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The Best Free VPNs for Android

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Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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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 on the dangers of free 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.

We tested over 150 free Android VPNs on our test Samsung Galaxy S8. The five choices below are fast, safe and completely free to use on Android 11.0, 10.0, and older AndroidOS versions.

Based on our speed and security tests, the best free Android VPNs in 2021 are:

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

The best free VPN for Android is Windscribe. It encrypts your internet connection, masks your IP address, and unblocks geo-restricted video content like US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

However, even the best free Android VPNs have limitations. They are restricted by data usage caps, slower speeds, limited server locations, and often can’t bypass aggressive geo-blocks.

To experience the full benefits of an Android VPN, try using a top-rated paid Android VPN. Our top choice is ExpressVPN.

Alternatively, try a VPN free trial that doesn’t require credit card or payment details on sign up.

The 5 Best Free Android VPNs Compared

The table below shows how the top five free Android VPNs weigh up against each other.

You can quickly compare criteria such as top speed, access to US Netflix, monthly data cap, and Android app installation size:

The Top Free VPNs for Android: Performance Ratings

The table below compares the five best free VPNs for Android and how they perform in each of our key testing categories:

5 Best Free Android VPNs in 2021

  1. 1. Windscribe: Best Free VPN for Android

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

    Windscribe mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    1. No kill switch on Android
    2. 10GB monthly data cap
    3. No human live chat available

    Free VPN for Android Rating: 8.3/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.

    • 77.0/10
    • 7.87.8/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 9.59.5/10
    • 8.98.9/10
    • 8.88.8/10

    Windscribe the best free VPN app for Android, and it’s also the best free VPN overall.

    It’s a fast and safe free VPN. You shouldn’t experience any noticeable speed drops, even when you’re streaming or downloading large files.

    Cheapest PriceFree
    Data Cap10GB
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    54Mbps
    Servers-
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries10
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromecastChromecast
    3. chromeChrome

    Streams 10 Netflix libraries & BBC iPlayer

    The standout feature of Windscribe Free is its ability to unblock 10 Netflix libraries, including the US catalog, and BBC iPlayer.

    The ability to unblock streaming platforms is incredibly rare among free VPNs, which shows just how good Windscribe is.

    A very private free VPN

    The VPN service collects minimal activity logs, so 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.

    On the plus side, the VPN secures your web traffic with AES 256-bit encryption, and it doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks.

    The free VPN also features extras such as a built-in ad and malware blocker.

    A 10GB monthly data allowance

    Sadly, like most safe free VPNs, Windscribe limits its use to 10GB of data each month.

    While 10GB may not seem a lot, it’s actually a very generous usage allowance among free Android VPNs.

    Only ProtonVPN beats Windscribe when it comes to data allowance, but ProtonVPN has other considerable limitations.

    No live support chat is one major drawback

    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 doesn’t disappoint.

  2. 2. ProtonVPN Free

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

    ProtonVPN Mobile Screenshot
     100% 
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit ProtonVPN

    Pros

    1. Unlimited data usage
    2. Fast download speeds
    3. Payment info not required
    4. 'Always On' feature
    5. Privacy-friendly logging policy

    Cons

    1. No Android kill switch
    2. Only three VPN server locations
    3. Doesn't work with Netflix

    Free VPN for Android Rating: 7.2/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.

    • 1010.0/10
    • 7.17.1/10
    • 11.0/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 8.88.8/10
    • 7.67.6/10

    ProtonVPN can’t match first place in our list mainly because it only offers three server locations on its free plan. Usually, this can affect download speeds, but the Android VPN app is surprisingly fast.

    Cheapest PriceFree
    Data CapUnlimited
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    95Mbps
    Servers23
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries3
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromecastChromecast
    3. androidtvAndroid TV

    Easy to use and virtually no logs retained

    All of ProtonVPN’s custom VPN apps are easy to set up and use, and the Android version is no exception. Connections are secured with AES-256 encryption, and the Android app uses the most secure VPN protocol, OpenVPN. It also enforces what is nearly a 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.

    The only free app we recommend with no data cap

    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 on this page with no data cap, so you can use it without worrying about running out of data.

    Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA are the only servers available, but you can use them as much as you like.

  3. 3. Hide.me Free

    The Android VPN with the fastest speeds.

    Hide.me mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (1 user reviews)
    Visit Hide.me

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    1. Only five server locations
    2. Slow international speeds
    3. Doesn't work with Netflix

    Free VPN for Android Rating: 7.1/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.

    • 77.0/10
    • 6.56.5/10
    • 5.55.5/10
    • 9.89.8/10
    • 8.58.5/10
    • 6.56.5/10

    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.

    Cheapest PriceFree
    Data Cap10GB
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    72Mbps
    ServersNot Disclosed
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries4
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromecastChromecast
    3. androidtvAndroid TV
    4. chromeChrome

    Five global servers and 10GB of data per month

    Hide.me provides five free VPN server locations: the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US. It’s good to see a VPN remember Asian users when creating a free option – this means your speeds will be much better if you’re anywhere near Singapore.

    Hide.me’s 10GB monthly data cap might limit your online activity, 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.

    24/7 live support is available even to free customers

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

    It’s also greatly appreciated that Hide.me did not restrict this live chat feature to paying users.

    There’s a one device limit in place, meaning you can’t use it on multiple platforms at the same time. If all you want to do is protect your Android smartphone or tablet, though, then that’s not a problem.

  4. 4. Avira Phantom Free

    A simple yet secure free VPN for absolute beginners.

    Avira Phantom VPN mobile screenshots
     40% 
    (1 user reviews)
    Visit Avira

    Pros

    1. Beginner-friendly Android app
    2. No payment details on signup
    3. Minimal logging policy
    4. 52 server locations in 38 countries
    5. Reliable same-country speeds
    6. First-party DNS servers

    Cons

    1. 1GB monthly data cap
    2. No Android kill switch

    Free VPN for Android Rating: 6.4/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.

    • 44.0/10
    • 66.0/10
    • 7.67.6/10
    • 99.0/10
    • 6.96.9/10
    • 6.16.1/10

    Avira Phantom makes it into our top five thanks to its clean, simple Android app. It also has a very respectable logging policy.

    Cheapest PriceN/A See all plans
    Data Cap1GB
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    51Mbps
    Servers52+
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries38
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromeChrome

    Sensible logging policy and huge server list

    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.

    What we love, though, is its huge choice of servers. 52 locations in 38 countries spread evenly around the world is fantastic for a free Android VPN.

    One of these servers is dedicated to US streaming. However, we were able to unblock US Netflix on a number of random US servers, which is even better.

    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.

    1GB per month data cap and no kill switch

    The biggest downside is Avira Phantom’s restrictive 1GB monthly data cap, as this really restricts what you’re able to do online. It’s actually 500MB initially, but once you register your account that limit doubles.

    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 if you’re an Android user just looking for a basic free VPN service to use from time to time. With that data cap you really need to keep track of how often you use it, though.

  5. 5. TunnelBear Free

    Popular free VPN with free servers in 23 countries.

    TunnelBear VPN
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit TunnelBear

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    1. 500MB monthly data cap
    2. Doesn't unlock US Netflix or BBC iPlayer
    3. Average customer support

    Free VPN for Android Rating: 5.9/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.

    • 22.0/10
    • 8.78.7/10
    • 44.0/10
    • 9.59.5/10
    • 7.47.4/10
    • 6.86.8/10

    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.

    Cheapest PriceN/A See all plans
    Data Cap500MB
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on 100Mbps local test connection

    94Mbps
    Servers-
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries41
    Compatible with
    1. androidAndroid
    2. chromeChrome

    Connect to servers in 22 countries

    TunnelBear has one of the biggest server networks we’ve seen from a free VPN service, with 22 countries on offer. It covers 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.

    Kill switch is great, 500MB data cap is not

    TunnelBear’s Android app comes with a VPN kill switch (labeled in the app as ‘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. 500MB won’t last long at all if used for streaming or downloads.

    The free version of TunnelBear is best suited to you if all you care about is a wide selection of servers with seriously impressive speeds.

Why Do I Need a Free VPN on Android?

Using VPN software on your Android device is an excellent way to protect your security and anonymity online.

A high-quality free VPN for Android may not have many advanced features, but it will hide your IP address and encrypt your web traffic.

If you don’t use a secure VPN, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can see everything you do online. You’ll also be vulnerable to hackers and snoopers, particularly when using free public WiFi networks.

A secure VPN masks your IP address so your ISP, or any other third party, can’t determine your true geo-location. This allows you to browse the web privately, on a secure and encrypted connection.

Additionally, the most effective VPNs beats strict geo-restrictions and let you unblock web content typically locked to a specific country or location.

Most free VPNs aren’t very good for bypassing strict web blocks. Read our article on the best free VPNs for every device to see which ones are.

Are Free VPNs for Android Safe?

Millions of people use potentially unsafe free VPNs, and Android might be the platform with the most dangerous free VPNs.

The truth is, you simply can’t trust most free VPN services with your confidential personal data.

Carrying out two in-depth investigations on popular free VPNs for Android, we 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:

The dangers of free VPNs.

Our free VPN investigations uncovered a number of common security flaws.

The free Android VPNs we recommend are safe, and provide effective protection. They hide your IP address, encrypt your web traffic and have privacy-friendly logging policies.

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. Visit your chosen VPN service’s website and download the Android app directly onto your device.
  2. Enable any security features such as a kill switch or leak protection. If possible, choose the OpenVPN protocol.
  3. Choose a VPN server location. The closer the server to your physical location, the faster your VPN speeds will be.
  4. Tap connect and in a matter of seconds you’ll be connected to the VPN server.

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

Free Android VPNs to Avoid

As we mentioned above, many free Android VPNs come with worrying security and privacy issues.

Below is 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.

    Not only does Snap VPN send your personal data to China, and logs a ton of user information, it doesn’t even disclose the level of encryption it uses. This leads us to believe there may not be any encryption 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.

How We Test the Top Free VPNs for Android

Assessing an Android VPN requires looking at a unique combination of criteria. We don’t take the same approach when rating them as we do with a desktop VPN, or even a paid Android VPN.

Below is more information on how we came to the testing conclusions that you see on this page:

For free Android VPNs, we specifically consider:

  • The monthly data cap, and how long will it realistically last you.
  • How fast it is, and whether or not it will slow down your browsing and streaming.
  • How many streaming libraries and services it can unlock, particularly Netflix.
  • How trustworthy the logging policy is, and what data it retains.
  • What encryption is in use, and if there are any useful security features.
  • How intuitive and easy to use the Android app is.

Read on for the specifics on how we assess these criteria, as well as our recommended standards for each one:

1. Data Cap: 30%

Minimum Requirement: 10GB of data per month.
We Recommend: Unlimited monthly data allowance.

Data cap is by far the most important factor for a free Android VPN. No matter what you do online, and no matter why you use a VPN, it will always consume bandwidth.

You don’t need to be a VPN testing expert to know that more data is better. Unfortunately, very few trustworthy VPNs actually offer an unlimited data cap. It’s the best case scenario, but you may need to compromise if you want other specific features from your free Android VPN.

Anywhere between 4-10GB is both a common allowance as well as a decent figure for a free VPN to offer. This will allow you to stream a few hours of HD video, plus keep your general web browsing protected.

Anything less than 2GB is extremely restrictive. You’d have to be very disciplined about using your VPN, making sure to only activate it when absolutely necessary (for example if you do some online banking on public WiFi).

2. Speed: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Less than 40% speed loss on local connections.
We Recommend: Less than 20% speed loss on local connections or 40% on distant ones.

Much like a data cap, download speeds have a similar impact when you’re using a VPN.

Whether you’re on WiFi or using cellular data, a VPN will negatively affect your internet speeds. But, most importantly, the best free VPNs will affect them as little as possible.

Our testing has found that many free VPNs offer speeds noticeably slower than their paid app counterparts. That’s why we make sure to manually test the speeds of every free we review on a regular basis.

While free VPNs can be slower than paid ones, our expectations for the bare minimum you should accept remain the same. There’s no reason for a good VPN, free or otherwise, to slow down your internet by more than 40% on a nearby connection. And an ideal one will still slow it by less than 20%.

Something you should bear in mind, however, is the reduced server list of most free VPNs. If your free VPN does not offer a server in the country you live in then you will have to accept slower speeds.

Our speed testing process for free Android VPNs is simple. We connect to as wide a spread of global servers as we can, and record their speeds via speedtest.net. We compare the figures recorded to the figures with no VPN connected, and see how large the drop-off is. We always use the same 100Mbps wireless office test connection. Download speed is prioritized, but upload and latency is also considered.

3. Streaming: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Can access at least one Netflix library – ideally US or UK.
We Recommend: The above, plus a streaming library from at least one other country.

You should not expect to get a top-quality streaming VPN for free.

Maintaining streaming servers and working sets of IP addresses is both costly and time consuming for VPN providers. Naturally the best performing ones go to paying customers.

That said, you shouldn’t settle for nothing at all, either. It’s entirely possible to access at least one streaming library with a free VPN, or maybe even more. You’ll have fewer options due to a limited server selection, though, and it won’t be as consistent.

In our testing experience, this area is the where the difference between a paid and free Android VPN is felt the most. Even the very best free streaming VPNs can’t match up to their paid counterparts.

4. Logging Policy: 15%

Minimum Requirement: Minimal aggregated or anonymous usage data collected.
We Recommend: No logs retained whatsoever.

Logging policy is one area where you absolutely do not have to compromise when choosing a free Android VPN.

Most trustworthy VPN services use the same core logging policy for both their free and paid product, across all platforms.

One difference you should be aware of, though, is potential additional third party data sharing. Some free apps are subsidized via advertising and data sharing partnerships. We make sure to read through every privacy policy in full detail to make sure that your data isn’t sneakily sold on.

Almost every free mobile VPN which has no paid-for version will fail to meet the standards we set, here. Most free Android VPNs can’t be trusted, and the reason why usually lies within their privacy policy.

You should never download a VPN which stores identifiable, personal usage data. Your full IP address, browser timestamps, and DNS requests are always off limits – no good VPN will collect or store them.

We think it’s fine if a VPN stores some much more generic or shared information. The total amount of data you use in a month, how many times you’ve connected, or the total number of users connected to a server at one time are all acceptable. Information like this should be deleted every few months at most.

The perfect VPN records no account-tied logs of any kind. However, these are more rare when only considering free VPNs.

5. Security & Encryption: 10%

Minimum Requirement: AES-128 encryption and the IKEv2 VPN protocol.
We Recommend: AES-258 encryption, plus OpenVPN, WireGuard, or a bespoke protocol.

The Google Play Store is filled with hundreds of free apps which claim to be ‘VPNs’, but in reality only act as proxies.

While proxies may change your IP address, they do not encrypt your traffic and DNS requests. It’s important to make sure that your free VPN of choice specifies what encryption it uses.

AES-128 is perfectly safe, although we prefer the AES-258 cipher. It has been the standard for years now and is virtually uncrackable.

Many Android VPNs use IKEv2 as the primary (or only) protocol. It’s a fine choice, and strikes a good balance between speed and security.

That said, we feel that OpenVPN just edges it out as the more secure protocol. We can also fully recommend WireGuard, a newer protocol, which is faster than both IKEv2 and OpenVPN.

Finally, some services use a protocol all of their own making. It’s rare to find these in free Android VPNs, but so long as the VPN service provider is trustworthy then the protocol is likely perfectly safe.

6. Android App: 10%

Minimum Requirement: A bespoke, easy to use Android app.
We Recommend: The above, plus extra features like a kill switch.

Even with a free VPN, it should at the very least have a functional, bespoke Android app.

Options and buttons should be clearly labeled, with a simple layout and intuitive menus. Ordinarily we consider a VPN kill switch essential. Without it, your IP address could be left exposed should the VPN connection drop. However, they’re rarer on Android than other platforms.

With a free Android VPN, anything more than that is a bonus. Some may include extra features like app split tunneling or an ad blocker, but those are more bonuses than essential.

You should always make sure that you have downloaded the correct, official version of any Android VPN, too. Both free and paid VPN apps have many clones on the Google Play Store. Downloading these copies can result in viruses, tapjacking, URL spoofing, or any other manner of sinister side effect. Make sure that you find the official Play Store link or download the .APK directly from the VPN service’s website.

Additional research by Liam Mullally

Free Android VPN FAQs

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 offers a seven-day free trial to new Android subscribers.

You can also take advantage of the risk-free money-back guarantees premium VPNs offer. You can use them without restrictions for up to 45 days, and then get your money back.

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. Remember to cancel before the refund period is up, though.

How Do Free VPNs Work on Android?

A free VPN works exactly the same on Android as it does on any other operating system.

Instead of your internet traffic being routed to a website via your ISP, it will instead be routed through a secure VPN server first, and then onto your destination website.

Using a free 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.

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