Table of Contents
- What is a VPN?
- Our critically acclaimed VPN apps for Android
- IPVanish VPN
- Connecting to a VPN-provider
- Connect via the app of a VPN provider
- Connect via the network settings of your Android device
- Comparison test – the 3 best Android VPNs at present
What is a VPN?
A VPN (virtual private network) allows an individual to surf the web without being noticed. By that, it means that their web sessions are private. The advantage with private web browsing sessions is that they are secure and no one can snoop on what you are doing online.
Our critically acclaimed VPN apps for Android
With Android being the most popular operating system for mobile phones and tablets, we set out to bring you the best VPN apps you can use on your device.
All Android apps have been rigorously tested by our experts and we selected them based on speed, level of privacy, ease of use, and best price value ratio. Here they are:
IPVanish has so many handy features at a great price that it is an easy pick for the top position. The superfast connections offered by this VPN service is due to the fact that it is a Top Tier VPN. We all need fast internet and this VPN offers that.
The best part about IPVanish is that it guarantees the user 100 percent privacy online as no logs of your web activities are kept. Another reason this VPN comes out at the top of the list is that it offers free services that are easy to use by anyone. Even when the user does not have technical skills, they will be able to use this VPN on their Android devices.
ExpressVPN comes out at the second position but offers features that could easily make it another number one. With this VPN service, you get to easily hide your IP address from those seeking to find out what your online activities are. ExpressVPN does not keep logs on what you are doing online.
No one can thus access any data on what you were doing online when you were doing it, or even where you were doing it from. With a very simple setup process, you can access any website you want from around the world with ease especially those that are geo-restricted. It is very convenient for Android devices.
On its website, NordVPN states that it is the most advanced VPN service. This is actually true considering the features it has bundled into its service. For example, it offers double data encryption for security reasons, super fast data servers all over the world and is very easy to set up.
Like the other top VPN services on our list, NordVPN does not keep any logs of your online activities to guarantee top privacy levels. A unique feature of this VPN app is that it has an automatic kill switch for when the VPN may go offline. It is a great tool in keeping your privacy intact no matter what happens to your VPN. These features work well for the Android devices in most people’s hands.
Wrapping up our list of the best VPN apps for Android devices is Proxy.sh which comes with lots of services to beat. With this VPN service, you get 256-bit AES/CBC, SHA-512 and 4096-bit RSA as cipher/hash/control for the best levels of security when online. Few hackers (if they exist) can break into that kind of security.
It also offers absolutely no logging of the online sessions of the users. Everything is done well with lots of security and no one snooping in on your data. The level of transparency offered by this one is but top notch.
On a daily basis, it offers network alerts, a transparency report and a warrant canary. Proxy.sh also keeps on improving its services with the inclusion of ECC, XOR, TOR, Serpent, and others. It is also very easy to use and can be obtained at very competitive prices.
Capping that off is the high level of support offered to its customers whenever they run into problems. If you have your Android device, using this VPN is a joy.
With these four VPN services, you are sure your website sessions will be for your eyes only. No CIA, NSA, FBI or other Big Brother will be watching what you do online. We chose the best features at great prices for this list. You are assured of safety and privacy on your Android device.
Connecting to a VPN-provider
Most VPN services offer their customers two ways of connecting an Android device to their VPN server:
- Connect via the app of the provider
- Connect via the network settings of your Android
Connect via the app of a VPN provider
Many VPN providers have a special app that you can download on your Android phone or tablet, which makes it easier to turn the VPN connection on or off, choose other countries and servers etc. Some of them also have a ‘kill switch’ that immediately closes the internet connection when the VPN connection is lost to avoid that your IP-address is being traced. Besides that, some apps have a build-in add-blocker, like Cyberghost that blocks the annoying ads you see so frequently.
- When you have installed the app, you can log in with your account information (login and password)
- After that, you can usually connect to a VPN server and disconnect as well
- You also have the possibility to choose countries and servers, either with a drop-down list or with an interactive world map or other simple ways
- Some apps, like for example that of NordVPN, don’t directly access your devices network settings, but you have to first confirm that you approve a connection with the chosen VPN provider, for example, NordVPN. This is an extra level of security.
- An icon that is usually positioned next to the battery icon, indicates that your VPN connection is turned on.
Connect via the network settings of your Android device
When you have chosen a VPN provider that does not have an app or when you don’t want to install an app, you can still connect to your VPN provider.
- Go to the settings of your Android phone or tablet
- Choose ‘Wireless and Networks’ and then choose ‘More’.
- Subsequently, choose ‘VPN’
- Choose ‘Add VPN profile’
- Enter the data that you received from your VPN provider, like: protocol, server address, login and password
- Depending on the protocol, it is possible that you have to fill out more information, but all the information needed you already have received from your provider
- You can save the above-mentioned settings
- To turn your VPN connection on or off in the future, you only need to go to ‘Connection’ in the settings menu
- In this case, as well you will see an indication on the top of your screen that you are connected to VPN
Comparison test – the 3 best Android VPNs at present
For those who are still not familiar with VPN or who are overwhelmed with a lot of possible choices, we have picked out and ranked the best VPN providers:
IPVanish is our favorite because of the high speed, good security and many servers and protocols. The only downside that we could find is that Netflix has blocked IPVanish. If you want to watch or download the newest American movies on Netflix, you have to choose another provider. IPVanish can be installed on most operating systems like: Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
With a stable speed of 100-200 Mbps, IPVanish tops the test. Besides the no-logging policy, they also use an extra level of security, shared IP-addresses, which makes it completely impossible to trace who visited which site. To browse the internet independent of your location, you can choose from more than 750 servers in over 60 countries. Quite enough choice, we would say.
On top of that, IPVanish is also the cheapest of the top-three VPN providers. It costs only $10 per month with monthly payments and merely $5,19 per month, with yearly payment and when you use our discount of 20%.
The Android App of IPVanish is very advanced but at the same time user-friendly. The app has, for example, a scramble function that prevents from being detected that you want to connect via VPN. You can configure that your IP-address changes every 45, 60 or 90 minutes automatically and your speed is always visible in the system view. Besides that, there is a speed graph that graphically displays your up- and download speeds.
ExpressVPN also did very well in the test, but the speed of 84 Mbps is a little slower than IPVanish. We do however have to add that this speed is still more than sufficient to stream and download and it is very stable with all servers, in comparison for example with NordVPN we regularly encountered that a server was overloaded causing it to have a much lower speed. ExpressVPN is also very user-friendly.
The number of servers and countries is phenomenal. More than 1000 servers in over 87 countries. The largest server selection choice of the top-three. ExpressVPN can be installed on all main operating systems already mentioned in this article, and beside them also on Routers and Linux.
All theses top-three providers have unlimited bandwidths and server selection. All of them have a wide range of payment methods to choose from and provide safe torrenting.
With $12,95 per month with monthly payments and $8,32 per month with yearly payments, ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than IPVanish but still very good value for money for the services they offer.
User-friendliness is one of the best characteristics of the Android app of ExpressVPN. Choosing the different servers is very fast and easy. The quality of the app is very good and the speeds are consistent.
NordVPN closed our top-three. Depending on which server you choose, you have either excellent speed or very low speed. Not a very good speed stability like the first two providers, but with choosing several servers you can easily reach a very good speed. With a server in the Netherlands, we only reached 48-84 Mbps, but after we switched to the United Kingdom (UK), we reached a speed of 198-221 Mbps, which is very fast.
NordVPN also has a large server selection: 744 servers in over 58 countries and you can also choose between many different protocols. Besides the usual main operating systems, they also support Linux and BlackBerry.
The only downside we already discussed. That is, of course, the difference in server speeds because some of the servers are overloaded and cannot handle the amount of traffic. In terms of prices, they are between IPVanish and ExpressVPN and therefore well positioned in the market place.
NordVPN has a very user-friendly and quality designed app. What stands out in this app is the Tor-network function which is very interesting for torrent users. A nice feature is also the choice of servers and countries with a beautiful interactive map.
At present, we are testing more noteworthy services to extend the list of the best VPN providers, so you can soon expect additions to the ranking.