54Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
Your Android smartphone or tablet contains a lot of sensitive personal information, and you really need to protect it with a trusted and secure VPN.
While there are tons of free VPNs for Android, very few are completely safe. In our free Android VPN investigation, we uncovered that hundreds of popular free VPNs contain alarming security flaws, request intrusive permissions, or won’t hide your IP address.
When you use a mobile VPN, all your web traffic flows through its servers. Using a trustworthy VPN is therefore crucial. Since 2016, we’ve tested over 100 Android VPN apps for speed, privacy and streaming, and the apps in this guide are the very best free VPNs for Android.
However, even the best free VPNs have limitations: data usage caps, no access to Netflix, and reduced server locations. If you want to experience the full benefits of an Android VPN, take a look at 2020’s best premium Android VPNs, or read our ExpressVPN review, the overall #1 Android VPN.
Free Android VPN Features
- Simple & user-friendly Android app
- Reliable & fast VPN speeds
- No IP or DNS leaks & no user logs
- No payment info required on signup
- Generous data allowance
- Helpful & responsive customer support
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See How We Review VPNs.
Best Free Android VPN Apps
Free Android VPN FAQs
Is Using an Android VPN Legal?
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:
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- 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.
Do I Need a VPN on My Android Device?
In our opinion, you should absolutely use a VPN on your Android smartphone or tablet.
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 hides 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.
How Does a VPN Work on Android?
A VPN works exactly the same on Android as it does on any other operating system. As we alluded to 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.
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.
How to Use a VPN on Android
Setting up and using a VPN on Android is very quick and simple. Here’s what to do:
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.
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.
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.
Are There Any Totally Free Android VPNs?
Our recommended free VPNs for Android are completely free, but these do come at some cost to you in terms of the features on offer.
Premium VPNs that offer free services often use them as a form of ‘taster’ to get people to upgrade to a paid subscription. This means bandwidth caps, reduced number of server locations, fewer connected devices and often slower speeds.
Standalone free VPNs often make money by displaying pop-up ads, so while the VPN service itself is completely free to use, as such, you pay the price when it comes to the user-friendliness of the software.
These types of free VPNs often display regular prompts, asking you to upgrade to the ‘premium’ version of the app. These are often grossly overpriced, which could be how the VPN makes the bulk of its profit.
Beware, though, any VPN services that claim to be unlimited and totally free. We’ve seen many instances of free VPNs making money by selling user data to third parties (such as Hola), and this information is often buried deep at the bottom of their privacy policies.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can I Use a Premium Android VPN for Free?
If you want to use a premium 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.
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.