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ExpressVPN

One of the preferred encryption and protection options by experts, tech specialists, and regular people who value privacy, ExpressVPN represents one of the best VPNs for Android OS, with apps compatible with all versions: the 8.0 Oreo, the 7.0 Nougat, Marshmallow, Lollipop, Kit Kat, and Jelly Bean. People love this option because it provides a safe Android APK for virtually all updates.

ExpressVPN is ultra secure and offers plenty of speed to go around with its stable and strong performance. And to guarantee the security of its users, ExpressVPN keeps no logs and uses the robust AES 256 bit encryption along with some of the most recognized protocols, including OpenVPN.

It works with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and other international sites and services, and it provides a fantastic option for streamers because it allows them to stream media and sports events from 94 countries in almost 150 locations spread around the world.

Additionally, ExpressVPN has top-notch customer service with a live chat feature and email communication to help its customers solve issues 24/7. On top of all that, it provides a convenient refund policy in the form of a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you try for a month and don’t like it, you can get your money back without a hassle.

ExpressVPN is highly compatible, and you can easily install and use it on your Android smartphones and tablets. It has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and the package also includes exciting features such as DNS/IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and split tunneling.

In total, ExpressVPN has over 1,700 servers available for connection, at a monthly price of $12.95 with discounts in the biannual and yearly packages. You can use ExpressVPN on three devices simultaneously. The Reddit community, save for a few negative reviews, love this option and identify it as the best.

Read ExpressVPN review »

NordVPN

NordVPN is a highly sought-after VPN option because its client for Android comes with all the necessary steps and configurations already built-in. All that the user has to do is download the app, install it on their preferred device, and set it up – which won’t take more than a couple of minutes.

This option encrypts the users’ traffic with robust encryption so no one can spy on them while they are online. While the monthly price of this option is not particularly cheap at $11.95, it more than makes up for it with sweet deals in the yearly ($5.75 per month) and two-year ($3.29) plans.

NordVPN has a new security feature called CyberSec, which is famous for blocking annoying ads and preventing their users from accessing malware-hosting sites. This Panama-based VPN client keeps absolutely no logs of their users’ activity when they browse the web, and as a bonus, it allows P2P movement with excellent download speeds, a unique setup for torrenting and streaming addicts.

The app for Android is extremely straightforward to use, as it has a user-friendly design and layout without numerous advanced features, but more than enough power and configurations for your mobile device.

NordVPN also implements double VPN encryption, a kill switch to protect you from VPN connection losses, and DNS leak protection to avoid the undesired scenario of your IP address being available to the public eye.

There are Chrome and  Firefox extensions, as well as the SmartPlay feature and the opportunity for users to connect to a whopping 3,472 servers located in 60 different nations around the world.

Read NordVPN review »

HideMyAss

Hide My Ass is an efficient VPN client that works just fine with all operating systems, especially Android. It provides a perfect atmosphere for anonymous and secure internet access from anywhere in the world. This is because it implements robust encryption measures to make sure hackers or any third parties can’t look at your traffic or IP address.

In fact, Hide My Ass can brag about its high level of compatibility because it can be used in every device or operating system widely available in the market, including Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows.

HMA, as it is often shortened in some niches, uses one app for all devices, but the features are good enough that no OS gets left out. The app is straightforward to use and has an attractive, kind of fresh design.

Hide My Ass has been in the market for over a decade and is part of the Avast family, which is one of the most prominent security companies in the world. One license, or paid plan, lets you connect up to five different devices simultaneously.

HMA has 24/7 customer service with a live chat feature and FAQ section, and 30-day money back guarantees to let clients ask for a refund if they don’t like the service. Best of all is that HMA is maybe the most significant network when it comes to available countries for connection, with more than 190. The total number of servers is 760.

The cost of the monthly plan is $11.99, which is not what you would usually call cheap nor inexpensive. However, you can get great value if you purchase the six-month plan ($7.99) or the yearly plan ($6.99.)

Read HideMyAss review »

PureVPN

The PureVPN Android app has a 4.1 rating out of 5 among almost 20,000 people on the Google Play app store, which is an outstanding score. This VPN client even has an app just for Android smartphones and tablets, and it already has 5 million downloads globally.

PureVPN is famous in the “VPNsphere” for having malware and antivirus protection, which is a very convenient feature for your Android device to protect you when using public Wi-Fi connections. It also offers an ad blocker to get rid of those pop-ups that clutter your browser with spam, increased bandwidth usage, and page load times.

PureVPN also enables P2P activity, which is a perfect option for torrent lovers around the world. It uses the military-grade AES 256 bit encryption to make sure your content does not get out of the virtual tunnel.

The client claims on its page that it keeps no logs of users’ activity. It is also very fast and suitable for streaming content on the web. PureVPN claims to have one of the biggest networks in the industry, letting its customers connect to six continents and 140 countries while having 95,000 IP addresses to go around.

PureVPN has a network of highly secure servers, called Gravity, to help subscribers avoid DNS leaks and other undesired events. Included in a PureVPN subscription are other features as well, such as a killswitch and secure Wi-Fi.

For the monthly plan, the service charges $10.95, which is pretty standard. However, the discounts that PureVPN gives are some of the best in the industry. The six-month plan checks in at the equivalent (in one payment) of $7.95 per month, and the two-year package is reduced to an astounding $2.46 per 30 days, also paid one time every 24 months.

Read PureVPN review »

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is another one of those options that have a client compatible with the most popular operating systems on the market, and one of those is Android. The users’ potentially favorite part  is that the installation, download, and process is extremely straightforward – so much so that the company calls it the “1-click setup.”

PrivateVPN is full of useful and exciting features that are enough to push it near the top of the list of preferred VPN services for Android. For starters, it has a no-hassle 30-day money-back guarantee, the highest in the industry. It also uses the military-grade 256-bit encryption, which is the safest and fastest method for making sure your data is protected from hackers, governmental surveillance, and other threats.

One drawback with PrivateVPN is that it doesn’t have a live chat feature However,  they provide a form for you to express your opinions and ask your questions s about the service or anything else related to PrivateVPN or the VPN technology itself.

The total amount of servers, 100, is low in comparison to some of the top VPN alternatives, but these servers are located in 56 different countries, which improves the picture in a significant way.

The company offers a strict no log policy, IPv6 leak protection, a personalized app for iOS, and six different connections at the same time (also the highest number on the market.) Also included is unlimited bandwidth and speed, a killswitch, anonymous torrenting, and all the significant protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and IPSec).

Read PrivateVPN review »

Best VPNs for Android

Numerous hacking events and security threats from viruses, malware and ransomware have exacerbated the need to increase our online safety. All potential digital assets we own, from files, documents, photos, videos, social media accounts, traffic, online banking accounts to credit card numbers etc are increasingly vulnerable to hacking efforts.

That is why VPNs  (Virtual Private Networks) are a hot commodity. VPNs are software applications that enhance users’ privacy and anonymity when connected to the internet. VPNs implement protocols or measures that encrypt the information between the user and the VPN server without anyone being able to see what is shared.

VPN services can work on just about any device. When it comes to smartphones, a VPN can work on Android OS powered gadgets including but not limited to the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Note8, Note5, J7, J7 Prime, HTC U11, U Ultra, Bolt, Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ, Premium, XA1 Plus, LG V30+, G6, X Venture, and Google Pixel 2.

Great VPN apps for Android devices

The Android interface is also popular for tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Book, Galaxy Tab A, HTC Nexus 9, Sony Experia Z4 Tablet, Tablet Z, LG G Pad X, and G Pad F, among numerous others. A VPN app for your Android device will be your ally protecting you even when you are not paying attention. For instance, if you open your online banking account on public wifi, a hacker may intercept the router and gain access to your data, which would mean that your credit card details would be in danger of being stolen, and you wouldn’t even notice.

With an enabled VPN connection, you will not be visible on the public network, so any hacker doing shady things will not get to you: they will not see your real IP address. And because of that, you will be safeguarding your Android-powered device.

One of the most popular uses of VPN for Android is its ability to work with international services, enhancing accessibility to content that, under normal circumstances, would be off-limits. In addition, a Virtual Private Network can work with Netflix and other streaming services. Furthermore, they enable P2P activity, meaning that users can torrent with ease.

Free VPNs for Android Devices

When you encrypt your shared data through a VPN server, nobody will be able to see your traffic, save for your VPN provider. Therefore, you need to trust that your provider will not be selling your data and browsing history. You don’t want them to share your data with internet companies looking to create a potential buyer profile who will likely also send you advertising messages.

That is one of, if not the primary issue with free VPNs. Another one is that their encryption protocols and measures aren’t as robust as those of a paid service. Remember, to have an outstanding infrastructure with servers in various countries, there has to be an investment behind it. And if the company that provides the VPN service is not charging its users, it has to make money somehow. Selling your traffic? Entirely possible.

Free VPNs don’t have the same speed rates as paid ones, and their connection is not nearly as stable. They can be time-consuming in the setup and configuration process, and they tend to be slow and usually have bandwidth limits.

How to choose the right Android VPN app

To select the best Android VPN app, you need to know that there is no perfect, universal recipe: everybody has different needs and requirements. If you want an option with excellent customer service, for instance, ExpressVPN may be your best choice. If you want to enjoy content from just about any nation in the globe, Hide My Ass, with its servers in 190 countries, might work the best.

The most useful advice is to do your research about every VPN option’s features and offerings and then to assess how much you can afford on a per-month basis. Some users value low price more, while others put more weight on encryption, privacy, and security.

How does a VPN Work on Android Devices?

By using encryption technologies, or “protocols” (the most common examples are PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEV2, OpenVPN), VPNs encrypt your Android traffic and send it to remote servers in a “tunnel.” This tunnel is virtual, and it means that the communication is exclusively between the user and the VPN server.

The PPTP is the father of VPN because a Microsoft worker invented the Peer-to-Peer Tunneling Protocol as a way to send encrypted data in the mid-nineties. Today, the fastest and most widely used protocol is the OpenVPN.

How to set up a VPN on Android

Every VPN may have slightly different configuration processes for their services. The most common way is:

  • Select your preferred VPN service.
  • Go to the website and download the client. In Android devices, go to the Google Play Store and download the app.
  • Install and open the app.
  • Sign up for the service, providing your data and a payment method.
  • Sign in and select a server to connect.
  • Connect and enjoy the benefits of encryption and privacy!

How to manually set up VPN on Android (PPTP)

  • Open the “Settings.”
  • Tap “More…”.
  • Go to “VPN.”
  • Tap on “+”.
  • Enter your desired name like ‘(VPN provider) PPTP’ in “Name,” ‘PPTP’ in “Type,” and in “Server Address” field, enter your desired server.
  • Uncheck “PPP encryption (MPPE)” and Save.
  • Tap on the newly established connection.
  • Type “email” in “Username” field and “Password” and Tap on “Connect.”

How to Use Android VPN

ExpressVPN, one of the top VPN brands, is very straightforward to use and set up. Connecting is simple: after having created an account, the user just needs to sign in, configure the desired details, choose a country and server and hit the “Connect” button.

From that point on, the user can browse the web as he/she would typically do, and the communication that used to be between you and your ISP now will be between you and your VPN client.

FAQs: VPN for Android

How does VPN work on Android devices?

VPNs encrypt your traffic in such a way that it remains protected from the possible advances of hackers, viruses, ransomware, illegal bitcoin mining, and other threats related to unprotected internet and web browsing. They are free or paid services, and they can offer privacy and anonymity by hiding the user’s IP address.

Do all VPN providers offer an Android app?

Most, if not all VPNs are compatible with the Android OS. However, not all of them have dedicated apps for Android devices. ExpressVPN is an example of a VPN provider with an app or APK file particular for Android.

Can I use a VPN on my Android tablet?

Of course. VPNs are not limited to computers and smartphones. In fact, they can be used in tablets, set-top boxes and other consoles in addition to mobile devices. A VPN is a perfect security measure for tablet owners.

How can I  test my Android VPN app’s performance?

Some VPNs come with a built-in testing feature. You can also find services on the Internet to perform DNS or IP leak tests, as well as speed tests. If you are going to purchase a VPN subscription, try to find one with a kill switch so you can protect yourself in the event of a connection loss.

Will I need to pay for the VPN Android app?

The best VPN services in the market require a payment. You can opt for a free option like Hola, but the encryption strength will not be optimal, and it may keep logs of your activity. After all, the paid alternatives won’t cost you more than $15 per month.

What is the kill switch on Android?

A kill switch is a feature that disables your internet connection when your Internet connection drops for whatever reason. The mentioned scenario helps you avoid being the target of internet threats while you are not under the VPN encryption.

Is antivirus software or malware protection an Alternative to VPN?

Typically, VPNs can’t protect you from viruses per se. The thing is, they can enhance your anonymity and invisibility online, so that is a bonus. However, antivirus software and VPNs don’t have the same features and tasks.

Does a VPN slow down performance on Android?

The usual assumption is that VPN services can reduce internet connection speed by roughly 10% on every OS including Android, although the number is highly volatile since it depends on many factors.

Conclusion

It’s a typical mistake to assume that only laptops and desktop computers are vulnerable to hackers or governmental spying. Smartphones and tablets on all Operating Systems are also in danger of these kinds of hazards when it comes to security.

When you browse the internet on your phone, you want to do it privately and securely: you don’t want any institution establishing surveillance on your traffic and, especially if you download torrents, you need your privacy.

You may be tempted to just sign up for a free VPN, but they represent another risk to your privacy when you are trying to combat risks in the first place. So, the best option is to choose a paid VPN service, since they are far more efficient than open ones and the download and install processes are extremely straightforward.

If you are worried about your online security, stop wasting time, and go sign up for a recommended VPN for Android: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PureVPN, Hide My Ass, or PrivateVPN.

Written by: Graeme Messina

Graeme is an IT professional with a special interest in computer forensics, security, and software. When not building networks and researching the latest software trends, he enjoys writing technical articles and blog posts.

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