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Best VPNs for Android

By Will Ellis
Last Updated on March 20, 2024
Best VPN for Android

Let’s be honest – we all spend a bit too much time on our phones. Obviously, when someone asks how much we use our phones, we just lie about it, but the data is clear for everyone to see.

Whoever you are, if you’ve got an Android phone, you should probably put it down a bit more.

Is that anyone’s business anyway? Is someone paying attention to how much you’re using your phone? Are there people out there spying on you?

If you can’t answer the last question confidently, you probably want a VPN. Because the answer to who is gathering your Android usage data is, well, pretty much every app on it. And that said, your phone might have some serious vulnerabilities built into it, too.

So, if you want to use your Android phone without people tracking your data and judging you, I’d highly suggest you get one of the VPNs below.


A VPN is just as important for Android devices as it is for any other OS. Android devices are vulnerable to a series of privacy issues, yet the majority of VPN apps are lacklustre, to say the least. With so many poor apps out there, you should only trust the best. This list is here to present the best and most trusted Android VPNs available, topping out with the cheap, reliable, and effective NordVPN?

Table of Contents:

Android VPNs

When it comes to Android devices, a VPN has different priorities than it would for, say, a Windows OS. In general, Android’s basic security is pretty solid, but there are a few issues, such as the release of the source code, which makes exploitation more likely.

However, android security is constantly improving and getting safer. Whilst it never hurts to reinforce this security, that isn’t the primary issue a VPN is out there to fix.

Your biggest concern by far will be privacy and anonymity. So many of the apps and sites you visit will be relentlessly harvesting your data, and you’ll need a VPN with ironclad privacy settings to combat this.

Even more concerning, some of the devices on the Android OS will directly harvest your data. For example, look no further than Huawei phones, which are infamous for having a built-in backdoor that directly harvests data and beams it straight back to the Chinese government. This is what your VPN will be competing with.

As you browse the Google Play store, you’ll find dozens of VPNs available. Problem is, many of these will be relatively mediocre products that, despite their dedicated Android usage, simply won’t compete with bigger brands.

Having a good VPN will help you protect your phone from cell phone spying.

For your Android device, you need bigger and better to be truly secure and anonymous. You need top-of-the-line leak protection and encryption, as well as a company from a legal environment that can’t be forced to forfeit your info. Most of the established VPN brands have had a little issue with transferring their services to Android, so it’s always prudent to go for the big names.

When you want a suitable VPN for your Android, look for privacy, intuitive UI and good pricing (though never go free; we’ve already written about the reasons for that right here).

When you’ve got these features down, the rest comes down to what extras the provider offers, any enticing deals and personal taste, but if you have a VPN with all the basic needs covered, you will be able to browse your Android in security and anonymity.

See also: Is Jailbreaking Safe?

Pros and Cons of VPNs

Before getting into the review section of the article, let’s quickly run through a few of the pros and cons you can expect to see when using these kinds of services:


Kicking things off, let’s begin on a positive note and walk through some of the main advantages you can expect to see regardless of which VPN you ultimately settle on:

Enhanced Privacy

VPNs encrypt your data, making it difficult for third parties to track your online activities and steal sensitive information.

Access to Restricted Content

A VPN can bypass geographical restrictions, allowing you to access content and services that are not available in your region.

Secure Public Wi-Fi Use

Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks protects your data from potential hackers and snoopers.


Ultimately, you’ll almost always be better off with a VPN for your Android than without one if we’re looking at it strictly from a privacy perspective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few pitfalls worth discussing:

Slower Internet Speed

VPNs can sometimes reduce your internet speed due to the encryption process and the distance of the server you’re connected to.

Battery Drain

Running a VPN on your Android device can consume more battery life because it’s an additional process that runs continuously.

Complexity for Non-Tech-Savvy Users

If you’re slightly unfamiliar with how this technology works, there’s a good chance you’ll find it difficult to set up and manage all of the various configurations without watching a tutorial.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is affordable, trustworthy, and comprehensive. Whether you want solid security and anonymity or to avoid a few geo-blocks, NordVPN has you covered.

What is NordVPN?

NordVPN is an established VPN brand, and its dedicated Android app shows the experience.

It is easy to use whether you are new to VPNs or an experienced user and can be customised for either an automatic or tailored experience.

The security is top of the line, having the added bonus of a long history without any instances of either intentional logging or unintended leaks.

While more expensive, the extra monthly cost is the price you pay for a long track record of stellar service, not to mention it has over 5000 servers.

Here are some of the features that make it worth that extra cost:

  • Easy accessed advanced sections: The advanced settings are as intuitive as the basics. Whether it’s specialised servers, tailored protocols or hiding Servers you’re looking to implement, NordVPN has you covered.
  • Instant connection: With so many servers, you might feel spoilt for choice. Luckily for you, the NordVPN app has you covered and will quickly auto-pair you with the most suitable server based on location, speed, and need.
  • Secure and unlogged: There have never been any incidents of logging or serious leaks in the company’s long track record, meaning you can rest easy and your data won’t be compromised.
  • Censorship-free: Free from legal restriction (due to its Panama-based HQ) and geo-blocking, NordVPN specialises in getting around censorship, allowing you to freely surf the web regardless of locations and government intervention.
  • Great customer support: With a 24/7 support team that is responsive and experienced, any issues you have with the VPN should be fixed quickly.
  • Great deals: NordVPN has plenty of enticing deals that might reel you in. $3.39 a month for the free year plan will save you over $300, and the 30-day trial and one-month money-back guarantee make NordVPN an enticing option to test out for yourself.

Do I recommend NordVPN for Android?

Definitely – NordVPN is at the top of our list for a reason. It provides fantastic protection and privacy settings as default, and the extra features make for the icing on an already delicious cake.

The interconnectivity with its other OS systems means your Android device has access to a huge array of servers. Intuitive, reasonably priced and with a set of interesting features, this is certainly a VPN worth looking into for Android users.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark is fairly secure, quick, and intuitive. In fact, the only reason it’s in second place is because it’s a newcomer to the VPN market! But if you’re looking to save some money, then Surfshark is the one for you.

What is Surfshark?

An up-and-coming company in the VPN market, Surfshark doesn’t fit the profile of cheap/free VPN apps.

It will serve you up an enticing but inferior product. With a simple installation process, you can have a secure VPN.

Surfshark covers all the bases you need to be protected and anonymous on your Android device.

Related: Best Cheap VPN (AU)

One of the shining features is its total Netflix compatibility, which we’ve written about here. This solves an issue that plagues hundreds of other VPN providers, and combined with its competitive pricing, easy-to-use app, and other special features, Surfshark easily makes the top of our list.

Some of its most impressive features include:

  • Banking app compatible: In many Android VPNs, banking apps become unusable, and you are forced to turn off your VPN to access the app. This kind of defeats the objective of having a VPN to secure your data! Fortunately, using the Surfshark whistler feature, you can easily set aside apps that the VPN won’t be used to access, allowing you to access them without the need to sacrifice overall protection.
  • Unlimited devices: Connect your phone, tablet and any other Android device you have all with one VPN!
  • Cleanweb: Surfshark doesn’t just protect your online experience; it makes it more pleasant! Blocking ads, spam and any other annoying popups, this feature of Surfshark makes life far more pleasant online.
  • MultiHop: If you are extra conscious of being tracked, then you have the option of jumping through numerous VPN server Hubs before reaching your location. This makes it virtually impossible.
  • Camouflage mode: If you want to be even more anonymous than normally when using a VPN, Surfshark has an additional feature that makes it so your Android internet can’t even tell you’re using a VPN in the first place, let alone your internet traffic locations.
  • Solid encryption: Using the top standard AES-256-GCM encryption grade and IKEv2/IPsec protocols, the security of Surfshark isn’t in doubt.
  • Great price: All these features, on top of their great basic security protocols, can be yours for just $3.39/mo for a 2-year contract.

Do I recommend Surfshark for Android?

100%. The basic security is reliable, and it doesn’t scrimp on specialised features either. This, combined with being one of the cheapest on the market, makes it an impressive VPN provider. Whatever your needs, it’s got you covered.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the premium choice on the list. Whilst its price will be prohibitive for some, it is by far the fastest and most secure; for anyone serious about security and anonymity, ExpressVPN is worth checking out.

What is ExpressVPN?

Whilst the priciest on the list, ExpressVPN is also the oldest and most experienced.

The widespread server range makes geo-blocks and censorship pitifully easy to bypass, combined with its extremely well-tailored UI.

The ExpressVPN Android app is a specialised service, not directly connected to its other OS services. This means a tailored experience for Android users, with a dedicated UI and specialised servers. With such dedicated focus, you can be sure their Android app wasn’t an afterthought or poorly tacked-on addition to its other services. Check out our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN summary.

Here are some of the ways ExpressVPN tailors its usage for the Android OS:

  • Split tunnelling: Certain Android apps are incompatible with a VPN, so ExpressVPN has a special service that will allow your connection to branch out of the VPN tunnel to access these apps. This allows access without having to go through the dangerous (and annoying) process of fully deactivating the VPN every time.
  • Auto-protection: If, for whatever reason, you don’t always keep your VPN on, then you put yourself at risk of accidentally connecting to unsafe WIFI. Luckily, ExpressVPN has you covered. The auto-connect function means that if it’s not already on, as soon as you connect to an unsafe connection, ExpressVPN automatically activates and keeps you secure. Perfect for those not always on the ball with their internet safety!
  • Fastest VPN speeds available: Run it through any testing software, and you’ll see that ExpressVPN is blazingly fast. This speed remains consistent across all its servers, meaning you won’t be forced to choose between speed and protection.
  • Advanced leak protection: One aspect that ExpressVPN excels at is its Ironclad security; the standard protection is top-of-the-line. You’re about as secure as can be when you use ExpressVPN.
  • Premium protection: The monthly cost for a 12-month contract comes out at $6.67. whilst notably steeper than the other two, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you a chance to see for yourself if the stellar protection is worth the extra cost.
  • Easy installation, easy use: The UI is famously easy to use, meaning you’ll be up and surfing, protected and anonymous within a minute of its quick and simple installation.

Do I recommend ExpressVPN for Android?

Wholeheartedly, the dedicated app rather than interconnectivity is a different approach than the other two VPNs, but one that works well and has its own advantages. The dedicated Android servers mean that any troubleshooting issues are easily resolved with the already fantastic support team. If you’re willing to pay the premium, ExpressVPN won’t let you down.

4. Proton VPN

What is Proton VPN?

As far as security goes, few options out there handle Android security better than Proton VPN, a Swiss-based open-source platform that comes with a range of privacy features like kill switches and a “NetShield” for blocking ads.

Proton VPN is around $5.93 per month if you’ve opted for their 30 month plan, but this can obviously be a pretty lengthy time to commit to before trying the service out, so it’s just as well they offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

There is still a free plan if you can’t afford Proton VPN’s paid version, but as we’ve mentioned earlier in the article, it’s almost always better just to go with a cheaper VPN rather than opting for a free version.

Let’s take a closer look at what Proton VPN has to offer for the Android OS:

  • Paid Plan (Proton VPN Plus): Although it’s a bit pricey, this subscription tier gives you access to a massive amount of servers (3,181) to connect to in 71 different countries, meaning you’ll be secure more or less anywhere in the world. You’ll also be able to enjoy speeds of up to 10GB/s, so you don’t need to compromise on internet speed while staying safe like so many other VPNs do – keep in mind this is exclusive to the paid version, though; the free plan is way slower.
  • Access to Streaming Services: If you’ve chosen the free plan, the streaming quality is probably going to be a bit worse since your internet speed will be slower, but you’ll still be able to use Proton VPN to access a range of streaming services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Free Plan: We strongly advise going for the paid plan instead as a general rule of thumb, but it’s good to know that Proton VPN offers a free plan for anyone who wants a simple service to access geo-restricted content and is less concerned with the hyper-security aspect of VPNs.
  • Privacy Assurance: Proton VPN is based in Switzerland, and much like their privacy laws when it comes to banking, you’ll be completely safeguarded while using their service – not even they can look at your online activities because of their no-logs policy.

Do I recommend Proton VPN for Android?

Without a doubt. One of the only major downsides to Proton VPN is the pricing because if you want a monthly subscription plan rather than committing to 2.5 years, you’re going to need to pay around $16.50 per month, which is obviously ludicrous in comparison to some of the other options we’ve covered. Still, you’ll struggle to find another Android VPN app with as many additional security features as Proton VPN, so at least you can see where your money’s going if you’re willing to pay for the premium plans.

5. Windscribe

What is Windscribe?

Our final option is a slightly lesser-known VPN service, but it’s certainly still giving Windscribe a go, even if it’s just to test it out before returning to a more established service.

If you do check it out, though, you’ll be offered a range of different pricing plans (including the Build a Plan subscription tier), and this flexibility is one of the main reasons why we’ve included them on our list.

One of the only downsides (aside from the lack of brand recognition compared to VPNs like NordVPN) of Windscribe is that they don’t actually specify the number of servers you have access to, so you can only assume it’s not the most extensive option – certainly not extending to 71 countries like Proton VPN.

In addition, it didn’t always connect super smoothly to certain foreign streaming services we tried, but the content itself was broadly fine since they use a protocol called WireGuard, which boosts internet performance. The $8.68 price tag that comes with their yearly plan is far from ideal, but we’re focusing more on their Build a Plan subscription tier in this review.

Let’s explore what kind of features you’re getting with Windscribe:

  • Beginner-friendly app: Options we’ve covered earlier in the article, like Proton VPN and NordVPN’s main selling points are the range of different services that are attached to them, and while this is obviously useful for certain things, it can definitely put a few people off who just want quick and hassle-free VPN access without having to configure a million different settings. Windscribe is not entirely without additional features, but its main ethos is to make VPN technology as accessible as possible, making it the perfect option if you’re a beginner who’s looking for a clean interface and plenty of servers to easily connect to.
  • “Build A Plan” model: None of the other options we covered include the kind of subscription tier that allows you to customise your own plan rather than making you pay a fixed monthly fee for an already predefined set of features, so this is definitely one of the more unique VPNs we found for Android devices – costing you only $1.50 per location per month. This means you’re only ever paying for the features you actually want to use, so this makes Windscribe one of the most cost-effective choices out there, all things considered.
  • Unlimited device connections: Just because their pricing model is a little bit unconventional, it doesn’t mean Windscribe compromises on the range of devices you can connect to the VPN – you can still connect as many as you want, all on a single account without any additional cost or restrictions.
  • Pro Version: The Pro version, while definitely more expensive, gives you 69 different countries to choose from, as well as access to a bunch of advanced security features that you won’t get with the cheaper Build a Plan tier. One of these features is their “R.O.B.E.R.T” system, which essentially lets you block specific IP addresses and domains and use “Decoy Mode” for your Android.

Do I recommend Windscribe for Android?

You probably shouldn’t expect to be blown away by Windscribe’s capability as a VPN service – especially in comparison to other options like Surfshark or NordVPN that we’ve already covered – but it’s for this reason that Windscribe is so special; there aren’t many paid VPNs that simplify online privacy like they do.

 You’ll find it a bit lacklustre if you’re sticking to the cheaper subscription models they offer, but they’re ultimately a quality service that you definitely shouldn’t turn your head away from just because they’re a bit less mainstream than other Android VPNs.


Offering great protection and a proven track record, NordVPN is our top choice without a doubt. Surfshark is mostly on par with NordVPN in terms of service provided, but because of its status as a newer service, we can’t give it the top spot yet.

ExpressVPN has the benefit of probably the best and most Android-tailored security, but for some, the lack of interconnectivity might be an issue, especially when it’s so common to have numerous internet-connected devices. While it is a solid product, ExpressVPN’s cost is a bit steep for most.

Proton VPN is probably the best in terms of the security features on offer, but it’s understandable it might not be everyone’s top choice due to the price tag – especially when NordVPN is so similarly priced and tends to work more reliably.

If you’ve tried all the other options we’ve listed and have been left unimpressed, Windscribe certainly feels like a unique VPN when you’re using it, both in terms of the UI and the Build a Plan flexibility they offer. Still, even after trying five different services, none of them can do it quite like NordVPN can. 


What Distinguishes Android VPN Apps From Other VPN Services?

Rather than the kind of VPN you’d use on your computer, Android VPNs are tailored more or less exclusively for Android devices and their operating systems specifically, meaning they’ll come with features that have been optimised for mobile use rather than on a PC. This includes things like UI designed for touchscreens and other features like split tunnelling, where you’re able to choose from specific apps on your phone you want to bypass the VPN connection.

How Can I Choose the Best Android VPN Service for My Needs?

Firstly, it can help to know what you’re actually looking for when using an Android VPN app because they all tend to have different strengths, like how some of them prioritise privacy and speed, whereas others advertise to people who are only interested in accessing blocked streaming services, for example. Once you’ve got an idea of what you want, read reviews of the best Android VPNs and check out what their connection speeds and customer support are like.

Is It Actually Legal to Use an Android VPN?

Yes, it’s legal to use Android VPNs in pretty much all Western countries, but certain things you’re doing while you’ve got the VPN active are certainly not. For example, certain countries like China and Russia do impose restrictions (not usually bans, though) on VPN usage, particularly when you’re trying to access censored content or even evade government surveillance. As such, you’d always want to research your local regulations before buying a VPN.

Can an Android VPN Service Enhance Gaming Experiences on Mobile Devices?

While your gaming experience on your mobile phone is never going to be as smooth as using a mouse and keyboard or controller, VPNs can definitely still improve your performance by improving your ping and even letting you access certain region-locked servers. Having said this, it all depends on which VPN you’ve opted for and where their servers are located, as you’re obviously going to experience lower ping if you’re in Australia and trying to play on European servers.

How Do Android VPN Services Accommodate Households or Businesses With Multiple Devices?

You’ll probably not see these kinds of features with a free Android VPN, but the majority of the paid ones come with extra features like unlimited simultaneous connections, which essentially lets you secure all the devices you own (or your family/colleagues own) under one subscription. As such, you’ll now be able to protect your phones, tablets, or whatever device you’re thinking of simultaneously without having to compromise on performance or security.

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