There are twice as many Android users globally than iOS users. Presently, about 2 billion people use an Android device to access the internet. Part of this is because Android devices are much more affordable than Apple devices.
But it is also partly because the Android OS allows more flexibility in the types of apps available for installing, making it a robust platform. However, Android devices do come with risks and drawbacks. One way to get around the potential problems associated with Android phones is by using VPN for an Android phone.
You Need a VPN for Your Android Phone
One of the best ways to stay secure while using the internet is by using a Virtual Private Network or VPN. VPN establishes a secure internet tunnel that encrypts all data transmitting to and from your phone.
All internet traffic is directed through a VPN server which actively masks your physical location. This masking allows you to get around geo-restrictions, increase privacy, and prevents others from discovering your true location.
VPN used to be only for desktop and laptop computers but now Android users can enjoy all of the benefits of VPN on their smartphones. Here are six reasons why you should be using a VPN on your Android phone.
- Reason #1: Using Public WiFi – WiFi is available at most locations we visit from the public library to the local coffee shop. Most public WiFi is unsecured, and this allows hackers to intercept your data by “sniffing” the Wi-Fi connection. VPN will lock down your connection while using WiFi.
- Reason #2: Access Blocked Content at Work and/or School – Most schools and businesses actively monitor their internet connections and enact restrictions on many types of content including video sites, social media platforms, and gaming sites. Some of these blocks actually hinder your ability to get to a simple site such as news sites like CNN. VPN will allow you around these blocks and allow you unrestricted access to the web.
- Reason #3: While Traveling, Part I – If you travel internationally, you may be unable to access content from your home country. US Netflix is a prime example, but other sites such as BBC iPlayer and Hulu have the same restrictions. VPN will allow you to access all of your favorites from anywhere.
- Reason #4: While Traveling, Part II – Many countries actively censor the internet. In countries like China, for example, all social media websites, VoIP programs, and various news sites are blocked by the government. Use a VPN to get around these restrictions and take back your freedom to use the internet unrestricted.
- Reason #5: Secure Messaging – A VPN encrypts all of your data, allowing you to securely communicate with others. You can video chat, send emails and more without worrying about someone intercepting your communications.
- Reason #6: Location-Based Price Targeting – When you shop online, the price you pay is partially determined by your physical location. You can use VPN to connect to locations where you can get better pricing on things such as airline ticket purchases, car rentals, hotels and more.
Features an Android VPN Should Offer
When searching for the best VPN for Android, you need to pay attention to available features. Don’t settle for the cheapest or even a VPN free android app as they may not offer all the features needed to keep you secure.
When looking for an Android VPN app, make sure they offer all of the following features:
Large VPN Network – Networks with a large number of global VPN servers will allow you to connect your Android phone or tablet to VPN anywhere in the world. This will also help you get around global geo-restrictions.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Speed – Stick with providers who will not throttle your connection when you use large amounts of data. This way you can stream video and download files without interruption.
Strong Encryption – VPN services offering strong encryption such as AES-256 bit will ensure that nobody is able to receive data from you except for the intended recipient.
Firewall and Malware Protection – Most VPN services now offer some type of firewall or malware protection that actively blocks malicious code and third-party connections to your phone or tablet. Android phones are more susceptible to malware than other forms of smartphones, so malware protection is a necessity rather than a luxury.
No Logs – Stay away from providers that keep any type of log data as this could be used to track you down if the VPN provider was sued or summoned by a court.
What We Test
We have reviewed and thoroughly tested all the VPNs we recommend to ensure they will meet your needs. Our testing includes extensive speed testing as well as usability testing.
This means we test services to see whether they can get around geo-restrictions globally so that you can access Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Instagram or anything you want to access while online.
We test these services on several of the top Android phones and tablets to ensure that they are truly compatible with all devices.
The Best VPN for Android
#1 ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick For Android Devices
ExpressVPN for Android supports all phones and tablets and has servers in 94 countries globally. The uses the ultra-secure OpenVPN protocol, a top performer for Android devices. Connect with a single tap using Smart Locations which gives you the best servers based on your needs.
Cost: Monthly service starts at $12.95 but you can save money with longer terms. A six-month subscription is just $59.95, or $9.99 monthly. Save 35% with an annual plan for $99.95 or $8.32 monthly.
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Solid, Reliable & Secure
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPN for Android and offers apps that easily install on all Android devices. They have servers in over 59 countries, making it easy to access restricted content. Their automatic kill switch makes this the perfect service to use over public Wi-Fi as it kills your internet connection should VPN drop.
Cost:NordVPN offers reasonable pricing at just $11.95 a month. Sign up for an annual plan at just $5.75 monthly. Their 3-year plan will let you save 72% at just $3.29 per month.
All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee. NordVPN also accepts payment in Bitcoin for anonymous sign-ups.
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 HotSpot Shield – Unblock Geo Restrictions
HotSpot Shield is another great service for unlocking geo-restricted content and protecting your phone on public Wi-Fi. They presently block over 3.5 million malware threats. Over 500 million people use HotSpot shield due to its fast connections and strong data encryption.
Cost: The longer your term, the more you save. Monthly plans start at $12.99. A six-month plan is just $8.99 while annual plans are just $5.99 a month. If you’re ready to make the ultimate commitment, you can signup for lifetime service for just a one-time charge of $119.99. Over a two-year span, that’s less than $5 a month.
HotSpot Shield has one of the best money-back guarantees in the industry. Instead of 30 days, they give you 45 days to try their service.
For more information on HotSpot Shield features, read our extensive HotSpot Shield review.
#4 PureVPN – Connect up to 5 Devices at Once
PureVPN is compatible with over 20 types of devices, including Android phones and tablets. Connect to servers in over 140 countries to unlock restricted content. Connect up to 5 devices at once, allowing you to protect your phone, tablet and more. Automatic Wi-Fi protection also keeps you safe on unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Cost: PureVPN offers outstanding pricing. Their monthly plan is just $9.95 or you can get six months of service for $7.95 monthly. They offer one of the best long-term services around with a 3-year plan costing just $1.94 monthly.
PureVPN accepts a wide variety of payments, including 13 different cryptocurrencies. They have a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
For more information on PureVPN features, read our extensive PureVPN review.
#5 Windscribe – The Best Free VPN
Windscribe is a robust VPN service that offers all standard VPN services and more. In addition to allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions and providing superior encryption for your Android devices, it provides additional protocols such as SOCKS which can help get around VPN blocks in countries like China.
Cost: Windscribe offers both free and premium VPN service. The VPN free android service allows up to 10 GB of usage a month on a limited network of servers. Monthly premium service starts at $9 monthly or you can sign up for annual service at just $4.08 monthly.
Premium services come with a 3-day money back guarantee. You may want to try the free service first to test most of their features.
For more information on Windscribe features, read our extensive Windscribe review.
How to Set Up a VPN on Your Android Device
Setting up a VPN for Android is quick and easy. Here’s how to setup a VPN on Android:
- Register for a VPN service
- Go to Google Play to download and install the app. Note that some providers may give you a direct link to their website to install the app
- Launch the VPN app and select the country and VPN server you wish to connect to
- Click connect
- Start surfing the internet on your Android phone or tablet using VPN
If My Phone is Jailbroken, Can I Still Use a VPN?
VPN software is not carrier specific, so you can absolutely use a VPN on a jailbroken phone. If you can download an Android VPN client to your phone, you will be able to use it.
Can I Download a VPN App to my Android Tablet?
Most VPN apps for Android will allow you to directly download and install the software on your tablet in just a couple of taps. However, if you’re using an Amazon Fire tablet, you will have to jump through a couple extra hoops to install the program. That’s because the Amazon app store is very limited.
Luckily, there is an easy way to install VPN on your Amazon Fire tablet. Just follows these simple instructions to install VPN:
- Sign up for VPN service
- Change your VPN settings for Android to allow ‘Apps from Unknown Sources.’ Go to Settings>Security>Apps and turn on this feature
- Download the APK file for your VPN service from their website. If this is not easily available, contact customer support for a link to the file
- Install the APK file. Note that you may have to use ES File Explorer, which is available in the Amazon app store
- Your VPN is now installed and you can start using it to surf the web securely
Is P2P File Sharing Allowed with a VPN for Android?
Not all VPN services will allow you to use P2P file-sharing software. Some providers actively block the ports necessary for P2P and torrenting software. The best choice would be a torrent-friendly VPN service.
Most providers that offer P2P access will actively promote that they support torrenting. Note that in some cases, your ability to torrent may be limited to certain servers. Often you’ll have to connect to an Android VPN server in the Netherlands or another country with liberal privacy laws in order to use P2P.
Get a VPN for Android Today
Twice as many people use Android devices over iOS. Hackers know this and they have doubled efforts to crack android security. One way to keep your device protected from hackers is by installing a VPN.
In addition to protection from hackers, once you install a VPN service android you’ll enjoy added benefits of enhanced data encryption, the ability to bypass geo-restrictions and more. By using a VPN for Android, you ensure that your data and your devices are fully protected while surfing the web.