I resisted the urge to get a decent VPN for my Android phone for years. Why bother with an extra app just to get online, now that internet connections are ubiquitous?
Over time, however, the scenarios in which I needed a VPN became more common. I needed to check what this or that site looked like from another geolocation. Or I needed to test an app that wasn’t available in my country. But what finally made me cave in was being unable to watch some of my favorite TV shows while traveling.
A VPN, or virtual private network, provides an additional layer of privacy when connecting to the internet. It’s like using a private tunnel to browse the web, keeping you safe from prying eyes and enabling you to surf as if you were connecting from a server in a different place. Typically, all you need to do as a user is install the app on your smartphone, start it up, choose a server location, and then you can just continue browsing as usual.
Choosing which VPN provider to go with, however, is both easy and incredibly difficult. There are hundreds to choose from, but it’s very hard to test how reliable they are in different scenarios. So below, you’ll find a list of some VPNs, both free and paid, that are just plain good.
Various VPNs offer versions of their service for Android devices. Here are the best ones that we’ve tried, in no particular order:
Free • Protects your phone from malware • Buit in ad blocker • Determines security level of your Wi-Fi
Not as versatile
If you’re a VPN newbie and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to protect your phone, Opera is for you.
1. OperaOpera is a free and quality VPN that doesn’t skimp on security.
And if you just skimmed over that paragraph above, let me repeat the important bit: It’s free. It costs you nothing to try it out, and with Opera‘s reputation, you don’t have to worry about getting your phone infected by malware. The app also offers a built in ad blocker and the ability to determine the security level of the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.
Opera won’t give you the amount of versatility you’ll get from paid options, though. There are only five virtual locations to choose from, and torrenting is not supported.
One of the sturdiest • most reliable VPNs • Fast servers • Can connect six devices • Doesn’t log activities
If you want a VPN that has a fast service and allows you to connect to multiple phones at once, try out NordVPN.
2. NordVPNYou can’t go wrong with Nord. It’s a well-known and reliable VPN that has 3,000+ servers worldwide and doesn’t track your activity.
NordVPN says it offers over 3,533 servers worldwide. It lets you connect six devices at the same time, and it claims to keep no logs of your activities.
Unlike Opera, NordVPN isn’t free, but here’s the bad news: It’s very, very hard to find a decent VPN that’s free. NordVPN does have some pretty sweet long-term deals, like a three-year subscription for $99. This might sound like a lot of money out of the gate, but divide it into monthly installments, and it’s just $2.75 per month.
Doesn’t log your activity • Offers protection from third-party tracking and malicious sites
F-Secure secure can do more than your average VPN. It also acts like an antivirus software that protects users from third-party tracking and malicious sites.
3. F-Secure Freedome VPNAdvanced VPN users will admire F-Secure’s ability to protect them from third-party tracking and malicious sites.
The app’s circular UI is a little odd, but after a while you’ll get used to it, and you’ll find that it does give you a solid overview of what’s happening. The app’s settings don’t offer a lot but the basics are there: You can set up trusted Wi-Fi networks or allow some apps to bypass the VPN altogether.
F-Secure’s paid tiers are a little different to most VPN services. A 49.90 euro ($62.44) one-time payment (this boils down to 4.16 euros or $5.21 per month) will get you 12 months of access with the ability to use it on up to three devices at the same time. If you need support for more devices, the price goes up, with the most expensive tier offering support for seven devices for 6.66 euros ($8.34) per month.
F-Secure Freedome VPN is available here — and don’t worry, you can download and try out the Android app for five days without paying anything first.
Unlimited bandwith • No restrictions • Great speeds • Doesn’t log your activity
ExpressVPN offers you a little bit of everything, but the one area where it shines is its wide availability. You can access it in 148 cities in 94 countries.
One area where it stands out is the number of available locations, a whopping 148 cities in 94 countries. It also supports a ton of security standards, including 256-bit AES encryption.
The starting monthly price for ExpressVPN is pretty steep: $12.95 per month. But you can also buy a 15-month subscription for $99.95, which means you’re actually paying $6.67. Not the cheapest option out there, but still OK. And if you’re a cryptocurrency fan, you’ll like the fact that you can pay that in bitcoins.
Using the app is simple enough: Fire it up and choose a location (you get a recommended location depending on your actual geolocation which should give you good speed), and then surf away.
Versatile VPN • Unlimited bandwidth
Not easy to use
Advanced VPN users will not have to worry about getting into trouble for torrenting while using TorGuard.
The service claims it has more than 3,000 servers in more than 55 countries, effectively giving it unlimited bandwidth (i.e. you don’t have to worry about too many users taxing the system at any one time).
TorGuard is not the most beginner-friendly option out there; in fact, the first thing it’ll ask you after you fire it up is to choose between a variety of security protocols that most people don’t know much about. Still, once you’ve clicked on those and connected to a server, you’ll be fine.
The pricing starts at $9.99 per month but that can be lower if you pay on a quarterly, semi-annual, annual or a biennial basis. Bitcoin as well as Litecoin are accepted as payment.
. Use the code “” to get 50% off your plan of choice.
Simple • Fun animation • Friendly user-interface
Only get 500MB for free
TunnelBear makes using a VPN less intimidating through its animated user-interface.
6. TunnelBearThis VPN offers a simple and fun user-interface that’ll show your connection through cute animations.
The app is free, but it only gets you a monthly 500MB, which will be enough for a little bit of work but definitely won’t do for video streaming. If you want more, you can get a paid account with unlimited data. The two tiers — Giant and Grizzly — offer the same deal, but the former will cost you $9.99 monthly while the latter is paid on a yearly basis for $49.88 (which works out to a monthly price of $4.16).