What is the use of having a VPN on your mobile when you are away from home

When we are at home and we want to connect to the Internet with our smartphone, we always choose WiFi connectivity for its speed and low latency, in addition, we do not have any type of limit as it happens with many 4G and 5G data rates that we have today. However, when we go away from home we have the possibility of connecting with our data rate or to a public WiFi. Today we are going to explain what it is for you to have a VPN on your mobile when you are away from home, since there are two types of VPN that you can use.

VPN to home server

If we set up a VPN server at home, either on a NAS server or directly on our router, we can connect with our smartphone from anywhere as if we were at home. Thanks to setting up a VPN at home, we have the possibility that all the traffic from our smartphone, whether through the mobile broadband network or a public WiFi, goes through an encrypted and secure tunnel to the server, and a Once you’re here, go online through our home Internet connection.

This type of VPN is widely used for the following cases:

  • Access to the local network. If we connect to the VPN server from abroad, we will be able to access the local home network as if we were really connected via cable or WiFi at home.
  • Print from anywhere. Being in the local network, we will be able to print anything as if we were physically in the local network.
  • Share files and folders. We will be able to share files and folders easily and quickly, accessing through the private IP of the different computers, and all of this as if we were on the local network, although logically the speed of our connection will not be as high, since we depend on an Internet connection via 4G or 5G or WiFi connectivity.
  • Browse safely on insecure networks. We all know the dangers of public WiFi wireless networks, even if they have a password, if all users know this key they will be able to decrypt the traffic easily and quickly. Thanks to the connection to our VPN server, all network traffic from our smartphone to the server will be completely encrypted and authenticated, with the aim of avoiding the typical Man in the Middle attacks that we all know.

As you can see, using a VPN server at home and connecting to it provides us with many advantages and strengths. If you don’t have one yet, we recommend reading our tutorial on openvpn configuration and also configure WireGuard VPN at home.

Use third-party VPN services

If we don’t install and configure a VPN server at home, then we can use third-party VPN services like Cloudflare’s WARP VPN, a totally free VPN that works really well. Third-party VPN services do not allow us to access our local home network, print remotely, or share files and folders, but they do encrypt all communication end-to-end to protect our privacy and security.

This type of third-party VPN is widely used for the following cases:

  • Add an encryption layer to all communications, ideal if we connect to public WiFi networks with our mobile. This means that all network traffic will go from our smartphone to the VPN server, and once here, it will go to the Internet.
  • Bypass regional blocks of certain Internet services. This allows us to be able to connect to different countries to access their audiovisual content without restrictions for being in Spain.
  • Filter annoying ads and malware when browsing the Internet.

As you can see, we have two very different uses of VPNs installed at home and third-party VPNs, in both all traffic is encrypted and authenticated, using different protocols such as IPsec, OpenVPN or WireGuard. If we want to access resources at home, you will have to install a VPN server on the router or NAS, but if you just want to browse safely, bypass blocks and filter malicious content, a very good way to do it is to use a third-party VPN.