vpn for android

The Best VPN for Android in 2021

Nowadays, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single person without a mobile device on them at all times. If you have an Android phone, knowing the best virtual private network (VPN) you can use will keep your phone usage safe while on the go. That’s why I’m suggesting the best VPN for Android devices, plus four other top VPNs for the job.

people on phones
A special serving of the everyday commute, brought to you by mankind’s new best friend: mobile phones!

First, the best VPNs on this list should offer an app for Android devices. That’s because there’s quite a difference between using VPNs for Android versus VPNs for desktop clients. The user interface on an Android OS will be vastly different than a desktop app. Plus, a good Android VPN will also have specific security features to ensure your privacy while you’re accessing public WiFi networks. 

The best VPNs with Android apps will also go above and beyond by offering a wide VPN server network, fast speeds, simultaneous connections, unfettered access to streaming sites and proper support. 

But is there a reputable VPN for Android devices that offers these features? Yes, there is. 


The Best VPN for Android: A Comparison 

With my eyes closed, I can assure you that ExpressVPN is the best paid VPN you can use. ExpressVPN is a top-class provider with stellar security and amazing speeds. It also offers a free seven-day mobile trial for those of you looking for free VPNs. 

However, keep reading for my full list of the best Android VPN options and discover which one will suit your Android needs.

Here are the best Android VPN contenders at a glance.

Top 7 Best VPN Apps for Android

VPN Name:ProsConsMost affordable plan
ExpressVPN Incredible speeds,
5 simultaneous device connections,
Super secure,
30-day money-back guarantee
Expensive$6.67 per month for 1 year plus 3 months
NordVPNExpansive server network,
Strict logging policy,
Easy to use interface,
30-day money-back guarantee
Inconsistent speeds between server locations,
No phone support
$3.30 per month for 2 years
SurfsharkServers in underrepresented locations,
Unlimited simultaneous connections,
Accesses all major streaming services,
30-day money-back guarantee
Unreliable speeds,
No free plan 
$2.49 per month for 2 years
CyberGhostFast speeds,
Dedicated servers for streaming,
45-day money-back guarantee
Can be a little slow on certain servers,
Occasionally unresponsive customer support
$2.17 per month for 2 years plus 3 months
VyprVPNTop-notch security,
30 simultaneous device connections,
User-friendly interface,
30-day money-back guarantee
Speed can be unreliable,
Smaller server network
$1.81 per month for 3 years
HMAEasy to use interface,
5 simultaneous device connections,
Good option for streaming,
30-day money-back guarantee
Has only average speeds,
Works with only some streaming sites
$2.99 per month for 3 years
ProtonVPNOffers a free plan,
Offers 10 simultaneous connections,
Solid option for streaming,
30-day money-back guarantee
Has slow speeds,
Free plan is limited to three servers
$3.29 per month for 2 years

Let’s go into more detail for each provider.


1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn for android
Get ExpressVPN’s Android app and secure your internet with this premium provider!

PROS

  • Incredible speeds
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Super secure
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is a powerful VPN, packed to the brim with the features every VPN needs. First of all, it has more than 3,000 servers across 90 countries. Plus, not only does this VPN service offer great speeds for its Android users on its dedicated Android app, but its security is also top-notch. Additionally, the VPN’s app is super easy to use even on a small screen.

ExpressVPN follows a strict no-logs policy, has secure encryption and includes an automatic kill switch feature. This means that if your internet connection drops while using the VPN, the VPN notifies you and suspends your internet connection until it’s stable and under the protective layer of the VPN’s services again.

What’s more, ExpressVPN offers several security protocols that you can choose from to protect your device. These include OpenVPN, IKEv2 and ExpressVPN’s exclusive Lightway protocol. The Lightway protocol makes sure that connecting to servers and switching between them is easy and fast. It’s also optimized so that it uses less power, extending your phone’s battery life. 

The one drawback of ExpressVPN is the price; even its most affordable plan at $6.67 per month on the 15-month plan is twice what other VPNs charge. However, you can take advantage of the seven-day mobile trial or you can also always opt for the 30-day money-back guarantee to give it a taste. 

Check out ExpressVPN’s pricing here or read the full ExpressVPN review.


2. NordVPN

nordvpn for android
NordVPN offers an excellent Android VPN client for a cheaper price than ExpressVPN.

PROS

  • Expansive server network
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Inconsistent speeds between server locations

NordVPN is a close runner-up to ExpressVPN. It has an expansive server network of 5,200 servers across 62 server locations. Other benefits NordVPN offers include its six simultaneous connections, a kill switch and a strict no-logging policy to keep your internet identity secure.

NordVPN has a dedicated app for Android, and it offers all the standard features. This includes a split tunneling option that allows you to hand-pick which apps you want to run through the VPN’s protection and which can remain untouched.

However, NordVPN server speeds can become a bit inconsistent between server locations. Plus, customer support can be harder to reach via the Android app interface. 

NordVPN is more affordable than ExpressVPN, with plans starting at $3.30 per month for a two-year commitment. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as a seven-day trial for an Android mobile device, if you want to be absolutely sure before subscribing to its services. 

Check out NordVPN’s pricing here or read the full NordVPN review.


3. Surfshark

surfshark for android
Ride the fast waves to a promising server connection with Surfshark today.

PROS

  • Servers in underrepresented locations
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Accesses all major streaming services
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Unreliable speeds
  • No free plan

Surfshark’s been turning the tide since its arrival (pun totally intended). It’s one of the more recent VPNs in the market, but that doesn’t rule it out as one of the top contenders on this list. Surfshark already has 3,200 servers in over 65 locations. 

Additionally, the VPN gets bonus points for offering unlimited devices with unlimited simultaneous connections — so you can use the VPN app on all your Android mobile devices. Plus, the Android VPN app offers an easy-to-use customer support database.

Security-wise, you get an encrypted connection that observes privacy standards and protocols that have even been approved and audited by a German security firm. Surfshark also has a kill switch and offers IP and DNS leaks protection. You can rest assured you will remain secure online. 

One of the VPN’s most popular security features is the multihop connection. This is basically a double VPN protection that allows users to enhance security by “hopping” the connection through more than one country to keep your identity anonymous. 

Surfshark keeps its pricing tempting with a $2.49 per month for a plan commitment of two years. You can also give the seven-day free mobile trial or the 30-day money-back guarantee a shot.

Check out Surfshark’s pricing here or read the full Surfshark review.


4. CyberGhost

cyberghost for android
Dirt cheap with a user-friendly app — you can’t go wrong with this spooky VPN.

PROS

  • Fast speeds
  • Dedicated servers for streaming
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Can be a little slow on certain servers
  • Occasionally unresponsive customer support

Boo! From all the Android VPNs on this list, CyberGhost is the spookiest, but its quality service won’t ghost on you. Its server spread goes across 90 countries with a whopping 7,000 servers, so CyberGhost allows you to access content from all over the world. 

CyberGhost is intuitive and user-friendly. The VPN also has a one-click feature that will automatically connect you to the fastest server for your device. 

Plus, as far as streaming, this VPN offers streaming-optimized servers that you can use to access Netflix, HBO Max and Spotify. Its speeds are also reliable on the mobile app, which grants you easy access to any Netflix libraries and online content you want to stream. The drawback? The VPN app doesn’t offer split tunneling. 

CyberGhost has a built-in malware blocker, and it also offers the standard DNS leak protection, no-logs policy and a kill switch. For protocols, you have the option to choose between OpenVPN or Wireguard.

The lowest cost for CyberGhost starts at $2.25 per month for a two-year plan commitment. It offers the longest money-back guarantee at 45 days, and it also offers a 48-hour free trial on mobile devices.

Check out CyberGhost’s pricing here or read the full CyberGhost review.


5. VyprVPN

vyprvpn for android
VyprVPN’s most affordable plan at $1.81 per month is undeniably a good catch.

PROS

  • Top-notch security
  • Up to 30 simultaneous device connections
  • User-friendly interface
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Speed can be unreliable
  • Smaller server network

VyprVPN offers some amazing bang for your buck. You can get the VPN for $1.81 per month for a three-year period — plus it offers a whopping 30 simultaneous device connections, covering all your Android phones and more.

VyprVPN has pretty stellar security features. It follows a no-logs policy like all the VPNs on this list, and its Chameleon protocol ensures you get great security while still maintaining speeds. VyprVPN also lets Android users block malicious sites.

The Android interface is easy to use and unlocks access to many streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer and YouTube TV. Sure, the VPN only has 700 servers across 70 countries, but it owns all its servers. 

The con with VyprVPN is that you may face some lower speeds if accessing servers far from your physical location. So your streaming experience can get a little bumpy. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Check out VyprVPN’s pricing here or read the full VyprVPN review.


6. HMA (Hide My Ass)

HMA for android
Get access to streaming and P2P-optimized servers on your phone with Hide My Ass VPN.

PROS

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Good option for streaming
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Has only average speeds
  • Works with only some streaming sites

HMA — short for Hide My Ass — does its job pretty well, as its name suggests. It’s known for its specialty servers for streaming and torrenting on Android. With 1,080 servers across 210 countries, you have many choices for watching your favorite TV shows abroad. HMA’s optimized servers make it a great option for streaming and torrenting straight from your Android device. 

Like other VPNs, HMA offers standard security features like leak protection and a kill switch. It also has IP shuffling, which does exactly what it sounds like. Instead of giving you a dedicated IP address, it shuffles it every 30 minutes (or the designated time you choose). This adds another layer of security to keep you safe. 

HMA’s Android app also has a Lightning Connect feature that will automatically connect you to the fastest server available. The mobile VPN’s interface is also easy to use. 

The cons to remember with HMA is that the farther the distance of the server you’re trying to access, the more the speed may dip. It offers only average speeds in this regard. 

Also, HMA isn’t totally log-free. The VPN keeps partial logs relating to connection times, duration and bandwidth usage. While the VPN maintains this is purely for diagnostic purposes, it can be a little questionable when you remember that other VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN don’t even store that. 

HMA’s most affordable plan is $2.99 per month for a three-year period. You can also try out a free version through its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Check out HMA’s pricing here.


7. ProtonVPN

protonvpn for android
Looking for a free VPN? Check out ProtonVPN today.

PROS

  • Offers a free plan
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Has slow speeds
  • Free plan is limited to only three servers

Last but not least, we have ProtonVPN. This Swiss-based VPN company has amazing privacy protection, but that’s not all — with 1,320 servers across 50 countries and a free plan option, I can’t not mention this stellar free VPN.

ProtonVPN’s Android app will keep your data secure. It is also open source, which means it’s regularly audited for any weaknesses in its security measures. ProtonVPN publishes the results of these reports on its website, offering transparency to its users.

Proton is known to advocate for internet freedom and privacy rights. Most notably, it held a campaign to prevent restrictive legislation in Switzerland, its home location, which has some of the best privacy laws in the world.

One of the best things about ProtonVPN is that it offers a free plan. You get access to three free server locations (U.S., Japan and the Netherlands) and unlimited data — though your connection will be considerably slower than with a paid plan, with speeds of around 2 Mbps. 

However, the paid plans are the best bet for consistency, speed and quality access. ProtonVPN’s most affordable plan is the Basic Plan at $3.29 per month for a two-year period. You can also try its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Check out ProtonVPN’s pricing here.


How To Set Up a VPN on Android

Have you found a VPN you like from this list that you want to try out on your mobile device? Great, it’s time to set it up on your phone.

Setting up a VPN on Android is as easy as it comes — it’ll only take you five minutes, even if you’re a total tech noob. There are two ways you can go about installing a VPN on your Android: via the Google Play Store or sideloading the APK file.

1. Download the VPN App from the Google Play Store

The simplest way is to head on over to the Google Play Store and search for the VPN app of your choice. Once it pops up on the results screen, click on the VPN app’s name and hit “install.” Follow the instructions from the app, and you’re good to go.

2. Sideload the VPN App With the APK File (Less Common)

The second method involves sideloading the app using an APK file — you shouldn’t need to do this for any of the VPNs in my list above. But if you are trying a different VPN that requires this, here are the steps. 

First, you need to visit the VPN’s website in your Android’s browser and find the “download” page. Then download the APK file for Android and open it. This will start the installation process. You might need to enable third-party installations in your settings for this to work. Once you have it installed, just open the app and follow any instructions there.

Didn’t I tell you? Easy peasy.


What Is the Best Free VPN for Android?

“I hate free stuff!” said no one ever. But is free what you really want in a long-term relationship with your trusty VPN? Free is nice, but free doesn’t always keep you protected.

If you do a search for free VPNs in the Google Play Store, you’re bound to come across a whole bunch of them that proclaim amazing security, all at the cost of … well, absolutely nothing.

But in this world, free stuff always comes at a price. With shady free VPNs, that usually means ambiguous logging policies, and terms and conditions with loopholes that may actually lead to less security than what these VPNs promise.

If you are looking to stick to a free VPN for the long run, consider reputed ones like Windscribe, ProtonVPN and TunnelBear. Keep in mind that there will be limits on your free plan in exchange for reliable free VPN protection. If this sounds good to you, go ahead.

Otherwise, I recommend switching to a paid option with a premium VPN provider like ExpressVPN, NordVPN or the others on this list. Are they free? No, but you can opt for the seven-day mobile trial or 30-day money-back guarantee. 


Conclusion: The Best Android VPN App

Be it a free VPN on your Android device or a VPN with a paid subscription, there are so many options for finding the best Android VPN for you. 

Which VPN on this list is your favorite? Do you already use a VPN on your Android? What are the must-have features you look for in an Android VPN? Let me know in the comments!

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