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Best Free VPN for Android in 2020

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

Free VPN apps for Android are everywhere in Google’s Play Store, but many are unsafe to use. In this guide we’ll tell you the five best free VPN apps for Android 10.0, Pie, Oreo, and older AndroidOS versions, too.

Using a trusted and secure VPN on your Android smartphone or tablet is crucial, given how much sensitive personal information is stored on them. The problem is very few free VPNs for Android are completely safe.

In our research into Android free VPNs, we exposed hundreds of free VPNs containing alarming security flaws and requesting intrusive permissions. Some didn’t even hide our IP address, making these VPNs useless.

Having tested over 150 free VPNs for Android on our test Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, we can safely say that these are the very best free VPNs for Android:

  1. Windscribe Free: The best 100% free VPN for Android that unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Read Summary.
  2. Hide.me Free: The fastest free VPN for Android with strong security features. Read Summary.
  3. ProtonVPN Free: Free VPN with no data usage caps for unlimited anonymous web browsing. Read Summary.
  4. Tunnelbear Free: A popular and private free VPN with free servers in 23 countries. Read Summary.
  5. Avira Phantom Free: Private and secure free VPN for absolute VPN beginners. Read Summary.

All these free VPN apps work on WiFi, 4G, 3G and LTE mobile connections. They also work on Android devices such as Android TVs and Android boxes, like the Nvidia Shield TV, Xiami Mi Box S, and Skystream Pro 8K.

However, even the best free Android VPNs have limitations such as data usage caps, inability to bypass aggressive geo-blocks, and limited server locations.

To experience the full benefits of an Android VPN, we recommend looking at the best paid VPNs for Android, or reading our ExpressVPN review, our overall #1 VPN for Android devices.

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

5 Best Free VPN Apps for Android

1. Windscribe Free

The #1 free VPN for Android that unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

  1. User-friendly Android app
  2. Fast same country speeds
  3. No payment details required
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  6. Good-sized free server network
  1. No kill switch on Android
  2. 10GB monthly data cap
  3. No human live chat available
  4. Won't often work with Netflix
  • Top Speedi

    54Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    10 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Ranked #1 Free VPN for Android

As well as being our top pick for Android, Windscribe is in fact our best overall free VPN for 2020. It’s a very fast free VPN, and you shouldn’t notice any speed drops, even when you’re streaming or downloading large files.

Windscribe also collects minimal activity logs, to keep you safe and anonymous on your Android smartphone or tablet. This makes up for the fact that it’s based in privacy-unfriendly Canada.

Unfortunately, the Android app doesn’t come with a VPN kill switch, but this is common among Android VPN apps. However, it does come with a built in ad-tracker and malware blocker, as well as strong encryption (AES-256).

Windscribe’s monthly 10GB data cap may seem limiting, and it can be, but it’s actually one of the most generous usage allowances among free VPN services. Only ProtonVPN beats Windscribe when it comes to data allowances.

It must be said that its customer support isn’t the best we’ve seen, but on the whole Windscribe’s online resources are comprehensive and helpful.

Both VPN newbies and more experienced Android users should definitely consider the free version of Windscribe VPN.

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

2. Hide.me Free

Strong security features and the fastest speeds we've recorded.

  1. Sleek & simple Android app
  2. Really fast same-country speeds
  3. Built-in VPN kill switch
  4. No payment details required
  5. Minimal logs policy
  6. 24/7 live chat feature
  1. Only five server locations
  2. Slow international speeds
  3. Doesn't work with Netflix
  • Top Speedi

    72Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    4 countries, Not disclosed servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Ranked #2 Free VPN for Android

Hide.me is one of the safest free VPN services for Android we’ve come across. It’s also very easy to use. It’s the only free VPN on this list that includes a kill switch on Android, and it comes with a minimal-logs policy.

If you’re looking for a fast free VPN for Android, Hide.me is the best choice, and outperformed all of its rivals in our most recent speed tests.

True, Hide.me does only provide five free VPN server locations (the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US), but this didn’t impact our performance at all.

Hide.me’s 10GB monthly data cap might limit your online activity, though, especially if you’re planning on streaming or downloading any large files. But it’s still one of the most generous offerings on the market from a safe VPN provider.

There’s a handy live chat feature available on Hide.me’s website 24/7, which could come in very useful should you encounter any issues with the free apps.

It’s a shame you can only use the free version of Hide.me VPN on one device at a time, but if that isn’t a problem for you, it’s a great all-round free Android VPN.

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

3. ProtonVPN Free

A fast and secure free Android VPN with no data usage cap.

  1. Unlimited data usage
  2. Fast download speeds
  3. Payment info not required
  4. 'Always On' feature
  5. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  1. No Android kill switch
  2. Only three VPN server locations
  3. Doesn't work with Netflix
  • Top Speedi

    60Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    3 countries, 16 servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Ranked #3 Free VPN for Android

ProtonVPN ranks third in our list, mainly because it only offers three server locations on its free plan: Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA. Usually, this can affect download speeds, but the Android VPN apps is surprisingly fast.

All of ProtonVPN’s custom VPN apps are easy to set up and use. Connections are secured with AES-256 encryption, and the Android app uses the most secure VPN protocol, OpenVPN. It also enforces a close to no-logs policy to further protect your anonymity.

Like many VPNs, there’s no VPN kill switch feature on the Android app, but at least ProtonVPN’s ‘Always On’ setting reestablishes the VPN connection automatically, in case it drops.

As with the vast majority of free VPNs, ProtonVPN’s free app won’t unlock Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and all other popular streaming platforms.

While ProtonVPN doesn’t offer the same range of free VPN servers as Windscribe, it’s still a good VPN with a high level of security. Importantly, it’s the only VPN from our list with no data caps, so you can use it without worrying about running out of data.

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

4. TunnelBear Free

One of the most popular free VPNs with free servers in 23 countries.

  1. User-friendly Android app
  2. Reliable download speeds
  3. VPN servers in 23 countries
  4. No need to provide payment info
  5. Minimal logging policy & kill switch
  6. Good online customer support
  1. 500MB monthly data cap
  2. Doesn't unlock US Netflix or BBC iPlayer
  3. Average customer support
  • Top Speedi

    52Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    23 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Ranked #4 Free VPN for Android

TunnelBear’s free VPN service for Android is ideal for beginners only looking to do a bit of light mobile browsing.

It’s not as fast as the very top free VPNs for Android, but it’s very reliable across its server network – almost as quick as TunnelBear’s Premium version, in fact.

TunnelBear has one of the biggest server networks we’ve seen from a free VPN service, with 22 countries on offer, covering Europe, the US, and Asia.

We particularly like TunnelBear’s privacy-friendly logging policy, too, which is paired with top-class AES-256 encryption to keep you safe on your Android phone.

TunnelBear’s Android app comes with a VPN kill switch (‘VigilantBear’), which prevents your true IP address from being exposed if the VPN disconnects without you knowing.

TunnelBear’s 500MB data cap is painfully restrictive, though, so it’s only really good for Android users who need to use a VPN sparingly.

Other than that, TunnelBear is an ideal free VPN for Android if you need access to a ton of different server locations worldwide.

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

5. Avira Phantom Free

A simple but secure free VPN for absolute beginners.

  1. Beginner-friendly Android app
  2. Reliable same-country speeds
  3. No payment details on signup
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. First-party DNS servers
  6. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  1. 1GB monthly data cap
  2. No Android kill switch
  3. No manual server selection
  • Top Speedi

    51Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    1 country, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Ranked #5 Free VPN for Android

Avira Phantom just makes it into our top five free VPN services for Android thanks to its clean, simple Android app.

We like Avira Phantom’s minimal logging policy as it means none of your browsing activity can be linked back to your specific Android device.

While it is disappointing that Avira Phantom’s free users can’t manually select a VPN server location, the ‘nearest location’ usually works just fine for us.

This means that while Avira Phantom isn’t quite as quick as our top picks, speeds are still fast enough that you shouldn’t notice too much of a different on your Android.

A major downside is Avira Phantom’s limiting 1GB monthly data cap, as this will really restrict what you’re able to do online.

There’s also no VPN kill switch on Avira’s free Android app, although we do like that it uses the most secure VPN connection protocol, OpenVPN.

Avira Phantom will do the job for Android users just looking for a basic free VPN service to use from time to time.

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

Free Android VPN FAQs

Do I Need a Free VPN on My Android Device?

In our opinion, you should absolutely use a VPN on your Android smartphone or tablet, whether it’s free or paid.

If you don’t use a secure Android VPN, not only will your ISP (Internet Service Provider) see everything you do online, but you’ll also be vulnerable to potential hackers and snoopers, particularly if you’re using free public WiFi.

A reliable and secure Android VPN masks your IP address so your ISP, or any other third party, can’t detect your true physical location. Therefore, you’ll be able to browse the web anonymously, on a secure and encrypted connection.

Additionally, a good VPN will also beat geo-restrictions and allow you to unblock web content typically locked to a particular country or location.

How to Use a Free VPN on Android

Setting up and using a VPN on Android is very quick and simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. Download your chosen Android VPN

    All of the free VPN services recommended in this guide have custom Android apps. Simply go to the Google Play Store, download the free VPN of your choice.

    Alternatively, visit your chosen VPN provider’s website and download the Android app directly onto your device from there.
    Screenshot of the Android manual setup instructions on ExpressVPN's website

  2. Check the security settings

    If there are any extra privacy features such as a VPN kill switch or protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, make sure to turn these on before you connect to the VPN.

    If it’s possible to manually select your VPN connection protocol, we’d recommend choosing OpenVPN, as this offers the best balance of speed and security.

  3. Choose a VPN server location

    Next, you need to choose a VPN server. Usually, the closer the server to your physical location, the faster your VPN speeds will be. Tap connect and in a matter of seconds you’ll be connected to the VPN.

    If you opt for a free VPN that doesn’t come with a dedicated Android app, read our our step-by-step guide to manually installing a VPN on your Android device.

How Does a Free VPN Work on Android?

A VPN works exactly the same on Android as it does on any other operating system. As we mentioned above, instead of your internet traffic being routed to a website via your ISP, it will instead be routed through a secure server first, and then onto your destination website.

Using a top Android VPN will mask your true IP address (the unique identifier of your internet connection), replacing it with the IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to.

Screenshot from Hide.me's website showing how a VPN works

This means that as long as your Android VPN is running, and it doesn’t leak your real IP address, your web activity is hidden from your ISP and many other snoopers. If you want to understand more about this, our ‘What is a VPN?’ guide details how VPNs work in a lot more detail.

Map showing where VPNs are illegal or restricted

Using an Android VPN to protect your online privacy is perfectly legal in the vast majority of countries. There are some nations, however, where VPN use is restricted or even illegal. Being caught using one in these places could result in a fine or even a prison sentence.

We cover the countries that ban or restrict VPNs in our ‘Are VPNs Legal?’ guide, but here are locations where you need to be careful using a VPN:

  • Belarus
  • China
  • Russia
  • Iran
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Oman
  • Turkey
  • Iraq
  • Turkmenistan
  • North Korea

Moreover, remember that using an Android VPN doesn’t exempt you from the law, either. If you’re caught doing something illegal with a VPN, you’ll have to face the consequences of your actions.

Are Free Android VPNs Safe?

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions that are using potentially unsafe free VPNs. The reality is that you can’t trust most free VPN services with your confidential personal data.

We carried out two in-depth investigations on the most popular free VPNs, and discovered an alarming amount with dubious links to China. Even worse, some VPNs had extremely worryingly security flaws.

The charts below highlight the extent of dangerous free VPNs currently in circulation:

Not to worry, our recommended free Android VPNs are safe to use and will provide effective protection. They all hide your IP address, encrypt your web traffic and come with privacy-friendly logging policies.

What's the Fastest Free Android VPN?

We run regular speed tests on all the VPNs we review, and at the moment Hide.me is the fastest free VPN for Android.

When using Hide.me VPN, our broadband speed dropped by only 11% in our most recent tests. That’s a surprising speed for a free VPN and it competes with the very best paid-for VPN services.

In case you’re wondering, all the free VPNs in this guide will be fast enough for anonymous web browsing. Obviously, keep in mind their limitations, which can make even fast download speeds less impressive depending on your need for a VPN.

Free VPNs for Android to Avoid

As we mentioned above, many free Android VPNs come with worrying security and privacy issues. Here’s a list of the worst Android VPNs, we strongly advise you don’t use:

  1. Hola VPN

    Hola Free VPN is just about one of the worst free VPN services you could use on your Android phone or tablet.

    Not only does Hola Free VPN monitor absolutely everything you do online, it’s also not encrypted in any way and has been known to sell user data on to third parties.

  2. Thunder VPN

    Thunder VPN is one of the least secure free VPNs for Android we’ve ever seen.

    Along with logging tons of your personal information, Thunder VPN also uses a very outdated connection protocol and just won’t keep you safe online.

  3. Snap VPN

    Using Snap VPN on your Android device could well be worse than not using a VPN service at all.

    If it weren’t bad enough that it sends your personal data to China and logs a ton of user information, Snap VPN doesn’t even disclose the level of encryption that it uses, leading us to believe there might not be any at all.

  4. Turbo VPN

    We just can’t recommend Turbo VPN to Android users as a reliable privacy tool as it goes against everything the VPN industry stands for.

    Not only has Turbo VPN admitted it sends users’ personal information to mainland China, it also has one of the most intrusive logging policies we’ve ever seen.

  5. Yoga VPN

    Yoga VPN can 100% not be trusted to keep you safe online, whether you connect on Android or any other device.

    Yoga VPN collects huge amounts of user data, stores it on its servers for an undisclosed period of time, and stores it in its data servers based in China and Hong Kong. One to avoid.

Can I Use a Premium Android VPN for Free?

If you want to use a premium paid VPN on your Android device for free, there are a few ways you can do this without spending a cent.

ExpressVPN, for example, offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can use the VPN service without restrictions for up to 30 days, then get your money back.

Screenshot of the money back guarantee on ExpressVPN's website

You will have to subscribe and provide payment details, but you will receive your refund within a few days, as long as you cancel before the 30 days are up.

We’ve published a series of guides on how you can use some of the very best premium VPNs for free:

However, these are only short term solutions, and remember to cancel before the end of the refund period or you won’t get your money back.

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