworthy VPN provider, they’ll no doubt have a responsive customer service team that can handle any problem you face.

Before you choose your provider, though, check out how reliable other users claim it is. Many, even some of the best services, often leak IP information without intending to. You can find websites and apps that offer IP leak tests for free. If you see your own IP address instead of the one you chose to cover your tracks, then it’s happened to you too. Fortunately, many VPN providers offer free trials or refunds, so you can easily switch to a better one.

Why use a VPN on your Android?

Android, as a software for smartphones, tablets and other devices, dominates the industry in terms of usage; with Apple’s iOS recently falling behind. Together, though, they enjoy 99% of the smartphone market. Originally developed and launched in 2003, the software became the world’s most popular mobile operating system, and is supported by countless devices and phone providers. This is probably due in some way to the flexibility with design that iPhone users don’t receive.

The fundamental reason for using a VPN provider on your phone is to protect yourself from data and information theft. Being online and on the move means using public Wi-Fi connections, which are entirely unprotected. Even using your ISP while unprotected is still dangerous. The worries of having your confidential information stolen, as a business or an individual, are too much to put aside when VPNs are available.

Moreover, VPNs can be used to browse privately from anywhere in the world; to hide your real location; to unblock content; for unlimited downloads and uploads, and much more. Overall, the benefits are big, and the price to pay for this service is relatively low and usually worth it.

Make sure you get the best VPN service provider, because you never know who might be gunning for your private information. Most free VPNs aren’t worth the web space they’re printed on but, if you insist on going down this route, you’ll find our best recommendations here. For all the best VPNs for Android, click here.