Although Android phones and tablets have built-in support for virtual private networks (VPNs), the process of configuring and connecting to one may be cumbersome. Additionally, the offered protocols do not include OpenVPN, which is commonly considered to be more secure and trustworthy than PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.
As a result, rather than manually establishing a VPN on your Android phone, we suggest subscribing to a company that offers specific Android VPN applications. Rather than manually entering server domains and pre-shared keys, all you have to do is install the app, log in, choose a server, and click connect.
Connecting to a VPN server through your Sony smartphone, Samsung Galaxy tablet, or any other Android device masks your IP address and enables safe access to geo-restricted content such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Additionally, it may protect you from your ISP and cell carrier tracking your internet activity. Additionally, it’s a good idea to connect your Android smartphone to a VPN server while you’re using a public wi-fi network to prevent hackers from watching your internet activities.
Best VPN for Android
Not every VPN service provider provides the same degree of service. We searched for providers that met all of the following criteria while suggesting the top Android VPN:
- Android VPN applications that are stable, lightweight, and simple to use.
- Support for OpenVPN protocol.
- There will be no ad insertion, tracking, or other intrusions into your privacy.
- Allows for simultaneous connection of several devices.
- Bonus points if P2P is enabled and a kill switch is included.
- Rapid transfer rates, ideal for streaming.
NordVPN is our number one recommendation for an Android VPN. The speeds are remarkable, and you may join instantly by selecting a server from a list or by clicking a pin on the global map. SmartPlay DNS, a service offered by the firm, can overcome anti-VPN firewalls on regionally restricted websites such as YouTube TV, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. This includes support for OpenVPN via UDP, and TCP, as well as NordLynx, a proprietary protocol based on WireGuard. You may configure the app to connect automatically to a certain server upon launch. Within the app, live chat help is accessible. P2P (peer-to-peer) traffic is allowed.
NordVPN has a genuine zero-logs policy, which means it does not keep any information about how or for what purpose its clients use the VPN service. Due to the 256-bit encryption and absolute forward secrecy, no one can peer through the secure tunnel. NordVPN provides DNS leak prevention and automated protection against public Wi-Fi networks.
Multiple devices may be linked at the same time. Android users may get the app from the Google Play store.
How to configure a VPN on an Android device
Once you’ve chosen an acceptable VPN service, setting up a VPN is a straightforward procedure. Adhere to our step-by-step directions provided below.
- Choose the VPN service mentioned above. NordVPN is recommended.
- Download the VPN client from the Google Play Store (we’ll explain how to bypass the Play Store in a moment).
- Select a suitable server (for accessing services from back home as you travel, select a server in your home country).
- You are now connected to the internet using a VPN. If you continue to have difficulties loading content from outside the United States, consider deleting your cookies and reloading the page.
How we selected the best VPN for Android devices
Android smartphones are used for a variety of purposes, from streaming to remaining connected. As you may think, this complicates determining which VPN is the best overall. That is why we seek the most balanced services; our best VPN has to succeed in all of the following categories to be eligible for inclusion on our list:
- Server selection: With a larger number of supported countries, there should always be a suitable server nearby. Additionally, a wider network provides additional options in case your primary server is unavailable for maintenance, and it helps reduce server slowdowns caused by excessive server traffic.
- Speed and reliability: PrivacyExplore conducts frequent performance testing on popular VPN companies, enabling us to determine which are presently the fastest. Having said that, we also consider the reliability of these connections, since irregular speeds are useless to anybody.
- Potential for unblocking: While some VPNs give access to a small number of geo-restricted services, we’re searching for the best of the best. That is why we verified that you can access Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus when connected.
- Security and privacy tools: Mobile users regularly depend on public wi-fi hotspots, which are usually far less secure than we’d want. We demand 256-bit encryption, leak prevention, a no-log policy, and a kill button to ensure your security, while further security technologies are always appreciated.
- Usability: We searched for everything that would make it simpler to use the Android applications. This might involve keeping most desktop versions’ functionality, providing help through live chat, or providing dedicated servers to access popular streaming services.
This is just a sample of our extensive testing procedure. In fact, we have a more extensive piece explaining how we put VPNs to the test if you’re interested in learning more.
Android users should avoid these VPNs.
Betternet generates revenue by tracking cookies and placing advertisements on the websites you visit. Because these advertisements originate from a third party, they cannot be trusted. Additionally, only two servers are accessible.
Cloud VPN is likely to be the top result if you type “VPN” into the Google Play Store’s search box. While unlimited bandwidth and no data limitations seem appealing, the software works with third-party marketers to insert advertisements and gather information about your device, including your device ID and true IP address. This includes installing tracking cookies on your browser without your consent. Additionally, those that try to use P2P programs will be suspended from the app.
Be cautious of “free” VPNs.
A simple search on Google Play reveals an abundance of ostensibly “free” VPN applications. We highly discourage their use for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, performance is often subpar. Free VPN services often provide restricted server selection, impose data limitations, and limit bandwidth. Certain providers require users to queue up before joining.
Second, security is often subpar, and free VPN services may erode your privacy in certain circumstances. With hackers targeting Android smartphones with more sophisticated assaults, security is more critical than ever. Free VPN services’ encryption standards may be outdated, old, or even non-existent.
Additionally, many free VPN providers use tracking cookies or monitor your activities in order to collect and sell personal information to third-party advertising. Others directly integrate advertising into your web browser.
In the worst-case scenario, VPNs may also contain malware payloads to infect your device. Because the developers provide no assistance and often conceal their names, there is no way to determine if most free VPNs are even slightly genuine.
If you need a VPN for a limited amount of time, a free trial of a commercial package is preferable than a free VPN.