It is no news that the smartphone has grown to such popularity it is one of the primary data devices in use today. While it is not news, it is increasingly the case that this popularity and wide userbase attracting more hackers and identity thieves.
The operating systems for these phones are dominated by the Android and Apple offerings, and this allows those black hats to focus their efforts. While the focus on preventing malware from attacking your system, the smartphone provides a different situation from laptops, tablets and other computers.
Understanding the Threats
A prudent concern over the real online threat from hackers and other Internet bad actors is reasonable. There are many individuals who spend their waking hours trying to steal your personal information. That includes the data you save on and send from your phone. However, it is important to understand the biggest threats and the best ways to defend against them.
The latest smartphones come with sophisticated applications and hard-wired protection against hacking. That means you can feel reasonably secure about basic protection for your phone. That protection breaks down, however, once you are on the Internet and get there by using a local hotspot or other wireless connection.
The best protection against hackers at that level is the use of a virtual private network. The VPNs are designed to prevent snoopers and hackers from accessing your data and transmissions. Most corporations provide a VPN-level security function. That does you no good when you are on your own in a hotel, at a coffee shop, or at using any other wireless service, whether it is paid or free.
The Power of the VPN
If you are simply accessing the Internet through your normal provider, you will connect to your Internet Service Provider and they will redirect you to the desired website or other locations. This process provides your ISP, and anyone else monitoring your transmissions, with full information about who you visit, where you log on, and all other information about your online activities.
In this age of privacy breaches and weakening information barriers, this alone should be a concern for everyone. On the other hand, if you access the web via a VPN, you keep that activity private. The VPN redirects your traffic through special remote servers with an encrypted transmission. All the data you send or receive is protected, and if it is intercepted, it is unreadable by anyone else. That provides an exceptional level of protection even if you are hacked.
Selecting a VPN Provider
The growing importance of the VPN means there are now numerous companies offering this service, usually as a monthly subscription. There are a variety of potential features offered, but several basic features to consider in selecting a VPN for your phone. These include:
- Ease of set up and use
- Number of useful VPN connection nodes offered
- Speed of the service
We found three quality providers of VPN services using these criteria, and rank them here in reverse order:
- VPN by Private Internet Access. This is an easy-to-use app that provides a good selection of basic settings and a broad selection of exit points in more than 20 countries.
- NordVPN. Nord is one of the leading providers of VPN services for computers and larger companies. It has migrated a functional version of its product to smartphones, and it provides an effective product. It is a bit difficult to set up but works fine once this is accomplished. With exit nodes in more than 100 cities in more than 15 countries the service achieves a reasonable speed and effectiveness.
- Surfshark Mobile VPN. The winner of our review is the self-proclaimed best android vpn, Surfshark. The designers of this app have paid a lot of attention to making it both intuitive and fast, and it has gained excellent reviews. The firm provides an exceptional number of 800-plus servers in more than 50 countries, and it boasts of zero buffering speeds. In fact, many users find faster download times for video and other services than through their own provider.
You can make a quantum leap in your smartphone security by adding the Surfshark VPN to your Android phone today. One-click and you are browsing with confidence and in security.