Are internet blocks preventing you from accessing a website on your Samsung Galaxy S8? Are you concerned about your government or internet provider monitoring what you do on the web? If the answer to either of those two questions was yes, you need a VPN app.
Continue on to learn:
- How to sign up for a VPN account
- How to install a VPN app
- The basics of configuring a VPN
- What you can do with your VPN once you’re connected
How to Setup a VPN on Samsung Galaxy S8
In this guide, we’ll be using IPVanish as our VPN service. Let’s get started on how to set it up now.
Step 1: Sign up for an IPVanish Account
The first step will be to sign up for an IPVanish account. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Go to IPVanish.com and select the orange Start Now button on the upper-right of the screen.
- Select the type of account you wish to create. You can choose from a 1-month, 3-month, or yearly subscription.
- Next, enter a valid email address and a secure password.
- Finally, enter your payment details. Choose your preferred payment method, complete your payment and continue.
Check your email inbox for your confirmation email. Click the confirmation link to verify your account and get your password.
Step 2: Download the IPVanish app
The IPVanish app is available from the Google Play Store, so it’s easy to install. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- From your Samsung Galaxy S8, open the Google Play Store.
- Next, enter IPVanish in the Google Play search bar. You should see it in the search results.
- Select INSTALL to begin the installation.
- IPVanish will begin downloading. The download should be relatively fast because the app is only about 18 megabytes.
- Select OPEN on the next screen to open IPVanish. Alternatively, you can navigate back to your home screen to select the IPVanish app, or select it from your “app drawer.”
That’s all there is to downloading the app. Now, it’s time to begin the process of setting up IPVanish.
Step 3: Set up IPVanish on your Samsung Galaxy S8
- Open IPVanish on your phone. You’ll be greeted with the following login screen. Enter your credentials to continue. You can also reset your password from this screen if you’ve forgotten it.
- The first time you login, you’ll be offered a tutorial that will help you learn about IPVanish and its features. You can view this quickly to get a basic overview of IPVanish, or skip the tutorial and continue on.
- Next, you’ll need to select your VPN server.
- By default, Country, City, and Server are set to Best Available. If you leave these settings alone, this is usually the best way to get a secure and fast connection on IPVanish. The software will automatically select the best VPN server for you.
- You can also change your Country. If you’re looking to access geo-blocked content, this is where you can “geo-hop” into whatever content zone you wish.
- You can also select a specific city if you want, or you can tell IPVanish to pick the fastest one available.
- This screen displays the full list of IPVanish servers.
- Unless you need to use a VPN server in a specific country to do things like unblock geo-blocked content, it’s usually best to connect to the closest, most responsive server.
- Once you’ve selected your server, press CONNECT to begin the VPN connection. You will see the screen depicted below. Press OK to continue.
- When the connection is established, you’ll see information about your connection in the IPVanish app. You’ll also see the IPVanish logo in your notifications bar, and a “key” icon in the upper-left of your phone’s notification area. This confirms that the VPN connection has been successful.
- You can see more about your connection (connection speed, location, etc.) if you swipe down and check your IPVanish push notifications.
- Your VPN connection will remain open until you close it manually. You can disconnect by swiping down and accessing your notifications tray and pressing DISCONNECT, or by accessing the IPVanish app and pressing DISCONNECT.
Now you know how to set up IPVanish in your Samsung Galaxy S8. However, you may still be a bit confused about what a VPN actually is and whether or not you need one. Here’s a quick summary of VPN basics.
Are VPNs legal?
This is a common question. VPNs are, unfortunately, sometimes associated with illegal activity. However, VPNs are absolutely legal. You cannot get in trouble for using a VPN.
The main reason that people often think VPNs are illegal is because they can be used to mask illegal internet usage, such as the downloading or streaming of copyrighted content.
However, there are many legitimate uses for a VPN. For example, a VPN helps you protect your privacy online from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Recently, Congress passed a bill that repealed some of the internet protections offered by the Obama administration. Essentially, internet providers are now allowed to view and sell your browsing history and data at-will.
Obviously, this is a nightmare for anyone who is concerned about internet security. Nobody wants their browsing habits to be observed – even if they are doing nothing wrong.
VPNs can help protect you from ISP snooping. By routing all of your traffic through an encrypted connection, a VPN obfuscates the websites that you visit and prevents your activities from being monitored – both by ISPs and government agencies.
Can’t I just use a free VPN? Why should I pay?
If you’re a cord-cutter, you’re probably interested in saving money. That means you may be reluctant to sign up for a paid VPN service. We get it.
But despite the fact that they don’t cost anything, you should never use “free” VPNs. Free VPNs are dangerous because they hijack your internet traffic and redirect you to malware or ads, thereby making a profit. Free VPNs may also keep logs of your browsing history and sell them to the highest bidder.
Recently, VPN HotSpotShield was caught snooping on their subscribers and using targeted ads and affiliate links to make money.
VPNs cost money to run. That means that even if you’re not paying for a VPN, the company is going to make money somehow. They either make money through innocuous (but annoying) methods such as ads or they harvest and resell data about you.
We don’t recommend using free VPNs. Even trustworthy free VPNs offer sub-par performance. They’re not worth the risk.
Can I use a VPN to access geo-blocked content?
Yes! This is one of the most common reasons to download a VPN. VPNs such as IPVanish allow you to access geo-blocked content quickly and easily. You can simply connect to a server in a different country – the UK, for example – and use any website or app that only works inside that country’s borders.
If you’re from the UK and you’re visiting the US, for example, you can use a VPN on your phone to access BBC iPlayer content.
The Benefits Of Using A VPN On Mobile Devices
Here are some specific examples of things you can do with a VPN app.
Protect your browsing habits on Wi-Fi and wireless networks
If you tend to use your mobile device on public Wi-Fi hotspots, a VPN is a good way to keep your data secure. Public Wi-Fi hotspots can be a big security risk. With the right tools, hackers can use public Wi-Fi networks to “snoop” on web traffic. They can view sensitive information like emails and passwords, and even credit card information.
A VPN like IPVanish keeps your browsing habits and personal information secure on public Wi-Fi networks, thus increasing your privacy. In addition, VPNs can be used even when you’re using your mobile data plan to hide your browsing history from your cell phone provider.
Eliminate data throttling
Wireless carriers often place hidden limits on so-called “unlimited” data plans. Verizon, for example, announced that it would be throttling bandwidth for certain video streaming services – even if you downgrade all the way to 480p!
VPNs allow you to avoid data throttling. Because your VPN encrypts web traffic, your wireless carrier will not be able to see what kind of data you are sending and receiving. This prevents them from automatically throttling video streams and peer-to-peer traffic.
Protect yourself from DMCA/copyright infringement
When using home theater systems like Kodi and Plex, it’s a good idea to use a VPN. Despite their status as legitimate home theater programs, both Kodi and Plex can be modified with third-party channels that may host or stream copyrighted content.
It’s easy enough to avoid viewing copyrighted content, but what if you accidentally stumble across some improperly licensed content while accessing an otherwise legal add-on? Using a VPN helps you protect yourself from liability if this happens.
Stay Safe on Your Samsung Galaxy S8 with a VPN
A good VPN like IPVanish is a great tool for protecting your online privacy. And while many people only use VPNs on their personal computers or Android TV boxes, using a VPN on your phone has a variety of benefits, as outlined above.
Protect yourself, whether you’re at home or on the go. Install a VPN on your Samsung Galaxy S8, and you’ll be able to hide your web traffic from prying eyes, protect yourself from liability and un-throttle your internet.
Other Helpful Mobile Security Apps
VPNs are a great way to keep your web traffic safe and encrypted when browsing the internet from your phone. However, VPNs can’t protect you from malware, adware, or viruses on your Samsung Galaxy S8.
If you’re interested in keeping your data secure and keeping your phone running smoothly, check out these helpful Android security apps:
Avast Mobile Security – Avast Mobile Security can detect suspicious activity both from apps and the internet, and it even includes features like filtering for spam phone calls and emails.
AppLock – Applock allows you to lock specific apps on your phone using a PIN, password, or a fingerprint scanner. This helps you secure your physical, personal data.
SSE – Universal Encryption App – If you don’t want to encrypt your entire phone, this app is nice to have. It allows you to encrypt individual files and folders on your Android phone and protect your data from those who may seek to steal it.
Eric Liston is a content writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2015, he’s been writing about technology, cord-cutting, and helping everyday people save money. He also has expertise writing about medicine, dentistry, insurance, and a variety of other industries. No matter what he’s writing, his focus is always on simplifying complex concepts and making them approachable for everyone. When he’s not slamming away on his keyboard at his home office, you’ll find Eric reading sci-fi novels, improving his disc golf game (he just hit his first 400-foot drive) and playing video games on his gaming PC.