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Best VPNs For Mobile Privacy

Shimon Brathwaite's profile image

By: Shimon Brathwaite

November 18, 2021

As smartphones become more sophisticated, they collect more information on their users increasingly. Everything from our name, address, real-time location, personal contacts, bank information, fingerprints, and personal conversations can all be accessed through our smartphones. As a result, it's increasingly important that we take precautions to protect ourselves from people who may try to eavesdrop on our conversations or get information in other ways. One way to protect against this is through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These are software services that improve the security and privacy of our smartphones, with almost no effort required on behalf of the users. VPNs are very simple to set up, with many of them providing their services for free or at little cost to the end-user. This article will discuss what a VPN is, how it works, and some of the best VPNs for mobile privacy in the 21st Century.

What is a VPN?

As mentioned, a VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it's a service that protects the connection between your phone and servers on the internet. Simply put, whenever using a VPN on a phone, rather than the phone connecting directly to a server on the internet, the phone first connects to the VPN provider's servers, and the request will be forwarded through that server. The VPN acts as an intermediary between the phone and all of the other parties on the internet. Most VPNs also use encryption to create a secure tunnel that protects you from outside parties. While it's possible to be still tracked when using a VPN, typically, any good VPN solution will significantly reduce the ability of outside parties to track the IP address, online activity, and the ability to eavesdrop on online communications. VPN graph

What are the types of VPN?

There are many different types of VPNs, which means there are many options for protecting yourself when browsing on your mobile device.

Standalone VPNs

These are VPNs that are sold as individual services. To get a standalone VPN, find a company that provides VPN (usually paying for the service) and then install their software on the phone. Typically, standalone VPN services are reliable, offering the most features and customization because this is what their business model is built on.

Browser extensions

These VPNs come with the most popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. They are typically more convenient because they can be used from within the phone's browser. However, the limitation is that you are only protected when browsing the web through that particular browser and usually aren't as comprehensive as a standalone VPN service.

Router VPN

This type of VPN is one of the least common, and it is used as part of the router itself. As long as the phone is connected to the right router, all the traffic will automatically be routed through the VPN service provider. This is a good option when several devices need to be protected. Once configured, the router will always be connected to the VPN.

Corporate VPN

If you worked a regular job throughout the peak of the pandemic, you are probably familiar with corporate VPN. VPNs provide employees with remote access to the company's internal network (e.g., intranet) and provide extra security for employees. Typically, connections require a company username, password, and an authentication token to access a corporate VPN.

What are the best VPNs for mobile


Surfshark is a great VPN solution for a family. They offer unlimited devices under a single plan, have a zero-logging policy, and it's very cost-effective. It comes with a built-in ad blocker which makes browsing the web more safe and convenient for the whole family. It will protect against malware and phishing attempts and includes a kill switch that can disable internet connections if the VPN connection drops. Another fun feature that it has is 30 Netflix libraries. This means that you can set your VPN to make it appear that you are in up to 30 different countries, and this will allow you to get access to shows and movies that you couldn't access before!


This is one of the best overall mobile VPNs on the market. After installing the app, you can connect with one click to the best pre-selected server based on location. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in several countries that allow users to access geo-blocked websites or streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HULU, Amazon Prime Video, etc. In addition, it comes with 24/7 live support, a zero-logging policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The only downside is that it can only support up to 5 devices on one plan.

Hotspot Shield

This VPN is best if there's a need to have good speed while using a VPN. Since running traffic through a VPN adds an extra step to the browsing process, there will be a small delay. But some VPNs are faster than others, and Hotspot is known for having excellent speed compared to its competitors. This makes it one of the best for streaming, and it allows for up to 6 devices on one plan.


If you're more into using a VPN for privacy rather than accessing blocked websites, NordVPN is the security specialist app on this list. NordVPN has a good reputation for online security, and it's great for use when connecting to public wifi. They offer some security services such as Onion over VPN and Double VPN for extra security when browsing the internet. They also had two independent audits of their servers and privacy policy, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining user privacy. They have over 5,500 servers in 80+ server locations, and they claim to keep zero logs on user activity.

Additionally, they are based in Panama, which keeps them out of any major surveillance jurisdictions. The only major complaint I've found on them is that their interface isn't very visually appealing, and it's not as quick as Hotspot Shield. However, if security is your number one concern, this VPN is the best on our list.

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