This is the century of the smartphone. Our mobile devices sometimes have more processing power than our desktop computers and the Net is always there to provide a full suite of entertainment. The power this gives us is immense, but so are the risks. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you know it’s true – securing your Android device is as important as securing your desktop. VPN can be just the tool to do it if only you can find the right one.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: there is no best free VPN for Android. In the VPN world, free is invariably rubbish. That being said, if you’re prepared to pay just a few bucks a month, we’ll show you where they should go. All the tools listed below have custom Android apps and none of them will limit your bandwidth/speed/number of server switches. Read on to find out more!
What is the best VPN for Android?
No VPN is without fault, but NordVPN comes very close. This all-around tool offers both great security and nimble speeds. It’s also cheap as hell and allows 6 simultaneous connections.
NordVPN uses bulletproof ciphers to encrypt your data and offers effective security features. In their suite, you will find a kill switch, Double VPN, and Onion Over VPN for maximum security. NordVPN doesn’t leak or do much logging, so your anonymity will be as safe as it gets. They’re based in Panama, which is a prime location for VPN services wanting to ensure online privacy. It has no data retention laws or intelligence-sharing agreements.
Unlike many VPNs, Nord doesn’t water down their service for Android. You’ll be able to use their 4,000+ servers in 60+ countries to watch Netflix, use torrents or bypass the Great Firewall of China. Their app is super-simple to navigate even if you’re not great with your fingers.
All of this will cost you barely any speed, and not much more money: $11.95 a month, $5.75 a month billed annually, or $3.29 a month billed every two years.
Read our full NordVPN review
It isn’t common to see VyprVPN in the Top 3, but we feel in this case it’s warranted. Vypr is a great VPN for Android users around the world – secure, fast and dependable.
The technical security credentials of VyprVPN can compete with anyone (except NordVPN). Their encryption is powerful and their features very useful – Vypr for Android has a kill switch and all the main protocols. One of these is their very own Chameleon protocol, which will make sure you can use the VPN in restricted countries like China. The company, Golden Frog, is very upfront about their practices and based in privacy-friendly Switzerland.
Despite a lower server count, VyprVPN offers some of the best speeds on the VPN market. This has a lot to do with the fact that they own all of their 700+ servers in 70+ global locations. The VyprVPN Android app is very user-friendly and almost as functional as their desktop apps – you don’t have to worry about missing out on their awesome features.
Nothing this good comes without drawbacks: you won’t be able to watch Netflix using VyprVPN, Golden Frog doesn’t want their users to torrent, and the sign-up procedure is not anonymous. Also, it’s pretty expensive – $9.95 a month or $5.00 a month billed annually for the “basic” package, and $12.95 a month or $6.67 a month billed annually for the “premium” package.
Read our full VyprVPN review
The perennial third-place contender, CyberGhost, is a strong Android VPN. It‘s a particularly good choice for complete novices, who will appreciate CyberGhost‘s usage-profile system for optimal settings.
Like all VPNs on this list, Android CyberGhost has good encryption and solid features, including a built-in kill switch. The company behind this VPN is based in Romania – a country that has demonstrated a commendable attitude towards online privacy. The only security concern are reports that CyberGhost has some issues with DNS/WebRTC leaks. We urge potential buyers to ask CyberGhost support staff about leaking and see what they say.
CyberGhost has 2,000+ servers across the globe and thus the speeds are quite amazing. It‘s also fairly cheap, offers a free trial, can bypass the Netflix block, and lets you have 7 simultaneous connections. The cost: $11.99 a month, $4.99 a month billed annually, $3.79 a month billed every two years, or $2.75 a month billed every three years.
There are few drawbacks to using CyberGhost, unless you‘re based in a restricted country (China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc.). It will work, but there are better choices out there.
Read our full CyberGhost review
Seeing ExpressVPN this low may surprise some, but there are good reasons why it isn’t the best VPN for Android. First, the good:
ExpressVPN has stellar security credentials and some of the best speeds out there. It will also work very well in China or other restricted countries due to its stealth (or “obfuscated”) servers. With Express you can watch Netflix without any issues at all. Finally, their Android app is very minimal and easy to use, but also offers space for customizability.
In short, ExpressVPN is great, but far from the best for Android. Why?
Well, the VPN already has a few drawbacks that always get brought up – a steep price and only 3 simultaneous connections per subscription. To be precise, Express costs $12.95 a month, $9.99 a month billed every 6 months, or $6.67 a month billed annually. In addition, the ExpressVPN Android client has no kill switch – that’s a serious vulnerability.
Read our full ExpressVPN review
Here’s proof that you don’t have to be huge to provide a good product. PrivateVPN has just over 100 servers in 56 countries, yet the service they provide places it amongst the best Android VPNs.
One thing we can praise PrivateVPN for is their security-first attitude. It becomes obvious when you take into account their privacy features, no-logging policy, and the candid tone of their website. PrivateVPN reportedly has no leaking issues, however, as a small provider they don’t have the luxury of their own DNS. This means users should be cautious to not get exposed. Their Android app also, unfortunately, has no kill switch.
Despite the low server-count, PrivateVPN boasts great speeds that shouldn’t be too hurtful even for those with mediocre connections. Android users who love to torrent will appreciate this, as will everyone who wants to watch Netflix.
There are some other flaws PrivateVPN has – it doesn’t do great in China and it has no router app. We think the low price more than makes up for this: at $7.12 a month, $4.50 a month billed every 3 months, or $2.73 a month billed every 19 months, PrivateVPN is one of the cheapest good VPNs out there.
Read our full PrivateVPN review
Android users should celebrate – they’re much better off on the VPN market than their iOS brethren. Most top VPN services offer comparable feature sets on desktop and Android devices. Our Top 5 best VPN for Android list is a good place to start your journey towards a safer mobile experience!
How we made this list
Our conclusions are based on personal experience with various Android VPN client options. Some things to consider:
- Versatile VPNs are better than one-trick ponies. 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.
- Nothing is more important than security and trust.
- The selection is not final and will be constantly updated.