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, safe, and private while browsing, messaging, gaming, and more.
The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Android
- Well-designed and easy to use Android apps
- Reliable and fast speeds
- Works with Netflix and other popular streaming sites
- Useful privacy features
- Transparent, fair, and privacy-focused logging policies
- High quality customer support
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services for Android
What’s the Best VPN for Android?
ExpressVPN is our overall top-rated VPN and it’s a fantastic choice for Android users. Its VPN app for Android is simple to use but powerful enough to keep you safe online.
How We Picked the Best VPN for Android
Our best VPNs for Android all have a custom VPN app for Android that’s easy to use to ensure a streamlined, user-friendly experience.
We constantly test every VPN on the page 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.
What Is the Best Free VPN for Android?
Are Free VPNs Safe to Use on Android?
Many free VPNs for mobile devices, including Android, aren’t safe. In fact, some of them are downright dangerous.
However, there are a handful of secure free VPN apps that can protect your Android smartphone.
If you’re looking for a safe, free VPN to protect multiple devices, you can count on the recommendations in our roundup of the Best Free VPNs of 2019.
Do I Need a VPN on My Android?
Whether you’re just casually browsing or accessing sensitive information, it’s super important to use a quality VPN on your Android phone to stay safe online.
In many countries the government snoops on its citizens’ online activities and some ISPs sell on information about users’ browsing habits to advertisers. A VPN can protect you against this invasion of your privacy.
Even if you don’t care about that, we still recommend using a VPN to protect yourself against malicious hackers. They can take advantage of the weak security used by public WiFi hotspots in order to steal your valuable and private information.
How to Install, Set Up and Use a VPN On Your Android Phone
It’s super easy to set up a VPN on your Android phone or tablet if it comes with a custom VPN app for Android. All you need to do is download the software from the Google Play Store, and log in using your credentials.
If you get stuck you can check out our guide to installing a VPN on Android or contact your VPN service’s customer support.
Once you’ve installed the Android VPN app, make sure you choose a VPN 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 VPN 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.
Before you connect, it’s important to check the security settings. You’ll want to enable the VPN kill switch and IP leak protection if your VPN service offers it – these features will keep your connection secure and safe.
Once you’ve tapped ‘Connect’, the VPN app will run in the background, leaving you to carry on using your Android device as normal.
Can I Use a VPN on Android TV?
How to Choose a VPN for Android: 8 Tips
Most popular VPN services offer dedicated Android apps, ensuring a user-friendly experience on mobile as well as desktop.
Our most recommended VPNs offer simple, one-click apps that still pack in a good amount of advanced privacy features to keep you safe online.
Make sure your chosen VPN protocol (OpenVPN in most cases) is available on the Android app too, as it isn’t with every provider.
Speeds vary a great deal from VPN to VPN, 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 VPN 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.
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.
For the best possible performance you’ll need to connect to a VPN server close to your physical location.
The more servers a VPN service 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.
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.
A VPN kill switch 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. Look out for DNS and IPv6 leak protection, too.
There’s no point in finding the ‘perfect’ provider and then discovering that its VPN apps are clunky and confusing.
Look for a VPN service 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.
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.