Recommended VPNs for Android 2019

Best VPNs for Android Devices

Numerous hacking events around the world and new security threats, such as the inception of viruses, malware, ransomware, and others, have exacerbated the need to increase our online safety. Otherwise, all the digital assets we own, such as files, documents, photos, videos, social media accounts, traffic, online banking accounts, credit card numbers, and more are left vulnerable.

That is why VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are now a hot commodity. They are online services that enhance the users’ privacy and anonymity when they are connected to the Internet. This is because 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.

Now, these VPN services can work in just about any device existing on the market. When it comes to smartphones, a VPN can work on Android OS-powered gadgets like 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.

VPN apps for Android devices

The Android interface is also trendy 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 can be your best friend and most critical ally because it can protect 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 won’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.

If you want to be left alone while you surf the web, there is nothing like a VPN. It protects your data privacy because your traffic will be encrypted and rerouted to remote servers, away from the public eye. You would also be protected from malicious apps and Android security loopholes.

One of the most widespread uses of VPN for Android is taking advantage of its ability to work with international services, enhancing accessibility to pages and content that, under normal circumstances, would be off-limits. In addition, a Virtual Private Network can work with Netflix and other multimedia libraries. Furthermore, they enable P2P activity, which means that users can torrent with ease and in peace.

 Free VPNs for Android Devices

When you encrypt your shared data through a VPN server, you should know that 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 that they have access to. 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 the numerous issues regarding free VPN. Another one is that their encryption protocols and measures aren’t nearly 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 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 said 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
21 October 2018

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.

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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