A virtual private network (VPN) works on an Android phone the same as it works on any other device. Thus, users can expect the same high level of security as they can when they install a VPN on their computer, tablet, or as a part of an IoT network. VPNs such as Surfshark can handle a single phone for an individual user or several phones all linked to an entire enterprise network. Regardless of the scale of protection a user needs, a VPN provides comprehensive security on multiple levels. Let’s take a closer look.
How a VPN Works
The first thing to understand about a virtual private network is that it offers multi-layered protection for an Android. This is different from a malware detection or antivirus app that may only provide a single layer of protection for a specific type of threat. However, the real issue here is whether a VPN offers a higher level of protection that is more consistent across the board.
The answer is yes. Here is why:
Since cyber attacks are ultimately an invasion into user privacy via an Android phone, let’s use the analogy of a burglar breaking into someone’s home. How does a malware detection/antivirus software differ from a VPN in keeping a burglar from stealing a homeowner’s most private possessions?
Antivirus / Malware Detection Software: Allowing the Burglar to Break In
In a home break-in scenario, malware detection acts like an intrusion alarm. Once the burglar breaks in the home, they may trigger the alarm and wake up the homeowner. In addition, to triggering an alarm, the detection system may also turn on lights in the home, send out a dispatch to local police authorities, and send an alarm complete with video footage of the burglar in the home to the homeowner. The homeowner may also have other protective measures they can use against the burglar such as a guard dog or even a weapon.
Once the burglar is successfully captured and removed from the home, there are still lingering questions that haunt the homeowner. How in the world did the burglar get in the home? How did the burglar know where I lived? What was it about my home that attracted the burglar?
Even with an advanced alarm system and maybe some high-end locks, the burglar was still able to enter the home. As a result, the alarm system was rendered only partially effective at preventing theft or injury to the homeowner. Its primary role was detection, not prevention.
This precisely how malware detection or antivirus software works. Regardless of how useful the software is, it can only handle a cyber attack as the attack is occurring. However, it cannot prevent an attack from happening. In addition, today’s hackers have figured out several ways to bypass antivirus software.
Virtual Private Network: Concealing & Relocating the House from the Burglar
As long as criminals know the address of a home and who lives inside, they always have the advantage over the homeowner. They can spy on the homeowner, look for patterns in the homeowner’s behaviour, and then break into the house when the homeowner least suspects it. They have several ways to enter the house and can use any number of tools for busting through windows or doors.
However, what if the burglar never knew that the house existed? To go one step further, what if the burglar thought that the house was in New York City when, in fact, the house was in London? This is how a virtual private network operates. If a VPN were used to protect a house, the homeowner would no longer have to worry about burglary detection. Instead, they could focus on burglary prevention.
VPN: Complete Multi-layered Protection
This simple analogy demonstrates why a VPN is more effective at eliminating cyber threats than any other type of software. However, that is only part of the story. As we mentioned earlier, a VPN provides multi-layered protection against hackers and other entities.
The layers of protection include:
- IP address masking: A VPN disguises an Android phone’s IP address and replaces it with a fake IP address. This gives a hacker the impression that the Android phone and its user are located on a network in one area of the world, when in fact, they are located in an entirely different area on another network.
- Tunnelling: In addition to ‘relocating’ an Android phone, a VPN also offers a tunnelling feature that protects data travelling to or from the phone. The tunnel encapsulates the data so that it is 100% undetectable. No one can know where the data is travelling or what the data contains.
- Encryption: The VPN scrambles the information in the data until it can be decoded by either the sender or the receiver. The receiver can decode the information in several ways but usually uses a digital ‘key’ to unlock the encrypted message. An example of a digital key would be to type in a username/password to access an email account and retrieve a message.
Benefits of a VPN for Android Users
In addition to multi-layered protection, VPNs like Surfshark also offer numerous other benefits for Android phone users. Some benefits include:
- Clean web surfing: Users can surf the web without ads, trackers, malware, or phishing attempts.
- Multiple devices: VPN service providers like Surfshark offer full protection service on unlimited Android phones and other devices.
- Strict no-logs policy: The VPN does not monitor, track, or store a user’s activity on the Android phone. The user leaves no trace when they visit a website, streaming service, torrent, or another Internet portal.
- ‘No borders’ browsing: Some top VPNs offer hundreds of networks in several countries around the world (Surfshark has 800+ servers in 50+ countries). Users have full access to otherwise blocked or banned sites, streaming services, or P2P platforms in any county where the VPN offers a network.
- Kill switch. This useful feature complete cuts off an Android phone from the Internet if the VPN suddenly drops a safe connection. That way the phone is not vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- Undetected activity. The Android phone is completely untraceable from hackers, criminals, government agencies, Internet service providers (ISP), or any other agency. Users never have to worry about their privacy or security being compromised.
With all the features and benefits available from VPNs, it is easy to see why they are the smart choice for Android phone protection. They offer multi-layered security that prevents any interaction between a hacker and an Android phone instead of merely detecting it. Plus, users can take advantage of other benefits that other types of security software does not offer. For users looking for ultimate cyber security, nothing matches a powerful virtual private network.