Mar 10, 2014

How to use a VPN on Android phones?

What do I need to do to set up and use a VPN on an Android phone? My phone is an HTC One S with Android 4.1.

Android has built-in support for PPTP (insecure) and L2TP/IPsec connections. However I find this connection method to be someone unstable, especially when using mobile data (it will just disconnect randomly).

Since Android 4.0 (ice cream sandwich), Android has supported the OpenVPN protocol which offers the best combination of speed, security, and flexibility.

To use OpenVPN on your device, you must first subscribe to a VPN service that offers it (most major VPN services do).

Then, you can either use the OpenVPN connect app:

Which works quite well but requires manually setup that can be tricky for non-technical users.

The easiest option is to choose a VPN provider that has their own custom VPN app for android. On our site we recommend several that perform very well and have additional features you won't find elsewhere:

Android has integrated support for PPTP and L2TP VPNs. You can connect to these types of VPNs without installing any third-party apps.
To connect to a compatible VPN:
1)open the Settings app and tap More under Wireless & networks. (On Android 2.3, tap Wireless & networks.)


2)Tap the VPN option on the Wireless & networks screen. (On Android 2.3, tap VPN Settings.)


3)Tap the + button and provide the VPN’s details. Enter a name to help you remember which VPN is which into the Name field, select the type of VPN server you’re connecting to, and enter the VPN server’s address (either an address like vpn.example.com or a numerical IP address).


4)Tap the VPN to connect once you have set it up. You can have multiple VPN servers configured and switch between them from the VPN screen.


5)You will need the username and password your VPN requires when you connect. However, you can save this account information for next time.


6)While connected to a VPN, you will see a persistent “VPN activated” notification in your notifications drawer. To disconnect, tap the notification and tap Disconnect.


Android Authority has a good basic guide for setting up a VPN on your device. The short version is that you need a VPN provider, some of which are free, and then you need to go into your Settings, then go to Wireless and Networks>VPN. It might be slightly different depending on device, but it should be in there somewhere. Then you just need to add your VPN.

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