Lantern for Android

Lantern is a circumvention tool that uses “domain-fronting” to penetrate firewalls. Its main advantage is that it is easy to use for beginners. There are both free and paid versions, and clients exist for mobile devices and for desktop computers. This article will show you how to install and use Lantern on an Android device.

To start with, you need to get the Android apk file for Lantern. Depending on which country you are in, you may be able to get this from the Google Play Store.

If that is not possible in your country, you can also download the apk file from the Get Lantern website. That is the approach we will illustrate in this article.

If you cannot use either of these approaches, you can get a friend to email you the apk file. At the time of writing, it is about 10 MB. For slightly better security, your friend could rename the file to something obscure before emailing it to you.

Assuming you are following the method in this example (using the Get Lantern website), open a browser on your Android device, visit the Get Lantern website, and click the Download button.

Get Lantern website Download button

Specify that you want to get the Android version by tapping on Get Android.

Lantern website get Android download

When asked if you want to download the lantern-installer.apk file, tap on OK.

OK to download Lantern installer apk

Since you are installing from a web site outside the Google Play Store, Android will do a security check. Tap Settings.

Install blocked by security settings

The box for Unknown sources will be unchecked. Place a check mark in it by tapping the box.

Android security unknown sources box

Check the box for Allow this installation only and tap OK.

Allow this installation only OK

Tap Next.

Lantern install Next

Tap Install.

Lantern install Install

When the install is complete, drag the Lantern icon to your home screen for easy access.

Lantern icon

Tap on the Lantern icon to launch Lantern. When it starts up, tap on Start Using Lantern.

Start using Lantern

Android informs you that Lantern is trying to start a VPN connection.

Android trust this application for VPN

Check the box for I trust this application and tap OK.

Android trust this application OK

The main ON/OFF toggle appears, initially in the OFF position.

Lantern toggle in OFF position

Toggle it to the ON position.

A small key icon appears, top left, to remind you that you are now using a VPN.

Lantern toggle in ON position with VPN indicator key icon

Now use your browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) as normal. Your traffic will go to the outside world via Lantern.

Chrome using Lantern

When you have finished using Lantern, toggle the switch to the OFF position.

Lantern toggle in OFF position