Android is one of the most popular operating systems, dominating almost 80% of the mobile market. Yet the OS also has some vulnerabilities since there’s much to be desired in the security & privacy departments. You can boost them with the right tools, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
The problem is that not every provider is up for the job, especially when it comes to free Android VPNs. Ironically, costless services are infamous for tracking users and injecting viruses into devices – things you’re trying to avoid in the first place. It’s just your luck we tested lots of free VPNs and sorted out the ones best for your Android phone.
Best free VPN for Android: shortlist
- The best free VPN for Android9.6
- Free Android VPN with no device limit9.4
- Free VPN for Android with cheap premium plans9.0
How to download a free VPN on Android
- Find a free Android VPN best suited for your needs. We recommend NordVPN, now 57% off!
- Sign up for the service and go to their website
- Download the appropriate app and install it on your Android
- Pick a server that works best for you
- Benefit from enhanced privacy & protection!
Why do you need a free Android VPN?
While we don’t recommend using free VPNs due to privacy invasion concerns, you can still try a free Android VPN app. Provided you carefully choose it, that is. Don’t want to be bogged down by limitations free services tend to have? Check out the best premium Android VPNs.
Nonetheless, setting up this software on your phone is beneficial in several ways, namely:
- Stop surveillance. Anyone with the right tools – Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, hackers – can see what you’re doing online. Though what they do with this information depends on their intentions. ISPs can throttle your internet, sell it to third parties, or hand it over to the authorities. Governments can punish you if you’re doing something illegal. And hackers can target you for the fun of it.
- Reduce danger. Speaking of malicious entities, they can steal your personal data by infecting your phone with all kinds of viruses. The right malware can track your login credentials, credit card details, and emails. Those frequenting public Wi-Fi hotspots are even more susceptible to cyber attacks as these networks lack basic security measures, making them perfect playgrounds for hackers.
- Bypass censorship. Some countries, like China, Russia, and India, are notorious for limiting what websites and content their citizens can access. And it ranges from seemingly innocent pages to popular platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Simply changing your IP address with a free Android can solve this frustrating problem.
- Circumvent geo-blocks. By now, streaming enthusiasts know painfully well how Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and various other services restrict your library selection depending on your region. While you can’t change the copyright laws that dictate what you can see, you can still get the content you want by connecting to another country where it’s freely available.
The best free VPN for Android: detailed list
- NordVPN – the best free VPN for Android
- Surfshark VPN – free Android VPN with no device limit
- Atlas VPN – mobile-friendly free VPN for Android
- Proton VPN – Swiss-based free Android VPN
- Hide Me VPN – free VPN for Android with P2P enabled
First and foremost, the best free VPN for Android must not log any user data since we’re aiming for the utmost anonymity. It should also include all or at least some essential VPN tools to help maintain privacy while diving into the interwebs.
And since costless services come with certain limitations, the key is getting enough breathing room to do what you need to. Look at server accessibility, the number of simultaneous devices, bandwidth caps, and whether they meet your demands. Lastly, the VPN should have an Android app, or there really is no point in subscribing.
1. NordVPN – the best free VPN for Android
24/7 live chat, Email
- Wicked fast thanks to NordLynx
- User-friendly Android app
- Independently-audited and secure
- No router app
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line service, NordVPN is the best for Android. It’s not exactly free, but you can go more than a month without paying by using the NordVPN 7-day free trial with the 30-day money-back guarantee. If you like it, continue utilizing the VPN with the cheapest plan – just $3.49/month.
There are plenty of features to go around, from Threat Protection for secure browsing to obfuscated servers that hide all VPN usage tracks. The expansive network won’t leave you wanting either, just pick a location from the 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. And don’t forget the NordLynx tunneling protocol for the best performance.
NordVPN’s intuitive, dedicated app makes it our go-to choice for Android. Subscribers get almost the same tools as the desktop version, plus an extra for this OS – Tapjacking protection. It prevents unintentional disconnects from the VPN, both malicious and innocent.
Other nifty things include specialized P2P servers that significantly boost your file-sharing efforts. As for getting access to foreign streaming libraries, NordVPN can do so with a single press of a button. Want to get the best deal? Try a NordVPN coupon.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – free Android VPN with no device limit
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- WireGuard-fuelled speeds
- Top-notch privacy tools
- GPS override feature
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Need a lightweight and simple VPN for Android? Then don’t miss out on Surfshark VPN. As with NordVPN, you can utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee and the Surfshark free 7-day trial to get it scot-free for quite some time. And if it’s all you ever wanted, continue using it for as little as $2.30/month.
CleanWeb keeps your internet escapades malware and malicious-website free, while Camouflage and NoBorders modes ensure you can access everything. Trust us, nothing is off-limits when the network offers the largest coverage country-wise – 3200+ servers in 100+ countries. Just enable the WireGuard protocol to avoid long loading times.
Surfshark offers a dedicated app for Android, which is almost the same as the desktop one, but with some visual differences. Apart from the classic VPN toolkit, this version also includes GPS override. This feature spoofs your GPS location to a different one, allowing you to stop invasive location tracking and use region-specific services.
In terms of versatility, this provider doesn’t disappoint. Torrenting is enabled on all servers, there are no issues accessing geo-locked content, and you even benefit from an extra layer of privacy during online mobile games. If you’re interested, try utilizing a Surfshark VPN code to get the best deal.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN – free VPN for Android with cheap premium plans
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Generous data cap
- P2P is enabled
- No need to create an account
- No router configuration
Truly free Android VPN seekers will find Atlas VPN an excellent choice. You can download and use it without setting up an account, and there are no annoying ads to sour the experience. While monthly data allowance is capped at 10GB, it’s more than most costless providers offer.
In terms of capabilities, free tier users only get 2 simultaneous connections. Adding to that, the server choices are limited to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York. And although the next-gen WireGuard protocol is available, the speeds are reduced to lessen the impact on the VPN performance for premium subscribers.
When it comes to the Atlas VPN application for this OS, it’s very easy to navigate. Here, you’ll find several nifty Android-only features. Tracker Blocker disables website trackers that log what you do on the page while the Data Breach Monitor scans the web to see whether your information has been compromised.
Naturally, accessing foreign streaming content isn’t exactly an option due to location limits. But if you really need it, along with other perks, you can always switch to premium, starting from $2.05/month with an Atlas VPN discount code. And even if that is not cutting it, get a refund with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. Proton VPN – Swiss-based free Android VPN
Email, knowledge base
- No data caps
- VPN Accelerator
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- No P2P and streaming
Proton VPN will benefit those with a particular need for enhanced anonymity for Android. Its privacy-friendly jurisdiction, combined with the open-source and audited software, make it an incredibly reliable provider to boot. Another bonus is the fact there are no data caps to limit your online mobile activities.
But alas, we can’t have it all. The free Proton VPN version allows only 1 simultaneous device. Furthermore, the only available servers are in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. There is a noticeable lack of WireGuard, too, but speeds won’t be an issue since VPN Accelerator guarantees low latency no matter where you’re connecting from.
The Android app includes an Always-On kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection that you can’t disable. Another notable feature is alternative routing, an anti-censorship feature meant to ensure that all Proton services – VPN, Mail, and Calendar – can always be accessed.
Sadly, free-tier accounts can’t use streaming, torrenting, and malware protection. If you must have them, though, going premium is always an option. You can subscribe for no more than $3.99/month, and in the case you don’t like it, utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.
5. Hide Me VPN – free VPN for Android with P2P enabled
- Based in privacy-friendly Malaysia
- Don’t need to have an account
- Provider owns all servers
- No streaming
Hide Me VPN is another neat free Android VPN that fulfills essential privacy needs. Just download the app straight from the Google Play Store and connect from the get-go – there’s no need to register. And as a bonus, you get 10GB/month for your online shenanigans.
As for limitations, it’s enough to work with. The provider allows free-tier users to utilize it only on one device simultaneously. Moreover, the available connection locations are Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and the US East & West coasts. Unfortunately, WireGuard is accessible just to premium subscribers, so you’ll have to make do with OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Hide Me VPN’s Android app is pretty straightforward, so even folks with no prior experience with this technology will know their way around instantly. It includes a handy kill switch, split tunneling, and an option to block all non-VPN internet traffic, meaning pages and apps won’t load unless you’re connected to a server.
Of course, only premium-tier users can access streaming, the whole server list, and the Multihop feature. You can also get them for just $3.00/month if you think the free version is too limited. Naturally, the 30-day money-back guarantee is also there if the service doesn’t live up to the hype.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
How we chose these free VPNs for Android
Finding the best free VPN app for Android takes time as you have to sift through tons of providers, but it’s worth the trouble. If you’re interested in doing your own research, you can follow the criteria we used to weed out services that are more likely to harm than good.
- Essential security. For the sake of being completely untraceable, certain tools are mandatory to have. AES-256 encryption is a given since it’s the thing that hides you and your activities. Then there’s leak protection and a kill switch to prevent accidental data exposure.
- Acceptable limits. A good free VPN for Android should give users just enough data and server locations for a comfortable experience. Having at least 10 GB per month and 3 countries is the minimum for that – don’t settle for less, or you’ll be stifled.
- Versatility. Costless providers have to balance their service somehow, which usually means disabling torrenting or minimizing foreign streaming options. It’s a nice perk if either is available and, better yet if there are nice extras like split tunneling, ad and malware blockers, etc.
- Customer support. Premium subscribers keep the business afloat, so they tend to have access to more options when contacting professional help. The free tier can usually do that only via email – those VPNs which offer more than that should get extra points.
Video review of the best free VPN for Android
Looking for a frequently-updated source of VPN-related information? Visit our YouTube channel and start with our video about the best free VPNs for Android!
Free VPN for Android – Reddit opinions
Reddit is a place for users to discuss and argue about various topics. And when it comes to free VPN services, the consensus is clear – “Avoid them if you can because they’re a scam.” Case in point:
Still, some names repeatedly crop up whenever you dive into Android-related subreddits.
Besides the occasional advice to go for free NordVPN and Surfshark VPN trial versions, you’ll be recommended these freemium providers:
Windscribe is the only one that didn’t make the cut in our article, but it’s an alternative worth looking into. We didn’t like that the free version comes with just 2GB/month. And if you want to bump it up to 10GB, you must add and confirm your email address.
Of course, Reddit has opinions about all kinds of VPNs in general. From torrenting to streaming, they have a #1 for it.
How to set up a free VPN for Android
Well, it’s one of the easiest things you can do, especially if you’ve used the Google Play Store. Once you download a free VPN for Android mobile, the system will automatically install the app, doing most of the work for you. Here’s a little refresher on how it all goes:
- Access the Google Play Store on your phone and search for your chosen free Android VPN. Click on Install, and the download will begin.
- Once the setup is complete, press Open to launch the application
- In the case of Atlas VPN, which we’re using as an example, you can connect to a server from the get-go. Other providers require users to register an account to use the service – do so if need be.
- Pick any available server you want from the list. It’s also a good idea to perform an IP and DNS leak test to ensure you’re not venturing into the internet wilderness whilst somewhat still vulnerable. ipleak.net and dnsleaktest.com work just fine.
- Your Android device is now protected!
How can I download a VPN app without Play Store?
If you can’t access the Google Play Store (or Google Services in general, as is the case with newer Huawei devices), there is another way to get and install the Android VPN. You’ll have to do it manually, though, with an APK file. Just don’t download them from anywhere else except the provider’s website.
- First, you have to configure your device – go to the Settings
- Then navigate to Security & privacy and press More settings
- Check the Install apps from external sources option – this allows you to get third-party applications not found on official app stores
- Select the browser you’re going to use to download the APK file
- Next, toggle on the Allow app installs option
- Open your browser and access the official website of the free Android VPN. NordVPN is one of the trusted providers that offer Android VPN APK files.
- Download the file and open it once it’s finished – follow the instructions until the setup process is complete
- That’s it. You can open the VPN like any other app.
Are free VPNs safe to use?
As mentioned previously, an alarming majority of free Android VPNs aren’t exactly safe to use. You might download one that jeopardizes your privacy and security even further if you’re not careful. Costless services are known for:
- User monitoring. If there’s no premium tier to cover the operating costs, it’s more than likely that the free VPN provider will log your every online action and then sell the data to third parties.
- Dangerous clients. From classic malware and viruses to trojans, spyware, and keyloggers, it’s not unusual for costless VPN applications to have some kind of malicious software hidden inside. These aid in collecting more info about you and compromising the integrity of your Android phone.
- Intrusive marketing. Annoying ads and pop-ups are another way free services stay afloat. The problem is that they tend to contain nasty surprises that can infect your device.
- Weak tools. You’re unlikely to get the complete essential feature package – military-grade encryption, a kill switch, leak protection. And even if some are included, they usually don’t work as intended, so be prepared for trouble.
The key takeaway here is that you need to do your research into potential candidates. For one, providers with free and premium tiers are less likely to partake in shady practices, but you need to remain vigilant.
Free VPNs you should avoid
There are numerous providers you should avoid like the plague. Still, some are worse than others, and the ones listed below really take the cake regarding screwing over free-tier users.
|Betternet VPN||Clients contain malware and user trackers, logs your every move, has subpar leak protection, and no kill switch|
|Hola VPN||Operates on a P2P basis (exposing your IP address and personal data), uses the extra resources of your device for unknown purposes, logs your every move and discloses it to third parties, plants trojans on user devices|
|Psiphon VPN||Software is outdated, logs your every move and shares the data with sponsors, does not have a kill switch, and leaks your DNS|
|Hoxx VPN||Utilizes outdated encryption that is easy to hack, tracks your every move and shares it with authorities if necessary, doesn’t have standard security tools|
Feeling kinda put off this whole free VPN thing? Don’t worry, you can still benefit from these tools without paying a dime. Most reputable providers offer free trials that you can use for a limited time, with access to the full feature and server list. Once it ends, no one’s stopping you from jumping to a different VPN, then another, and another, and another.
Before blindly installing any free software on your Android device, you should research it thoroughly. After all, these apps still need to monetize their business somehow. It could be logging and selling your data if it’s not ads.
That is why we recommend choosing the best free Android VPNs from reliable providers. Despite the limitations, you’ll rest easy knowing that no one’s spying on you. Or that your device isn’t getting secretly wrecked by malware left, right, and center.
And when you just want to be able to do more, switching to premium VPNs is always an option. After all, the best Android VPNs on the market offer surprisingly cheap subscriptions.
What’s your go-to free VPN on Android? Share your opinions by leaving a comment!
Which free VPN is best for Android?
The best free VPN for Android is Atlas VPN. You don’t have to create an account to use, get 3 server locations, 10 GB of data per month, and a Tracker Blocker that disables user trackers.
Is there a totally free VPN for Android?
Yes – Proton VPN is a totally free VPN for Android. It’s one of the few costless services that includes the essential VPN tools and offers great speeds thanks to the VPN Accelerator feature.
What free Android VPN has the most servers?
Proton VPN is a free Android VPN with the most servers. You can pick from 147 of them, located in three countries – Japan, the Netherlands, and the US.
Are free VPNs for Android safe?
Most free VPNs for Android are not safe, and you should be extra careful when looking for a costless provider. It’s strongly recommended to subscribe only to the best free Android VPNs that come from reliable providers, adhere to a zero-logs policy, and include the necessary VPN security features.
Can I use a paid Android VPN for free?
Yes, you can use a paid Android VPN for free, albeit for a limited period. One option is to utilize the free trial versions. Another is to make use of the money-back guarantee, which allows you to get a refund within a specific time frame.