Greatest Android VPN 2021 – CNET

Best Android VPN 2021 - CNET

Do you actually need to use a VPN together with your Android telephone or pill? Contemplating that your cell gadgets retailer a few of your most delicate data, it is in all probability a good suggestion. And there is excellent news for Android customers: It is now doable to seek out a lot of VPNs which are light-weight, simple to make use of and optimized for cell.

Increasingly more persons are recognizing the worth of a cell VPN, which suggests the market has been booming. Over 480 million cell VPN apps have been downloaded world wide up to now 12 months, based on a report from analysis agency Top10VPN. That is 54% greater than the 12 months earlier than. And roughly 75% of these downloads have been through an Android telephone or different Android machine

Whereas free providers accounted for 84% of all cell VPN downloads, we suggest avoiding a free Android VPN app and going with a paid VPN at any time when doable. Which means getting your cash’s value out of a safe, glitch-free VPN app for Android. CNET recurrently checks and opinions featured VPN apps, so make sure to hold checking again right here as I replace this checklist periodically. 

Whereas CNET’s listing of the very best VPN providers ranks these apps and others by how nicely they held up through the testing and evaluation course of, this checklist particularly focuses on the cell choices of every VPN supplier. Every Android VPN app listed right here has a value — there is not a free VPN service included. That simply means you are going to be paying for connection velocity and a dependable and safe VPN, which is crucial on an Android smartphone, Android pill or different cell machine. Listed here are the very best Android VPN choices CNET’s examined thus far this 12 months.


  • Intuitive app interface, with loads of energy underneath the hood
  • Variety of servers: 3,200-plus
  • Variety of VPN server areas: 65
  • Nation/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

Regardless of its customizability and highly effective efficiency as a VPN, Surfshark’s app for Android presents an interface that is surprisingly intuitive for first-time customers. Its four-tab design elegantly conceals a bunch of privateness instruments and connection choices, highlighting a single-click connection button on the app’s touchdown display screen. 

Shortly entry one in every of Surfshark’s multihop connection choices — one in every of its most promising options, which jumps your connection via a number of international locations to cover your path — via its essential location-selection display screen, without having to rummage via the app’s settings. Surfshark additionally will get bonus factors for making its buyer assist choices for the devoted Android app available, together with its assist ticket characteristic and consumer information library.

Learn extraSurfshark VPN evaluation: A feature-rich service with blazing speeds and a safety focus

Whereas Surfshark’s community is smaller than some, the VPN service makes up for it in options. Let’s begin off with the most important win it presents: limitless machine assist. If you wish to run your total house or workplace on Surfshark’s VPN, you do not have to fret about what number of gadgets you will have on or related. It additionally presents anti-malware, ad-blocking and tracker-blocking as a part of its software program.

Surfshark acquired typically excessive marks when its Chrome and Firefox extensions have been audited for privateness by German safety agency Remedy 53 (PDF hyperlink of full report) — although that audit was commissioned by Surfshark. Its encryption is customary AES-256-GCM, and it helps Good Ahead Secrecy, which suggests it regularly adjustments encryption keys to keep away from safety compromises.

The corporate has a strong vary of app assist, working on Mac, Home windows, iOS, Android, Hearth TV and routers. Extra gadgets comparable to sport consoles will be configured for Surfshark through DNS settings. I notably just like the safety characteristic that permits you to whitelist sure apps and web sites to mechanically bypass the VPN. For some enterprise makes use of, this may be critically vital. 

Together with multihop, Surfshark additionally presents two extra particular modes designed for many who need to get round restrictions and extra rigorously disguise their on-line footsteps. Camouflage Mode masks your VPN exercise so your ISP does not know you are utilizing a VPN. And NoBorders Mode “permits [you] to efficiently use Surfshark in restrictive areas.” 

Simply watch out. Doing any of these three issues could possibly be unlawful in your nation and will lead to extreme penalties. Throughout testing, I noticed no DNS or IP handle leaks, and had no hassle accessing Netflix. 

In contrast to lots of the different VPN suppliers, Surfshark does not supply a one-year plan. Its finest supply is $2.49 a month, for its two-year plan (you pay about $60 up entrance). A six-month plan is $6.49 a month (about $39 up entrance), and month-by-month plans are $12.95 a month. Positively make the most of its beneficiant 30-day trial to determine for those who like this service (and for those who select the two-year plan, possibly set a reminder in 23 months to see for those who can discuss it right into a continued low cost fee).

Learn our Surfshark VPN evaluation.



  • Easy, quick, efficient app
  • Variety of servers: 3,000-plus
  • Variety of VPN server areas: 160
  • Nation/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

Simply as ExpressVPN constantly tops the checklist because the quickest VPN in the marketplace, its app for Android is designed with a streamlined strategy aimed toward connecting quick and not using a fuss. A single button on its touchdown display screen directs an Android consumer to attach shortly, with the one accompanying possibility a drop-down location selector together with your quickest close by metropolis chosen by default. 

ExpressVPN’s different choices — its safety and privateness instruments, account and settings choices, and assist web page — are all saved neatly tucked away underneath a backyard selection three-bar icon within the display screen’s prime left nook. They usually’re value checking into. ExpressVPN has included an on-board IP handle checker, together with two leak testers and a password generator.

Learn extraExpressVPN evaluation: A VPN velocity chief with a safe repute

The corporate tells us its community is powered by TrustedServer expertise, which ExpressVPN constructed to make sure that there are by no means any logs of customers’ on-line actions. Within the privateness world, ExpressVPN has a powerful observe document, having skilled a VPN server seizure by authorities which proved their zero-log coverage true on the time. I additionally like the standard of the VPN’s setup guides, and the detailed data in its FAQ. 

Like the remainder of the prime 5 VPN providers I’ve reviewed, ExpressVPN presents a helpful VPN kill change characteristic, which prevents community information from leaking exterior of its safe VPN tunnel within the occasion the VPN connection fails. In contrast to the others, although, ExpressVPN gained factors from us for its assist of bitcoin as a fee methodology — one thing not all of CNET’s favorites supply, however which provides an extra layer of privateness throughout checkout.

The corporate has been in enterprise since 2009, and ExpressVPN has a considerable community of quick VPN servers unfold throughout 94 international locations. Its finest plan is priced at lower than $7 a month for an annual bundle, which incorporates three months free. 

Learn our ExpressVPN evaluation.



  • A simple to make use of, dependable app
  • Variety of servers: 5,200-plus servers
  • Variety of VPN server areas: 62
  • Nation/jurisdiction: Panama

NordVPN is without doubt one of the most acknowledged manufacturers within the VPN subject. A part of that model recognition relies on the user-friendliness of its design. Nord’s app for Android is simply as simple to work together with as its desktop VPN consumer, with the same design. It poses no studying curve for a first-time consumer seeking to transfer from desktop to cell.  

Simply because the desktop consumer does, Nord’s app opens to a well-known blue-scale touchdown display screen map the place customers can decide to both choose a rustic or connect with the quickest server mechanically. Nord will get bonus factors for its split-tunneling characteristic, which lets you choose different apps that you do not need to run via your encrypted VPN connection.

Learn extraNordVPN evaluation: Nonetheless the very best worth for safety and velocity

The VPN service supplier presents a beneficiant simultaneous connection rely, with six connections allowed via its community — almost all different suppliers supply 5 or fewer. NordVPN additionally presents a devoted IP possibility, for these searching for a special degree of VPN connection. NordVPN presents a kill change characteristic, and the power to VPN into Tor. I detected no privateness leaks throughout checks, and located its speeds to be reliably quick. 

The corporate’s one-year subscription plan prices $5.75 a month ($69 billed directly). Whereas that yearly worth is decrease than another contenders, the month-to-month worth of $12 is on the excessive finish of the spectrum. Nonetheless, the two-year plan is now $4.89 a month ($117). And sure, it additionally has a full 30-day refund coverage. 

Whereas NordVPN has lived on my prime VPNs checklist for a very long time, I moved it to the penalty field in October 2019 to re-evaluate the advice after a report emerged that one in every of its rented servers was accessed with out authorization in 2018. Nord’s actions following the invention included — finally — a number of safety audits, a bug bounty program and heavier investments in server safety. 

Whereas I might have most well-liked that Nord self-disclosed the problem a lot earlier, the truth that the breach was restricted in nature and concerned no user-identifying data served to additional confirm that NordVPN retains no logs of consumer exercise. In consequence, Nord stays on my checklist as a really helpful vendor. 

Learn our NordVPN evaluation.



  • Most customizable VPN app 
  • Variety of servers: 1,600-plus
  • Variety of server areas: 75-plus
  • Nation/jurisdiction: US

A giant win for IPVanish is its enjoyable, configurable interface, which makes it a super consumer for many who are interested by studying easy methods to perceive what a VPN does underneath the hood. With its app for Android, IPVanish manages to pack the identical in depth suite of digital knobs and dials right into a smaller display screen to spectacular impact. 

In case you’re searching for the power to do some precision-tuning to your VPN connection, IPVanish is a strong guess. From producing visible graphs of your web exercise to a bevy of switches controlling cut up tunnelling, LAN connection allowance and extra — IPVanish is an app for the methodical tech tweaker who enjoys having precise management over their cell web visitors. 

Learn extraIPVanish evaluation: Get underneath the hood with this zippy VPN

Its multiplatform flexibility can also be preferrred for folks targeted on discovering a Netflix-friendly VPN. 

A singular characteristic of IPVanish, and one I am intrigued by, is the VPN’s assist of Kodi, the open-source media streaming app that was as soon as often known as XBMC. Any critical media fan has used or constructed Kodi or XBMC right into a media participant, and the built-in IPVanish Kodi plugin gives entry to media worldwide.

At $10 a month or $80 a 12 months, IPVanish is clearly making an attempt to maneuver you in direction of its yearly program. I am somewhat disillusioned that it solely permits a seven-day trial, moderately than a full 30 days, but it surely does supply a full money-back assure. That stated, the corporate will get kudos for its latest improve from 10 to now limitless simultaneous connections. I additionally favored its connection kill change characteristic, a should for anybody critical about remaining nameless whereas browsing. 

Learn our IPVanish evaluation.


What’s the very best Android VPN proper now?

Because of its spectacular efficiency and limitless machine assist, Surfshark is CNET’s present prime decide for the very best Android VPN. ExpressVPN is an in depth second among the many Android VPN picks and presents a easy and efficient app. It is not the most affordable, but it surely’s among the many quickest of all of the VPN choices. NordVPN, the third most suitable choice, is a die-hard heavy-hitter. It prices greater than Surfshark however lower than Categorical, has an unlimited community that is continually getting quicker and safer, and is definitely probably the most dependable service I’ve examined. Rounding out the group, IPVanish is a strong selection for newcomers.

What’s a cell VPN?

Use a mobile-friendly VPN to keep away from slower speeds and guarantee larger information privateness in your complete machine. Cellular VPNs typically have a smaller reminiscence footprint, and require much less processing energy than desktop VPNs, so that they run quicker and save extra battery. The highest three VPNs listed above all have wonderful, easy-to-use cell app choices for his or her providers. Some VPNs will solely work with one sort of platform — like Apple or Android — and a few are universally suitable. To seek out the proper cell VPN for you, try CNET’s different mobile-specific VPN guides under. They’re routinely up to date with retesting data, so verify again typically. 

What’s the very best free VPN?

None of them. Critically. Whereas there are many wonderful free safety and privateness apps on-line, VPNs aren’t amongst them. Secure VPNs price firms some huge cash to function and hold safe, and free ones are nearly at all times malware-laden information snoops. However there’s excellent news: The burgeoning VPN market is hypercompetitive proper now, so costs for even the very best VPNs recurrently drop to lower than $5 a month. In truth, the least costly VPN I’ve seen thus far ranks in CNET’s prime three VPNs general for safety and velocity. Take a look at this fast checklist of budget-savvy VPNs to seek out one in your worth vary.

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