There are so many fake and dangerous VPN apps for Android that it’s no wonder we get hundreds of emails every month from users telling us about yet another VPN that isn’t real.
A reliable VPN is the only way to protect your phone. But with over 200 VPNs available in the Play Store, how do you know which service is safe? And are the free VPNs listed in the Play Store secure? (Hint: No, most of them are dubious at best).
Our Android VPN recommendations are secure, user-friendly, and fast. They give you unlimited access to streaming sites like Netflix, high-speed HD streaming, and high security, even on public Wi-Fi.
We also make sure that each VPN has its own easy-to-use Android app that works seamlessly on all Android devices and versions, up to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
10 Best VPN for Android
ExpressVPN for Android
ExpressVPN is our top VPN for 2021, but it’s also our top pick for Android. Its unique Android VPN app – which works not only for smartphones, but also for tablets and TVs – is easy to install and use. And once the VPN is up and running, you’ll experience very fast and consistent speeds across the VPN server network.
Whether you’re connecting to a nearby or remote VPN server, ExpressVPN is extremely fast and stable, making it ideal for HD streaming. If you want a streaming VPN, ExpressVPN can unlock 19 different Netflix libraries, as well as Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN is also very secure. All VPN connections use AES-256 encryption, and while there’s no network lock (kill switch) setting on Android, there is a “Block Internet if unable to connect to VPN” setting that works very similarly. You can use ExpressVPN on up to five devices at once.
Overall, ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than our other top recommendations, but it’s without a doubt the best VPN for Android. in our opinion, it’s worth the extra few dollars per month.
- High speed over short and long distances
- Sleek, unique VPN app for Android devices
- Unlocks Netflix and other popular streaming apps
- No user logs, no IP address leaks
- APK file available (for smart TV)
- VPN server for 94 countries
- Can be cheaper than shorter VPN packages
SurfsharkVPN for Android
Surfshark is a bit unusual – since when does a particularly cheap product perform as well as the big boys? The first thing that stands out is the excellent app, which keeps things simple while allowing you to configure a whole host of things – including kill switches, split tunnels, and additional beta features like HackLock and BlindSearch.
Another standout feature is Surfshark’s unlimited connection policy. No matter how many devices you have, you can install this VPN on all of them and use them all simultaneously – sounds like a challenge if we’ve ever heard of one.
Surfshark is also great for unlocking streaming content, and connection speeds are always strong. So no matter where you are in the world, you can access your favorite shows and stream them in HD quality.
The best thing about Surfshark is its price – for less than $2.50 a month, you get top-notch VPN protection. While the apps and support don’t come close to ExpressVPN’s gold standard, Surfshark should be one of your top choices if you want to spend as little as possible on an Android VPN.
- Great value
- Attractive and powerful Android app
- Great value for the money and extremely attractive
- Unlimited connectivity
- The app lacks any really in-depth features
NordVPN for Android
The NordVPN app is very popular, with over 10 million downloads and a high Google Play rating. And it has some notable benefits, including “Dual VPN” technology that routes connections through two separate VPN servers instead of one, providing an extra layer of security. The service also has a “zero-logging” policy (also verified by PwC), meaning it doesn’t track users’ online activity.
While NordVPN is clearly focused on security and privacy, it is not lacking in other areas. The Android app is fairly easy to use and has a number of nice features, such as split tunnels, the ability to automatically connect to NordVPN when connecting to a Wi-Fi network, and the fast NordLynx protocol. The app also offers a live chat feature that provides 24/7 customer support. While there is no built-in kill switch, it is very easy to implement a similar tool in the settings.
We think it’s time for Nord to look into launching this app. We’re not at all impressed with the complex map system for selecting locations – though we note that if you scroll down, you can do so with a more standard list format. And why couldn’t we just introduce a proper kill switch without having to jump through hoops?
But as far as “downsides” go, they’re pretty minor. And Nord’s capabilities in unblocking websites and bypassing streaming restrictions are nearly unmatched.
The app is also reasonably priced and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out before committing. In terms of overall value, the multi-year offer is clearly the best option.
- Double data encryption
- Good performance
- Verified non-logging policy
- Impractical map-based location selector
WindscribeVPN for Android
If you’re looking for a paid option, Windscribe is the best free Android VPN for all accounts. The free tier offers 10GB of data per month – much more than any other decent free Android VPN app – with just one email address.
This free VPN for Android unlocks US Netflix, is suitable for torrenting, has decent speeds, and even works in China. Windscribe has strong security and will not keep logs of your activity.
In addition to Android, apps are also available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Within an account, you can connect as many devices as you want at the same time, but note that there is a 10GB cap for free users.
- Works in China, allows torrenting
- Unblocks Netflix and similar sites
- 10 GB data cap
- Unlocking Netflix in the US requires a server change
- Mobile app is fancy, but limits user choices
Private Internet AccessVPN for Android
Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent VPN option for users looking for a very secure and privacy-oriented VPN. PIA is very focused on online security, but still offers excellent speeds. PIA is a bit slower than ExpressVPN and a bit more expensive than Surfshark, but it is still the VPN of choice for Android. We particularly like the security and encryption features with this provider.
Yes, it lacks the neat favorites system that some other VPN providers have, but it has plenty of other features. There’s support for port forwarding, proxy support, UDP and TCP protocol settings, you can specify local and remote ports, choose custom encryption and handshaking methods, and even have the device vibrate to signal when you connect. It also offers auto-connect when you connect to the VPN, as well as a kill switch.
- Large list of settings
- Reasonably priced packages
- Fantastic game save ratings
- No live chat support
- Not the best for streaming
CyberGhostVPN for Android
VPN beginners and Android newbies will love CyberGhost: The provider’s easy-to-use app offers the best online protection for devices.
The provider offers apps from Pie to Android Jelly Bean for Android phones and tablets running Android Jelly Bean. They also offer apps for Android TV for Android TV 5.0 or higher.
There are also easy-to-use and feature-rich apps for Amazon Fire TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows. Extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers are available. A router functionality is also available. Up to 7 devices can be connected simultaneously through the same account.
The provider has one of the largest VPN server networks with over 6,700 servers in 90 countries. Many of these servers are optimized for streaming video services around the world, and the network also includes servers optimized for file sharing.
CyberGhost’s connections are fast enough to handle 4K and HD streaming, online gaming, and large file sharing with ease.
These high speeds are protected by government-grade encryption, a VPN kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Moreover, the Android app blocks ads, prevents online tracking, and protects you from malicious websites.
The 24/7 support includes a 24-hour live support chat, email support, an error tracking system, and a searchable support directory.
- One server optimized for streaming and file sharing from multiple locations
- Fast, 4K-friendly download speeds
- No protocols accepts bitcoin
- Apps available for Android and Android TV
- Advanced users may miss some advanced options
- Advanced users may have some premium features
VyprVPN for Android
In terms of both security and speed, VyprVPN performs well in both areas. It is one of the few VPN providers that have the Chameleon protocol, which helps bypass networks in restricted countries like China.
Some of the best features supported by VPN include killswitch, DNS leak protection, URL filtering, and protocol switching. In addition to their protocol, they also offer popular VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN for added flexibility.
- Android apps can be downloaded as APKs from the Google Play Store or directly from the website
- Now allows P2P and Torrenting
- Fast speeds, perfect for streaming
- A bit more expensive than some VPN
- Power users need more configuration options
TunnelBearVPN for Android
As mentioned earlier, to recommend an Android VPN, the app itself has to be good. And TunnelBear has a great app – that’s one of the reasons it currently has a 4.4 rating in the Play Store, one of the highest we’ve seen for a paid VPN.
Considering how much fun the app is, that’s not much of a surprise. Like everything TunnelBear makes, it’s full of fun graphics and cute teddy bears. That may not sound rewarding, but if the app is easy to use and fun, you’ll be more likely to use it.
And the VPN itself is pretty good. Unlike iOS, Android gets 256-bit OpenVPN encryption, which means your traffic is secure. It’s not the fastest VPN (we got 52 Mbps download speeds on our 100 Mbps connection), but it’s stable and they have an anti-logging policy that we really like.
Their paid plans, which start at $4.99 per month and are paid annually, are among the most affordable we’ve seen. And they have a free plan, so you can try the app and see how it works for you. The service will be limited to 500 MB, but you won’t need much more than that to see if it’s worth paying for.
VPN Area for Android
VPNArea is a privacy-focused VPN service based in Bulgaria. They offer a highly reputable service that has been in operation since 2012 and has a no-log policy. Like our other top Android VPNs, VPNArea has a large server network that spans 54 countries. almost all servers on the VPNArea network offer 1000Mbps bandwidth channels that provide users with top-notch performance.
The VPNArea apps we tested for this review all performed well. They have dedicated apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android. All VPN apps have built-in leak protection (kill switches) and all DNS requests are translated by VPNArea’s own servers. Like NordVPN, VPNArea offers two VPN servers and a Tor-over-VPN server for added anonymity.
The VPNArea Android app supports OpenVPN and the IKEv2 protocol. And while not as fast as WireGuard, VPNArea’s implementation of the OpenVPN protocol still performs well. They also offer obfuscation to hide VPN traffic and bypass blocking. This makes VPNArea a good choice if you need a VPN in China or any other restricted network.
Another unique feature of VPNArea is that they offer dedicated IP addresses. This allows you to choose an area with an IP address that only you use, instead of sharing it with other customers. Check out these VPNs with dedicated IP addresses to learn the pros and cons of this feature.
Finally, VPNArea 8 offers users simultaneous connection, live chat support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. They are also quite affordable if you opt for the two-year plan.
- No logs
- Superior speed and reliability
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
- Anonymous payment options
Strong security features with your
- own hosted DNS
- Ad blocker
- Dedicated IP address available
- 24/7 live chat support
- Limited number of Netflix streaming servers (but still works fine)
- Limited VPN router support
IvacyVPN for Android
Ivacy may not be the most well-known VPN brand. However, that will surely change in the future. This Singapore-based VPN meets all the requirements and offers comprehensive features and privacy measures for all your devices. Android, of course, is one of them.
For starters, Ivacy VPN has a number of really capable VPN protocols, and you can choose from a variety of protocols depending on your priorities (if you need protection rather than performance and vice versa). This VPN also has a very polished Android app that is available in the Play Store. Download it, sign in, connect to the server of your choice, and you’re good to go. However, Ivacy also offers detailed instructions on how to set up a VPN manually, which is perfect for advanced users. Regardless of which setup method you choose, you can be sure that Ivacy won’t collect any of your personal data, as it is a log-free VPN provider.
Note that Ivacy is often recommended for streaming media, among other things. In our tests, it was one of the best VPNs for Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, Prime Video, and many other platforms. It can also be used to unblock websites that are not available in your country, making it a solid anti-censorship tool. The only downside is that Ivacy isn’t the fastest VPN out there, so we recommend it for those with fast internet connections.
How do I set up a VPN on my Android phone?
It’s super easy, just follow these simple steps.
- Buy a VPN subscription (if the VPN is paid).
- On your device, go to the Google Play Store, find your VPN subscription and download the app.
- Sign in with your VPN credentials (provided by the VPN service of your choice).
If your VPN doesn’t have a native Android app, you can set it up manually. However, we recommend that you get a VPN with a customized Android app.
If you get stuck, check out our guide on how to set up a VPN for Android, or contact your VPN service’s customer support.
Once you’ve installed a VPN on your Android phone, you’ll need to make a few settings to make the connection as secure as possible.
- Enable VPN kill switch, IP and DNS leak protection – if your VPN service has them.
- VPN protocol: If your VPN offers a choice, choose OpenVPN – it offers the best balance between speed and privacy. However, if you are short on mobile data, go for WireGuard as it is the most data efficient. Most importantly, avoid PPTP at all costs.
- Choose the location of the VPN server you want to connect to.
For the best speeds, choose the VPN server closest to your physical location.
Many VPNs have automatic settings that do this for you, but if not, choose the server in the closest city or country.
This does not apply if you want to access content from a specific website. In this case, select the appropriate country or city.
- Your VPN is now set up and ready to go. But how do you actually turn it on on your Android device? Well, most of the time it’s as simple as clicking the “Connect” button.
Once connected, the VPN app will run in the background, allowing you to continue using your Android device as usual.
What are the benefits of a VPN?
A VPN protects and enhances all your online activities on your Android device as well as other connected devices.
VPN encrypts your internet connection, preventing outsiders from monitoring your online activities.
People who want to monitor your online travels include your Internet Service Provider (ISP) because they can sell this information to third parties. Hackers because they can sell your personal information to other bad guys, and even the government because, well, it’s the government and it’s certainly curious.
ISPs have been known to restrict or block connections for customers who engage in “unauthorized” activities, such as sharing files or streaming movies from certain services. A VPN prevents your ISP from monitoring your online activities and prevents it from blocking your activities.
When you use a Wi-Fi signal on your Android device, there is a good chance that the signal comes from an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot. While using the hotspot, the same encryption protects your online activities. This protects you when you do online banking, shop online, or perform other online activities.
VPN also “spoofs” your device’s IP address to make it look like you are in another part of the world.
This allows you to access content that would normally be blocked where you live. This includes popular streaming services and gaming sites that geo-block their content for contractual reasons, as well as financial sites that can be geo-blocked for security reasons.
Why don’t we recommend a free VPN for Android?
Many people know that they should use a VPN. But only a few are willing to pay for it. That’s why there are thousands of people looking for the best VPN for Android. as you’re about to see, we don’t offer free VPNs.
Why not? Because there are trade-offs with free VPNs. First of all, they are usually not very reliable. Paid VPN providers are unlikely to prioritize traffic for free users, and unless you’re willing to pay, you’ll get a second-rate service.
The same goes for speed. Free Android VPNs simply can’t compete with paid options when it comes to speed. With a paid provider, you get a faster and more stable connection, and that’s worth a lot.
Free VPN providers still need to make money. If they don’t get it from you, they get it from advertisers. Free VPN providers are more likely to log your data, sell your information to third parties, and display ads when you connect. While advertising is annoying, collecting and selling your data is an invasion of your privacy.
For all these reasons, we recommend always using a paid VPN for Android. You’ll get faster and more consistent service, and your privacy will be better protected. And the low cost of many of the VPNs below means you can get these things at an affordable price.
Do I need an Android VPN?
An Android VPN on your device is essential, especially if you are ever connected to a public Wi-Fi network.
These networks are often unprotected, and it’s possible for other people who are on the same network to access your device. Encrypting your mobile VPN protects you and your data from potential hackers, and for that reason alone, we’d say the small monthly fee is worth it.
However, one of the main reasons users sign up for streaming is to use a VPN. If you’re abroad, it’s impossible to access the shows you’re watching at home without a VPN – even if you’ve paid for a subscription.
This is because online TV services geo-block their libraries for licensing reasons (Netflix and iPlayer, to name a few). Using a VPN makes your device appear to be in the country of your choice, so you can access the same media as everyone else in that country.
Is an Android VPN legal?
VPNs have gained a bit of a reputation for being associated with hackers, pirates, and other online criminals. However, using a VPN on any device is 100% legal – and the vast majority of users remain completely unconcerned.
While the privacy protection that VPNs provide can sometimes be an advantage for shady characters, honest citizens have a right to enjoy these freedoms for their own personal and legitimate use.
What else can an Android VPN do?
You might not be using your Android VPN to its full potential when you’re on your phone – maybe just a little Netflix overseas – but luckily, all of the VPNs on this list allow you to use your subscription on multiple devices.
That means you can install a VPN on your PC or Mac, and often on your smartphone, gaming console, or router. This allows you to take full advantage of a VPN.
One of the biggest benefits of using a torrent VPN is maintaining security, since P2P sharing is an activity that poses a real risk for those who participate in it unprotected.
Another reason is to bypass Internet service restrictions – this is especially useful for students, people living in rented accommodation or people who work – it means you can get online without anyone blocking what you want to see.
Is an Android VPN secure?
If you choose one of the five Android VPNs on this list (or even one of our best VPN guides), you can be sure that you’re dealing with a reputable, secure provider. If you visit the provider’s website using the links on this page, you can be sure you’re in the right place, or search for it in the Play Store.
However, a VPN doesn’t offer absolute protection – if you enter data on a fake website or download malware, your VPN won’t protect you. You still need to be smart when browsing the web, but if you are smart, a VPN will take your protection to a new level and prevent your data from being compromised when it’s not your fault.
How does Android spoof my location?
While all good Android VPN apps allow you to change the location of your IP address to another server, not all of them include fake GPS technology.
In fact, among the major manufacturers, only Surfshark has GPS spoofing tools built in. If your main reason for buying a VPN is to play Pokémon Go or similar mobile games, this is the obvious choice.
When you are connected to the Internet (and your Android device is always connected), you allow your online activities to be monitored by outsiders. By using a virtual private network (VPN), such as my choice NordVPN, you can ensure the best protection for your online activities while improving access to your favorite content. Internet freedom is just a click away!
NordVPN offers comprehensive online protection, fast and well-protected connections, and a global server network that can unblock content from all over the world. Android users will appreciate the provider’s easy-to-use app that offers instant protection from the dangers of the online world.