Opera (the web browser company) has just released an Android version of their free VPN app after the success they had with the iOS release. This app is easy to use and seems quite reliable (granted I’ve only had it installed for about 12hrs). This is a much cleaner app than other vpn clients I have used in the past. Very simple to use, just click the connect button and your good.
Its that easy. The top menu bar is red when disconnected and green when connected. The viking also gives you a good thumbs up when you get connected. The change region button allows you to change where the server is you are connected to. This would allow you to watch your Netflix while traveling to New Zealand just as if you were back in the USA.
Why VPN’s are Important
When you connect to a wireless network, your are broadcasting every bit of internet traffic between your computer and the access point over radio waves. If this data is left unencrypted it is quite easy for these data packets to be captured and read by a third party. Every time you connect to an open wireless network or even a large (think work, school, or hotel) secured wireless network you should be using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN provides you with an encrypted tunnel to route all of your traffic through, thus making it significantly more difficult to see what you are doing online.
If you are connecting to a network that other people can connect to (outside of those to expressly trust), anyone on that network can see everything your computer sends or receives from the internet. This also goes for work and school networks, if your traffic is being monitored or personal email clients are blocked, connecting to a virtual private network could be a solution. Your company or school IT group will not be able to monitor what websites you visit, only that you are connected to a vpn client.
A friend asked me the other day if I connected through a VPN while on my home network, my answer to that is sometimes. I will connect through a VPN when I am using banking websites or most recently want to stream Olympic coverage from the CBC or other international broadcaster (we didn’t care for NBC’s coverage and advertising).
Protect yourself, use a VPN on your phone, laptop and any other wireless device when you connect to public wifi networks.