10 Best VPNs for Android – Safe Apps for 2023
There are over 200 Android VPNs to choose from, but most of them aren’t worth your money. Some simply don’t work, while others are downright shady and collect your private data. There are even fake VPNs in the Play Store that install malware onto your Android.
To save you the trouble, I ran rigorous tests to find the best Android VPNs in 2023 (all versions, including Android 13). Each VPN on this list is fast, secure, and won’t slow down your Android or rapidly drain its battery.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Android due to its fast speeds, Android-specific security features, and value for your money. Since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can subscribe risk-free. I went through the process to test the policy myself — my refund was approved in minutes and I got my money back in just 5 days.
Quick Guide: The Best VPNs for Android in 2023
- ExpressVPN — #1 Android VPN with lots of security features, fast speeds, and a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try ExpressVPN for Android.
- CyberGhost — Consistently unblocks HD content on Android with streaming-optimized servers, but it’s slower for torrenting.
- Private Internet Access — Secures your Android with military-grade encryption, but doesn’t unblock Hulu or BBC iPlayer.
- NordVPN — Reliable and fast server network, but has a complicated user interface on some apps.
- Surfshark — Offers unlimited simultaneous connections, but isn’t reliable for accessing streaming services.
Plus, there are 5 other Android-friendly VPNs that made the list — check them out here.
The Best Android VPN Apps (Tested 2023)
- 3,000 servers in 105 countries with unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds
- Torrenting supported on every server
- Top-of-the-class security and privacy features to keep your Android safe
- Protects up to 8 devices simultaneously
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Android in 2023 — every server I tried gave me top-grade security features and fast speeds for mobile browsing, streaming, and torrenting. Its advanced AES 256-bit encryption, 4096-bit RSA key, and SHA-512 HMAC authentication keep your mobile traffic hidden from shady third parties like hackers.
On top of encryption, ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology uses RAM-based servers that erase all data with every reboot. This leaves nothing for hackers or other third parties to steal or eavesdrop on. Its no-logs policy also ensures ExpressVPN never collects your data in the first place. It also undergoes independent security audits and makes these reports public. This level of transparency gives me full confidence I can browse safely and privately on Android.
Although VPNs encrypt all your information, IP address leaks are still possible — even on mobile devices. Fortunately, ExpressVPN passed all of my DNS, WebRTC, and IPv4 leak tests. Combined with the automatic kill switch, this reassured me that if the network becomes unsteady for any reason, my location and online activities won’t be revealed to hackers or scammers.
The company is also headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, outside of any 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdictions. This means ExpressVPN isn’t subject to any international data collection agreements or mass surveillance laws that violate your privacy.
ExpressVPN also has additional security features on its Android app. Security Assistant provided insightful tips on how to secure my data and protect my device, while Data Breach Alert monitored my email address for breaches. If your information is compromised, the app will notify you instantly so you can quickly change your passwords or lock your accounts.
My tests revealed that ExpressVPN’s speeds allow for uninterrupted mobile streaming on Android. I only experienced a 14% decrease compared to my base internet speeds. By default, ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol but I was able to boost my speeds by switching to the Lightway protocol.
I was impressed with my Android phone’s performance, as I saw no lag or slowdowns while connected with Lightway. VPNs are notorious for draining phone batteries, so I appreciated how little impact Lightway (which was designed with mobile devices in mind) had on my Android’s performance. However, you can’t go wrong with either protocol, as both Lightway and OpenVPN are highly secure. Since the Android platform is susceptible to security flaws, I appreciated the additional safety benefits these protocols provide.
ExpressVPN works with streaming platforms like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. This is ideal if you often travel and like keeping up with your favorite shows while abroad. During Netflix testing using servers in the US, UK, France, and Australia, ExpressVPN accessed the service from all locations with consistently high speeds. This makes it possible to stream TV shows and movies even while on vacation.
With plans starting a $6.67/month, ExpressVPN is a little pricier than other Android VPNs. But it’s still a good value for the money and is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy ExpressVPN for Android risk-free.
If you’re not fully satisfied, contact 24/7 customer service and an agent will immediately process your refund request. I received my refund in just 5 days and didn’t have to explain why I wanted to cancel my account.
ExpressVPN works on: Android 5.0 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Kindle, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, Apple TV, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
ExpressVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sky Sports, Hotstar, DAZN, Showtime, and more.
2023 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- 10,200+ servers in 100+ countries, including streaming-optimized servers
- Native apps for Android 5+, Android TV, and other platforms
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption, plus automatic Android ad and malware blocking
- Works on up to 7 devices at the same time
- 45-day money-back guarantee on the 2-year + 4 months plan
CyberGhost is one of the best streaming VPNs for Android with optimized servers specifically configured for US Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming sites. While testing on my Samsung Galaxy S21, there were never issues finding a working server to unblock streaming accounts. After connecting to CyberGhost The Mandalorian loaded instantly in HD on Disney+ and played with only minimal initial buffering.
I found CyberGhost a bit slower than ExpressVPN, but this barely affected streaming. My average speed drop was around 39%, so CyberGhost is fast enough for 4K content on Android apps like Netflix, HBO Max, and Comedy Central.
Unlike its desktop app, CyberGhost doesn’t offer its P2P server tab on Android — but these servers are still available. I had to manually browse the server list on its website to find torrenting servers, which was slightly inconvenient. I also found that download speeds were slower than ExpressVPN’s, though this wasn’t a big deal as it only took me 7 minutes to download a 500MB video.
Aside from specialty options, CyberGhost has thousands of regular servers that allow streaming and torrenting — but you may experience slower speeds. However, they’re a great backup if the optimized servers are full. It was still possible to watch shows on Netflix US and Hulu in 1080p while torrenting small files without a drop in stream quality.
CyberGhost’s kill switch is enabled by default, so you don’t have to remember to turn it on while connected. Additionally, it uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data and has a strict no-logs policy so you can be sure all your online activities will be kept private.
I was also pleased that I could use CyberGhost on up to 7 devices. This was enough to cover my personal and work phone, tablet, Chromebook, Fire Stick, and Sony Smart TV. I didn’t have to worry about logging in and out of different devices.
CyberGhost plans start at $2.03/month, and you can try CyberGhost’s Android app risk-free with its 45-day money-back guarantee. That’s longer than many VPNs and gives you plenty of time to enjoy its optimized servers. If you’re not happy with the service, you can always ask for a refund. My refund was approved in minutes and my bank deposited the money in my account 6 days later.
CyberGhost works on: Android 5.0 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, Apple TV, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
CyberGhost unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sky Sports, Hotstar, Comedy Central, Eurosport, and more.
Get Black Friday Deal and Cyber Monday Deal from CyberGhost! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.03 per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 84%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- 35,000 servers in 91+ countries
- Works with devices running Android 5.1 and up
- Keeps your Android protected with customizable security settings
- Up to unlimited simultaneous devices connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions
Private Internet Access (PIA) comes with fully customizable security settings to fit your Android VPN needs. I first enabled AES 128-bit encryption to maximize my speeds and enjoyed bufferless streaming on my Android phone while abroad. I then selected stronger 256-bit encryption for increased protection, perfect for anonymous torrenting or using public WiFi networks.
PIA also offers 2 different VPN protocols — OpenVPN and WireGuard. OpenVPN is the default and offers good protection and decent speeds. But I increased my online security and speeds by enabling WireGuard. This protocol is great for fast and anonymous torrenting and other data-intensive activities no matter where you are.
I could also change how the automatic kill switch protected my connection. Selecting “Auto” meant PIA would only stop incoming data from viewing information on my Android device. However, I recommend swapping to “Always,” a much safer option that instantly cuts all traffic if your connection drops.
Aside from security, PIA has a huge server network with fast connections. When I ran a speed test on over 40 servers I found each location provided me with good speeds ranging from 30-50Mbps.
The high speeds on its selection of global servers on Android had no issues with lag-free TV shows on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video in top quality. The speeds were also great for torrenting and playing online games like Call of Duty. Sadly, unlike ExpressVPN, PIA struggles with unblocking Hulu and BBC iPlayer — but other than that it was a solid streaming VPN.
Additionally, PIA is one of the few VPNs to offer an ad and malware blocker (called PIA MACE) on Android devices. However, Google Play blocks this feature so make sure you download PIA from the official website and get the APK file.
All PIA subscriptions are really affordable (it even has one of the best month-to-month VPN plans), but the best deal is the 2-year + 4 months plan for $2.03 per month which is eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to ensure the VPN meets your needs. If not, just reach out to customer service through live chat or email. I got my money back within 6 business days.
PIA works on: Android 5.0 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
PIA unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sky Sports, Hotstar, and more.
Get PIA's Black Friday Deal! You can subscribe to PIA for as low as 2.03$ per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 84%)! This is a limited offer, so grab it now before it's gone! See more information on this offer here!
- Short and long-term subscriptions available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 5,900+ global servers in 60 countries
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Protect up to 6 devices at once
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long-term subscription. One thing to note, however, is that when it’s time to renew your subscription, prices do increase quite significantly.
I was particularly impressed with the high performance of every server I tested. Just because a VPN has thousands of servers doesn’t mean they all work. Servers can still struggle to work — and some can even fail to connect completely. However, NordVPN’s servers work with Netflix for smooth, buffer-free streaming.
I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it mostly worked with Netflix, it sometimes had issues and kept crashing. I also found that NordVPN’s user interface for desktop devices was less user-friendly than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:
- AES 256-bit encryption
- kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenly
- built-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad blocker
- fully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN
In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server.
With plans that cost as little as $2.99 per month, it's easy to find a NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs. You can also stream, torrent, and browse for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. I tested this to ensure that you’ll really get your money back. At first, the support team tried to give me an extended trial period — but they initiated my refund right away after I told them I wasn’t interested in the extension. I got my money back in 6 business days.
NordVPN works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, SkyTV, HBO Max, SHOWTIME, DAZN, ESPN, YouTube TV, and more
NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV
- Short and long-term plans available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 3,200+ global servers in 100 countries
- No bandwidth restrictions
- Connect unlimited devices at once
Surfshark offers the best value for money out of every premium VPN on the market. You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription, which means you can use Surfshark on all your devices without getting logged out.
I tested Surfshark’s simultaneous connections on 2 PCs, 2 phones, a Fire Stick 4K, and an iPad. My connection remained reliable on all 6 devices. Even while I was actively streaming on all my devices, my average speed was 112 Mbps — fast enough for UHD quality.
When I saw the price of this service, I thought it couldn’t possibly have top-grade security features for such a low price, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:
- AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android users
- Wireguard VPN protocol enabled by default
- diskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers)
- kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)
- IP and DNS leak protection
Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This feature requires you to enter an extra code before you can log in to ensure that only you can access your account.
While Surfshark does have slightly fewer global servers than rivals such as CyberGhost and PIA, I didn’t experience any issues during my tests. I easily connected fast working servers every time, and I had excellent speeds for streaming, downloading torrents, and browsing the internet.
You can try Surfshark for yourself with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $1.99. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back (and it only took 4 days!).
Surfshark works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, Hotstar, HBO Max, DAZN, and more
Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers
- 200+ servers in 63+ countries with a Stealth Mode option
- Apps for Android 4.0 and up for mobile devices, tablets, TVs, and more
- 256-bit military-grade encryption cipher hides your data on Android
- Use PrivateVPN on up to 10 simultaneous devices
- Easy refunds with a 30-day money-back guarantee
In our case, PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN mode caters specifically to Android users looking to connect in environments with restrictive networks. This standout feature adeptly conceals VPN activity, allowing it to slip through network firewalls seamlessly. Impressively, it’s proven effective even in regions with rigorous censorship policies, such as the UAE, Russia, China, and Turkey.
Specialized streaming and torrenting servers are also available on PrivateVPN’s Android app. My average speed of 15.1Mbps was on the slower side while connected to these servers. Fortunately, this did not greatly impact the streaming experience. During testing, The Irishman loaded on Netflix in standard definition with just a few seconds of buffering.
For security on Android, PrivateVPN offers 256-bit military-grade encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and industry-leading tunneling protocols. These features hide your online identity and protect you from hackers. It’s located in Sweden, which is a 14-Eyes jurisdiction that watches your online activities. However, PrivateVPN’s no-logs policy means it doesn’t save any data, so your information can’t be seen.
I noticed that the kill switch feature offered by PrivateVPN is designed to disconnect your connection if a server failure occurs. This is a worry because it may not provide sufficient protection during power outages or accidental disconnections. This scenario is less than ideal, particularly when involved in torrenting, as it might put you at risk of malware or reveal your IP address to hackers. Luckily, I haven’t faced any issues personally, as my connections have been reliable.
I found longer-term subscriptions for as low as $2.00/month, and all the plan options let you try PrivateVPN’s Android stealth features risk-free for 30 days. If you’re not satisfied, you can contact customer service and ask for a refund. I found the process very straightforward as all I had to do was explain that I didn’t need a VPN anymore. The customer representative approved my request and my refund arrived 5 days later.
PrivateVPN works on: Android 4.0 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
PrivateVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, fuboTV, Sky Sports, Hotstar, and more.
- 2,200+ servers in 75+ countries to connect on all your devices
- No-logging policy and fast speeds to support torrenting on any server
- Solid Android privacy features and military-grade encryption to secure your data
- Allows unlimited device connections
- Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
IPVanish stands out among Android VPNs as it allows for unrestricted simultaneous connections. This means you can utilize it across all your devices simultaneously. Moreover, it provides unlimited bandwidth, ensuring smooth performance on your Android device, even when engaging in high-definition video streaming, gaming, or utilizing multiple apps across multiple devices simultaneously.
IPVanish offers one of the most detailed diagnostics information of any Android VPN, displaying essential information that other mobile VPNs don’t. A detailed chart shows your download and upload speeds, data usage, and current VPN protocol. If you’re new to Android VPNs, IPVanish provides a short tutorial right after you install it.
During tests, I used IPVanish to download multiple files on my phone and tablet at the same time. The unlimited bandwidth meant I could torrent as much as I wanted without experiencing slowdowns or sudden disconnections.
I was initially hesitant about IPVanish’s security since it’s based in the US, an Eyes Alliance member country. However, IPVanish has a strict no-logs policy. Even if the US government asked for your data, IPVanish wouldn’t have any to share.
Sadly, IPVanish’s kill switch is available only on Android mobile, so I couldn’t enable it on my Smart TV and Fire Stick. This won’t impact your privacy on mobile, but it’s disappointing that the kill switch doesn’t cover all Android devices.
The best deal I found was only $2.49 per month, but you’re not losing anything if you give IPVanish a try for Android. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. I didn’t even have to speak to a VPN representative, as the refund process is fully automated. I just logged in and canceled my account in the “Subscription” tab. My request was processed immediately and I received my money back only 2 hours later.
IPVanish works on: Android 5.1 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Smart TVs, routers, and more.
IPVanish unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, ESPN, Sky Sports, Hotstar, and more.
- 3,000+ servers in over 65+ countries
- No torrenting restrictions on premium plans
- Secure core servers protect you from network attacks
- Connect up to 10 devices with the Plus plan
- 30-day period to get a refund for days that you didn’t use the service
Proton VPN’s Secure Core technology keeps your Android devices safe from network-level attacks that hackers use to spy on your Android apps and browsing activities. By routing your data across multiple servers, Proton VPN makes it impossible for hackers to keep up and keeps your Android data secure.
In addition to Secure Core, Proton VPN employs 256-bit encryption of military-grade standard to safeguard your data, ensuring a high level of privacy. Your Android device is further secured through features like an Android kill switch and DNS leak protection. Notably, an Android malware and ad blocker is also included, preventing interactions with harmful URLs during activities such as browsing the internet, checking emails, or utilizing Android applications.
For maximum speeds, Proton VPN’s performance accelerator is turned on by default. It optimizes your connection by removing inefficiencies in its VPN protocols. With the accelerator turned on, my Android connection went from 41Mbps to 59Mbps — a full ⅓ increase.
All of Proton VPN’s Android apps were also easy to install and use when I tested it on mobile, tablets, Android TV, Fire TV Stick, and other devices. I never had compatibility problems, but if you encounter issues you can install Proton VPN on your router to protect every Android device on your network. Plus, it could reliably bypass VPN filters on most streaming sites like Hulu.
The one real con to Proton VPN is that the 30-day money-back guarantee is only valid for days you didn’t use the service. There is a free plan, but it’s very limited. Other than that, Proton VPN is one of the best for Android and the 2-year + 6 months plan is a great deal for $3.99/month.
After I tested the Android app for a full day, I emailed Proton VPN support to ask for a refund and was approved within an hour. A week later, I got the money for the remaining days within the 30-day refund window.
Proton VPN works on: Android 6.0 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more.
Proton VPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, ESPN, Sky Sports, and more.
- 6,500+ servers in 70+ countries
- Easy-to-use apps on Android 10 and higher
- Selection of VPN protocols and encryption levels on a zero-logs network
- Supports up to 10 simultaneous devices
- Plans come with a 31-day money-back guarantee
PureVPN’s “Proxy Mode” gives you an unencrypted IP address to optimize streaming speeds on TV and movie sites. It takes time for your Android data to be encrypted, and the added security isn’t important for watching content. By removing encryption, proxy mode maximizes speeds for the smoothest possible 4K UHD streaming performance on global TV and movie services.
Along with the top standard of military-grade 256-bit encryption on its other protocols, PureVPN has an always-on feature in Android so you never use apps unprotected. There’s also a split tunnel to use local sites and international apps at the same time. While it doesn’t have many security extras, it’s plenty for safe and anonymous torrenting on Android.
I got solid speeds on PureVPN — it was more than fast enough for a smooth video call on Google Hangouts. The Android app also has a built-in Speed Test function that constantly analyzes servers to connect you to the fastest one automatically.
All of PureVPN’s apps were super-easy to install and use, giving you intuitive interfaces and a “quick connect” button that automatically finds the fastest server. I also never encountered random glitches or crashes, and the Android app is efficient enough to minimize your battery drain.
You can also get PureVPN for Android risk-free for $2.03/month, since plans come with a 31-day money-back guarantee. I got my refund request approved in a few minutes via 24/7 live chat, and I had my money back within a week of making my request.
PureVPN works on: Android 5.1 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more.
PureVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, ESPN, and more.
- 4,800 servers in 91+ countries
- Intuitive apps for Android 4.0.3 and up
- Strict no-logging policy on servers with military-grade encryption
- No limit on how many devices you can connect at once
- Worry-free plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee
ZenMate is a solid Android VPN that offers great value for the cost. Although it doesn’t have the biggest server network, it makes up for this with good speeds, strong security, and unlimited device connections. I found its subscription packages very affordable and saved the most with the 1-year + 3 months plan, which is only $1.99 per month.
For your Android security and data privacy, ZenMate is a no-logs VPN with military-grade encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, and a kill switch. I put 20+ servers through extensive tests and found my connection was always fully disguised. ZenMate stores your name and email address for marketing and technical purposes but keep no logs of your actual VPN activity.
Like CyberGhost, ZenMate has servers optimized for streaming. Connecting to US servers unblocked Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime with 20 seconds of buffering during testing. While there was brief buffering during streams, it wasn’t too intrusive. ZenMate also allows torrenting, but P2P servers aren’t available on the Android app.
You can try all of the VPN’s features with its 7-day free trial, after which you can still put ZenMate to the test on Android with the 30-day money-back guarantee. At $1.99 per month, I think ZenMate is definitely worth the price for the features. However, if the minor disadvantages turn out to be a deal-breaker for you, you can always ask for a refund.
ZenMate works on: Android 4.1 and up, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Windows, macOS, iOS, Smart TVs, and more.
ZenMate unblocks: Netflix, Sling TV, fuboTV, Sky Sports, and more.
Quick Comparison Table: 2023’s Top 5 Best VPNs for Android
|ExpressVPN||CyberGhost||Private Internet Access||NordVPN||Surfshark|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||45 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Ad and Malware Blocker||✘||✔||✔||✔||✔|
How I Tested & Ranked the Best Android VPN
I used the following criteria to narrow down the list of the top VPNs for Android:
- Native Android apps: Every VPN supports version 4.0 or later on mobile phones, tablets, Chromebook, Nvidia Shield TV, Xiaomi Mi Box S, and Skystream Pro 8K.
- Fast speeds: You won’t get frustrated by slow performance for 4K video, gaming, or browsing on your Android devices.
- Strong core security features: Each VPN needs to protect Android devices with tools like kill switches, military-grade encryption, and strict no-logs policies so that your data is kept secure from activity trackers and hackers.
- Works with streaming platforms: Only the best VPN providers work with Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and other country-specific apps and websites. This guarantees access to local TV shows and movies even from abroad.
- Global network of servers: I looked for VPNs with plenty of server countries so you can always connect to a location of your choice.
Warning! Avoid These Android VPN Apps on Google Play
1. Opera VPN
2. Hola VPN
3. Yoga VPN
As soon as I opened Yoga VPN, the app prompted questionable permission requests, including my number, network, and call history.
While free VPNs may be tempting, it’s not worth sacrificing your online security to save money. It’s better to choose any of the 10 recommended VPNs for Android that protect your data with strict no-logging policies. Plus, you can try them risk-free as they all have money-back guarantees.
Easy Guide: How to Set Up a VPN on Android
Set Up a VPN on an Android Mobile Device, Chromebook, and Android TV Box
- Get a VPN subscription. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free to see how simple it is to use.
- Install the VPN app from the Google Play store. You can also download it directly from the vendor’s website in your browser.
- Sign in to the app with your username and password. Start streaming and torrenting securely on your Android device!
How to Download Android VPN APK Files
Downloading the APK version from any of the recommended VPNs’ websites is easy. To do this, you need to change your phone’s settings to allow apps from third-party developers to be downloaded. The exact instructions may be different for each device, but here are general steps you can follow:
- Sign up for a VPN. I recommend you get ExpressVPN’s fast and easy-to-use Android app.
- Download the APK version of the VPN. Depending on which VPN you choose, you’ll be able to get it directly from the official website or by contacting customer service.
- Open Settings on your Android device.
- Tap “Security & Privacy” > “More Settings.” If you’re using a Samsung device, you’ll have to go into “Biometrics and Security.”
- Tap “Install apps from external sources/Install unknown apps.”
- Select the browser you want to download the APK file from (e.g. Chrome).
- Toggle “allow app installs” ON.
- Once you’ve downloaded it, there will be a prompt asking if you trust the app. Tap “Confirm” and the file will be installed on your device.
FAQs: VPNs and Android Devices
What’s the best VPN for my Android device?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN I found for Android with ultra-fast speeds and solid protection to stream, torrent, and more without issue. During tests, servers were never blocked by annoying proxy errors and I had lag-free connections on all servers. It also protected my Android devices when using public WiFi, so my data was safe at airports, restaurants, hotels, and more.
I ran rigorous tests on the leading VPNs that are compatible with Android phones, tablets, PCs, Smart TVs, and Android TV boxes. My team and I made sure to extensively test all vendors to ensure they meet the same quality standard across all Android devices.
While you may need to install a VPN directly onto your router to make sure it covers all devices on your network (like Chromecast), ExpressVPN offers a special router app that makes managing your traffic a lot easier. I followed detailed instructions on the vendor’s website and was able to use Chromecast and other casting devices in less than 3 minutes.
Are there any good free Android VPNs?
There are several decent free VPNs, but others may expose your Android device to serious security risks. Unlike the best paid Android VPNs, most free services make their money by selling your information to third parties, like advertising companies and government agencies. Free VPNs can also infect your device with dangerous malware and adware.
Aside from security risks, free VPNs don’t have the fastest speeds, the best security, or the most user-friendly platforms. Some also limit your server selection and bandwidth usage, while others only allow you to use one device at a time.
I highly recommend choosing a top-tier VPN like CyberGhost instead. It not only has strong security standards but supports HD streaming and works across various Android devices. Although you need to make an initial payment to sign up, you can test CyberGhost out on Android for free by using the money-back guarantee. If you change your mind, you can get a refund at any point during this 45-day trial period.
Does Android have a built-in VPN?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend using it over the best VPN providers for Android. Some Android devices have a built-in setting that lets you enable PPTP or L2TP/IPSec connections without a separate VPN app. However, not all models support this— and if they do, the protection isn’t as strong as what you’d get from top VPN services. Premium VPNs offer custom settings, military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and more features you won’t find with built-in Android protection.
The built-in Android VPN is also useless if you want to torrent or stream — it doesn’t fully encrypt your traffic and lets your ISP track your location and online activity. You’re better off getting one of the recommended VPNs in this article — it’s a lot more convenient than trying to set up a VPN yourself.
Is it safe to use a VPN on Android?
Yes, I highly recommend you use a VPN on Android to improve your device’s security. If you’re concerned about legality, don’t worry — VPNs are allowed in most countries. However, countries like China, Turkey, Iraq, and Russia heavily censor content and ban VPN usage. If you want to use your service abroad, always check the laws before you go to avoid trouble and download the apps on your device prior to your arrival.
China specifically has a list of approved VPNs that are usually monitored by the government. The use of any other VPN can result in a fine for Chinese citizens. However, it’s a legal gray area for everyone else and I’ve never heard of foreigners being fined for using non-approved VPNs. If you want a VPN that consistently works in China or similar countries, I recommend you try ExpressVPN.
Does a VPN affect my Android’s speed?
Yes, but it depends. I’ve tested premium VPN services for Android like ExpressVPN and found they won’t significantly reduce your speed (unlike free VPNs). You might even get faster internet speeds in certain situations. For example, your ISP may reduce your bandwidth if it discovers you’re torrenting big files. But connecting to a VPN prevents your ISP from monitoring your activity so you can torrent freely.
Some VPNs are more likely to slow your Android’s speeds than others. It all depends on the protocols they use and their server number — smaller networks usually get overcrowded and slow much quicker.
Do I really need a VPN for Android?
Yes, I highly recommend you get a VPN for Android as your devices are susceptible to hacking attempts, malware downloads, data breaches, and more. Any data that you send over the internet from your phone or tablet isn’t actually private. Hackers can easily access all your information (and that includes emails, photos, and messages).
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) safeguards your data by encrypting it and redirecting your online traffic to a remote server. Your data becomes unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it, and even your IP address will be secret. This means a VPN will:
- Protect your sensitive data so it can’t be stolen, which is particularly important on public WiFi networks.
- Keep you anonymous online by hiding your IP address and location.
- Allow you to bypass censorship and geo-blocks, whether you need to get past restrictions at work or bypass the Great Firewall of China.
I found that ExpressVPN is the best Android VPN as its water-tight security, very fast speeds, and unblocking technology give you complete online freedom. Though it comes at a slightly higher price, you can save money on your ExpressVPN subscription using its hidden deals page.
Can I change my IP address on Android?
Yes. One of the easiest ways to change your IP address on Android is with a VPN. It encrypts all your online information and provides you with an IP address from its own servers. For example, if you connect to a VPN server in the UK, websites will recognize your location as if you were actually there.
However, to properly change your IP address and make sure your real location is undetectable, you need a VPN with top security and privacy features. While all VPNs on the list come with great features, ExpressVPN tops them all with heavy-duty encryption, leak protection, and more. Unlike some of its competitors, ExpressVPN applies the same security level across all operating systems, including Android devices.
Which Android VPN is best in China?
During recent tests, I found that only ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN work consistently in China. While PrivateVPN is more affordable, ExpressVPN has much better speeds for streaming. It also had no problems accessing websites like Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook.
If you’re unsure which to choose, you can try both VPNs risk-free as they offer reliable money-back guarantees. I managed to get a refund from both providers within a week after contacting customer service. Just remember to sign up and download the app before entering China, and remember that the privacy of a VPN doesn’t give you a license to bypass censorship or break the law.
Get a Fast and Secure VPN for Your Android
Don’t trust Google Play Store ratings to find a VPN. Many don’t work, or worse, could infect your Android with malware. The VPNs on this list have been thoroughly tested, so you can be assured they’re all legitimate services. Each one also has a refund policy, so you can test every feature without risking your money. I’ve personally tested each provider’s refund policy and never had an issue getting my money back.
Of all the VPN’s I tested, ExpressVPN stood out as the best all-around VPN for Android with its strong security features and fast speeds. You can even try ExpressVPN completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. That way you can get a refund if you decide it isn’t for you.