Best VPN for Android

By Admin user June 3, 2020

Virtual private networks and mobile phones. Not a connection that most people make instinctively. We are still getting used to the idea that turning geolocation off and not Instagramming every lunch are sound practices if we don’t want Big Brother knowing our every step.

Still, smartphones are vulnerable electronic devices that we use on a daily basis. Join our search for the best VPN for Android as we explore how virtual private networks can help you keep your personal data safe no matter what you do with your phone.

Here are some of our best VPNs for 2020:

1.
Best VPN for Android

NordVPN

4.8
Lowest price:
$ 3.49 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Excellent encryption and security
  • Very versatile
  • Best ranked VPN app on Google Play

Available on:

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2.
Fastest VPN for Android

ExpressVPN

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 8.32 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • The fastest VPN solution
  • Excellent security features
  • Well designed and intuitive

Available on:

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3.
Best speed and security mix

VyprVPN

4.7
Lowest price:
$ 2.50 /mo
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Key Features

  • Unblocks majority of streaming platforms
  • Unlocks US and UK Netflix easily
  • Works smoothly on Mac devices

Available on:

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4.
Best unlimited VPN for Android

SurfShark

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 1.99 /mo
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Key Features

  • A very low starting price
  • Advanced security measures
  • Unlimited connected devices

Available on:

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5.
Best VPN for Android torrenting

IPVanish

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 4.87 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • No-logs policy
  • Unblocks UK Netflix
  • Military-grade encryption

Available on:

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6.
Best VPN for Android TV

CyberGhost

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 2.75 /mo
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Key Features

  • Choose servers based on what they can unlock
  • Excellent privacy protection
  • Optimized for smart TVs

Available on:

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7.
Best budget VPN

PrivateVPN

4.2
Lowest price:
$ 3.82 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Amazing value for the price
  • Military-grade security encryption
  • Very intuitive to use

Available on:

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Why use a VPN?

The real question is why wouldn’t you use one? A VPN or Virtual Private Network serves to safeguard your privacy and security on the internet. It does so by masking your true IP address and creating a private network from your public internet connection. The best mobile VPN services protect your online privacy, allow you to bypass certain geographical restrictions, and access content that might otherwise be unavailable to you. Although the idea of VPN protection started off on personal computers, they are just as useful, if not more so, on mobile devices.

Think about how much we use Facebook and similar communication apps, or how many private files such as photographs and videos we send each day. How about using mobile banking, private browsing or torrenting? There are certainly plenty of reasons to use a VPN on your mobile device, it’s just a question of how much you value your privacy when online.

1. NordVPN 4.8

Best VPN for Android

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 5,600+
  • Number of server locations - 60+
  • Encryption - 256bit
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 6
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Great performance
  • Lots of options
  • Double data encryption

CONS :

  • The app is a bit simplistic

With well over 10 million installs and a 4.5 ranking on Google Play, NordVPN is one of the most popular and well received VPN providers on the internet. It also has well over 5,000 servers in over 60 locations around the world, making it the world’s largest VPN provider along with CyberGhost. The service is based in Panama, and every NordVPN login features 256-bit security encryption and a zero-logging policy. That means that your data is secure, and no one is keeping tabs on what you are doing online.  

The CyberSec feature also allows for ad blocking, and NordVPN has an automatic kill switch should you lose your VPN connection for whatever reason. It’s no wonder that it is considered the best VPN for Android on Reddit and most other public discussion forums. There are also extensive unblocking options. These can be used to unlock all your favorite services and allow you to stream to your heart’s content no matter where you are located. With NordVPN, you also get customized torrenting profiles that include servers tailored for P2P sharing. The app itself is highly functional, though it is a little bit on the basic side.

Another fantastic feature for those worried about security is the Double VPN option, which routes your data through two servers for maximum security. While it does potentially make things a little slower, it provides an extra layer of security not found with most competitors. This makes it the best VPN service for Android if security is the most important thing you look for when choosing a VPN provider.

There’s also dedicated 24/7 customer support through the app’s live chat option and an affordable pricing structure.

While the standard monthly price is $11.95 a month, you get serious discounts if you sign up for longer. For example, a three-year plan will set you back only $3.49 a month. All plans are also refundable within a month of their purchase as part of the NordVPN free trial. This gives you plenty of time to test if this is the right service for you. All things considered, we can happily say that NordVPN is overall our favorite pick, but there are certainly other great options out there.


2. ExpressVPN 4.6

Fastest VPN for Android

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 3000+
  • Number of server locations - 160
  • Encryption - 256 bit
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 5
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Fantastic speed and security
  • Split tunneling
  • Well designed app

CONS :

  • Pricey

As the name suggests, ExpressVPN for Android is a VPN service focused on speed. This service is based in the British Virgin Islands, and it has over 3,000 servers in 160 locations spread across 94 countries. It is well-rated with a 4.1 score from over 120k reviews on Google Play.

The kill switch and ad blocking are both automatic, guaranteeing a seamless experience. This extends to the app’s UI, which is one of the best VPN software solutions on the market. It is intuitive and efficient, automatically giving you a list of recommended servers when booting based on your location. It also gives you the option of quickly making a list of your own favorite servers for future usage.

When it comes to security, it really couldn’t be any better. You are automatically connected to OpenVPN, the safest VPN protocol around. It has 256-bit AES encryption and a zero-logging policy, which means your data is safe from prying eyes. In its bid to be the best VPN app  around, ExpressVPN offers another great feature, split tunneling. This allows you to route only select traffic through VPN while everything else is accessed through your usual internet connection. The servers are also run entirely on RAM, so when they get rebooted, all of the data is automatically wiped.

A strong VPN will also have great customer support, and ExpressVPN doesn’t disappoint here either. With a 24/7 live chat similar to NordVPN, you’ll be sure to get the service you need. So what is there to criticize in the end? Well, ExpressVPN could easily be the best VPN for Android if it only had more simultaneous connections. Additionally, with a standard monthly rate of 13 bucks and the lowest possible monthly payment of $8.32 per month on a yearly plan, there are definitely many cheaper competitors that offer similar features for a lower price.

Still, it’s a relatively small monetary difference. So if you don’t need many simultaneous VPN connections, ExpressVPN is one of the best options around.


3. VyprVPN 4.7

Best speed and security mix

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 700+
  • Number of server locations - 70+
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 5
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Quick servers
  • Chameleon 2.0
  • Optimized app

CONS :

  • No ad blocking feature

The first VPN subscription service located in Europe, VyprVPN, is run by a Swiss-based company called Golden Frog GmbH. While it is by no means the best VPN for cell phones in terms of speed or overall features, it offers a good mix of both. It has some of the most competitive prices on the market if you opt for one of the yearly or biyearly plans. With over 700 servers in more than 70 places around the world, you’ll definitely find something that fits your VPN needs. With 256-bit encryption and a no-logging policy as well as an automatic kill switch and protection from DNS leaks, it’s got all the standard security bells and whistles that you’d want.

While it may not be the best VPN on Android, Vypr does have some interesting features. Their robust Chameleon 2.0 system is one of the better-thought-out systems for fighting internet censorship. Not only does it unblock social media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, but it hides the fact that you’re actually using a VPN. Governments that tend to censor the internet (China) are always on the hunt for VPN services, so having a system that cloaks the VPN connection to look like a regular one is a great idea that should help avoid VPN detection.

The dedicated Android app is another thing worth praising when it comes to VyprVPN. It is one of the best VPN apps for Android: well-optimized, with lots of options and an intuitive interface. 

One notable omission, though, is the lack of ad blocking features. Another thing that’s missing compared to industry leaders like NordVPN and ExpressVPN is dedicated customer support. While those two offer a 24/7 live chat, with Vypr you are stuck with getting in touch only via email or official forums. 

While the devs respond quickly, it’s still a bit of a hassle compared to the best Android VPN offerings on the market. There’s also the matter of five simultaneous connections. It should be enough for most people, but the number could be better.

Finally, let’s talk about prices. While the 13 bucks a month isn’t anything to write home about, VyprVPN does offer great incentives for those who are willing to commit. A yearly plan will cost you $3.75 a month, while two years will cost just $2.71 a month, with 65 bucks billed once every two years. At that price, it’s one of the most affordable VPN options on our list and definitely earns our recommendation for its mix of good security features, speed, and price. Add in the fact that there’s a 30 day money-back guarantee, and the deal indeed looks very good.


4. SurfShark 4.6

Best unlimited VPN for Android

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 1000+
  • Number of server locations - 60+
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - Unlimited
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Unlimited simultaneous VPN connections
  • Multi-hop and split tunneling features
  • Very affordable

CONS :

  • You cannot see the server ping

Although it is one of the newer VPN options on the market, Surfshark is nevertheless a compelling choice for those who want to get a feature-rich, affordable VPN solution that offers an unlimited number of simultaneous device connections. While most VPN providers allow for between five and ten devices, Surfshark’s main claim to fame is that there is no limit to the number of simultaneous VPN connections you could have active at the same time.

The best paid VPN options for Android offer excellent security and don’t keep any of your logs. The same goes for Surfshark. The company based in the British Virgin Isles provides 256-bit encryption and has a native Android kill switch. Being outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance (an agreement between Western countries on citizen information sharing), it has no obligation to share its logs, thus keeping a zero-log policy.

Surfshark has plenty of cool options. First off, as with the best phone VPN solutions around, there are several double-data encryption options which are called Multi-hop in the app. These preset VPN hops route your traffic through, for example, France and then Sweden. They make it really hard for anyone trying to track your online activity to know what you’re really up to. Another useful feature is the ad and malware blocker CleanWeb, which is not active by default but is easy enough to switch on. Finally, there’s the Whitelister, a split tunneling feature which can be used to allow select apps and services to bypass the VPN connection.

Surfshark is the best mobile VPN for Android if you need many simultaneous connections. It’s not so great if you want a lot of detail on the servers you’re connecting to. With no option to see the server load or ping, it’s a bit of a guessing game as to how well they will work. On the other hand, 24/7 live chat customer support is very helpful and quick to respond. 

The lack of some important server information keeps Surfshark from being the best Android VPN app around, but it’s still a well-optimized and quick app. When you add in the fact that it’s one of the cheapest options on the market, we have a strong contender, especially if you need unlimited VPN connections. The basic plan costs 12 bucks a month. But if you commit for a year, it’s $5.99 instead. And if you opt for a two-year plan, it costs a mere $1.99 a month. That’s $47.76 billed every two years with a 30-day money-back guarantee. At that price, considering all of the benefits that Surfshark offers, it’s a pretty hard deal to beat.


5. IPVanish 4.6

Best VPN for Android torrenting

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 1300+
  • Number of server locations - 75+
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 10
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Specifically advertised as a pro-torrenting VPN
  • Very fast speeds
  • 10 simultaneous VPN connected devices

CONS :

  • Not the cheapest option and no free trial available

While reviewing the various phone VPN options on the market, we’ve covered various providers based in exotic locations such as Panama and the British Virgin Isles. IPVanish is the first US-based option on our list. 

Despite potential privacy concerns stemming from the fact that the United States is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance, this VPN provides a array of servers in over 75 locations around the world while offering excellent 256-bit encryption using OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols and having a no logging policy. The software also didn’t initially come with a kill switch, but this very useful feature was added in subsequent updates.

So why is IPVanish the top VPN for Android torrenting? Well, quite simply, it’s a provider that offers great speeds and P2P friendly features such as recommending specific servers/countries for P2P file sharing. It also offers anonymous signup and payment options and uses several shared IP addresses that can be switched automatically after a certain period of time (for example, once per hour). There is also split tunneling and a very generous ten simultaneous connections, which should allow the whole family or a smaller office to all make good use of a single VPN subscription.

The app is very intuitive and quick to use. While not the best rated VPN for Android on Google Play, its 4.1 rating is still very respectable and shows that people are generally very satisfied across the board. The customer support is also excellent and available 24/7 via live chat. 

So what are the cons? Well, for starters, there is no built-in ad blocker, although you are free to use your own third party ones, of course. Furthermore, this high speed VPN is definitely not the best VPN for Android when it comes to budget concerns. While the standard monthly rate of $10 is one of the least expensive options, the lowest you can drop it is $6.49 for a one-year plan. There is also no free trial available, but the company does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, which ends up working much the same.

In conclusion, IPVanish is a good VPN for Android devices, doubly so if you’re planning on torrenting. There are definitely cheaper options out there, but the mix of P2P friendly features and high security make it a solid recommendation for people not worried about getting the cheapest deal possible.


6. CyberGhost 4.6

Best VPN for Android TV

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 5800+
  • Number of server locations - 112
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 7
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Best option for Android TV Box
  • Huge number of servers
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CONS :

  • Not reliable for use in China

A lesser known provider based in Bucharest, Romania, CyberGhost, provides an excellent and speedy service at very affordable prices while being well-optimized for Android TV and smart TVs in general. It also has a record number of servers in locations all around the world and features 256-bit AES encryption while having a strict no-logging policy.

Speaking of security, there is also a kill switch, and the app prevents DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. While perhaps not the best VPN for an Android phone on the market, it does come with a lot of helpful features to keep your net activities safe and private. For example, it doesn’t tie your payment and registration details to the service, which makes it harder to associate your activities with VPN. You also get to pick whether you want to use IKEv2, L2TP, or OpenVPN protocols or just set things to automatic.

One of the selling points for CyberGhost is that it is possibly the best paid VPN for Android TV devices. People using smart TVs are not necessarily interested in torrenting or keeping their personal information safe as much as they are in unblocking geo-locked streaming services such as Netflix. CyberGhost makes the process seamless – you just select the “Unblock Streaming” option, pick which service you want, and the app will automatically connect you to a server in the appropriate region. 

The service provides up to seven simultaneous VPN connections on one subscription and has a very good built-in ad blocker. While it may not be the very best VPN app for Android, there’s a lot to like about the intuitive UI and general snappiness of the interface when using CyberGhost. The servers are also very quick. The service is not terribly reliable in countries with strict internet regulation laws, though. If your primary goal is to avoid censorship in China and the UAE, there are better and more dependable VPN options out there.

Finally, there’s the price. As usual, picking a service like this for a month or so is not a very financially sound option. However, commiting for longer pays dividends in a major way. The company offers the best VPN for phone users that don’t mind making a long-term commitment. Plans are up to three years in length – the longer you sign up for, the cheaper the prices. The most frugal option involves a three-year contract and ends up costing just $2.75 a month. A total of $99 is billed once every three years, including two bonus months of coverage. There’s also a class-leading 45-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, CyberGhost is a solid, affordable option that has great security features. It also works  well with Android TV devices. However, if you’re looking to travel to a country that’s heavy on internet restrictions, there are better options to choose from.


7. PrivateVPN 4.2

Best budget VPN

See Price

Specifications

  • Amount of servers - 150+
  • Number of server locations - 60+
  • Maximum simultaneous connections - 6
  • Kill switch - Yes
  • Ad blocking - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Cheapest VPN on our list
  • Great security features
  • Ease of use

CONS :

  • Small selection of servers

Swedish-based PrivateVPN is a bit of a sleeper hit. While almost everyone has by now heard of giants such as Nord and ExpressVPN, these guys have mostly been flying under the radar for the last 11 or so years. It’s not for a lack of quality, though. They just don’t advertise much. But this 256-bit encrypted, kill-switch-enabled provider promises not to log any of your activities. It makes a compelling case with military-grade security protocol, a wealth of features, and a truly affordable price.

We’ve gone to great lengths in this VPN review roundup to determine the best VPN for Android in 2020. A part of that quest includes looking at prices. While normally this is the part that gets mentioned much later in a review, here it’s really the main selling point. So let’s get it out of the way first. PrivateVPN is cheap – incredibly so – considering what it offers. The basic monthly plan is nearly half that of most competition at only $7.12 a month. If that sounds great, how about a whole two years for just over 45 bucks? Yup, you read that right. The company offers a truly fantastic promotion that costs you only $1.89 per month. So, what is the best VPN for Android if saving money is your main concern? These guys, by a long shot.

By now you’re probably wondering if there’s a catch. Well, there is. Sort of. 

You see, while PrivateVPN doesn’t skimp out on speed or security (nearly the safest VPN for Android around), it does on servers. Even though there is a healthy variety of locations around the globe, there are simply way fewer servers in total than any other serious competition around. NordVPN and CyberGhost have nearly 50x the amount of servers, to put things in perspective. Still, servers cost money to run, and that’s the tradeoff that was made here.

Port forwarding, other VPN download, and P2P features make it great for torrenting, while excellent unblocking features make watching Amazon Prime or Netflix from abroad a breeze, too. While perhaps not the very best VPN for Android phones if you’re travelling abroad, it’s pretty good at getting around internet restrictions in countries like China and the UAE as well. 

Furthermore, six simultaneous VPN connections are a bit on the low side but should be enough for most people. It’s also a bit disappointing that there is no ad-blocking feature, although you can use a third party blocking service yourself.


How we rate VPNs

Privacy and security

The most important consideration when choosing the best VPN for Android is how well it protects and hides your identity online. To start with, there’s the encryption – 128-bit is okay, but you really want 256-bit for maximum security. Even modern supercomputers would take millions of years going through the 78-digit possible pool of numbers to brute force a 256-bit encryption key. Then, there are the privacy features – does the VPN provider  have a strict no-logging policy, and can you be sure that no one will keep tabs of your online activities? The best mobile VPNs can avoid censorship and online surveillance in countries such as China while helping keep your personal data secure.

Features

When talking about privacy and security, there is a lot more to consider than just the encryption and logging features. Good VPNs will have an automatic kill switch, which ensures that you’re instantly booted from the internet until a VPN connection can be restored. This is a very handy feature for those worrying that they may get a data breach should a connection to their VPN falter at some point. Also, you should consider whether your VPN of choice has unlimited bandwidth or caps your speed (or even completely cuts off access) after a certain amount of data has gone through a VPN connection per month.

The top Android VPN providers also give you access to DNS leak protection, use double encryption, and have a variety of other complex security protocols aimed at keeping your privacy safe. They also allow for the unblocking of geo-blocked streaming sites, such as Hulu and Netflix, and are used to give access to regional prices for games on Steam and similar platforms (though that has been changed in recent years). Finally, paid VPN apps often offer ad-blocking services that can help you block annoying pop ups which slow down your internet browsing.

Speed

Strong security and privacy features are very important to any decent VPN app on the market, but most people get frustrated if their VPN isn’t fast as well. Even with the fastest Android VPN providers, you still have to connect to a server that’s often far from your actual location. There’s also the matter of encryption slowing down your connection as well. Still, unless you’re using free VPN software (which tends to be much slower and more feature-limited), you shouldn’t really feel too much of a performance hit with most mobile VPN providers. Some providers do put a cap on the speed after a certain amount of bandwidth has been spent, though. So be aware of that.

Usability

Although not as crucial as some of the other aspects that we’ve mentioned, general usability is still an important factor in choosing the best Android VPN client for your needs. What is the user interface like? Is the program quick to start? How many resources does it take, and does it slow your phone down significantly? All of these factors have to be taken into consideration when choosing between the various VPN Android apps on the market.

Price and value

Our final consideration is often one of the first things people look for when choosing a VPN service. While a lot of people look for free VPN download options, it pays to keep in mind that running a quality VPN service costs a lot of money. That means that the best VPNs for Android are never going to be free. The speed, security options, logging features etc. – as a rule of thumb – are going to be inferior if you opt for the free options and become better as you pay more for the more advanced plans. That being said, not all VPNs are equal nor do they provide the same value for your hard-earned buck. A lot of them also focus on different features at different price tiers. Therefore, it pays to know exactly what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

FAQ:

Is VPN illegal?

No, of course not.

It is, however, a gateway for potentially illegal activities such as anonymously downloading pirated software. A lot of people who look for the best VPN for Android on Reddit and other similar networks have such uses in mind, but that doesn’t mean that using a VPN itself is an illegal activity.

Is using VPN dangerous?

Depends on the VPN.

A lot of people are on the lookout for the best free VPN for Android. The sad truth is even the fastest solutions are nowhere near as quick or feature-laden as the cheapest paid VPNs. Furthermore, remember: if the product is free, YOU are the product. With how expensive servers are to run and maintain and how easy the VPN’s owner could have access to your logs in theory, you have to ask yourself – is my data really safe if someone is doing this all for free? 

How effective are VPNs?

Most are very effective.

Again, it depends on your provider, mostly. Picking the best VPN for Android such as Nord, Express, or PrivateVPN guarantees you not only great security and privacy but also speed, even though it uses a proxy connection in a server located in a country far away.

How do I setup a VPN on my Android?

You start by downloading a VPN app.

Specific instructions on how  to use a VPN on Android from there will vary, but the basic idea is the same. You pick an app on your phone, you choose a server that matches your needs, decide what sort of VPN protocol you want to use to connect, and that’s it.