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Best No-Logs VPN Apps for Secure and Private Mobile Browsing «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



There is a lot of false information about VPN services that comes from the fact that not all are the same. Some focus on privacy, others on security, and some VPNs even seem to be the opposite: data collection. We have created this guide to clear the air on some of these issues and objectively rate the best of the best.

Due to the way VPNs work, running them is expensive, especially if they implement the best security practices. However, this means that you normally have only two options: either pay your share of the operating costs with a monthly fee, or go to a free service that somehow has to monetize . As with many Internet services, this "somehow" is usually data mining. This is a scary concept when it comes to a service that you may be passing through your Internet traffic.

These are definitely cloudy waters, so we had to dig deep. You may already know some ways that VPNs can provide ̵

1; location spoofing, encryption, and general security are some of the key points. However, we wanted this guide to be suitable for people of all skill levels. Therefore, we first researched the basics. While recording our findings on issues such as logging guidelines and IP protection, we found that they were not well covered elsewhere. Take this guide as an explanation for VPNs and rank the four most important VPN services for Android and iOS.

Table of Contents

What is a VPN

A VPN (or virtual private network)) is a secure connection between multiple devices, usually between your phone (or computer) and a VPN server. This connection is encrypted, so other users, including your wireless service provider, can not access it. Once connected, the VPN server acts as a wall between you and the rest of the web, as all traffic is first processed by the VPN server and then forwarded to your phone. The VPN server also provides you with a new IP address that websites see when transferring data to your device.

When you visit the web with a VPN, your connection is private. Your wireless service provider (and potential hackers) can only determine that you are securely connected to a VPN server. Because of this encryption, VPNs are a great tool when surfing the web on the public Wi-Fi network. Even if someone on the same network tried to view your data, this would be prevented by encrypting the VPN.

Another advantage of a VPN is the protection it offers your real IP address. Your IP address matches your mailing address at your home. When you surf the Internet, your IP address is used to direct traffic to and from the phone. However, with this information, bad actors can make targeted attacks that threaten your security. For a VPN, your real "mailing address" is hidden behind a second, temporary IP address that you received from the VPN service. All attacks would target the VPN servers that have protection to prevent such efforts.

After all, many VPN services offer servers around the world. With these servers, you can get an IP address from another country that lets you see local search results and circumvent the restrictions on displaying locked content.

Using a VPN on iOS. Android

The most important difference between the two mobile operating systems in the VPN is the "Always-On" mode. Always-on is a feature that forces every app to connect only through the VPN. Although supported on both platforms, iOS is not that easy to enable.

For iOS devices, the device must be in "Monitor Mode", which requires a computer, the Apple Configurator program, and a full reset. It also requires an IKEv2-based VPN, a protocol that does not provide all VPN services.

For Android, the process is much easier, as only the "VPN" settings have to be entered under "Network & Internet", and the VPN service is selected Activate "Always-on."

Comparison Chart

Now that you understand the basics of VPN services and how they work, let's look at the best apps that can be installed on both Android and iPhone. First, look at the table below, and then look at for the most important benchmarks if you have difficulty understanding the data in the table. Then we'll explain how we picked these apps and then check the pros and cons of each app in the order of their final ranking.

Important Comparison Points

  • Annual Price: Price for one year on duty Each VPN on our list offers additional options such as monthly rates and perennial rates, but we thought the annual price was the best price to compare them all with, as it is usually cheaper than the monthly price, but not the long-term commitment of a multi-year plan.
  • Free Trial: Whether the VPN offers a free trial to test the service, and the duration of the free trial (if any).
  • Speed ​​Reduction (Morning / Afternoon / Evening): VPNs are by nature slower than standard internet connections tested the difference between our 1 Gbps broadband Wi-Fi with and without active VPN. The data in this section shows how to reduce download and upload speeds when connecting to the nearest server on the VPN. The "Morning" tests were conducted at 10 o'clock, while "afternoon" was tested at 3 o'clock and "evening" at 8 o'clock. Each phone was five meters from the router and each service was tested three times on multiple devices. In essence, this is a measure of the actual speed of the VPN, with a lesser percentage of speed reduction providing a faster overall connection.
  • Number of Servers: The number of available servers. Increasing the number of servers reduces the likelihood that the speed of the VPN will drop during traffic hours. In the Speed ​​Reduction test above there is proof of the practice – the two VPNs with the most servers had the lowest speed reduction.
  • Number of countries: The number of countries where servers are available. The more countries that are available, the more geo-locked content can be accessed from all countries.
  • Number of concurrent connections: The number of active VPN connections that can occur simultaneously.
  • Internet Kill Switch: This feature stops your Internet connection if your VPN connection fails. Without this feature, your real IP address will be released when your VPN service is disconnected.
  • Works with Netflix US: The VPN allows you to access US content from Netflix. Netflix prevents VPN connections from accessing the content. Therefore, VPN services must hide VPN traffic so you are safe while viewing your favorite movie and favorite program.
  • P2P Supported: Specifies whether the VPN allows sharing files over a peer-to-peer network. While this is often not supported due to its use in content piracy, P2P can also help to share legal content. Because of the increased data traffic, VPN services often provide special servers for this use.
  • Live Chat: The ability to talk to an agent via live chat for immediate assistance.
  • Money Back Guarantee: The amount of time after your first log-in that you can cancel a full refund.
  • Web Protection: Specifies whether the VPN provides some protection against visiting malicious sites. Typically, this would cause the page to not load and display a warning instead. If you were sure that the site was safe, you can continue.
  • IPv4 DNS Leak: Using ipleak.net, we looked up if the VPN loses its real IPv4 address over DNS.
  • WebRTC Leak: With ipleak.net we checked if the VPN loses its real IPv4 or IPv6 address via WebRTC.
  • Android VPN protocols: The VPN protocols available for Android devices. The best VPN protocols in terms of speed and security are OpenVPN and IKEv2 / IPsec.
  • iOS VPN protocols: The VPN protocols that can be used on iOS devices. The best VPN protocols in terms of speed and security are OpenVPN and IKEv2 / IPsec.
  • Adjustable VPN Protocols: Ability to change the default VPN protocol within the app. While this is often possible with third-party apps, you can change the protocol within the app in just a handful. This allows you to select a protocol that meets your current needs.
  • Standard Data Encryption: The default encryption used to protect your data. The standard (and currently the strongest encryption standard) is AES or Advanced Encryption Standard . The number next to AES represents the length of the key used to encrypt your data. The longer the key, the more secure the encryption.
  • Strongest Data Encryption: The most robust encryption available to protect your data. Each VPN offers AES-256, which is considered the strongest available offer. If you find that an app is displaying a value other than the Default Data Encryption field in this field, it means the app has defaulted to a faster encryption standard. However, you can increase the security of encryption through their encryption settings if you are ok with a slightly slower connection. However, all four finalists in this version of the comparison already used AES-256 by default.
  • Strongest Handshake Algorithm: The strongest algorithm used to handle the handshake with the VPN. A handshake is the first exchange of encryption keys between the VPN and your phone. These keys are unique for each VPN session. Similar to encryption, longer keys (represented by the number next to RSA) represent a stronger handshake, with the highest value on our list being RSA-4096.
  • Connection protocols: Fully encrypted VPNs mask all your data in traffic However, a service can also collect data on other aspects of your Internet usage. This line indicates whether the VPN service is logging data such as diagnostics and usage or metadata. It includes timestamps that let you know when you started your VPN connection and when it ended.
  • Traffic Logs: Specifies whether the VPN service logs information about the contents of your browser, such as: For example, your browsing history, purchases, or downloaded files. We consider this a big no to privacy and eliminate all options that logged this information.
  • IP Address Logs: Indicates whether the IP address is logging your actual IP address. We consider this a big no to privacy and eliminate all options that log this information.
  • Location: The location of the company responsible for the VPN servers. The location is important because it determines which country is responsible for the case that logs of your activities are requested by a government. This also applies to the countries Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes (more on this below) as well as the local data protection laws of the country.

How we chose these apps

We only looked at VPN services that had an actively supported app on iOS and Android. While the openness and policies of Android give developers the ability to add more control, the basic functionality of a VPN is the same, and we did not think it necessary to separate the operating systems.

The biggest factor limiting the field was the cost. We have waived all free VPN services, as they often represent a limit for data collection. Managing a VPN service can be costly, especially if you provide world-class protection and security. Free VPNs usually do not offer this, which is why we felt it best avoided.

Due to our focus on privacy, we have only selected VPNs that explicitly have a no-log policy. This does not include logging of the IP address or traffic. Because we promote privacy VPN services, it is essential to be able to trust the service so as not to jeopardize your privacy.

Almost as important as a no-log policy is whether the service loses its real IP address. While most VPN apps include some precautions to prevent leakage, not all work, and we've reviewed each one ourselves. Without this protection, a VPN is a little useless, because it can protect you, especially by masking your real IP address.

We have also focused on the service, whose parent company outside of secret services such as Five Eyes, Nine is Eyes and Fourteen Eyes. Five Eyes is an alliance between the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Nine Eyes extends this alliance with Denmark, France, Holland and Norway, while Fourteen Eyes adds Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Spain. Through these alliances, each country can work together to collect and exchange mass surveillance data. With some governments trying to undermine encryption, the future of VPNs in these countries could be questionable.

Finally, we had to encrypt your data using the latest encryption standard. At this time, this is the Advanced Encryption Standard or AES, which is considered the strongest encryption standard available for VPNs. Although it will eventually crack (as before standards), it is not yet the case and provides the best protection available between you and the VPN server.

App 1: CyberGhost – Best Bang for Your Buck

VPN usage has some disadvantages, namely the extra cost and the slower speed. CyberGhost alleviates these problems by offering one of the lowest prices on the market and some of the fastest speeds. With a fantastic money-back guarantee, you can try the service for 45 days and then have time before making a long-term commitment.

Due to encryption and the requirement that traffic be routed through another barrier (the VPN server), VPNs often reduce Internet speed significantly. Depending on the traffic on the VPN servers, it is about a 50% reduction.

CyberGhost delivers fast performance and consistent results. Not only did CyberGhost outperform our list in the evening, but for all three tests the measured speed was only a few points lower for both download and upload than our connection without a VPN. This differed significantly from the results of its competition, which sometimes fluctuated around 20 Mbps on different devices.

This consistency and performance are even more impressive, especially when CyberGhost offers an unprecedented number of 7 concurrent connections. This means that you can establish a fast and secure connection on your phone, computer and five other devices at the same time.

There are differences between the iOS app and the Android app. For iOS users, the "Settings" option is limited to the automatic connection configuration. For Android users, not only can you customize auto-connect, but you can also manage the connection. You can explicitly add ad lock features, malicious web site protection, data compression, and tracking protection if you wish. You can also use a random port every time you connect to the VPN to protect yourself from tracking.

It provides the largest number of VPN protocols on Android running apps from Accessible to third parties. It uses the strongest handshake algorithm of RSA-4096. CyberGhost also logs no traffic, IP addresses or even timestamps. Some connection logs are created, which are mainly metadata.

One problem we encountered was the use of CyberGhost on a Galaxy S9 and S9 +. If you try to download it from the Play Store, your device will become incompatible. However, CyberGhost has informed me that this only applies to Galaxy S9 and S9 + devices running Android 8.0 Oreo. With the Android 9.0 Pie Update, this is no longer a problem.

CyberGhost offers amazing benefits for your money. A 45-day money-back guarantee, seven simultaneous connections, and one of the fastest download and upload speeds are just a few of the benefits that CyberGhost offers. Oh, and that's all for $ 20 less than the next app on our list. For these reasons, and for other reasons, it's our first choice for the best VPN service for mobile users.

App 2: ExpressVPN – Best for first-time users

ExpressVPN offers simplicity. If you are looking for menu options that you can tinker with, look elsewhere. Instead, ExpressVPN makes it easy to jump directly into a connection with the press of a button. While this simplicity is not for everyone, along with strong automatic protection, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for first-time VPN users.

Compared to the other apps on our list, the differences between the two operating systems are minimal. Instead of providing more options for Android, ExpressVPN opted for consistency as both were provided with nearly identical settings menus. The only configuration option is the ability to customize the VPN protocol. Surprisingly, iOS actually offers more options as it is possible to use OpenVPN (either UDP or TCP only) and choose between IPsec and IKEv2 protocols.

The only major hole in the iOS app is split-tunneling. This feature allows you to configure which apps use and do not use the VPN, a feature that can only be found in another app on our list.

ExpressVPN provides strong protection through AES-256 data encryption and a strong handshake algorithm. While it does not have the largest number of servers, it does have servers in most countries, ensuring that you can find the IP address you want in each country you want an IP address from.

The only glaring one Problem with ExpressVPN is the collection of connection protocols. While these protocols are limited to metadata (which are the least harmful), protocols should not be protocols.

ExpressVPN is ideal for first-time users and those who do not want to make any adjustments. While the desktop version offers more options, mobile devices will not display too many VPN apps that are similar. The discouragement should curb any intimidation that a VPN could bring and promote its use. For those looking for control, you can use OpenVPN ( Android | iOS) instead of the official app to manage your connection. This gives you extra control over your service.

App 3: NordVPN – Best for Pure Privacy

NordVPN offers a lot for a VPN. It has the largest number of servers (by far) on our list and has a strict no-log policy, including connection logs. It also has additional features that are not necessary, but enhance the service. The price and inconsistent speed, however, forced us to a lower rank on our list.

NordVPN has a no-log policy, which actually means no-logs. If law enforcement (or hackers) would gain access to NorthVPN servers, they would find almost nothing about you, as NordVPN records as little as possible in your records. To protect you from hackers, NordVPN also uses powerful AES-256 encryption to protect your data and an RSA-2048 handshake algorithm to exchange keys to make the connection. NordVPN also supports the two strongest VPN protocols for mobile devices, OpenVPN and the mobile-friendly IKEv2 / IPsec.

NorthVPN includes many tools to help you customize the user experience. These tools include obfuscated servers that try to work around country limits so you can see all the web that a country can block using a network firewall. For mobile users, this feature is exclusive to Android.

CyberSec is a feature of NordVPN that provides extra protection while surfing. This feature blocks dangerous websites, protects you from botnet control, and hides unwanted ads (although for Android users, the APK needs to be downloaded from their website to access this feature because the Google Play policy prohibits Ad Blocker ). 19659003] With one button, you can jump to the nearest server and greatly improve your online protection. However, if you prefer, you can use specialized servers such as Double VPN, which route your multi-layered connection through two VPN servers. There is even support for Onion, another service that masks your IP address.

As for the differences between the iOS app and the Android app, the Android app has a bit more options. The iOS settings menu includes only one option for Kill Switch and CyberSec. In Android, you can configure whether you want to use only TCP, use obfuscated servers, and manage the automatic connection feature (including the ability to automatically use the VPN for Wi-Fi or mobile data). In addition, Android offers users access to the special servers "Double VPN", "P2P" and "Dedicated IP", while iOS is limited to "Onion Over VPN" and "P2P".

The biggest problem with NordVPN is its inconsistent performance. During the test, one device reads 80 Mbps while a second reads 40 Mbps. This strong change not only hurt the average speed, but also the overall performance. If you combine that with the high price, it's hard to recommend it to the other two apps on this list. But if privacy is your top priority and you do not mind performance, you can commit to better savings for two or three years. This makes NordVPN a good choice thanks to additional features, specialized servers and a strict no-log policy.

App 4: VyprVPN – Best for Android Tinkerers

Depending on which mobile operating system you use, VyprVPN is either painfully simple or surprisingly strong. While this difference is due to how each operating system handles VPN connections, it does offer somewhat more inconsistent behavior. Depending on the platform, VyprVPN provides more control over your app than any other app on our list, making it a great choice for anyone who feels comfortable adjusting their connection.

VyprVPN has created its own VPN protocol. Because VPNs are commonly used to bypass restrictive networks, some ISPs and organizations use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to determine when a VPN is being used. Once detected, it blocks or throttles your traffic and prevents access. This led Golden Frog (the company behind VyprVPN) to found Chameleon.

Chameleon is a VPN protocol that encrypts the metadata of OpenVPN packets to bypass the DPI. This provides you with the security, reliability, and speed of OpenVPN protocols while avoiding the network restrictions imposed by your ISP, government, or business.

Chameleon is exclusive to Android on the mobile platform due to iOS's VPN restrictions. Chameleon also requires the VyprVPN Premium Service, which starts at $ 80 a year or $ 12.95 a month. The premium service also gives you access to two additional concurrent connections (for a total of 5 connections) and VyprVPN Cloud, a server deployment solution that provides additional protection when using public and private cloud servers. However, if you do not want these benefits, you can save $ 20 for the annual subscription or $ 3 for the monthly subscription and use the regular rate.

On Android, VyprVPN gives users full control over their VPN service. You can change the VPN protocol within the app by choosing between the OpenVPN-160, OpenVPN-256 (default), and Chameleon-256 protocols. OpenVPN-160 provides slightly less security for a faster connection, while Chameleon-256 prevents throttling or restrictions. The ports of each protocol can also be configured. With VyprVPN you can either use the DNS server or a third-party option in the app. Unfortunately, like many of these additional features, this is again exclusive to Android.

Probably one of the best features of VyprVPN is the ability to configure the VPN connection via app. For each app downloaded to your Android phone, you can choose to force all traffic through the VPN or bypass it during an active connection. This is useful if you do not need a VPN for some connections or if you are hindering services on an active connection (such as video services).

Similar to NordVPN, VyprVPN provides protection against malicious websites on Android. If this option is enabled, any sites found in their list will be blocked during an active connection and can not be loaded. One quick warning is that this feature does not work on Samsung Galaxy S3 devices and is not available for iOS. “No-Logs” -VPN-Apps für sicheres und privates mobiles Browsen ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

  The Best
  Logs & # 39; VPN Apps for Secure and Private Mobile Browsing

Unfortunately, iOS users do not have access to the previously mentioned features. Nur die Möglichkeit, automatisch eine Verbindung zu einem VPN herzustellen, wenn ein nicht vertrauenswürdiges WLAN verwendet wird, und "Automatic Reconnect", bei der die App automatisch versucht, die Verbindung zum VPN herzustellen, wenn sie abbricht.

Golden Frog ist in der Schweiz integriert. Es ist nicht nur außerhalb der Fünf, Neun oder Vierzehn Augen, sondern die Schweiz hat einige der besten Datenschutz- und Datenschutzgesetze der Welt. Darüber hinaus sind sie ab November 2018 ein No-Log-VPN-Dienst und werden sogar über Leviathan Security einem öffentlich überprüften unabhängigen Audit unterzogen, das Sie hier einsehen können (PDF-Warnung). VyprVPN protokolliert keine Zeitstempel, Ihren Datenverkehr, Ihre IP-Adresse oder sogar Ihre Metadaten.

Menü iOS-Einstellungen

VyprVPN ist eine hervorragende Option für mobile Benutzer. Für iOS-Benutzer erhalten Sie Einfachheit. Mit einem Tastendruck können Sie sich mit einem sicheren VPN verbinden und müssen sich keine Gedanken über Einstellungen oder Optionen machen. Für Android-Benutzer haben Sie jedoch die Kontrolle über die Verwaltung pro App, den Schutz vor bösartigen Apps, die Möglichkeit, VPN-Protokolle zu verwalten und die DNS-Server unter anderem zu konfigurieren. Auf jeden Fall ist dies eine großartige Wahl für alle, die einen zusätzlichen Schutz im Internet suchen.

Dieser Artikel wurde während der speziellen Berichterstattung von Gadget Hacks über die Privatsphäre und Sicherheit von Smartphones erstellt. Schauen Sie sich die gesamte Privacy and Security-Serie an.

Verpassen Sie nicht: Android-Sicherheitstipps und Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten für das iPhone

Titelbilder und Screenshots von Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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