Best VPN Apps for Android 2021

Paula NovoLast updated: April 16, 2021
Best VPN Apps for Android 2021
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While Android is the most used mobile operating system (OS) in the world, we wouldn’t attribute this popularity to its security benefits. It’s not unusual for pre-installed operating systems to contain software elements that track your personal data. To avoid being monitored, it’s always a good idea to use a VPN. There are hundreds of VPN apps for Android in the Google Play Store, but not all VPN services are created equal. 

The Android OS includes a free, built-in VPN client, however, “free” will cost you. A number of limitations like data tracking and complex configuring push users to search for alternate VPN options. Yet, sifting through options can be daunting. You need to research and test multiple providers before settling on one. That’s where we come in.

Our AlwaysVPN experts compiled a list of the best VPNs for Android in 2021 to help narrow down your selection.

Top 5 VPNs for Android

1. NordVPN

NordVPN
4.8
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxandroid-tv

Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practices

Visit NordVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 5.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 98 Mpbs
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 59

pros

  • Slick UI, making it exceedingly easy to use
  • Vast array of security features
  • Massive list of high speed U.S. servers

cons

  • One of the pricier VPNs
  • Replaced free trial with money-back guarantee

Possibly the slickest app in terms of design and UI, NordVPN is overall the best VPN service for Android. Simple and user-friendly, its Android app is easy to configure and offers bonus security features like malware blockers, so users can enjoy a seamless mobile experience while accessing the internet.

NordVPN also employs military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and delivers some of the fastest speeds on the market, making it a shoo-in for VPN users that care about privacy and performance. Whether for your smartphone, smart TV, or tablet, NordVPN is a great choice for Android.

For more in-depth information, read our NordVPN Review.

2. IPVanish

IPVanish
4.2
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterfire-tv

A fast, affordable VPN with advanced security features

Visit IPVanish
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.33/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 84 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Solid "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 57

pros

  • Supports torrenting & P2P
  • Dynamic IP addresses
  • Zero-logs policy
  • No IP address/DNS/IPV6 leaks
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections

cons

  • Cluttered interface
  • Under 5 Eyes surveillance
  • Doesn’t work in China

Armed with bonus security features and competitive pricing, IPVanish comes in second among the best Android VPNs. It’s a quality service that comes with a large server network, a well-designed Android VPN app, and an APK file option for side-loading on all Android devices. Even better, IPVanish gives clients the ability to configure settings including OpenVPN scrambling, port selection, and split tunneling, and more.

IPVanish also works great for torrenting and P2P content thanks to its strict no-logs policy. That, coupled with its blazing speed connections, make IPVanish a popular choice for Kodi and IPTV fans. With IPVanish, you won’t have to compromise on performance for privacy and that’s a provider we can get behind.

For more in-depth information, read our IPVanish Review.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
4.0
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

All-in-one solution with a massive server network

Visit CyberGhost
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 44 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 90

pros

  • Fast, secure and easy to use
  • Top pick for streaming
  • Allows Torrenting/P2P

cons

  • Logs some anonymous data
  • Doesn’t work with Chromebook

Known for its streaming capability, CyberGhost is a strong choice for Android users who use their tablets and smart TVs often CyberGhost has the second-largest server network in the world and offers an advanced Smart DNS feature that allows users to unlock Netflix and other websites on smartphones and smart TVs. 

To top it off, CyberGhost offers simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices and an integrated VPN kill switch on its Android VPN app that make it one of the most secure VPNs on the market. With CyberGhost, you can gain peace of mind knowing your personal data, location, and identity is safe no matter where you go.

For more in-depth information, read our CyberGhost Review.

4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield
4.0
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromerouter

Ultra-fast VPN great for streaming and torrenting

Visit Hotspot Shield
Cost
Lowest Price: 7.99/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 102 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Modified "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 80

pros

  • One of the fastest VPNs
  • Allows torrenting & streaming
  • Free version available & free trial for premium upgrade
  • Large server network (82 countries)
  • No IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks

cons

  • As of 2020, no audits or transparency reports
  • Free version very limited on features
  • Based in privacy-unfriendly U.S. (Five Eyes)

Highly regarded for its performance, Hotspot Shield comes in as #4 for the top 5 Android VPNs overall. Spanning 82 countries, Hotspot Shield is considered one of, if not the, fastest VPNs on the market thanks to Catapult Hydra, its proprietary encryption protocol. This makes activities like streaming and torrenting on both Android and iOS devices a breeze for its customers, all 650 million of them.

In addition, Hotspot Shield has a very user-friendly VPN app for Android that is secured by AES-256 encryption and free from DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks. These feature-rich elements and Hotspot Shield’s affordable pricing make it a strong contender overall.

For more in-depth information, read our Hotspot Shield Review.

5. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
4.6
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

Powerful VPN with diverse functionality

Visit ExpressVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 8.32/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 74 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 94

pros

  • Fast, reliable speeds
  • Zero logs policy
  • Safe, unrestricted torrenting/P2P
  • Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries

cons

  • No kill switch on iOS
  • More expensive price point
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

Versatile in function, ExpressVPN rounds out our Top 5 list of the best VPNs for Android, particularly smartphones and smart TVs. ExpressVPN consistently delivers fast speeds over short and long distances and is known for having the largest VPN server network spanning 94 countries to date. In addition, ExpressVPN makes it easy to stream shows by unblocking popular websites like Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer and offering an APK file for users with Android smart TVs.

Though you pay a premium for ExpressVPN, you can also rest easy knowing your privacy is at the center of everything it does. ExpressVPN secures all client connections with AES-256 encryption and includes a make-shift kill switch feature you can enable in settings for added protection. Brimming with multiple functions, ExpressVPN is worth a double-take.

For more in-depth information, read our ExpressVPN Review.

Best VPN Apps for Android 2021 FAQs

1. What is the best VPN for Android?

While there are many VPNs to choose from for Android devices, our top pick is NordVPN. NordVPN is the all-around best VPN app for Android for its excellent security, fast download speeds up to 1 Gbps, and compatibility with a wide range of operating system versions. It provides the same quality on mobile as it does on desktop and comes with 24/7 live chat support. Lastly, NordVPN also extends to up to six devices at once, stretching your dollar even further.

2. How do I set up a VPN on Android?

It takes less than two minutes to set up a VPN on Android:

  • Step 1: Navigate to your phone settings.
  • Step 2: Tap “Network & Internet” > “Advance” > “VPN” or search for “VPN” in the search bar.
  • Step 3: Select the VPN you want to connect to.
  • Step 4: Enter your login information.
  • Step 5: Tap “Connect.” If you have the VPN app downloaded, the app opens.

3. Do I need an Android VPN?

While not everyone wants or needs a VPN to use their phones, it’s good to have for a few reasons. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that helps encrypt your data that is sent and received from your device to the internet. It’s helpful for ad-blocking, but most importantly for security. If you have any concerns about privacy, a VPN is one way to safeguard your personal information that exists on your phone.

4. Does Android have a built-in VPN?

Yes. Android devices include a built-in (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and IPSec) VPN client, however, there are certain limitations of built-in VPNs that may prompt you to search for a separate VPN app. The built-in VPN for Android phone is sometimes complex to configure and doesn’t include separate profiles for different users. However, if you aren’t looking for all the bells and whistles, this out-of-box solution may provide the simple security you’re looking for.

5. How do I stop my Android from disconnecting from my VPN?

Most Android devices come with a battery optimization feature to prolong the life of one charge as long as possible. Due to this, your Android smartphone or tablet may disconnect from your VPN when your battery reaches a critically low charge.

To prevent your Android from disconnecting your VPN, you’ll need to go to your device’s main settings and navigate to either your VPN or battery settings. From here you will find an option to toggle between an “Always-on” mode and a “Power Saving” mode. If you have trouble finding this, refer to your device instructions manual.

6. Is it safe to use a VPN on Android?

The primary purpose of a VPN is to create a secure connection between your device and the internet. That being said, not all VPNs are created equal. Android VPN apps in the Google Play store are the safest to use, however, some – especially free VPNs – may be tracking your internet activity unknowingly. Use AlwaysVPN to compare the best VPNs for Android and what each has to offer.