Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for Android in 2021:
🥇 ExpressVPN: User-friendly Android app with top-notch security features, fast speeds, and a strict no-logs policy. Unblocks tons of streaming services, allows 5 simultaneous connections, and backs all subscriptions with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Get the best VPN for Android in 2021 here.
I tested all of the most popular Android VPNs in the Google Play Store to find the best ones for both my smartphone and tablet.
Unfortunately, a lot of VPNs for Android are pretty bad — lacking important security features, drastically reducing internet speeds, or even logging user data to make a profit. Some Android VPNs are also unable to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and some are too difficult to use or don’t offer a good value.
However, I managed to find a few VPNs for Android that are better than the rest. All of the VPNs on this list include excellent security features, have intuitive Android apps, maintain fast connection speeds, unblock tons of streaming sites, and offer affordable payment plans.
Quick Summary of the Best VPNs for Android:
- 1.🥇 ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Android users in 2021.
- 2.🥈 ProtonVPN — Excellent security for Androids with a good free plan.
- 3.🥉 Private Internet Access (PIA) — Huge server network and customizable Android app.
- 4. CyberGhost VPN — Secure, fast, and budget-friendly (good for beginners).
- 5. PrivateVPN — Minimalistic Android VPN with good streaming support.
- Bonus. TunnelBear — Intuitive dashboard for Android (with cute bears).
- Frequently asked questions about VPNs for Android.
How I Rated the Best VPNs for Android in 2021:
- Ease of Use. All the VPNs on this list have user-friendly Android apps, with an intuitive design, quick-connect tools, and features that are easy to find, understand, and use.
- Security. All the VPNs I recommend have industry-standard security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec), a strict no-logs policy (to prevent the provider from logging the websites you visit and files that you download), and a kill switch (to disable internet traffic if the VPN disconnects).
- Speeds. All VPNs slow down your internet speeds, but I only recommend VPNs that are able to maintain fast speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming — the VPNs here slowed down my speed by no more than 40%.
- Extra features. The VPNs on this list offer “extra” features like obfuscation (to overcome internet censorship in restrictive countries like China and Iran), split-tunneling (to choose which traffic travels through the VPN, and which traffic travels through your local network), ad blockers (that eliminate ads on websites), and more.
- Good value. I only recommend VPNs that offer flexible payment plans, accept multiple forms of payment, and have reasonable prices.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:
- Mullvad VPN. Mullvad VPN has fast speeds and good P2P support. But I’m not a fan of Mullvad’s Android app — it lacks a quick-connect feature and it doesn’t unblock popular streaming sites.
- Hola VPN. Hola VPN is a free VPN that has pretty fast speeds, but Hola VPN logs user IP addresses and browsing history. Hola VPN also routes your traffic through a peer-to-peer network instead of using secure servers — Hola VPN replaces your IP address with another user’s IP address, which allows other people to use your IP address to engage in illegal or suspicious activities.
- Boleh VPN. Boleh VPN has good security, good speeds, and is good for torrenting. But I don’t like that BolehVPN can temporarily store logs of user data if the provider notices unusual activity or if it receives complaints.
🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Android in 2021
ExpressVPN is my favorite Android VPN in 2021 — it maintains blazing-fast speeds, provides good streaming and torrenting support, includes excellent security features, and offers a very user-friendly Android app.
During my tests, I had an average speed decrease of only 18%, so I was able to watch videos, download files, and play games as if I wasn’t connected to a VPN. Because ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on this list, you can engage in virtually any online activity with minimal speed loss.
ExpressVPN is also my top choice for Netflix and other streaming services, it supports P2P traffic on all of its 3,000+ servers, and it successfully bypasses government firewalls in restrictive countries — my colleagues from China, Russia, and Iran confirmed they were at all times able to access the open internet while using ExpressVPN.
The ExpressVPN Android app also has top-notch security features, like:
- TrustedServer Technology — ExpressVPN’s servers only save data to the RAM memory, and all your information is wiped clean each time the server gets rebooted.
- Perfect forward secrecy — Regularly changes your encryption key each time you connect to a server to make sure hackers can’t compromise your data on past or future encryption keys.
- Split-tunneling — Allows you to route some apps through the VPN tunnel and some apps through your internet service provider’s network.
As far as ease of use is concerned, ExpressVPN is definitely one of the most intuitive Android VPNs on the market. I love how ExpressVPN allows you to connect to a server with one or two clicks — you can use the Smart Location feature to connect to the fastest VPN server with one tap, or you can manually connect to a server by choosing a location that works best for you. All of ExpressVPN’s additional security features are also very easy to find, understand, and use, and I’m confident that even beginner users won’t have any problem navigating the app.
ExpressVPN supports up to 5 simultaneous connections, has reasonably priced payment plans, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN’s Android app is user-friendly, maintains blazing-fast speeds for streaming and torrenting, and offers excellent security features, including RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. ExpressVPN unblocks all popular streaming services and supports P2P traffic on all 3,000+ servers. ExpressVPN allows 5 connections and backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥈 2. ProtonVPN — Excellent Security Features & Best Free Plan for Android
ProtonVPN has top-notch security features, excellent speeds, an intuitive Android app, and it offers the best free plan out there.
I love the extra security features you get on ProtonVPN’s Android app. In addition to perfect forward secrecy and split-tunneling, ProtonVPN also has an excellent ad and malware blocker (NetShield) and Secure Core servers, which route your data through two VPN servers instead of one server. Plus, I really like that the Android app is open-source, meaning anyone can inspect the code for holes in security — and ProtonVPN has also conducted an independent audit for its Android app.
While ProtonVPN is not as fast as ExpressVPN, it’s still able to maintain really good speeds on most servers — during my tests, I only experienced a 22% slowdown, which is much better than the industry average. I also really like that ProtonVPN’s Android app displays the server load percentage (how many active users are connected to a server), which helps you find fast servers. ProtonVPN’s Android app also provides dedicated streaming, torrenting, and Tor servers, so users can get the fastest speeds for each online activity.
However, ProtonVPN doesn’t work in restrictive countries, and ProtonVPN’s Android app is missing an in-app kill switch — but you can easily enable a similar feature on your Android device (and ProtonVPN conveniently provides simple instructions on how to do it).
ProtonVPN is one of the rare VPNs to offer a free plan that includes unlimited data. The free plan also has good speeds, allows access to 3 server locations, and lets you connect 1 device. However, the free plan doesn’t support streaming or torrenting.
In addition to the free plan, ProtonVPN has 3 premium subscription plans. The Basic plan gets you 2 connections, access to servers in 40+ countries, NetShield, and P2P support. The Plus plan adds 10 connections, access to servers located in 50+ countries, Secure Core, and Plus servers for streaming. The Visionary plan includes a ProtonMail account. ProtonVPN has a prorated 30-day refund for all plans.
ProtonVPN’s Android app is very secure, very fast, and it offers a very good free plan. All of ProtonVPN’s apps are open-source, and the Android app comes with extra features like an ad blocker, split-tunneling, and Secure Core servers. ProtonVPN supports torrenting and is able to access the top streaming services. ProtonVPN’s tier-based premium payment plans allow up to 10 connections, and all of them are covered by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉 3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Customizable Android App & Huge Server Network
Private Internet Access (PIA) has the largest server network on this list, very fast speeds, and an easy-to-use Android app. The huge server network helps prevent server overcrowding so you can get the fastest speeds — I only had an average decrease in speed of about 24%, which is slower than ExpressVPN, but similar to CyberGhost VPN.
My favorite thing about PIA is that there are so many options to customize the app. For example, you can choose the level of encryption (256-bit or 128-bit), set the Android app to automatically connect to a VPN server when you use mobile data, change the color of the app’s background, and so much more. Also, I really like how all of the features have a detailed explanation.
In addition to 256-bit AES encryption, PIA comes with a kill switch, a strict no-logs policy (that has been proven multiple times in court documents), and built-in DNS and WebRTC leak protection. PIA’s Android app is open-source, but it hasn’t been independently audited like ProtonVPN’s open-source Android app. Also, PIA includes cool extra features like split-tunneling and PIA MACE (an ad and malware blocker).
PIA unblocks all of the popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. And PIA allows P2P traffic on all servers and offers port forwarding, which connects you to more peers to get faster speeds.
One of the only drawbacks of PIA’s Android app is it doesn’t always work in China and other restrictive countries.
Private Internet Access allows 10 simultaneous connections, has multiple payment plans, and provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PIA has the largest server network on this list, very fast speeds, and a user-friendly and highly customizable Android app. PIA’s Android app is fully open-source and also includes extra features like an ad blocker and split-tunneling. PIA unblocks all of the top streaming apps and allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, but it’s not always able to bypass government firewalls in countries like China and Iran. PIA offers 10 simultaneous connections and all plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. CyberGhost VPN — Good Security Features & Low-Cost Plans
CyberGhost VPN’s Android app is secure, very easy to use, and pretty cheap. It’s also a good option for non-tech-savvy users, as it has a quick-connect tool, displays the server load percentage to help you find the fastest servers in no time, and provides an intuitive Connection Checker, which tests your internet connectivity and checks if CyberGhost’s servers are reachable from your device.
The CyberGhost VPN Android app includes all of the essential security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. Plus, it has WireGuard, which provides faster speeds than other VPN protocols — when I tested CyberGhost, I only experienced a 25% slowdown, which is similar to ProtonVPN. And because of CyberGhost’s fast speeds, I was able to browse the web, watch videos, and download files with no issues whatsoever.
CyberGhost VPN offers dedicated torrenting and streaming servers — torrenting is allowed on 80+ servers, whereas streaming is supported on specialized servers that are optimized for specific streaming services. This isn’t bad, but I slightly prefer ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, as they allow both torrenting and streaming on all servers.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost VPN doesn’t work in restrictive countries, and its ad blocker for the Android app doesn’t block as many ads as ProtonVPN’s ad blocker.
CyberGhost VPN allows 7 parallel connections with 1 account, and backs all of its yearly payment plans with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN’s Android app has an intuitive interface, provides fast speeds, and is pretty affordable. CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers, and it allows torrenting on 80+ servers. But CyberGhost VPN is unable to bypass government firewalls and the ad blocker doesn’t work well. CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections, and it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee for its long-term plans.
5. PrivateVPN — Intuitive Android VPN with Good Streaming Support
PrivateVPN’s Android app is great for people who have never used a VPN — it makes it incredibly simple to connect to a nearby server, it offers fewer functions than most competitors, and it provides brief explanations for all features.
In addition to industry-standard VPN security features, like a kill switch and a no-logs policy, PrivateVPN adds extra tools like obfuscation for accessing the open internet in censor-heavy countries like China and Indonesia. PrivateVPN also maintains decent speeds — my speeds slowed down by about 33%, which is above average but still slower than ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN.
PrivateVPN offers pretty good streaming support — I was able to watch TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and many other top services without any interruptions. Also, PrivateVPN supports P2P traffic on all 150+ servers located in 60+ countries.
Unlike most competitors, PrivateVPN offers a dedicated IP address for free. However, it’s missing useful tools like split-tunneling and an ad blocker.
PrivateVPN allows 6 simultaneous connections and has 3 cheap plans, which are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN’s Android app is very easy to use, has good security features, and unblocks most streaming services. PrivateVPN supports P2P traffic, is able to bypass government firewalls, and provides free dedicated IPs. PrivateVPN has 3 flexible plans and each one is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
6. (Bonus) TunnelBear — Fun Android App (with Cute Bears)
TunnelBear has one of the best-looking Android apps out there. The design is user-friendly and intuitive, and I really like that there are adorable bears all over the app — one of the things I love the most about TunnelBear is that a bear roars when you connect to a server!
I also like that the TunnelBear Android app comes with extra features like split-tunneling (SplitBear) and obfuscation (GhostBear). During my tests, I had no problems watching TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, but I couldn’t access Disney+ and ESPN+. TunnelBear allows torrenting on all of its servers, and it works in China and Iran.
TunnelBear has a free plan, but it’s not as good as ProtonVPN’s free plan. TunnelBear’s free plan limits you to 500 MB per month, which is just enough to test out the product.
You can get unlimited data by upgrading to one of TunnelBear’s paid plans, but TunnelBear doesn’t have a money-back guarantee.
TunnelBear has a well-designed and fun Android app that’s good for streaming and torrenting as well as bypassing government restrictions. TunnelBear allows up to 5 connections, offers a decent free plan, and provides affordable paid plans. Unfortunately, there’s no money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions about VPNs for Android
What’s the best VPN for Android?
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for Android in 2021. It’s user-friendly, has excellent security features, maintains lightning-fast speeds, allows P2P traffic on all servers, unblocks all of the popular streaming services, and backs every plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
While ExpressVPN is a great Android VPN, there are other good VPNs available for Android users. ProtonVPN is very secure and offers a good free plan, Private Internet Access has tons of customization options and one of the largest server networks on the market, CyberGhost VPN is secure, easy to use, and pretty cheap, and PrivateVPN is good for streaming on your Android app.
Is there a free VPN for Android?
Yes, there are free Android VPNs. I typically don’t recommend that you use a free VPN — most of them lack basic security features, log user data, have slow speeds, and don’t offer good support.
But if you’re looking for a good free Android VPN, I recommend ProtonVPN — you get unlimited data, access to 3 server locations (in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan), and pretty fast speeds. TunnelBear also has a decent free plan, but it limits you to only 500 MB per month.
That said, I recommend that you purchase a low-cost Android VPN like ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, or Private Internet Access. They’re all secure, fast, intuitive, great for streaming and torrenting, and include a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test out the product risk-free.
How to get an Android VPN?There are 3 very simple steps to get a VPN for Android:
- Pick a VPN. Choose a VPN that has an excellent Android app (I recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN app. It typically takes 1-2 minutes to download and install a VPN on your Android phone — all you have to do is follow the in-app instructions.
- Connect to a VPN server. Open the app, scroll through the list of server locations, and connect to a server — you can either use the quick-connect tool to connect to the recommended server for your location, or you can manually choose any server.
What is the fastest VPN for Android?
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on this list. In my tests, I only had an average decrease in speed of about 18%, which is excellent. I was able to surf the internet, stream content, torrent, and play video games without any delays — even on the most distant servers. But all of the other Android VPNs I recommend are also very fast, decreasing my speed by no more than 40%.