Samsung has become the latest company to understand the importance of VPN technology by including a VPN service in the latest update for their flagship device, the Galaxy Note 8.
November saw Samsung launch an updated security patch for the Galaxy Note 8 phone and with it came the ability to make use of a built-in VPN service.
Samsung has opted to give the service the user-friendly name of “Secure Wi-Fi”. Somewhat a good move as it is clear what the service does, rather than using the correct and technophobe fear-inducing name of “VPN”.
Secure Wi-Fi but is it any good
Samsung should be applauded for their bold move and it goes to reaffirm that VPN technology is on the cusp of becoming mainstream.
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With countless data-thefts and other private information heists throwing the world of online privacy into the spotlight for the average user it means the solutions to reducing these instances including using a VPN are becoming more commonplace.
Users of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will get 250mb of free access per month which will be enough to test the service but clearly not enough to satisfy a full months-worth of standard usage.
The low data-allowance coupled with the fact that users tend to eat more data when connected to Wi-Fi networks ensures that to get the best out of the service you’ll certainly need to upgrade to one of their paid options.
Samsung’s monthly VPN subscription
The good news is the service isn’t all that expensive. Prices will start from 0,99 € for 24 hours worth of access and just 1,99 € for a full month of Secure Wi-Fi. Users can enable the service by going to Settings -> Connections -> Wi-Fi -> Advanced.
While the service is cheap it does have some obvious negatives. The first is the service is not able to be downloaded as a standalone app which means users of other Samsung devices can’t join in the privacy revolution.
It will also depend on where you bought your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and what phone network you use. While unlocked international devices will get the security update with Secure Wi-Fi built in, other versions of the same device are likely not to.
Another omission of the service is the fact it lacks the ability to connect when making use of mobile data. The service is available to use when connecting to Wi-Fi networks only.
While connecting to Wi-Fi is certainly the most important time to use a VPN there are many instances where a VPN can be vital for mobile-data use too.
Countries such as China heavily regulate the internet even when using mobile data so a VPN is critical for use.
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Even in countries that are supposed to provide unfiltered internet access such as the UK, websites can be blocked incorrectly as discovered by Blocked.org.uk which shows many innocent websites are blocked by mobile data providers.
Positive but not so positive
While Samsung is certainly making advances in the right direction there are still too many features missing from the service to make it truly a secure service.
Alongside the missing features it is always wise to use a VPN service that is clear about what they offer. For example how many countries they’re accessible in and what if any logs do they store about your connection.
It is also advisable to split services over different companies, for instance, not using the privacy software offered by the same people who developed your device, ie; Samsung.
While the development by Samsung is definitely a step in the right direction, for those serious about their mobile security on both Wi-Fi and mobile data a dedicated VPN service from the likes of IPVanish or ExpressVPN is the way to go.
For not much more per month, you can get a far superior service.