You need to be using a VPN on your phone. Here’s how to set it up in less than 10 minutes

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Yes, you need a VPN on your phone.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Editors Note, February 9, 2022: The VPN industry has undergone significant change in recent months, with top three VPN options announce major changes in corporate ownership. In December, ExpressVPN announced that it had officially joined Kape Technologiesa company that already owns several other VPNs and has raised privacy concerns in the past. In February, NordVPN and Surfshark announced that the two companies would merge, although they will continue to function autonomously. We are in the process of re-evaluating all of our top picks in light of these changes. We will update our reviews and, if necessary, our rankings to account for this new competitive landscape.


We have all been there. You are in a coffee shop or an airport, and you desperately need to use public Wifi to save your phone’s data plan, but you’re worried about putting your privacy at risk when you connect to a network that may not be completely secure. have you heard that vpn they can help, but they seem expensive and complicated. To do?

There is no need to worry. VPNs are easier to use on your phone than you might think, and most are less expensive than you might expect. Here’s how to set up a VPN or Virtual Private Network on your iPhone either android phone — and get back to browsing safely on your mobile device — in less than 10 minutes.

CNET’s Best VPN Services of 2021

read more: The best VPN services of 2022

Why do I need to use a VPN on my phone, anyway?

Are all internet-connected apps on your phone up to date and running versions that were released after, say, 2017? What about your operating system? Is it the latest version of Android either iOS? If the answer to any of those questions is “I don’t know”, then you should use a phone VPN if possible. It can be difficult for malicious actors to take advantage of everyday users on public Wi-Fi, but outdated software can give them the opportunity they need to steal passwords to your most sensitive accounts.

If you’re concerned about the risks of using public Wi-Fi to check sensitive work email accounts, bank account balances, or passport and airline ticket information, a VPN can give you peace of mind. Some of our top rated options include ExpressVPN, surfer shark Y NordVPN.

read more: NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Comparison of speed, security and price

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Choosing a VPN for your iPhone or Android doesn’t have to be difficult.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How to choose the best mobile VPN

Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android smartphone, your first step is the same: find a VPN you like that’s compatible with your mobile device. That is how:

one. Browse CNET’s list of best VPNs for iPhone either best vpns for android. If your goal is simply to browse public Wi-Fi securely, look for a VPN service that has servers located in your current country. The general rule of thumb is that the closer the hardware is, the faster the VPN connection will be.

two. Avoid free VPNs. We love the 30-day guarantees and seven-day trial periods (and you will find many of those), but completely free VPNs are rarely secure, and are often just a way for unseemly companies to get hold of your data.

If you are looking to invest in a VPN for the long term, you will need more than 10 minutes of research time. But when you’re ready to dive deeper, CNET has reviews from many of the major players in the VPN spaceand a guide on how to choose the right VPN for you.

How to set up a VPN on an Android phone

Now that you’ve chosen the VPN you want to use, follow these steps to get it up and running on your Android device:

one. Open the Google Play Store app on your mobile phone and touch the search bar at the top of the screen.

two. Type in the name of the VPN you’d like to use and select it from the list of apps that appears. Check out the app creator to make sure you’re downloading the official app instead of a copy. The company name and the creator of the app must match. Click Install and wait for the app to download.

3. Once the VPN app is installed, exit the Google Play store and return to your phone’s home screen to click on the VPN app and open it.

4. The first time you open any paid VPN app, you will be prompted to provide your login information or sign up for the service. If you’re asked to sign up with an email address (which is the case with almost all services), be sure to check your email for a confirmation link from your new VPN provider.

For apps listed in CNET’s VPN directory, the process will be largely the same: You’ll be prompted to choose and pay for your preferred subscription level. We always suggest choosing a service that has a 30-day refund policy so you can try the services until you find the one you like.

Android devices require additional steps to keep a VPN running permanently in the background. We don’t recommend this for most users – a VPN client that is kept running 24 hours a day will quickly drain your battery and may force you to hit your data limit too early if you’ve chosen a VPN provider that caps your data limits. customers. data usage

That means that by default, almost any new VPN you use will only be up and running when you open the app and turn it on. Just remember to turn it off once you’re done browsing.

read more: Avoid These 7 Android VPN Apps Because of Their Privacy Sins

How to set up a VPN on an iPhone

Here’s how to get a VPN working on your Apple iPhone:

one. On your iPhone, go to the home screen and touch to open the app store.

two. Play the Search at the bottom right corner of the screen, then touch the Search box near the top of the screen.

3. Type in the name of the VPN you have chosen and select it from the list that appears. Then touch the Get button that appears to the right of the application name. As with any other app, you will need to confirm the app installation with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.

4. After installation is complete, close the App Store and return to your House screen.

5. Just like when you use a VPN for the first time on Android, using a VPN on iPhone for the first time means that you will be prompted to create a new account and select your preferred subscription level. Be sure to check your email inbox for any confirmation links your VPN company sends you if you signed up with an email address.

Almost all VPN apps will ask you to connect to an automatically selected VPN server based on your location to enable faster browsing. From now on, whenever you want to use your VPN, all you have to do is tap the VPN icon on your home screen before you start browsing the internet, click the app button to connect, and then Go back to the VPN app and turn it off once you’re done.

there now. Didn’t I tell you it was easy?

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