What Is a Mobile VPN and How Is It Different from a VPN?

Speedify – The Next Generation Mobile VPN

A while ago we explained that a VPN app is software that encrypts everything you do online. A mobile VPN, surprisingly is NOT a VPN running on a mobile phone.

In the now classic book Mobile VPN they say the key is “uninterrupted connectivity or the ability to stay connected and communicate to a possibly remote data network while changing the network access medium or points of attachment”.

So, a mobile VPN is a VPN that keeps you connected at all times, letting you change from one Internet connection to another while maintaining the same session and not interrupting all of your apps. This means you can switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data or between Wi-Fi hotspots without having your streaming music stop.

Keep reading to see how to choose the best mobile VPN.

Why and When Should You Use a Mobile VPN?

A mobile VPN is a must in certain scenarios:

Basically, you should consider using a mobile VPN anytime you’re connected to a wireless hotspot. This will keep you always on and protected.

True Mobile VPN vs. VPNs that Run on Mobile Devices

Many companies have gotten the older, traditional desktop VPN software (OpenVPN, IKEv2 or IPSec) to work on iPhone, Android smartphones and other mobile devices. But these protocols aren’t made for mobile users and there’s a significant performance difference, as you’ll see in the test below.

To illustrate this, we took an iPhone 7 and tried both our own Speedify mobile VPN app and installed each of the 10 most popular other popular VPN apps from the App Store.  Then we decided to test how well they handle it when the Wi-Fi stops working.

The Test: Traditional VPN vs. Mobile VPN

  1. We joined a Wi-Fi hotspot,
  2. Connected the VPN,
  3. Ran a Speedtest.net speed test, and
  4. Pulled the Ethernet cable from the Wi-Fi router while the test was still going on.

This is a simple test, to see how where ideally the VPN would just switch to mobile data, or at least disconnect and reconnect on mobile data after a few moments pause.

There are two possible results for this test, that are summarized in the “Maintain Connections” column:

  1. Yes – Means it switched from WiFi to cellular without needing to change IP addresses or stop a Speed Test in progress (Best!)
  2. No – Indicates that the VPN stopped working when the WiFi failed, and never recovered, without the user either quitting the Wi-Fi or going back into the VPN app to disconnect and reconnect (Bad)

If we know what protocol the VPN uses, we added it to the Protocol column, as well.

Test Results: Speedify is the Only Mobile VPN

VPN Top 10 App Store Maintain Connection Comments Protocols
Speedify Yes Yanked the ethernet to the router so it was on a “dead hotspot” in the middle of the Speedtest and Speedify recovered almost immediately and successfully finished the speed test. See here a recent video of how it works in the context of live streaming. VPN for Mobility
VPN Go – Yan Zhang No Turning Wi-Fi off Killed the VPN IKEv2
X-VPN – TBU CO., Limited No Turning Wi-Fi off Killed the VPN
Free vpn proxy – Betternet No Manually Killing Wi-Fi allowed persistent connection, speeds decreased to <1MB IKEv2
HotSpot Shield – AnchorFree Inc No Turning Wi-Fi off killed the VPN, it did reconnect IPSec
Free VPN Proxy Master – ALL Connected Co,. Ltd No Turning Wi-Fi off killed the VPN, it did reconnect IKEv2
Free VPN Hexatech – Betternet No Dead Hotspot killed the VPN. VPN was stuck in the connecting state unable to access internet and showed no Wi-Fi icon. Had to disconnect to get internet back
Security VPN – Yang Shi No Dead Hotspot killed the VPN. VPN was stuck in the connecting state unable to access internet and showed no Wi-Fi icon. Had to disconnect to get internet back
Free VPN Unlimited – Free VPN LLC No Did not notice Wi-Fi had been killed, had to manually disconnect to get internet back
Opera Free VPN – Opera Software No Killing Wi-Fi the VPN quickly reconnected IPSec
SurfEasy No Turning Wi-Fi off Killed the VPN IPSec

There you have it: that’s the power of a true mobile VPN. All the conventional VPNs just stop working when they hit a bad Wi-Fi hotspot, and take you off the Internet.  This might be tolerable on a desktop computer, but it’s certainly not acceptable for someone walking around with a mobile phone, roaming from a hotspot to another.

Only Speedify is a true next generation mobile VPN that can keep you online even when your Wi-Fi stops working.

Try Speedify for yourself!

Ready to use a next generation native mobile VPN? Get started now with Speedify for FREE – no strings attached, no email sign-up, no logging of data!

Download Speedify

Speedify is the only app that combines your wifi, cellular, wired, and even your friend’s phone signals – into one ultra-fast and super secure link that keeps you all connected for the best possible live streaming, video calling, or just posting to your favorite app.


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