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4 VPNs and an alternative to anonymize traffic on Android

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4 VPNs and an alternative to anonymize traffic on Android

A VPN is a good defense when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks because it extends a private network through a public one, allowing users to send and receive data as if their devices were directly connected to a private network, achieving significant benefits in functionality, security, and privacy.

To put it another way, a VPN encrypts the connection between computing devices and the web services and servers they use, masking IP and location by routing traffic through a proxy server and preventing third parties from spying on user activity.

However, in addition to safeguarding themselves by connecting to untrustworthy public Wi-Fi, many use VPNs to circumvent the stringent limitations imposed in countries such as China, where fundamental rights are routinely violated. They are commonly utilized by teleworkers and businesses because they allow access to resources that are not available through the public network.

Given the benefits they can provide and how prudent their use is in certain situations, we will discuss four VPN solutions and an alternative to these that are available for Android and are responsible for anonymizing traffic and protecting data in situations where malicious actors are very likely to be lurking.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a robust cross-platform solution that works with Windows, Mac, Linux, Routers, iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Kindle Fire, Nook devices, PlayStation, Apple TV, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, and Nintendo Switch. It provides extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox in order to integrate with browsers. The former should be compatible with any Chromium-based browser.

One area where it appears to excel in performance, with only a tiny reduction in connection speed when compared to a direct connection to the Internet, which can be limited based on geographical location or compromised when using public Wi-Fi.

ExpressVPN also has no user data storage, a kill button, and data leak protection. Of course, there is a seven-day trial available for Android users. After this period has expired, the user will be required to checkout, with the company recommending an annual plan.

Surfshark

Surfshark is another solution that offers robust cross-platform compatibility for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Firefox, and Chrome (the web browsers with extensions).

It provides AES-256-GCM and RSA-2048 encryption, limited simultaneous connections, and complete forward secrecy to safeguard data transmitted through your network and assure privacy. Its web browser extensions are designed to avoid leaks by utilizing WebRTC, an open-source project focused on delivering real-time communication between web browsers and mobile applications via dedicated APIs.

When it comes to routing connections through two servers in your virtual private network, Surfshark includes a "multihop" option. It also includes ad blocking, tracker blocking, access to a privacy-friendly search engine, and a tool that compares email addresses to data breach lists.

Surfshark likewise provides a seven-day free trial and a thirty-day return before recommending a two-year membership.

NordVPN

NordVPN, like the other options, has robust cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Chrome, and Firefox.

It also supports P2P sharing, a service called Double VPN, which consists of a second encryption layer, Tor support via the VPN network, and even a dedicated IP address if a VPN is running that also works as a server. On Android, a seven-day trial is available before the business proposes a biannual plan.

IPVanish

Another VPN service that works with Android, as well as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Fire Stick, Kodi, and routers. Its managers describe it as a non-free customizable and quick-to-use solution (at least on Android).

IPVanish provides 24/7 email and chat support, has servers in over 75 countries, secure access to censored applications and websites, no speed limit thanks to WireGuard, unlimited simultaneous connections, implements advanced encryption standards, has a user-friendly interface on all platforms, and advanced antivirus security with malware detection and removal.

Orbot Proxy with Tor and Tor Browser

What if you can't afford to pay for a VPN service? It is critical to understand that Tor cannot and does not attempt to defend against network boundary surveillance, or what amounts to the same thing, traffic going in and out.

Although it protects against traffic analysis, it cannot prevent traffic confirmation, also known as end-to-end correlation. The provider cannot see the traffic generated while using the network, but it can see that the user is utilizing it.

There are two ways to use Tor on Android: the Tor Browser web browser, which makes it easy to navigate through the "onion network," or Orbot Proxy with Tor, which is a proxy that allows you to specify which applications pass their traffic through the Tor network and has a VPN mode to hide the user's location.

Both Tor Browser and Orbot Proxy with Tor are products that are officially produced by the network's maintainers, thus they may be trusted as long as one is aware of the limits that they have in comparison to a VPN solution.

Post by Bryan C.