With mobile devices becoming more network dependent all the time, privacy concerns have inevitably come to the forefront of user’s minds. In step with the needs of their customers, VPN providers started releasing mobile apps that allow customers to use their VPN services from their mobile devices.
Many mobile devices could already be manually routed through a VPN server, but the apps did add a lot in terms of functionality. For instance, some of the apps automatically detect when the device is using a network connection—whether the user is aware of it or not—and route it through the VPN. Other apps scan for the closest available server to the mobile device and connect to that server preferentially, making the apps truly mobile.
DNS services have begun to be rolled out by VPN providers. At those times when encryption really isn’t necessary but the user needs to overcome a geo-restriction or other hindrance to getting the content they want, these services are ideal. They allow users to get better speed and to save the processor usage that some VPN protocols demand of their machines, making it more convenient to get online and to go wherever they want.
With PayPal cracking down on VPN providers, new payment options have begun to be accepted by many of the best providers out there. Bitcoin, in particular, garnered a lot of interest, as it is anonymous and allows users in places where having a VPN service may cause very real trouble to pay for their services without compromising privacy. These payment options may continue to increase in popularity as the terms of service of the familiar Internet payment providers become more restrictive and applied to services that everyday people use.
Some of our favorite providers made some of the most remarkable strides. IPVanish went to great lengths to expand its server options. Hide My Ass did the same, adding over 100 servers to its lineup. VyprVPN was particularly active in developing for mobile devices and other providers did the same. As VPN services become better, more sophisticated, more versatile and more necessary, 2013 may prove to be an even bigger year for these services.