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Best VPNs for Android 2024: Free and paid options


Android devices without a VPN are more vulnerable to online threats, such as eavesdropping of your data and online activities, identity theft, and much more. And even if a completely free VPN can be a tempting solution to protect your Android device, unfortunately, they usually come with limitations. Such VPNs include small server fleets, perform at slower speeds, and have fewer security features. That’s why we recommend free trials or versions of premium VPNs.

A reputable VPN offers top-notch security for your device. Such a provider also performs at fast speeds, and provides access to its full features. And if you want to try it for free, it’s better to opt for a premium VPN that offers a free trial and money-back guarantee. Our top recommendation for your Android device is NordVPN, which provides a free 7-day trial along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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NordVPN is a top premium option, with all the best VPN features, and no compromises. Try it for free now – and get a reliable 30-day money-back guarantee.
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4.9 /5

To help you pick a reliable VPN, we have tested and selected the top free and premium VPNs for Android that you can trust. These VPNs for Android ensure reliable protection, great performance, excellent mobile apps, and more.

Top 5 best Android VPNs: free & paid

Is it worth having a free VPN on Android?

Whether it’s worth having a free VPN for Android heavily depends on what you need. First and foremost, you have to keep in mind that free VPNs have certain limitations related to data usage, speed, features, and country selection. Which means that a free VPN will most likely be suitable only for occasional browsing.

However, if you’re planning to double down and use a VPN for streaming, torrenting, or unblocking content in very specific countries, it’s better to look into paid services.

For this, you can upgrade any of the VPNs listed below, as all of them offer paid subscription plans that don’t limit the data, bandwidth, server list, and other features. Alternatively, you can also look into our list of the best VPN services and pick one of our top VPNs.

Pro tip

Looking for a good free VPN? If you want reliable and feature-rich services, we suggest using the free trials or the 30-day money-back guarantees offered by premium providers, like NordVPN or Surfshark.

Best free trial VPNs for Android – our detailed list

There are so many free trial VPNs for Android on the Google Play store that it’s tempting just to install the first one that catches your eye. However, we wouldn’t recommend doing that, as you might install an unsafe application.

Instead, you’d be better off choosing a service from the list below. We tested tens of mobile VPNs for you and picked only those that meet our rigorous criteria.

1. NordVPN – best free Android VPN overall

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF + gift!

NordVPN is the best free Android VPN that comes with a trial and a money-back guarantee. This is a premium solution with excellent speed and functionality, suited perfectly if you want the best VPN without risking any money.

NordVPN works seamlessly with streaming platforms and torrenting – making this an excellent pick for watching movies on the go, wherever you are. And as you browse, NordVPN protects you with top-of-the-line security features.

RAM-only servers make it physically impossible for the provider to store any of your data, and AES-256-CBC and ChaCha20 guarantees that absolutely everything about your connections is completely secure.

The powerful Android app includes all the main features: including split tunneling, a kill switch, and reliable auto-connect options.

And what’s even better – you can get the NordVPN free trial and use it free of charge for 30 days. It’s a great, no-risk alternative to free Android VPNs, giving you completely free premium services. Plus, in celebration of NordVPN's birthday, there are some great birthday offers!

To find out more, check out our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – unlimited Android VPN for free

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get 79% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Surfshark is a free VPN option for Android users that includes a week-long trial and a money-back guarantee. This lets you try out one of the highest quality services on the market without committing long-term.

What else is there to see? Surfshark is an excellent free VPN for Android. It offers fast and secure protocols, such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. Moreover, there's a top-class AES-256 encryption, and even GPS spoofing that allows switching GPS location on your Android phone.

Surfshark is also an excellent option for streaming: we had no issues using this VPN for Netflix and several other popular streaming platforms. It effortlessly unblocks international content and even libraries that are usually more difficult to access.

And finally, you can use Surfshark on unlimited devices. Your friends and family can use one account to protect all of their online connections.

With a reliable free Surfshark trial and an excellent low price, this is one of the best free VPN alternatives for Android.

Discover all the details in our Surfshark VPN review or conduct a Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison to find the best option.

3. Norton VPN – secure Android VPN with a free trial

norton vpn banner
Based in:United States
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:No
Current deal:Get up to 58% OFF Norton VPN!

Norton VPN is a secure and reliable VPN provider to enhance your Android device protection. It offers 7 days free trial once you download it on your Android device. Moreover, you can test this VPN with a 60-day money-back guarantee. That gives you plenty of time to familiarize yourself with this service before committing to a long-term subscription.

This VPN offers a very well-developed app for Android users, it’s feature-rich and comparable to the desktop version. You get AES-256 encryption, a reliable kill switch to prevent data leaks, and secure tunneling protocols.

In addition, with the VPN enabled, you won’t have to suffer through lags. Even without the speedy WireGuard tunneling protocol, Norton VPN, during our tests, retained around 74% of the initial speed.

To ensure better security, there’s also an ad blocker. More so, you can opt to get this VPN with Norton antivirus to get a top-rated malware prevention service too. This subscription would also provide a 7-day free trial. But keep in mind that the duration of a free trial depends on your location. For example, UK users get a prolonger 14-day free trial.

Norton VPN offers 1000+ servers in 29 countries, can unblock a few different streaming sites, like BBC iPlayer and Max, and has P2P-friendly servers.

One subscription covers up to 10 devices simultaneously. So you can see that this is a great budget-friendly alternative to a free Android VPN.

To learn more, visit our Norton VPN review.

Best VPNs for Android with a free version – our detailed list

Good news is that some premium VPN providers offer completely free versions to secure your devices. In our detailed list, you can find and select the best Android VPN with a free version that has proven to provide maximal security on Android.

1. Proton VPN – the best free version VPN for Android devices

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes (paid-only)
Current deal:Holiday deal! Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN!

Proton VPN has an excellent free version with an app for Android, which offers an unlimited amount of data. This means you’ll be able to browse the web as much as you want, without having to think about what to do when the free GBs inevitably end.

But that’s not the only appeal of the free Android version of ProtonVPN. It also shows no ads, unlike many other free VPNs. It’s as if its creators felt super generous and gave us a tool that will help us stay safe no matter what without demanding anything in return.

However, keep in mind that the free version still has its limits. You’ll only be able to connect to 160 servers in three countries. You’re also less likely to unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.

In addition, the speeds won’t be as good as with the paid version. Which is a shame, as, in its full potential, Proton VPN is incredibly fast with only 6.5% speed reduction at times.

Free version has split tunneling and the WireGuard tunneling protocol that you can also get with a Premium. An upgarded version also includes Secure Core (DoubleVPN) servers and more locations.

For more information, read our detailed Proton VPN review.

2. Bitdefender VPN – free version Android VPN from cybersecurity experts

bitdefender-vpn banner image
Based in:Romania
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes (paid-only)
Current deal:Get up to 43% OFF Bitdefender VPN!

Bitdefender VPN offers several features to protect your Android and make it more private. Firstly, it provides a genuinely free Android version capped at 200MB of data per day per device. You can use it for free on multiple devices, but it is limited to up to 10 simultaneous connections.

This amount of data is enough to secure only short browsing sessions, but there's also a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Combined, you can get a good free Android VPN until you decide to upgrade to the paid Bitdefender VPN version to remove the data cap, which costs $3.33/month.

BitDefender VPN Android app has a useful split-tunneling feature to control data flow and use the original device IP address without turning the VPN off. There are Multi-Hop servers for an additional level of privacy with customizable entry and exit servers. This Android VPN will automatically connect and apply traffic encryption whenever browsing public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Lastly, Bitdefender VPN has 4000+ servers in 53 countries and works well with Sky Go, YouTube TV, and BBC iPlayer. With more than a few ways to use it for free on Androids and an affordable subscription price, it's a worthy contender with others on this list.

Our in-depth Android review has more details.

How we tested these Android VPN apps

We used a Nokia 6.2 smartphone to test dozens of free VPNs on Android 11 OS. We ranked the services according to security, privacy, streaming, and other capabilities as well as features.

Here’s how we tested these free Android VPNs:

  • Security. It’s easier for Android users to encounter threat actors since the operating system allows third-party app installation. For example, you can install third-party apps on iOS as well, except Apple monitors these apps much more diligently in their App Store. That's why we chose VPNs that will keep you safe from data theft with a high-level AES-256 encryption cipher as well as secure tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard or OpenVPN.
  • Privacy and logging. We read through the privacy policies of each VPN and only included services that are no-logs providers. Providers with independently audited policies received higher points.
  • Free VPN data caps. In terms of free VPNs, we considered the data caps that come with each of them and whether it’s enough for casual browsing daily.
  • Server fleet. We compared the server networks of VPN services, including free ones. It was also important to consider what providers offer RAM-only or obfuscated servers.
  • Android apps. Some providers neglect their mobile versions, so we made sure the Android apps we suggest are functional and don’t completely lack in terms of features.
  • Speed. Modern tunneling protocols are useful for faster VPN speeds. So we performed speed tests on all providers to figure out which ones are the fastest VPNs.
  • Features. We looked for extra features that would be useful for extra security. For example, an Android VPN must include a kill switch to prevent accidental data leaks. Features like Threat Protection, which stops ads and malware, are also of big benefit.

How to use a VPN app on Android

Setting up a VPN on your Android is even easier than doing so on a desktop device. If you’ve ever downloaded an application, you’ll also know how to install a VPN. However, in case you’re still not sure how to do that, you can follow the steps below (we used NordVPN as an example):

  1. Go to Google Play, search for the VPN of your choice, click Install and then Open download-nordvpn-on-android
  2. Sign up or create a new account
  3. Free VPN users can already connect to a server. Meanwhile, with paid services, you can either choose to start a free trial or pick a plan and purchase it.
  4. Connect to the server of your choice, and you're all set! connect-to-nordvpn-server

If the VPN of your choice doesn’t have a dedicated app for Android devices, you’ll have to learn how to set it up manually.

Best Android VPNs compared

If you’re not in the mood to read through the short VPN reviews provided above, take a look at this table instead. Here, we listed the most important aspects of each free VPN for Android, letting you pick the perfect tool more easily.

NordVPNSurfsharkNorton VPNProton VPNBitdefender VPN
BrandSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEWNorton VPN logo for tablesbitdefender vpn logo for tables
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.2
4
3.9
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark VPN reviewNorton VPN reviewProton VPN reviewBitdefender VPN review
Free trialYes, 7-dayYes, 7-dayYes, 7-dayYes, unlimited7-day free trial
Price (lowest price per month)$3.39/month$2.29/month$2.49/month$4.99/month$3.33/month
StreamingNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreBBC iPlayer, MaxNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, HBO Max, Disney+BBC iPlayer, YouTube
LoggingNo logs, independently audited twice by PwCNo logs, not auditedNo logs, not auditedNo logs, independently audited by SecuritumNo logs, not audited
Servers6000+ servers in 61 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries1000+ servers in 29 countries3000+ servers in 71 countries4000+ servers in 53 countries
Simultaneous connections6Unlimited101010
CountryPanamaThe Netherlands (part of 9-Eyes)
United States (part of 5-Eyes)SwitzerlandRomania
Best forStreaming, torrenting, securityStreaming, torrenting, securitySecurity, browsingTorrenting, securityStreaming, security

Why free VPNs might be dangerous

Even though it’s really tempting to download the very first free VPN you come across on Google Play (especially when there’s a Netflix series waiting to be watched), this is not a good idea. Here’s why:

  • Malicious ads. Some free VPNs display lots of advertisements for the purpose of earning money. Unfortunately, this is not only annoying but also dangerous. That’s because free VPNs and other free programs allow malicious ads and pop-ups to be displayed with no concern for the user's safety. These can install all sorts of malware onto your Android.
  • Trackers. Even though a VPN is supposed to make you anonymous, an untrustworthy one can do the opposite. A free app is likely to install trackers onto your system, thus keeping an eye on your location, search queries, and other personal information.
  • Selling data. While reputable VPNs won’t sell your data to the government thanks to audited no-log policies, a random free VPN might not be as virtuous. It’s especially dangerous to use free VPNs in countries like China, where any info on you could potentially put you into jail.
  • Outdated software. In the world of cybersecurity, using the latest technology is crucial. Unfortunately, free VPN services often use outdated (and unsafe) tunneling protocols that are prone to cyber-attacks.

To learn more, check out our detailed guide about what makes VPN safe: Are VPNs safe?

Data selling, malware, and tracking are the main threats that you can face with completely free VPNs. That’s why we only recommend a premium VPN provider. Our top pick is NordVPN, which ensures maximum security against all these risks and provides a free 7-day trial along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try a premium NordVPN service for free
NordVPN is the top free VPN alternative. With its 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you will be able to unblock all popular streaming services, enjoy excellent speeds, and stay anonymous thanks to top-notch encryption.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

If you still want to use a free tool, look for freemium VPNs that also offer a paid version. In this way, you’ll know that the service earns money from sales instead of doing some shady business. Also, you’ll be able to upgrade your tool into a better version.

To learn more, check out our detailed guide about paid vs free VPNs.

Free Android VPNs to avoid

It’s not only important to know which free VPNs for Android to choose – you should also know which ones to avoid. Below you can see some of the most well-known free VPNs that you should not install on your mobile (or any other) device.

  • Opera VPN. Opera VPN comes for free together with the Opera browser. However, even though it’s tempting to use it, we suggest you don’t. That’s because Opera’s privacy policy is rather questionable and you can’t really know where your data will end up. Also, it doesn’t let you pick a particular country, only one of three continents.
  • Betternet VPN. Even though Betternet is one of the more popular free VPNs for Android, it’s better to be avoided. That’s because your security can be compromised due to the lack of a kill switch, DNS leaks, and quite a poor logging policy.
  • iNinja VPN. Despite its name, iNinja VPN won’t let you feel like a ninja on the internet. It simply collects far too much data on its users, including activity logs, connection timestamps, and other personal info.

Read about what makes up a VPN price

Video review: free VPNs for Android

Reliable VPN options for your Android reviewed in 8 minutes, check it out:

Conclusion

Completely free VPNs for Android come with some limitations, such as smaller server fleets, fewer security features, or the inability to bypass geo-restrictions. That’s why we recommend a free trial, a free version, or a money-back guarantee of a premium provider to secure your Android with the highest-level provider.

We recommend using NordVPN as it is the best VPN with a free trial and a month-long money-back guarantee for Android. Alongside top-notch security, it offers access to its massive server network, anti-malware features, and performs excellently on Android without slowing it down.

And if you’re still tempted to try a completely free, yet limited VPN, consider using a free version of a premium VPN. For example, ProtonVPN has been tested and selected as the best VPN for Android with a free version as it offers the highest possible security without putting your device and data at risk.


More VPN guides from Cybernews


FAQ

Comments

Jovi
prefix 7 months ago
What is the meaning of "part of 5-Eyes"?
Cybernews Team
prefix 7 months ago
Thanks for your question! Part of 5-Eyes refers to a country or entity that is a member of the 5-Eyes intelligence alliance. The 5-Eyes comprises the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, who collaborate to share intelligence and conduct surveillance to enhance national security and counter threats. You can read more about in our article: https://cybernews.com/resources/5-eyes-9-eyes-14-eyes-countries/
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