Best VPN services for Android in 2024

Best VPN Hero Blue

A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is a handy privacy tool that encrypts your data and gives you a new IP address to hide your internet traffic from prying eyes. Given the growing number of Android users, it's no surprise that the best VPNs now offer thumb-friendly apps with the same rock-solid security and performance we've come to expect from their desktop versions. 

The best Android VPNs safeguard your privacy in public spots with unsecured Wi-Fi and allow you to access geo-restricted content on the go. However, there are dozens of VPN apps on the Play Store—meaning you need expert assistance to pick the right one for you. The Android Central team has years of experience testing VPNs, and we're constantly evaluating the industry's top dogs and promising newcomers. To put it simply, we won't recommend a service unless we're comfortable using it ourselves.

Whether you need an Android VPN for torrenting, unblocking content from overseas, or protecting your digital privacy, we've got you covered. Our guide covers the best providers on the market, including what to look for in a VPN, how we test each service, and answers to all your burning questions. If you're after a quick answer, here are my top 3 Android VPN picks right now.

Best Android VPNs in 2024 - quick answer

1.  The best VPN for Android: NordVPN

1.  The best VPN for Android: NordVPN
NordVPN is the #1 VPN for Android, as it not only offers great security with built-in malware protection and ad blocking, but it can also unblock everything without any hiccups. It's also the fastest VPN I've ever tested—and offers more servers than both ExpressVPN and Surfshark.

The NordVPN Android app is fresh and fun, though the map-based interface can be a little tricky to use, especially for those who prefer a more simple interface. You can try it out and see if it's right for you, thanks to Nord's 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Best VPN for ease of use: ExpressVPN

2. Best VPN for ease of use: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN's Android apps are streamlined and efficient, getting you connected in no time at all. It also offers strong encryption and an accredited no-logs policy, as well as lightning-fast speeds, reliable unblocking, and one of the biggest server networks.

While it may be more expensive than the others, it does offer a year's free secure cloud storage from Backblaze as well as 3 months free if you sign up for a 1-year subscription. Plus, with its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try it out without risking a penny.

3. The best cheap VPN for Android: Surfshark

3. The best cheap VPN for Android: Surfshark
Surfshark has a fully featured Android VPN app that manages to pack a ton of functionality into inexpensive plans, which is great news for folks on a tight budget. You'll get blazing speeds and awesome unblocking power, as well as a built-in ad blocker.

The VPN isn't as customizable as ExpressVPN, and its online support could use some TLC, but Surfshark is a user-friendly service with value that can't be beat—and even boasts unlimited simultaneous connections you can use to keep a whole household of gadgets secure. Try it out risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The best Android VPN services in 2024

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Check out my shortlist of the best VPNs in the industry today. We'll dig into how each service compares to the competition, recent test results, and all the features I did (and didn't) like.

The best VPN overall

NordVPN securing multiple devices such as desktop, mobile, routers, and game consoles

(Image credit: NordVPN)
The best VPN in 2024 - fast and packed with features


Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Also available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux (CLI), routers and more
24/7 support: Yes
Refund period: 30 days
Number of servers: 6,100+
Server locations: 140
Countries: 110
Simultaneous connections: 10
Play Store review: 4.5

Reasons to buy

Excellent security including built-in antivirus
Reliable Netflix unblocking
Lightning-fast connection speeds
Meshnet is available at no extra cost

Reasons to avoid

Map-style interface isn't easy for beginners
Not as many locations as ExpressVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want all-in-one security for your Android: NordVPN comes with an exhaustive list of security tools, including antivirus, password manager, Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and ad blockers.

✔️ You need a high-quality streaming VPN: NordVPN unblocks everything, from Netflix to local news and everything in between, everywhere, all the time.

✔️ You want the fastest speeds on Android: in addition to complete security and great streaming, NordVPN also offers blazing speeds—the fastest in my testing.

Don't subscribe if:

You need the simplest Android VPN app: Nord's Android app comes with a map-style interface that might feel busy and overwhelming, especially if you're a beginner. Try ExpressVPN or Surfshark for an easier experience.

You want to protect a lot of devices: Although NordVPN's 10 simultaneous connections is nothing to sniff at, it's no match for Surfshark's unlimited simultaneous connections.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 NordVPN is my number one VPN recommendation for Android users, as it delivers on all counts, be it speed, security, or value for money. It's also great for unblocking Netflix in every region, and most other streaming sites. Put it to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to learn more?

Check out our in-depth NordVPN review for a closer look at the #1 VPN overall.

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs for Android in the industry—over 50 million downloads and an excellent 4.5 rating on the Google Play Store are proof of that. 

In our detailed NordVPN review, we found that there's good reason for its popularity as it takes the top spot in our Android VPN recommendations thanks to its security, speed, unblocking capabilities, and value for money.

▶ Try NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee

When it comes to security, the NordVPN Android app is a complete package, more well-rounded than all the other Android VPNs out there. In addition to VPN essentials such as a reliable kill switch, an independently audited no-logs policy, and excellent encryption, you also get a built-in antivirus, password manager, secure cloud storage, data breach scanner, and auto-connect.

It also comes with a few tools that others don't have. These include the Onion over VPN and the Double VPN technology that encrypts your data by sending it through two servers to make it twice as hard to decode. Furthermore, Nord's Android VPN app is the only NordVPN mobile app to offer split tunneling.

The biggest highlight, though, is Nord's free Meshnet feature that allows you to create your own secure network and connect up to 60 devices (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux) to make file sharing and multiplayer gaming faster and more secure.

Speaking of speeds, NordVPN is the fastest VPN in the industry right now, clocking over 950 Mbps in my recent testing thanks to the speedy NordLynx protocol. Combined with over 6,100 servers in 110 countries, you can use the NordVPN app to connect anywhere, no matter where you are on the map.

The good news keeps coming as NordVPN is also a top draw for unblocking geo-restricted content on your Android device. While it's an absolute beast for Netflix, unblocking every Netflix region I threw at it in my testing, it also reliably unblocked Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+.

While the map-style interface on Nord's Android app is good-looking, it might come across as a bit clunky, especially if you're a beginner. The alternative—a standard list format—doesn't go a long way in eliminating usability troubles, either, as it only shows flag icons of the servers. This is only a quibble, though, and doesn't take much away from NordVPN's appeal, especially when there's a 'recent connections' list as well. 

To conclude, NordVPN's all-in-one security package for total protection of your Android device, vast server network, class-leading streaming support and connection speeds, and affordable prices make it the number one Android VPN. Try it out with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee and see for yourself.

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NordVPN test results:
DesignFun design, but maybe a bit too busy for some⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe interactive map is cool, but not everybody's preference⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThe fastest VPN in my testing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks all Netflix regions and so many other streaming sites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacy360-degree security, including malware protection and ad-blocking⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 friendly and professional help, plus very helpful articles⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceExcellent overall value for the price⭐⭐⭐⭐

Easiest to use VPN

ExpressVPN, the best VPN, running on PC, tablet, mobile, and more

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
The best Android VPN for beginners


Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Also available on: Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux (command-line only), Routers, almost everything else
24/7 support: Yes
Refund period: 30 days
Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 160
Countries: 105
Simultaneous connections: 8
Play Store review: 4.4

Reasons to buy

Outstanding privacy tools
Vast network of servers
Ideal for beginners
Superb 24/7 live chat

Reasons to avoid

More expensive than competitors
Limited to eight simultaneous connections
Subscribe if:

✔️ You're a beginner: with a simple and navigable interface on its Android app, friendly 24/7 support, and comprehensive help articles, ExpressVPN is a delight for newbies.

✔️ You want a VPN that prioritizes privacy: ExpressVPN is the very best in terms of privacy, thanks to regular independent audits, a no-logs policy, and excellent encryption.

✔️ You want an Android VPN with the best access: ExpressVPN has servers in 160 locations across 105 countries, so you'll be able to access content from around the world.

Don't subscribe if:

You're on a budget: ExpressVPN is undeniably pricey, and you'll be better off with NordVPN or Surfshark if you're looking for a bargain.

You have lots of devices: ExpressVPN only supports eight simultaneous connections, which might not be enough to keep a whole house secure.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable VPN with a massive server network and sleek apps for your Android devices that are suited for both experts beginners and experts alike. While it's more expensive than the others, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee to take it for a risk-free trial run.

Want to learn more?

Read our complete ExpressVPN review to find out why I rate the service so highly for beginners.

ExpressVPN is an industry veteran, offering a high-quality service that really puts your privacy first, with a long list of tools, apps for all your devices, including perhaps the simplest Android VPN app I've ever seen, and a strict no-logging policy.

There's hardly a VPN app for Android as plug-and-play as Express's. There's one-click connect, so you can establish a secure VPN connection by a simple tap of the power button. Next, the auto-connect functionality allows you to connect once and stay protected always.

Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee

Additionally, the ExpressVPN app also comes with a simple list of servers, a favorites section, as well as an intuitive recommendation system that suggests the best connection based on speed—all this is lacking in other top dogs such as NordVPN and Proton VPN, making ExpressVPN the best Android VPN for beginners.

What's more, you also get friendly 24/7 support and an in-depth knowledge hub with tons of help articles so that any queries you may run into are swiftly and promptly resolved.

Currently, ExpressVPN boasts a network of more than 3,200 servers spread across 105 countries. While NordVPN and PIA admittedly have more servers, ExpressVPN spans a class-leading 160 locations worldwide, including Asia, which is often sidelined by other VPNs. 

The impressive selection of servers, and consistent speeds of over 750 Mbps, mean you shouldn't have trouble bypassing geo-restrictions, workplace-imposed blocks, and even instances of government censorship on your Android device irrespective of where you.

When it comes to unblocking streaming services, ExpressVPN is right up there with NordVPN. Its Android VPN app reliably unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+, as well as local content. You can watch on more than one device, too, because ExpressVPN allows up to eight simultaneous connections. While this is certainly enough for most users, if you want to protect a lot of devices, consider Surfshark or PIA.

Overall, though, ExpressVPN checks most of the boxes. Sure, it isn't fit for those after a cheap Android VPN, but with 3 months of extra protection and 1 year of Backblaze cloud storage for free, there's still ample value you will get for your money—and there's also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out and then make up your mind.

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ExpressVPN test results:
DesignVery clean with everything placed exactly where you'd want it to be⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useSimple and intuitive apps for Android, one of the very best for beginners⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for most use cases, but NordVPN and Surfshark are faster⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingConsistently and effortlessly unblocks every major streaming platform and region⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyExcellent encryption and regular audits will protect your data at all times⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 expert assistance and lots of in-depth guides⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceOne of the most expensive VPN services out there, but those who can afford it won't regret the purchase⭐⭐⭐

Best cheap VPN

Surfshark VPN works on desktops, laptops, tablest, phones, routers, and more

Best Android VPN service for those on a budget


Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Also available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux (GUI), routers and more
24/7 support: Yes
Trial period: 30 days
Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 143
Countries: 100
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Play Store rating: 4.4

Reasons to buy

Best-in-class speeds
Unlimited device connections
Straightforward Android VPN apps
Servers in over 100 countries

Reasons to avoid

Kill switch issues on Windows
Not the best for torrenting
Online support is hard to navigate
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a fast Android VPN: Surfshark left other VPNs in the dust during my speed tests with a top speed of over 950 Mbps.

✔️ You need unlimited simultaneous connections: with just one Surfshark account, you can cover all the devices in your household and then some more. 

✔️ You're after a cheap Android VPN: Surfshark is more affordable than the competition and provides a premium package for a fraction of the price. 

Don't subscribe if:

You want tons of configurability: Surfshark is a delight for beginners, but it might be too simple for people who want lots of configuration.

You want to torrent on Android: though Surfshark is a decent torrenting VPN, it's not where it focuses its resources. I recommend ExpressVPN for this task.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark offers the perfect blend of high-end features and low prices. It's super fast, has servers in an impressive 100 countries, offers unlimited simultaneous connections, and unblocks everything with ease. Try it out risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see for yourself.

Want to learn more?

Check out our in-depth Surfshark review to find out everything the best budget VPN has to offer. 

If you're looking for a budget-friendly Android VPN with premium offerings, Surfshark is hands down the best choice. You get excellent reach with over 3,200 servers in 100+ countries, which is on par with industry heavyweights like ExpressVPN.

Plus, with peak speeds of over 950 Mbps in my tests, Surfshark sits pretty at the top of the fastest VPN list along with NordVPN. Beginners will love that Surfshark's Android VPN app shares its interface with its desktop brethren, which is already super easy to use to begin with. 

▶ Try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee

With a simple layout and easy-to-use features, including a quick-connect option and an alphabetically arranged list of servers that conveniently sits right underneath the list of your favorite servers, Surfshark's Android VPN app is tailor-made for those new to VPNs.

Don't let the cheap pricing and simplicity fool you, though—the app comes loaded with everything you'd expect from a top-notch mobile VPN service. These include the highest level of encryption, split tunneling, ad & malware blocker, MultiHop, and an audited no-logs policy.

Additionally, there are a couple of Surfshark offerings tough to find in other Android VPNs, especially at this price point. First is the intuitiveness of Surfshark' Android app—it detects if your current network is facing any restrictions and then automatically turns on the NoBorders mode, which then gives you a list of all best-performing servers that can bypass those restrictions.

Second, and one of the biggest advantages of getting Surfshark, is unlimited simultaneous connections—meaning you can install it on every single one of your devices, no matter the operating system. The only other VPN that matches Surfshark here is Windsribe.

With best-in-class speeds and superior unblocking capabilities, Surfshark is also a streamer's delight. I tested its Android app out with several streaming sites, and it unblocked everything from Netflix to Prime Video and Disney+. What's more, it also lets you watch the BBC iPlayer from your UK accounts.

While I noticed some intermittent kill switch issues, that's just on Windows (and under extreme situations only), so Android users needn't worry about it. All in all, Surfshark is secure enough, power-packed, and easy to use. Plus, it's the cheapest VPN service on my list, especially if you choose its 2-year plan. You can try it out for a full month without risking a single penny, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Surfshark test results
DesignSimple, intuitive, and not at all cluttered⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useGreat for beginners, no expertise needed whatsover⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest providers right now⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEasily unblocks almost every streaming platform you'd want to access⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySome kill switch issues on Windows, but everything on Android works smoothly⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportA lot of support documents online, but it's a chore to find the one you need⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceThe best cheap VPN on the market⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Honorable mentions

Proton VPN on a plethora of devices

One of the most secure VPNs with an unlimited free plan


Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Also available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux (GUI), routers and more
24/7 support: No
Refund period: 30 days - free version available
Number of servers: 2,900+
Server locations: 85
Countries: 67
Simultaneous connections: 10
Play Store rating: 4.5

Reasons to buy

Unlimited bandwidth for free users
Open-source and audited Android apps
Class-leading OpenVPN speeds

Reasons to avoid

More expensive than others
Middling WireGuard speeds
Needs better customer support
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need an Android VPN that values privacy: Proton VPN is backed by Swiss privacy laws, has open sourced all its apps, and offers Secure Core servers for advanced security.

✔️ You want an unlimited free Android VPN: Proton VPN's free option doesn't cap your monthly usage and gives you access to over 100 servers in 3 countries.

✔️ You want decent simultaneous connections: you can protect up to 10 devices at the same time with Proton VPN, which is more than what ExpressVPN offers. 

Don't subscribe if:

You want servers everywhere: Proton VPN's catalog of 2,900 servers in 67 countries falls behind its top competitors.

You're on a budget: Proton VPN delivers excellent value for its price, but those on a tight budget will be better off with NordVPN or Surfshark.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Proton VPN offers a great Android client for privacy purists, thanks to Secure Core servers and Swiss laws. It's not very fast, but it performed a clean sweep when unblocking streaming services and offers one of the best free VPNs for Android users. You can test its paid plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to learn more?

Check out our full Proton VPN review to fund out what's included with its free version and why it's a privacy obsessive's favorite. 

Proton VPN is based in Switzerland, meaning it's obligated to follow Switzerland's privacy laws, which are the strongest in the world. Plus, Switzerland is outside the EU and U.S. jurisdiction, so it can't be coerced into spying on any users.

The Proton VPN Android app, along with other Proton apps, is open source, meaning anyone can check its code for vulnerabilities. What's more, it gets Proton VPN's full security suite, including a reliable kill switch, ad-blocking, split tunneling, MultiHop, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection.

▶ Try Proton VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee

The Android app also comes equipped with Proton VPN’s proprietary Secure Core technology, which routes your internet traffic through an ultra-secure server in either Sweden, Switzerland, or Iceland before finally connecting you to your destination.

While drafting our full Proton VPN review, I was impressed with how sleek and futuristic-looking the Proton VPN Android app is—as well as how similar it is to its desktop version. In addition to an intuitive map interface that's better than Nord's and a quick connect option, it also comes with a handy landscape mode, so it's a fully featured VPN app for tablets as well.

Proton VPN may not offer the most servers or have them spread out in the most locations, but if there is one thing that the company knows, it's privacy and security. Still, I would argue that its 2,900+ servers in 67 countries is an excellent offering, and would be sufficient for most users, including those who use it for general day-to-day privacy as well as dedicated streamers.

Speaking of streaming, Proton VPN reliably unblocks big-name services like Netflix, iPlayer, Prime Video, and Disney+ on its Android app. Furthermore, while its WireGuard speeds at 460 Mbps are middling at best, it's one of the fastest when using OpenVPN with a top speed of over 350 Mbps.

A definite highlight of the service is its free plan. As one of the best free Android VPNs, Proton VPN comes with unlimited data (unlike other free services), access to 3 server locations, and most of the security tools you get on its paid Android app. 

Whether you want a trustworthy free VPN or a paid one, Proton is definitely worth considering. While its premium pricing puts it at a slight disadvantage to those above it on this list, it comes with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give the paid plan a try without any risk.

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Proton VPN test results:
DesignBeautiful and intuitive dark mode⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe Android app is pretty straightforward, and it's easier to use than desktop apps⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceVariation between apps, and not the best speeds⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingGood at unblocking most streaming sites, but this is only for paid users⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyUses strong encryption and open-source apps, plus has a few add-ons to further protect you online⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportSupport articles are pretty technical, and agents aren't easy to get a hold of⭐⭐⭐
PriceNot the cheapest but also not the most expensive paid plan, and it has a free plan as well⭐⭐⭐⭐

Windscribe on a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
A comprehensive Android VPN app, plus a good free option


Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Disney, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Also available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux (CLI), routers and more
24/7 support: No
Refund period: 3 days - free version available
Number of servers: 400+
Server locations: 112
Countries: 69
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Play Store rating: 4

Reasons to buy

Unlimited device connections
Open-source apps
Tons of security features
Free plan with 11 countries

Reasons to avoid

Terrible refund policy
No security audits
24/7 support isn't available
Very few servers
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a free Android VPN with enough servers: Windscribe offers 11 countries on its free plan, as compared to just 3 by Proton VPN Free.

✔️ You want to connect all your devices: Windscribe comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, even on its free plan.

✔️ You need class-leading speeds: with top speeds of over 950 Mbps, Windscribe is the fastest Android VPN I've tested, along with NordVPN and Surfshark.

Don't subscribe if:

You need a comfortable time frame to decide to buy: Windscribe only has a 3-day money-back guarantee whereas other VPNs offer a minimum of 30 days.

You want an audited VPN: although the Winscribe Android app is open source, it's yet to undergo a proper third-party audit.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Windscribe is a fully featured Android VPN with tons of security and usability features, as well as unlimited connections to use on all your devices. You get a 3-day refund period and a limited free version to take it out for a risk-free trial run to decide if you want to keep it.

Want to learn more?

Read our in-depth Windscribe review to know more about this fantastic free VPN for Android.

Windscribe has improved massively in recent times and manages to break into my top five on the back of what’s one of the most comprehensive Android VPN apps on the market right now. 

The Windscribe Android app has a number of security features, including a reliable kill switch and an ad blocker that will sweep away invasive ads. If you fancy diving deeper, you can even configure Windscribe so that it blocks trackers, malware, unreliable news sources, and adult content. There's also a unique Decoy Mode to help dissidents avoid detection in extreme situations.

Try Windscribe VPN for free

Everything else, from a no-logging policy to split tunneling and port forwarding, as well as stealth technologies to evade VPN blocks are all in place and working smoothly. In addition to being power-packed, the Android version scores full marks for usability, too—you get a big on/off button, an image of a flag in the background (of the region you're currently connected to), and location lists. 

One of Windscribe's most impressive (and generous) features is its unlimited simultaneous connections—also available to users of its free plan. That means you'll be able to use the VPN on all of your gadgets, all at once. 

In terms of speed, Windscribe is no slouch. During my most recent round of testing, I recorded speeds of 950 Mbps—a major jump from when I last tested it. That's more than enough to ensure smooth HD streaming, quick torrenting, and clear video calls, and makes Windscribe the speediest service I've reviewed in a while, along with NordVPN and Surfshark.

It's also great to see that all Windscribe apps use open-source code. That's a big tick mark for privacy obsessives. However, if Windscribe really wants to blow me away, and prove to its users that privacy comes first, it could (and should) invest in a formal audit of its service, so there's concrete evidence backing up its lofty claims.

I'd also like to see Windscribe introduce live chat support—seeing as some issues require a speedy response from a real-life human. Most of Windscribe's competitors offer live chat, too. Another area where Windscribe slightly falters is unblocking geo-restricted content on its Android client. In my recent tests, it was unable to bypass Prime Video, 9Now, and 10 Play, among others.  

You can try out Windscribe's free Android VPN to get a feel of how it works before committing to a paid service. It will be limited (just 10 GB data per month), but you can get a general idea of the configuration and how to navigate the client. If you do decide to buy the full package, Windscribe is a bit more expensive than most VPN services, but you’ll get a below-average 3-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free trial.

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Windscribe test results:
DesignIt's simple, yet cluttered, too⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive, but feels complicated for beginners⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceBelow average speeds when using WireGuard⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingIssues unblocking Netflix Japan and Prime Video, everything else comes in clear⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyOpen-source with tons of nifty tools, but lacks an independent audit⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportOn-site articles are helpful, but there's no live chat⭐⭐⭐
PriceGood free plan, but paid subscriptions are expensive⭐⭐⭐

How to choose a VPN

Finding the best VPN service for your Android device is not quite as difficult as it may seem at first glance. There are a few things that you will want to consider, so let's break them down to help you decide.

Apps: First up, you will want to make sure you find a VPN provider that has good Android apps that are easy to use and intuitive, which I've considered strongly in our rating of the above services. It's also worth noting that nearly all the best VPN options will also work on Mac, PC, Android, iPhone, Fire TV Sticks, gaming consoles, and more. 

Security: at the very least, you want to pick an Android VPN with a clear-cut no-logs policy, a reliable kill switch, and leak protection—and it must also support the most secure protocols as well as use strong AES-256 encryption. Additionally, if your needs demand it, you can opt for providers that offer advanced security features such as split tunneling, port forwarding, and double encryption. 

Locations: a provider with tons of servers around the world will allow you to establish a secure VPN connection from and to anywhere. A higher number of servers and locations is all the more important for travelers, who may constantly want to spoof their location—either to hide their online activities from foreign authorities or bypass content blocks abroad.

Simultaneous connections: Another thing you will want to consider is how many devices you can use the VPN on at the same time. If you want to protect upwards of 10 devices, providers such as Surfshark and Windscribe that come with unlimited simultaneous connections will fit your bill.

Unblocking: if streaming is one of your intended use cases, opt for providers that can reliably unblock streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, etc on their Android apps. 

Customer support: look for an Android VPN with 24/7 expert assistance through multiple channels, including live chat and email. Strong customer support along with a comprehensive set of help articles is indispensable for a smooth experience.

Price: needless to say, the overall cost of the service that you are signing up for is one of the most important determinants. The best Android VPN services vary in cost big time and range anywhere from $2 per month up to over $6 per month. However, what puts the ball in your court, especially if you're considering going all out with the most packed VPN, is that you get at least a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service risk-free before committing.

How we test VPNs

We take our job of recommending the best Android VPNs seriously. On top of reading the fine print of the company's website, combing through the privacy policy with a fine comb, and downloading the services to get a feel of how they work, we put each one through a series of security tests.

When an VPN is installed and active on our Android device, we put a lot of pressure on it to see if we can make it drop its protections. Some of our testers have IT backgrounds, so they know where common weak spots are and how to see leaks if they occur. Our security tests, at this level, are conducted more than once a year, so we can stay on top of any changes in security.

Whether we can force the VPN to drop or not, we still disconnect it in a way that we can test the kill switch. We’ll also form a general opinion on the usability of the Android app while we're at it—although it's worth noting that this is a subjective matter for the most part.

Another important test we run the VPN’s Android client through is our speed test. We have test computers in both the US and the UK. We connect to several servers worldwide during different times of the day, week, and month. This is to see how fast a VPN connects during peak times and in popular locations. 

We rerun connection tests a minimum of 120 times per server and per test device. Using online speed websites, we track how quickly connections are made and get a fairly accurate average speed. As with security tests, we rerun speed tests throughout the year to catch any crucial changes.

Then we evaluate the VPN's unblocking capabilities by attempting to access geo-restricted content on multiple streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus. We do so from at least three different locations around the world to get an accurate read of the app's performance.

We want to verify the number of servers and locations in a VPN's network. While the Android client is installed, we literally count every server location and even verify that the servers there work, and are really there (we have found some VPNs that claim they are in one country, but when we connect we're routed through another). 

Other tools and features are also verified by a) locating them in the VPN app, and b) using them. If a VPN claims to support torrenting, we try it out. If it says it has a browser extension, we use it. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

The best VPN FAQs

What is the best VPN?

NordVPN is the best VPN for Android, Windows, Mac, iOS, and pretty much every other device as well. There's hardly a service that offers as comprehensive a security package as NordVPN—and that too, at Nord's affordable prices. 

In addition to nailing the basics with an audited no-logs policy and a reliable kill switch, it also comes with a built-in antivirus, a password manager, and secure cloud storage. If that wasn't enough, NordVPN is also the fastest VPN in the industry, as well as the #1 VPN for unblocking Netflix and other streaming sites.

You can try it out risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee. On the off chance that it's not as simple as you'd have hoped for, you will find ExpressVPN, that's equally as secure and powerful as NordVPN, a good alternative.

Do I really need to use a VPN in 2024?

Having a VPN is an intelligent choice to make these days, especially if you travel a lot and spend any time at all on public Wi-Fi spots—think airport lounges or your local coffee shop. These don't offer any of their own security measures, so you'll want to make sure your data is safe while you use it.

In addition to safeguarding you and your internet traffic, and by extension your personal details, a VPN will also allow you to access geo-restricted content so that you can stream your favorite movies and TV shows no matter where you are. 

The biggest argument for getting a VPN is that in most cases, a VPN is a nominal cost each month—and there are even some free options that are definitely worth considering if you're pinching for pennies. For the price of a cup of coffee or a fast-food lunch, you could add protection to all your browsing sessions for the whole month. If you do the cost-benefit analysis yourself, you'd probably come down to the side of wanting a VPN.

Is it legal to use a VPN?

In most areas of the world, VPNs are perfectly legal. Yes, some countries have put bans in place to restrict VPNs as a whole (Belarus, Turkmenistan, Iraq, and North Korea), and others have limitations on their use cases, but these generally apply to people who live there not travel there.

However, regardless of your country's stance on VPNs, if you use one for any illegal activity such as downloading copyrighted content, that can still be illegal as it might go against the law of the land—and you can be slapped with jail time or massive fines or both. To put it simply, it's not so much a question of whether the VPN is illegal but what you choose to do with it.

For the countries that do restrict VPNs, there are oftentimes some providers that are specifically approved for use there. This means that you may not have as many options, but some are better than none. For example, in China companies have to get Chinese government approval, and those who use unapproved VPNs can be fined heavily.

On the other hand, in the United Arab Emirates, things are far more serious. The fine for using a VPN (any of them) is over half a million dollars, and you can be sentenced to jail time. If you are unsure of the legalities of a VPN where you live, be sure to seek some information from local authorities before installing one on your device.

Are VPNs safe?

Short answer—yes.

VPNs are generally safe to use. However, if you don't want to second-guess your choice and pick a VPN that has been tested for reliability, pick one from our list of the best VPN services.

The most secure VPNs come with a strict and verified no-logs policy, support the most secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2), offer industry-standard AES-256 encryption and independently audited apps, as well as come with essential security features such as a kill switch and leak protection.

Should I use a free VPN?

Many VPN companies these days offer both free and paid VPN options, but when you opt for the free one, you make some sacrifices. Most of the time, the free versions allow for fewer devices to be connected at the same time, slower speeds, fewer servers, and limits on data usage per month.

Some services, like Proton VPN, offer unlimited data but will offer better speeds to paying customers during peak times. Windscribe allows you to score extra data each month by referring friends and tweeting about the service, so there are definitely ways to live with a free VPN—you just need to be a bit more aware of the limitations and factor those into your decision-making.

However, at their worst, free VPNs can be outright dangerous, and downloading them may infect your device with malware. Some of them may not be this extreme but may harvest your data to sell it to the highest bidder. While this is usually the case only when you opt for an unscrupulous free provider with unrealistic lofty claims, it's still better to just opt for a cheap premium VPN instead—especially when you can get one for just around $2 per month.

Upgrading to a paid plan also ensures that you see no ads, which oftentimes means that there are no data limits, and many companies offer unlimited connections as well. Furthermore, paid VPNs also come with unblocking capabilities and tons of server locations to choose from.

To conclude, if it's a reputable provider, it may be worth giving its free service a shot to see if it works out for you, and if you are happy with it, then maybe you should consider upgrading to a paid option for an even better experience.


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Olivia Powell
Commissioning Editor for Tech Software

Olivia joined Android Central in October 2023 as part of the core Future Tech Software team, and is the Commissioning Editor for Tech Software. With a background in cybersecurity, Olivia stays up-to-date with all things cyber and creates content across sites including TechRadar Pro, TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, iMore, Windows Central, PC Gamer and Games Radar. She is particularly interested in threat intelligence, detection and response, data security, fraud prevention and the ever-evolving threat landscape.

With contributions from