secure Internet surfing on Android

How to secure Internet surfing on Android or what is a VPN

Every mobile Internet user has at least once in their life encountered a problem when they urgently need to download a certain file, find the necessary information, or just want to watch a new TV series, but when entering a search query, the browser returns the error «this content is not available in your country». The reason for this is the restrictions imposed by the author or state law in relation to the content you need. Every time you visit the world wide web, you don’t know how much information (country, provider, device from which you went online, geolocation, time) you can get about you with just your virtual address.

Modern technologies do not stand still. Every day, new ways to bypass or disable such restrictions appear. We will consider several options, weigh all the pros and cons in order to finally decide which option will be safe and at the same time effective.

Our conversation will focus on how to hide or «substitute» your «IP address» and get access to blocked content on devices running the Android operating system, as well as to protect and hide your actions on the Internet from prying eyes.

Why hide IP on Android smartphones

Most likely, many people are now wondering «What is this address and why hide it?» Now we’ll sort everything out! An IP address is an identifier of your device, in our case a phone, a unique number that allows us to access the world wide web. It can be either static or dynamic (it changes every time you restart your router, computer, or smartphone).

The main reasons why it is worth hiding your virtual address:

  • there are often a number of problems associated with streaming services, when during a flight in an airplane or a visit to another country, your subscription to Netflix or HBO stops working and you can no longer watch a new episode of your favorite TV series, or do not have access to content at all;
  • downloading files from suspicious sites or clicking on abbreviated links can lose access to your account or even your device;
  • to safely, and most importantly quickly download a movie or your favorite game via torrent, while not leaving behind «traces» on the Internet;
  • many providers also impose a number of restrictions on the use of certain Internet resources for specific users (bans) or for entire regions;
  • finally, every user would like to get rid of intrusive advertising once and for all, the options of which are always associated with your wishes (targeted advertising is based on collecting information on the user’s search queries and issuing appropriate advertising offers);
  • by leaving your IP address on every site you visit, you are actually leaving your physical location publicly available, in other words – thanks to the virtual address, it is quite easy to calculate your physical address, which threatens your privacy.
The video is not available
The video is not available for viewing on the territory of the user’s current country

Relatively safe methods of hiding IP on Android

For all of the above problems, there are a number of solutions. Let’s look at the most popular ones and choose the most optimal and, most importantly, stable in operation.

Proxy-server

Proxy, like most other options, it is a kind of intermediary that redirects the connection between the user and the destination site through its servers, thereby creating a tunnel with a spoofed IP. This option will give you the opportunity to:

  • connect to an existing network and redirect your search queries;
  • unblock unavailable streaming services and sites (does not work with Netflix and similar platforms);
  • download files anonymously via torrent (not always stable and fast);
  • it is available on both PCs and phones, but with the mobile version you will have to download additional software or change the firmware settings.

TOR

The Onion Router – a whole browser for your Android smartphone that, when launched, already hides your online activities. The principle of operation of this program is to connect to a number of proxy servers, thereby providing the user with complete anonymity. This option uses multi-level encryption, thereby ensuring maximum security. However, for a high level of privacy, you will have to sacrifice the speed of the Internet, because this is the slowest solution available today.

There is also no choice of location. You connect directly to one of the servers, which redirects your traffic further. Also, the TOR browser is not relevant for torrent downloads due to the low download speed and application differences (TOR proxy servers do not apply to other programs like uTorrent, etc.). The disadvantages are due to the fact that this browser is completely free and can be downloaded through the Google Play Market without any problems.

Public Wi-Fi Networks

A simple, but at the same time limited way. By connecting to a shared Wi-Fi network, you can access limited content, but often such networks require you to go through something like verification (enter your phone number, email address) which is already the exact opposite of security. Owners of such networks often set a limit on the amount of traffic consumed per device or the maximum allowed speed. On the other hand, this option is useful if you travel to another country, when you connect to the IP of the current region, you will be able to access the previously blocked content of this country. Not the best and fastest option.

VPN

 

VPN suitable for all platforms
VPN suitable for all platforms

Fast and reliable way for all platforms. Provides reliable protection of personal data with complete anonymity of the user on the Internet while maintaining high and stable speed. This is one of the few ways to choose a connection location that is as close to the user as possible. Or choose a completely different country, the content of which was closed for public access. In addition to choosing a location, you get unlimited access to any services you need and the maximum download speed to torrent. Another big plus will be multiplatform, as in the case of «TOR», VPN will help hide the IP address on any device.

Browser Upgrade

In addition to the software component-it is possible to hide the VPN using ready-made tools that are built into the functionality of your browser. For example: the Android and PC version of the Opera browser has a built-in VPN, and browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari give the user the opportunity to independently configure the connection via dedicated servers (for experienced users)

Should I buy paid solutions

I think we have decided on the method. But what to do with the intrusive offers to buy a paid subscription or the full version, is it important? Absolutely! This will expand the range of possible countries to connect to and give you access to the advanced settings of the program. Naturally, stable and good VPN services are almost always paid, but why «almost»?

I want to introduce you to our solution – Switcherry VPN. With it, you can access restricted content or use the torrent freely anywhere in the world. Discover Netflix wherever you are. At the same time, none of your actions on the network will be «recorded» in the action log.

The free version has more than 40 regions available for connection, and by purchasing the full version-you get access to a professional and extensive connection setup, and the variability of the connected regions increases to 80+ In addition to locations, many manufacturers allocate separate servers for streaming services, which is an absolute plus, because the speed and quality of the Internet connection will be much better. By purchasing the full version, you also get the opportunity to use the purchased product on all your devices.

Insecure methods of hiding IP on Android

Having considered the most common options, it is worth mentioning the insecure and ineffective ways to hide your IP address.

  1. Request a new IP from your provider or try to change it manually. A rather useless method, since replacing the address will not give you the necessary anonymity, and your actions can still be tracked.
  2. «Incognito» mode in the browser. This option has nothing to do with your IP. You can hide the history of visits or downloads, but your traffic can still be tracked by the provider, advertising bots, scammers…
  3. Use of third-party Internet resources. In the network, there are so-called «services» that offer the service of IP address substitution. This is essentially the same proxy or VPN, but when you use it, you risk leaving your confidential information to scammers in the public domain.

How to hide an IP on Android using Switcherry

If it is not difficult to find and install the above solutions on a personal computer, then users of mobile platforms should pay more attention to this issue. Based on the above, it becomes clear that the fastest, safest and at the same time functional method to hide an IP address is a VPN. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of our service, as well as compare it with other options on the market. Switcherry VPN is fast enough, easy to use, multifunctional, and most importantly – a secure option for any life situation.

Switcherry VPN Alternative options
Maintaining logs (magazines) +/-
Multiplatform + +/-
Multilingualism + +/-
Number of available countries in the free version 130+ 30+
Refund + +/-
The ability to increase the speed +
Access to all necessary platforms (Netflix, Megogo, HBO) + +/-
Wi-Fi protection + +/-
Number of devices 7 4+

Switcherry VPN has an intuitive interface with a wide range of language and country selections. Let’s take a closer look at how to create an account and protect your personal information quickly and easily.

Step 1

First, we need to download the app itself. You can do this either through the website switcherry-vpn.com or via the Play Market. The download is completely free. Find the app in the search, click «download». When the download is complete, launch the app.

Page Switcherry in PlayMarket
Page Switcherry in PlayMarket

Step 2

At startup, you are immediately taken to the start-up user interface. You can choose the country through which you want to redirect your connection, or just click the «connect» button and the program will automatically select the nearest available server. It is worth remembering that the closer you are to the connected server (country), the faster the data exchange will be, and hence the download speed.

Switcherry interface on Android
Switcherry interface on Android

Step 3

Then you need to register to get access to all the features of the program, use the maximum number of countries, download files in seconds and disable ads. To do this, go to the menu (upper left corner) and select the item «My account»

Creating a SwitcherryVPN account via the Android app
Creating a SwitcherryVPN account via the Android app

Next, select the item «Sign in/ Sign up», enter your email address and password. Congratulations, registration is over. Then you should think about buying the full version, the advantages of which are the following attributes:

  • connect to more servers around the world;
  • completely disable advertising;
  • maximum security when surfing the internet and downloading via torrent;
  • increase the download/transfer speed;
If you have any questions or problems, you can always contact our support service by selecting «Help» in the menu and our specialists will help you solve any problem as soon as possible.

After completing the setup, you get full and unlimited access at maximum speed to all the web resources that you are interested in. It is enough to configure the program once and each subsequent launch will automatically connect your device taking into account the last saved settings

In the end, if the full version still does not suit you – you can always get your money back without much worries.

FAQ

1. If I want to replace the IP address, rather than hide it, what solutions are there?

1. If I want to replace the IP address, rather than hide it, what solutions are there?

In fact, all of the above methods somehow match your request. Since you are on the Internet in any case, you have a specific address. Only in the case of a VPN proxy, this address is changed to a «fake» one, preventing advertising bots, scammers, or anyone else from tracking your activity. There is also a method of dynamic IP, which will change with a certain frequency, but, as practice has shown, this method is ineffective due to the constant change of servers and regions.

2. Is it legal to use a VPN?

2. Is it legal to use a VPN?

It is worth clarifying a number of aspects, such as the fact that many companies use VPNs or proxy servers to preserve the privacy of employees and protect their data. Also, quite often, these methods are used by media employees to hide their Internet activity. This is due to the large number of provocative materials put on general display by the media. Due to the fact that most companies have a «tax-free» policy (there is no logging on customer requests) – it is impossible to provide information about a particular client, because they do not exist.

3. Does the data transfer rate decrease when using a VPN?

3. Does the data transfer rate decrease when using a VPN?

Yes, you will lose some of the maximum available data transfer rate. This is due to the fact that your request is first sent to the VPN servers, and then with a new personal address is already redirected to the destination of the requested point. Often these losses are insignificant, about 20-30% (in free solutions, the loss is about 50%), but it is also worth noting that using a private virtual network is still the fastest way in comparison with others.

Conclusion

I hope that the above material was useful and you closed the issue of network security for yourself. Depending on the situation, you can choose the best way to solve your problems. I, for example, always lean towards a private network (VPN). Using them on a regular basis gives you a number of advantages, significantly improving the quality of your web surfing and completely removing traces of your activity on the Internet, and you no longer have to worry about advertising or protecting your personal data.

Author: Nicolas Cuts

Nicolas Cuts
Product Managers at SwitcherryVPN. Have 5 years background in management and marketing. I never stop learning!

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