As what is arguably the most popular mobile operating system available today, Android is an enticing target for hackers and crooks looking to steal your personal, business and other sensitive data. Android users are victims of phishing attempts, man-in-the-middle attacks and more.
This is where a VPN comes in to increase your data security, especially when you are on the move.
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), an Android user can protect their internet connection and its associated online activities. VPN technology provides an encrypted tunnel of protection for the user’s connection, which keeps all of their online activities, such as banking, shopping and bill paying, and all of their related information, safe from access and misuse.
A VPN also provides an optimal way to access geographically-blocked content, such as that provided by video and music streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Hulu.
In this article, I’ll be sharing information about the 5 VPN services that have proven themselves to be tops in protecting and enhancing your Android-related internet activities.
How to Use a VPN With Your Android Device
To use a VPN with your Android device, do the following:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my top pick.)
- Install the VPN app from the Google Play Store.
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located inside the country whose content you wish to access. Or, if you’re simply looking to protect your in-country content access, select a server inside your own country.
- Enjoy your secure & private internet access!
Best VPN Services for Use With Android
These 5 global VPN services have proven to provide the best VPN protection and enhancement for Android users:
- ExpressVPN: This is the #1 VPN for Android devices thanks to a small app size, fast connections and excellent global server coverage. The provider also offers apps for all other popular device platforms, providing added device flexibility.
- NordVPN: The low-priced option on this list, NordVPN delivers top-notch Android protection without breaking the bank. The provider offers excellent access to blocked content and does a top-notch job of protecting your online activities from being tracked.
- CyberGhost: First-time VPN users will want to consider CyberGhost thanks to the provider’s easy-to-use, yet powerful Android apps and most other platforms. Other users will also appreciate the provider’s streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers around the globe.
- VyprVPN: Provides Android and Android TV apps that offer kill switch protection, an automatic-reconnect option, custom DNS servers, the ability to block malicious sites and much more.
- Surfshark: While relatively new on the VPN scene and still showing some growing pains, this provider offers a fast-growing global server network that provides above-average connection speeds. The provider’s unlimited connections policy allows you to keep all of your devices connected to the service at once.
All VPN providers have their own individual sets of strengths and weaknesses. You’ll find that some providers offer a comprehensive global server network, but are lacking in the connection speeds department. Others may provide blazing download speeds and come up short in the app support column. It’s important to consider all of a VPN provider’s service offerings.
When ranking the best VPNs to use with your Android device, I considered the following factors:
- Android support (DUH!)
- Global server coverage
- Download speeds
- Online security
- No-logs privacy protection
- Customer support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPN Apps for Android:
ExpressVPN is my #1 VPN choice for Android users and their devices, as it provides reliable app support, fast connection speeds and excellent online protection.
The provider offers very high quality app support for the Android device lineup, with apps for Android smartphones and tablets running Android version 5 and above, as well as an app for the Android TV platform.
Apps are also available for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Amazon Fire, Chromebook and Linux platforms. Browser extensions for the Firefox and Chrome platforms are also available, as is comprehensive router support. Up to 5 devices can connect simultaneously to the service on the same set of login credentials.
The provider offers unlimited bandwidth via it’s 3,000+ high speed servers in 94 countries. They provide excellent access to all sorts of content around the globe, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other popular streaming video services.
Whether you’re using your cellular connection or a Wi-Fi hotspot, a fast connection is essential. ExpressVPN provided the fastest server download speeds in my latest speed tests. The provider offers optimal speeds that can easily handle HD video on your device, as well as online gaming and other online activities. No data caps to be found.
Connection protection is nothing to worry about, as ExpressVPN provides military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch feature and the ability to automatically connect to a VPN server when connecting to untrusted Wi-Fi networks. A split-tunneling option allows you to pick and choose which apps will use the VPN tunnel.
No user logs are saved on ExpressVPN servers, so privacy worries are gone. And you can protect your payment-related privacy by using Bitcoin to pay for your VPN subscription.
Customer support is available 24 hours a day thanks to always-available support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support library.
- Android and Android TV app support
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Fast connections
- Excellent online privacy and security protections
- 24/7 customer support
- More expensive than many other VPN providers
BEST VPN APP FOR ANDROID:ExpressVPN is my top choice for users who are looking for optimal VPN protection for their Android devices. ExpressVPN offers easy-to-use apps for both Android and Android TV devices, allowing you to protect all of your online activities on these devices easily. Plus, it has the fastest speeds and unlimited bandwidth so streaming is made easy. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is the best value option on this list for budget-minded Android device users. If you chose your current cellular provider because they gave you a free Android phone, this could be the VPN for you.
NordVPN offers apps for Android phones and tablets, and also offers an app for Android TV devices. NordVPN doesn’t mention which versions of Android it supports, but if you have a relatively recent version of Android on your device, it will likely work.
Apps are also available for the iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is compatibility with numerous routers. Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed on a single set of login credentials.
The provider has 5,600+ servers located in 59 countries. Those servers offer access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other popular streamers.
While NordVPN’s connection speeds are the slowest on this list, they are by no means slow. The provider’s connections can easily handle HD streaming, which is good news for Android TV users, and can also easily handle online gaming and other fun things you do online. This VPN never imposes any data caps.
The provider combines a no-server-logs-ever policy with a cryptocurrency payment option to provide industry-standard privacy protection.
Around-the-clock assistance is available, with high quality 24/7 support chat, email support and a searchable support database.
- Servers in 59 countries
- Support for both Android and Android TV
- Comprehensive security and privacy protections
- Budget-priced subscription options
- Slowest connection speeds in the top 5
BEST BUDGET-PRICED VPN:Budget-minded Android device owners will appreciate NordVPN’s beer-bottle prices and champagne-level services. Android and Android TV apps are available, and the provider delivers great features, excellent online protection and around-the-clock support. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Novice VPN users and newbie Android users alike will appreciate CyberGhost. The provider’s easy-to-use apps offer optimal online protection for your devices.
The provider offers apps for Android mobile phones and tablets running Android Jelly Bean through Pie. They also offer an app for Android TV, version 5.0 or higher.
Easy-to-use apps with great features are also available for the Amazon Fire TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Router features are also available. Up to 7 devices can connect at once on the same login.
The provider has one of the largest VPN server networks with more than 5,700 servers stationed in 89 countries. Many of those servers are optimized for streaming from numerous streaming video services around the world, and the network also includes file sharing-optimized servers.
CyberGhost connections are easily fast enough to handle 4K and HD streaming, online gaming and sharing of large files.
Those fast speeds are protected by government-level encryption, a VPN kill switch and DNS leak prevention. Also, the Android app can block ads, prevent online tracking, and protect you from malicious websites.
As for privacy, the provider keeps no logs on their servers whatsoever, and also offers a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
24/7 support includes around-the-clock live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket tracking system and a searchable support library.
- Streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers in numerous locations
- Fast, 4K-friendly download speeds
- No logs kept; accepts Bitcoin
- Android and Android TV apps available
- Advanced users might miss some advanced options
EASY-TO-USE VPN OPTION:CyberGhost is the best option for newbie Android users who have little experience with VPNs, or who are looking for easy access to streaming-optimized servers. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
VyprVPN offers protection for both Android and Android TV devices, and owns and operates its entire global server network, providing another layer of privacy for its users.
The provider makes Android and Android TV apps available. Apps are also available for the Amazon Fire, macOS, iOS and Windows device platforms. Router support is also available. 5 devices can connect simultaneously per account.
VyprVPN owns and operates 700+ servers, stationed in 65 countries. Since the provider owns and operates all of its servers, it can guarantee that third-party contractors never have access to your information, providing an extra layer of privacy.
VyprVPN falls somewhere near the middle of the pack when considering connection speeds, yet the provider’s protected connections will still be up to handling your favorite Android-centric online antics.
VyperVPN protects its users’ connections using a combination of banking-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch feature, custom DNS servers, automatic public Wi-Fi protection, and a proprietary “Chameleon” protocol that hides VPN usage.
While the provider doesn’t save any server logs of any kind, it fails to offer a private cryptocurrency payment option.
High quality 24/7 customer support is available, with always-on support chat, email support, a support contact form and a searchable troubleshooting database.
- Optimal connection protection
- Keeps no server logs
- Owns and operates its server farms
- More expensive than many other VPNs
- No Bitcoin payment option
OFFERS EXTRA PRIVACY:VyprVPN’s self-owned and operated server farms provide an extra layer of privacy, while its Chameleon VPN protocol helps hide your VPN usage. The provider offers both Android and Android TV versions of its reliable app. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of VyprVPN.
Surfshark is the only VPN provider on this list that does not offer an Android TV app alongside its Android tablet and smartphone options.
While this provider’s app support is limited to Android smartphones and tablets, it does offer a Smart TV DNS service allowing Android TV users to access blocked content. However, the DNS service does not encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.
Apps are also available for the Linux, iOS, Windows, macOS and Fire TV platforms. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions and extensive router support are also available. If you have a large family or a company full of Android users, you’ll appreciate this provider’s unlimited simultaneous device connections policy.
The provider has 1,000+ servers located in 61+ countries. While that’s a bit lacking, the server count and global coverage has nearly doubled from this time last year. Those servers provide reliable access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (in the U.S.), HBO Go, BBC iPlayer and other streamers.
Surfshark connections provide plenty of bandwidth for streaming, gaming and sharing files. No data caps of any kind are ever imposed.
Those connections are protected by banking-grade encryption, as well as a VPN kill switch and the ability to hide your device’s GPS-provided location. “Multi-Hop” routes your internet traffic through dual VPN servers for added protection.
Surfshark keeps no server logs and accepts Bitcoin to keep your payment info anonymous.
Around-the-clock support is available thanks to 24/7 live chat, a support request form and a searchable knowledge base.
- Fast-growing global server network
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- No app for Android TV
- The monthly subscription option is a bit expensive
PERFECT FOR LARGE GROUPS OF USERS:Surfshark delivers reliable protection for Android users, allowing even large groups of users to gain simultaneous protection on the same login. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Can I Use a Free VPN With My Android Device?
While you can indeed find a free VPN service that will work with your Android device, I’m willing to bet your experience will be less than satisfactory.
Your “free” VPN experience will be lacking both convenience and privacy.
As for convenience, it’s likely that when you need a VPN connection on your Android device, you need it quickly. When connecting to a free VPN service, you may find yourself cooling your heels in a virtual waiting room until you’re allowed to connect to one of the free VPN servers.
Then, once you’re given the green light, you’ll either find that you’re significantly limited in your selection of servers or that you’re assigned a server of the provider’s choice.
As for privacy, that’s tough to find when you’re using a “free” VPN. Even VPNs that don’t directly charge their customers need to keep the servers humming somehow.
Many VPNs of this ilk will pay the bills by tracking their users’ online activities, and selling that valuable information to advertisers and other interested parties. Other “free” VPNs have been caught injecting tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browser sessions.
Does any of this sound like an optimal VPN experience? It doesn’t to me.
What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
A VPN provides protection and enhances all of your online activities on your Android devices as well as other connected devices.
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, which prevents outside parties from monitoring your online activities.
Parties that would love to monitor your online travels include your Internet Service Provider (ISP) because they can sell that info to third parties Hackers because they can glean your personal information to sell to other bad guys, and even the government because, well, they’re the government; they’re naturally nosy.
ISPs have been known to throttle or block the connection of customers who engage in “unapproved” activities, such as file sharing or streaming movies from certain services. A VPN blocks an ISP from monitoring your online activities, preventing them from foiling your activities.
If you’re using a Wi-Fi signal on your Android device, there’s a good chance that signal is from an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot. That same encryption protects your online activities while using the hotspot. This protects you if you’re doing your online banking, shopping online or engaging in any other online activities.
A VPN also has the ability to “spoof” your device’s IP address, making it appear as if you’re located in another part of the world.
This opens up access to content that might usually be blocked in your part of the world. This includes popular streaming services and gaming arenas that geo-block their content for contractual reasons, and financial sites that might be geo-blocked due to security concerns.
When you’re connected to the internet (and your Android device is always connected), you’re leaving yourself open to having your online activities observed by outsiders. By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – like my top choice, ExpressVPN – you’ll provide optimal protection for your online activities, while also enhancing your ability to access your favorite content. Internet freedom is just a click away!
ExpressVPN offers comprehensive online protection, with fast and well-protected connections, as well as a global server network that unblocks content from around the globe. Android users will appreciate the provider’s easy-to-use app that provides instant protection from the perils of the online world.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.
Android VPN Q&A
⭐Can a VPN Steal Your Data?
While a VPN certainly blocks outsiders from monitoring your internet activity, the VPN itself can still see what you’re doing. However, if you are using a modern, updated browser and are visiting secure websites, all information sent between your device and the website is encrypted before being sent through the encrypted VPN tunnel.
That said, it is extremely important to use only reputable VPN providers, located in a country that respects online privacy, such as the British Virgin Islands. Many VPN providers, ExpressVPN for example, are located in BVI, and therefore are not required to keep usage logs. Free VPNs are known to monitor their users’ online travels and sell that information to third-parties.
⭐Do VPN Providers Sell Your Data?
⭐Can You Explain What a VPN Kill Switch Is?
A VPN kill switch is a feature that automatically disconnects your computer, mobile device, or other connected device from the internet in the event that your connection to the VPN provider’s servers is lost. This prevents your online activities from being exposed to prying eyes, and from having your true IP address from being exposed.
⭐What is the best TOR VPN for Android phones?
NordVPN offers the best online protection for Android TOR users. The provider offers all of the best features of The Onion Router (TOR) along with the protection afforded by a VPN. Using NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature hides your real IP address before connecting to the TOR network, hiding it from the TOR relay entry node.
NordVPN’s encrypted protection also prevents your ISP from seeing that you are using the TOR Browser. The provider’s strict no server logs policy also ensures your online activity can never be tracked.