Protecting your data on any mobile device is crucial since they have extensive information about your personal life. Default Android settings leave much to be desired regarding security and privacy.
Luckily, you can cover a lot of ground by installing a VPN on your Android device. It will encrypt your data and secure your connection when using public networks. Additionally, you can use the software to change your location and get around geographical restrictions.
But not every virtual private network is capable of these feats. This is why we’ve selected the top five VPNs for Android that you should consider using to secure your mobile device.
Top five VPNs for Android: shortlist
- The best VPN for Android9.7
- Android VPN with unlimited connections9.3
- Affordable VPN for Android9.2
- Android VPN with bonus features8.8
- Android VPN with a free version8.6
How to use a VPN on Android devices
- Choose a reliable VPN. Our top choice is NordVPN, currently available for 60% off!
- Download the VPN from the Google Play Store
- Connect to a server in your preferred location
- Enjoy secured communications on your Android device!
Why do you need a VPN for Android in 2022?
Nowadays, practically everyone has a smartphone at their disposal. It’s become an integral part of contemporary life and provides a wealth of benefits in terms of entertainment and knowledge.
Unfortunately, these devices have the potential to collect excessive amounts of data about our everyday lives. ISPs (Internet Service Providers), network administrators, and telecom providers can see what users are doing online. They can then collect and sell this data to advertisers without our knowledge.
Thankfully, users can avoid these problems by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It redirects your web activity through an encrypted server in another location. That way, no one can snoop on your activities or track your whereabouts. Plus, you can use the software to circumvent geographical restrictions on a wide range of online services.
How to set up a VPN on Android
Using a virtual private network on Android devices is ridiculously easy. Most providers will look a little different, but the basic principle is as follows:
- Download and install VPN app from the Google Play Store
- Launch the app and log in with your credentials
- Choose a server location and tunneling protocol
- Enable the VPN connection (usually there’s a large ON button for that)
And that’s it, your Android device is protected. You can verify that the VPN works by checking any IP leak website. You should also check the settings for additional features, such as a kill switch or split tunneling since they’re not always enabled by default.
Best VPNs for Android: overview
Of course, not every VPN service has your best interests at heart. They also have the option to collect troves of data about their users. However, there are numerous ways to distinguish valuable services from bad ones. For example, the best VPN services:
- Are located in privacy-respecting jurisdiction
- Conduct independent third-party audits
- Utilize military-grade encryption
- Follow a no-logs policy
- Offer a 30-day money-back guarantee or even a free trial
And that’s just scratching the surface of what a VPN can bring to the table. We’ll explain more about each top VPN for Android in the following paragraphs.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Android
24/7 live chat, Email
- Independently audited and secure
- Intuitive Android app
- Wicked fast
- No router app
The ultimate tool to keep your Android device secure is NordVPN. It’s a veteran of the VPN industry that’s lightning-fast and exceptionally secure.
Firstly, the service is equipped with 5200+ servers across 60+ countries. The majority of these servers use RAM-only technology to prevent data storage whenever the plug is pulled on the hardware. Customers can also opt for a dedicated IP address from the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, or Germany.
Breakneck connection speeds can be achieved using the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. It ensures that NordVPN users can watch video content on Netflix in UHD without any stuttering. Moreover, easy geo-unblocking can be achieved on almost any device using the SmartPlay feature.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – Android VPN with unlimited connections
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Powerful Android-only features like geo-spoofing
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Solid privacy at a low price
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Consider getting Surfshark if you have an expansive collection of Android and other devices. It provides unlimited connections and reliable security at an affordable price.
For starters, Surfshark runs a network of 3200+ servers in 65+ countries. Additionally, the entire fleet utilizes RAM-only technology to ensure that no data is stored for too long. Meanwhile, static IP servers allow users to connect to the same IP address.
Surfshark users can blaze through the web using the open-source WireGuard tunneling protocol. Combine that with the service’s reliable geo-block circumvention capabilities, and you can watch loads of new content on streaming platforms like HBO Max. Additionally, the Smart DNS feature ensures easy setup on almost any device.
Potential customers can get a glance at this service by grabbing the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store. After that, subscriptions costs begin at $2.30/month when using a Surfshark coupon code.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – affordable VPN for Android
24/7 live chat
- 7-day free trial
- Streaming servers
- Wide variety of features
- Lacks WireGuard
PrivateVPN provides premium performance at an affordable price. It’s packed with features and good geo-restriction unblocking capabilities.
The VPN makes do with an efficient network of 200+ servers in 63+ countries. It owns all hardware and ensures that no third party gains unwarranted access.
Despite its lack of WireGuard, PrivateVPN is pretty fast and suitable for bandwidth-heavy activities with OpenVPN. Additionally, the dedicated streaming servers make unlocking content a piece of cake. The service supports platforms like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
Pricing starts at a mere $2.00/month when grabbing a long-term plan with a PrivateVPN discount code. However, you can start off risk-free by snagging the 7-day free trial on the official website.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. IPVanish – Android VPN with bonus features
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
- Unlimited connections
- Cloud storage and antivirus features
- Reliable connection with WireGuard
- Based in the US
IPVanish is one of those services that can provide well-rounded security beyond a VPN connection. It can include bonus features in the form of cloud storage and antivirus protection.
In terms of coverage, IPVanish has 2000+ servers in 50+ countries. The service is fully responsible for the hardware and doesn’t rely on third-party providers.
Connectivity can be conducted with the swift and modern WireGuard tunneling protocol. It enables IPVanish customers to watch HD video content without lagging or buffering issues. Moreover, it can unlock bonus TV shows and movies on platforms like Disney Plus or Netflix.
Sadly, there’s no free trial option with IPVanish. However, there’s a 30-day money-back warranty when purchasing any subscription. Furthermore, subscriptions begin at $3.99/month when utilizing an IPVanish coupon code.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
5. Atlas VPN – Android VPN with a free version
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Great free version
- One of the cheapest available VPNs
- Fast and secure
- Lacking in device compatibility
Atlas VPN is one of the cheapest VPNs that can protect your Android device reliably. It also doesn’t disappoint in the speed and privacy departments.
First off, Atlas VPN runs a fleet of 750+ servers across 37+ countries. Some offer the unique SafeSwap feature that will alternate your IP address without interrupting your connection.
Streaming video content with Atlas VPN is a breeze, thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol. The service works wonderfully with Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other platforms. Additionally, the VPN has dedicated apps for Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS.
Interested users can get a risk-free test run with this VPN by using the app’s free version. Otherwise, an Atlas VPN discount code can grant you starting prices from only $1.99/month.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
The best aspect of VPNs for Android
- NordVPN – The Best VPN for Android
- Surfshark VPN – Android VPN with unlimited connections
- PrivateVPN – Affordable VPN for Android
- IPVanish – Android VPN with bonus features
- Atlas VPN – Android VPN with a free version
Best VPN for Android: video review
You can forego further reading and instead visit our YouTube channel. A great place to start is with our video about the top three VPNs for Android.
What else can I do with a VPN for Android?
Customers can use a virtual private network in a wide variety of ways. For starters, it can prevent ISP data throttling based on your online activities. Alternatively, you can use it to circumvent censorship and access independent media if you’re in a country that restricts free speech. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution as some countries restrict VPN usage and could fine you heavily.
It’s worth noting that a VPN can change your IP address. You can use this ability to mask your true location and circumvent IP bans on various websites. Of course, constantly altering your IP address is a giveaway that you’re using a VPN service. Plus, many online services see that as an indicator that someone is trying to break into your account. Luckily, you can avoid this pitfall by using a VPN that offers dedicated IP addresses.
One of the most common VPN use cases is changing your region on Netflix or other content streaming services. These platforms provide different TV shows and movie selections based on your location. Meanwhile, other platforms might be unavailable entirely due to distribution rights.
What should I look for in a VPN for Android?
The Google Play Store is filled to the brim with VPN providers. If you decide to opt for a service that isn’t mentioned here, pay attention to these crucial criteria when picking any virtual private network for Android.
- Servers. You can bring your Android device practically anywhere. As such, a VPN needs to have a vast server network across the globe. More servers are crucial for maintaining solid connections and keeping traffic congestion minimal.
- Privacy. Most people have their mobile devices with them at all times. Therefore, it’s paramount to use a VPN to prevent online tracking and monitoring. Choose a service that’s located away from the Fourteen Eyes alliance.
- Speed. Nothing is more frustrating than web pages taking an eternity to load. A slow VPN can exacerbate this issue even further. Meanwhile, the fastest VPN providers use modern tunneling protocols to ensure quick connections and minimal downtime.
- Security. A VPN connection is not enough to keep your Android device protected. It should also prevent malware, phishing or DDoS attacks, and viruses. Usually, these are extra features that not all providers offer.
- Price. You shouldn’t trust your information with random free VPNs. However, premium services don’t need to cost a fortune either. Look through the available VPN coupon codes and pick a subscription with a significant discount and numerous features.
- Compatibility. Most VPN providers have dedicated apps for mobile devices and desktop computers. Further compatibility depends on each provider but can be substituted via manual router configuration.
- Customer support. Everyday use of a VPN will inevitably lead to an issue you can’t resolve yourself. That is why it’s best to pick a service that provides 24/7 customer support, ideally through live chat.
Can I use a free VPN for Android?
Running a virtual private network requires a lot of work and maintenance. As such, buyers should normally view free VPN services with suspicion as it’s unclear how they get the revenue to keep the service operational.
Additionally, there are cases of faulty VPNs on the Google Play Store with critical security vulnerabilities. However, there’s also the possibility that no-cost VPNs collect and sell your data to cover the costs of running the service.
Whatever the case may be, we recommend avoiding free VPNs for Android when possible. Instead, you should start with a free trial from a reliable provider. That way, you can take the VPN for a test ride without a long-term commitment.
Your mobile device arguably knows more about you than your closest friends. Of course, online snoopers could leak this information to advertisers or government agencies if you’re not using a VPN for Android to encrypt your data.
But not just any virtual private network will do. You need a trustworthy provider that won’t sell or misuse your data. Plus, you’ll need a good set of features to protect your device wherever you go.
What do you think is the best VPN for Android? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Can I use VPN for Android?
Yes, you can, and you absolutely should. Your mobile device is a window to your browsing habits, location, contacts, financial data, and much more. It’s crucial to use a VPN to encrypt all that data and hide it from online snoopers. Our top suggested VPN for Android is NordVPN.
Which free VPN is best for Android?
Although we don’t recommend using a free VPN for Android, some options are worth using in a pinch. One such option is Atlas VPN. It’s a freemium VPN that provides a free plan with certain limitations. For example, it grants 10GB of monthly data and a limited number of servers. However, it has many essential security features to keep your data safe.
Is a VPN harmful to Android devices?
No, A VPN is not harmful to Android devices. However, using a provider that’s filled with vulnerabilities exposes you to data leaks and other dangers. Therefore, it’s essential to use an exceptionally secure VPN that went through multiple independent audits.
Does Android have a built-in VPN?
No, Android devices do not have a built-in VPN. You need to download a VPN app from the Google Play Store and use it to facilitate a connection.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.