If you aren't a fan of using unsecured wireless networks while on the go, a VPN client is what you want. Jack Wallen introduces you to one of the best on the Android platform.
If you're sitting in a coffee shop, working on a non-secure wireless connection, and you need to transmit data of a private nature, chances are you'll hold off hitting Send until you're back within the secure comfort of your own network. You don't have to wait.
You can opt to go the VPN route and wrap that transmission in a blanket of security. With Android, there are plenty of options.
If your company has its own VPN or you know of an available VPN, you can configure the secure connection manually (supported VPNs include PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and IPSec Xauth). Or, you can take advantage of the many available services that aid in the setup. One such service is VyprVPN, which offers an Android app to make connecting to the service simple.
The VyprVPN service's free account is limited to 500 MB of data transfer; if you want more, you've gotta pay (check out the price/feature matrix). Whether you opt to go the free route (which I suggest at first, to make sure the service meets your needs) or not, you have to sign up for an account. And if you need VyprVPN for business, they've got you covered.
Installing VyprVPN on Android devices
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
- Search for vyprvpn.
- Locate and tap the entry by Golden Frog.
- Tap Install.
- Read the permissions listing.
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept.
- Allow the installation to complete.
Tap the VyprVPN icon on your home screen or from within your App Drawer, and then tap either LOG IN or SIGN UP FREE (Figure A).
The VyprVPN sign in screen.
Once you've logged into your VyprVPN account, you're ready to connect to the nearest VPN server. Tap the Connect button (Figure B) and then tap OK.
The VyprVPN main screen.
Once the connection authenticates, the client will list out where you are connected as well as your VyprVPN IP address, time connected, and if NAT is enabled (Figure C).
A VyprVPN connection running on a Verizon-branded LG G3.
You're ready to work securely over that non-secured wireless connection — it's that simple. After you've finished using the VyprVPN connection, tap the Disconnect button, and the connection will break.
If you want to know how much data you've transferred, tap the gear icon on the main window to reveal how many days are left in your billing cycle and how much data you have remaining (Figure D).
The VyprVPN client settings window.
There are a few settings you can tweak, if necessary. In the settings window, you'll find:
- Protocol (configure the encryption protocol)
- DNS (configure a third-party DNS if needed)
- Automatic Connect (set up a connection based on your preferences)
- Sound and notification (enable the playing of a sound when VyprVPN connects)
One of the best VPNs
The VyprVPN client/service is one of the better VPNs you'll find on the market. If your company doesn't offer VPN and you frequently work outside of a secure network, I highly recommend giving VyprVPN a try. Your sensitive data is worth the minimal monthly price.
- How to connect to a VPN from your Chromebook (TechRepublic)
- 10 do's and don'ts for securing your Android device (TechRepublic)
- Configure Cloak for a secure VPN connection for Mac or iOS devices (TechRepublic)
- Encrypt your email on Android with the help of K-9 Mail and APG (TechRepublic)
- 5 things you should know about VPNs (ZDNet)