The best mobile VPN apps in 2024

best mobile vpn
Bästa gratis VPN-tjänst (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A VPN isn't just for your desktop PC, work setup, or home office—you'll want to keep your mobile device secure from threats and third-party snoopers, too. Luckily, there are tons of great options for just about every device you can imagine.

Whether you're looking to shore up your security when using risky public Wi-Fi hotspots or need to access geo-restricted sites on the fly, the best VPNs in the business have your back. However, picking out the services that balance privacy and performance is a tricky task.

I've been putting VPNs to the test for years, and have rounded up my top iPhone VPN and Android VPN picks. I've taken their speed, security, and overall ease of use into account—and steered well clear of services that just don't meet my standards. So, let's jump right into my top 5 mobile VPNs.

Today's top 3 best mobile VPN apps:

1. NordVPN: the best mobile VPN of 2024

1. NordVPN: the best mobile VPN of 2024
NordVPN has been my go-to service for mobile devices for a while, now, thanks to its handy security tools and sleek apps. The auto-connect feature lets you set and forget NordVPN, too, and browse the web on the go without worrying about digital nasties.

If you're looking for an awesome Netflix VPN, NordVPN is my top choice. It's wickedly fast and unblocks content from around the world—and you can try it yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my NordVPN deep dive

2. ExpressVPN: easy-to-use apps for all devices

2. ExpressVPN: easy-to-use apps for all devices
I often recommend ExpressVPN to VPN newbies—its apps are a joy to use on mobile and packed with straightforward features. Plus, if you need help getting set up, 24/7 live chat support is always available.

ExpressVPN is more expensive than my other picks, but an extra 3 months of coverage is included for free when you pick up a 12-month plan. Take ExpressVPN for a test drive with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my ExpressVPN deep dive

3. Surfshark: rock-solid security for a bargain price

3. Surfshark: rock-solid security for a bargain price
Surfshark proves that rock-solid protection doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. It's an affordable VPN that packs a ton of functionality into its plan—and can unblock pretty much any streaming service you can imagine with no fuss.

You'll also get unlimited simultaneous connections to play with. That's great news if you have a lot of devices in the home (or want to share the love with friends and family). Check out Surfshark in your own time with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my Surfshark deep dive

Written by
Andreas Theodorou Editor-in-Chief Tech Software
Written by
Andreas Theodorou (MRes, BA)

Andreas is a digital privacy advocate and VPN expert. After completing a Master of Research degree, he turned his attention to cybersecurity—investigating the use of invasive tracking cookies in the charity sector, and fighting for the preservation of our online freedoms.

The best mobile VPN services in 2024

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Ready to take a closer look at my top VPN recommendations for mobile? Keep scrolling, and I'll cover each provider's features, test results, what I liked (and what I didn't), as well as how they compare with their closest competitors.

Recent updates

We recently completed our most recent round of VPN testing—and NordVPN has dethroned the long-reigning ExpressVPN. I've updated the page rankings to reflect this shift.

The best VPN overall

NordVPN Android

(Image credit: NordVPN)

1. NordVPN

Well-featured and popular VPN for streaming

Maximum devices supported: 6 | Play Store rating: 4.5 | App Store rating:: 4.7

5,400+ servers across 60 countries
Tons of security extras
Very fast speed performance
Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Disney Plus
Slightly clunky map interface on apps

While NordVPN does everything you’d expect from my #1 VPN overall, those who look a little deeper will notice that there are some useful, unusual features lurking under the hood. These include double data encryption and Onion support, NordVPN’s own CyberSec technology, a clear no-log policy and P2P support. Plenty going on, then.

A real plus is the high-speed proprietary NordLynx protocol built around WireGuard. NordVPN did sit as one of the fastest providers. While its speeds have dropped a touch, it's still boasting an exceptional 730-760Mbps. Those toting an iPhone or iPad can select NordLynx and be treated to near-unaffected connection speeds while still remaining anonymous online.

This is great news for those looking to stream on their mobile device, which many do, especially on the move, offering reliable, quick connections. NordVPN also currently proves to be one of the strongest Netflix VPNs, able to access Netflix libraries in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. It successfully unblocks Disney Plus, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, too.

We found both the iOS and Android apps slightly hindered by the choice to use the map-based location selector tool as the default view - though this could be considered fairly subjective. We’d have much preferred to see a list from the get-go, but fortunately, it’s only a swipe away. Otherwise, NordVPN provides stellar mobile service, and is an especially great choice for iOS users.

The best VPN for beginners

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

2. ExpressVPN

The best mobile VPN overall—simple and reliable apps for Android and iOS

Maximum devices supported: 5 | Play Store rating: 4.5 | App Store rating:: 4.7

Slick iOS & Android apps
Top-notch 24/7 customer support
Superb on other platforms and devices
Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Disney Plus
An expensive service, but it's the best VPN provider around

ExpressVPN is a stellar service—few services can match it in terms of security, speed, and compatibility. Its iOS and Android apps are some of the best I've ever tested, too.

Both sets of apps are a piece of cake to install. The process only takes a minute, and once you're up and running, navigating the apps is just as straightforward. All of ExpressVPN's key features are exactly where you'd expect them to be, which is great news for VPN newbies, and all it takes is one tap to connect to a server.

Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

On the subject of servers, ExpressVPN gives you plenty to choose from, dotted across 94 countries. That's more than most of its competitors, and ExpressVPN can even recommend the quickest connection if you're looking to prioritize speed. Picking out a server overseas is made easy, thanks to the ExpressVPN server list, and you can add your most-used servers to a favorite list for easy access next time.

ExpressVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs on the market—thanks, in part, to its lightning-fast speeds of 750 Mbps. I had no trouble accessing the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime via my Android, meaning you'll be able to take your favorite shows on the go with you when you're on the commute or on your lunch break.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are notoriously unsecure, with hackers, cybercriminals, and other dodgy crooks fishing for your personal information. It's not always possible to avoid using these handy hotspots, however, especially if you're killing time in an airport or train station. Luckily, ExpressVPN has rock-solid encryption that keeps your private data safe from prying eyes—and a handy kill switch ensures you won't leak sensitive info even if the VPN connection drops.

If you encounter any issues, or have a burning question about which server to use when on the go, you can reach out to the ExpressVPN customer service team via live chat or email. They're around 24/7 and have always been more than happy to tackle even the most techy queries.

The best cheap VPN service

(Image credit: Pixabay)

3. Surfshark

Bargain VPN for your mobile

Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Play Store rating: 4.3 | App Store rating:: 4.7

Excellent value multi-year plan
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Unblocks Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer 
Excellent WireGuard performance
Below average OpenVPN speeds

Surfshark is a great option if you’re looking for one of the best value cheap VPNs to install onto your smartphone. The headline of a two-year plan for under $2.50/£2 a month is enough to draw many in, but Surfshark doesn’t scrimp on features either. 

The mobile offerings are near enough indistinguishable from the easy-to-use desktop client, and include essential features like split tunneling, plenty of server locations and a selection of protocols to choose from. 

Connection speeds have proven to be stable, with Android users being treated to a choice of encryption methods, the option of using small packets to optimize mobile data use, and even a fake GPS tool to help completely spoof your location.

However, for those with more devices than USB ports to charge them from, Surfshark’s unlimited connections will be indispensable – you’ll be able to stay covered on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S21, Microsoft Surface Go, Mac Pro, smart TV, Wi-Fi router… With a single subscription to Surfshark, you’ll be able to protect just about anything you own that can connect to the internet.

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend

(Image credit: Hide.Me)


Mobile VPN apps give competition a run for their money

Maximum devices supported: 10 | Play Store rating: 4.4 | App Store rating:: 4.5

Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and Prime Video
Great mobile apps
Incredibly fast speeds
10GB monthly free plan
Kill switch issues
No recent security audit has been climbing up in our estimations within the last year with its mobile VPN apps offering some of the best, fully-featured user experiences on the market. Boasting a clean, easy-to-use interface, you can connect almost immediately with a big, fat 'Enable' button, and sift between server locations without issue, with the option to curate your own favorites list, too.

Able to now unblock a bunch of the top streaming services, has knocked it out of the park in our last round of testing. Already delivering blisteringly fast speeds, comes in #2 just behind TorGuard with peaks of 900Mbps, making it one of the fastest VPN.

While there was some lagging when it came to connecting through either of the mobile apps, and some killer switch kinks that need ironing out, has one of the strongest mobile VPN app offerings. With support for IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP and TCP, and WireGuard, it also has auto-connect functionality, the aforementioned kill switch, and the choice of a custom DNS server.

Not to mention, if you're new to VPN, you can try out its free VPN plan to see if it's the one for you with a monthly allowance of 10 GB.

(Image credit: Proton VPN)

5. Proton VPN

A feature packed mobile VPN for the tech savvy

Maximum devices supported: 10 | Play Store rating: 3.9 | App Store rating:: 3.8

Free plan with unlimited data
Great speeds on WireGuard and OpenVPN
Mobile apps are open source and audited
Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Prime Video, Disney Plus
Above average pricing
Lower app store ratings

Setting itself apart from its competition, Proton VPN gears itself towards the tech-savvy with mobile VPNs that come fully loaded with plenty of features and configurable settings to create a client that meets your needs. Better still, its free VPN is a great stepping stone for complete newbies, too.

Broadening its network, Proton VPN's 1,700+ servers now reaches across 63 countries and offers open sourced, audited apps that boast a map interface, as well as a location list and the option to compile a Favorites Profile. You'll also be able to benefit from its Quick Connect button and - on Android - the option to view the app in portrait and landscape.

Features like its effective kill switch and no-logging reports headline its feature-packed app, with the added bolster of its great streaming unblocking prowess, though the downside is you'll need to fork out for its Plus plan to gain access to the feature and watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Disney Plus.

It's fair to say Proton VPN has lower ratings on its respective application stores than the other providers on our best mobile VPN list. However, we largely put this down to it being a far more technically inclined app, or it may be swayed by people using the free version. For many, then, this may be off-putting, but for those more confident with the world of VPN, Proton VPN offers plenty of configurable options.


What makes a great mobile VPN app?

When looking at mobile VPN apps, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Firstly, and most importantly for the majority of users, is it easy to use? If you’re stuck three taps deep in a settings menu just to change your server, you’re not going to have a good time using the app in the long term. Simplicity rules here, and all the VPNs on this list are clean and clear. 

Secondly, make sure there’s enough functionality compared to the desktop client. Many providers offer incredibly in-depth settings on their VPN apps for Windows, but open its iOS or Android app, and you might struggle to find the options you’ve grown used to. 

Many users won’t care about customization, like switching encryption protocols for better streaming or torrenting, but if you do—or think you might ever have the urge to investigate—make sure the app will give you the control where you need it. 

Finally, value! There are plenty of top-quality VPNs out there now, so there’s no point paying through the nose for an average service. The very best will never be the cheapest (and free VPN providers aren't an ideal solution), but weigh up your budget and your needs to find a happy medium.

What can I do with a mobile VPN app?

Most importantly, you protect your device and data, especially when you're on public Wi-Fi networks. Whether you’re in a supermarket, on a train, at the hospital, or working away in a café, using public Wi-Fi exposes you to unencrypted connections, leaving your logins and personal information up for grabs.

A mobile VPN can also help you save money shopping online. Many sites charge different prices depending on your IP address, so by moving your location around you’ll be able to find the best deals on whatever you’re looking for.

Finally, everyone’s favorite trick, a VPN lets you access foreign Netflix libraries. All the VPNs on this list give you access to Netflix all over the world. So, wherever you are—bus, train, on the toilet—you’ll be able to watch whatever you want on your mobile device. 

All you need to do is pick your choice from this list and bask in the glory of true internet freedom.

Edited by
River Hart Tech Software Editor
Edited by
River Hart

River helps take care of cybersecurity content on TechRadar—ranging from breaking news pieces, reviews, and buying guides.


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.

Adam Zeis
Editorial Director - High Yield

Adam is the Editorial Director of High-Yield content at Future. Leading an outstanding team, he oversees many articles the publisher produces about subscriptions and services including VPN, TV streaming, and broadband. In addition to identifying new e-commerce opportunities, he has produced extensive buying guides, how-to-watch content, deal news, and in-depth reviews. Adam's work can be seen on numerous Future brands including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, TTR, Android Central, iMore, Windows Central, and Real Homes.

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