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The Best VPNs for Android

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Podium Rankings for Best VPN
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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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

Android likely has more VPNs available than any other platform. But of the hundreds of VPNs on the Google Play Store, many have serious security flaws.

Our study on the dangers of free VPNs revealed worrying numbers of Android VPNs leaking DNS credentials and containing dangerous functions.

Using the most secure Android VPN apps is crucial. They won’t leak your IP address, won’t log your internet activity, and won’t ask for unnecessary permissions.

Based on our Android-specific tests, the very best Android VPN apps in 2022 are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for Android overall. Read Summary or Visit ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN: The best Android VPN for streaming. Read Summary or Visit NordVPN
  3. Surfshark: The best Android VPN for Netflix. Read Summary or Visit Surfshark
  4. PrivateVPN: The best cheap VPN for Android. Read Summary or Visit PrivateVPN
  5. IPVanish: The best VPN for torrenting on Android. Read Summary or Visit IPVanish

These top Android VPN apps bypass internet geo-blocks and let you connect to free public WiFi securely, as well as download files anonymously. They have native VPN apps for Android 11, Android 10, and older Android OS versions.

Why Trust Top10VPN.com?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing top Android VPNs using our unbiased review process to recommend the most suitable Android VPN software.

Here are some of our key VPN testing statistics:

  • Android VPN apps tested: 150
  • Test device: Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Security tools used: VirusTotal, Netalyzer, Wireshark & mitmproxy
  • Total hours of testing: 30,000+
  • Weekly speed tests: 3,000+
  • Streaming services tested daily: 12

The Best VPNs for Android Compared

Here’s a comparison of the ten top Android VPNs. You can compare each VPN by speed, streaming and torrenting support, and security features.

Top VPNs for Android: Summary Test Ratings

In the table below you can see how the best Android VPNs perform in each testing category. We calculated these ratings using our Android VPN testing methodology.

EXPERT ADVICE: This page covers the best paid VPN apps for Android. Paid VPNs deliver superior speeds and streaming access, and don’t come with data caps or advertisements.

However, we do also recommend selected secure free Android VPNs to our readers that wish to use a cost-free mobile VPN.

The Absolute Best Android VPNs of 2022

  1. 1. ExpressVPN: Best Android VPN Overall

    The outright best Android VPN for speed, security, and streaming.

    Ranked #1 out of 68 VPNs for Android
    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,774 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN

    Pros

    • Fast speeds over short and long distances
    • Sleek custom VPN app for Android devices
    • Unblocks Netflix and other popular streaming apps
    • No user logs and no IP address leaks
    • .apk file for increased device compatibility
    • VPN servers in 94 countries

    Cons

    • Expensive on short subscription plans

    Overall Android Rating: 9.5/10

    This rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our Android testing methodology.

    • 9.89.8/10
    • 9.59.5/10
    • 9.29.2/10
    • 9.79.7/10
    • 9.79.7/10
    • 9.39.3/10

    ExpressVPN is the best all-round VPN we’ve tested on Android. It has a great mobile Android app that delivers fast speeds, unblocks many streaming platforms, and allows torrenting in all its server locations.

    The VPN is service is highly secure, too. The software secures all mobile connections with AES-256 encryption, and we never suffered an and IP or DNS leak in thousands of security tests.

    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    88Mbps
    Data CapUnlimited
    Servers3,000
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromeosChromeos
    3. windowsWindows
    4. macosmacOS
    5. linuxLinux
    6. iosiOS

    Unlocks mobile streaming apps

    ExpressVPN is a great choice if you want to stream Netflix. In addition to unlocking US and UK Netflix, it streams 10 international Netflix libraries, including Germany and Japan.

    On top of this, the VPN unblocks the majority of popular streaming services, including:

    • Amazon Prime Video
    • DAZN Canada
    • Disney+
    • HBO Max
    • Hulu
    • Prime Video

    While there aren’t dedicated streaming servers, in our experience most VPN servers work to unblock video websites and apps.

    Very fast on local and international connections

    One of the reasons ExpressVPN is so good for streaming is its extremely fast mobile speeds.

    It’s proprietary Lightway protocol is one of the fastest we’ve tested. In our local speed tests ExpressVPN achieved 93Mbps download speed on a 100Mbps connection, a drop of just 7%.

    ExpressVPN is fast on long-distance connections, too. We recorded an average download speed of 76Mbps on international connections, a drop of only 24%.

    High encryption and an effective kill switch

    ExpressVPN uses bank-grade AES-256 encryption, and trusted VPN protocols like OpenVPN and Lightway.

    The Android app also includes key security features like a VPN kill switch, which prevents your IP leaking if the VPN cuts out. This feature is rare even among top-tier VPN Android apps.

    It says a lot about ExpressVPN that in the decade it’s been operating, the service has never suffered a single security breach.

    Compact Android application

    ExpressVPN’s Android VPN app is very intuitive to use, with simple clean buttons and easy to access advanced settings.

    It comes with a full suite of advanced features, too, such as VPN split tunneling.

    ExpressVPN homescreen on Android

    The ExpressVPN Android app is very similar to the Windows client.

    Moreover, the download size of the Android app is impressively small, at just 12MB. This is less than almost every other Android VPN we’ve tested.

    Such a small installation file is ideal for users with smartphones with little spare storage.

    And if you don’t have access to the Google Play Store, you can use the VPN service’s .apk file on devices that don’t support native VPN applications.

  2. 2. NordVPN: Best Android VPN for Streaming

    Android VPN that unblocks the most streaming services.

    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN

    Pros

    • Very fast global VPN speeds
    • Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
    • VPN servers in 60 countries
    • Strict no-logs policy
    • Advanced privacy features
    • Android .apk file available

    Cons

    • No kill switch
    • No PayPal as a payment method
    • Unreliable in China

    Overall Android Rating: 9.4/10

    This rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our Android testing methodology.

    • 9.89.8/10
    • 8.18.1/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 9.19.1/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 9.59.5/10

    NordVPN is a premium VPN app that lets you stream buffer-free, torrent and protect your privacy on Android.

    The VPN has secure AES-256 encryption and features popular VPN protocols like OpenVPN and Wireguard.

    Cheapest Price$3.30/mo over 27 Months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    93Mbps
    Data CapUnlimited
    Servers5,155
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosmacOS
    4. linuxLinux
    5. iosiOS

    Smooth mobile streaming

    Thanks to NordVPN’s consistent local speeds (an average drop in download speed of just 4% on local connections), it’s a great choice for buffer-free mobile streaming.

    There are plenty of options, too. The service unblocks many popular streaming apps, including 11 Netflix libraries, DAZN Canada, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max.

    Fast international speeds

    Where NordVPN stands out most, though, is its exceptional fast global speeds. On average, our download speed dropped by only 17% on international connections.

    This means if you want to watch US Netflix from Europe, or Japanese Netflix from the US you can expect a much smoother service than from other VPN services, even when streaming in HD and 4K.

    User friendly Android app

    The NordVPN Android app itself is very intuitive, with an interactive map to show what server you are currently connected to.

    Servers are sorted by both location and use, which makes it super easy to find a P2P, obfuscation, or streaming option.

    The homescreen of the NordVPN Android app

    NordVPN’s Android app is very easy to use.

    High security but no kill switch

    NordVPN doesn’t store any traffic logs whatsoever, and the Android app uses unbroken AES-256 encryption.

    The service has also undergone a full independent security audit, which is the best guarantee of network safety.

    Sadly, and unlike ExpressVPN, the Android app doesn’t have a kill switch. This is a real shame, and something we hope NordVPN can introduce very soon.

  3. 3. Surfshark: Best Android VPN for Netflix

    A versatile Android VPN app great for streaming Netflix.

    Surfshark app
     82% 
    (121 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark

    Pros

    • Unlocks over 11 Netflix libraries
    • Works with BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and more
    • Android GPS location spoofing tool
    • User-friendly Android app
    • Doesn't log personal internet traffic
    • .apk file for use on Android (TV) boxes

    Cons

    • Won't unblock DAZN mobile app
    • No independent logging policy audit
    • Delay in connecting to some servers

    Overall Android Rating: 9.3/10

    This rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our Android testing methodology.

    • 9.69.6/10
    • 8.68.6/10
    • 8.68.6/10
    • 9.29.2/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 9.79.7/10

    Surfshark is a cheap VPN well-suited for private web browsing and streaming on Android smartphones.

    While the VPN app doesn’t unlock as many streaming services as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it still works with 11 libraries.

    Surfshark’s Android app unique selling point is its Override GPS location function. This setting spoofs your GPS location, preventing apps using GPS location services from tracking you.

    Cheapest Price$2.30/mo over 26 months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    85Mbps
    Data CapUnlimited
    Servers3,200
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosmacOS
    4. linuxLinux
    5. iosiOS

    A very affordable VPN for streaming Netflix

    At its cheapest, Surfshark costs $2.30 per month on a two-year subscription. This is significantly less than ExpressVPN and NordVPN ($6.67 and $3.30 per month respectively).

    As such, Surfshark is an extremely affordable streaming VPN, with fast servers that access 11 Netflix libraries, including:

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • India
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • UK
    • US

    The VPN can also stream Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, but it won’t unblock DAZN.

    Surfshark only collects anonymous server usage logs

    Surfshark enforces a logging policy that protects its customers’ internet privacy. The only data the service collects is:

    • Aggregated performance data
    • Unsuccessful connection attempts
    • Frequency of use

    None of this information affects your privacy while using the software. This privacy-focused policy never stores your activity or IP address.

    Security-wise, the Android app has a kill switch and uses the AES-256 encryption cipher, just like ExpressVPN.

    A relatively lightweight Android app

    The Surfshark Android app is compact (19MB in file size), but doesn’t compromise on usability or functionalities.

    Surfshark's Android app

    The Surfshark Android app has many of the desktop app’s features.

    The app’s interface is very similar to Surfshark’s desktop client, with most of the same features. It includes split tunneling, for instance, which lets you choose which apps to include or exclude in the VPN tunnel.

    The Surfshark app is available from the Google Play Store, or as an .apk file to side load the VPN onto Android-based devices with no access to the Play Store.

  4. 4. PrivateVPN: Best Cheap Android VPN

    An extremely affordable VPN with great streaming capabilities.

    Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
     98% 
    (1,736 user reviews)
    Visit PrivateVPN

    Pros

    • Quick and reliable local VPN speeds
    • Simple and easy-to-use Android VPN app
    • Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
    • Doesn't monitor or collect traffic logs
    • Advanced security features like Stealth mode
    • VPN servers in 63 countries

    Cons

    • Inconsistent longer-distance speeds
    • Small number of VPN servers (200)
    • Live chat support is not always available
    • No .apk file

    Overall Android Rating: 9.2/10

    This rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our Android testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 8.88.8/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 9.19.1/10
    • 99.0/10

    PrivateVPN is a secure mobile VPN with AES-256 encryption, P2P enabled servers and excellent streaming options.

    Based on our review, it’s the Android VPN that offers the best value for your money.

    The app uses the trusted and widely tested IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, and includes a must-have kill switch.

    Cheapest Price$2.00/mo over 36 months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    94Mbps
    Data CapUnlimited
    Servers200
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosmacOS
    4. linuxLinux
    5. iosiOS

    Great value for streaming and torrenting

    PrivateVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs full stop.

    The VPN unblocks 14 Netflix libraries, and most major streaming platforms including Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and DAZN.

    The VPN’s speed won’t hold you back, either. On local connections Private VPN reduces download speed by only 7%.

    However, the VPN isn’t as quick as on international connections, with an average download speed drop of 45%. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are significantly faster.

    Zero-logs VPN that works well in censored regions

    PrivateVPN is a 100% no logs service.

    It doesn’t log any usage data, nor does it store metadata about your connections. The only thing it does store is your email address and subscription information.

    PrivateVPN also works in censored regions, although not with the same consistency as the most reliable VPNs for China.

    Secure app but no .apk file

    PrivateVPN’s Android app is easy to use, with server select, advanced features and the main connection button all clearly marked and just one click away.

    PureVPN Android app homescreen

    The PrivateVPN Android app is very streamlined – OpenVPN is your only choice of protocol.

    The app isn’t quite as small as some competitors’ but at just 32MB it’s unlikely to use too much space on your smartphone.

    The app is secure, with advanced features such as a kill switch. It doesn’t include split tunneling, though – this is surprising, given the setting is present in PrivateVPN’s other applications.

    Moreover, there is no .apk file available, so PrivateVPN isn’t as easy to install on other Android devices, like Android TV boxes.

  5. 5. IPVanish: Best for Mobile Torrenting

    The best VPN for torrenting on Android smartphones.

    IPVanish VPN
     96% 
    (175 user reviews)
    Visit IPVanish

    Pros

    • Well-designed Android VPN app
    • Extremely fast P2P connections on all servers
    • Strict no-logs policy
    • 40,000 anonymous IP addresses
    • .apk file for easy side-loading on Android boxes
    • Advanced settings like port selection

    Cons

    • Not good at unblocking streaming services
    • Won't work in high censorship countries

    Overall Android Rating: 8.6/10

    This rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our Android testing methodology.

    • 4.14.1/10
    • 9.19.1/10
    • 99.0/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 9.69.6/10
    • 9.99.9/10

    IPVanish is a fast and secure no-logs VPN with an easy to use mobile Android app. Its kill switch and excellent P2P speeds make it the ideal VPN for downloading files and torrenting on mobile.

    Sadly, the VPN is ineffective at bypassing geo-blocked content a lot of the time. ExpressVPN or NordVPN are by far the better streaming options.

    MOBILE TORRENTING ADVICE:

    On Android, our preferred torrenting clients are Flud and LibreTorrent. LibreTorrent is trusted and established free software, whereas Flud is a newer client with a streamlined interface and great features.

    uTorrent is also a reasonably safe option, but the free app has bloatware and intrusive advertisements.

    Cheapest Price$3.75/mo over 12 months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    84Mbps
    Data CapUnlimited
    Servers1,900
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. windowsWindows
    3. macosmacOS
    4. linuxLinux
    5. iosiOS

    Very fast mobile torrenting

    IPVanish is one of the best VPNs optimized for torrenting.

    The VPN’s kill switch is very effective, and all its 1,900 servers allow high-speed P2P traffic.

    Our torrent VPN speed tests confirm IPVanish is one of the fastest P2P VPNs, with barely any impact on file-sharing speeds.

    Very good Android app that needs a better design

    IPVanish’s Android app is very good but it’s design needs improving. The large connection graph in the middle of the screen is simple unnecessary in our opinion.

    The app in itself is easy to use, and it includes useful features like split tunneling.

    Homescreen of the IPVanish Android app

    The IPVanish Android app may look intimidating, but it’s a lot more simple than it looks.

    Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark, IPVanish offers its Android VPN as an .apk file for increased Android compatibility.

    100% secure and zero logs

    The service also doesn’t keep any logs at all, which is more great news for torrenters. The only information it stores is email address and payment method.

    The Android app is secured with AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and it uses the trusted IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols.

How to Set Up a VPN on Android

The easiest way to install VPNs on Android is to download them from the Google Play Store: simply enter the name of your VPN in the search bar and press ‘Install’.

ExpressVPN in the Andriod Google Play Store

Be careful, though, as many VPNs on the Google Play Store aren’t actually safe. The reviews and comments on the Google Play Store are also easily manipulated, so we always recommend reading online reviews of VPN products before installing them.

Alternatively, you can sideload a .apk directly onto your device, or set up a manual VPN config. See our full Android installation guide for step-by-step instructions.

Are Android VPNs Safe?

The best Android VPNs are 100% safe, but unfortunately there are also plenty of dangerous mobile VPNs.

The Google Play Store is full of poorly built free VPNs which leak data or don’t work. Often they have restrictive data caps or invasive ads, and won’t keep you safe when torrenting or unlock streaming content.

VPNs are supposed to make you safer, but even on public Wifi these cheap VPNs offer more risk than reward, potentially selling your data, monitoring your activity or exposing you to criminals.

But there are also plenty of fast, safe and secure VPNs available on Android. All our Android VPN recommendations are 100% safe to use.

How We Test the Best VPNs for Android

When testing VPNs for Android we focus on the aspects of a VPN that are most relevant to Android users.

For Android VPNs specifically, we consider:

  1. How easy it is to stream, and how many services it can access
  2. How fast the VPN is, both for upload and download speeds.
  3. The features present in the Android app, and how easy it is to use.
  4. How secure the VPN is and what level of encryption is used.
  5. Whether you can trust the VPN logging policy, and how much data is retained.

Here’s how we test all of those criteria, along with the specifics that we look out for. You can also see the weightings of each category to better understand how we calculate the overall rating for Android:

1. Streaming: 10%

Minimum Requirement: Can access US Netflix.
We Recommend: Can access other streaming services and additional Netflix libraries.

Streaming is the most popular reason to use a VPN on Android.

We can’t just rely on our testing data from desktop platforms, though. Sometimes a VPN which streams a certain service on Windows won’t be able to on Android, or vice-versa.

We install a VPN on a Samsung Galaxy S9 test handset running the latest version of Android, connect to a server in the desired country, and try to watch a specific streaming service.

The ability to stream the United States Netflix library is a priority due to its popularity. Other Netflix libraries like Germany, Japan, and the UK are also desirable.

We also routinely test for other services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

2. Torrenting: 10%

Minimum Requirement: Permits P2P activity on a wide choice of servers.
We Recommend: Permits torrenting on all servers, with good P2P bitrate.

Torrenting is popular on Android, but lots of mobile VPNs fall short when compared to their PC alternatives. Data-caps and throttled speeds lead to bad experiences when torrenting.

We put every Android VPN through a torrenting benchmark test, using a test file on a fixed 100Mbps connection. All mobile torrenting tests are carried out with the LibreTorrent client on a Samsung Galaxy S9 test phone.

The best VPNs for torrenting on Android have a bitrate of over 8MiB/s on our 100Mbps connection. They also include a kill switch and never leak IP information.

Ideally, a good mobile torrenting VPN should allow P2P traffic on all servers, or offer clearly marked P2P servers across their whole server network.

3. Speed: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Less than 40% speed loss on local connections.
We Recommend: Less than 20% speed loss on local connections or 40% on distant ones.

Even the very best VPNs slow down internet connections. The difference between a good one and a bad one is in just how great the slowdown is.

This statement is true on mobile, too. Whether you’re using cellular data or a WiFi connection, you need a VPN which alters your download speeds as little as possible.

When testing speeds on Android we follow the same manual process as outlined on our ‘How We Review VPNs’ page.

As a rough guideline, if you connect to a server near your real-world location, a good VPN will slow your internet by less than 20%. If you’re connecting to one further away (to watch Netflix from that region, for example) then less than 40% slowdown to your download speeds is very good.

Those figures should be good enough to keep your app store downloads quick and your streams buffer-free.

4. Android App: 20%

Minimum Requirement: A bespoke Android app with a VPN kill switch.
We Recommend: The above, plus extra usability features like split tunneling.

The bare minimum we expect from a VPN provider is a proper Android app, built specifically for the platform. It shouldn’t just be a lazy copy of the desktop app and it shouldn’t be missing too many features.

Good Android VPNs are intuitive and easy to use on a small touchscreen. The kill switch is the most essential feature, which prevents your IP address from being exposed should the connection drop.

Split tunneling is less common, but equally useful. With it, you can choose which apps are rerouted by the VPN and which operate outside of it.

5. Security & Encryption: 20%

Minimum Requirement: AES-128 encryption and a reliable default protocol like IKEv2.
We Recommend: AES-256 encryption and either OpenVPN or a bespoke protocol.

One area which can see the biggest difference between desktop VPNs and mobile VPNs is the actual encryption technology used.

Even the most popular VPNs tend to offer different standards of encryption on Android compared to the Windows program. AES-256 is still the super-secure level to aim for, and is commonplace in most good Android VPNs.

It’s rare to see a broad selection of VPN protocols on Android, too. You don’t necessarily need a wide choice, though. So long as OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IKEv2 are present then it’s safe. Provider-specific protocols like NordLynx and Lightway are also good choices.

6. Logging Policy: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Minimal aggregated or anonymous usage data collected.

We Recommend: No logs retained whatsoever.

VPN logging policies can actually vary by platform. If you use a VPN on Android there’s a chance that there may be trackers, analytics, and third-party data sharing that doesn’t happen on a desktop version of the app.

We make sure to fully explore all the ways your personal data is tracked and retained when you use a VPN on Android. We read through lengthy privacy policies, check the accuracy of app store labels, and read all the terms and conditions of any third parties.

You shouldn’t use a VPN which logs anything that can be used to identify you. This includes your IP address, DNS requests, and browser timestamps.

The ideal VPN collects no information whatsoever. There are a few that genuinely offer this, although the collection of anonymized metadata and top-level server statistics is also acceptable.

FAQs About Android VPNs

Can I Get an Android VPN for Free?

There are hundreds of free VPNs for Android, but not all of them are good.

Our free VPN safety investigations discovered that 85% of free Android VPNs 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 device.

Can I Fake My IP Address on Android?

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 or fake your location 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 What Is My IP Address tool.

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