VPN stands for virtual private network, and is essentially a service that protects your online browsing and app activity from prying eyes, be they those of individual bad actors or rogue governments. We'll show you how easy it is to download, install, and set up one of the most popular VPN services, ExpressVPN, in the steps below.
Products used in this guide
- Safeguard your sanity: ExpressVPN (From $6.70/month at ExpressVPN)
How to download and install ExpressVPN
- Open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone.
- Type in ExpressVPN in the search box or click here.
- Tap on the result with the red logo and V in a white circle, and then tap Install.
- Tap Open, then tap Start Free Trial.
- Type in your email on the sign-in screen and tap the red Start Free Trial button.
- Opt-in or decline sharing of crash reports and connection data by tapping OK or No Thanks.
- Begin the setup process by tapping OK.
- A dialog box should pop up asking for permission to connect. Tap OK.
- Take a look at the "Smart Location" selected for your network, and tap the big button at the top of the screen to connect.
- You can confirm you are connected onscreen in the app or by the key icon or ExpressVPN logo in the status bar at the top of the screen. To disconnect, simply reopen the ExpressVPN app and tap the big Connected button, or swipe down from the notification shade and tap on Disconnect.
That was so easy that you're probably wondering why you didn't do it sooner! Note that ExpressVPN is not just for your phone; in fact, you can use it to protect your router, smart TV, computers, and more. ExpressVPN will protect your traffic from prying eyes, but it will also allow you to access content that might be blocked in your region. It will hide your IP address and location and can connect to 160 VPN locations in 94 countries. A single subscription will allow you to connect up to five devices simultaneously, and if you want to connect more devices, you can purchase additional subscriptions or link them all through a VPN router.
If you're new to the service, you will get a free seven-day trial with ExpressVPN, and then with our special link, you can get up to 49% off a subscription plan. At that price, it kind of seems silly not to give it a try!
Our top equipment picks
It's a wise decision to get yourself a VPN service, and ExpressVPN is one of the best.
More places to originate from
ExpressVPN has more servers in more countries to help you tap into any information you need while keeping your online activity secure and private.
Protect as many of your devices in as many areas as possible with ExpressVPN's plans and a VPN router. Even texts and IMs are encrypted from your devices!
Aside from protecting your browsing from virtual vandals, protect against in-person peepers too with these gadgets.
GBBC TPU Film Privacy Screen Protector for Samsung Galaxy S20 ($13 at Amazon)
Keep the looky-loos at bay with this protective privacy shield for your Samsung S20 smartphone. The in-screen fingerprint sensor is still supported, and it is water-resistant as well.
Belkin TrueClear Laptop Privacy Filter ($11 at Amazon)
Ideal for your smaller Chromebooks and ultrabooks, this screen protector will prevent people on your sides from seeing what you're typing or viewing. You can choose between matte or glossy finish by just flipping it around.
Linksys WRT AC1900 Open Soruce Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router ($180 at Amazon)
ExpressVPN recommends this high-performance Wi-Fi router for use with their router service. Protect all of the devices on your network, even with one subscription.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
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