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Best VPN Apps for Android in 2021

best vpn for android

If you open the Google Play Store and search for a VPN, you’ll see more than a hundred options to choose from. However, which one of them is the best VPN for Android?

Well, we decided to answer this question so you don’t have to go through tens of crappy VPNs until you find a really good one.

It took us a while to pick the best VPN applications for Android phones. We had to rule out a lot of Android VPNs because of various reasons like privacy issues or buggy software. In turn, we came up with a list of VPN apps that won’t disappoint anyone.

Best Android VPN apps in May 2021:

  1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Android devices
  2. Surfshark – low price and unlimited connections
  3. Windscribe – best VPN for Android that’s absolutely free
  4. ExpressVPN – everything you need from a VPN
  5. VyprVPN – no more online censorship

VPNs for Android – our detailed list:

The list below features only the best VPNs for Android devices. All you need to do is pick an application that seems to suit your needs, download it, and enjoy all the perks a VPN can give you.

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Android

best VPN for Android
Based in:Panama
Locations:59 countries
Connections per subscription:6
Dedicated Android app:Yes

Few VPN services can boast such popularity as NordVPN. In my book, it is the best VPN for Android because of its steady balance between security, speed, and functionality. In other words, it suits the needs of any VPN user.

Let’s begin with the fun stuff. If you download NordVPN, you’ll start watching more movies than ever before. That’s because this is one of those VPNs that unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Next, let’s talk about security. You might like to know that NordVPN uses RAM-only servers, which means that none of your info can be physically stored long-term. Other than that, NordVPN’s privacy policy has been audited not once, but twice.

As for the tunneling protocols, the Android app of NordVPN offers both OpenVPN and NordLynx (a super fast in-house WireGuard-based protocol).

Additionally, the Android application has a kill switch, as well as the split tunneling, pausing, and auto-connect features.

In short, if you’re looking for the best VPN for Android phone, NordVPN will be the one that will definitely knock your socks off.

Pros

  • Independently audited
  • RAM-only servers
  • Specialty servers
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Great speed results
  • Decent price
  • Contains adblocker
  • Anonymous payment options

Cons

  • No router app
  • Sign-up requires email address

2. Surfshark – unlimited device coverage

Surfshark mobile devices
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Locations:65 countries
Connections per subscription:Unlimited
Dedicated Android app:Yes

One of the best (and cheapest!) VPNs for Android, Surfshark has already taken a huge bite out of the VPN market, boasting millions of customers all over the world. It’s also one of those VPNs that you’ve heard about over and over again thanks to numerous Youtube ads.

And I’m happy to tell you that Surfshark’s popularity isn’t just a fad. Let’s take a closer look at their Android application.

First of all, Surfshark Android allows you to choose from three different VPN protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and even Shadowsocks (which is more of a proxy that works even in China).

Next, the Android app has a neat feature called GPS spoofing. It lets you spoof your physical GPS location, allowing you to successfully trick the other apps installed on your phone. For example, this can be helpful when playing Pokémon GO.

You can also use Surfshark to watch Netflix: the Android application successfully unblocks a selection of libraries, including the US one. Other accessible streaming platforms include Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Youtube.

However, what I like about this VPN the most is the possibility to use a single account on unlimited devices at the same time. If you and your family have lots of computers and phones, this makes Surshark not just cheap but virtually free!

Pros

  • Unlimited devices
  • Really inexpensive
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Shadowsocks support
  • RAM-only servers
  • Lots of features

Cons

  • Only the extensions are audited
  • iOS products are weaker

3. Windscribe – best free VPN for Android

Windscribe VPN
Based in:Canada
Locations:60+ countries
Connections per subscription:Unlimited
Dedicated Android app:Yes

Windscribe is definitely one of the best VPNs for Android, and not only because it has a free version.

Let’s look at the tunneling protocols, for example. Out of all the Android VPN apps on this page, it offers the widest selection. You can choose among OpenVPN (both variants), IKEv2, Stealth, and WireGuard.

It also has a really nice user interface. It not only looks pretty, but is also easy to use – just what I’d expect from a quality service.

However, that’s not it. You also get a bunch of great features to try out. Split tunneling, GPS spoofing,, and lots of ways to customize your connection – all of this is tightly packed into a single app.

And you know what? Even the free plan of Windscribe is able to unblock Netflix and lots of other streaming platforms!

Pros

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • A free version with 10 GB of monthly data
  • Works with Netflix
  • Supports torrenting
  • Military-grade encryption
  • A huge selection of features

Cons

  • No independent audit
  • Only 480+ servers in total

4. ExpressVPN – what more could you need?

ExpressVPN
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Locations:91 countries
Connections per subscription:5
Dedicated Android app:Yes

Even though ExpressVPN is among the best VPN solutions for Android, I can’t put it too high on the list because of its relatively high price. In comparison to such services like Surfshark (that charge a couple bucks a month), the subscription of ExpressVPN might seem a bit outrageous, starting at $8.32 a month.

However, what you actually get for that price is well worth it. For example, Android users get to choose between OpenVPN and Lightway. The latter is a revolutionary protocol designed to be extremely lightweight and secure at the same time.

You’ll also get a bunch of features that will make your browsing much more secure than before. Network Lock, for example, is a built-in kill switch that will shut down your internet in case your VPN connection gets compromised. The Android app also offers split tunneling, shortcuts, and auto-connect options.

In addition, if you’re an Android fan and a movie buff at the same time, ExpressVPN will be the perfect service for you thanks to a huge list of streaming services it unblocks. Keep in mind that ExpressVPN also offers a feature called MediaStreamer. It allows you to watch geo-blocked movies and shows on devices that don’t support VPN connections.

Don’t forget that you can always make use of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t seem to vibe with the service.

Pros

  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Supports torrenting
  • Stealth servers
  • RAM-only servers
  • Independently audited

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Inconsistent speeds

5. VyprVPN – say goodbye to internet censorship

VyprVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Locations:70 countries
Connections per subscription:5
Dedicated Android app:Yes

Slick, modern, and extremely useful – this is the Android app of VyprVPN. It could be argued that the Android version of VyprVPN is the best one of all, as it packs the most features in comparison to other apps of the provider.

This VPN for Android has a kill switch, split tunneling, and lots of customization options. For example, you can set the VPN to connect automatically or even use another DNS provider.

When it comes to tunneling protocols, the application gives you a few different choices: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and even Chameleon.

The latter is a stealth protocol that can help you bypass online censorship imposed by oppressive governments. It’s immune to a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), which, otherwise, is able to detect VPN traffic.

However, there’s one protocol you won’t find on VyprVPN Android app (which is included in its other versions) – IKEv2. Luckily, WireGuard makes up for it in terms of speed.

In addition, you’ll be able to watch lots of geo-blocked content. VyprVPN works wonders with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, and even DAZN.

So, what else do Android users get from VyprVPN? A three-day free trial! Granted, you’ll need to provide your credit card details, but you’ll be able to see whether this VPN truly fits your needs.

Pros

  • Intuitive design
  • Supports torrenting
  • Chameleon stealth protocol
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • A three-day free trial

Cons

  • No IKEv2 for Android
  • No anonymous payments

6. Cyberghost – secure and inexpensive

CyberGhost banner
Based in:Romania
Locations:88 countries
Connections per subscription:7
Dedicated Android app:Yes

The CyberGhost app for Android is great. I like it even more than its Windows counterpart, which already is a quality application on its own.

So, what puts it among the best VPN apps for Android? Well, first of all, the possibility to choose between two great tunneling protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard.

Next, we have a wide choice of countries. CyberGhost offers 6,100 servers in 89 countries, which means you’re likely to find the exact location you need. You can also pick a specialized server for downloading, streaming, or gaming.

I’m sure you’ll also like the feature selection. For example, the ad-blocker will make your browsing much easier, while the Smart Rules tab will allow you to customize the connection however you want.

What’s more, CyberGhost unblocks various streaming services like Netflix. So, if you have a Netflix app on your Android, simply connect to a VPN server, launch the streaming application, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the movies blocked in your region.

Unfortunately, there is one major letdown for Android users. The mobile apps of CyberGhost don’t have a kill switch. Which means that you might need to configure one manually if your device allows that.

Pros

  • Good server coverage
  • Lots of features on the Android app
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Intuitive app design

Cons

  • No third-party audit
  • Some connection drops
  • Apps can be a bit buggy
  • No kill switch for Android

7. Private Internet Access VPN – the biggest server fleet

Private Internet Access banner
Based in:USA
Locations:77 countries
Connections per subscription:10
Dedicated Android app:Yes

The main gimmick of Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN is its enormous number of servers. In total, it offers 29,000+ servers in 77 countries, which is more than any other VPN currently has in store.

But what about its Android application? Well, it won’t disappoint you, to say the least. In fact, the owners of both Android and iOS phones will really like the PIA app because of its slick design, decent functionality, and the ability to unblock Netflix US.

Talking about the Android app specifically, it offers more functions than the iOS version. For example, it has the split tunneling feature. However, it only allows you to use it for specific apps only, while the Windows application also includes websites.

All in all, PIA’s Android app packs everything you need to browse the internet safely and privately, also giving you a few features to make the whole experience even more convenient.

Pros

  • A huge server selection
  • Supports torrenting
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Shadowsocks proxy

Cons

  • No independent audit
  • Based in a 5-Eyes country
  • Uneven speeds
  • Could have more features
  • Simplified mobile apps

How we selected and tested these VPNs

All the Android VPN apps you see on this page have been researched and tested by our team of security experts. Which means that you’re getting only the best of the best. However, how does one know what really makes a VPN good?

Below, I’ve listed the things that we look for when choosing the finest VPN services. You can even use this bullet list as a guideline when trying to determine whether a VPN you’re looking at is worth your money or not.

  • Tunneling protocols. Unfortunately, the selection of tunneling protocols for Android VPN apps is usually smaller than the one for Windows or macOS. However, it’s important to have a wider choice in case a certain protocol is blocked or simply doesn’t work with your device.
  • Features. Usually, it’s the Windows version that gets all the neat features that the VPN provider advertises left and right. Meanwhile, mobile apps get only the basics. To select only the best VPN services for Android, we looked for applications that offer more than simple protection.
  • Logging policy. As VPNs are all about privacy, you have to make sure that the one you’re about to download offers a no-logs policy. In other words, a reputable VPN for Android won’t collect any personal information, including your real IP address.
  • Streaming. As Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms have their own Android applications, it’s important to have a VPN that would unlock the geo-blocked libraries you need. Luckily, most VPN providers on this list can easily help you with that.
  • Simultaneous connections. Let’s admit it – the more simultaneous connections a VPN offers, the cheaper it becomes in the long run. It’s especially great when you can use a single subscription on unlimited devices (like in the case of Surfshark).
  • Price. With the exception of ExpressVPN, all of the best VPNs for Android on this list are incredibly cheap. I’m not saying that an expensive VPN is a bad VPN – but it’s always nice to spend as little as possible if you can get away with it.

Do I really need a VPN on Android?

When it comes to security and privacy, Android owners actually need a VPN more than PC users.

Why? Well, that’s mainly because mobile users can go through many different wifi connections throughout the day. For example, you may connect to public wifi when waiting for your burger at McDonald’s, requesting an Uber ride, or simply messaging your friends at the mall.

The truth is, public wifi might pose certain threats (like personal data leakage). By encrypting your traffic, a VPN will prevent such things from happening.

ExpressVPN smartphone app

However, public wifi isn’t the only reason to use a VPN on your Android. You might actually need one even if all you do is sit at home. That’s because you can use a VPN to broaden your Netflix movie selection. VPNs like Surfshark or NordVPN work with the Netflix app, letting you watch the content you previously couldn’t.

Another reason for using the best VPN for Android is bypassing various blocks imposed by your country. For example, if you live (or travel) somewhere where Youtube is blocked, a VPN can be a real lifesaver. Of course, you should first check if a VPN is legal in your region in the first place.

How to set up a VPN app on Android

Installing a VPN on Android is a peace of cake. It’s even easier than installing one on your computer, as you don’t even need to follow the instructions on the installation wizard.

So, this is how you install a VPN on Android:

  1. Go to the Play Store and search for NordVPN or another VPN service
  2. Click on the green Install button
  3. Launch the app and log into your account or sign up for a new one (in this case, you’ll need to also pick a plan)
  4. Choose the region you want to connect to. That’s it!

You may also go to Settings and explore the features and connection options available to you.

Is it safe to use a VPN on mobile?

It’s not only safe to have a VPN on your mobile phone – it’s actually preferable.

Of course, to stay safe, you need to use (and I can’t stress this enough) a reputable VPN service. That is, a no-logs VPN audited by an independent company. Otherwise, you might actually increase your risk by using a VPN.

Luckily, all the best Android VPN services featured on this list (together with any other VPN mentioned on this website) are completely safe. No logging, no scams, no third-party data buyers. Only pure protection.

However, if you’ve just browsed through Google Play, stumbled upon a nice-looking VPN, and are tempted to try it, write a comment on this very page and we’ll tell you whether the program is truly safe for your Android.

Does Android have a built-in VPN?

Most Android phones have a built-in VPN that lets you configure your VPN connection manually. Granted, it’s much more limited than a VPN app, but it’s still better than nothing.

Android VPN

For example, it can be helpful if your country blocks VPN applications or if you have your own VPN server and want to connect to it without additional apps.

Usually, your Android VPN lets you choose between three different tunneling protocols: PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. Keep in mind that the former is rather outdated, so I don’t suggest using it.

So, here’s how you use your Android VPN client (the instructions might slightly differ depending on your device):

  1. Go to Settings and open the Network & Internet tab
  2. Click on VPN (you might need to click on Advanced before that)
  3. Now, press the plus symbol on the top-right corner of your screen
  4. Fill in the necessary info (username, password, server address)

Generally, the username and password will be the email and password of your VPN account. Now, to get the server address, you need to download a VPN connection certificate first. Click here for the instructions on how to get a NordVPN certificate.

What is the best free VPN for Android?

If you don’t need a VPN for anything fancy and simply want to encrypt your traffic, a free VPN is a great option to consider. Here are a few services that offer a free application for Android users:

  • ProtonVPN. Offers unlimited data and bandwidth with servers in the Netherlands, Japan, and the US.
  • AtlasVPN. Has unlimited data and bandwidth with servers in Japan, Australia, and the US.
  • Windscribe. Offers 10 GB of free data in 11 different countries.
  • Hide.me. Gives you 10 GB of free data in four regions in total.

However, keep in mind that there are a lot of free VPNs that might do more harm than good. For this reason, never download a service that looks even slightly shady.

In fact, it’s best to use a freemium VPN that also offers a paid subscription. In this way, you can see that the service makes money from sales instead of personal user data.

Conclusion

With the upcoming launch of Android 12, it’s apparent that this fan-favorite operating system isn’t going away anytime soon. And with a steadily increasing user base, it’s more important than ever to determine which VPNs are the best ones to ensure that Android users get the privacy and security they deserve.

FAQ

Which is the best VPN for Android phone?

Currently, the best VPN for Android is NordVPN because it offers everything you might need. It unblocks Netflix, has lots of useful features like split tunneling, and is extremely easy to use.

Can I use my Android VPN on PC?

Yes. Usually, a VPN service supports lots of different devices like phones, computers, and tablets. Also, a single subscription of a reputable VPN covers at least five devices at the same time. So, if you happen to find a good VPN for Android, it will also suit your PC.

Which is the safest VPN for Android?

For 100% safety, I usually recommend NordVPN because it has been independently audited twice. However, all the VPNs on our page are safe thanks to the AES-256 encryption and a bunch of secure tunneling protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard.

Can you use a VPN on a tablet?

Yes. You just need to download the application for the operating system your tablet supports (either Android or iOS). So, basically, you’ll use the same app you use on your smartphone.

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Comments 4
  1. whaved~ says:

    The list is very legit and cool but I didn’t see any speeds provided. So my question would be: what would you say is the fastest android vpn?thanks for answering and looking forward to reading more of your research in the future, nice work and hope you keep it up!

    • Rūta Rimkienė says:

      Hello, thanks for your comment! I did consider the speeds when compiling this list. You can find out more about the speeds of these VPNs by reading their reviews (which are all available on our page). To answer your question, the fastest VPNs for Android were NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and VyprVPN.

  2. WEBster says:

    So if nordvpn is the best for android phone, would you say ut’s the best vpn for android tv or maybe there are some other options to explore?

    • Rūta Rimkienė says:

      Hi there! NordVPN is indeed an excellent option for Android TV. However, Surfshark and ExpressVPN also offer really good apps for Android TV.

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