5 Best VPNs on Android Devices in 2019

It is just as important to use an Android VPN app on your phone or tablet as it is on a desktop computer. A VPN app for Android will provide you with internet privacy, keep you safe from hackers on public WiFi networks, and stop advertisers from targeting your with annoying ads. Check out the list of the best Android VPN apps below.

The best VPN Android Apps

Want the best VPN for Android? We have reviewed hundreds of VPNs in order to find the best service for your needs. If you need more information about the service, check out our VPN reviews.

1. ExpressVPN

  • Pricing

    From $6.67 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Netflix
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee

Express VPN has a well-deserved reputation for providing a popular and polished VPN service. Its Android app has had almost 70,000 downloads from the Play Store, and a rating of 4.0.

An easy-to-use service, the ExpressVPN app pioneered the concept of the one-click connect. It uses the same highly secure OpenVPN encryption that its desktop versions use, making this ideal for Android users in China. They have 24/7 livechat support, and a 30 day moneyback guarantee.

With ExpressVPN, you can get 49% off if you buy a yearly account.

2. NordVPN

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Netflix
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee

NordVPN is an incredibly popular Android VPN, with over 80,000 installs from the Play Store and a 4.4-star average review rating, you can also download the app direct from the Nord website which will auto-update when new versions become available.

A premium VPN for Android, NordVPN offers 24/7 support and it can unblock iPlayer, Netflix US, hulu, all while keeping your data private and secure both at home and on public WiFi. Try NordVPN today thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee!


3. PrivateVPN

  • Pricing

    From $1.89 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Netflix
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee

As its name suggests this is privacy focused VPN service. It's an excellent choice as an Android VPN. You get a full-service VPN on your mobile device at an affordable price with super-fast server speed and great encryption.

PrivateVPN is a good choice if you want to watch Netflix on your Android device, it also offers six simultaneous connections, WiFi protection, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Based in Sweden this easy-to-use app provides Efficient 24/7 Live Chat support if you have any questions.

4. VyprVPN

  • Pricing

    From $4.17 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Netflix
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee

This VPN service is based in Switzerland and has recently gone 100% no-logs. It has even been independently audited to confirm this, which is something that no other VPN company can claim. Its Android app has an impressive 43,500 downloads from the Play Store but can also be downloaded from the website. 

A 3-day free trial is available for Android users, but VyprVPN requires confirmation of payment details before this can be activated. VyprVPN's Android VPN app features a killswitch, making it ideal for users in privacy-sensitive regions such as China. It has super-fast connection speeds making it the perfect VPN for streaming and it can also unlock Netflix. 

5. IPVanish

  • Pricing

    From $5.2 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee

IPVanish keeps no logs, and although based in the US, it provides a robust VPN service. In addition to being available via the Play Store, you can also download it from the website. Automatic updates, however, are only available if you download the app via the Play Store.

The app offers a bunch of useful features and if you connect to an unknown WiFi network the app will alert you to this and offer to turn itself on. A fast service, this is ideal for gaming and streaming. Try it free for a week with its 7-day money back guarantee.

Why should I use a VPN for Android?

A VPN app connects your Android device to VPN server which gives you a different IP address. The connection between your device and the VPN server is securely encrypted, so your Android phone is kept secure on public WiFi.  

The advantages that using a VPN for Android gives users are listed below:

  1. A VPN Prevents your ISP from knowing what you do on the internet because its “view” is blocked by the VPN server.
  2. A VPN also Prevents governments from performing blanket mass surveillance on you because governments rely on ISPs to provide them with data. So if your ISP doesn’t know what you are up to, then neither will your government.
  3. Prevents websites from knowing who you are because instead of seeing your real IP address they just see the IP of the VPN server, meaning you can stop annoying ads.
  4. Prevents public WiFi hotspot hackers from stealing your data, and hotspot operators from selling your browsing history.
  5. Prevents peers (which can include copyright enforcers) from seeing your real IP address when torrenting.
  6. Prevents your government or ISP from censoring content, be it on political, social, moral, or copyright grounds. VPN services run servers from countries all over the planet, so just connect to one located somewhere that does not censor internet content!
  7. Allows you to “spoof” your geographic location in order to watch streaming services such as the US version Netflix, which has a much larger catalog of titles than paying Netflix customers living elsewhere can access (how fair is that?), or such as BBC iplayer, which are only available is certain countries. 

So yeah. For a few bucks a month, we think everyone should use a VPN!

Is a VPN safe for Android?

In most ways using a VPN on your Android device works just like using a VPN for PC or a VPN for Mac. For more information on VPNs in general, please see our Beginner's Guide to Virtual Private Networks.

When using a VPN on an Android phone is that both the phone itself (and to lesser extent tablets) and the apps you run on it send a great deal of data back to their developers. Indeed, a problem with Android, in general, is that by default Google almost encourages app developers to abuse the permissions system.

Data sent to app developers can include your phone's unique IMEI number, your GPS location data, your contact list, your Google Play/iTunes ID, and more. A VPN cannot stop apps from doing this.

The solution is to access services using your browser (preferably a privacy friendly one), rather than via their apps. A VPN will fully shield your IP address from websites you visit in your browser, although as always, we recommend also using browser add-ons to prevent other forms of website tracking.

What features are Important for Android VPNs?

In general, what makes a good Android VPN is pretty much the same as what makes a good VPN for any platform.

  • Speed: a VPN app will slow down your internet connection, although if you connect to a server quite nearby (such as in the same or an adjacent country) then this speed reduction should be minimal. Please check out our always-running VPN Speed Testing Tool to find the fastest VPNs out there. 
  • No IP leaks: DNS leaks, WebRTC leaks, and IPv6 leaks are just as possible (and likely) on an Android device as they are on as on a desktop PC. A good VPN app will prevent them (or in the case of WebRTC mitigate against them). Please check out our Complete Guide to IP Leak Protection for more information
  • No logs: a VPN which keeps logs of your activities is in no position to guarantee your privacy. All VPN services promise to keep no records of what you get up to online (usage logs), but connection (metadata) logs can be highly revealing. A good VPN service keeps no logs whatsoever.
  • Jurisdiction: whatever a VPN service says, many countries require VPNs to keep detailed connection and even usage logs by law. And while countries such as the USA and Canada don’t,  government agencies such as the NSA perform extensive blanket surveillance where it would be naïve to believe they just allow VPN users to slip under the radar…

Features that more specifically affect Android VPN users are:

  • Custom VPN apps: most providers these days offer custom Android VPN apps which are easy to use because they come pre-configured for that service. It should be said, though, that while it requires more initial configuration than custom VPN apps, the excellent OpenVPN for Android app is more fully-featured than most such apps (and can be configured to act as a kill switch).
  • Kill switch: a kill switch is very important feature as it prevents your IP address from being exposed when the VPN connection drops and during network switches, the second of which is likely to happen regularly on a mobile device you carry round in your pocket. Some Android VPN apps have a kill switch, but unfortunately not most. Good news for owners of newer Android devices, though, is that Android 7+ includes a built-in kill switch that works with any VPN app.
  • WiFi protection: is a feature we are seeing more and more in Android apps. When your device connects to an unknown WiFi network it auto-engages the VPN in order to protect you from malicious actors on a potentially insecure network.

How to setup a VPN on Android?

We now have an entire guide on how to set up a VPN on android (although – really – it’s not rocket science!).  In its also discuss things like how to sideload Android VPN APKs, how to enable a kill switch in Android, and more.

Can I use a VPN free on Android?

The Google Play store has no shortage of free VPN apps available for download. Unfortunately, a shocking number of them either don’t do what they are supposed to or are outright malicious.  Which is hardly surprising once you recognize that no-one is really going to run an expensive VPN service for free.

There, are, however, some decent free apps for Android out there, all of which come from established VPN services hoping the free app will tempt you into paying for premium subscription. Just don’t expect a free VPN app for Android to offer an unlimited service. And if one promises to do just that then avoid it like the plague!

FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions we get asked.

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

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