A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, has become an essential tool for many internet users who want to protect their privacy and security online. VPNs work by routing your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, hiding your IP address and location. This prevents hackers, ISPs, and even governments from tracking your online activities.
- 1. NordVPN – Best for Speed
- 2. ExpressVPN – High-Speed and Secure
- 3. Surfshark – Secure Online VPN Service
- 4. CyberGhost – Trusted VPN Provider
- 5. Private Internet Access (PIA)
- 6. IPVanish – USA based VPN service
- 7. TunnelBear – Public VPN Service
- 8. Windscribe – Free VPN and Ad Block
- 9. Proton VPN: Fast, Secure and Private Online Service
- 10. Hotspot Shield – Fastest VPN for Streaming, Gaming & More
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the top 10 VPNs for Android based on extensive research into factors like speeds, server networks, security protocols, pricing, and much more. Whether you’re a power user or just want basic privacy protections, you’ll find the best VPN for your needs and budget.
1. NordVPN – Best for Speed
NordVPN is a market leader known for having one of the largest VPN server networks with over 5,200 servers located in 60 different countries worldwide. This gives you an extensive selection to find a server near your location for fast and stable connection speeds. It uses next-gen encryption like WireGuard in addition to IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN.
NordVPN has some unique security features like Threat Protection to block malicious sites and trackers from infecting your device, as well as CyberSec malware blocking. An internet kill switch stops all internet access if your VPN connection drops. NordVPN offers Double VPN and Onion over VPN options for extra encryption.
While speeds are generally fast, NordVPN did have a server breach back in 2018 that exposed some user traffic data, which damaged its reputation. It can still reliably unblock popular streaming websites and services like American Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, etc. Overall, NordVPN is the top choice for security-focused Android users who want lots of server options.
- 5,200+ servers in 60 countries
- Includes threat protection
- Allows P2P and torrenting
- Fast speeds
- Had a breach in 2018
Pricing: 2-year plan at $2.49/month, 1-year plan at $4.49/month, and 1-month plan at $11.99/month.
2. ExpressVPN – High-Speed and Secure
ExpressVPN consistently tops nearly every list of the best VPN services for its blazing-fast speeds and reliable connections. It offers unlimited bandwidth with speeds that can handle HD and 4K streaming, gaming, and torrenting without any buffering or lag. ExpressVPN has a massive network of over 3,000 servers spread across 94 different countries and 160 locations. This global server coverage gives you many options to choose a location near you for the fastest speeds. It uses secure protocols like OpenVPN, Lightway, and WireGuard.
ExpressVPN also works well in restrictive regions like China, Iran, and Russia where many VPNs struggle to bypass government censorship and internet blocking. It reliably unblocks access to popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Some of ExpressVPN’s most useful features include a kill switch to prevent data leaks if your connection drops, split tunneling to customize which apps are protected, and router support for securing all devices on your home network.
In terms of downsides, ExpressVPN has premium pricing. However, for Android users who want the fastest speeds, the widest choice of global servers, and the most reliable service, ExpressVPN is hands-down one of the best VPNs available today.
- Fastest speeds
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- Unblocks streaming sites like Netflix
- Strong encryption
- No logs policy
- Most expensive VPN
Pricing: 12 months at $8.32/month, 6-month at $9.99/month, and 1 month at $12.95/month.
3. Surfshark – Secure Online VPN Service
For budget-minded shoppers, Surfshark stands out for providing an unlimited number of device connections for a remarkably low monthly cost, making it one of the most affordable VPN options for Android. Despite being a relatively small VPN provider, Surfshark still manages to offer over 1,000 servers in 60 different countries.
Surfshark allows P2P and torrenting activity on all of its servers. It uses RAM-only servers to prevent any logs of user activity. The service is based in the British Virgin Islands which has no mandatory data retention laws. Some other useful features include CleanWeb for ad and tracker blocking, MultiHop connections across multiple countries for enhanced privacy, and full support for OpenVPN.
Independent third-party audits on Surfshark’s no-logging policies and infrastructure would certainly improve its trust and reputation. But overall, Surfshark still delivers an impressive set of privacy features at an extremely competitive low price point.
- Unlimited devices
- RAM-only servers
- Very affordable pricing
- Allows P2P activity
- A smaller company so unproven
Pricing: 24-month plan at $2.49/month, 6-month plan at $6.59/month, and 1-month plan at $12.95/month.
4. CyberGhost – Trusted VPN Provider
CyberGhost VPN aims to make using a VPN simple and approachable even for first-time users. It has an intuitive interface with visual server maps that make it very easy to choose locations. There are also built-in speed tests to help you connect to the fastest servers.
This VPN offers streaming profiles that directly connect you to the optimal servers for channels like Netflix, ESPN, BBC, and more, taking the guesswork out of unblocking geo-restricted content. CyberGhost is based in privacy-friendly Romania, outside of restrictive surveillance alliances. It allows torrenting on certain servers.
With over 9672 servers available across 91+ countries, speeds are fairly fast but can’t always match the top-tier VPN providers during peak hours. For Android users who want a very user-friendly VPN app without having to dig into complex settings, CyberGhost delivers. However, advanced power users may find the interface lacks some customization options.
- User-friendly interface
- 9672+ servers
- Good for streaming
- No logs policy
- Speeds slower than top VPNs
Pricing: 2 Years + 2 Months at $2.19/month, 6 Months at $6.99/month, and 1 Month at $12.99/month.
5. Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access, also known as PIA, has earned an excellent reputation as one of the most secure and high-performing VPN services available. It owns and manages a large network of over 58387+ servers located in 84 different countries across the globe. This substantial server infrastructure allows PIA to offer fast and reliable speeds consistently.
PIA uses industry-standard VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec coupled with strong AES-256-bit encryption. Some of the advanced tech features include a customizable firewall, IPv6 leak protection, port forwarding, and SOCKS5 proxies for secure torrenting. There are a wide variety of anonymous payment options including gift cards and crypto support.
While PIA’s interface may seem plain compared to more beginner-friendly VPNs, overall it excels at providing excellent speeds and robust privacy tools tailored towards advanced users. PIA has set the standard for VPN security through independent audits and transparency. For privacy-focused Android users, PIA remains one of the top choices available.
- 58387+ servers in 84 countries
- Advanced features like port forwarding
- Multiple privacy payment options
- Fast speeds
- Interface is not as intuitive
Pricing: 3 Years + 3 Months at $2.03/month, 1 Year at $3.33/month, and 1 Month at $11.95/month.
6. IPVanish – USA based VPN service
IPVanish is a top VPN choice for Android users who engage in torrenting and P2P file sharing. It provides reliably fast download speeds which can be crucial for large torrents. This excellent torrenting performance stems from IPVanish owning and managing its own global VPN infrastructure.
The network comprises over 2,000 servers in more than 75 locations across the world. This level of control allows IPVanish to fine-tune its servers for optimal speeds during torrenting. It also allows unlimited P2P traffic on all servers. The Android app has useful features tailored to torrenting like SOCKS5 proxies, port forwarding, and protocol selection like OpenVPN.
While IPVanish does keep some minimal logs, it does not record browsing data or traffic destinations. It is based in the US which means it falls under NSA jurisdiction for any collected data. The company has strong encryption but is not fully transparent about internal policies and practices compared to some VPN competitors. But for Android users focused on torrenting speeds, IPVanish is extremely capable.
- Optimized for fast torrenting
- 2,000+ servers in 75+ countries
- Unlimited P2P traffic
- SOCKS5 web proxy
- Based in the US
- Not transparent about practices
Pricing: A yearly plan at $3.33/month and a monthly plan at $11.99/month.
7. TunnelBear – Public VPN Service
TunnelBear stands out by offering a free VPN plan that provides 500MB of data per month, making it suitable for Android users who only need occasional privacy protections. The free plan allows connecting one device at a time.
The TunnelBear app has a fun, cartoonish bear-themed interface that is very easy to use. Connecting to the VPN takes just a single click. TunnelBear operates a network of over 5,000 servers located across 47 countries, with most servers in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. This smaller coverage means speeds may be slower from less common locations.
TunnelBear utilizes standard OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols for encryption. It has undergone one public security audit to confirm its no-logging policy. Overall TunnelBear offers a simple yet effective free VPN option for light Android users. But power users will quickly find its data limits and smaller network restrictive.
- Simple free plan
- Easy-to-use interface
- VigilantMode protection
- Small server network
- Low free data limit
Pricing: Free plan (500MB), Unlimited at $3.33/month, and Teams at $5.75/user per month.
8. Windscribe – Free VPN and Ad Block
Windscribe’s free VPN plan sets it apart, offering 10GB of monthly data allowance for free accounts. This generous data allotment makes Windscribe very appealing to cost-conscious Android users who want more than just a basic level of protection.
Windscribe has servers in over 63 countries but the network is concentrated in just 14 countries – mostly North America and Europe. It uses OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols with AES-256 encryption. The service blocks ads, trackers, and malware. Port forwarding and static IPs are available for paid users.
The company has a clear and straightforward no-logs policy. But its offshore Canadian jurisdiction may fall outside privacy regulations. Independent audits on its practices would build trust. Speeds are average and configuration options are on the lighter side. Still, Windscribe arguably operates the most full-featured and generous free VPN of any provider.
- Generous 10GB free plan
- Blocks ads and trackers
- Allows torrenting
- Static IPs available
- Slower speeds
- Limited server locations
Pricing: Free plan (10GB), a yearly plan at $4.08/month, a monthly plan at $9.00/month, and a custom Build A Plan option starting from a minimum of $3 per month.
9. Proton VPN: Fast, Secure and Private Online Service
ProtonVPN was created by the same respected team that operates the encrypted email service ProtonMail, so it offers security and privacy as its main focus. ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which has some of the strongest privacy laws in the world. This gives it a legal advantage over VPNs operating under lax jurisdictions.
For encryption, ProtonVPN utilizes industry-leading AES-256-bit encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy for the keys. This prevents the decryption of past communications even if the current key is compromised. ProtonVPN also has a strict no-logs policy stating it does not collect any activity or connection logs.
ProtonVPN provides approximately 2684 high-speed VPN servers located in over 68 countries worldwide. While not as large as some competitors, this global server network continues growing. All ProtonVPN apps are fully open-source, allowing transparency into their operations and code. For Android users who prioritize privacy above all else, ProtonVPN is an excellent choice. But users focused mainly on ultra-fast speeds could get frustrated with occasional lag and buffering.
- Based in Switzerland
- Independently audited no-logs
- AES-256 bit encryption
- Open source apps
- Slower speeds at peak times
- Smaller server network
Pricing: Free plan with limitations, Plus plan at €8.00/month, Basic plan at €4.00/month, and a Visionary plan at €24.00/month.
10. Hotspot Shield – Fastest VPN for Streaming, Gaming & More
Hotspot Shield’s main advantage is providing exceptionally fast connection speeds when streaming video, gaming online, and browsing on Android devices. It uses its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol to accelerate VPN connections along with custom streaming optimization technology. Hotspot Shield also offers useful features like split tunneling for customizing which apps route through the VPN.
However, there have been numerous allegations and findings over the years that Hotspot Shield engages in extensive logging of user activity and data despite advertising a zero-logging policy. Multiple research studies have uncovered Hotspot Shield logging information like timestamps, IP addresses, locations, and browsing data and selling this data to third-party advertisers.
Hotspot Shield is also based in the US, subjecting it to NSA mass surveillance programs and warrants for any logged data. Android users who prioritize fast, smooth streaming may find these privacy violations an acceptable compromise. But privacy-focused users concerned about logging are better off choosing alternative VPNs with more transparency and commitment to no-logging policies.
- Fast speed
- Optimized streaming
- Free plan available
- Split tunneling
- Caught logging user data
- Located in the US
Pricing: Free plan (500MB), Family plan up to 25 devices for $11.99/month, and one user plan up to 10 devices for $7.99/month.
ConclusionChoosing the right VPN for your Android device is critical to protect your online privacy and security. This review of the top 10 Android VPNs shows there are excellent options for every type of user and budget. ExpressVPN and NordVPN lead for all-around performance, speeds, and reliability. Budget choices like Surfshark and Windscribe offer value and free plans. TunnelBear and CyberGhost cater towards ease of use. And advanced options like PIA and ProtonVPN prioritize privacy and security features.
Consider your main requirements – whether that’s blazing speeds, affordability, lots of configuration options, dedicated streaming, or strict no-logging policies. Evaluating your specific needs will help determine the ideal VPN service for securing and anonymizing your Android browsing.