Having a VPN app has become so commonplace these days that it is possible to use and access it on your Android phone or tablet as well. Fortunately, there are many, many dedicated VPN apps you can install on your Android phone.
In addition to helping, you surf the web safely – especially if you use public Wi-Fi or a cellular network – Android VPNs are popular programs for their ability to help you access geo-restricted apps in your country.
The problem you’ll run into is that one quick search on the Play Store reveals hundreds and hundreds of VPNs for Android vying for your attention. So how to choose the right mobile app!? We’ll explain what features to look for in any VPN app, then turn to tell you the five best Android VPN apps that we found from our comprehensive tests and reviews.
How to choose the best VPN apps for Android
The dedicated Android app clearly helps make things as hassle-free as possible and hence the app should be easy to use. You should also make sure that it supports the Android version of your phone.
You will probably want to use your Android VPN on a lot of other devices as well – so make sure you get one that also works with your computer’s OS and has sufficient licenses to cover all gadgets.
Best VPN Applications for Android 2021
There is a lot to like about ExpressVPN and its Android offerings. The dedicated app is very easy to use and straightforward, but it also provides a lot of advanced options.
Once installed, using the Express app is very easy – it’s really no different from the desktop version. That means a nice, clear on / off button and an easy-to-navigate server list – more than 3,000 in total, across 94 countries ranging from Albania to Venezuela. Moreover, the app is now available in a mix of 16 languages.
The app itself has some nifty options like an excellent location picker, unsafe network discovery, split tunnels, a menu of specialized privacy tools and a lockout switch to improve security. In fact, on the security front, it features 256-bit AES encryption, while the speeds we’ve seen using a mobile VPN have been consistently fast. They’ll get faster too, now that Express’s Lightway protocol is available.
If the main reason for downloading the Android VPN app is broadcasting, then once again Express excels. It easily flew through our tests when we used it to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and more, as well as allow us to watch our local sports coverage when we’re out.
If you encounter any difficulties at all with this VPN – whether it’s when installing the ExpressVPN Android app or while in use – their website features a wide range of helpful content and video guides, plus 24/7 customer support via live chat.
NordVPN is the most popular app with over 10 million downloads and a high ranking on Google Play. It has some notable strengths including “Double VPN” technology that forwards your connection through two separate VPN servers, unlike a single server, for an extra layer of security. The service also boasts a “no logs” policy (audited by PricewaterhouseCooper no less), which means it doesn’t track user activity online.
While the focus is clearly on security and privacy, NordVPN is not lacking in other areas. The Android app is easy to use enough and has a list of great features like split tunnels, the ability to automatically connect to NordVPN when you join a Wi-Fi network, and the fast NordLynx protocol. The app also provides a live chat feature for 24/7 customer support. And although there is no built-in kill switch as such, it’s really easy to implement a similar tool in the settings.
IPVanish does well overall with some unusual (but great) options, like blurring or tunneling. Finally, a lost lock key has been added previously, which is a standard feature that instantly turns off your internet connection in the event of a VPN failure (to prevent your real IP address from being revealed).
In fact, spend a quick few minute with the IPVanish app on Android and you will start to feel really safe. We like that the app displays really useful status information (like IP address, server name, location, etc.) via some really amazing visual elements.
Some impressive download speeds were achieved during my testing. On top of that, there’s no recording of user activity here (although we’d love to see IPVanish’s policy come under scrutiny like its competitors are doing now).
Android VPN Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best VPN for Android?
When it comes to the best VPNs for Android, ExpressVPN tops the list. It’s a beautifully presented app that’s easy to set up and run, but still packed with useful features. Split tunneling, a dedicated kill switch, and access to 3,000+ servers are all included, as well as the ability to unblock websites and access third-party Netflix shows.
What can I do with a VPN?
The first thing, it works as an excellent first line of defense along with an Android antivirus to protect yourself when online. As mentioned above, the nature of their encrypted tunneling and the ability to keep your IP anonymous makes them a great way to keep cyber criminals in trouble – you don’t have to worry about banking and shopping online while using unfamiliar networks. But their variable geographic capabilities are what It made the popularity of Android VPNs explode. The fact that you can log into a server in another country anywhere else in the world means that you don’t have to miss the things that you would normally broadcast on your mobile phone / tablet when you are abroad on vacation or work.
And they proved to be a great way to get around blocked websites. In terms of cell phones, a great example is the use of WhatsApp in China, along with other sites and services. The country might have blocked some apps and websites, but they can’t do anything about it when using a VPN app to make it look like you are in another country altogether!
Should I get a free VPN app for Android?
Even a quick dip in the Play Store listing will reveal that there are ridiculous amounts of free apps available that you can download. Some will be fine, some will be far from good, but nothing will be really great. We suggest only going for the freebie if you are not inclined to use your VPN app much at all. Other than that, you’ll soon run into annoying usage restrictions and realize that the free versions only tend to have a handful of servers each (unlike the more than 5,000 providers like NordVPN’s offer).