A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a term that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and considering what it offers, this comes as no surprise.

A VPN is a secure and encrypted bridge between you and the content you want to reach on the Internet. With many countries and organizations nowadays trying to regulate, limit or completely censor your online activity, these providers are just the thing you need. A good VPN offers a variety of benefits, from great security protocols and encryption to impressive speed, and the best thing is that they are compatible with various devices. Of course, every VPN has a different set of features, but a large number of them are compatible with a mobile device, whether it’s an Android, iOS, or Windows phone. Also, there are many mobile VPNs on the market, which have been created for the sole purpose of using them on your smartphone.

Recently, mobile devices have become even more used than a laptop or a computer as they are small and portable. Also, as their features are improving on a daily basis, now every app you need is within reach. You use a mobile for communicating, sending emails and files, for online shopping, and much more. So, obviously, you would like this useful gadget to be protected, wouldn’t you?

However, before you decide on getting a mobile VPN, you must know that not all of them can protect you to same extents. Some are better, others might harm your privacy, but in general, using a VPN on your mobile can be less safe than using it on other devices. Ideally, a VPN provider will funnel all of your traffic through an encrypted and private network. This bridge between you and the content you want to access keeps you safe from prying eyes and makes sure your data isn’t exposed to a public network or monitored by a third party.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know how a VPN works, therefore they are not aware how much harm can be done by the provider, by concealing malicious activity on your device behind a facade of security protection.

Don’t trust everything you read

Of course, when searching for a suitable provider, you will be faced with many promises. What you should know is that not everything you read is true. In fact, most of this is fake marketing and later on turns out to be false. After research done by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), it was discovered that 18% of the tested mobile VPNs didn’t even offer the basic encryption on their tunnels, meaning that your online activity was not protected at all. And isn’t this what VPNs are really all about?

Moreover, two thirds of the VPNs promised enhanced privacy for their users, but 75% of them used third-party data-tracking libraries, and more than 80% asked for suspicious permissions, such as accessing your text messages. With this said, users cannot be entirely safe with a mobile VPN, and the worst thing is that it’s very difficult to know which apps are less secure.

Is there a solution to the problem?

Although there isn’t a 100% guarantee that you won’t run into one of these malicious VPNs, you can still try a few things in order to protect yourself.

First of all, never use a free VPN. They are not reliable at all. If you want to have a decent chance of protecting your information and online activity make sure you chose one of the best providers on the market which, of course, come at a certain price.

Make sure you keep an eye on the security protocols and encryptions. Currently, the best security protocol is the OpenVPN protocol and combined with a good encryption key such as the 256-bit, it can guarantee safety. Also, carefully read through the privacy policy, as there might be some hidden information there that the provider is trying to keep from you. Many providers keep a large amount of logs, but this information is carefully hidden in their policy.

Don’t install a VPN app. Instead of installing the app, it’s better to configure the VPN by yourself. You can easily find the steps on how to do this on the Internet, especially for an Android device. Downloading the app will keep additional information about you, which is something that needs to be avoided.

Overall, your mobile VPN experience can be pleasant, but if you are a first-time user, make sure you read as much as possible before deciding on a provider.