Best VPN for Android in 2021

An Android VPN will protect your personal data, make you more anonymous online, and allow you to access restricted content on the web. Whether you want to stream a foreign football game or simply browse an overseas Netflix library, a VPN will allow you to do so on your Android mobile device.

The best VPNs in 2021 for Android are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, Private Internet Access, and Surfshark. Although there are many great VPN service providers, the five listed above offer excellent security features as well as fantastic native apps for Android phones.

Read on to learn more about our top Android VPN picks as well as some free Android VPNs.

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What Are the Best VPNs for Android?

It can be time-consuming to search through the extensive range of Android VPN options to find the best one for you. So, we have compiled a list of the best Android VPN options to help you choose from the best Virtual Private Networks for your mobile devices.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN may be one of the more expensive options, but the price does reflect an extensive range of servers and some of the best connection speeds of any Android VPN.

This provider offers one of the best Android apps, high connection speeds, and excellent security tools. As well as this, ExpressVPN’s Android app provides access to a large VPN server network of over 3,000 VPN servers in an extensive list of locations.

There is a lot to like about ExpressVPN’s dedicated Android app. The specially designed interface is simple and easy to use while offering a range of sophisticated security and privacy tools. Simply download the app through the ExpressVPN site, QR code, or via the Google Play Store. ExpressVPN also offers other apps including a desktop client for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Linux. You can even use the VPN on your Smart TV.

ExpressVPN’s app is extremely user-friendly and reflects the simple interface of its desktop version. On opening, the client features an on/off switch and a clear list of available server locations. It features advanced options such as a server picker, the option to automatically connect, insecure connection detection, kill-switch, and split tunneling. The app is also usefully available in over 16 different languages.

The VPN runs on advanced, industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption which ensures a secure, encrypted connection. ExpressVPN is also developing its proprietary Lightway protocol, which should increase the VPN connection speeds further, making it one of the fastest VPN options. Its fast speeds make ExpressVPN a perfect option for users looking to stream or torrent. It will enable you to access popular streaming sites and watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer in high definition.

ExpressVPN has a decent privacy policy which states that the company does not store your internet history, location, DNS queries, VPN connection data, IP address, or timestamps. The provider does, however, collect a limited amount of information including your email address, payment information, VPN data (such as the app you use), and data usage. Fortunately, ExpressVPN does not sell any of this data.

If any issues arise while using the app, ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support as well as an extensive range of helpful guides on its website.

ExpressVPN’s 1-month subscription plan comes in at $12.95 per month, which is significantly more than many of its competitors. ExpressVPNs longer plans are, however, more cost-effective. For example, its 15-month plan amounts to just $6.67 a month. There is also a 30-day refund policy to give you peace of mind.

Despite the higher price-tag, a subscription to the premium plan will only give you access to three simultaneous device connections. Admittedly, ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive options for an Android VPN. However, it does offer an optimal Android user experience in exchange for a higher price point.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most popular Android VPN apps available on the Play Store. It offers a range of added features including its “Double VPN” technology which runs your data through two different servers for additional security. It also offers a transparent no-logs policy, meaning your browsing data is never stored on its servers.

Nord is a great choice for good quality service and a range of security features, at a reasonable price. NordVPN utilizes advanced data encryption technology to ensure your data and identity are safe online.

The provider offers access to a range of over 5,300 servers in more than 60 countries, which is significantly more than average. The extensive list of servers ensures that none of NordVPN’s servers become congested or overwhelmed by heavy user loads.

A subscription with NordVPN will give you access to six simultaneous device connections, which is more than many of its competitors. The app is also compatible with Chrome, Firefox, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux, ensuring you can protect all your devices.

NordVPN uses an extensive range of advanced protocols such as IKEv2/IPsec, Open VPN, NordLynx, and Wireguard, offering Android users more control than its competitors. These sophisticated protocols allow for some of the fastest server connection speeds as well as security.

NordVPN also offers a transparent no-logs policy, ensuring none of your personal information is ever stored on its server network. The provider does not log timestamps, browsing information, bandwidth, IP addresses, or traffic data. Notably, NordVPN recently audited its no-log policy, validating its promise to protect its users’ privacy and security online.

The VPN will also give you access to a range of streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. The connections are fast and reliable, allowing you to watch your favorite foreign television shows without buffering.

The sophisticated Android app is quick and simple to use. Simply connect to a server via the simple map display or by using the “Quick Connect” option. This feature usefully selects the optimal server based on your location with a single click. The app reveals a range of added features such as split tunneling, auto-connect, as well as the NordLynx protocol for quick connections. There is also an integrated live chat option for 24/7 support.

NordVPN disappointingly no longer offers a free trial, however, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. This VPN offers one of the best Android apps at a reasonable price, so it is worth considering paying for a subscription.

3. IPVanish VPN

While it may not offer the best range of servers, IPVanish has a range of good features and an impressive number of simultaneous connections for a reasonable price.

IPVanish has a limited number of just 1,600 servers, however, these servers are based in a diverse range of server locations in more than 60 countries. Therefore, if the VPN offers a server in your desired location, the smaller VPN server network shouldn’t be a major cause for concern.

Unlike many of its competitors, this provider offers protection for up to 10 simultaneous device connections and supports many other devices aside from Android including Windows, macOS, and iOS.

IPVanish operates a strict no-logs policy like many of the best VPN services. The provider will not collect or store connection or internet traffic data. The only personal information that it requires is your email address and payment details when you sign up, however, this is normal for most VPNs.

The VPN provider also collects statistical data such as the browser and operating system details and usage time for the use of troubleshooting but does not share your personal data with third parties. The company is based in the United States, which is part of the 14 Eyes security coalition, however, due to its no-logs policy, no personal data will be available should the authorities request it.

While it may not have the best Android VPN app when it comes to design, all of the necessary features are there for an easy experience. The app is stable and reliable and upon launch displays a green “Quick Connect” button, your VPN connection status, and your real location. Pressing the Quick Connect button automatically connects you to the optimal server in your region. You can set the preferences for this feature including your preferred city or country, as well as your favorite server.

This may not be the best Android VPN app if your main purpose is to access streaming services, as this provider may have issues connecting to Netflix. However, it remains a great, reasonably priced option if you are looking for protection when using public WiFi or to simply ensure your anonymity online.

While the company does not offer a free option, it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its subscription plans.

4. Private Internet Access VPN (PIA)

PIA is an advanced, easy-to-use service. With the PIA app, you will have the peace of mind that all of your personal information is secure and protected. The dedicated Android app boasts a range of sophisticated features for a relatively low price.

The PIA Android app is simple to use, has a great user interface, and has a range of options and settings that you can tailor to meet your own needs. There is an auto-connect option, kill switch, custom encryption, and proxy support. The Android version opens to display a large on/off switch in the center of the screen with your actual location below and is also available on Windows, Linux, macOS, and iOS.

PIA is successful at overcoming geo-blocks on streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, allowing users access to a range of restricted foreign libraries.

PIA’s privacy policy may not be a simple read, but it does make some good promises. The provider does collect personal information such as your username and payment details, but, this is normal among most VPNs. However, the provider does not store traffic logs, session details, or DNS data. This means that there is no information stored that could connect VPN users to the service.

While PIA does not offer a free trial period, its subscription price is relatively affordable for each of its plans. The price is the same per month for each subscription level, the pay period is the only thing that changes. A subscription plan allows you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is average among its competitors.

5. Surfshark VPN

Unlike many other VPN providers, Surfshark’s mobile Android app combines all of the high-quality features of its super-simple desktop client on a smaller screen. It is also one of the more affordable Android VPN options on the market, making it one of the best VPNs for mobile.

Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN providers but this does not mean that its quality is lower than its competitors. Its simple and easy-to-use app is perfect for a smaller mobile screen, allowing you to quickly access security options such as the kill-switch, split tunneling, and built-in malware blocker. The app is also compatible with your Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows devices.

The VPN utilizes industry-standard 256-bit encryption to protect your personal information and identity from third parties and your ISP. It uses powerful protocols such as IKEv2, Wireguard, and Open VPN. Its Shadowsocks features also enable users to overcome VPN blocking.

Surfshark’s Android app is one of the only to feature GPS spoofing technology, masking your real location with that of your chosen server. Other websites and apps can often see past the VPN by requesting your location but Surfshark’s GPS spoofing feature prevents this. The app’s kill-switch operates automatically to prevent IP and data leaks by cutting off your internet connection should your VPN connection drop.

Surfshark operates a transparent no-logs policy, meaning that the company won’t store or track your personal data or internet activity. The only information that is kept about its users is your billing information, username or email address, and some anonymous statistics including crash reports and app performance data.

If you are looking for a VPN to stream foreign content on your mobile, Surfshark VPN will enable you to do so. The VPN is successful at unblocking Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Hulu allowing you to watch in high definition.

If you require customer support, it is simple to seek help straight from the mobile app through Surfshark’s 24/7 live chat support option. There is also the option to find assistance via email.

Surfshark is somewhat cheaper than many of its competitors, its 12 months + 12 months free plan priced at just $2.21 per month, making it arguably the best Android VPN for mobile use. A single subscription with Surfshark will give you access to the VPN on an unlimited amount of devices, enabling you to install it on your laptop, tablet, and router too.

Which Free VPN is Best for Android?

Many people have become increasingly concerned about their internet security and privacy in recent years, and VPNs are a popular solution. But what should you do if you want to save money? Is a free Android VPN a good idea?

A free VPN service may be suitable if you rarely use public WiFi hotspots or your internet usage is extremely low. However, if you want complete protection and a secure VPN connection on all of your devices, it will likely be necessary to choose a paid Android VPN subscription plan.

It is important to remain cautious if you are considering installing a free service on your Android device, for a number of reasons. Firstly, even free providers need to make a profit, and many do so by selling user data to third parties, or by using malicious adware on their VPN apps or websites. So, a free VPN may put your information at a greater risk than before you installed it.

Typically, free VPNs also come with lower quality VPN protocols, so your mobile device will be at higher risk of cyber-threats than if you were to choose a paid VPN with advanced, industry-standard protocols.

Additionally, a free VPN service will likely offer a limited range of features in comparison to a paid option. There may also be a restriction on the number of simultaneous connections, as well as limited data usage and server connection speeds.

Therefore, in most cases, a paid VPN subscription is likely the better option. However, there are some free VPNs for Android that work relatively well, which we have listed below.

1. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield offers one of the best free VPNs for Android in terms of security. The Android app offers many of the same features as the premium version. Users are limited to just 500MB of data per day, however, this is more than many of its competitors.

If you are looking for the highest level of security in a free VPN app, Hotspot Shield is a good choice. This VPN service utilizes military standard encryption protocols, giving you peace of mind when banking or shopping online.

Not only is it extremely secure, but Hotspot Shield’s Android app is simple to use, perfect if you are looking for a VPN service that is free from complications. Hotspot Shield’s free version for Android is a good alternative if you cannot afford a premium plan.

2. ProtonVPN

If you are looking for a free plan but don’t want to be restricted by a meager data limit, then ProtonVPN may be the perfect choice for you.

ProtonVPN offers both a free and paid-for VPN service. The free option notably does not restrict users’ data usage, unlike most of its competitors. Therefore, you can take advantage of as much data as you please each month, which is unusual for free VPNs.

As might be expected, there are limits to its free service and you will not have access to all of the features that the premium version offers. ProtonVPNs free plan restricts users to just one device rather than multiple simultaneous connections, just 3 server locations, and lower server speeds, especially if servers are busy.

However, despite the limitations, ProtonVPN’s free offering is great. The provider also offers a stringent no-logging policy and allows you to sign up with just your email address, meaning that you gain truly private internet access, for free. The Proton Android VPN app is even free from ads.

Can I Use a VPN on my Android Phone?

Of course! There is a large range of high-quality providers that offer VPN apps specially designed to work seamlessly with your Android phone or tablet.

How to Choose a Good Android VPN

All the VPNs on our list meet our assessment criteria. Here are our top tips for choosing a great Android VPN:

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
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Last updated: August 10, 2021