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The Best Free 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

Free Android VPN apps are everywhere in Google’s Play Store, but many are unsafe to use.

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

It’s vital to use a trustworthy VPN on your Android smartphone, given how much of your personal data it stores. Especially if you frequently connect to public WiFi networks.

We tested over 150 free Android VPNs on our test Samsung Galaxy S8, and found five fast, safe and completely free VPNs that work with Android 11.0, 10.0, Pie and previous AndroidOS versions, too.

The best free VPNs for Android in 2021 are:

  1. Windscribe Free: The overall best free VPN for Android devices. Read Summary.
  2. Hide.me Free: The fastest free VPN for Android with a 10GB usage cap. Read Summary.
  3. ProtonVPN Free: A secure free Android VPN with no data caps. Read Summary.
  4. Tunnelbear Free: A popular free VPN with servers in 23 countries. Read Summary.
  5. Avira Phantom Free: The basic free Android VPN for beginners. Read Summary.

The best free VPN for Android is Windscribe Free. It will encrypt your internet connection, mask your IP address dependably, and unblock geo-restricted video content around the world, including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

All free VPNs above also work on Android TVs and Android boxes, like the Nvidia Shield TV, Xiami Mi Box S, and Skystream Pro 8K.

However, even the best free VPNs have limitations. They typically come with restrictions such as data usage caps, slower speeds, limited server locations, and are usually unable to bypass aggressive geo-blocks.

To experience the full benefits of an Android VPN, consider using one of the best paid VPNs for Android. Alternatively, try an Android VPN free trial that doesn’t require credit card or payment details on sign up.

5 Best Free Android VPN Apps of 2021

1. Windscribe Free

The best free Android VPN that unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Windscribe mobile screenshots
Windscribe desktop screenshots
(2 user reviews)
Visit Windscribe
  1. User-friendly Android app
  2. Fast same-country speeds
  3. Unblocks 10 Netflix regions & BBC iPlayer
  4. No credit card/payment details required
  5. Minimal web usage logs
  6. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  1. No kill switch on Android
  2. 10GB monthly data cap
  3. No human live chat available
  • 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

Windscribe the best free VPN for Android, and it’s also our best overall free VPN. It’s a fast free VPN, and you shouldn’t experience any noticeable speed drops, even when you’re streaming or downloading large files.

The most standout feature of Windscribe Free is the VPN’s ability to smoothly unblock 10 Netflix libraries, including the US catalog, and BBC iPlayer. This is incredibly rare among free VPNs, which shows just how good this free VPN is.

The VPN service collects minimal activity logs, meaning you can use the internet privately on your Android smartphone or tablet. Although Windscribe is based in privacy-unfriendly Canada, this privacy-focused logging policy will protect you from Canada’s surveillance laws.

While the Windscribe VPN Android app doesn’t have a VPN kill switch, this is common among Android VPNs. However, it secures all its VPN connections with AES 256-bit encryption, it doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks. It also features extras such as a built-in ad and malware blocker.

Sadly, like most safe free VPNs, Windscribe limits its use to 10GB of data each month. While it may not seem like a lot, it’s actually one of the most generous usage allowances among free VPNs. Only ProtonVPN beats Windscribe when it comes to data allowance, but ProtonVPN has other crucial limitations.

Also, Windscribe’s customer support needs improving. It doesn’t offer human live support, and instead relies on its chat-bot service ‘Garry,’ which is average. Luckily, Windscribe’s online resources are useful and answer many troubleshooting queries.

On the whole, the free version of Windscribe VPN is ideal for both VPN beginners and more experienced Android users. Whether you want to unblock websites and apps, or use the internet more privately and safely, this free VPN won’t disappoint.

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

2. Hide.me Free

The Android VPN with the fastest speeds.

Hide.me mobile screenshots
Hide.me desktop screenshot
(1 user reviews)
Visit Hide.me
  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.

ProtonVPN Mobile Screenshot
ProtonVPN Microsoft Windows desktop app
(3 user reviews)
Visit ProtonVPN
  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
    • Linux logoLinux

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 review.

4. TunnelBear Free

Popular free VPN with free servers in 23 countries.

TunnelBear VPN
Screenshots of TunnelBear's Desktop App
(2 user reviews)
Visit TunnelBear
  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

    26 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 VPN review.

5. Avira Phantom Free

A simple yet secure free VPN for absolute beginners.

Avira Phantom VPN mobile screenshots
Screenshot of Avira Phantom's desktop app on Windows
(1 user reviews)
Visit Avira
  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.

Do I Need a Free VPN on My Android Device?

If you want to protect your online privacy, 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 VPN, not only will your ISP (Internet Service Provider) see everything you do online, but you’ll also be vulnerable to hackers and snoopers, particularly if you’re using insecure free public WiFi.

A reliable and secure 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. You can find a detailed list of our recommended free VPNs for every device here.

How to Use a Free VPN on Android

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

  1. Download your chosen Android VPN.

    All the free VPN apps recommended in this guide have native 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.

    However, be aware that OpenVPN is also the most bandwidth-heavy VPN protocol. It’ll use up your mobile data allowance much quicker than a protocol like WireGuard.

  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.
    1. If you opt for a free VPN that doesn’t come with a dedicated Android app, follow our Android VPN setup instructions.

Are Free Android VPNs Safe?

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions of people that are using potentially unsafe free VPNs – and Android might be the platform with the most dangerous free VPNs The reality is that you can’t trust most free VPN services with your confidential personal data.

We’ve 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.

Free Android VPNs 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.

Free Android VPN FAQs

What’s the Best Free VPN for Android

The best free VPN for Android is Windscribe Free, and it has been for some time. It’s fast, secure and it unblocks geo-restricted streaming platforms like US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

If you’re determined to use a VPN without spending a dime, then Windscribe is the best choice available right now. However, keep in mind that it enforces a monthly 10GB usage limit.

There’s only one free Android VPN that doesn’t come with usage restrictions: ProtonVPN Free. It’s a good free VPN, but it doesn’t unblock streaming services nor does it allow P2P traffic on its free servers.

Can I Use a Paid 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.

For example, ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for Android and it offers a seven-day completely free trial to new Android subscribers. You can also take advantage of its 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 Android VPNs for free:

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.

How Do Free VPNs 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.

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