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Home / Tips and Tricks / These 5 things will help you get the most out of your NordVPN experience «Smartphones :: Gadget hack

These 5 things will help you get the most out of your NordVPN experience «Smartphones :: Gadget hack



VPN devices add a layer of protection between your data and your ISP or bad actors (hackers), so it makes sense that they have become so popular recently. Probably the most common of these is NordVPN, so we researched its mobile app to find all the options that are worth checking out.

Our main focus was to increase security in this always connected world. As it turns out, NordVPN offers some pretty strong complementary settings for iPhone and Android that help protect data packets during transit – especially the Android app, as a couple of these tips do not work in the iOS version.

Tip 1
: Use the NordLynx VPN protocol

NordVPN began testing its next-generation NordLynx VPN protocol (based on WireGuard) in late 2019. As of early 2020, it was made publicly available on all platforms and devices. Before that, the most consumer-friendly VPN protocol for almost two decades was known as OpenVPN. Many VPN providers today still use OpenVPN because the industry did not need to be developed until recently.

Because we live in a world full of Internet-connected devices, the time for next-generation VPN protocols is right on track when we need it most. NordLynx is much faster, easier and more secure than all previous VPN protocols for consumers, including OpenVPN. You will definitely benefit when you start using NordLynx on your own devices in various ways, especially when it comes to reliability.

For Android devices

To always activate NordLynx on your Android device, you can easily change the settings in the NordVPN app itself. Open the app to the main screen, tap the settings icon at the top left and find the “VPN protocol” in the list and tap it once.

Press “NordLynx” to force your connection to always use NordLynx servers, then press the “Reconnect” button to connect to a new server. Ready. Your mileage may vary depending on location with NordLynx activated. however, the results have been overall positive in these early stages of the protocol. It’s a big win for all of us!

For iOS devices

To activate NordLynx all the time on your iOS device, tap the settings icon at the top right of the NordVPN main screen. From there, look up and tap the “VPN Protocol” entry once to continue.

From this new list of VPN protocols, locate “NordLynx” at the bottom and tap it once to activate the setting. Click “Continue” to reconnect to a new server that supports NordLynx, and you’re done.

Tip 2: Use Tapjacking protection (Android only)

With smartphones as the hottest devices, of course, there is the unfortunate rise of fraud and malware to wreak havoc on your personal information. When a malware is identified and defeated, there seem to be thousands who take their place immediately. Thanks to the large number of infections daily, it is one of the most challenging aspects we face today in the technology industry.

The “Tapjacking protection” function comes in to automatically protect you from malicious apps. There are lots of damaged apps out there that try to manipulate buttons or other things on the screen with their own malicious overlay. It masks itself to look harmless, but it can probably try to seep a certain set of data from your device.

To protect yourself from these potential threats, open the NordVPN app on your device to the main screen. Tap the menu icon at the top left, then look up the “Tapjacking protection” list in the list. Press it once to activate the setting, and that’s all there is to it. Whenever there is a potential threat that attempts to manipulate your screen with an overlay, you will be notified immediately!

This is an example of a popup that you will see if Tapjacking protection thinks an app overlay could be harmful.

Tip 3: Enable the Kill Switch settings (Android only)

One of the most important details when using a VPN is to make sure that your connection stays active at all times to protect you no matter what. If for some reason your network connection or VPN server loses, it is possible that you are not actually connected to the VPN when you connect again. Of course, this can easily go unnoticed if you do not pay much attention to your connection status.

Although not an actual feature, the Kill Switch option will redirect you to your VPN system settings on your device instead. Open the NordVPN app to the main screen, tap the menu icon on the left and locate and then tap the “Kill Switch” entry. Press the “Open Android Settings” button, tap the options icon on the right and then tap the “Always on VPN” switch to activate it.

To add an extra layer of protection, you can also activate the “Block connections without VPN” switch. Doing so prevents all apps, services, and other external devices that are not connected to your VPN from exchanging data with your device. For example, you will not be able to cast music to your insecure smart speakers unless the entire Wi-Fi network is configured with a VPN.

Tip 4: Always keep Auto-Connect on

The automatic connection function ensures that your VPN will automatically connect to the desired server without user input. So if a server shuts down for maintenance or if your Wi-Fi signal flashes, it automatically connects to another server. When you combine the Auto-connect function with the Kill Switch options, they create a super-tight, self-care security seal.

For Android devices

To get started, open the NordVPN app, tap the settings icon on the left and locate the “Auto-connect” entry in the list and tap it to continue. Press the “Always” option to activate the function, and you can fine-tune the VPN location options if desired.

Touch “Automatically connect to” for specific location changes you want to make automatically, or just use the default setting “Fastest server”. You can do the same for the city setting as well, or simply set “Fastest server here too. From now on, your device will automatically connect based on the settings you selected here if your connection is interrupted. One less thing to deal with!

For iOS devices

To get started, open the NordVPN app to the main screen, tap the settings icon at the top right, then locate and tap “Auto-Connect”. From there, press “Always” to activate it. That’s all there is! You can add your Wi-Fi network as a “Trusted Wi-Fi Network”. However, it is not recommended as it prevents you from automatically connecting to VPN anyway.

Tip 5: Always use CyberSec or a custom DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) server used in your home network is an important part of the online experience. It translates a domain with words into an IP address with numbers that can be read by computers. Many people do not realize that the DNS server in their home network is set to their ISP by default. Leaving it unchanged means your ISP can keep track of your network activity.

NordVPN recommends using its built-in CyberSec feature, which automatically sets the device’s DNS settings to its secure ones. This protects you from DNS leaks and other security threats by encrypting your DNS queries via the same VPN connection. You do not have to worry about your ISP or other third party services messing with your private data anymore.

For Android devices

CyberSec may have appeared the first time you installed the NordVPN app, but you may have skipped it earlier. To ensure that you use this feature, go to the NordVPN app, tap the settings icon on the left and find the CyberSec option. Press the power button to activate it, then press “Reconnect” to connect to the new DNS settings. Now you are safe from DNS leaks and other security threats!

Using CyberSec in combination with NordVPN as standard strengthens your DNS leaks; However, you can also choose which DNS provider you want. Open your settings in the NordVPN app and find and click on the entry “Custom DNS” in the list. CyberSec cannot be used when setting up a custom DNS, so press “Continue” to accept the popup message. Now you can specify which DNS server address you want.

When setting up a custom DNS via NordVPN, you should make sure that it is a trusted DNS provider. Would you trust them to keep your data safe? There are many reliable providers for free, but a premium DNS would ensure maximum security.

For iOS devices

Open the NordVPN app to the main screen, tap the settings icon at the top right, then tap the “CyberSec” switch at the top to activate it. Press “Continue” to reconnect to a server with your new CyberSec DNS settings. Now you are safe from DNS leaks and other security threats!

Using CyberSec in combination with NordVPN as standard strengthens your DNS leaks; However, you can also choose which DNS provider you want. You must first open your iOS system settings, go to “Wi-Fi” and then tap the blue exclamation point icon on the right. From here, just press “Configure DNS” to continue.

Press “Manual” to toggle over your DNS settings, then you can specify the DNS server address you want. Edit the first one, then you can include a secondary DNS server if desired by pressing “Add Server.” You should note that CyberSec cannot be used when setting up a custom DNS, so it is either one or the other, not both.

Now that you’ve learned these five things about how to make your NordVPN experience even better, it’s time to take advantage of the benefits. Whether you are new to NordVPN or already have an active subscription, you should use these methods at all times to keep your data secure. With NordLynx VPN protocol, you also get next-generation speeds over a VPN connection. Stay safe out there!

Final remark

Although a VPN protects your personal and private information by encrypting your online activity, it will not save you from everything. You still need to be aware of the ever-evolving scams that are sent around via email, text messaging and phone calls. A VPN has no effect if you willingly give your information to fraudsters, so be sure to be extra careful with these things.

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Cover image and screenshots by Stephen Perkins / Gadget Hacks

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