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Best Free VPN for Android

By Simon Migliano | Updated October 8, 2019

Illustration of Android phone and tablet

Your Android smartphone contains a lot of sensitive personal information – you need to protect it with a powerful, secure VPN.

There are tons of free VPNs for Android, but very few are to be trusted, as we found out in our recent investigation.

What exactly happens if you choose the wrong free VPN?

Well, out of the 150 free VPN apps for Android we tested, 85% contained excessive permissions or functions with potential for privacy abuses, along with a long list of other security flaws.

Using one of these free VPN services on your Android phone could potentially put you in more danger than not using one at all, which is what we want to help you avoid.

We’ve thoroughly tested out 72 VPN services and to find the best free VPNs for Android that provide a private, user-friendly experience without compromising on performance.

How We Chose the Best Free VPN for Android

  1. Simple, user-friendly app for Android
  2. Generous data allowance
  3. No payment info required on signup
  4. Reliable & fast connection speeds
  5. No IP/DNS leaks & no/minimal logging
  6. Helpful & responsive customer support

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

Best Free VPN Apps for Android Devices

1. Windscribe

Ranked #1 Free VPN for Android

  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 live chat feature
  • Best Price

    $4.08/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    63Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    63 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Windscribe isn’t just our best overall free VPN service, it’s also the top free VPN for Android thanks to its user-friendly Android app.

Windscribe is also very fast for a free VPN, meaning your Android performance shouldn’t suffer too much, even if you’re streaming or torrenting.

Windscribe also comes with a minimal VPN logging policy to ensure you’re safe and anonymous while using your Android smartphone or tablet, making up for the fact it’s based in privacy-unfriendly Canada.

Watch out, though – Windscribe doesn’t provide a VPN kill switch for Android, but it does come with a built in ad-tracker and malware blocker and strong encryption (AES-256).

Windscribe’s monthly 10GB data cap may seem limiting, and it can be, but know that it’s still the most generous allowance we’ve seen from any free VPN service.

True, the customer support isn’t the best we’ve seen, but for a free VPN provider Windscribe’s online resources are pretty comprehensive.

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 review.

2. ProtonVPN Free

Ranked #2 Free VPN for Android

  1. Quick, easy setup on Android
  2. Reliable download speeds
  3. Payment info not required
  4. No data cap
  5. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  6. Use for as long as you need
  1. No Android kill switch
  2. Only three VPN server locations
  • Best Price

    $4.00/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    44 countries, 698 servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

ProtonVPN is our #2 free VPN service for Android due to its lack of data cap, meaning you can use it as much as you need to.

ProtonVPN missed out on the top spot for Android as its free VPN users are limited to just three server locations – Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA.

Usually this would mean that speeds would be affected, but ProtonVPN is surprisingly fast, especially for a free VPN service.

ProtonVPN is easy to set up and use on Android and includes a privacy-friendly VPN logging policy, so you can rest assured all of your personal information is kept safe

All of ProtonVPN’s custom VPN apps are encrypted with top cipher AES-256 and use the most secure connection protocol, OpenVPN.

Again, there’s no VPN kill switch feature on Android, but ProtonVPN’s ‘Always On’ setting reestablishes the VPN connection automatically in case of a drop.

While ProtonVPN doesn’t offer the same spread of servers that Windscribe does, it’s still a good free VPN service for Android that provides a high level of protection.

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

3. Hide.me Free

Ranked #3 Free VPN for Android

  1. Sleek, simple Android app
  2. Really fast same-country speeds
  3. No payment details required
  4. Built-in VPN kill switch
  5. Minimal logs policy
  6. 24/7 live chat feature
  1. 2GB monthly data cap
  2. Only five server locations
  3. Slow international speeds
  • Top Speedi

    81Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    4 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Hide.me is one of the safest free VPN services for Android we’ve come across, and it’s super easy to use, too.

Hide.me is the only free VPN on this list that includes a kill switch on Android, and it comes with a minimal-logs policy as well.

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 2GB monthly data cap will massively limit your online activity, though, especially if you’re planning on streaming or downloading any large files.

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 Hide.me Free on one device at a time, but if that isn’t a problem for you, it’s a great all-round free VPN service for Android.

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

4. TunnelBear Free

Ranked #4 Free VPN for Android

  1. User-friendly Android app
  2. Reliable download speeds
  3. VPN servers in 22 countries
  4. No need to provide payment info
  5. Minimal logging policy & kill switch
  6. Good online customer support
  1. 500MB monthly data cap
  • Best Price

    $4.17/mo over 2 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    77Mbps 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

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 Free review.

5. Avira Phantom Free

Ranked #5 Free VPN for Android

  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
  • Best Price

    $6.50/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    73Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    34 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

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 Free review.

Popular Questions

Do I Need a VPN on Android?

In short, yes – you absolutely need a VPN on your Android smartphone or tablet.

Without a secure VPN service, not only will your ISP (Internet Service Provider) be able to see everything you’re doing online, you will also be vulnerable to any potential hackers or snoopers, particularly if you connect to a public WiFi network.

Using a VPN on your Android means you’ll be browsing anonymously on a secure, encrypted connection, so your online activity won’t be visible to anyone apart from yourself.

A VPN service also hides your IP address so it’s impossible for your ISP or any other third parties to see your true physical location.

Free VPNs for Android to Avoid

Just because our recommendations for free Android VPNs are safe, that doesn’t mean you should trust every free VPN service you come across.

Here’s a list of the worst ones we advise you avoid at all costs.

  1. Hola Free 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.

Are There Any Completely Free 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.

How to Use a VPN on Android

Using a VPN on Android is simple:

  1. Download your chosen VPN service

    All of the free VPN services listed above provide custom Android apps, so simply go to the Google Play Store, download your chosen free VPN and log in.

    Alternatively, you can go to 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 – the closer this is to your physical location, the faster performance will be. Hit connect and you’ll be connected to the VPN.

    If you opt for a free VPN service that doesn’t offer a dedicated app for Android, take a look at our step-by-step guide to manually installing a VPN on the device.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

Unfortunately for the 200 million-plus users of free VPNs, the reality is that most free VPNs are not safe and should not be trusted with your confidential personal data.

We recently carried out two in-depth investigations on some of the most popular free VPN services and discovered that an alarming amount of them were linked in some way to China, and, even worse, had some extremely worryingly privacy flaws.

Our recommended free VPN services for Android will keep you safe online, though. They all effectively hide your IP address, encrypt all of your traffic and come with privacy-friendly logging policies to boot.

What Does a VPN Do on Android?

A VPN does exactly the same on Android as it does on any other device.

Instead of your internet traffic being routed to the website you’re accessing via your ISP, it will instead be routed through a secure VPN server in a location of your choice.

Using a VPN service on Android also masks your true IP address, aka the unique identifier of your internet connection, and replaces it with an IP address owned by the VPN service.

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

This means that as long as you use a VPN on Android, there’s no way any of your online activity can be linked back to you as an individual.

Take a look at our guide ‘What is a VPN?’ for a more comprehensive overview of how VPNs work on Android and other platforms.

What Is the Best VPN for Android?

Free VPN services are great for short-term use but if you want the best overall VPN service, you’re going to have to sign up for a paid subscription.

Our current best VPN service for Android users is ExpressVPN, thanks to its user-friendly apps for the device, super fast speeds, and excellent privacy features.

You can take a look at our top five VPN services for Android here.

What Is the Fastest Free VPN for Android?

We run regular speed tests on all of our recommended VPNs and can confirm that Hide.me is currently the fastest free VPN for Android.

Hide.me Free only reduced our broadband speed by 11% in our most recent tests, which is actually better than the vast majority of paid-for VPN services on our site.

All of our recommended free VPNs for Android are quick enough that they shouldn’t restrict your online activities too much, but if you want truly fast, reliable speeds you might be better off paying for a premium VPN service.

How Do I Get a VPN for Free?

If you want to use a premium VPN service on your Android device but would rather avoid the price tag, there are a few ways you can test them out without spending a penny.

ExpressVPN, for example, offers a no-risk 30 day money-back guarantee. This means that you can use the VPN service without any restrictions for up to 30 days, then get your money back.

Screenshot of the money back guarantee on ExpressVPN's website

Obviously, you do have to sign up and provide your payment information in order to do this, but the money will be refunded to your account within a matter of days.

We’ve published a series of guides on how you can get some of the very best premium VPN services for free, covering:

  • ExpressVPN – 30 day money-back guarantee
  • NordVPN – 30 day money-back guarantee
  • IPVanish – Seven-day free trial period

These are only short term solutions, though, and you have to remember to cancel before the end of the refund period or you’ll end up being charged for a longer subscription.

Using a VPN to protect your online privacy is perfectly legal, and you’ll have no issues in the majority of countries around the world.

There are some countries, however, where VPN use is restricted or even illegal, and being caught using one could result in a hefty fine or even a prison sentence.

You can find out more about which countries ban or restrict VPN services in our guide ‘Are VPNs Legal?’, but locations to be careful in include:

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

Using a VPN doesn’t exempt you from following the law, either. If you’re caught doing anything illegal, including breaking copyright restrictions, you’re still liable to be charged.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Android in India?

All of the free Android VPNs listed above should be available in India, but your best choice is a VPN service that has servers in or close to the country.

Screenshot of TunnelBear Servers List Taken from the TunnelBear Website

TunnelBear is the only free VPN on this list that provides servers in India, or if you need a more generous data cap, Windscribe has a server in nearby Hong Kong.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is our Head of Research and has tested hundreds of VPNs since 2016. His research has been covered by the BBC, The New York Times, CNet, Wired, and more. Read full bio