The best Android VPN in 2024

With over 3 billion active Android devices in use around the world, it's no surprise that Android VPNs are in high demand. These handy security tools ensure your mobile phone or tablet stays safe at home, work, or on the go – and you don't have to spend a fortune.

The best VPNs come with extra features, like ad-blocking tools that'll streamline your browsing experience, and you can use their geo-spoofing power to unblock streaming content from overseas, too. So, if you're looking to expand your film and TV horizons, a VPN can help you out there, too.

Unfortunately, a lot of the VPNs in the Play Store today are duds and not worth your hard-earned cash. I've been putting VPNs to the test for years to determine which services are the best, most reliable picks, and which ones are better off avoided. I've picked out the providers that are super-speedy, easy to use, and awesome at unblocking to curate this list of the 5 best VPNs for Android. Or, if you just want to download the best app in a hurry, choose from my top 3 recommendations below.

My top 3 best Android VPNs

1. NordVPN: the best Android VPN

1. NordVPN: the best Android VPN
NordVPN is top of the class, with a fully-featured Android VPN app that works like a charm. It's a complete security package, too, and includes built-in antivirus and ad-blocking tools that'll put a stop to annoying pop-ups.

It's hard to overstate just how quick NordVPN is. It'll easily keep up with your HD streaming and video calls, and unblocks virtually every streaming platform you can think of. See for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. ExpressVPN: my top pick for VPN newcomers

2. ExpressVPN: my top pick for VPN newcomers
ExpressVPN constantly impresses thanks to a wide network of servers, class-leading encryption, and easy-to-use apps. Despite being beginner-friendly, there's plenty of customization available to please the experts too.

A proven no-logs policy, friendly support agents, and detailed guides on everything ensure a smooth experience. I recommend opting for the 12-month plan as it comes with 3 months of extra protection for free, and you're backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee in case it's not for you.


3. Surfshark: Incredible value and fully featured
If you're looking for a quality Android VPN that won't break the bank, Surfshark is well worth considering. At less than $2.50/month, it's great value, but also comes in at #3 on my overall ranking of every VPN on the market. 

Its Android client gets tons of privacy features, you'll have access to loads of locations, and it's also one of the very best for unblocking restricted content and geo-blocked TV and movies. The cherry on top? You can test it out risk-free with a 30-day money money-back guarantee.

Recent updates

There's no changes to the top three Android VPN apps at the top of my chart – NordVPN continues to reign supreme. But I have made a change at number 5, to recognise the feature-filled Android app that's available from Private Internet Access.  Outside of bringing that provider in for CyberGhost, the only other changes I've made to the page are to ensure that all of the provider specs are bang up to date.

The best Android VPN services in 2024

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NordVPN: The best Android VPN overall

NordVPN Android VPN app displayed on a device

(Image credit: NordVPN)

1. NordVPN

A VPN titan that always delivers

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 10 | 24/7 support: Yes | Play Store rating: 4.5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, C4, 9Now, 10 play | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Good privacy credentials
Great for streaming
Tons of features on Android
Excellent connection speeds
Slightly awkward app design
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want superb streaming support: NordVPN is your best bet if you want access to your favorite movies and TV shows on your Android device no matter the streaming platform. 

✔️ You want 360-degree security: alongside essentials like AES-256 encryption and a proven no-logs policy, NordVPN impresses with a built-in antivirus. 

✔️ You want the perfect blend of cost and quality: NordVPN gets you speedy connections, rock-solid security, impressive unblocking, prompt support, and the backing of one of the most popular names in the industry for a reasonable price.  

Avoid if:

❌ You need the simplest Android VPN app: NordVPN's Android version is not the most user-friendly, as its map-style interface might come across as clunky for some users, especially beginners. 

❌ You like consistent pricing: it's not unusual these days for subscription services to lure you in with attractive first-term pricing, only to push up prices on renewal. Nord, unfortunately, is one of those. 

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

NordVPN boasts a simple Android app with a map-like interface that has only gotten better with time. You get a complete security solution with built-in antivirus, excellent encryption, and some of the most effective unblocking that I've seen. Test it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee.  

NordVPN is sitting pretty at the top of the charts, and in terms of price it holds the middle ground between ExpressVPN and Surfshark. With over 6,300 servers in 111 countries, you'll have plenty of servers to choose from, and with an excellent 4.5/5 rating in the Play Store, you can rest assured that you're getting a quality product.

Nord's Android app has a lot to offer, and just like the two above, it doesn't hold back on features when compared to its desktop brethren. You'll have the standard AES-256 encryption alongside split tunneling, a kill switch, and Double VPN – plus the likes of Onion Over VPN and Double VPN among the 'Specialty servers' list.

NordVPN gives top security providers (let alone VPNs) a run for their money with a built-in antivirus alongside password management and secure online storage. You'll enjoy protection from all kinds of digital threats, including malware, viruses, trackers, ads and pop-ups, and everything else too. And the fact it frequently undergoes independent audits will be a big tick if privacy is a top priority.

A standout, though, is the free for all Meshnet feature that allows you to create your own network and connect up to 60 devices directly (eliminating the need to send files to the server cloud) and secure them via encrypted NordVPN connections. This is an excellent innovation and perfect for gaming or working in a group. 

However, in my NordVPN review, I did find the layout of the app slightly less intuitive than some other providers thanks to the map interface. While on larger screens it can be pleasant to use, on smaller touchscreens (including its iPhone VPN sibling), I'd much rather just have a well-ordered list of servers to begin with. Despite this quibble, there's a sense that the NordVPN UX designers are constantly iterating and improving – not long ago it added a handy 'recent connections' list to help you start where you left off the last time you used the app.

NordVPN now offers 10 simultaneous connections (up from six) and streaming fanatics will be thrilled to read that NordVPN is one of the best Netflix VPN services on the market, unblocking a wide range of libraries. The speeds the NordLynx protocol can deliver are excellent, too – topping out at a massive 950Mbps, it's equal to Surfshark as the very fastest service I've tested.

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NordVPN test results
DesignA fun and intuitive design, but it's a tiny bit crowded⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe map-style interface isn't the simplest I've seen, but the Android app is overall easy to run⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceBlistering speeds, and one of the fastest around⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingA force to reckon with and unblocks all popular and even hard-to-crack locations⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyNo shortage of essential security measures, plus a built-in antivirus and ad blockers make it an all-rounder ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 friendly and professional customer support with tons of helpful guides⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceGreat value for money but slightly on the expensive side⭐⭐⭐⭐

ExpressVPN: Best Android VPN for beginners

ExpressVPN on a range of devicesEditor's Choice

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

2. ExpressVPN

Sleek apps for your Android device (and everything else)

Available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux (command-line only), Routers, almost everything else | Simultaneous connections: 8 | 24/7 support: Yes | Play Store rating: 4.2 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, C4, 9Now, 10 play | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Slick, trouble-free apps
Plenty of configuration 
Lightway protocol delivers great speeds
Reliably unblocks Netflix and more
Fairly expensive
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a simple Android VPN: with a straightforward interface containing a big on/off button and 24/7 support if you need it, ExpressVPN is a delight for beginners and experts alike.

✔️ You need class-leading privacy and reliability: ExpressVPN offers the best security money can buy thanks to AES-256 encryption, a bulletproof kill switch, a strict no-logs policy.

✔️ You want access everywhere: with servers in 160 locations and 105 countries, ExpressVPN boasts one of the widest networks of servers we've seen.  

Avoid if:

❌ You're on a tight budget: ExpressVPN is on the expensive end of things, and those pinching for pennies may be better off with Surfshark or CyberGhost.

❌ You want an Android VPN that's also a good Linux VPN: ExpressVPN only offers a command-line interface for Linux devices and not the much preferred graphical user interface.

❌ You want built-in antivirus: ExpressVPN hardly misses a beat as far as user security is concerned but the lack of an antivirus is slightly disappointing, especially when rivals like NordVPN and Surfshark provide one.  

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ExpressVPN is a top pick for Android thanks to a super simple app with a big on/off button, class-leading security including an intuitive auto-connect functionality and unblocking prowess. Friendly 24/7 support and tons of helpful guides are the cherry on top – well worth the upmarket price tag.

ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable services on the market, because no matter what you ask of it, you'll get results. With over 3,000 servers in 105 countries worldwide there's a huge spread of locations to choose from, and its simple, intuitive and powerful Android app will have you protected in no time.

Installation is a breeze and finished in a minute or so, and when the app's up and running you'll be met with a large, inviting on/off button. Tap it, and you'll be connected to your nearest server in seconds. If that's all you need, close the app and carry on with your day – set it and forget it.

Dig into ExpressVPN's settings menu, though, and you'll find that despite Express's simple appearance there's a ton of power under the hood. With AES-256 encryption as standard alongside the open-source Lightway protocol, split tunneling, a kill switch and 100% RAM-only servers, you can be sure your data won't be compromised.

There's also a neat Protection Summary feature under the Privacy and Security Tools menu which tells you the strength of your connection and shows you the IP address that you're connected to. That's all backed up by frequent app updates, and an independently audited logging policy that ensures no identifiable data is kept about you or your connections – so even if ExpressVPN is somehow compelled to hand over logs, there'll be nothing to see.

It's not all about privacy, though. Express is one of my highest-rated VPN when it comes to streaming, too, so wherever you are in the world you'll be able to watch content you pay for. In my tests for my full ExpressVPN review, I found that the provider delivered speeds more than capable enough to stream 4K content consistently. The top speeds of around 410Mbps when connected via Lightway, however, are quite a long way behind the rapid connections that NordVPN and Surfshark now deliver.

Although the eight-device limit isn’t the most generous, it should be enough to cover all your mobile devices plus your desktop computer and smart TV to boot – but if you've got tons of devices, a provider that offers unlimited connections like Surfshark may appeal. 

If you have any issues, the class-leading online support and live chat will help you out in minutes should you need it, and if you're not sure, it's worth making the most of Express's risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. You can use the service as much as you like for a month, and if it doesn't live up to your expectations, you can claim your money back.

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ExpressVPN test results
DesignSimple and clean interface and every option is easy to find and operate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useExcellent for both beginners and advanced users⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceSufficiently quick for every use case but not as fast as Surfshark or NordVPN ⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks just about every streaming platform with ease⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyOne of the very best for privacy thanks to rock-solid encryption and security add-ons ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 customer support with tons of helpful guides⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceIt's worth the money, but cheaper options are available ⭐⭐⭐

Surfshark: Best cheap Android VPN app

Surfshark Android VPN app displayed on a device

(Image credit: Surfshark)

3. Surfshark

Great value yet fully featured Android VPN

Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI) | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | 24/7 support: Yes | Play Store rating: 4.5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, C4, 9Now, 10 play | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Excellent introductory offer
Unique GPS spoofer on Android
Great speeds
Unlimited connections
High renewal prices
Minor kill switch issue
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a fast Android VPN: it's tough to beat Surfshark in terms of sheer speed, as it boasts a peak speed of 950 Mbps.

✔️ You need unlimited simultaneous connections: with just one Surfshark account, you can cover any number of devices, including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and more. 

✔️ You want a budget pick: Surfshark is one of the cheapest options on the market, but doesn't make any sacrifices.

Avoid if:

❌ You want a foolproof kill switch: Surfshark's kill switch is very functional and won't leak day-to-day. In my rigorous testing it failed, however – although this is very unlikely to happen to you.

❌ You need tons of configuration: Surfshark stands out for its simplicity, but the same plays against it when it comes to appeasing tech-savvy users who want to play around with the settings.  

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Surfshark is an ideal choice for those on a budget, plus with unlimited simultaneous connections and lightning-fast speeds, there's a lot of power under the hood too. Its Android client is equally as powerful as its desktop version and is able to unblock everything from the get-go. A great alternative to the more expensive ExpressVPN.

For those looking for a a quality cheap VPN, Surfshark offers a seriously powerful VPN for Android at a very compelling price. You'll have access to 3,200 servers in 100 countries, and connection speeds have been supercharged up to a blistering 950Mbps, which makes Surfshark one of the fastest VPNs I've tested.

While some providers dump every feature under the sun into their Windows VPN app yet neglect mobile offerings, I found Surfshark's Android app to be fully featured – and even offers a couple of features not seen on any other platforms. 

You'll get a kill switch, split tunneling, AES-256 encryption, a range of static IPs and a Multi-Hop feature. However, something unique is its fake GPS location override. As the only VPN I know to offer this, it's perfect if you want to trick games like Pokémon GO into thinking you're somewhere else. CleanWeb is another nice option, which will block ads, trackers and malware when toggled on.

Surfshark's Android app is pretty intuitive in that it senses if your current network is facing any restrictions, and if that's the case, it will activate the NoBorders mode which will provide you with a list of the highest-performing servers that are unaffected by your current network restrictions. 

Surfshark's streaming performance is also excellent, and while in the past I’ve seen some inconsistencies, my latest testing showed it's currently able to unblock just about every site there is.

Another standout feature is the unlimited connections policy. If you're a Marques Brownlee-type with a drawer full of phones, you'll be able to install Surfshark on any and all of them and still be able to cover any laptops, desktops and routers without hassle. 

There are a couple of downsides. In my stress-testing, I found that Surfshark's kill switch could fail (although I stayed protected). And, like NordVPN, the lure of the eye-catching introductory prices are slightly dampened by the price hikes on renewal.

However, when you consider how much cheaper Surfshark is than ExpressVPN – or just about any other VPN for that matter – to start with, it's an excellent Android VPN that's absolutely worth considering. Plus, a 7-day free trial for Android users (in addition to the standard 30-day money-back guarantee) means that you have ample time to test the service before committing.

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Surfshark test results
DesignMinimalistic, clean, and intuitive design⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useOne of the most beginner-friendly VPNs with an Android app that's easy to navigate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThe fastest provider I've tested⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEffortlessly gets past every major streaming platform⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyThe kill switch could use some tweaks, but everything else is excellent ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 customer support with tons of helpful articles ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceA bargain deal with excellent value for money ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best of the rest

Proton VPN Android VPN app on a device

(Image credit: ProtonVPN)

4. Proton VPN

Swiss security in your pocket

Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI) | Simultaneous connections : 10 | 24/7 support: No | Play Store rating: 4.1 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, C4, 9Now, 10 play | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Good WireGuard and OpenVPN speeds
Secure Core servers
Great for streaming
Live chat support only office hours
Lower Play Store rating than others
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a privacy-focused VPN: Proton VPN is based out of Switzerland – well-known for its strict privacy laws, plus all Proton VPN apps are open-source.

✔️ You want a free Android VPN: Proton VPN comes with a free plan which is more than sufficient for normal usage thanks to unlimited data and zero ads. 

✔️ You want decent simultaneous connections: Proton VPN allows you to protect up to 10 devices at the same time, which is more than what ExpressVPN offers.  

Avoid if:

❌ You want to stream for free: Proton VPN's free plan doesn't boast its impeccable unblocking capabilities which are reserved for paying users only.

❌ You're new to VPNs: although it certainly isn't difficult to operate, there are so many settings and configurations that the app may feel intimidating to newbies. Surfshark is a friendlier option.  

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Proton VPN is very privacy-focused with an open-source Android app and an always-on VPN feature for 24/7 security. You can get started with its free plan, and to experience its top-notch unblocking capabilities, try its premium plan on for size with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

In my in-depth Proton VPN review, I found that in the last couple of years, the security-obsessed Swiss provider has well and truly earned its place among the big guns.

ProtonVPN offers 4,900+ servers across 91 countries, which is more than enough to ensure speedy connections in every location. All of these servers are owned by Proton too, which keeps all user traffic out of third-party hands. Proprietary VPN Accelerator technology amps up server speeds, which has resulted in Proton heading towards the top of the table of the most rapid VPNs.  

I discovered that the Android VPN app is much like the desktop version – plenty of server info, a map interface that's a little better than Nord's, the ability to activate split tunneling, a kill switch, and more. It's even got a landscape mode, which could prove useful to tablet users.

Proton's Android version also gets its standout Secure Core technology which routes your internet traffic through a very secure Proton VPN server in either Sweden, Iceland, or Switzerland before connecting you to your destination of choice. Multi-Hop and ad-blocking are nifty add-ons.

Streaming is one of the most popular VPN uses, and it was great to see during my testing that Proton can access multiple Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and more. Its strong connection speeds mean you won't be waiting around for your streams to load, and its OpenVPN speeds are some of the very fastest from any provider.

While other providers offer a limited-time free trial or money-back guarantee allowing you to try the service risk-free, Proton VPN is one of the very few to boast a completely free VPN. It certainly impresses me that it doesn't restrict your data usage and ensures a clutter-free experience with zero ads. Although it's worth noting that you don't get any say on your server location – it connects you to a random country like the Netherlands, Romania or Japan and you can only change it to another random location a limited number of times. And while its Android VPN app is very easy to navigate and you shouldn't need much help to begin with, the lack of 24/7 live chat support could pose a minor inconvenience, especially for first-time users.

Proton VPN isn't mega cheap – at its regular price it is almost as pricey as ExpressVPN. But we've managed to get Tom's Guide readers a reduced rate, bringing it much more in line with NordVPN's pricing. Overall, ProtonVPN is well worth considering for privacy-focused individuals and those on the lookout for a handy free plan.

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Proton VPN test results
DesignIntuitive and lively design with the dark mode as the showstopper⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe Android app is simple to use, and it's only the desktop clients that are a bit complex ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for everything you need it for⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingAccess to your favorite movies and TV shows no matter the platform ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySwiss privacy law, independent audits, and open-source apps speak volumes about its reliability ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportThe response time is decent and the guides are very detailed⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceNot the most affordable of the lot, but there's a handy free plan⭐⭐⭐

Private Internet Access

5. Private Internet Access

Feature-packed Android VPN that has security at its heart

Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI) | Simultaneous connections : Unlimited | 24/7 support: Yes | Play Store rating: 4.4 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, C4, 9Now, 10 play | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Straightforward, usable app
No limit on device connections
Attractive pricing
May be overly complex for some
Not great speeds
Subscribe if:

✔️ You have lots of devices to cover: PIA offers unlimited simultaneous connections – so you can connect the laptops, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices of you and your family.

✔️ Privacy is paramount: PIA has proved the watertight quality of its no-logging policy in a court of law. Nobody's going to get your usage history.

✔️ You want to tinker with your VPN: this is a highly configurable service, with lost of settings and options to toggle.

Avoid if:

 ❌ The fastest VPN speeds are important to you: PIA is a long way down our speed results table. 

You're afraid of being overwhelmed: with so many features available with on this Android app, those new to VPNs may find it all a bit much.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Whether it's for Android or any other platform, Private Internet Access has become one of the most reliable VPN providers out there. It has a very public track record on how it will protect your online anonymity, and its apps are bursting at the seams with fantastic features.

"Privacy is at the forefront, but PIA impresses in just about every area," is what we say in our in-depth Private Internet Access review. There's not much higher praise you can get than that, and it extends to its solid app for Android smartphones and tablets.

Simple to install, set up and turn on, it's jam-packed with with features that will genuinely improve your VPN usage and keep you better protected when connected to unverified networks. There's an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, WireGuard and OpenVPN connection options, and custom ports, to name but a few. It's basically a compressed version of the desktop client. So anything you get on Windows, you'll get with the PIA Android app, too.

One of our minor gripes is that there's a case to be made that the mobile interface is a little too busy. We can quite imagine somebody who'd never used a VPN before getting a bit confused with all the graphs and charts, figures and numbers, that it displays.

If you're based in the U.S., you'll be interested to know that PIA has servers in every one of the 50 states. No other VPN provider offers that breadth of coverage in the U.S. And if you're wondering: "Will the U.S. government get access to my data?" we can put your mind at rest on that front. Even though PIA is a U.S. VPN and therefore is subject to the country's Five Eyes scrutiny, the company has come through data requests in American courts and had the strength of its no-logging policy vindicated.

If you use your Android smartphone or tablet for streaming, then I'm glad to say that PIA performed brilliantly in my streaming tests. Whether you're looking to stream foreign Netflix catalogs, live sports in another country, or are on your travels and want a taste of home television, PIA unlocks pretty much every IPTV service going.

One area in which PIA does lose marks is on speed. We test every service with a 1 Gbps connection, with the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark not dropping any speed whatsoever when connected via WireGuard. I can't say the same for PIA, where WireGuard speeds max out at 330 Mbps and Open VPN at 270 Mbps. While acknowledging that's way off the pace, however, you're still unlikely to see much negative impact on your day-to-day use at those speeds.

One factor that may turn your head towards Private Internet Access is its pricing – go for a multi-year plan and you won't be asked to pay much more than $2/month. That makes it competition for Surfshark, which is generally regarded as the leading light of affordable VPNs. Give it a try with the comfort of its 30-day money back guarantee and we don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Private Internet Access test results
DesignAll the functionality and features of the desktop client⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEasy enough, but maybe a bit too overcrowded for new users⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceSpeeds are way down on the competition⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingExcellent here – all major IPTV services are unblocked⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyNo-logs policy has been stress tested in court⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 support and plenty of guides online⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceUp there with the cheapest VPNs around⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How to choose an Android VPN app

When making your decision, you should consider what you'll be using your VPN for Android for. 

Are you just looking for extra privacy when you're out and about? If so, strong encryption, great speeds, and a few extra features that allow you to tailor the experience may be all you need.

If you're looking to access TV and films from around the world, you should make sure that your chosen provider is able to do so – not all are. 

Some of this all comes down to taste, too. Some Android VPN apps are super simple, almost sparse, which is great if you don't like a cluttered interface. Others show tons of data and info about your connections.

I consider all of the providers on this page as entirely safe to use, so read through my in-depth reviews and make your mind up from there.

Android VPN FAQs

What is the best Android VPN?

The powerful, easy to use NordVPN has taken its place at the top of the table as the best Android VPN available right now. With incredible connections speeds, user-friendly apps, super secure privacy tools, a great reputation for unblocking, and reasonable prices, the provider really does take some beating.

For an even cheaper choice, Surfshark is a strong alternative. It's priced around the $2.50-a-month mark and out speeds even Nord. And former #1 ExpressVPN remains another strong Android VPN app. But it's hard to justify splashing out when there are cheaper alternatives out there that will do just as goo a job.

Do I need an Android VPN?

If you ever connect to public Wi-Fi networks, and Android VPN is a must. 

While many are protected with passwords and encryption, there are still plenty around that can leave you open to attacks from other users that are connected. An Android VPN's encryption protects you and your data from any potential hackers, and for just that we’d say the small monthly fee is worth it.

However, one of the biggest reasons users sign up to use their VPN for streaming. If you’re abroad, it’s likely you won’t be able to access the shows you watch at home without a VPN – even if you’ve paid the subscription. 

This is because online TV services geo-block their libraries for licencing reasons (Netflix and iPlayer, to mention a couple). Using a VPN can make your device appear to be in a country of your choice, and you’ll therefore be able to access the same media anyone else in that country can.

Are Android VPNs legal?

VPNs have developed a somewhat tarnished reputation due to their links with hackers, pirates and other online criminals. However, in most countries it's 100% legal to have a VPN on any and all of your devices – and the vast majority of users remain entirely above board as well.

Some countries have banned VPNs entirely – Belarus, China, and Iran to mention a few. VPNs are still widely used in these locations, and while we don't recommend breaking the law in any circumstance, if you do choose to use a VPN in these countries, make sure you choose a secure provider that offers obfuscated servers.

What else can Android VPNs do?

Whilst you're on your phone, you probably won't be making full use of your Android VPN – just staying safe online and perhaps the odd bit of overseas Netflix – but thankfully every one on this list allows you to use your subscription on multiple devices. 

That means you'll be able to install your VPN on your PC or Mac, and often on your smart TV, games console or router as well. There, you can make the most of the power VPNs can offer.

Staying safe by using a torrenting VPN is one of the major benefits, as P2P sharing is an activity that poses a real risk to those who engage in it without protection. 

Another reason is to avoid any restrictions on your internet service – especially useful for students, those in rented accommodation or those at work – and means you can surf the web without anyone blocking what you want to look at.

Hand holding a phone displaying the best free Android VPN services

(Image credit: Chikena/Shutterstock)

How do you set up an Android VPN?

Installing a VPN on Android is as easy as installing any other app.

Firstly, you’ll need to download the app from either the Play Store or directly from the provider’s website. From there you can install the app as usual, and once the app has opened you’ll be asked to sign in to your account.

Once you’ve signed in, your device will ask for your permission to set up a VPN connection. This will appear no matter what Android VPN you’ve signed up for. After you’ve allowed those permissions, your VPN is set up and ready to go.

All the VPNs on this page have excellent support networks, so if you do run into any problems they'll always be happy to help.

How do I turn on my Android VPN?

Once you've chosen and installed your VPN it really couldn't be simpler to turn your VPN app on. Open up the app and, depending on the provider, there will either be a big, obvious on/off 'switch' or an equally clear place to tap to turn on the VPN.

It's just as easy to change the server that you're connected to. Open up the server list and then pick either the geographical location or use-case (e.g. streaming, P2P, etc) that you need. If you're simply turning it on as an extra layer of security, most Android VPN apps have a default or smart location that should give you the best possible speeds and most reliable connection.

Is an Android VPN safe?

If you choose one of the five best Android VPNs on this list, you can be sure that they are a reputable, secure provider. Heading to the provider websites through the links on this page will ensure you're in the right place, or you could search for them on the Play Store.

However, a VPN doesn't give you absolute immunity – if you enter details on a bogus site or download malware, your VPN won't be able to protect you. You still have to be savvy online, but if you're smart, a VPN will boost your protection to the next level, and stop your data from leaking when it's not your fault.


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Mo Harber-Lamond
VPN Editor

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.

With contributions from