Android VPN: Best Free VPN to Keep Your Android Phone Safe Everywhere

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The best Android VPN will help Android users keep their online activity private and secure, no matter where they are – especially since Android devices can be more vulnerable to cyber threats than iOS devices.

We reviewed and tested the top VPN providers, covering key features such as speed, cost, encryption, and the company’s logging policy, to find the best VPN for Android devices.

In a hurry? If you want the best VPN for privacy, security, or speed, here are our editor’s picks for the best VPNs overall — each with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Click through now to get our best discount on your subscription:

  • ExpressVPN: A global leader among VPNs, ExpressVPN offers one-click ease with high speed servers in 105 countries — and it also unblocks Netflix. Get 3 months free when you purchase a 12-month subscription.
  • NordVPN: Compatible with many streaming services, featuring malware prevention and ad blocking. Get up to 68% off + 3 free months with NordVPN’s Back to School special when you choose a 2-year plan with our special offer.
  • Surfshark: Award-winning VPN for unlimited devices, featuring worldwide connections with 10 GBit servers in 100 countries. Get up to 86% off your Surfshark 2-year subscription price.

While setting up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your Android phone or tablet might seem complicated, all our top picks come with a dedicated Android app, so you can just download, log in, and be covered in one click.

These apps also include a variety of additional features and benefits, depending on your need and budget. We’ve provided a concise summary of the best Android VPNs below, with additional links to our detailed reviews to help you make an informed decision.

  • Surfshark VPN
  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • Proton VPN
  • CyberGhost

Quick Guide To Choosing a VPN for Android

When choosing the perfect Android VPN, there are some key criteria you should consider:

What To Look For

  • Designed for Android – Your VPN should include an Android-specific app, that’s lightweight and easy to use so it doesn’t slow down your device or become difficult to operate.
  • Large server network – The VPN service should have servers all over the world, so you can connect through other countries to access geo-restricted content.
  • Fast connection speeds – Ensuring your VPN offers speeds suitable for online activities such as streaming or gaming is also an important consideration.

What To Avoid

It’s generally best to avoid free VPNs. While they may seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution, they may actually compromise your data and put your sensitive information at risk.

These providers often have limited server options too, leading to slower connection speeds and restricting how much content you can unblock. 

Top VPN Reviews

Let’s get into our top recommendations.


Rank: 1 Max devices: 6
Servers: 5,000+ 24/7 support:
Speed: 10Gbps Free trial:
Countries: 60 Money-back guarantee:
Encryption Type: AES-256 Apps & devices: Win, MacOS, Android, iOS, Android TV
Jurisdiction: Panama

Our Deal: from $12.99/month billed monthly, $4.99/month billed yearly, and $3.49/month billed every two years.

Best & Worst:

+ Extensive, easy-to-use features

NordVPN covers users for both privacy and security on their mobile devices, with quick and simple settings.

The app’s Quick Connect button provides access to lightning-fast speeds via its lightweight NordLynx protocol, so users can immediately browse safely on any network without any disruptions.

Designed to be simple to use while ensuring security, it’s easy for anyone to use: whether you’re new to VPNs or an expert Android user, the app provides helpful suggestions while also offering a range of extensive options.

Plus, NordVPN’s Kill Switch and Threat Protection Lite features provide added protection against potential cyber threats.

NordVPN can be used on every major operating system and allows users to protect multiple devices with up to six simultaneous connections.

– Complicated APK file installation

Users can opt to download the NordVPN Android app from the Google Play Store, to simply log in and start using the VPN.

However, some users may wish to install NordVPN on their Android device using the APK file, as this will provide some extra features – but it’s not as easy to set up.

It’s also possible to set up the VPN using OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. The manual instructions for this are provided on NordVPN’s website, but it’s a more challenging installation.

Read our full NordVPN review.


Rank: 2 Max devices: 8
Servers: 3,000+ 24/7 support:
Speed: 10Gbps Free trial:
Countries: 105 Money-back guarantee:
Encryption Type: AES-256 Apps & devices: Win, MacOS, Android, iOS, Android TV
Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

Our Deal: $12.95/month billed monthly, $9.99/month billed every six months, and $6.67/month billed yearly.

Best & Worst:

+ Ensured protection and leakproof technology

ExpressVPN is constantly optimizing its service to provide the fastest speeds and highest security possible. It’s the only service that can offer its in-house developed Lightway protocol, for faster and safer VPN connections.

And if you’re worried about forgetting to connect when using an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you can simply set the Android app to connect automatically.

ExpressVPN also has leakproof technology enabled by default, meaning data shouldn’t accidentally slip through the VPN.

For added security, the app’s Kill Switch will stop all internet traffic if the VPN connection can’t be established. This can be used on devices supporting Android 8 and up.

The app can let users add links to their most-used sites and services to save time, as well as choose which ones do and don’t use the VPN.

Plus, if you have any questions, handy guides are available within the app, which is available in 17 languages.

– Expensive

Due to its extensive range of features and long-standing reputation as a VPN market leader, ExpressVPN charges a fairly premium price, which might make the service seem more expensive compared to the other VPNs.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Surfshark VPN

Rank: 3 Max devices: Unlimited
Servers: 3,200+ 24/7 support:
Speed: 10Gbps Free trial: ✅ (7-day free trial for Android, iOS and macOS apps)
Countries: 100+ Money-back guarantee:
Encryption Type: AES-256 Apps & devices: Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV
Jurisdiction: The Netherlands

Our Deal: Surfshark Starter from $15.45/mo for a month, $2.79/mo for 1 year (+3 months free), and $2.19/mo for 2 years (+3 months free).

Best & Worst:

+ Ad, tracker, and malware blocker within the Android app

One of Surfshark’s most popular features, CleanWeb, is available as a setting within the Android app. When enabled, it blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts, to keep your Android device safe and secure.

The app comes with a Kill Switch too, which will automatically disconnect the device from the internet if the VPN connection drops so it’s not left vulnerable to hackers or attackers.

Surfshark also provides a Bypasser feature, enabling users to select which apps and websites shouldn’t connect via the VPN.

A subscription comes with unlimited connections on multiple devices, plus it offers the newer, faster WireGuard protocol on Android devices.

And, with a strict no-logs policy, Surfshark doesn’t monitor or keep any activity or connection logs, allowing you to enjoy true privacy online.

– Limited support for older devices

Surfshark’s Android app is only compatible with API versions 21 or newer, Android 5.0 and newer systems, Android phones, tablets, and smart TVs. If you have an older version of these devices, or one that isn’t listed, you won’t be able to use the Surfshark Android app.

Read our full Surfshark review.

Proton VPN

Rank: 4 Max devices: 10
Servers: 3,000 24/7 support:
Speed: 10Gbps Free trial:
Countries: 68 Money-back guarantee:
Encryption Type: AES-256 Apps & devices: Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV
Jurisdiction: Switzerland

Our Deal: $11.49/month billed monthly, $5.99/month billed yearly, and $4.99/mo billed every 24 months.

Best & Worst:

+ Strong privacy features

Proton VPN stands out with its strict no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t keep any records of users’ online activity, and the company is based in Switzerland – a country with some of the world’s strongest data privacy laws.

DNS and IPv6 leak protection ensure a device’s real IP address is never exposed either.

Proton VPN also offers automatic alternative routing, which is useful in places where VPN connections are blocked.

You can even exclude or include certain websites from the VPN tunnel with split tunneling.

And for those needing file-sharing or torrenting options, the ability to share and download files using BitTorrent and other P2P protocols is an essential benefit.

Finally, Proton VPN can unblock popular streaming services, making it easy to watch your favorite shows securely from anywhere.

– Free plan can’t unblock geo-restrictions

While Proton VPN offers a free VPN plan, this doesn’t unblock geo-restricted streaming services – so you’ll need to pay for a premium subscription or look elsewhere if this is your main requirement.

Read our full Proton VPN review.

CyberGhost VPN

Rank: 5 Max devices: 7
Servers: 7,000+ 24/7 support:
Speed: 10Gbps Free trial: ✅ (3 days for Android)
Countries: 90+ Money-back guarantee:
Encryption Type: AES-256 Apps & devices: Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV
Jurisdiction: Romania

Our Deal: $12.99/month billed monthly, $6.99/month billed every six months, and $2.19/month (+ 2 months free) billed every two years.

Best & Worst:

+ Unlimited bandwidth

CyberGhost offers Android users unlimited bandwidth and zero data caps, so you can stream, browse, and play without worrying about data limits.

Its routine server upgrades and network optimized for speed also ensure CyberGhost upholds some of the fastest VPN speeds on the market.

CyberGhost’s servers don’t retain any data from users’ connections or browsing sessions, so you can trust your online activity stays private. Its infrastructure handles traffic anonymously end-to-end, which is especially helpful for preventing DNS leaks on public Wi-Fi networks.

And the app’s automatic Kill Switch ensures the device’s data stays secure even if its VPN connection drops.

– No split-tunneling

The Android app does not support split tunneling, meaning users can’t keep the rest of their traffic and data secure if they need to turn the VPN off for a specific site or reason (such as confirming their identity for banking purposes, or to speed up streaming speeds).

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Why Use a VPN for Android?

Malware targets Android devices much more frequently than others, such as iOS ones (like iPhones.) Ensuring online privacy and security should be top priorities for any internet user, but this makes it particularly important for Android users.

Connecting to a VPN is one of the best ways to secure a device, especially when using public Wi-Fi, to prevent hackers from intercepting online activity.

And by masking your IP address, you can access geo-blocked content and keep your online activity private from your internet service provider and mobile carrier. 

What Does a VPN Do?

VPNs are designed to provide a secure and private connection to the internet, which encrypts your personal data and online identity to protect your privacy and sensitive information.

With a VPN, you can safely browse the web, use public Wi-Fi networks, and enjoy streaming services without worrying about anyone tracking your activity or stealing your data.

VPNs can also let you unblock geo-restricted content and websites, by connecting you through a server in a country where the content you want is available.

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just want to keep your online activities confidential, a VPN is a must-have tool.

Why It Can Be Hard To Choose a VPN for Android

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a VPN, such as speed, privacy, and location. These can depend on your needs and internet usage – so the best VPN service for one person might not be right for someone else. 

It can also be hard to differentiate between legitimate providers and potentially harmful options.

Taking the time to research and understand the pros and cons of top VPNs will ultimately pay off, by providing a safer and more secure online experience.

Many of the top services listed here offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them out risk-free.

Security Features To Look For

One of the primary purposes of a VPN is to protect your data and ensure your privacy and security. As a result, the best VPNs often contain the following features:

VPN Protocols

Understanding the protocols offered by a VPN service can have a significant impact on the speed and security of your connection.

Simply put, the protocol is the set of rules that guide how your device connects to the VPN server and how your data is encrypted. While different VPN services often provide several protocol options, most should let you connect to the optimal one automatically, so you won’t need to manually choose.

That being said, if you’re looking to prioritize speed or security, knowing which options your VPN provider offers can improve your experience:

  • OpenVPN – a reliable choice with a long-standing reputation that is widely available on most VPNs.
  • WireGuard – a newer protocol that’s faster than OpenVPN, so is a great option if speed is your top priority. It’s also designed to use fewer resources, making it a better choice for portable devices. However, as it’s newer, it hasn’t been tested as extensively as other protocols.
  • IKEv2 – a proprietary protocol that excels at adapting to network changes and recovering from connection losses. It’s not open source though, leaving some concerns about its security.

All our best VPN picks for Android devices use 256-bit encryption, which is military grade and the industry standard.

Kill Switch

A kill switch disconnects your device from the internet if your VPN becomes disabled.

This is especially useful if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network or if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, as it prevents your data from becoming suddenly visible.

Most VPNs offer this feature, so be sure to check whether the service you choose provides it in their Android app as well.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling lets a user specify which sites or apps shouldn’t use the VPN tunnel while ensuring everything else on the device does.

Some sites are much slower when using a VPN, or they need to verify your real location – by choosing which apps use the VPN and which don’t, you can customize your online experience to your exact needs while keeping your device secure.

What To Avoid

When it comes to choosing an Android VPN, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid:

Fake VPN Scams

There are many fake VPN services waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting users.

Avoid any VPNs that log your data. A key purpose of a VPN is to protect your privacy, so there’s no point in using a service that keeps records of your browsing history.

Some VPNs will even sell your browsing details to advertising partners (or even potentially more sinister threats).

Unreliable VPNs that cause significantly reduced browsing speeds should also be avoided. After all, what good is a VPN if it slows down your internet connection so it’s barely usable?

Double VPN

Also referred to as Multihop, the Double VPN feature routes users’ traffic through two VPN servers. This offers an extra layer of security by providing double encryption and added protection for the device’s IP address.

However, it’s important to note that this feature can result in slower internet speeds, due to the distance between the two servers and the resource-demanding second encryption.

Some providers also offer limited server choices for Double VPN connections.

How To Get Started Using a VPN for Android

Step 1 – Download the Android app:

Download the ExpressVPN Android app from the Google Play store.

You can also download the APK file directly from the ExpressVPN website. This is essentially an installation package, which means you’ll be able to manually install the app on your device without using any app store – useful if you’re using a device that doesn’t support Google Play, or if you just prefer to install apps manually.

Note that you will need to enable APK installation on your Android device’s settings before trying to install the app. After installing, you can launch the app.

Step 2 – Setting up:

Open the app and sign in using your ExpressVPN login details.

You will be requested to share anonymous diagnostics with ExpressVPN – you can choose to accept or decline.

You’ll be prompted to approve connection requests. Tap OK, then continue.

Step 3 – Connect to a server location:

You will be met with a “Not Connected” screen. Tap the on/off icon to connect.

ExpressVPN will automatically connect your device to a server location that will provide the optimal experience for you, known as a “Smart Location”.

You also have the option to change your server location to any available one from its list of 94 countries.

Once you see “Connected” on your screen, the VPN is active on your device and you can start browsing safely.

Step 4 – Customizing your app:

There are several extra features that you can customize on the app’s “Settings” menu for a personal experience, including:

  • Protocol – ExpressVPN chooses a protocol for you, and it will switch this automatically depending on your network. But, if there’s a specific protocol you would like to use, you can manually select it here.
  • Split tunneling – You can also opt to stop some apps from using the VPN by using the Split tunneling feature. There are three options: allow all apps to use the VPN, choose which apps you do want to use with the VPN, or choose which apps you don’t want to use with the VPN.

Step 5 (optional) – Disconnect from the server location:

When you’re done using the VPN, you can choose to disconnect by tapping the icon on your screen to show “Not Connected”.

Our Methodology

We personally try out each VPN for our reviews. We evaluate speed, security features, ability to unblock streaming services, support for torrenting, customer support, and many other factors. We also look at the VPN company’s jurisdiction, history, past security incidents, privacy policy, and audit reports to ensure that you get a complete picture of the service. Learn more about how we test VPNs on our methodology page.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the best Android VPN depends on each user’s personal preferences, needs, and the device they want to secure.

Those wanting to browse general websites, check their emails on the road, or make the occasional payment may want to emphasize security and privacy over streaming support and bandwidth.

Users more concerned about missing their favorite TV show on streaming services (such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Fubo, Sling TV, Disney+, Hulu, etc.) should probably choose plans with more speed and no data limits.

All of the top VPNs listed here are proven to be fast, safe, and reliable, with verified no-logging policies, so you can choose the one with the best features for your needs and Android device.

Android VPN FAQs

What’s the best VPN to use with Android?

There are a few features to look for when choosing the best VPN for an Android device. The service should reliably encrypt a user’s personal information, internet traffic, and their IP address.

Not only does this protect them from potential hackers, but it also allows an Android device to bypass websites blocked by governments, schools, or employers, and provides access to location-restricted content so users can watch their favorite shows and movies from anywhere in the world.

Which free VPN app is best for Android?

It is not recommended to use a free VPN, for several reasons, but mainly due to the potential threats from free VPN providers.

Most free Android VPNs are operated by third parties that have less secure privacy policies than those offered by established companies. Many may lack them altogether, while some of the more dangerous no-cost services could be collecting data on users’ activities without their knowledge and selling it to advertisers or hackers.

Are Android devices more secure than iOS?

While the security of a device depends on how the device is used and the security precautions taken by its owner, generally Android is found to be less secure than iOS devices.

This is because the apps on Apple’s App Store are more closely inspected for potential malware, the integrated design of Apple devices and their operating systems makes security vulnerabilities less common, and updates for iOS are easier to control across devices, allowing more consistent security.

Collins Kigen
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