How to Setup a VPN on Android

Last Updated by Olivia Jones on March 13, 2019

As an Android user, you take your phone everywhere with you and are constantly turning to it to check email, get directions, do work, shop, keep in touch with friends, check social media, etc.

Because so many of those connections take place in public, Android users are often using public wireless connections to access the Internet. It’s remarkably convenient to do so, but very unsafe. Public wireless networks possess little-to-no security, making them the ideal place for hackers and cybercriminals to swipe your personal information or vital data such as passcodes to bank accounts, etc.

There are two different ways that you can stay safe while using your Android through public wireless networks utilizing virtual private networks (VPNs). Step-by-step details on how to set up a VPN for Android using those two methods are described below.

Use a Stand-alone App

The easiest option for setting up a VPN for Android is to invest in one of many VPN companies available and install a VPN app on your Android.
Here is the quick and easy way to set up an Android phone to connect with a VPN app.

    1. Sign up for and download the chosen VPN app.
    2. Tap the Android menu button.
    3. Tap the Wireless and Network settings button.
    4. Tap the VPN settings button.
    5. Select Add PPTP VPN – this stands for Point-to-Point tunneling protocol.
    6. Configure the VPN connection – there are four pieces of information necessary here:
        1. VPN Name
        2. Set VPN server (the address)
        3. Enable Encryption (yes)
        4. DNS Search Domains – if you need to use them, this is the time to say so.
    7. When the info is complete, a new VPN network will appear on the list. Return to the list of VPN settings and click ‘Connect to Network’ near the new connection.

There are dozens of choices out there when it comes to quality VPN providers for Android, but these three stand out from the rest in terms of usability and privacy:

  • SaferVPN
  • Trust.Zone
  • IPVanish

1SaferVPN

SaferVPN has more than 760 servers stretched across more than 35 countries. It has a Netflix workaround in place and does not store IP addresses nor logs, making it about as anonymous as possible. It features a kill switch for emergency protection; so if your VPN connection drops, the switch will take the computer offline immediately. That way no unfiltered data goes through.

Get it Now

2Trust.Zone

Trust.Zone is not as feature-laden as some VPNs but it is dependable and typically available at a lower price than the competition. It has unlimited speed and unlimited bandwidth available to make surfing the Internet as easy as it gets through a VPN. It has a no-logs policy, a free trial and a 10-day money-back guarantee.

Get it Now

3IPVanish

IPVanish is one of the most prolific VPN servers on the market. It has more than 1,000 servers in its network and is commonly measured as one of the top three fastest VPNs in regards to torrenting and video streaming. It also has bandwidth for up to five simultaneous connections.

Get it Now

Read more about essential things to consider when choosing an Android VPN: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Android VPN

Use Android’s Built-In VPN

Android devices have built-in VPNs for PPTP and L2TP. However, both have their flaws. If the paid VPNs are not possible for you to employ, the built-ins are the best possible remaining choice.

The criticism for the built-in PPTP is that it gets outdated quickly and is not as secure as other VPNs. Likewise the L2TP has security issues such as too many of its keys getting shared publicly.

Here are the steps for using the built-in VPNs for Android.

    1. From the Menu app, tap the Settings button.
    2. Tap the Wireless & Networks button.
    3. Tap “More”.
    4. Select which type of VPN protocol to use:
        1. PPTP
        2. L2TP
        3. L2TP/IPsec PSK
        4. L2TP/IPsec CRT
    5. If the VPN protocol selected requires a certificate, it can be downloaded or installed from the Android’s microSD card. In this instance, go to Settings/Security and check the box that says “Use secure credentials.”
    6. Give the connection a name to identify it such as ‘Home’ or “Work’.
    7. Tap Connect on the VPN screen to start the connection.

Conclusion

The only wrong choice to make when setting up a VPN for Android is thinking that public networks are safe. When there are no login or user passwords required, it can be very easy to view what another person is doing online and swipe personal information for nefarious purposes. To do the bare minimum to protect yourself when using public networks, make sure you use a VPN.

Olivia Jones
Olivia has written and edited for big publications and magazines. Her previous position in a cybersecurity firm gives her the edge on developing online security trends.