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Browse The Web Anonymously On Android And Other Smartphones
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Browse the Web Anonymously on Android And Other Smartphones

If you've got an Android, iPhone, or other smartphone, it's possible to change the IP address of your device. No, I don't mean just change it, I mean hide it and replace it with a virtual IP address. This can be done with a virtual private network.

Virtual private networks are used by a lot of businesses to allow their employees to 'go remote', but still be connected to the office servers. It's like taking a bit of the office computer with you when you leave. This way, sensitive data can be transferred, discussed, and manipulated without worry of a third party listening in. Tech-stuff like data encryption and tunneling are employed to ensure safe travel of the data.

And with this same principle for private use. By signing up for a VPN service and installing software on your phone to allow you to connect to their private network, you too are able to communicate with their servers without worry of others eavesdropping. This can be useful for private data transfers with other users, surfing websites anonymously, and of course changing your IP address.

Because when you connect with the VPN server, your real IP address goes AWOL and a virtual one from the network replaces it. Hence, your are invisible on any network, even public ones.

Now the type of VPN you'll want to use will vary. If you're on a smartphone, there are some restrictions. For example, the best encryption is going to come form a SSTP (Microsoft) or OpenVPN, but neither of these can be installed on phones unless you download apps that allow you to. You'll have to jailbreak an iPhone, and install a special app for Android, both of which take some technical skills that are out of the scope of this article, and beyond the average user.

Most of the time for iPhone and Android you're going to want a PPTP or L2TP VPN. This is the standard that most VPN services will offer for smartphone users. For Nokia and other Symbian Device users, you'll have to install mVPN (free) and one suggested VPN protocol is IKEv2, but use of this protocol will vary based on the type of Nokia phone you're using.

In general PPTP is a faster but less secure VPN, L2TP would be the opposite - more secure but because of security and encryption features it may run slower. Most of the time I'm unable to tell the difference. The real difference you may see is in the price. some places charge a few more dollars a month for a L2TP VPN connection. Some don't distinguish between them, and offer both in a single package (but you'll have to choose one).

A cheap PPTP VPN to browse the web anonymously on Android and other smartphones can cost you as little a less than $5 per month, while a L2TP VPN can cost as much as $20 a month. The prices however, usually settle somewhere in between five and ten dollars a month for both.


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