VPN technology has gained immense popularity for a long time. We will tell you in more detail why it is needed and how to activate it on Android devices.
Many of you may have heard of VPN before or even used it. With it, you can increase your privacy, hide your location and other data while you are online, and even encrypt some information so that it cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons. But do you know how this technology works?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a set of technologies that allow you to establish an unlimited number of network connections over another network. Most often, this abbreviation means one of the types of this service. In fact, from a scientific point of view, this term refers to a group of technologies that have differences in the implementation and use of protocols.
How VPN works
Connecting to a VPN is usually just a couple of button presses. This applies not only to modern mobile devices on iOS or Android platforms, but also to computers. However, in order to understand at least a little the principles of this technology, you will have to remember what the Internet itself is.
Each computer, tablet, Wi-Fi router and many other devices with the ability to “go online” have their own address, encrypted as a set of numbers and called an IP address. The same can be said about various websites. This is done so that any member of the network can be identified.
But Web pages have a special domain name (eg "www.facebook.com") that is somewhat synonymous with an IP address. Thanks to the domain, we can simply remember sites and give them certain names, because navigating the endless stream of numbers is a task more suitable for a computer.
When we try to open a web page to watch our favorite series or broadcast of a sporting event, book a movie ticket, write a message, or read e-mail, for example, we must send a specific request from your device to the server. Next, the server is formed by the answer in which it sends data about the desired web page to your device and the site loads.
So we reached the moment where the most interesting may happen. During interaction with the server with due preparation and the presence of skills, anyone can intercept the information you send (location, IP address, etc.). Here and comes to the rescue VPN technology, which allows you to make a connection more protected and resistant to spy attacks.
The technology works quite simply (of course, if not going to technical implementation): another component is connected to the basic connection between the network member (by any domestic device). It gets access to transmitted traffic and encrypts it according to a specific protection protocol. And only after that the information sent from the computer information enters the end point to the server.
Due to this, at the time of a possible hacker attack, an attacker if the personal data receives, then only in the encoded form. And without special keys to declare information is unlikely to succeed.
Pros and Cons VPN
Having understood how VPN technology is functions, it was It would be useful to learn about its advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with good aspects.
- The ability to hide the real location of the user and replace it.
- Spying protection using personal data encryption (in this form, they become virtually useless).
- Simple and convenient to use.
- Do not worry about security while using unreliable networks (for example, public Wi-Fi in public places).
- Some unreliable services can reveal you yourself, so you need to choose them extremely carefully.
- The appearance of delays and reducing the connection rate.
- Really safe and well-configured VPN services are usually expensive.
Perhaps the list of advantages among our technology under consideration is far from the widest, but what can be achieved with VPN is expensive. By such services, you increase your anonymity and make it impossible or, at least, greatly complicate the life of interested parties in the disclosure of your personal data.
No one can find out the location of the user using a secure virtual network, since thanks to it these data will be hidden. More precisely, instead it will be possible to obtain information only about where the VPN server is located. Exception: unscrupulous and unreliable network providers, who can really kindly provide data about any of their clients, if suddenly someone needs it.
In addition, today there are a huge number of secure applications that allow your device to connect to virtual private networks with just a couple of clicks. This makes technology relevant in everyday life. You don't have to have important global information on your device or be a security officer for a big company to have a good reason to use a VPN.
After all, it is much more calm to feel when you are sure of the privacy and security of data from third parties. And the technology we are considering, although it is far from a 100% guarantor of your information security, is quite capable of adding another “defensive line”.
How to enable/disable the feature on Android
Even in early and now very outdated versions of Android, it was possible to connect to private virtual networks without using any software. Below we will look at several ways to manage VPN connections.
Using third-party applications
The easiest way to connect to a VPN is to use specialized software. You don't need to do anything manually. All you need is to provide the necessary permissions and click on a couple of buttons. The app will do the rest for you.
Let's consider the connection process using the example of the Orbot service from The Tor Project developer. This program has many other alternatives, such as TunnelBear and others, but unlike them, it is completely free.
Step 1. Go to the official Google Play store and download the utility.
Step 2. Launch Orbot and scroll through the home screens by reading the developer prompts and clicking Done.
Step 3. On the main screen of the program, select the country in which the server should be located (initially set to "World (auto)"), then activate the switch "VPN mode" and press the key "Start".
Step 4. The connection process will be successfully completed after the inscription "NOTICE: Bootstrapped 100% (done)": Done".
In Orbot, you can use something like a firewall, setting up a VPN connection only for the applications you choose.
built-in means of system
Well, for those who do not want to download various programs, there is also a way out. To do this, we will need to dig a little in the settings by installing the necessary parameters, as well as select a suitable server on a special Internet resource.
Step 1. Open the settings menu and go to the tab "Network and Internet".
Step 2. Deploy additional items by clicking on the corresponding button "Advanced" and open the section "VPN".
Step 3. Press the "+" key to appear the context menu " Change VPN profile ".
Step 4. Take another device or computer (or simply roll up the settings and open the browser), then go On this site to pick up a VPN server.
Step 5. Select the desired network from the list in which they are divided by country, quality of connection and other parameters. Make sure that the "L2TP / IPSEC" column is a tick, and remember the server address (highlighted bold fragment in the DDNS HostName line).
Step 6. Return to the open menu in the device settings and fill in the following fields: "Name" (any), " Type "(shown in the screenshot)," Server Address "(the one that was remembered in the step above).
Step 7. Open the optional lines in the menu by pressing the "Advance" key. Fill in the fields: "Total IPSec Type" (enter "VPN"), "Shipping routes (for example, 10.0.0.0/8)" (here specify the value "0.0.0.0/0"). As a username and password write "VPN".
Step 8. Press the button "Save" and go back to the section "Settings VPN ".
Step 9. Select the created only connection and click on "Connect". Expect the completion of the process, after which, if successful called the network, the inscription will appear "connected".
Another example of a detailed VPN configuration with screenshots was presented here.
It happens that the connections cannot succeed, even if all steps in the instructions are made without errors. In this case, you should try to select another server and establish a connection to it. Try different VPN networks until you connect to any of them.