Best Mobile VPN in 2023
Anyone with a sense of personal privacy and security should consider a mobile VPN. Not only will it encrypt your data and hide your online activities from your mobile data provider or hackers lurking on public networks, but also give you access to geo-restricted streaming content and applications.
Unfortunately, finding a mobile VPN that is both functional and secure can be a challenge. VPN developers often pay more attention to desktop apps – they get more features, more advanced protection, and better designs. But mobile users shouldn’t settle for less-than-perfect mobile VPN apps – especially considering that we use our phones with mobile data and insecure public networks quite often.
To help you find the best VPN for your phone – we tested and reviewed around 32 providers to find the best mobile VPNs in 2023. Our suggested VPNs don’t compromise on security or speed, and include everything that you need and more – all for affordable pricing.
The best VPN for mobile
- NordVPN – best VPN for mobile in 2023
- Surfshark – fast mobile phone VPN with unlimited connections
- Atlas VPN – affordable mobile VPN with a free version
- ExpressVPN – security-oriented cell phone VPN
- CyberGhost – speedy and suitable VPN for a phone
How to choose the best mobile VPN?
Choosing the best VPN for your phone should involve considering the price, ease of use, security features, and server locations. Other things to consider could be the speed and compatibility of the VPN, as well as extra features and functionalities. Here are more details on how to choose the best mobile VPN for you:
|Security features:||Kill switch, Threat Protection, ad blocker|
|Privacy features:||Independently audited no-logs policy, IP and DNS leak protection|
|Speed:||WireGuard and IKEv2 tunneling protocols|
|Servers:||Obfuscated, RAM-only, optimized for streaming|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, Hulu, Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and more|
- Ensure compatibility. The VPN provider must have a well-developed and functioning VPN app for Android and iOS devices. You should be able to find the app in your respective App Store or Google Play Store and download and install it with one push of a button.
- Consider ease of use and functionalities. VPN developers usually prefer desktop apps and often don’t bother with additional functionalities for mobile apps. Nevertheless, no one should settle for less than a stellar app design that is function includes both basic and additional features like split tunneling, kill switches, ad-blockers, or port forwarding. It shouldn’t take you more than three clicks to enable auto-connect or find a suitable server.
- Check streaming capabilities. We often use our phones for streaming. Your mobile VPN should be able to easily unblock any restricted streaming content from Netflix, Max, regional TV channels, YouTube, Twitch, and any other app.
- Look at the price. Getting a functional, easy-to-use, and fast mobile VPN should not break the bank. Your chosen provider should have an affordable plan, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a free trial or free version.
The best VPNs for mobile in 2023 – our detailed list:
Below you’ll find the list of the best mobile VPN providers we’ve tested out and deemed worthy. These providers meet our main criteria of encrypting your data from leaks and hacks, include a no-log policy, and have a variety of server locations to choose from.
1. NordVPN – the best mobile VPN in 2023
|Servers:||5,800+ in 60 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is by far the best mobile VPN provider due to its advanced security and blazing-fast speeds. The features include split tunneling, a kill switch, auto-connect, and even the lite version of Threat Protection. The VPN offers more than 5,800 servers in 60countries, letting you unlock content from all around the world.
User experience. NordVPN mobile apps are sleek and very easy to use. Everything is one or two taps away, and there are search bars for features and servers. One minor design downside is that the mobile apps use the map interface, which is not the most optimal for phones. However, there is no need to stick to the map – you can use the server list to connect to desired locations.
Security. NordVPN has a reliable kill switch that will help you keep your data safe in case the VPN disconnects by accident. There’s also threat protection that protects you from malicious activity and is one of the best ad blockers on the market.
Privacy. After reading NordVPN’s policy, we found that it’s a zero-logs provider. That’s because it collects crash error and application diagnostic-related data which you can opt out of.
Speeds. NordVPN is an extremely fast VPN – you won’t notice it working at all. Thanks to its proprietary tunneling protocol called NordLynx, it retains around 94% of initial internet speeds on average.
Streaming. If streaming is what you want a VPN for, NordVPN can effortlessly bypass restrictions on Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.
The prices of NordVPN start from $3.19/month. You can also make use of the 7-day free trial on Android and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more details, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – fast and secure VPN for phones
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers:||3,200+ in 100 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is one of the most popular fast mobile VPN providers available on the market. It has well-developed apps for both Android and iOS which include all the features of the desktop app (save for split tunneling, GPS spoofing, and Whitelister on iOS). Surfshark also offers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, and a list of attractive features.
User experience. The setup with Surfshark is easy – all we had to do was get the app from the dedicated app store and create an account. The application is also designed well – you don’t need to look far or scroll for long to find the most optimal server to connect to. All the features are located conveniently – it doesn’t take more than a few taps to enable the kill switch or set up auto-connect.
Security. Surfshark apps include a functional kill switch that won’t let your data leak in case the VPN drops. There’s also the CleanWeb safe browsing feature that blocks malicious content so you’d be able to browse stress-free.
Privacy. Surfshark is a true no-logs VPN. The only data they keep is for improving their services, yet you can opt-out. Plus, it has recently been audited by the Deloitte firm.
Speeds. Surfshark uses the WireGuard protocol, which is considered one of the fastest protocols. Thanks to it, the VPN retained 90% of initial internet speeds on average. That’s enough speed for both streaming and casual browsing.
Streaming. This VPN managed to unblock loads of streaming services, including Netflix libraries, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.
Surfshark comes with attractive prices starting from $2.30/month! Plus, you can claim the 7-day free trial, and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our Surfshark VPN review for more details.
3. Atlas VPN – a simplistic and affordable VPN for phones
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers:||1,000+ in 42 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Atlas VPN, now 85% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
Atlas VPN is a solid choice as a mobile VPN. It’s a simplistic but secure VPN provider that offers low prices, as well as a basic free version. Atlas VPN mobile apps don’t disappoint – next to the basic features like a kill switch, there are options for safe browsing and improved privacy, too. The VPN offers 1,000+ servers in 42 countries to choose from.
User experience. Atlas VPN apps for both Android and iOS have a surprisingly and pleasantly clean design. The features are all exceptionally easy to find and enable. Connecting to a desired server takes one simple tap, and the settings are just where you would expect them to be. In fact, using Atlas VPN mobile apps might get you a better user experience than the desktop counterparts.
Security. With Atlas VPN, you get a market-standard kill switch. Additionally, you can use the Tracker Blocker feature that blocks ads, trackers, and access to malicious sites. There’s also a feature to check whether any of your personal data has been in recent data breaches.
Speeds. This VPN uses the WireGuard protocol. That’s part of the reason why it retains around 80% of your initial connection speeds on average.
Streaming. Atlas VPN can let you access geo-restricted content on YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and HBO Max.
Premium pricing of Atlas VPN starts from $1.82/month. You can also connect as many devices as you want. A 30-day money-back guarantee applies as well.
For more details, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – mobile VPN with advanced security
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers:||3,000+ in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for phones with good security features. It has well-developed apps for both Android and iOS systems which are easy to use and navigate and also offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries to choose from.
User experience. If you’re used to ExpressVPN desktop apps, you won’t have any trouble navigating the mobile versions, as the layout is nearly identical. It is worth noting though that the iOS app has fewer features than the Android app – there is no kill switch, no split tunneling, and no shortcuts feature.
Security. You’re getting a functional kill switch with the Android app to prevent data theft if the VPN disconnects. A threat manager is also available, and it prevents not only malicious activity but trackers as well.
Privacy. ExpressVPN doesn’t log your online activities, IP address, or anything related to it. To prove it, they’ve even done independent audits of the policy. You won't need to worry about your data being recorded and shared with third parties.
Speeds. With this VPN, you won’t have trouble with slow performance. During our tests, it retained up to 77% of initial connection speeds, which is quite good when compared to other providers such as NordVPN or Surfshark.
Streaming. ExpressVPN speeds will help you have a buffering-free streaming experience. During our tests, this VPN easily provided access to geo-blocked Netflix libraries, HBO Max, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.
You can get ExpressVPN for $6.67/month. While it’s more expensive than NordVPN or Surfshark, it does let you connect up to 8 devices on the same account. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available as well.
Read our ExpressVPN review for more information.
5. CyberGhost – speedy smartphone VPN for streaming
|Servers:||9,600+ in 91 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% OFF + 3 months FREE🔥|
CyberGhost is one of the fastest mobile VPNs that you can use for both security and streaming. It can unblock plenty of streaming platforms, offers great security features as well as more than 9,600 servers in 91 countries to choose from.
User experience: CyberGhost apps are very easy to set up, and even easier to use – the intuitive design makes it simple to connect to a server, enable the kill switch, or switch the tunneling protocol. At times, mobile apps work even better than their desktop counterparts.
Security. Unlike all other VPNs on this list, CyberGhost lacks a kill switch on iOS. Yet, it does provide an ad blocker that effectively deals with all types of ads. There are also NoSpy servers managed by CyberGhost that ensure extra privacy for you.
Speeds. In terms of performance, CyberGhost is even faster than Atlas VPN or ExpressVPN. It retained 84% of initial connection speeds during our testing, so you’re guaranteed a buffering-free streaming and lagging-free browsing experience.
Streaming. Whether you want to access geo-blocked content on Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, or any other streaming site, this VPN can do it all. During our testing, we experienced virtually no lag or buffering when streaming on mobile phones.
The prices of CyberGhost start from just $2.11/month. Plus, its money-back guarantee extends to 45 days.
For more information, read our CyberGhost review.
How we selected and tested these mobile VPNs
Listed below are the requirements we have for a good mobile VPN application. So you’d know what to really pay attention to when choosing the best mobile VPN provider.
Supported systems. Quite obviously, a perfect mobile VPN should have a perfectly developed mobile app. We tested and reviewed mobile apps of several dozen VPNs and chose the ones that offer well-designed and fully-equipped apps for iOS and Android that function seamlessly and have no major security flaws or other usability issues.
Interface ease of use. For the best experience using a mobile VPN, the app design should be intuitive, uncluttered, and exceptionally easy to use. We tested all the apps and made sure that no feature took more than a few taps to find and enable. Any provider that didn’t fit these criteria was scrapped.
Additional features. Mobile VPN apps are typically found to be not as feature-rich as desktop applications. Nevertheless, we chose to look beyond the basics such as a kill switch and auto-connect, and go for the providers that also offer any sort of ad blockers, malware protection, GPS spoofing, etc.
Encryption and speed. All VPNs on this list use the industry standard AES-256 encryption or the next-gen ChaCha20 cipher as well as WireGuard, IKEv2, or proprietary tunneling protocols. We also tested the speeds of every VPN provider using both our in-house and online testing tools – no VPN that retains less than 70% of the original speed made the list.
Servers. The server count is one way to make sure that the VPN has sufficient features to unblock any kind of content anywhere. Additionally, we looked over other publicly available information about what kind of servers each VPN provider offers – including RAM-only, privately owned, and obfuscated. We also tested whether the servers are able to unblock streaming services such as Netflix and regional TV channels. Anything less than the best performance didn’t make this list.
No-logs policy. One of the main purposes of a VPN is to secure your online activity, and a no-logs policy assures that. We checked every provider to ensure that they offer strict and independently audited no-logs policies.
Best mobile VPNs compared
Here’s how the best VPNs for phones compare to each other in terms of price, server count, App Store, and Google Play store ratings, and how many streaming services they unblock:
|Servers||5,800+ servers in 60 countries||3,200+ servers in 100 countries||1,000+ servers in 42 countries||3,000+ servers in 94 countries||9,600+ servers in 91 countries|
|Streaming services||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|App Store rating||4.6||4.8||4.6||4.5||4.3|
|Google Play Store rating||4.4||4.4||4.1||4.3||4.1|
|Review||NordVPN review||Surfshark review||Atlas VPN review||ExpressVPN review||CyberGhost review|
Why use a VPN on your mobile?
It might be even more important to use a VPN on your phone than on your computer. The reason you should use a VPN on your iPhone or Android phone is that we carry our phones with us constantly and often don’t even consider the dangers our information is exposed to. So a VPN can prevent a lot of those threats.
Identity protection. With a VPN, your personal information and data are encrypted, so you can’t experience phishing attacks or other types of social engineering. Especially if you connect to public Wi-Fi connections that are extremely susceptible to hacks and data leaks.
- Secure your browsing activity. Whenever you’re browsing online, your internet provider, the government, or social media platforms are collecting information about you. Then that information can be sold to third parties. A VPN secures your connection, so your activity online can’t be followed. Also, it prevents targeted ads.
- Bypassing geo-restrictions. With a VPN, you can access different server locations and unlock global content that otherwise would be unavailable to you. For example, you can change the Netflix region to access content libraries from different countries. Or, if you enjoy gaming on your phone, then a VPN can help you to connect to other game servers. Additionally, some governments restrict access to certain websites or programs, and a VPN can help you work around those regulations.
How to set up a VPN on your phone
Installing a VPN app on your phone is really easy. All it takes is a couple of clicks and there you have it – your online activity is secure, and your identity is protected.
So this is how you set up a phone VPN:
- Go to your app store and search for the VPN of your choice. We suggest NordVPN, now 68% OFF!
- Download the app to your phone.
- Launch the app and log into your account. If you don't have an account, it's really easy to register to one through the app as well.
- Connect to the wanted server location, and check if all the needed features are enabled.
- Enjoy browsing freely and securely. If some websites are still geo-blocked, delete the cache and cookies, or try another server in the selected country.
Can I use a free mobile VPN?
You can use a free mobile VPN but we don’t recommend it for several reasons: free VPNs for phones tend to be malicious apps in disguise, and often don’t meet the most basic security and privacy requirements. They may collect and sell your data, or display intrusive ads. Besides, many free VPNs have limited bandwidth, which is not ideal for mobile users, as many social media and streaming apps tend to use quite a lot of data.
However, if you’d still like to give a free mobile VPN a go, there are options. You could try freemium VPNs, such as Atlas VPN or Proton VPN, or consider using a free trial and a money-back guarantee from a premium provider:
- NordVPN – offers a 7-day free trial for Android and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – offers a 7-day free trial for mobile phones and Mac, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It’s important to secure your mobile devices from online threats with a mobile VPN. When you’re surfing online in your favorite café or at the airport, you’re usually using an unsafe public Wi-Fi connection. This poses security risks, such as data leaks, hacking, or your data being collected.
To protect yourself from online threats with the best VPN for cell phones, you need to know what to look for – be it fast tunneling protocols, intuitive and uncluttered design, and seamless connections when switching from wifi to mobile data. Same with their features – you need to pick a VPN that offers not only the basics but some additionalities as well, such as ad blockers, GPS spoofing, threat protection, and split tunneling.
Our top pick for the best mobile VPN is NordVPN. It offers the best protection for the lowest prices. NordVPN has well-developed and maintained apps for Android and iOS which include all the same features as their desktop counterparts – kill switch, auto-connect, Threat Protection, mesh net, dark web scanner, and many more.
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What is the best VPN for my phone?
The best VPN for mobiles is NordVPN. It has the best-developed apps for both Android and iOS systems. The wide array of features not only assures your security online and identity protection but also unlocks the global content. It’s easy to use, the app interface is attractive and the plans come for a great price.
What is a good free VPN for mobile?
The best free VPN for mobile would be . It’s free, has no data caps, and offers great features that are usually only found in the premium VPN packages. This includes a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection. Plus, it lets you choose between a variety of tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
What is the safest mobile VPN?
The safest mobile VPN is . It uses next-gen ChaCha20 encryption to keep your internet traffic safe and secure from any third parties. It also offers numerous security features such as a kill switch, auto-connect, and Threat Protection Lite, which includes an ad blocker, and tracker blocker, and prevents malicious activity on your browser or phone.
Does VPN work with mobile data?
Yes, VPNs work just fine with mobile data. The purpose of a VPN is not only to protect you from unreliable public Wi-Fi connections but also to encrypt your data and keep it from the eyes of your internet provider, social media platforms, and ads. It still unblocks the global content and doesn’t interfere with your internet speed.