Android: How To Set up VPN Connection

In last post I wrote about my experience with VPN providers and now here is step by step guide how to set up VPN on your Android device.

First step is kinda different for all devices, you need to go to your Settings, its usually menu button than settings icon, but it can be in applications too, depends on Android version and on UI that your device is running, mine looks like this:

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Best VPN service providers for Android

After some time of using my Android phone, I hit a giant wall. Content blocade in certain countries in our World. Did you know that if you go to China most of your web will be gone… And even if there wasn’t any “great firewall” there are other issues from your internet service provider like HBO access area, or iBBC… Solution for this problem is VPN. What VPN actually do is mask your identity and gives you IP address from country you want. So you could be in south pole, but your Android will think its in US, UK, or any other place in world, you will still need an internet connection to do it. Here is list of hand picked provider that I found on my way of digging under the wall.

1. Hide My Ass!

A VPN service with great brand name, and service that I use today.  There are many reasons for me switching to it, first of many is support of Open VPN protocol so I could use it on all of my devices, and unlimited data. Also neat feature is that they provide only one plan, so no need for any confusion and choosing which one to get. So they have 256 servers in 49 countries. With amazing 29,500 available IP addresses.

So here are some specs:

  • 260 servers in 49 countries
  • Hide behind 29’500+ IP addresses
  • New IP every time you connect
  • PPTP / OpenVPN protocols
  • Unlimited bandwidth usage
  • Android and iOS support

They plan is 11.52 $ a month with 43% off if you get 12 month contract for 78$. And that is a huge discount and it makes Hide My Ass my first choice for Best VPN service provider. So click here and get your new VPN for Android device.

2. Pure VPN

Pure VPN is founded in 2006 in Hong Kong, they say: We Do Not Just Provide VPN Service.. We Provide Freedom on the Internet…They have more than 50 servers, and they are located in 15 countries. They have Standard, PureGold and Unlimited plan. They support PPTP, L2TP and here is my experience with it.

I used Standard plan, only restriction on it is 30GB of data. So no torrenting or p2p sharing. Mostly that services are not used on phones. I was amazed by speed, youtube, facebook, twitter, skype… All apps and services I was using worked buttery smooth. This plan starts at 9.95 $ per month.

For those who wants to be able to switch between all gateways and servers they should use PureGold plan, and than could change between 15 countries as many times as you want. This plan starts at 15 $ per month. It also gives you dedicated IP. For unlimited traffic you have Unlimited plan that starts at 18 $ a month. I will write again, speed on Pure VPN was first class, everything was fast with no speed restrictions at all. More info about Pure VPN.

Also please share your opinion on this or other providers, and I will include them in this post. There are also some budget VPN providers, and if I get my hands on them, you will get review of them here.

*Links to VPN providers are affiliate links, thank you for supporting this blog!

Google Maps 8bit for NES

Great news for all gamers today, Google is launching Google Maps for 8bit devices, such as NES, and there is a version for Game Boy in development right now! Here is an image of the new cartridge:

This is a great step in backward compatibility with one of the first mass used computer systems in the world.

In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn’t access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide.

Our engineering team in Japan understood the importance of maps on retro game systems. With the power of Google’s immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.

There is also a great video presentation, demonstrating how you can use the new 8bit version:

There is also a playable beta version embedded here, but be careful with dragons:

Sorry, they closed this version, so no more preview.

Microsoft Partner Presentation

I’m probably writhing this in order to remind myself never to go to events like this again.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon Microsoft Partner Presentation. And unfortunately for me, it wasn’t as bad as I expected – it was a lot worse.

I can’t remember everything they said that day, but here are a few things:

They praised Steve Jobs a little bit, and said that Android took over “the invincible” iOS family.
However, users should not forget that their firm, Microsoft, had invented the consumerization of IT.
Also, Android or iOS don’t have the security nor the services and applications (they actually said that only they have secure services and applications).

Its really hard to write down all this stuff without screaming!

Then they switched to presenting new Windows 8

So, Windows 8 works on wire, wireless and on other means of communication. (? !??)
Everything that we need already exists in Windows 8.
Internet Explorer 10 comes in 2 different versions: metro and usual.
New METRO interface, with live boxes which were never seen before.
Applications are the core of Windows 8.
Applications now work together.
We have the application which is secure and looks like Twitter.
ARP processors can’t run all applications or services.
The first thing they presented on usual interface was Task Manager.
In order to be able to use Windows 8 we need to learn a new “sign” language.

It seems that we should all go and switch to Windows 8, because it’s “perfect” for everything.

And than they presented Microsoft Lync:

It’s a nirvana – I have everything on Lync!
Before Lync, Microsoft had to pay Verizon a 8,000,000.00 $ every year for audio conferences.
Instant messaging, audio and video calling/conferencing and telephony – Lync.
And you can do all that without exiting your running applications

Hm, has anyone here heard of Skype, oh they even bought it last year!?

And that was all, luckily. Problem with the conferences of this kind is that they do it in a kind of monologue – they are on one side, partners on the other. There can be no questions until the presentation is over, and no applause before they finish their chapter.

In the end it seems that they haven’t learned anything. Since someone was able to take the iOS down from the throne in just a few years, Microsoft is probably the next big target, next “invincible” to fall. And trying to stay on the throne with a few copies and tricks will not help them. Winter is coming!

My friend Nataša Đukanović was with me at this event and she wrote a great article in Montenegrin about it. It can be found here:

Google Play Server Error Quick FIX

Google Play

It seems that Google Play store app stopped working on some Android phones. I did some research and it seems that only some regions/providers are not working, so I found quick fix for rooted phones, and this is quick fix so I will go straight to the point.

You will need to install one app to your phone, and you will need root permission for this fix to work. Its called MarketEnabler and here are links to it:

(there is solution with non rooted devices in UPDATE II and solution for fixing your Google play permanently on UPDATE III below)

App link on Google Play Web:

Or download it directly to phone from project site:

This app basically fools your Android phone and sets different provider/area that you are using.

When you run the app go to Setting list tab and chose one of providers, you will need to press and hold on your chosen provider/area! And chose “fake this provider now” option. (your play app needs to be shutdown before this step for this to work)

Now run the Play and enjoy.

If you experience any problems and you have rooted phone, please comment here. Also please share if this worked on your phone!

UPDATE: Someone reported that by using US VPN was able to fix issue on not-rooted device. I will research that option! [CONFIRMED]

UPDATE II: Here is solution for devices that are not rooted! Using VPN connections based in USA and some other countries, is fixing Google Play server error without need to root your device!!!

Here is how to set it up (I wrote this also as step by step guide with pictures)

  • Go to Settings > Wireless and Network > VPN Settings > Add VPN > Add PPTP VPN
  • Select VPN Name and enter “Test”
  • Select Set VPN Server and enter a server hostname: (Depends on VPN provider here is a post about ones that I recommend)
  • Make sure Enable Encryption is checked
  • Open the menu and choose Save

How to Connect to your VPN

  • Go to Settings > Wireless and Network > VPN Settings >
  • Select the VPN configuration from the list
  • Enter your username and password (Yes, you will need to register, its Virtual Private Network provider, and they make money for its services)
  • Select Remember username
  • Select Connect

After you connect you will have a key icon in your status bar. So what are you waiting go and test it!

I recommend Hide My Ass VPN service its have more than 30k IP addresses to hide behind and unlimited data and speed, and its not pricy. Here is post about my experience with VPN providers: Best VPN service providers for Android

PS. fix can work with some free VPN but most of them have a lot of issues to be usable, I recommend to all of you to try professional VPN and to protect your privacy and data (bunch of people got hacked for using non secured wifi connection… but that is long story that I will tell other time) So find best VPN solution for you and use it.

UPDATE III: How to permanently fix your Google Play app thanks to Allan

Here are steps for permanently fixing your Google Play app server error:

  1. Use Market Enabler or VPN fix depending do you or not have rooted device
  2. Clear Data of Google Play Store/Market…
  3. Open up Google Play Store/Market…
  4. Download/Update of at least one application…
  5. Restart/Reboot device…
  6. VIOLA… google play store still working…

There are a lot of people who confirmed this, so feel free to try, and let us know how it works.