Best VPNs for Android in 2022

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A Quick Guide: The Top 5 Best VPNs for Android

Looking for the best VPN for Android? Whether you want increased privacy and security on your desktop computer or Android smartphone, there are several great options. With one of the 5 best Android VPNs listed below, you’ll get encrypted data, greater online anonymity and security, and the ability to bypass geoblocks:

  1. Surfshark: The best overall Android VPN
  2. NordVPN: The best Android VPN for advanced security options
  3. ExpressVPN: One of the fastest VPNs with a huge range of servers worldwide
  4. PIA: A privacy-oriented VPN with great online security options
  5. CyberGhost: Another strong VPN with dedicated streaming servers

Looking for more information on each VPN provider? Check out our full article below.

Do you want to improve your online security by encrypting your data and increasing your anonymity online? If you own an Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN allows you to better secure your connection on public Wi-Fi networks and even stream American Netflix no matter where you are in the world.

Whatever your reasons for using a VPN, you might struggle choosing the right VPN for Android, as there are just so many providers to choose from. Lightning-fast Android VPNs with no data caps come with a monthly subscription, while free VPNs have their limits and can be a bit slower. Some Android VPNs aren’t actually VPNs at all, but proxies.

That’s why in this article, we will cover the best VPNs for Android and help you choose the best Android VPN for your needs.

Comparison Table of the Best Android VPNs

VPN Providersurfshark logo small

Surfshark

nordvpn logo small

NordVPN

ExpressVPN logo small

ExpressVPN

PIA Private Internet Access Icon

PIA

cyberghost logo small

CyberGhost

Score9.5/109.3/108.9/108.8/108.7/10
Servers3200+ servers across 65 countries5000+ servers across 60 countries3000+ servers across 94 countries30,000+ servers across 78 countries6800+ servers across 90 countries
Torrents/P2P allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Works with Netflix USA?Yes*Yes*Yes*Yes*Yes*
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimited65107
Native Android application?YesYesYesYesYes
VPN protocols supportedOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Shadowsocks (Proxy)OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, NordLynx (WireGuard)OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, LightwayOpenVPN, WireGuard, IPsecOpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard
WebsiteVisit SurfsharkVisit NordVPNVisit ExpressVPNVisit PIAVisit CyberGhost

* Bear in mind that Netflix is continually fighting against VPN use, so VPN providers may experience issues unblocking Netflix overseas from time to time. Information is correct at the time of writing.

The Best VPNs for Android: Our Top 5

When deciding on the best VPN for Android, there are ultimately a number of things to consider. This includes the number of VPN servers offered, connection speeds and stability, the security options available, and the price, among other things. We know why you’re here, so we’ll break that all down for you a little later on.

Without further ado, here are the 5 best VPNs for Android:

1. Surfshark: The best Android VPN

Surfshark Banner

Surfshark is one of the best and most affordable VPN providers. In almost every aspect, this Android VPN scores very well. The servers are fast, you have a wide choice of server locations in a large number of countries, and the VPN software is easy to use.

These same benefits carry across to the mobile application, which is available for iOS, Windows phones, and of course, Android. It’s also worth mentioning that you can use Surfshark on unlimited devices with just one subscription. So, use a VPN on your Android phone, tablet, and desktop computer all at once. Or, cover the whole family with just one payment each month.

All of this means that you can stream on your Android devices at a very low price without any drawbacks. While it’s not the fastest VPN, Surfshark’s VPN servers are fast enough that you won’t be left staring at a buffering wheel. What’s more, there are no data limitations, so you won’t suddenly get cut off in the middle of a stream. This is extremely handy if you watch a lot of movies or series on your Android phone or tablet.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Surfshark is typically very good at bypassing geo-blocks, particularly for streaming services. This includes being able to watch American Netflix from overseas! In addition to the cheap subscription fees, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to test out its service. This free trial gives you more than enough time to see whether Surfshark works for you.

What we like about Surfshark:

  • Great value for money
  • Approachable, user-friendly mobile application
  • Supports unlimited devices under one subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

What we dislike about Surfshark:

  • Not the fastest VPN around
  • One of the newer providers, covering fewer countries than ExpressVPN
Surfshark
Deal:
Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.21 a month
From
$2.21
9.0
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

2. NordVPN: The best Android VPN with advanced security options

NordVPN Banner

NordVPN’s Android application is simple to use and very approachable for VPN newbies. Much like the desktop client, you can select a VPN server by navigating a map, which is an awesome, unique feature. You can support up to 6 connections under one subscription. While that’s no competition for Surfshark’s unlimited device support, it’s still more than the 5 offered by most other VPNs.

We also love that NordVPN has a split tunneling feature, which lets you determine exactly which data should be passed through the VPN connection and which should not. You also have 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch to secure your connection further, and both DNS and WebRTC leak protection. It’s also worth noting that NordVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, an open-source protocol that’s well-regarded by security experts. However, setting this up isn’t the most straightforward process.

What we like about NordVPN:

  • Excellent advanced security options, including double data encryption
  • Supports more devices than ExpressVPN (up to 6 devices)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to trial NordVPN

What we dislike about NordVPN:

  • Torrenting is only supported on select VPN servers
  • OpenVPN connection can be fiddly to set up
NordVPN
Our pick
Our pick
Deal:
Only $2.98 a month for a two-year subscription with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
From
$2.98
9.3
  • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
  • Nice and pleasing application
  • No logs
Visit NordVPN

3. ExpressVPN: One of the fastest VPNs with a huge range of servers worldwide

ExpressVPN Banner New Branding

ExpressVPN is a fantastic VPN for Android. This provider is extremely fast, has many servers in many countries, and is very easy to install and set up on Android devices. In total, you’ll have access to 3,000+ VPN servers in 94 countries. The app automatically checks what language your device is set to and adjusts itself accordingly, and it can even find you the fastest VPN server in your chosen location. In addition to its lightning-fast speeds, ExpressVPN also has extremely strong, 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch.

When it comes to streaming on Android devices, ExpressVPN can typically bypass most geo-blocks. However, like many streaming providers, there have been teething issues with Netflix lately, as Netflix ramps up its war against VPN providers. That said, it typically has no trouble with other streaming services, making it a strong contender for unblocking Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and more.

Another of ExpressVPN’s strengths is in its support for a range of systems. You can install ExpressVPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously, including Android, Windows, iPhone (iOS), Mac (MacOS), and Linux. Compared to Surfshark, we have found that ExpressVPN is of a slightly higher quality. However, that comes at a trade-off; ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPN providers around. That said, if you’d like to take ExpressVPN for a spin, this provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What we like about ExpressVPN:

  • Consistently one of the fastest VPNs available
  • Offers the broadest choice of VPN server locations, with 94 countries supported
  • 256-bit AES encryption ensures your data is safe, even on public Wi-Fi networks

What we dislike about ExpressVPN:

  • One of the most expensive VPNs
  • Limits you to 5 simultaneous connections, as opposed to Surfshark’s unlimited support
ExpressVPN
Deal:
Great discount on annual subscription + 30-day money-back guarantee!
From
$6.67
8.9
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

4. Private Internet Access (PIA): A privacy-oriented VPN with great security options

PIA Banner

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, yet still maintains excellent speeds. To achieve this reputation, PIA utilizes a number of different protocols, such as OpenVPN and Wireguard. The company promises not to log your data, including your use of the VPN servers. What’s more, there’s a kill switch, adblocker, and anti-malware support via the PIA MACE feature. If security is more important than speed to you, give PIA some serious consideration.

On the topic of speed, PIA is a bit slower than ExpressVPN, while also being a little more expensive than Surfshark. However, this VPN is still a great choice for Android because Android is typically more exposed to potential malware and viruses than MacOS or iOS for example. As a result, we particularly like the enhanced security and encryption offered by this provider. They also have the same 30-day money-back guarantee as our other top recommendations.

What we like about PIA:

  • Emphasizes privacy and security 
  • Can block ads and trackers, while also offering some anti-malware support
  • Promises no data logging

What we dislike about PIA:

  • Not as fast as Surfshark, NordVPN or ExpressVPN
  • Slightly more expensive than Surfshark
PIA
Deal:
PIA is always well-priced with a 30-day money-back guarantee
From
$2.19
8.6
  • Strong focus on privacy and security
  • Good price
  • Fast and stable servers
Visit PIA

5. CyberGhost: A strong VPN with dedicated streaming servers

CyberGhost-Review-Banner

CyberGhost is highly adept at connecting to streaming services from overseas. Typically, you can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and more with this VPN. There are also dedicated streaming services that have been optimized for streaming connections. If torrenting is more your thing, there’s also support for BitTorrent and uTorrent, though be wary of remaining on the right side of the law. We recommend checking out the Terms of Service and avoiding torrents that provide illegal downloads.

When it comes to online security and privacy, CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data. You can also choose from different protocols, which include OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2. However, while CyberGhost maintains no browsing logs, bear in mind that they do store some anonymized logs to improve their service. CyberGhost offers a free 45 day trial too. You won’t even need a credit card to give it an extended test run.

What we like about CyberGhost:

  • Supports torrenting via BitTorrent and uTorrent
  • Typically a very fast response from customer service
  • Can unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more

What we dislike about CyberGhost:

  • Offers below-average OpenVPN speeds
  • Doesn’t have the most comprehensive support resources
CyberGhost
Deal:
Try CyberGhost for $2.29 per month!
From
$2.29
8.8
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

Free vs. Paid VPNs for Android

Hands holding VPN shield icons, free vs paid VPN with white background

In addition to paid VPN services, Android users also have the option of going with a free Android VPN. While there are several good-quality, free VPN services for Android, most aren’t really suitable for long-term use or for streaming. Many free VPN services have limitations on speed, the 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 on streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. 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.

What is the best free VPN for Android?

Even with the drawbacks and potential risks of free VPNs, some people prefer to use them over premium options. This could simply be because a VPN subscription doesn’t quite fit your budget. If you’re willing to overlook things like data limitations and speed caps, you’ll probably want to know which free Android VPN is best.

The good news is that we’ve also picked the best free VPN for Android. In fact, you have several options:

  1. PrivadoVPN
  2. ProtonVPN
  3. Hide.me

If you’d like to read more about each of these VPN providers, you can check out our research into the best free VPN providers, as they are all featured on that list. We’ve also detailed each of the pros, cons, data limitations, and more.

Free Android VPN apps that are not actually VPNs

Since we’re talking about free VPNs for Android, it’s worth briefly mentioning proxies. These are apps that are often advertised as VPNs, yet are actually proxies, services that can change your IP address but do not encrypt your data. An example of this is Hola VPN. This service advertises itself as a VPN, but it only cloaks your IP, changing it to mirror that of another Hola user. If you use Hola, your connection will also be used by other Hola users. This is very unsafe, as other people get to use your connection, and you’ve no control over what they do with it.


How We Chose the Best Android VPNs

If you want to be sure that you’re choosing the best VPN provider for Android, you’ll want to choose a fast, secure VPN with wide-ranging VPN server locations. But what else is important when you’re choosing a VPN? When we researched the best Android VPNs, there are a number of factors that we took into consideration.

In fact, they’re the same yardsticks we use to determine the best VPN for every platform. Below, you can see exactly what to look for in a VPN.

Infographic showing what to look for when choosing the best Android VPN

Security and privacy

It’s crucial that a VPN provider does not keep any logs, otherwise your data could be stored. 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 choosing a VPN that uses high-security protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard.

Connection speed

Speed is essential when using a VPN, whether streaming, downloading, or for everyday use. VPNs can slightly reduce your speed, but with the best VPNs, you won’t even notice.

Ease of use

Some VPNs require technical knowledge, while others do not. In listing the best Android VPN providers, we’ve focused on VPNs that are user-friendly and approachable for all users.

Server choice and location

If you use a VPN to get around geographical restrictions, it’s important to have access to a broad range of VPN servers. Take ExpressVPN for example; this provider offers a choice of more than 90 countries worldwide. You can easily get UK IP address to watch BBC iPlayer, or get a US IP address to unblock American Netflix, for example.

Additional features

VPNs sometimes offer additional options that make it easier to surf securely or stream faster. For example, CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers. Other VPNs offer a kill switch or dedicated IP feature. NordVPN offers double data encryption too. Consider what additional features you might benefit from and weigh these against the other factors we’ve outlined.

Subscription cost

In addition to the quality of the VPN service, it is also good to see if the VPN subscription fits your budget. Chances are that some of you would prefer to pay as little as possible. That’s why we have considered price as a factor in choosing our top 5 VPNs.


Why Do You Need a VPN for Android?

Everyone has different reasons for using a VPN. Some of the most common reasons Android users opt for one:

ReasonExplanation
SecurityBecause your internet traffic is encrypted with a VPN, it’s far harder for malicious third parties to access your data. For example, hackers, governments, and internet service providers (ISPs) cannot see what you do online. This is especially important if you regularly connect to public Wi-Fi networks with your smartphone or tablet.
PrivacyWith a VPN, your usual IP address is cloaked and replaced with a different IP address that mirrors the VPN server you’re using. As a result, your online actions are far harder to trace back to your device and identity. This is why people often use a VPN when 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. However, bear in mind that a VPN doesn’t give you online impunity, and with concerted effort and a lot of resources, a determined organization or authority could still track you down.
UnblockingSome sites and services block their content based on your location. For example, Netflix has a larger offering of films and TV series in America than in most other countries. With the help of a VPN, you can bypass these geographical restrictions to watch films and TV shows 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

Infographic showing how to install VPN on Android

There are several ways to install a VPN on an Android device, but the easiest way is by downloading one of the best Android VPN apps from the Play Store:

  1. Choose a VPN provider. Our pick of the best VPN for Android is Surfshark. You’ll get lightning-fast connections and a vast range of VPN servers to choose from. However, Surfshark is also one of the most affordable premium VPNs available.
  2. Download the Android app and install it from the Google Play Store.
  3. Sign into your account once the download and installation process is complete.
  4. Choose a VPN server in your preferred country.
  5. Connect to your chosen VPN server to change your IP address!

Bear in mind that your Android device may ask you to change the configuration of your VPN connections under “Networking.” Be sure to allow this option if you want your VPN to work correctly. Otherwise, if you’d like to know more, including how to install a VPN without the Google Play Store, you can consult our full article: “Installing a VPN on Android.”


In Summary: The Best VPN for Android

Based on the criteria we mentioned before, we would recommend the following VPNs for Android:

  1. Surfshark: The best free Android VPN
  2. NordVPN: The best Android VPN for advanced security options
  3. ExpressVPN : One of the fastest VPNs with a huge range of servers worldwide
  4. PIA: A privacy-oriented VPN with great online security options
  5. CyberGhost: Another strong VPN with dedicated streaming servers

All these providers have excellent Android software and compete well in terms of price, speed and security. Surfshark is the most affordable premium VPN that still offers excellent speed, stability and security. Alternatively, NordVPN is faster, but a bit more expensive. ExpressVPN is certainly the fastest, but comes with the highest price tag. PIA takes extra steps and offers greater functionality when it comes to online security and privacy. Finally, CyberGhost is tailored toward streaming and offers dedicated servers for watching your favorite movies and shows.

If none of these providers appeal to you, you can always check out our other VPN reviews below:
View reviewed VPNs

Best VPN for Android: Frequently Asked Questions

Got more questions about the best VPNs for Android? Check out our FAQ section to find an answer to your question. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to leave us a comment below.

Based on aspects such as usability, price, security, speed, privacy, and extra features, we would recommend the following VPNs for Android:

  1. Surfshark: The best free Android VPN
  2. NordVPN: The best Android VPN for advanced security options
  3. ExpressVPN: One of the fastest VPNs with a huge range of servers worldwide
  4. PIA: A privacy-oriented VPN with great online security options
  5. CyberGhost: Another strong VPN with dedicated streaming servers

In addition to paid VPNs for Android, there are free VPNs too. However, some free VPNs may be unsafe, and even the best free VPNs often have data or speed limitations. However, if you’re interested in high-quality, free VPNs, you might want to check out one of the following:

  1. PrivadoVPN
  2. ProtonVPN
  3. Hide.me

Installing a VPN app on Android is fairly straightforward if you’re using the Google Play Store:

  1. Choose a VPN provider, such as our best VPN for Android, Surfshark, then create a subscription.
  2. Download the VPN app.
  3. Sign into your account in the app.
  4. Choose a VPN server and connect to it.

A VPN secures the data connection that runs between you and the internet. This means that all your data is encrypted. This data cannot be decrypted by hackers, even if it’s intercepted. This encrypted, virtual tunnel keeps your data safe. Furthermore, a VPN hides your IP address and takes on a different IP address (that of the VPN server). This ensures extra anonymity online.

Because of the extra security measures, a VPN allows you to use the internet more securely and anonymously. In addition, a VPN allows you to bypass censorship in countries where certain sites are inaccessible. This same principle of circumventing censorship can also be used to unblock the larger content database of the American version of Netflix, for example.

Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. She has broad experience developing rigorous VPN testing procedures and protocols for our VPN review section and has tested dozens of VPNs over the years.
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  1. I was planning on using Atlas VPN for my phone and currently choosing between Atlas and Hotspot Shield, but it is not listed as one of your recommendations. I believe it is pretty new. Are you planning on writing a review on them anytime soon?

    • We’ll definitely look into this. In the meantime, you might want to take a look at other VPNs that offer free services. We’ve got the best of them listed right here. If we end up liking Atlas, the provider might even join that list soon.

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