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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 on your data and online activities, identity theft, and much more. The best VPN for Android should have a large server fleet, good speeds, and a set of strong security features. While there are free Android VPNs that can offer some of these things, they usually come with limitations. For those searching for budget-friendly options, we recommend premium Android VPNs with free trials and money-back guarantees.

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 phone is NordVPN, which provides a free 7-day trial along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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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 Android VPNs ensure reliable protection, great performance, excellent mobile apps, and more.

Top 5 best Android VPNs: free and 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. This 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 money-back guarantees offered by premium providers, like NordVPN or Surfshark.

Best VPNs for Android: free and paid – detailed list

There are so many premium and free 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 so, as you might install an unsafe application.

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

Besides, some premium VPN providers offer completely free versions to secure your Android tablet or smartphone. In our detailed list, you can find and select the best Android VPN with both premium and free version ones that have proven to provide maximal security on Android.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for Android overall

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Unlimited data:Yes
Money-back guarantee:
30 days
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF + gift!

NordVPN is the best VPN for Android that comes with a free trial and a money-back guarantee, compatible with Android 7.0 and newer versions, including phones, tablets, and smart TVs. 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 guarantee that absolutely everything about your connections is completely secure.

The powerful Android smartphone app includes all the main features, including split tunneling and reliable auto-connect options. NordVPN’s Android app doesn’t have a built-in kill switch, but it uses native kill switches from the Android’s “Always on VPN” feature.

NordVPN subscription prices start at an affordable $3.39/month price tag. 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.

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
Money-back guarantee:
30 days
Current deal:Get 79% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Surfshark is a free VPN alternative for Android users that includes a week-long trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to try out one of the fastest VPN for Android on the market without committing long-term. Surfshark supports Android 5.0 and newer systems.

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 starting from just $2.29/month, this is one of the best free VPN alternatives for Android.

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

norton vpn banner
Based in:United States
Unlimited data:Yes
Money-back guarantee:
60 days (annual plans), 14 days (monthly plans)
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 a 7-day free trial once you download it on your Android device. Moreover, you can test this VPN with a 60-day money-back guarantee if you subscribe to an annual plan. 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 tablet and phone 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.

More so, you can opt to get this VPN with Norton antivirus to get a top-rated malware protection 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 prolonged 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. Norton VPN prices start at $2.49/month, so, together with a free trial and money refund policy, you can see that this is a great budget-friendly alternative to a free Android VPN.

4. Proton VPN – the best free VPN for Android devices

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Unlimited data:Yes
Money-back guarantee:
30 days
Current deal:Holiday deal! Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN!

Proton VPN has an excellent free version with an app for Android smartphone and other devices, 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.

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, at its full potential, Proton VPN is incredibly fast, with only a 6.5% speed reduction at times.

The free version has split tunneling and the WireGuard tunneling protocol that you can also get with a premium. An upgraded version also includes Secure Core (DoubleVPN) servers and a lot more locations.

While you can get a free version of Proton VPN, we still advise you to go for a premium plan. Its prices start at $4.99/month, and you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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

bitdefender-vpn banner image
Based in:Romania
Unlimited data:Yes
Money-back guarantee:
30 days
Current deal:Get up to 43% OFF Bitdefender VPN!

Bitdefender VPN offers several features to protect your Android tablet or phone to 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 on Premium plans. 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.

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.

The data cap on the free version is not the biggest negative. Sadly, the free plan doesn’t allow choosing a server location, meaning you can’t really test the VPN's ability to unblock regional content. For this, you’d need to opt for the paid plan.

Bitdefender VPN’s paid subscription prices start from $3.33/month, but you can use its 30-day refund policy before committing long-term.

How we tested these Android VPN apps

We used a Nokia 6.2 smartphone to test dozens of free VPNs on Android 11 OS. To find the best VPN for Android, we ranked the services according to security, privacy, streaming, and other capabilities, as well as their 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 daily casual browsing.
  • 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 for Android.
  • Features. We looked for additional 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.

Best Android VPNs compared

SurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEWNorton VPN logo for tablesbitdefender vpn logo for tables
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.2
4
3.9
Free version❌No❌No❌No✅Yes✅Yes
Free trial✅Yes, 7-day✅Yes, 7-day✅Yes, 7-day❌No✅Yes, 7-day
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days60 days (annual plans), 14 days (monthly plans)30 days30 days
Lowest monthly price$3.39/month$2.29/month$2.49/month$4.99/month$3.33/month
Simultaneous connections6Unlimited101010
Servers6000+ servers in 61 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries1000+ servers in 29 countries3000+ servers in 71 countries4000+ servers in 53 countries
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 PwC and twice by DelloiteNo logs, independently audited by DelloiteNo logs, not auditedNo logs, independently audited by SecuritumNo logs, not audited

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
  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!

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.

What is the best free unlimited VPN for Android?

There are many free VPNs for Android to choose from, but most of them come with limitations. The majority of free providers apply data caps, give access to only a few server locations, and limit simultaneous device connections. These restrictions become an issue if you need the VPN for such online activities as streaming, torrenting, or gaming.

The best free unlimited VPN without a data cap is Proton VPN. However, the speeds are not the fastest, and there are only 3 countries to choose from.

For the best free unlimited VPN for Android without device limitation, it’s best to choose Surfshark with its free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be able to try out all the premium features at no cost.

If you’re looking for a free Android VPN without server limitations, we suggest going for NordVPN's free trial and its 30-day money-back guarantee. This way, you’ll be able to access thousands of global servers for free for over a month.

Why free Android VPNs might be dangerous

Even though it’s really tempting to download the very first free VPN for Android, 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:

  • Malware. Android OS is more subject to malware, compared to iOS, since it’s open source. Besides, Android is more vulnerable due to a broader range of devices. It’s important to protect your device with a reliable Android VPN service, and free providers lack strong protection capabilities.
  • Trackers. Even though an Android 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 Android VPN might not be as virtuous. It’s especially dangerous to use free Android VPNs in countries like China, where any leaked personal information could potentially put you in danger.
  • Outdated software. In the world of cybersecurity, using the latest technology is crucial. Unfortunately, free Android 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 a VPN safe: Are VPNs safe?

Data selling, malware, and tracking are the main threats you can face with completely free Android VPNs. That’s why we only recommend premium VPN providers for Android phones. Our top pick as the best VPN for Android 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 with a money-back guarantee, which can be a good way to test the service. 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 to a better version.

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

What is the fastest free VPN for Android?

The fastest free VPN for Android is the one that allows you to connect to the nearest possible server. The closer you’re connected, the faster the connection will be.

NordVPN gives an opportunity to connect to the nearest server. Besides, it has thousands of servers across the world, so you’ll find a nearby server wherever you may be. You can use NordVPN for free for over a month by taking advantage of its 7-day free trial plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Does Android have a built-in VPN?

Android does have a built-in (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and IPSec) VPN client, but it doesn’t work as an actual VPN service. Android’s built-in VPN client is used to add third-party VPN connections. It’s mostly used to connect your device to, for example, your school or company's network.

So, to be able to connect to a VPN server, you still need to install a third-party VPN app, which will then appear on the Android’s built-in VPN client.

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 Android mobile (or any other) device.

  • Opera VPN. Opera VPN comes for free together with the Opera browser, which is particularly popular among Android users. However, 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. It collects far too much data on its users, including activity logs, connection timestamps, and other personal info.

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 30-day 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 phone 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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