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Best VPN for Android

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated

A mobile operating system as powerful, complex and open as Google Android needs a quality VPN to match.

Your ISP, carrier, government and total strangers can all be monitoring you, and public WiFi hotspots can be dangerous.

Our top VPN picks for Android are sure to keep you protected and private while browsing, messaging, gaming and more.

Here are the Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN

  1. Well-designed and easy to use Android apps
  2. Reliable and fast speeds
  3. Works with Netflix and other popular streaming sites
  4. Useful privacy features
  5. Transparent, fair, and privacy-focused logging policies
  6. High quality customer support

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

See More Detailed Information on Our Top 5 VPNs for Android

Ranked #1 out of 93 VPNs for Android

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Very fast speeds, average of 62Mbps globally
  2. Works with popular apps including Netflix
  3. Sleek custom app for Android devices
  4. Very minimal logging policy
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  1. Price could be lower on shorter plans
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
  3. Kill switch not available on Android
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the current market. It offers consistently quick, reliable speeds both on local and more distant connections.

The custom Android app is sleek and user-friendly, and the overall list of supported devices is hard to beat.

ExpressVPN maintains a minimal-logs policy, but the Android app lacks the kill switch feature that’s available on the desktop apps.

Ranked #2 out of 93 VPNs for Android

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast speeds - 66Mbps global average
  2. Works with sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. Advanced privacy features including obfuscated servers
  4. Android app offers a slick, user-friendly experience
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Extra protocols require manual config
  2. No VPN kill switch for Android app
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a good all-round provider, even if it can’t quite compete with the premium package offered by ExpressVPN.

The Android app is simple and user-friendly, but we were disappointed to see that the VPN kill switch is missing on Android.

Downloads of up to 183Mbps locally make it one of the fastest options on the current market, and it’s much cheaper than ExpressVPN.

Ranked #3 out of 93 VPNs for Android

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds - 62Mbps global average
  2. Works with popular sites such as Netflix
  3. Strictly zero-logs provider
  4. Well-designed Android app with VPN kill switch
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  1. Server network could be bigger
  2. Torrenting not permitted on Android
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is the best budget VPN on the current market with downloads of up to 259Mbps on local connections.

The Android app is slick and modern, and offers dedicated streaming servers for easy access to Netflix and other popular services.

CyberGhost’s strict zero-logs policy and integrated VPN kill switch for Android will keep your online data secure and private.

 

Ranked #4 out of 93 VPNs for Android

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds - 50Mbps global average
  2. Unblocks popular sites including Netflix
  3. Well-designed, powerful Android app
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
  5. Connect securely to 61 countries
  1. Currently blocked by BBC iPlayer
  2. No VPN kill switch for Android app
  3. Short refund period (seven days)
The Bottom Line

IPVanish is a great choice for Kodi and torrenting due to fast speeds, a strict no-logs policy, and a suite of advanced privacy tools.

The Android app is pretty slick in comparison to the desktop app, however there are more user-friendly options out there.

It’s incredibly quick on local connections, peaking at 296Mbps down and nearly 199Mbps up, but less consistent across longer distances.

Ranked #5 out of 93 VPNs for Android

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Excellent performance - global average of 71Mbps
  2. Dedicated servers for streaming Netflix & iPlayer
  3. No user logs collected
  4. Simple Android app with Stealth protocol
  5. Connect securely to 58 countries
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. No VPN kill switch
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a recent addition to our top five Android picks but it’s worthy of being here thanks to its secure, super-fast, and feature-packed app.

Android users are treated to a stealth protocol for high-censorship countries, port connection options, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection.

PrivateVPN maintains a fairly small server network, but it’s definitely worth considering with impressive local downloads of up to 405Mbps.

How We Picked the Best VPN for Android

Our best VPNs for Android all have a dedicated Android app that’s easy to use to ensure a streamlined, user-friendly experience.

They offer excellent speeds on both local and international connections along with the most reliable access to major streaming services, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

We also looked for transparent logging policies and advanced privacy features such as a VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection to ensure online privacy at all times.

We make sure we’re constantly testing every VPN on our site so our recommendations for Android users are always updated. Our independent speed tests give you the latest data for the most popular connections worldwide. We even check out the customer service on offer to make sure it’s up to scratch.

It’s important to be wary of dangerous free VPNs – particularly on your smartphone. Whatever platform you’re looking to protect you can count on the recommendations in our roundup of the Best Free VPNs of 2019.

How to Use a VPN for Android

When you’re using a VPN on your Android, make sure you choose a server as close as possible to your physical location in order to get the best speeds you can. Many providers have an automatic setting that does this for you, but if not, simply select one in the nearest city or same country.

You then need to select which protocol you’re going to connect with – we recommend OpenVPN as it provides the best balance of performance and privacy, however most providers have other options to choose from.

Once you’re connected, the VPN app will run in the background, leaving you to carry on using your Android device as normal. Just be sure to activate the killswitch feature, which will block all internet activity should the VPN connection be interrupted for any reason. This saves you having to constantly check that your connection is still encrypted, and means there’s no possibility of your true IP address being leaked without you noticing.

Check out our guide to installing a VPN on Android for helpful hints and tips to get you started.

How to Choose a VPN for Android: 8 Tips

  • Does it have a dedicated Android app?

    Most popular VPN providers offer dedicated Android apps, ensuring a user-friendly experience on mobile as well as desktop. Some of these are better than others however, so in our top picks we’ve tried to only include providers with simple, one-click apps that still pack in a good amount of advanced privacy features.

    Make sure your chosen protocol (OpenVPN in most cases) is available on the Android app too, as it isn’t with every provider.

  • Does it offer a good level of performance?

    Speeds vary a great deal from provider to provider, so you want to make sure you choose one that isn’t going to massively affect your Android’s day-to-day performance.

    If you’re going to be doing lots of streaming on your phone, choose a provider with super-fast download speeds, and low latency is an advantage if you’re a gamer. A general rule when it comes to VPNs is the faster, the better.

  • Will it work with your favorite websites and apps?

    Do you enjoy watching Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN will work with these apps. We are constantly testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other apps, and share these results in our VPN reviews.

  • What is their logging policy?

    Every VPN will tell you it is a “zero logs” VPN and does not store any of your personal information. In reality, delivering consistently good performance across a vast global server network isn’t possible unless you’re monitoring at least some connection details of your users.

    Ideally you want a VPN that does not log your IP address and limits timestamp logging to just the date of your connection, or better still one that doesn’t collect any logs at all.

    You could read a ton of privacy policies and terms of service to find out exactly what’s collected and for how long it’s stored or let us do that for you and just check the logging policy section of our review that explains this in plain English.

  • Does it have servers in the locations you need?

    For the best possible performance you’ll need to connect to a VPN server close to your physical location.

    The more servers a provider has, the lower the likelihood of server congestion, however this unfortunately isn’t always the case.

    Look at the speed test results for individual locations in our reviews to get the best idea, especially if you’re looking to connect to a specific country.

  • Check connection, encryption and security features

    The sheer amount of VPN jargon can be overwhelming, even if you are pretty tech-savvy.

    Do look out for OpenVPN though, as this connection protocol offers the best overall blend of speed and security. Ignore talk of military or bank-grade encryption and just look for AES-256, as that’s the gold standard.

    Unless you know your DNS from your IPv6, a VPN killswitch is the main thing to look out for among security features as it will protect you from exposing your real IP address should your connection drop unexpectedly.

  • Are its client apps and software easy to use?

    There’s no point in finding the ‘perfect’ provider and then discovering that their apps are clunky and confusing. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, user-friendly and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time.

    We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Even the most expensive VPN plans can be made affordable by taking out a longer subscription.

    Don’t bother with a one-month plan – 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing one with a long refund period.

    We’d advise a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee – they essentially act as a free trial period.

    Make the right choice, though, and you hopefully won’t be thinking about a refund at all.