Tips and Tricks

Best Android VPN apps 2022

It’s hard to believe that no more than five years ago, the term ‘Android VPN‘ was barely known outside IT infrastructure personnel. But now they are so mainstream that millions of us carry Android VPN apps around with us on our smartphones and tablets.

As well as helping use the web securely – particularly if you’re using public Wi-Fi or cellular – Android VPNs are celebrated software for their ability to help you access geographically restricted apps, stream content that might normally be blocked (from foreign Netflix catalogs to overseas sports action) and much more.

best vpn for android

Fortunately, pretty much all of the best providers out there have dedicated Android VPN apps you can install, specially designed with mobile use in mind. And because the Google Play Store is jam-packed with hundreds of Android VPNs vying for your attention, we’re on hand to explain what features to look out for and the very best Android VPN apps that we’ve found from our testing and reviews.

How to choose the best Android VPN app

A dedicated Android VPN app should of course be as user-friendly as possible. Ensure it supports your version of Android, with most going back at least to Pie and usually beyond. As you’re probably going to want to use your Android VPN on loads of other devices as well, you’ll also want one that works with your computer’s operating system and has enough licenses to cover all your gadgets.

Other considerations are tight security – a kill switch is handy so that you’re not left exposed if your internet connection drops – and of course a privacy policy and terms of service that make it clear what logs and details are kept by the provider. Some providers have now started verifying their apps with the ioXt Alliance, too, giving even more peace of mind.

And a word of warning: avoid the dodgy ones on the Play Store as quite a few promise to provide free privacy but don’t mention the strings attached. Instead, go for one of the ace Android VPN apps that we’ve listed below.

Today’s top 3 best Android VPNs:

1. ExpressVPN – #1 best Android VPN app
ExpressVPN has the speed, security, and simplicity of use that really makes it stand out from the crowd. That’s no different on Android, which makes using a VPN on your smartphone an absolute doddle – plus, it comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee and 3 months extra free.

2. NordVPN – VPN’s biggest name is ace on Android
Nord’s popularity (counting over 10 million Android users) is not unfounded. It may be a tad clunkier to use than Express’s in our view, but it really brings the goods when it comes to security and speed. And it’s really well priced, too!

3. Surfshark – simple to use and affordable Android app
This could well be your VPN of choice if you’re after something a bit more affordable. Go for its multi-year plan and get the price down to less than $2.50 USD per month. That doesn’t prevent it from being a really strong and simple-to-operate Android VPN though, with a very friendly interface and added features.

4. Hotspot Shield

Just to be absolutely clear from the outset, the reason Hotspot Shield has made it to the top five of our best Android VPN chart is due to its ‘Premium’ app rather than the free VPN version. They’re both one in the same app on the Play Store, but only upgrading to the full version will give you a smartphone security app really worth having (rather than slumming it with a 500MB per day limit and only one server to connect to).

Much like others on this list, the designers have done a great job of taking Hotspot’s Windows 10 VPN version to the smaller screen. That means you still get the same fantastic UX and a whole host of features, including the ability to set up when you want the app to automatically connect (when you open certain apps, for example).

Hotspot Shield has been at the top of our tests when it comes to pure server speed for a long while now, thanks to its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. That’s good to know when it comes to your smartphone, as it means you can just have it running along in the background without having to worry about an adverse effect on performance.

This provider has really improved its unblocking game of late, making it a solid recommendation when it comes to streaming VPNs. And if you’re willing to commit, its multi-year subscription pricing is among the best out there right now.

5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access’s Android app is easy to use with an abundance of options and settings you can tweak.

The list of features is instantly impressive: auto-connection, kill switch. snooze, favorites lists, and a useful set of connection status details to help you keep a track of your own activity. Add to that port forwarding support, proxy support, UDP and TCP protocol settings, you can define local and remote ports, choose custom encryption and handshaking methods, and even vibrate the handset to indicate when you’re connected. ‘Fully-functioned’ doesn’t even come close!

As mentioned, the app is quite simple to use, with a big on/off button at the middle of the screen, and the region/IP address at the bottom. The performance was no slouch either, and the privacy policy is favorable too.

It does feel like PIA falls behind some of the other best Android VPNs out there with its lack of live chat support, however. And the once stratospheric user rating has fallen in recent times – some Android users have found the recent updates have had a negative impact on their experience with the app.

While there is no free trial, the subscription is fairly affordable no matter what plan you choose. Obviously, the multi-year plan gives you the best savings.

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