Android is the most popular operating system in the world, but not the most privacy-friendly. The Android OS that you get pre-installed in most smartphones can potentially include software components that feed your data to advertising services. This may seem intimidating but there are few workarounds that you may use to regain control of your privacy.
A VPN can spoof your IP as well as encrypt your traffic to solve many privacy issues.
Looking for the best Android VPN can be a real hassle. To help you out, we’ve gone ahead and selected only the best VPN services for your Android smartphone.
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:
- Location: Panama
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
- Features: latest security protocols, intuitive Android app, reliable VPN service on your phone
On their Android counterpart, NordVPN provides the same quality they deliver on desktop. This easily makes it one of the best Android VPN clients on the market. With great speeds even when on mobile data, this VPN combines a good balance of security and entertainment.
Its strict no-logs policy and great security features will keep you out of harm’s way. Plus, it doesn’t require the latest Android version to run smoothly as it’s very compatible with a wide array of major Android releases. This means that practically all Android users can get NordVPN and use it on their devices.
Furthermore, you can use your subscription on 6 devices at once, and if something isn’t working, you can contact NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat support to solve the issue.
2. Surfshark VPN
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $1.99/month
- Features: powerful Android-only features like geo-spoofing, latest security protocols, an unlimited number of connected devices
Not only does Surfshark offer one of the cheapest Android VPN’s, but it’s also one of the most advanced in terms of features and security. This provider offers no-logs, no leaks, and the new GPS spoofing feature to keep you hidden at all times. Also, thanks to its Camouflage Mode, you can access restricted content in censorious countries, such as China.
Incredibly easy to set up and use, with this Android VPN, privacy is one click away. Despite a lower server count (1000+ servers in 60+), once you download Surfshark, it provides some of the best speeds on the Android VPN market. And it also unblocks Netflix, allows torrenting, and has a dependable 24/7 live chat.
- Location: Sweden
- Pricing: starts at $1.89/month
- Features: easy access to geo-blocked websites, secured connections, reliable encryption protocols
If your smartphone runs at least Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later, PrivateVPN is definitely a solid option to consider.
With their Android app, PrivateVPN allows you to connect to over 150 servers in 60+ countries, yet the service boasts great speeds. This is due to buying bandwidth directly from the IP transit providers.
This Swedish VPN has great security features: military-grade encryption, a reliable kill switch, and a Stealth Mode. Yet PrivateVPN’s strongest ability is unblocking geo-restricted streaming services – Netflix, HBO, Disney+, and anything else you can think of.
When you buy PrivateVPN, torrenting isn’t out of question as well, as P2P activities are allowed on all servers and the service also offers port forwarding.
- Location: Romania
- Pricing: starts at $2.75/month
- Features: hidden IP with just one tap, push notifications when you’re about to connect to an unprotected server, unrestricted streaming possibilities
The CyberGhost VPN app for Android provides comparable performance to their desktop counterparts, providing the same advantages that many users love about this service. Compatible with devices running version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) all the way to version 9.0 (Pie), this VPN will suit your needs even if it’s been a while since you’ve upgraded your smartphone.
The service has good encryption, a built-in kill switch and split tunneling, allowing you to choose which apps should use the VPN. For example, if you just want to unblock Netflix or torrent anonymously – put those apps on the split tunneling list. Streamers will also appreciate special servers for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other platforms.
When it comes to speed, CyberGhost has an impressive fleet of 6200+ servers in 90+ countries, thus the speeds are fast across the board. If you want to be safe from all kinds of online threats with minimal speed drops – get CyberGhost.
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $6.67/month
- Features: auto-connect on untrusted wi-fi, advanced leak protection, strong encryption
If you’re using Android version 5.0 (Lollipop) or later, ExpressVPN is a stellar service that doesn’t disappoint on mobile as well as on tablet. Based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN has a stellar reputation that isn’t easy to maintain. This is one of the few VPNs to have an independently audited no-logging policy.
ExpressVPN combines military-grade encryption, secure protocols, and a huge fleet of servers (3000+ across 90+ countries) to offer one of the safest and fastest VPNs for Android.
Among other features, ExpressVPN offers split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps to protect. This provider is also great at unblocking Netflix and torrenting. Install ExpressVPN to benefit from 5 simultaneous connections per account and with a reliable 24/7 live chat service.
How to choose the best Android VPN app
Video published: 24 Oct 2019
Our conclusions are based on personal experience with various Android VPN client options. Hopefully, they’ll be useful to those seeking a VPN app for their Android device.
If you’re trying to make sense of it all and know what’s important when choosing a VPN, here’s what we look for when deciding which VPNs will end up in our 5 best Android VPN list:
- Security and privacy. Nothing is more important than this when it comes to a VPN service. Always look for services that use OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, or Wireguard tunneling protocols.
- Versatility. Not every user needs all (or even most) VPN functions, but that shouldn’t matter. The more you can do with a product, the better you’ve spent your money: look for native apps for a plethora of devices, specialized servers, everything that could be beneficial to you.
- Speed. Even the most secure VPN is worthless if it significantly slows down your connection. Look for bigger server pools and check speed test benchmarks to make sure that you’ll get good speeds.
- Netflix. Unblocking popular streaming platforms means you can enjoy your favorite content anywhere anytime. This also vastly expands available entertainment options.
- Torrenting. A good VPN allows P2P on all or most of its servers and doesn’t throttle your bandwidth.
- Price. The lack of bang for the buck may result in getting stuck with an overpriced service for a few years. It’s always to know what you’re paying for beforehand so that you commit to a service that delivers.
Why free VPN for Android isn’t a good option?
As with many things in life, you get what you pay for, in a VPN context this usually means compromises to security and performance. Paying for quality VPN can drastically improve your experience, provide more services and maximize your data privacy. This usually also includes customer support that helps to sort any issues that might arise that you’d get only the best experience.
Meddling with free VPNs can be a gamble and you should keep that in mind when choosing a free provider. However, if you’d rather use a free option, check our free VPN for Android list.
Which Android devices can be protected using a VPN?
Most Android devices using older Android versions like Jelly Bean, KitKat, etc. should definitely consider getting a VPN software as older OS versions have more security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.
A VPN won’t solve those vulnerabilities but you’d be a lot harder to trace which might just do the trick. Usually, this means going to the Google Play Store (that comes pre-installed in all android devices) and downloading the provider’s VPN app, turning it on and that’s it, you’re now protected.
Android users should celebrate – they’re much better off on the VPN market than their iOS brethren. Plus, the best Android VPNs also offer numerous features for your desktop devices as well.
Our top 5 VPN for Android phones in 2020 list is a great place to kickstart your journey towards a safer online presence even on your smartphone if you stick to our security tips and do your research before committing. Always remember, that your data privacy is not an expense, it’s an investment.
iOS user? Check out Best VPN for iPhone list.