Today, Android is the largest smartphone platform in the world. In fact, the operating system now accounts for approximately 85% of all smartphone sales globally since the beginning of 2016.
Not only your computer needs to be safe - keeping your phone's information private is crucial as well.
Your anonymity and online safety can be guaranteed with a VPN.
But what is the best VPN app you can get? I've decided to find that out. In the list below, you'll see the best VPN options for Android devices:
- Windscribe (Offers 10GB of monthly data for free)
- Hotspot Shield (Lots of server locations with free plan)
- ProtonVPN (Offers the highest level of security)
- NordVPN (The best paid VPN for Android)
Price starts at: free! (for 10GB/month)
Based in the Toronto suburbs, Windscribe has a dedicated application for various devices and operating systems, including Android.
The provider also has browser extensions which not only block ads but also stop trackers from taking a look at your online activities and personal information. With the free plan, you’ll have access to a selection of VPN servers in 11 countries, the majority of which are in Europe and North America.
The security is great, too: Windscribe uses AES-256 encryption. Better yet, the provider offers a choice of different security protocols for you to choose from including SOCKS configurations, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
Aside from the fact that Windscribe has some of the best security features available on its free plan, it also claims to unblock the US and UK Netflix no matter where you are thanks to its Windflix feature.
Furthermore, if you do decide that you can invest some money into your VPN, you can create a custom plan that bills you $1 per location you want to access every month.
- An impressive selection of security features
- Unblocks the UK and US Netflix
- Customizable plan
- Canadian-based provider (inside the 5 Eyes jurisdiction)
Price starts at: free! (for 500MB/month)
Founded in 2011, TunnelBear claims to be the only company who has published an independent security audit to give its customers peace of mind. This Toronto based company offers users a dedicated application for all devices including Mac, Windows, and of course, Android.
TunnelBear allows you to connect to a choice of servers in more than 20 countries worldwide, some of which include the United States and the UK. But, if you’re not sure which server to connect to, you can simply use the closest tunnel feature for a quick connection.
The VPN uses the most advanced standard of encryption with 256-bit keys and comes with its special GhostBear technology. This feature defeats VPN blocking making your data even less detectable to governments, hackers, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Last but not least, the provider offers a free plan but this comes with a 500MB data cap per month.
If you want to use the VPN for torrenting, you may want to upgrade to the paid plan.
If you want to stay on the free plan but need more data, you can always call in your inner social media guru and you’ll receive an extra 1TB of data. Otherwise, the paid plans start at $5.00/month.
And if all the above isn’t enough, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to resist TunnelBear’s branding and funny bear puns. But also, you might think that they're a little....unbearable.
- Strong encryption and security features
- Free plan available
- A dedicated application for all major devices and operating systems
- Canadian-based provider (bad jurisdiction)
- Bandwidth cap of 500MB a month with the free plan
Price starts at: free! (for 500MB/day)
Developed by AnchorFree, a company in Silicon Valley, and first released in 2015, Hotspot Shield was first used to bypass government censorship during the protests in Lybia, Tunisia, and Egypt.
Since its inception, Hotspot Shield has become a popular service allowing more than 650 million users from across the world access to access the internet securely without having to worry about eavesdroppers.
With a dedicated application for Apple, Microsoft, and Android products, you can stay safe, even when using a public Wifi connection by using one of the providers 2,500 servers in a choice of 25 countries.
Hotspot Shield also uses 256-bit AES encryption and comes with an automatic kill switch in case your connection crashes.
While the provider does offer a plan with unlimited bandwidth, its free plan comes with 500MB a day.
Meaning you’ll have around 15GB a month at your disposal.
While this may not be enough for the avid downloader, it’s great for those of you that simply want to add a layer of security to your browsing data.
An aspect of Hotspot Shield that rings alarm bells for me is its privacy and logs policy. While it clearly states that it doesn’t keep activity logs, there is a section of the website that states “We collect only anonymous, aggregate data about which websites our users visit and which apps our users use.”
Despite the above and the fact that the provider is US-based, a 2017 transparency report states that Hotspot Shield has never shared any information with law enforcement.
- Generous data allowance
- Highest standard of encryption
- Large selection of servers on the free plan
- Contradicting privacy statements on the website
- US-based provider (inside the 14 Eyes)
Price starts at: free! (no bandwidth caps)
As a beneficiary of Proton Technologies AG, the Swiss company designed ProtonVPN to work on completely segregated technological infrastructures to keep the service as safe as possible.
ProtonVPN uses unique technology to reroute your traffic through multiple servers before leaving the network so that no one can identify you online. Furthermore, the service stops hackers and other malware from gaining access to your device.
The provider encrypts your network traffic with AES-256, the most advanced level of encryption in the world. And if that’s not enough, ProtonVPN only uses VPN protocols it knows are secure, i.e. OpenVPN.
Based in Switzerland, the provider doesn’t have any obligation to log or share your data with anyone, not even the government or the authorities.
This, combined with its strict no logs policy, makes it almost impossible for anyone to know who or where you are.
But, ProtonVPN doesn’t only protect your browsing traffic. The service also reroutes your DNS queries through the tunnel to prevent any leaks.
And, if for any reason your connection goes under, the service comes with a built-in kill switch to keep you safe at all times.
You’re probably asking yourself why ProtonVPN comes in fourth on my list when it has all the features of the best-paid services, right? Well, the free plan only allows you to use servers in 3 countries, thus limiting its capabilities when it comes to watching shows on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBCiPlayer.
Additionally, you won’t have access to high speeds and you can only protect one device at a time. If that's not enough functionality for you - paid plans start at $4.00/month.
- Exceptional security features
- Swiss-based provider (out of the 5 and 14 Eyes jurisdictions)
- Automatic kill switch
- DNS leak protection
- The free plan only gives access to servers in 3 countries
- Sever speeds on the free plan are slower
Price starts at: $2.99/month
Based in Panama, a country with no mandatory data retention laws that isn’t part of the 5 or 14 Eyes alliances, NordVPN is the best-paid VPN for Android because it comes packed with a mound of security features and has a dedicated VPN app just for Android devices.
This combined with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and the fact that you can couple it with The Onion Router (TOR) means no one can see what you’re doing online.
But, Nord doesn’t stop there. The provider offers an automatic kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection as well as a choice of various security protocols on all its plans. Plus, you’ll enjoy the CyberSec feature which automatically blocks suspicious websites so that malware and cyber threats can’t infect your device.
NordVPN has more than 5,200 servers in 62 countries worldwide. With this service, you can access Netflix, Hulu, and BBCiPlayer among other platforms. Better yet, you’ll have access to unlimited bandwidth and because the provider supports P2P sharing, you can download all your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.
Despite the fact that NordVPN doesn't come with a free plan, you will have the chance to try the service before committing long-term thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee. Paid plans start at just $2.99/month.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Largest selection of server
- Unblocks all the most popular streaming platforms
- Panama-based (out of the 5 and 14 Eyes)
- Great choice of security protocols and features
- Doesn’t come with a free plan
- Hard to identify servers by location without visiting the support page
Which Is The Best VPN For Android?
When it comes to choosing the best VPN for Android, your personal needs should help you choose what suits you. Here's an overview of all 5 providers:
- Windscribe takes first prize because of its generous free plan that comes packed with features and a huge 10GB data allowance.
- TunnelBear and ProtonVPN both have airtight privacy policies as well as dedicated applications for Android devices. And if you're looking for the free service with the most data, you can't go wrong with Hotspot Shield.
- NordVPN is the best overall VPN service because of its unique security features and protocols as well as the fact it doesn't have any bandwidth caps, but you will have to pay a monthly subscription to benefit from these advanced features.
I hope you've gained enough insight to make a final decision on what VPN app you should get. If you have any questions or feel like I've missed out a best free VPN for Android, feel free to drop me a comment below.