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The Best VPNs for Android

Illustration of Android phone and tablet
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Every Android device holds vast amounts of personal data. This information can be easily stolen if you transmit it over an open WiFi network, particularly if the connection is not HTTPS.

VPN software encrypts your internet connection, making it much harder for hackers to intercept your data transfers. This is vital if you regularly use public WiFi, want to hide your IP address, or want to unblock streaming services.

There are hundreds of Android VPN apps on Google’s Play Store, but many have serious security flaws. Almost 75% of Android VPNs we tested are potentially unsafe.

We’ve tested hundreds of VPNs on our Samsung Galaxy test smartphone. The five Android VPNs below are the very best we’ve tested.

The best VPN Apps for Android devices are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The overall best VPN for Android smartphones and Smart TVs. Read summary.
  2. IPVanish: A fast VPN with .APK file for great compatibility with all Android devices. Read summary.
  3. NordVPN: An excellent Android VPN with extra security features. Read summary.
  4. CyberGhost: The most user-friendly Android VPN, with special streaming servers. Read summary.
  5. PrivateVPN: A very cheap choice with advanced options like Stealth Mode on Android. Read summary.

The VPNs above are the fastest, safest and most private you’ll find for Android. They bypass geo-restrictions and unblock web content worldwide, including popular platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer.

They all have native VPN apps for Android 11, Android 10 and older AndroidOS versions, so they’re very easy to set up on Android devices. They also work on 4G, 3G and LTE connections, in addition to WiFi.

ExpressVPN and IPVanish even come with an official APK file, which makes the setup on Android boxes like Nvidia Shield TV, Xiami Mi Box S, and Skystream Pro 8K much smoother. Running a VPN on your Android streaming device is key to anonymize your IPTV and Kodi streams.

If you’re looking to protect your Android device but you’re not ready to pay for a subscription, read our list of the best free VPNs for Android.

The Best Android VPN Apps in 2021

1. ExpressVPN: The Top VPN for Android

ExpressVPN is the outright best Android VPN for speed, security, and streaming.

ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
ExpressVPN's new desktop app
 96% 
(1,760 user reviews)
Visit ExpressVPN
  1. Fast speeds over short and long distances
  2. Sleek custom VPN app for Android devices
  3. Unblocks Netflix & other popular streaming apps
  4. No user logs & no IP address leaks
  5. APK file available (for Smart TVs)
  6. VPN servers in 94 countries
  1. Expensive on short subscription plans
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    88Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #1 VPN for Android

ExpressVPN is our best-rated VPN overall, but it’s also our top choice for Android. Its custom VPN app for Android is very easy to install and use on smartphones, tablets and TVs. Once the VPN is running, you’ll experience very fast and consistent speeds across the entire VPN server network.

In fact, whether you connect to nearby or distant VPN servers, ExpressVPN’s speeds are remarkably quick and stable, which is ideal for HD streaming. If streaming is why you want an Android VPN, then ExpressVPN unlocks 19 different Netflix libraries as well as Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more.

ExpressVPN also operates a privacy-first logs policy, which means it won’t collect any personally-identifiable user logs. Plus, the company is based in the privacy-focused British Virgin Islands, a country not required or expected to hand over data to outside governments.

Additionally, ExpressVPN is very secure. Its Android app includes all top security features including AES-256 encryption and the ability to “block the internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN” – which works just like a kill switch.

Also, you can use ExpressVPN on up to five devices at one time.

Overall, ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than our other top recommendations, but it is without a doubt the best VPN for Android. If you’re looking for quality and reliability, it’s worth the extra couple of dollars a month.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. IPVanish: Best for Advanced Users

The best Android VPN for Kodi, IPTV, and advanced configuration.

IPVanish VPN
IPVanish desktop screenshot
 96% 
(175 user reviews)
Visit IPVanish
  1. Well-designed Android VPN app
  2. Consistently fast VPN speeds
  3. APK file for easy side-loading on all Android devices
  4. Strict no-logs policy
  5. Works with US Netflix
  6. Advanced settings like port selection
  1. No VPN kill switch on the Android app
  2. Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer or Disney+
  3. Doesn't work in China
  • Best Price

    $3.75/mo for 12 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    84Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    57 countries, 1,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #2 VPN for Android

IPVanish is an extremely good choice for those who want lots of configurable options with their Android VPN. In fact, the Android app comes with advanced settings like split tunneling, OpenVPN scrambling, and port selection.

If your Android device doesn’t support VPN apps, you can download the VPN’s APK file from your IPVanish account and sideload the VPN into your device.

We recorded fast download (and upload) speeds using IPVanish, particularly on same-country servers.

From a privacy perspective, IPVanish operates a strict no-logs policy so web activity logs won’t be stored on its VPN servers either.

IPVanish is therefore an excellent choice for Kodi and IPTV fans, who may like the fact that IPVanish is currently the best VPN choice for Kodi and the top-rated VPN for Firestick.

The problem with IPVanish is that it doesn’t work that well with streaming platforms. While it unblocks US Netflix, it doesn’t work with many other services like BBC iPlayer or Disney+.

There’s no VPN kill switch on the Android app either, but you can manually configure your Android device to provide the same protection.

On  the whole, IPVanish’s strong security and fast speeds will win over those who aren’t looking to stream on their Android device.

For a more in-depth look, read our full IPVanish VPN review.

3. NordVPN: Best Value for Money

An extremely fast and secure VPN for Android – all for a low price.

NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
NordVPN app
 94% 
(246 user reviews)
Visit NordVPN
  1. Very fast VPN speeds
  2. User-friendly Android VPN app
  3. Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  4. VPN servers in 59 countries
  5. Strict no-logs policy
  6. Advanced privacy features
  1. Extra VPN protocols require manual configuration
  2. No VPN kill switch for Android app
  3. No PayPal as a payment method
  4. Unreliable in China
  5. No APK file
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,515 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #3 VPN for Android

NordVPN is a very good VPN service for Android devices, even if it can’t quite compete with ExpressVPN. Its Android VPN app is simple and user-friendly, and you can set it up in just a few minutes.

It works with most popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, and it also comes with dedicated VPN servers for P2P torrenting and Tor.

NordVPN is a very fast VPN service – in fact, it’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. You’ll experience the best speeds if you connect to a nearby VPN server, but it’s also very fast on longer distances.

However, NordVPN isn’t perfect. The Android app doesn’t have a built-in VPN kill switch (which is common), but you can manually set up similar protection from within your Android device settings. If you’re not willing to alter those settings, you’re at risk of exposing your real IP address.

Another drawback is the lack of VPN protocol choice within the Android app. If you want to use an alternative protocol you’ll have to manually configure it.

NordVPN is still a secure VPN that uses 256-bit AES encryption. It’s cheaper than both ExpressVPN and IPVanish on long subscriptions, which makes it a very good alternative.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

4. CyberGhost: Best Choice for Beginners

A fast and simple VPN for Android that's great for streaming.

CyberGhost app
CyberGhost app
 94% 
(309 user reviews)
Visit CyberGhost
  1. Well-designed VPN app for Android
  2. Fast short-distance VPN speeds
  3. Works with Netflix & most popular streaming sites
  4. Android app has built-on VPN kill switch
  5. Strictly no-logs VPN service
  6. 45-day money-back guarantee
  1. Doesn't work in China
  2. Slower international speeds
  3. No APK file
  • Best Price

    $2.25/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    91 countries, 6,900+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #4 VPN for Android

CyberGhost is the ideal choice if you love to stream on your Android phone or tablet. Its custom app for Android is sleek and intuitive, and it comes with VPN servers dedicated to accessing content on popular streaming platforms.

You can watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more by tapping on the ‘Streaming friendly’ tab and connecting to your desired VPN server. With very fast download speeds on local servers, CyberGhost will allow you to watch your favorite shows in HD with little buffering.

CyberGhost’s no-logs policy and an always-on VPN kill switch make it one of the most secure Android VPNs on the market, too.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost is not as fast as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. It also won’t work in high-censorship countries like China and Turkey, unlike it’s top two rivals.

Aside from that, CyberGhost is a great VPN for Android, and its custom Android app is the most visually pleasing. It also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is more generous than the 30 days offered by the other VPN services in this list.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

5. PrivateVPN: The Cheapest Android VPN

An extremely affordable VPN with impressive speeds on Android.

Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
 98% 
(1,736 user reviews)
Visit PrivateVPN
  1. Quick and reliable VPN speeds
  2. Simple & easy-to-use Android VPN app
  3. Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  4. No user logs collected
  5. Advanced security features like Stealth mode
  6. VPN servers in 59 countries
  1. Small number of individual VPN servers (150)
  2. No VPN kill switch for Android
  3. Live chat support is not always available
  4. No APK file
  • Best Price

    $1.98/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    62 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #5 VPN for Android

PrivateVPN has a secure, fast, and feature-packed Android VPN app. The app is well-presented and easy to use, with a modern-looking and intuitive interface.

Like CyberGhost, it comes with VPN servers dedicated to accessing streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Its stealth protocol feature (ideal for high-censorship countries like China), port connection options, and the ability to block IPv6 requests, make it a very safe VPN to use. It also doesn’t keep any user activity logs.

However, PrivateVPN comes with a very small VPN server network of only 150 individual servers. This can lead to congestion at peak times and recently its speeds connecting to US servers has worsened.

While it’s not as high-performing as the other three recommendations above, PrivateVPN comes with a true seven-day free trial. It doesn’t require any payment upfront, so you can try PrivateVPN at zero cost before buying it.

Overall, PrivateVPN is a great Android VPN for speed, security, streaming, and torrenting – all for a low monthly subscription cost.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.

Android VPN FAQ

What’s the Best VPN for Android?

The best VPN for Android is ExpressVPN, which is also our overall top-rated VPN. Its simple but powerful custom Android VPN app is the best we’ve seen.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN Android App

It’s fast, secure, it works with streaming services like Netflix, and it allows torrenting on all its servers.

The ExpressVPN Android app works with AndroidOS 11.0, 10.0, Pie, Oreo and older. You can also download the VPN APK file to side load the VPN onto other Android devices.

Why Do I Need a VPN on My Android Device?

Whether you’re casually web browsing or accessing sensitive information, it’s extremely important to use a trustworthy VPN on your Android phone (and all other internet-connected devices).

In many countries, government agencies snoop on citizens’ online activities. Some ISPs even sell customers’ location data and web browsing habits to advertisers.

If you live in the US, the UK, Poland, Brazil, or any number of supposedly ‘free’ nations around the world, your privacy is at risk.

A VPN can protect you against this invasion of your privacy.

VPNs can also protect you against malicious hackers, who take advantage of the weak security of public WiFi hotspots to steal your valuable and private data.

And then there’s the less scary but equally important side of VPNs, too. They let you unlock restricted web content from all over the world, which means movies, TV shows, and video games previously out of your reach are now accessible.

Whether you’re in a country that highly censors the internet or looking to stream US Netflix from abroad, a VPN will unlock that web content.

For more information, read our dedicated guide to what VPNs are used for.

Can I Get a Free VPN for Android?

The VPNs we picked for this guide are all premium, subscription-based services. You might be wondering: are there any free VPNs for Android?

There are hundreds of free VPNs for Android, but not all of them are good (or safe). We investigated 150 free Android VPNs and discovered that 85% have privacy issues, and 25% don’t hide your IP address.

There are free VPNs that sell your personal data to targeted advertisers, and some could even damage your phone software by infecting it with malware.

However, there are a handful of secure free VPN apps that will protect your Android smartphone.

If you’re not ready to pay for an Android VPN just yet, make sure you read our guide to the best (and safest) free Android VPNs.

What’s the Fastest VPN for Android?

The fastest Android VPN is ExpressVPN – it’s the quickest and most consistent VPN that we’ve tested to date.

The test results speak for themselves. We measured the difference in our internet speeds before and after connecting to a nearby ExpressVPN server on Android.

We measured a speed drop of just 17%, from 50.6Mbps to 41.8Mbps (which isn’t much at all). This is more than fast enough to do all the things you do online without a VPN, and you’ll be far safer with it.

Some VPNs may faster than ExpressVPN at certain times, but ExpressVPN provides more reliability over short and long distance connections than any other VPN we’ve tested. For details of the overall best-performing VPN software, read our list of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.

How to Set Up a VPN On Your Android Phone

For detailed instructions on all of the different ways to install a VPN on Android, read our guide: How To Setup a VPN on Android.

If you’re looking for a quick guide to setting up a VPN on your Android smartphone, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Purchase a VPN subscription (if you’re using a premium VPN).
  2. Go to the Google Play Store on your device and download the VPN app you’ve chosen.
  3. Log in with the credentials provided by the VPN service.
  4. Go to the app’s settings and enable the VPN kill switch and leak protection.
  5. Choose which VPN server location you want to connect to. For the best speeds, choose the closest VPN server to your physical location.
  6. Tap the button that says ‘Connect’. The VPN app will now run in the background, and you can use your phone as normal.

If your VPN doesn’t have a native Android app, you can set it up manually. However, we recommend getting a VPN that has a custom Android app – like the five we recommend in this guide.

If your VPN gives you a choice of protocols, select OpenVPN – it gives you the best balance between speed and privacy. If you’re running low of mobile data, though, you should select WireGuard as it’s the most data efficient.

What's the Best VPN for Android TV Box?

Android VPNs aren’t just for your Android smartphone. You can also use them on your Android TV box. The best VPN for Android TV boxes is ExpressVPN.

Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, come with a dedicated Android TV app. If your VPN comes with one, the setup process is much the same as the process for your phone. Download the VPN app from the Google Play Store, and set it up as you would on your smartphone.

Screenshot of NordVPN Android TV app

If your VPN service doesn’t have an Android TV app, either set the VPN up on your home router, or side load it onto your Android device using its APK file.

How to Change Your Android’s IP Address

Changing your Android device’s IP address is really simple.

Just connect to a VPN server and your true IP address will be hidden and replaced with a new one.

If you want a geo-specific IP address just connect to a VPN server located in that country or city.

You can check that the VPN has successfully changed your IP address by using our IP checker.

How to Manually Set Up a VPN Kill Switch on Android

Not every VPN service includes a built-in kill switch on Android.

However, there is a way to manually enable a similar security feature within the device settings (you’ll need to be running Android Version 8 or higher).

Here’s how to manually set up a kill switch on Android:

  1. First, you’ll need to accept the VPN connection request from your VPN app. This usually pops up during the initial setup or after you tap ‘Connect’.
  2. Go into your phone’s connection settings and look for VPN settings (this may be within advanced settings).
  3. Tap on the cog symbol next to the VPN name and activate ‘Always-on VPN’ and then ‘Block connections without VPN’.
  4. Finally, tap ‘Turn On’ when the ‘Require VPN connection?’ message pops up.

Screenshot of manual NordVPN kill switch setup

This should block internet traffic when the VPN is not connected.

Remember, if you disconnect from the VPN, you won’t be able to access the internet until you disable the ‘Block connections without VPN setting’.

You also won’t be able to take advantage of your VPN’s split tunnelling feature when the above setting enabled.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio