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Stay Private and Secure with the Best Android VPNs

An Android VPN is an important piece of your online protection kit.

Apps in this Guide

Whether you go free or paid, an Android VPN is an important piece of your online protection kit. It can provide a secure Internet connection, mask your data transmissions over a Wi-Fi connection, avoidmore

Whether you go free or paid, an Android VPN is an important piece of your online protection kit. It can provide a secure Internet connection, mask your data transmissions over a Wi-Fi connection, avoid Internet filtering and censorship, and allow you access to content in a geographical region other than your own.

Most VPN providers let you subscribe to their service for period of time -- from 3 days up to a year -- and offer a variety of exit servers and security settings to suit your needs. While nearly every Android VPN bundles a dedicated app with its VPN service, a few uncouple the app from the service, allowing you to choose a client to connect with.

If you use a VPN infrequently -- say, while waiting for a flight in an airport terminal -- a free service might be all you need. But if you want a VPN with no data cap, support for multiple devices, or access to servers in multiple regions, a subscription plan would be a better choice.

What Should I Look for in an Android VPN?

VPNs offer a wide variety of capabilities, but we've narrowed those options to a short list of essentials. First, we looked at how easy the VPN is to set up and use, and how many useful exit nodes the VPN connects to. Second, we ran informal speed tests, checking throughput before and with the VPN running, on a Wi-Fi network and over cell data. We looked at which security and privacy tools the services say they use -- and if they aren't using OpenVPN and AES, we asked them why. We checked how easily we could tune the app's security and privacy settings. Finally, we checked whether the VPN was leaking any data, and what user activity the company says it is or isn't logging.

Can I Keep a Country from Gathering Information on Me?

If you are concerned about your privacy, check where where your VPN provider is located. If the service is in one of the Five Eyes alliance of countries -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States -- your networking activity is vulnerable to being gathered and shared among the members of the alliance. A larger collection of nations -- the Nine and Fourteen Eyes -- may also gather and share information. In addition to the Five Eyes group, avoid countries that have a record of not guarding personal privacy.

Best paid Android VPNs

if you want a VPN with no data cap or access to servers in multiple regions, subscribe to a VPN service.

VPN by Private Internet Access

VPN by Private Internet Access

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VPN by Private Internet Access is a simple-to-use service that provides a useful collection of security settings, letting you strike a balance between connection speed and privacy. The service offers exit nodes in 25 countries, with subscriptions available for $6.95 for 30 days, $35.99 for six months, and $39.95 for a year.

iPVN

iPVN

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​The iPVN app for Android offers an affordable way with little fuss to create a secure connection and guard your privacy.

NordVPN

NordVPN

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​For a one-stop service, NordVPN for Android does a good job of providing what you need to make a private and secure connection.

AirVPN

AirVPN

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AirVPN is a no-nonsense service founded by "activists and hacktivists in defence of net neutrality, privacy and against censorship." Setting up AirVPN requires a few steps -- it takes a roll-your-own approach -- but if you want to work with a company that takes privacy seriously, AirVPN walks the walk. The service offers exit nodes in 18 regions and more than 150 cities. Subscriptions range from $1.13 for 3 days to $61.28 for one year.

VikingVPN

VikingVPN

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For a secure and fast VPN, VikingVPN is one of the best for guarding your privacy. It requires a few steps to set up, and expect to pay a bit more, but in exchange, you get speed, reliability, and security.

Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN

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The Mullvad VPN offers an affordable and secure way to protect your privacy and keep your communications private and encrypted.