Do you need a VPN on your phone? Here’s the truth. from Mashable

Whether you’re rocking the latest iPhone or Android, one big question popping up is “Do I need a VPN for my phone?” Phones are our everyday companions, helping us communicate with friends and family, look information in a split second, and get lost down a rabbit hole of social media posts.

With Apple stopping over $2 billion in fraudulent transactions on the App Store and built-in security like Samsung Knox for Galaxy smartphones, surely our phones are safe and sound, right?

Not exactly.

From bugs allowing hackers to take over smartphones remotely to the ease of stealing private information over public Wi-Fi networks, people are becoming more aware of safety while using smartphones. 

That’s where the best VPNs can offer a helping hand, but is it worth using? Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks of using a VPN on your phone. 

Do you need a VPN on your phone?

While it isn’t essential, it is highly recommended. A VPN’s main purpose is to protect your privacy online, stopping advertisers, threat actors, and internet service providers (ISPs) from tracking, collecting, and selling your data. Many use their phones to browse, shop, and scroll through social media, and this information can be used against you if used maliciously.

A VPN can mask your location and make you a complete nobody (in a good way). Even better, the best VPNs come with advanced security tools made for smartphones, which can keep trackers, ads, and malicious threats a bay. 

Like on any device, it’s worth investing in a VPN service to use on your phone. You’ll find many services have apps tailor-made for phones, too, making them easy to use. 

Benefits of using a VPN on your phone

Here are a few ways a VPN can improve the way you use your phone:

Complete anonymity: A VPN encrypts your data and hides your real IP address. It makes it extremely difficult for anyone to snoop on your browsing activities – and that’s an important factor for those who use their phone as their go-to source for daily activities. 

Safety in public: We’ve all used free public Wi-Fi to cut down on our data usage, but threat actors can take advantage of unsuspecting users on these networks. Personal data is up for grabs, but if that data is encrypted via a VPN, then all a hacker will see is complete gibberish. 

Streaming without limits: Constantly on the move while binging your way through the latest TV show obsession? Smartphones have become an excellent way to stream content, especially when traveling. Well, VPNs can deliver even more content, as they can get past geo-restrictions on streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, so you can catch the latest in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and virtually anywhere around the globe. 

Drawbacks of using a VPN on your phone 

Be aware that VPNs on phones also come with a few disadvantages:

Sluggish speeds: Since a VPN connects to a server in another location, your smartphone’s internet speeds can take a dip. Depending on the VPN service you use, especially free VPNs, this can lead to long load times and constant buffering when streaming. If you’re using one of the major VPN platforms, like NordVPN or ExpressVPN, and connect to a server location that’s close to you, these slower speeds are barely noticeable. 

Drains battery: As with most apps, a VPN can deplete your smartphone’s battery. While these VPN apps aren’t highly demanding, having a VPN switched on throughout the day can take a slight toll on battery life. 

Not foolproof

VPNs are a great way to enhance your phone’s privacy and security online, but they don’t offer risk-free protection. Online scams, malicious apps, and dodgy websites are still a problem, so it’s worth staying on your toes, even if you have a VPN connection.