Do I need to download a VPN for my Android phone?

person using an android VPN app
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Most people use a virtual private network (VPN) to browse the web securely away from home and work their way around restrictions on region-specific content or websites. So it's no surprise that you might want one on your Android smartphone.

There are lots of scenarios in which you might use a VPN for such purposes, for example, when logging on to a public (and unsecured) Wi-Fi networks or logging into your Netflix account when abroad. 

Of course, you won’t always have a laptop with you and may be carrying only your Android phone. In such cases, you might want to consider downloading an Android VPN app.

  • See also: our dedicated list of the best working Netflix VPN

Is it worth downloading a VPN on my Android?

There are two major reasons why a mobile VPN app installed on your Android phone can be of benefit: internet security and circumnavigating geographical restrictions. 

If you travel a lot and want to enjoy your favorite streaming services, like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime while on the road, a VPN app for your smartphone could be very useful. A good VPN app will trick the streaming service you're trying to access into thinking that you are still in a legitimate geographical location by routing your request through an intermediary server in the desired region. 

Going public

Do you often log on to public Wi-Fi networks with your Android phone? You should probably think about securing your data. With so much information stored on your phone, from login details to online accounts to personal financial information, it’s a good idea to get some extra protection.

Of course getting hold of Android antivirus makes sense, but with a VPN you can ensure your data is encrypted and almost impossible to access - even if you are logged on to a public network with questionable security features. That means as close to true online anonymity as you can get.

ExpressVPN on Android phone

ExpressVPN is our top rated #1 VPN for Android phones (Image credit: Future)
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What kind of VPN app is best for my Android?

There are lots of VPN providers out there, from free VPN services to iOS users that require iPhone VPNs. Of course, Android users are no exception and that's why we've compiled our dedicated guide to the best Android VPNs available today.

Do your research and choose an app that works best with your Android phone from our guide. And be aware there can be a large disparity between the price of these services, so be sure to look at competing products before deciding on a winner.

In short, you'll want a service where the devs have really thought about how the VPN should work smoothly and intuitively on Android. It's also worth looking out to see whether the provider your eyeing up has a custom kill switch for Androids - an extra layer of protection that not all VPN apps are able to offer.

Do I need to download a VPN app for my Android phone?

Installing a VPN app on your Android is never a bad idea. It will not only make browsing safer, particularly when logged into public Wi-Fi networks, but also allow you to access content restricted to specific regions. And the best VPNs won't bog down your device's memory, either.

Before you go ahead and download the app, though, you need to ask yourself how often you’ll need to use it. If you’re a regular traveler, keen to access content available at home on the go, or someone that frequently connects to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, then we'd seriously suggest you download an app.

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Kieron is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for magazines in print and online. Today, his focus is on cybersecurity, blockchain, and emerging tech.