There are several good VPNs you can use on your Android device. Using a VPN on your smartphone or tablet has multiple advantages. Safe internet browsing, maintaining your anonymity online and bypassing internet censorship can all be done with a VPN. Our top 3 best VPNs for Android are as follows:
If you want to get started quickly with a good VPN for your Android device that also works on other operating systems, we recommend Surfshark.
If you own an Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to consider using a VPN. A VPN allows you to better secure your connection on public Wi-Fi networks and even stream American Netflix from wherever you are in the world. Whatever the reason, there are an awful lot of VPNs for Android. This can make it difficult to make the right choice for a VPN that best suits your needs. Some Android VPNs are slow, others are fast but unsafe, and some are actually not VPNs at all, but proxies. In this article we will help you choose the best Android VPN for your situation.
What to look for when choosing the best Android VPN?
If you want an excellent VPN provider for Android, make sure you choose a fast, secure VPN with the right server locations. Depending on what’s important to you, some VPNs may be more suitable than others. Do you stream a lot? Then go for a fast VPN. Do you want your data to remain secure? Then choose a secure VPN. Do you want to unblock a certain website from another country? Then check if the VPN you want to choose has servers in that country. In addition, it is of course useful if the VPN has an Android application.
While choosing a VPN it could be useful to be aware of some important aspects of VPNs. In determining our top 3 best Android VPN’s we looked at the following aspects:
- Security and privacy: we mainly looked at the logging policy and encryption protocols of a VPN. For privacy reasons it is important that a VPN provider does not keep any logs, otherwise your data will still be stored by the VPN company, something you definitely do not want when using a VPN. The encryption protocols of a VPN often determine how difficult it is to crack an encrypted file. Most VPNs use OpenVPN, but there are some that do not. We recommend that you choose a VPN provider that does use OpenVPN.
- Speed: speed can be very important for a VPN, especially during streaming, downloading, and everyday use. VPNs can slightly reduce your speed, but with some VPNs you won’t even notice this, while with others you definitely will. We only recommend VPNs that affect your speed as little as possible.
- Ease of use: some VPNs require technical knowledge, others do not. In selecting the best Android VPN providers, we’ve focused on VPNs that are suitable for everyone. In other words, all VPNs in our top 3 can easily be used by young and old.
- Servers: if you use a VPN to unblock sites, a large range of servers is very useful. For example, if you have a VPN that only has servers in France, you will not be able to use it to unblock American Netflix. In addition, a VPN will affect your speed less if the VPN server you use is close to you.
- Additional features: VPNs sometimes offer additional options to make it easier for the user to surf securely or stream faster. Sometimes in the form of a kill switch, sometimes in the form of a dedicated IP. Although this is usually a less important factor, it may be good to pay attention to this if you have any special VPN needs.
- Price: in addition to the actual quality of the VPN service, it is also good to see if the VPN-subscription fits your budget. Chances are that you would like a good VPN, but don’t want to pay too much for it. That’s why we have included price as an aspect in our top 3.
The best VPNs for Android: our top 3
Based on the criteria mentioned above, we have selected the following three VPN providers that we believe are the best VPNs for Android at the moment:
Surfshark is one of the best and most decently-priced VPNs. On almost every aspect this VPN scores very well. The servers are fast, you have a wide choice of server locations in a large number of countries, the VPN is easy to use and on top of that this VPN is very cheap for the quality that is provided. All this means that you can stream on your Android devices at a very low price without any hiccups. This is handy if you watch a lot of movies or series on your Android phone or tablet.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
ExpressVPN is a fantastic VPN for Android. The VPN is extremely fast, has many servers and is very easy to install and set up on Android devices. The app automatically sees what language your device is set to and adjusts itself accordingly. In addition to its high speed, ExpressVPN also has extremely good encryption. You can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN. Compared to Surfshark we would say that ExpressVPN is slightly better in terms of quality, but also a lot more expensive. That’s why, as far as we’re concerned, it has earned the second place on this list.
- Super fast and simple VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
3. Private Internet Access – PIA
Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent VPN alternative for users looking for a highly secure and privacy-oriented VPN. PIA is very focused on online security and still maintains excellent speeds. PIA is a bit slower than ExpressVPN and a bit more expensive than Surfshark, but still this VPN is a great choice for Android. We particularly like the security and encryption of this provider.
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Good price
- Fast and stable servers
Free vs. paid VPNs for Android
In addition to paid VPN services, you also have the option of going with a free VPN. Although there are a number of good free VPN services, most will not be suitable for long-term use. Many free VPN services have limitations on speed, amount of data you can use per month or server locations. Often the data limit will not even allow you to watch an entire movie. Free VPNs without a data limit or with a very high limit will often be slow or unsafe. That’s why we usually recommend going for a paid VPN.
Free Android VPN apps that are not actual VPNs
If we’re talking about free VPN apps for Android, it’s also good to briefly mention proxies. These are apps that are often free and advertised as VPNs. Usually, however, these are proxies: services that change your IP address but do not encrypt your data. An example of this is Hola. This service advertises itself as a VPN, but only changes your IP address to that of another Hola user. If you use Hola, your connection will also be used by other Hola users. This is very unsafe because other people get to use your connection and who know what they use it for.
Why a VPN for Android?
Everyone has different reasons to use a VPN. The most common reasons are as follows:
|Security||Because your internet traffic is encrypted with a VPN, others cannot just gain access to your data. For example, hackers, governments and internet providers cannot see what you do online. This is especially important for Android devices because you often connect to public Wi-Fi networks with your smartphone or tablet.|
|Privacy||Thanks to a VPN, your own IP address is hidden and you get a different IP address from one of the VPN servers. As a result, your online actions cannot be traced back to your device or to you as a person. This is often used in combination with downloading torrents to avoid fines. Privacy and legislation are also the reason why journalists, who live in countries with a lot of censorship, use a VPN to express their opinions using anonymous forums.|
|Unblocking||Some sites and services block their content based on your location. For example, Netflix has a larger offer of films and series in America than in most other countries. With the help of a VPN you can bypass this kind of geographical blocking to still watch films and series from other countries. This is also the reason why a VPN is often used in China, where sites like YouTube and Facebook are blocked.|
How to install a VPN on Android
There are several ways to install a VPN on an Android device. The easiest is probably through an app from the Play Store:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider;
- Download the VPN app from the Play Store;
- Open the Application;
- Adjust the settings if necessary;
- Turn on the VPN (your Android device will probably ask you to change the configuration of VPN connections under ‘networking’, allow this).
In summary: the best VPN for Android, our top 3
Based on the criteria we mentioned before, we would recommend the following VPNs for Android:
All these providers have excellent Android software and are good in terms of price, speed and security. Surfshark is the most affordable premium VPN, ExpressVPN may be a little better but is also a lot more expensive, and PIA is taking extra steps when it comes to safety. If none of these providers appeal to you, you can always take a look at our overview of all reviewed VPNs: