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
Because Android is the most popular operating system for mobile phones and tablets, we present you the best VPN apps you can use on your devices.
Our experts rigorously tested all Android apps and we selected them based on speed, level of privacy, ease of use, and best price-value ratio. Here they are:
On its website, NordVPN states that it is the most advanced VPN service. This is actually true considering the features that the service offers. It offers, for example, double data encryption for security reasons, super fast servers all over the world and it 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 your 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 connection.
These are the features you need on your Android devices.
2. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish has many handy features at a great price. It is, therefore, an easy pick for one of the top positions. This VPN service offers super fast and secure connections. We all need fast internet and this VPN offers that.
IPVanish guarantees the user 100 percent privacy online. No logs of your web activities are kept. Another reason we have ranked this VPN comes at a top position is that it offers free services that are easy to use by anyone.
Even when you don’t not have technical skills, you’ll have no problems using it on your Android devices.
We ranked ExpressVPN third but if you only look at the features, it could easily make it to the top of the list. With this VPN service, you can hide your IP address easily from those seeking to find out what you’re doing online. ExpressVPN does not keep logs on any of your online activities.
You get complete anonymity and security. It has a very simple setup process and after installation, you can access any website you want from around the world. Geo-restrictions are no longer any problem for you. Express VPN works great on Android devices.
Wrapping up our list of the best VPN apps for Android devices is Proxy.sh. It comes with many features. 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 any at all) can break into that kind of security.
Proxy.sh offers absolute logging-free online sessions. The service works very well and has a high-security level to prevent anyone from snooping around in your data. The transparency level this service offers is top notch.
On a daily basis, they offer network alerts, a transparency report and a warrant canary. Proxy.sh also keeps improving its services; they included, ECC, XOR, TOR, Serpent, and others.
It is very easy to set up and is yours for a very competitive price. On top of that, you get a high level of support from customer service whenever you run into problems. If you have an Android device, using this VPN is a real joy.
Your web sessions are for your eyes only with these four VPN services. No CIA, NSA, FBI or other Big Brothers will be watching what you do online. We chose the best features at great prices for this list. You can be assured of safety and privacy on your Android devices.
Connecting to a VPN-provider
Most VPN services offer their customers two ways of connecting Android devices to their VPN server:
- Provider app for easy connections
- 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. This 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 traced.
Besides that, some apps have a built-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 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.
- Some apps, like for example the NordVPN app, don’t directly access your devices network settings, but you have to first confirm that you approve a connection with the chosen VPN provider (in this case, 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. Just keep in mind that all the information needed, you should 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.
- Also in this case, 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 the variety of possibilities, we have picked and ranked the best VPN providers:
NordVPN is our favorite. Depending on which server you choose, you have excellent speed. They have fixed the stability problems they had in the past and nowadays all servers show very good speed. For example, with the United Kingdom (UK) server, we reached a speed of 198-221 Mbps, which is extremely fast.
NordVPN also has a large server selection: more than 3200 servers in over 59 countries. You can also choose between many different protocols. Besides the usual main operating systems, they also support Linux and BlackBerry.
In terms of prices, they have a better price-value ratio than IPVanish and ExpressVPN, when you choose the 3-year plan.
NordVPN has a very user-friendly and well-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.
IPVanish is another 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 is amongst the test. Besides the no-logging policy, they also use an extra level of security, shared IP-addresses. This 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 not very expensive and offers shorter plans for new users. It costs only $10 per month with monthly payments and merely $5,19 per month, with yearly payment and using 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 NordVPN and 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. ExpressVPN is also very user-friendly.
The number of servers and countries is great. More than 1000 servers in over 87 countries. ExpressVPN can be installed on all main operating systems already mentioned in this article, but 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 different servers is very fast and easy. The quality of the app is very good and the speeds are consistent.
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.