The best Android VPN apps 2024

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Safeguarding your digital security shouldn't become an afterthought when you shut your laptop—especially when you consider how many of us spend way more time on our Android devices. Luckily, a virtual private network (VPN) can help boost your privacy by spoofing your IP address and encrypting all of your personal info.

The best VPN services for Android can also keep your identity under wraps when you connect to notoriously unsecure public Wi-Fi hotspots, and prevent ads from tracking your activity across the web. You'll also have no trouble unblocking streaming platforms from around the world with a VPN, so you can catch up on old favorites and new series on your Android in just a few taps.

The TechRadar team has 15 years of experience to draw on when it comes to reviewing VPNs—which is handy, seeing as there are tons of services on the market. I've compared the Android apps, speed, security features, and price of today's top services to put together this list of the best VPNs for Android.

Written by
Chiara Castro, cybersecurity expert and VPN news reporter
Written by
Chiara Castro

Reporting on the latest trends and happenings in the world of cybersecurity, Chiara's investigative journalism helps keep our provider analysis at the cutting edge.

The three best Android VPNs in 2024

Need a quick answer? No worries. Here are my top 3 Android VPN picks.

1. NordVPN: the best Android VPN

1. NordVPN: the best Android VPN
NordVPN is a massively popular service that works like a charm on Android devices—and just about any other gadget you happen to have. A sleek interface, blistering speeds, and awesome unblocking power make NordVPN a reliable all-rounder that you can count on to shore up your digital security.

I really enjoy NordVPN's ad-blocking and malware-protection tools, too, and they come in handy if you're looking for an easy way to protect a child's Android. Interested? Check it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my NordVPN deep dive

2. ExpressVPN: easy to use and super-speedy

2. ExpressVPN: easy to use and super-speedy
ExpressVPN is my #1 pick for VPN newbies. It's incredibly easy to use, even if you've never picked up a VPN before, and all of its apps look divine. ExpressVPN is wickedly quick, too, and more than capable of keeping up with your HD/4K streaming sessions.

There's no denying that ExpressVPN is more expensive than some of its closest competitors, but the price buys you unbeatable quality. TechRadar readers can also claim 3 months FREE on a 12-month plan, and you'll have a 30-day money-back guarantee to take advantage of, too, so you can test ExpressVPN in your own time.

↪ Read more in my ExpressVPN deep dive

3. Surfshark: the best budget VPN for Androidp

3. Surfshark: the best budget VPN for Androidp
If you're looking for an absolute steal, then Surfshark is the service for you. Its prices are downright minuscule, but the provider still manages to outperform competitors that charge twice as much. Surfshark is quick, unblocks virtually everything, and has beginner-friendly apps for all devices.

Oh, and speaking of devices, you'll also get unlimited simultaneous connections with your Surfshark plan, so you can share round-the-clock security with friends and family. Take the service for a test drive with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my Surfshark deep dive

Recent updates

I've updated the page rankings to reflect the results of the most recent TechRadar VPN tests—and NordVPN now sits at the #1 spot. I've also spruced up the page navigation and double-checked all of the facts and figures.

The best Android VPN for 2024:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

See how my top picks VPN for Android compare as I discuss reasons to subscribe, reasons to avoid, my test results, what I liked most about each provider, and how each service compares with the competition.

The best VPN overall

(Image credit: Future)

1. NordVPN

An ace app from one of the biggest names in the business

Dedicated Android app: Yes | Integrated kill switch: No | Downloads: 50 million+ | Also available for: Windows, Mac, iOS. Linux | Maximum devices: 6 | Play Store review: 4.5

Double data encryption
Excellent speeds 
Tons of app features
Audits of apps, no logging claims, IOxT certification of Android app
Still not keen on map-first interface
Above average renewal prices 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You like blazing-fast speeds: NordVPN is one of the quickest VPNs I've tested in a long time—which is great news for avid streamers.
✔️ Security is everything: strong encryption, Double VPN, ad/malware-blockers, and Onion Over VPN are just some of its advanced security features
✔️ You appreciate a dedicated IP option: Whether you need one for business or personal use, NordVPN offers fixed IP addresses for a small fee.

Don't subscribe if:

You have a lot of devices: NordVPN currently supports 6 simultaneous connections. You'll get more for your money with Surfshark's unlimited connections.
❌ You use port forwarding: if you're a torrenter looking for a way to supercharge your torrenting, you'll want to check out ExpressVPN's port forwarding feature.
❌ You are after a simple Android VPN app: NordVPN's map-style interface might be a bit clunky for some users, especially those new to the VPN world. 

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 NordVPN is my #1 pick for Android users thanks to its snappy speeds and awesome UI. You can take it for a test drive today with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN is one of the biggest and best-known VPNs on the block—and there's a good reason for it. The VPN has scored more than 50 million downloads and a top Google Play rating, and works like a charm on Android.

NordVPN offers, in fact, a greater wealth of advanced security features compared to many competitors. Our favorites include split tunneling, enhanced CyberSec malware shield, auto-connect, dedicated IP, Double VPN technology, and the speedy NordLynx protocol. It also operates a strict ‘zero logs’ policy (regularly audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers no less) which promises to never track your online activities. This has even been backed up on Android with ioXt Alliance certification.

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

If all this wouldn't be enough already, its new Meshnet tool allows you to create your own secure network to connect your and other devices via encrypted NordVPN connections. It is, perhaps, the most valuable built-in bonus VPN feature we’ve seen so far. Even better now as it's free to use for all users.

The NordVPN Android app is easy to download and use. However, we have to admit that we are not fans of the servers map view but there is the option for switching to a more standard list format (this uses only flag icons, though). Plus, recent upgrades made the map more thumb-friendly now. 

Nord's overall strength when it comes to unblocking websites and getting around streaming restrictions is almost unparalleled. It ticks off all the big streaming giants, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, making it a great choice for all the Android streamers out there. Some excellent speeds during our last round of testing also placed the provider among the fastest VPNs on the market with peaks of 950+Mbps with NordLynx. 

The app provides a live chat feature for 24/7 customer support, too. This is great, allowing you to iron out any niggles you might be having without even leaving the app itself.

There's no need to take our word for granted, though, as you can try NordVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee before you commit. The multi-year offer is clearly the best choice in terms of overall value.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
NordVPN test results:
DesignA fun design that can be a little busy for some people⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEverything is easy to find, but the map interface can be off-putting, and there isn't much attention to detail⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThe fastest VPN in our latest round of tests⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingPerfect for Netflix and other streaming sites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyEvery bit as strong as ExpressVPN⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportFriendly, supportive and professional⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceFantastic value for money⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best VPN for beginners

ExpressVPN on Android devicesTechRadar Editor's Choice award logo

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

2. ExpressVPN

The best VPN for newbies

Dedicated Android app: Yes | Integrated kill switch: Yes | Downloads: 50 million+ | Also available for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux | Maximum devices: 8 | Play Store review: 4.4

Delightfully designed Android app
Ultra-reliable kill switch 
Unblocks a ton of streaming platforms
24/7 live chat support
A beginner-friendly service
Other providers offer unlimited device connections
Above-average prices 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You value your privacy: ExpressVPN packs military-grade encryption and an independently audited no-logs policy, keeping your data under lock and key.
✔️ You want to unblock content: with servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is well-equipped to unblock streaming content from anywhere.
✔️ You're new to VPNs: an auto-connect feature and user-friendly Android interface make ExpressVPN a great choice for first-time VPN users.

Don't subscribe if:

You need a cheap VPN: if you're working with a limited budget, you'll get more for your money with Surfshark.
You want more simultaneous connections: 8 simultaneous connections aren't bad, but Surfshark and Windscribe support unlimited devices.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for Android users who prioritize reliable performance, privacy and security, a vast server network, and user-friendly applications. 

Want to know more?

Visit my ExpressVPN review for all the details about this industry-leading service.

There are so many things to like about ExpressVPN and its Android offering. The dedicated app is extremely user-friendly and straightforward, but also offers a lot of advanced options for folks who want to customize their VPN experience. One of my favorite features is the one-click connect, which lets you secure your device (and all your sensitive info) with one tap of a power button.

There are a huge amount of servers to choose from, too, and they're dotted across 94 countries. You can scroll through the server list to pick out a specific location, add servers to a handy favorites system, or let ExpressVPN recommend servers based on speed.

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

On the subject of speed, ExpressVPN is no slouch. The provider clocked in at 750 Mbps during my most recent round of testing. That's slower than the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark, but still more than 30 times what you need to enjoy HD and 4K streaming, smooth torrenting, and online gaming. Oh, and the service is more than capable of unblocking your favorite streaming platforms (like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime).

On a security level, ExpressVPN offers AES 256-bit encryption and many secure protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN and its very own WireGuard-based Lightway (which recently aced its second audit and added post-quantum protections). Better still, the Android app has been certified by the ioXt Alliance (further details on that at the bottom of this page). 

The good thing is that in case you run into any difficulties at all with this VPN—whether that be when you install the ExpressVPN Android app or during use—its website features a wide array of handy content and video guides, as well as 24/7 customer support by live chat.

ExpressVPN isn't certainly the cheapest VPN out there, or the one for you if you wish to protect all your household—it recently expanded its multi-device allowance, though, from five to eight. However, you can always try it 100% risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, TechRadar's readers can take advantage of an excellent value by signing up for its 12-month plan...

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ExpressVPN test results:
DesignA clean and simple design that gives you everything you need, exactly when you need it⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive apps with auto-connect functionality make life easier⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for anything you could throw at it, but slower than NordVPN and Surfshark⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEffortlessly gives you access to content around the world⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyExpress offers military-grade protection for total peace of mind⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAlways available, friendly, and helpful⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceMore expensive than leading competitors⭐⭐⭐

The best cheap Android VPN service


(Image credit: Pixabay)

3. Surfshark

So easy to use and at a very good price point

Dedicated Android app: Yes | Integrated kill switch: Yes | Downloads: 10 million+ | Also available for: Windows, Mac, iOS. Linux | Maximum devices: Unlimited | Play Store review: 4.3

Really attractive prices
Use on as many devices as you like
Integrated GPS spoofing
7-day free trial for Android users
OpenVPN speeds below average
Kill switch issues under extreme testing
Subscribe if:

✔️ You value affordability: Surfshark is a great cost-effective VPN solution that doesn't compromise on features and performance.
✔️ You need GPS spoofing: Surfshark Android app is one of the very few to include this feature to make it more difficult for apps to see where you really are.
✔️ You need to protect your whole household:  Surfshark offers unlimited device connections with just one subscription.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need a torrenting VPN: despite Surfshark being more than capable, we found ExpressVPN P2P connections to be more reliable.
You need advanced customization options: for specific features that are not available in Surfshark, we advise looking into Nord VPN.
May prompt captchas when browsing on mobile: many search engine entries involve having to complete a captcha before you can continue, presumably because the shared IP address was flagged for some reason.

Bottom line⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Surfshark is a solid choice for Android users looking for a cheap, reliable and privacy-focused VPN to secure as many devices as you need at the same time.

Surfshark is an obvious first choice for many thanks to its market-shattering pricing that makes it the best cheap VPN right now. A tiny price doesn't mean low quality, though. And that applies to its Android app, too.

Unlike a lot of other providers, Surfshark barely alters the user interface from desktop to mobile. It means you can easily get security features like the dedicated kill switch, split tunnelling, integrated malware blocker and double-hop for extra safety. The provider has also just introduced a dedicated IP feature for an additional fee.

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

But what really sets Shurfshark apart from its competitors is that it includes a GPS spoofing feature, enabling it to return the coordinates of your chosen VPN server. It's actually the only Android VPN app we've seen doing that. Not something everybody will use, but a handy feature if you want to, for example, get a location for fake GPS for Pokémon Go playing (although, even then, it requires some workarounds).

As well as offering the market-standard AES-256 encryption and the aforementioned features, Surfshark also boasts its own private DNS and a recently audited no-logs policy. Its most worrying downside is around its kill switch issues. However, these occur only in extreme situations and on Windows. So, you should be perfectly covered on Android. 

In our latest round of testing, Surfshark also proved to be one of the strongest for unblocking, especially if you're after a Netflix VPN. The provider was able to access Netflix libraries in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. It'll also easily open the gates to Disney Plus, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. And, despite its speeds being below average when connected to the OpenVPN protocol, it confirmed itself among the fastest VPNs with WireGuard, reaching peaks of 950Mbps last time we checked. 

If you do need support or spot a bug, then it's easy to raise support tickets right from the app itself. But in our experience, you won't be using that function too much. Surfshark keeps things really straightforward on mobile.

And assuming you'll want to use this VPN on your laptop, TV streaming device, router and other gadgets as well, you would be happy to know that you can connect unlimited devices with just one subscription.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Surfshark test results:
DesignEasy to use and elegant⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useConnecting only takes a few clicks—ideal for newbiesideal for newbe⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest providers we tested⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks virtually everything you'll need⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyNot a comprehensive antivirus or ad-blocking solution, and some kill switch ossues⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportBrowsing support articles isn't as intuitive as I'd like⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceReal value for money⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend

Proton VPN in use on a smartphone

(Image credit: Proton VPN)

4. Proton VPN

A powerful performer and streaming unblocker

Dedicated Android app: Yes | Integrated kill switch: Yes | Downloads: 10 million+ | Also available for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux | Maximum devices: 10 | Play Store review: 4.5

Free plan with unlimited data
No significant logging of any kind  
Open source, audited and top-quality Android apps 
Improved network coverage (also for free plan)
Above average pricing
Customer support needs improvement
Subscribe if:

✔️ You are after a secure free VPN: ProtonVPN offers a free plan with unlimited-bandwidth, 100 servers across three countries and great security.
✔️ You need advanced security: its Secure Core servers route internet traffic via multiple privacy-enhancing servers in different countries for extra protection.
✔️ You value open-source apps: all ProtonVPN applications are open-sourced, meaning that anyone can check its code for vulnerabilities and/or false claims.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need a large server network: while Proton VPN has a decent server network, it's not as extensive as some other providers.
❌ You need a free VPN for Netflix: Proton VPN supports Netflix and other advanced features just on their Premium plans.
You need a free VPN for torrenting: again, you need to upgrade to its Premium plans to use its P2P-optimized servers.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ProtonVPN's free plan option is a good option for those looking for basic VPN functionality without spending money, but it's the premium service that really shines. 

Developed by the renowned team behind ProtonMail, the world's largest encrypted email service, ProtonVPN operates with the same level of commitment, expertise and transparency. Its wide-range of secure apps are, in fact, all fully audited and open-source—a great plus for anyone looking to establish for themselves the level of security the VPN can offer.

For those who enjoy a map interface but want an alternative option to NordVPN, Proton VPN's Android app isn't dissimilar from its desktop counterpart. You'll also find a useful location list and favorite server system.

Try Proton VPN's unlimited free plan.

In terms of features, Proton VPN's mobile apps boast more than usual, another tick against this provider. You'll find its Quick Connect option, as well as its Secure Core technology, which routes you through multiple servers for better defense against network attacks. On top of that, expect a kill switch, MultiHop VPN function, Netshield (aka, its ad-blocker), and split tunneling.

One of the most secure VPNs around, Proton VPN already has excellent Swiss privacy laws on its side thanks to its headquarters within the country. It also boasts DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Along with AES-256-GCM encryption, Proton also offers HMAC-384 for authentication. What's more, we couldn't find any trackers on its website nor Android apps last time we checked. 

As mentioned, Proton VPN is a strong streaming VPN. It unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and plenty of the biggest streaming platforms you might want to watch straight from your smartphone. Yet, we have experienced a further decrease in speed this time around, with its WireGuard peaks dropping from 510 to 460Mpbs. Our expert ensures these results should still translate into decent connections overall, though. 

Another small downside is that live chat support is not 24/7 yet, probably an issue to those new to the world of VPNs. In terms of simultaneous connections, despite not being the best, Proton is nonetheless well-placed with an allowance of 10 devices connected at once.

The provider is also a great option if you're after a secure free VPN. It has even recently improved its network coverage, passing from 29 free servers to more than 100. However, you need to upgrade to its paid plans to enjoy its great streaming service unblocking track-record, P2P customized servers and excellent speeds. Its new family subscriptions might be just the right solution for bigger households.

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Proton VPN test results:
DesignIf you like dark mode, you'll love this interface⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useFairly easy on mobile, but a bit more complex on desktop⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceDecent speeds, but there's a risk of congestion on free servers⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingLimits unblocking to premium services but otherwise fantastic⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyStrong encryption and plenty of security add-ons available⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAgents can be hard to get ahold of, but there's a lot of very technical support available⭐⭐⭐
PriceModerately expensive premium plans, but a great free plan⭐⭐⭐⭐

Windscribe mobile VPN app

(Image credit: Postmodern Studio /

5. Windscribe

Lots of features for this improved Android VPN

Dedicated Android app: Yes | Integrated kill switch: Yes | Downloads: 10 million+ | Also available for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux | Maximum devices: Unlimited | Play Store review: 4

Crammed with advanced features and functionality
10GB free data allowance
Good value with very flexible plans
Unlimited simultaneous connections
No security audit or 24/7 live chat support (but coming soon)  
Apps might intimidate newbies with their many options
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a free VPN with a bigger network: unlike Proton VPN, Windscribe offers 11 countries to choose from on its free servers.
✔️ You want to pretend you're in Antarctica: that's right, Windscribe has a fake Antarctica server, so you can pretend to be a penguin accessing international content.
✔️ You are a dissidents: an exclusive of Android apps, Windescribe Decoy Mode seeks to help dissidents avoid detection in extreme situations. 

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need a longer trial period: Windscribe allows for a refund only within 3 days of purchase and if must have used less than 10GB.
❌ You want an audited VPN: Windscribe is open source, so anyone can audit, but it has yet to commit to a proper, independent third-party audit.
❌ You appreciate affordability: it's a great service, but even Windscribe's cheapest premium plan just doesn't offer the same value for money as the likes of Surfshark.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Windscribe offers an amazing free plan, but its premium service struggles to compete with the industry leaders in terms of value.

Another service that keeps improving, we've found Windscribe to have addressed some of the issues that were holding it back in the past. This makes it a fairly new entry in our best Android VPN guide.

If you are used to the Windscribe interface on a Windows browser, you won't find any differences: the distinct background flag, the big On/Off button, details on your new IP and preferred protocol. 

Try Windscribe for free today.

In terms of features, all Windscibe apps are crammed with advanced functionality that, perhaps, most users will never make a use of. These include its R.O.B.E.R.T. system that block IP addresses and domains of your choice on all devices, static IPs option, port forwarding and split tunneling. A nice addition on Android apps only is its Decoy Mode to help dissidents avoid detection in extreme situations. We've even tested its tracker and malware blocking system and found it really effective.  

The provider offers only the best in terms of VPN protocols (WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN) supporting strong AES-256 encryption and stealth technologies to avoid VPN blocks. It doesn't keep any identifying logs and, even though its security infrastructure hasn't been audited yet, its apps are all open-source so anyone can check its code for vulnerabilities. What's more, we couldn't find any trackers on its website nor Android apps last time we checked. 

Windscribe unlocked almost all the main streaming platforms during our last test. However, it failed to do so with ITV, C4, 9Now and 10 play. It also unlocked only the US Netflix catalog. Its connection speeds seriously improved, though, placing itself alongside the likes of Nord and Surfshark among the fastest VPNs thanks to peaks of 950+Mbps when connected to the WireGuard protocol.

Even though it isn't active yet, 24/7 live chat support is on its way. This means that users struggling to work out the many features included in Windscribe Android apps will still need to rely on its website tutorials for a bit longer.   

Overall, Windscribe is still a bit behind its competitors in accommodating any type of users, from experts to newcomers. However, it also comes with a powerful and feature-packed free VPN with 10GB of data allowance and unlimited connections included. But remember, you have to upgrade to a paid plan if you want to use its streaming VPN function.  

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Windscribe test results:
DesignGenerally simple, but quite cluttered⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive, but may feel complicated for beginners⭐⭐⭐
PerformancePretty average for WireGuard⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingDecent unblocking, but couldn't access Amazon Prime in our tests⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyRobust and open-source, but lacking an independent audit⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportNo live chat, but helpful on-site content and quick responses to emails⭐⭐⭐
PriceWe always love free plans, but the premium plan is quite expensive⭐⭐⭐

How to choose the best Android VPN

Head to the Play Store on your smartphone and you'll see tons of VPN apps. Beware, though, as many of those are shady free VPNs likely to offer you a poor experience or, in the worst scenario, expose your data with a third-party tracking library—exactly what you are trying to avoid here. 

We try and test a ton of services all the time to only select the ones combining tight security and watertight privacy policies. Some providers have now started verifying their apps with the ioXt Alliance, too, giving even more peace of mind.

In terms of functionality, an Android VPN app should be as user-friendly as possible. Ensure it supports your version of Android, with most going back at least to Pie and usually beyond. 

It's also worth noting that while you'll find all the VPN services in our list featured in the Google Play Store, we'd definitely recommend looking into them more closely and signing up directly on their websites to ensure that you get the best possible price.

Best Android VPN FAQs

What can I do with an Android VPN?

First thing's first, they act as an excellent first line of defence alongside Android antivirus in protecting yourself when online. The nature of their encrypted tunnelling and ability to keep your IP address secret makes them a wonderful way to keep cyber criminals at bay—no more worrying about online banking and shopping while using unfamiliar networks.

But it's their shapeshifting, geo-spoofing abilities that have made the popularity of Android VPNs explode. The fact you can log into a server in another country elsewhere in the world means that you don't have to miss out on the stuff you'd usually stream to your mobile/tablet when abroad on holiday or business.

And they've proved a great way of getting around blocked websites. Where mobiles are concerned, a fantastic example is using WhatsApp in China, as well as other sites and service. The state may have blocked some of the big hitters, but they can't do anything about it when you use your Android VPN app to make it look like you're in another country entirely!

What devices can I use an Android VPN on?

From your Samsung Galaxy S22 to your Lenovo Tab P11 Pro, Android VPNs are primed and ready to work with all the modern smartphones and tablets running on the OS.

If you're a few generations behind (still using that trusty old Samsung Galaxy Note 8?) then you should generally be covered, too, as the best Android VPN apps go back a fair few iterations. For example, the NordVPN app is compatible with devices still running Marshmallow, while ExpressVPN and Surfshark go even further back to Lollipop.

It's worth noting some Android VPN can even be used as a Smart TV VPN depending on what kind of TV you have, too.

ExpressVPN Android interface

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

How do I setup a VPN on my Android phone?

First thing's's reeeeeally easy. And you even have two options to choose from.

The first involves you scrolling back up this page, choosing the app that you like the look of best (and don't forget, all these VPNs have free trials, so you really don't have to worry too much about committing) and click the link to go through to the website. From there, you'll be able to select your plan, sign up, download and install. Away you go!

Alternatively, get yourself over to the Play Store and search for your chosen VPN app. But it's worth noting that if you go down this road, you might end up missing out on some of the awesome exclusive pricing and VPN deals that only TechRadar readers can get by clicking through to the provider from our pages.

Should I get a free VPN app for Android?

Even a quick dip into the Play Store menu will show that there are ridiculous amounts of available free apps that you can download. Some will be fine, some will be far from fine, but none will really be excellent.

We'd suggest only going for a freebie if you really don't tend to use your VPN app very much at all. Otherwise, you'll soon bump in to annoying usage restrictions and realise pretty sharpish that free versions only tend to have a handful of servers each (unlike the 5,000+ odd like providers such as NordVPN offer). And when you consider that downloading Surfshark costs less than $2.50 USD per month, you may as well put your hand in your pocket for one of the very best Android VPNs around.

How can I fake my location on Android?

While all good Android VPN apps will let you change location of your IP address to a server elsewhere, they don't all include fake GPS technology.

In fact, of the big players out there, only Surfshark has an integrated GPS spoofing tool. That makes it the obvious choice if your main reason for getting a VPN is for use with Pokémon Go or similar mobile games.

What is the ioXt Alliance?

With their spelled out no-logging policies and growing number of independent audits, the challenge VPN companies face is it show that your private web usage is safe in their hands. A new way they have started to do this is by getting certification of their Android apps from the ioXt Alliance - an organisation that seeks to build confidence in the Internet of Things.

In order to get the certificate, providers need to show that their Android VPN apps meet eight strict criteria:

- No universal passwords

- Secured interfaces

- Proven cryptography

- Security by default

- Verified software

- Automatic security updates

- Vulnerability reporting program

- Security expiration date

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.

Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to

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