How do VPN Apps Work?

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How do VPN Apps Work?

Updated: April 9, 2016

Quick Answer

VPN apps are every bit as simple to install and use as the desktop versions are. Essential all that you need to do is sign up with your chosen VPN, download the app, log in, choose your server, and wait for the connection to be established. With that all of your online activity on that device should go through the VPN.

Detailed Answer

When VPNs first began to emerge for use by individual internet users, such activity was still very much confined to desktops and laptops, and so the VPN software was also confined to these mediums.

Fast forward to today, and in most developed countries, the majority of online activity takes place on mobile devices. The explosion in the use of tablets, smartphones, and other such devices has revolutionized the way we surf the net and access information online. And with that it has also fundamentally changed the way we want to use our VPNs.

Demand for VPNs is higher than ever as the risks to our online security and privacy from hackers, Government surveillance, and countless other threats, increases. And for the majority of big name players in the market, they have moved with the times too.

Most VPNs will now support the major mobile operating systems, and increasingly they are also offering their products through apps as well. These small programs which sit on your phones homepage and allow an easy, user-friendly route into various online sites and services are hugely popular, and the same is true of the VPN ones. More and more people are using VPN apps, and with that more and more people are approaching us here at to ask about them.

So how does a VPN App work?

The simple answer to this question is, in much the same way as the desktop versions work as well. IF you want to use an App to get a VPN onto your phone, the process for different providers is much the same, and will require you to follow these few simple steps:

1. Sign up with a VPN

You will firstly have to sign up with a VPN. To do this, simply pay a visit to their website and select from their various subscriber packages the one which best suits your needs. Follow the instructions to move through the payment process, and once this is finished, you will then more often than not have to click on a link in an email to confirm your account.

2. Download the App

If you have selected to download the software as an app, clicking on this link on your device should send you automatically to the relevant App store. From here, you will be able to download and install the app in no more than a few simple clicks.

If your provider doesn’t ask you to preselect, then after confirming your device you will be given the option to choose and download your software from a menu. Simply pick the correct operating system for your device, and this too should connect you to the relevant App store.

3. Log-In

With the software downloaded, you will then have to open it up, and the first thing it is likely to ask you to do is log-in. Do this using the email address and password you used to sign up with you provider and your App should then open.

4. Select your Server

With the App open, all that is left for you to do is select your server from the list provided. In most instances all you will have to do is scroll through the list and click on your choice, and then wait a few moments while the VPN App establishes a connection.

5. Surf the web through your VPN

And that’s it. With that you can use web browsers and apps online safe in the knowledge that all your traffic is being funneled through a VPN first.

Most Apps will give you the option of leaving the VPN on in the background, so you don’t have to think about it again. But if for some reason you want to switch it on and off as needed, most will also allow users that option as well.


So using a VPN App is every bit as straightforward as using a desktop version. And like the desktop version it is still the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure your online privacy and security when using the internet on your smartphone or tablet.

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