ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs For Android – Summer 2016

Today’s highly interdependent and interconnected existence depends heavily upon technology, and we concurrently depend on certain levels of privacy and security relating to our online activities. As the spate of high-profile hacks and everyday instances of identity theft and ransomware, not to mention intrusive practices by intelligence agencies bear witness to – this isn’t always the case – thus why we felt the need to compile the five best VPNs for Android.

One surefire way to add layers of security to your connection and safeguard yourself from all but the most dedicated well-resourced adversaries is by using a quality VPN service. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the five picks we felt were the best Android VPNs. Dive into the summaries below, or skip down for some further considerations and tips for getting started.

Best VPN For Android Summary

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from some of the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
10/10
Read Review
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
8.8/10
Read Review
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
8.4/10
Read Review
$4.00 / monthVisit Site

4

SaferVPN LogoSaferVPN
8/10
Read Review
$7.50 / monthVisit Site

5

PrivateInternetAccess LogoPrivateInternetAccess
7.4/10
Read Review
$3.33 / monthVisit Site
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN For Android

  • ProsPROS
  • No Usage Logs
  • Swift & Cross-Compatible Clients
  • Superb Customer Service
  • Reliable Global Server Network
  • P2P & Bitcoin
  • ConsCONS
  • A Few Connection Logs

ExpressVPN is our number one VPN to use with Android on account of its universal appeal to techies and novices alike. It offers top-notch security and stealth servers in Hong Kong, for those looking to evade censorship or bypass stringent barriers such as China’s GFW. What’s more, the user experience translates with no hiccups from Windows to Android – or any other device platform for that matter.

Support staff is regularly lauded as being among the best in across the VPN industry, with a combination of multiple support options, such as LiveChat or email responses. There are plentiful setup guides to get you up and running. What’s more, P2P is allowed, and you may pay with Bitcoin for fuller anonymity. Give the 30-day money-back guarantee a try, and you’ll be left pleasantly satisfied.

Enjoy The Top VPN Android App!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

2nd place

IPVanish

4.4/5

IPVanish

  • ProsPROS
  • Tier-1 Network Speeds
  • Stylish & Functional Android App
  • P2P & Bitcoin
  • Logless
  • ConsCONS
  • No LiveChat Support

Those looking for a Tier-1 network coupled with a juiced-up CDN for blazing speeds could do much worse than using IPVanish. While there’s no Livechat support on offer, setup guides are plentiful and well detailed. Better still, ticket-based responses are thorough and well detailed.

What’s more, IPVanish explicitly allows and endorses P2P filesharing. Better yet, the VPN clients are designed to fully mirror the experience of their desktop counterparts. The provider being based in the US may raise some concerns to those seeking the highest levels of anonymity, but IPVanish should be more than adequate for most needs. Give the second best of our VPNs for Android a go below using a free trial.

Visit IPVanish »


3rd place

NordVPN

4.2/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • 3 Simultaneous Connections
  • Logless
  • P2P & Bitcoin
  • Smooth Clients Across Platforms
  • ConsCONS
  • A Few Speed Fluctuations
  • WebRTC Unaddressed

NordVPN narrowly comes in third in this list. The software is some of the sleekest out there, and requires little if any preexisting knowledge to master. When you add on a world-straddling server network covering much of the globe, and it’s not a stretch to call NordVPN an excellent provider on the VPNs for Android front. The encryption suite in place is in line with the best standards in the industry, packing in the usual bells and whistles to ensure optimal functionality translates from Desktop to mobile with no dropoffs.

The performance side of things is more than up to snuff. Just remember that your connection will – understandably – slow if you opt to use the multi-hop double connection. You may also combine the aforementioned Bitcoin payments with Tor over VPN, for upper echelon privacy. Give NordVPN’s superlative service a try below.

Visit NordVPN »


4th place

SaferVPN

4/5

SaferVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • No Usage Logs
  • 34 Country Server Network
  • Great Support
  • P2P NL Server Only
  • ConsCONS
  • Connection Logs
  • Occasional Performance Issues

SaferVPN is renowned for being easy to use, even if speeds can be a bit wonky at times. It has servers in a wide range of countries offering some decent connection speeds as a whole. The company’s attitude towards privacy and keeping a free and open web is admirable, and something we always approve of. The free trial and easy access to basic level customer support make it very accessible to new users.

SaferVPN has servers in 24 locations around the world and keeps no usage logs (although some connection logs are kept.)

That’s not all, the free trial on offer and easily digestible UI make it a breeze to use, with solid customer support there to back things up. SaferVPN is one of the VPNs for Android that does sadly keep a few connection logs, but keeps no usage logs whatsoever. Give SaferVPN’s 30-day trial a look below.

Visit SaferVPN »


5th place

PrivateInternetAccess

3.7/5

PrivateInternetAccess

  • ProsPROS
  • Logless
  • P2P & Bitcoin
  • Three Simultaneous Connections
  • ConsCONS
  • US Based
  • Slightly Tricky Software

Rounding out this tightly jostled list is decade-and-a-half VPN industry veteran, Private Internet Access (PIA). There’s built-in IPv6 leak protection and a VPN kill switch with all clients. It’s also pleasing to see SOCK5 proxy support – a sometimes underrated way to protect your data. The software can be a bit tricky for first-timers, but don’t get disheartened – support will have you up and running in no time!

Better yet, PIA offers a generous 5 simultaneous connections, more than many other providers. Give the one-week free trial a look below.

Visit PrivateInternetAccess »


Android VPN Discussion

Best VPN for Android

There was a time not long ago (in a galaxy very near) where Apple was considered orders of magnitude more secure than Android, but not more.

The reasons can be neatly viewed through both the prism of nonsensical versus sensible business practices (seriously, new chargers and proprietary ports, every damn year?!), to the incremental iPhone upgrades seen in the early days of the handsets’ adoption. The open-source nature of Android software is what’s most crucial to us. It simply allows for a much higher level of peer evaluation and attendant security benefits than those in effect when you blindly place faith in Apple. That said, their hardheaded privacy stance on the FBI requests to compromise security reflect well.

VPN for Android

The sheer scale and scope of latent security concerns in today’s digital epoch (governments nosily snooping, all too common but no less deplorable and rattling terrorist attacks, hackers and ‘hacktivists’ ransacking sensitive data) clearly demonstrates the importance of using a VPN service. Not just by the paranoid or safety conscious, buy by “laypeople” too.

Piggybacking off that paranoia, it goes without saying that VPN’s are almost indispensable when torrenting or using public Wi-Fi anywhere. Even simple browsing isn’t immune to data trawling, then reselling to advertisers – in the best case scenario.

 

Best VPN for Android Best VPN for Android

µTorrent or aTorrent have excellent mobile offerings as well – one more reason to use VPNs for Android. Android’s built-in VPN client.

Android’s built-in VPN client

Look here for some detailed reading on each available VPN protocol, but here’s an overview:

  • PPTP– Easy setup and ubiquitous: but also the least secure. Can be relied on as a quick fix but not the truly safety conscious protocol that you should be getting if you care about privacy.
  • L2TP/IPsec– Better security, with a trickier setup because you will need an IPsec pre-shared key. Nevertheless, most providers have guides or auto-configuration files to smooth the process. Remember, if in doubt contact your support team.
  • OpenVPN– Speedy with the most security while using several technological parts for a greater overall protection package. However, one drawback is that it is a little bit complicated to set up and uses third-party software, meaning your battery drains faster. Until recently, it was only available for jailbroken phones, but with the 2012 release of OpenVPN, all high-end VPNs for Android have this better protocol available.

A.)Setting up VPN using the native VPN client

  1. Navigate to the VPN settings menu by finding Settings – More Networks – VPN (varying slightly per device yet usually close to this process). By the way, you’ll need a screen-lock enabled to be able to access this menu throughout the setup process if you don’t have one already.

Best VPN for Android

  1. Select ‘Add VPN Network’ or the ‘+’ sign depending the device.

Best VPN for Android

  1. Name the connection appropriately, then input the relevant information about the VPN.
Best VPN for Android Best VPN for Android

PPTP setup is not much harder than connecting to Wi-Fi

L2TP/IPsec setup isn’t much more challenging, but you need a pre-shared key (sometimes lengthy and complicated)

4. To run your VPN, start by going to VPN settings (step 1), choosing your VPN connection and plugging in your username and password.
5. With that done. A key icon will denote this in the upper left hand if you’re connected.

Best VPN for Android

 B.)Setting up VPN using OpenVPN for Android

  1. Find the relevant configuration file on your VPN provider’s website. Download it straight to your phone, or to a computer. But what if it comes as a .zip file, which means you’ll need to extract it? No worries, use WinZip for your phone, which will cost no more than a few more minutes of time.
  1. First Download, then install and run OpenVPN Connect for Android. Afterward, select Functions, then select Import and Import from SD file.
Best VPN for Android Best VPN for Android Best VPN for Android
Touch your functions button and press it to import it from Choose import from SD card and find the location you saved it to. Once you have selected your chosen profile, the above screen should appear.

3. You’ll have to enter a username and password

  1. The initial launch on your phone asks to accept the trust certificate, thankfully only once.

Best VPN for Android

  1. If you’re connected you should see the key and OpenVPN logo in the upper left of your screen).

Best VPN for Android

VPN provider bespoke apps

Since OpenVPN usage has become possible with VPNs for Android, many VPN companies have created bespoke apps. Those offer benefits such as auto-reconnect and port forwarding, as well as making the whole setup process that bit more streamlined. These are usually available for older devices too (albeit using the slightly less secure L2TP/IPsec protocol) while still enabling the same benefits. See the individual VPN provider reviews for more specific descriptions.

Testing your VPN app’s Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC, IPV6 Tests)

You likely want to check that you’re getting full service you paid for, and there are two ways to do so: IP check and Speedtest. It’s not a bad thing to run an occasional check up on your provider’s claims. Are they offering you IP cloaking protection at the speeds promised? Speed tests are (hopefully) quick and definitely easy – just visit testmy.net and hit “Combined” to see your VPN client’s download and upload speeds. Additionally, is your IP address leaking out rendering the VPN useless? Check ipleak.net and test-ipv6.com to verify.

Considerations for VPNs for Android-fish-inside-a-jellyfish

Google’s latest Jelly Bean 4.2 (released with the acclaimed Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablets) includes an ‘always on’ VPN mode. With this enabled, no data transfers take place without a VPN connection – especially useful when you’re on the move throughout minefields of open WiFi (potentially with a few hackers lying in patient wait). It’s sort of like the protective bubble a fish which somehow found itself ensconced in a jellyfish would be privy to (shook look notwithstanding). You can find this feature under the menu button, after first signing up to a VPN.

GooglePlay is risky for finding Android VPNs

Android users often use GooglePlay to download and test apps, trying and quitting them in a fun merry-go-round of trial and error. Well, that isn’t exactly smart when it comes to VPNS. You may land on a good option, but may well not. If so, the lousy providers in question have been known to erroneously upsell security (at higher risk to you!),

5 Best VPNs For Android

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list while skipping over free and sometimes bogus options, though here’s a guide of the best cheap economical VPNs around.

Conclusion for the top 5 Android VPNs in 2016

Now that we’ve looked at the five best VPNs for Android, let’s review. Android is leading Apple in terms of VPN compatibility, making it a better option for smooth VPN usage. This list (reproduced below) has five of the top VPNs to use with Android or any other platform. Each one has a wide server network, and decent to noteworthy speeds, so go ahead and give one a try today!

Best VPNs For Android Summary

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from some of the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
10/10
Read Review
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
8.8/10
Read Review
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
8.4/10
Read Review
$4.00 / monthVisit Site

4

SaferVPN LogoSaferVPN
8/10
Read Review
$7.50 / monthVisit Site

5

PrivateInternetAccess LogoPrivateInternetAccess
7.4/10
Read Review
$3.33 / monthVisit Site


Published 2016-07-15
Dimitri M Written by Dimitri M

Expat in Europe - pathos for good conversation and Italia's Grande Juventus.

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