You can download the IPVanish Android app from the VPN setup page of their website by selecting “Apps” from the sites main menu. Once you get on this page, click on the Android button (shown on the left). This will load the Android setup sub-page which contains information on the latest Android app and a link to it. This page also contains step-by-step manual setup and visual guides for configuring your Android device with L2TP and PPTP.
To download the app, click on the “Android app on Google Play” button. From the Google Play Store, click the install button to begin installation of the app. The IPvanish app is compatible with Android 4.0 and above. Once installation starts, you will see a screen like the one shown in the middle below. IPVanish VPN is the only VPN app we have installed that did not require special permissions. The screen on the right below is the final installation screen. Tapping the “open” button will launch the app.
Once the installation completes you will see a screen like the one shown on the left below. This is the IPVanish menu screen. Their menu is very simple and easy to use. It has a few settings that the user can change. It can be accessed from any screen by tapping on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) at the top right of the screen or sliding to the right if you are on a menu option screen.
These settings are shown in the second image below. The app uses OpenVPN because it is the most secure VPN protocol. The app will let you change from UDP to TCP if you need to. This could be a good idea if you are banking online and want to guarantee that all data is verified and received. It can also be helpful for making connections in some rural areas. Remember that using TCP can slow your connection due the overhead of this verification. The default UDP is good for general surfing or streaming media. The second setting will allow you to scramble, or obfuscate as VPN services like to refer to it, all of your VPN traffic. This makes it harder for network sensors employed by countries like China to identify that you are using a VPN service. Therefore they are less apt to block it. This is good for those that face such censorship and can even help with some local firewalls.
Now let us take a look at the other menu options of the IPVanish app. The first of these is the server list which we will discuss in detail later. For now, just know that it is a list of all the servers on the IPVanish network. The FAQ, forums, and contact support options will bring up a screen where you can search the IPVanish FAQ support database. It also has links for posting public questions and placing an email ticket with the IPVanish support team. Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on a first come basis. The last image above shows the about screen for the latest app and contains a link to the IPVanish website. The account option displays some of your account info like when it is due for renewal. The final option will log you out and close the app.
Now let us take a look at the servers list option. This screen can be accessed by tapping on the menu icon and tapping server list or sliding to the left. The image below shows the server list ordered three different ways.
The first screen shows the servers ordered by response time or ping in milliseconds. The partially colored circle to the right of the location is an indication of the current % load on the server. Green represents low load values, yellow means near capacity, and red means at capacity. This will allow you to quickly analyze the sever load with just a glance. The second screen shows the servers ordered alphabetically by country and then by city within that country. The last screen shows the servers ordered by % load. Using a low ping, zero-load server could be a good option for some users depending on your location.
Connecting to a VPN server in the IPVanish network is as easy as tapping on the location of the server that you want to connect to. The first time you connect to a server with the IPVanish app, it will pop up a screen like the one shown on the left below prompting you to sign in. Simply enter the username and password that you received in your welcoming email and tap the sign in button. Android will warn you that you are giving the app permission to intercept all network traffic as shown in the middle image below. Since this is the reason you are using the IPVanish service, tap the “I trust the application” box and then ok. You must trust the application for it to continue with the connection.
Once you have logged in and trusted the application the connection process will start. This is shown in the image below. The first two screens show the connection process. First the app verifies the server certificate then the connection process starts. The last screen below shows the connection screen once a connection to a server has been established. This screen shows how long you have been connected, the server you are connected to (Atlanta, US), and the bandwith uploaded and downloaded in Mbits/s. It also has graphs of the upload and download activity over time. More information will show in theses graphs the longer you are connected to the VPN server.
The first screen below shows the session information for an IPVanish connection after a while which you can see by tapping the IPVanish icon on your device. The second screen shows our Atlanta connection again after 1 minute and 5 seconds. Disconnecting from the service is as easy as connecting. Just tap the left-direction arrow at the top left or the red connection icon beside the server name. This will bring up a screen prompting you to disconnect. This will return you to the server list where you can choose another VPN server to connect to.
The IPVanish Android app is simple and easy to use. Just a few taps will have you connected to their network. Their app is easy to download and install. It is for the most part hands off and requires no technical knowledge to use. It does not have any of the advanced features of their Windows or MAC OS X clients but it makes it easy to connect to their service and protect your Internet traffic at your local free Wi-Fi hotspot.