VPN for Android: make your mobile device more efficient
The development of mobile Internet technologies has allowed phones and tablets to access the network. People use these devices not only to search for information, but also to communicate in social networks, make purchases, payments and connect to corporate networks. But how do you get a reliable, secure, and anonymous connection? The most obvious and reasonable answer — additional connection to the virtual private network (VPN).
Now let's take a closer look at what VPN technology is, and tell you why you should use it on your phone. Consider the main applications, using which you can connect VPN on Android. We will describe step by step how to add and use a virtual private network on your device. We will show you how to change the settings in the workflow, if necessary.
VPN on Android: why you need it
Virtual Private Network — these are technologies that allow users to create a logical cloud network with one or many connections. The essence of VPN is to create a secure connection (tunnel) over another network or within it. Access to this connection is carried out using the appropriate application installed on the device. All data transmitted through this connection is modified, encrypted and protected.
The benefits of virtual private networks for Android
The spread of virtual networks offering access to the Internet has become more and more widespread in recent years. This is facilitated by a number of more than significant advantages:
- Traveling, business trips. An internet connection is required everywhere. Entering the virtual office, sending letters, ordering and paying for tickets, as well as using — these are just some of the features these services have to offer.
- Constant control over news and quotes without leaving home. To keep abreast of the latest world events, it will be enough to have a tablet or smartphone at hand.
- Safe use of public free Wi-Fi services. Staying at train stations, airports, cafes and hotels, you will get stable access to the network without the slightest risk. Yes, being able to access the Internet from anywhere can be very convenient. However, information security experts warn about the risks associated with an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. It can be hacked and used to access data stored on the device.
- Getting access to resources from anywhere in the world. With VPN for Android, you can easily access websites that are not available in certain regions due to regional restrictions established by law.
- Effectively bypass corporate network restrictions. Get access to the resources that you need at a given time without fear of blocking.
When should I use VPN on Android?
Using VPN on Android devices is beneficial compared to the built-in client, as it can provide a more individual and convenient approach to solving the task. The modern market offers specialized applications that will be supported on Android 4.0 and later versions of the operating system. It also provides support for PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and IPSec protocols. Using VPN on Android allows you to combine devices that are not connected to the same network into a secure virtual structure. Its use guarantees a number of more than significant advantages in solving various production problems:
- VPN settings are controlled using a convenient enterprise mobile infrastructure management console (EMM);
- it is possible to use VPN protocols that are not currently supported by the pre-installed Android client;
- Convenience and simplicity of connecting to a virtual private network without any complicated configurations.
But remember: to ensure maximum stability and convenience for any work or individual account, you should use a separate VPN on Android.
Creating a VPN connection with Android: the best apps
We have already said that VPN connection on Android is carried out using specialized software. Now let's dwell in more detail on three applications that are optimally suited for solving the task, will be simple and convenient to install, subsequent work, and will also turn out to be extremely functional. It's about:
Let's consider all applications for installing VPN on Android in more detail.
OpenVPN to connect VPN on Android
OpenVPN — is a free and open source program that uses the VPNService API and does not require elevated resources and privileges to run on the Android OS. It is important to remember that OpenVPN for Android — This is a client for connecting to a VPN server. In other words, the application needs a server on the other side of the connection to work.
In this case, we are interested in OpenVPN Connect: the official OpenVPN application for installing VPN on Android. It was developed by OpenVPN Technologies and has the same powerful features as the desktop version of the program. You can download this application on the official website of the software developer: https://openvpn-for-android.ru.uptodown.com/android.
The software allows you to manage any virtual private network from your android device. All you need to do – is to import the configuration file with .ovpn extension. You can use an SD card, an OpenVPN access server, a private tunnel, or a link in your browser to do this.
OpenVPN Connect has many great features, and one of them — battery consumption control. This tool puts the device into low power mode every time the screen turns off or if there are any connection difficulties. As a result, you can save energy. In addition, the PolarSSL library is built into the program, as well as support for the IPV6 protocol and communication with Android Keychain.
OpenVPN Connect – it is a must-have tool for OpenVPN users. Such an extremely valuable utility will help you always have a mobile version of the application at hand for your own security and web functionality.
WireGuard for connecting VPN on Android
WireGuard — it is an evolving VPN protocol that first appeared a few years ago. In 2020, it was integrated into the Linux kernel with version 5.6. Since it is already supported by the Linux kernel, it will be added to the Android OS — kernels with its support have already been developed. WireGuard provides more security, speed and ease of use than other VPNs for Android.
WireGuard differs from other protocols in several ways. Advantages of wire protection:
- Its source code is much more concise and understandable: while OpenVPN consists of hundreds of thousands of lines, WireGuard has only 4000 of them. This allows developers to quickly detect and fix any potential vulnerabilities, and clear documentation makes it easier to understand the principles of the protocol and its implementation to native applications.
- Security at the most modern level. WireGuard takes advantage of some of the most advanced and secure cryptographic algorithms such as BLAKE2, CURVE25519, CHACHA20, SIPHASH24, POLY1305, HKDF. The ability to choose the most correct option for working features increases security, while reducing flexibility. The protocol has been designed with simplicity in mind, making it resistant to attacks.
- High speed. For the average user, what matters is not what happens behind the scenes, but how it all works. Thanks to top-notch encryption, WireGuard is faster than its competitors, and ping is lower. This can be seen both in the results of official testing and independent benchmarks. The most noticeable difference is seen on Linux, as Wireguard is integrated into the kernel, allowing routing at a lower level.
And let's not forget about the high performance of the — an excellent argument in favor of WireGuard. You can download the WireGuard app for installing VPN on Android here https://www.wireguard.com/install/.
StrongSwan VPN Client for VPN connection on Android
The StrongSwan VPN Client application developed by the StrongSwan project is located in categories of communications in the Google Play store. The current version of — 2.4.1, updated 17/02/2023. It has already been installed by more than 784 thousand users. The app is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars in 3,000 reviews.
Among the main functionality of the application, we highlight:
- using IPSec for data transfer: L2tp is not supported: encryption algorithms such as aes-cbc, aes-gcm, chacha20/poly1305 and sha1/sha2 are used.;
- Full mobility and connection setup with Mobike, along with EAP authentication via username/password (eap-mschapv2, eap-md5, eap-gtc);
- support for the IKEv2 key exchange protocol (IKEv1 will not be active here): fragmentation will only be supported if it is directly supported by the VPN server itself;
- Rsa/ecdsa key/certificate authentication is available, as well as eap-tls with client certificates;
- active dual authentication: according to rfc 4739, rsa/ecdsa and eap dual authentication is supported;
- VPN server certificates are checked against CA certificates previously installed or added by the user: as an option, CA certificates or server certificates for server authentication can be imported into the application;
- database passwords, along with profiles, are stored in clear text: you can import VPN profiles from files found on the StrongSwan website.
Download StrongSwan VPN Client to install VPN on Android from the developer's official website https://www.strongswan.org/download.html.
Adding and configuring VPN operation on Android
Now that you know which applications to use to install VPN on Android and know where to get them, you can go directly to the settings. To do this, you need to follow a few steps. Follow the instructions below:
- Find and download the necessary files from the official website of the developer of VPN applications for Android.
- Set VPN network parameters. To enter your VPN network details, open the Settings app on your device. Then go to the "Network and Internet" tab and already here select the "VPN" option. If it's not there, contact your device manufacturer for help.
- In the upper right corner, click the Add icon. We enter the technical parameters of the VPN server that you will receive from the service provider. Then save all the settings you have made.
- Connect VPN on Android. To do this, return to the "Settings" menu again. Then go to the "Network and Internet" tab, and then click on "VPN". If there is no such option, look for it in the "VPN Settings" area. If your search fails, contact your device manufacturer for assistance.
- Select your VPN network. Then enter your username and access password. After that, click the "Connect" button. The Virtual Private Network will open automatically (assuming you have the VPN app installed.
If you need to disable or remove VPN from Android, do the following:
- Open the VPN application (it should start automatically).
- Go to the "Settings" menu, then select "Networks and Internet", followed by "Additional functions" and already here we click on the option "VPN Settings". If the function is not available, look for the "VPN Settings" section. If your search does not return any results, please contact your device manufacturer for assistance.
- Having found the desired VPN network, select the "Settings" icon. To disconnect from VPN, move the switch to the inactive position. If you want to delete the network, click the "Delete" button.
Sequence of steps for editing VPN settings
In this block, we will consider three settings separately:
- Change VPN settings for Android.
- Establish a persistent connection.
- Remove notifications about a permanent VPN network on Android.
We will consider each option in more detail.
Change VPN settings for Android
To change VPN settings, do the following:
- Go to the phone settings section.
- Find "Network and Internet" and then "VPN" or immediately the "VPN Settings" section.
- When you find the desired VPN network, click on the settings icon. If you have a VPN app, it will open automatically.
- We change the necessary settings of the VPN server and confirm our actions by clicking on the "Save" button.
Setting up a permanent VPN connection
To establish a permanent VPN connection, do the following:
- Go to the "Settings" menu; on mobile.
- Go to the "Network and Internet" option, and already in it find "VPN"; (If there is no such setting, try searching for the "VPN Settings" area. If the search fails, contact your device manufacturer for help).
- Go to the settings tab. Here we translate the position of the slider to "Permanent VPN". But we want to immediately draw your attention to the fact that when connecting VPN on Android through applications, this option will not be available. That is, you will control the operation of the virtual private network through the software itself.
- If changes have been made, click Save.
Removing notifications about a permanent VPN network on Android
If the persistent connection is broken, you will receive a notification. To get rid of this notification, disable the permanent VPN feature for this network. This can be done like this:
- Open the settings app on your phone.
- Search for the "VPN" option in the "Network and Internet" tab. If this option is not available, try looking for the "VPN Settings" section. If you can't find it, contact your device manufacturer for help.
- Click on the settings icon and turn off "Permanent VPN".
This completes all possible VPN settings on Android. If you still have additional questions, you may find answers to them in the block FAQ.
Summing up all of the above, we note that the stability, efficiency and functionality of the used VPN for Android directly depends on the reliability of the server you purchased. In order to avoid all sorts of risks, unjustified overpayments, to get the most convenient and reliable solution in operation, we recommend that you apply for a virtual private network server rental in the "Individual VPN" service. For more than a reasonable price, you get an assistant that will ensure your online privacy and security, as well as the effective bypass of regional blocking. If VPN for your Android – then only the best!