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5 Best VPNs for Android 2015

Today’s interconnected world brings online privacy and security concerns to the fore more than ever, be it while  at home or on-the-go. So would you rather live with and ignore the threat while censoring yourself, or do something to protect your sensitive information? A VPN goes a long way towards realizing the latter with some extra perks added in for good measure. Keep reading to find out the 5 optimal VPN’s  for Android users.

Were you shocked to learn about mass government surveillance on internet gadgets, laptops, and phones? I should hope not, but don’t fret. VPN’s offer a solution as simple or complex as your privacy requires, but you already thought so, which brought you here. Let’s continue.

Our ‘VPN Buying Guide’, covers what to look for in a good VPN client. This list was made using the following measures:

  • Service Speed
  • Software Quality
  • Customer Service Responsiveness & Effectiveness
  • Amount of Servers & IP Addresses
  • Pricing

Using the points above, here is a list of the five best VPN apps for Android devices. Keep reading beyond the ranking summary for more information about each provider, and details on how to set up your VPN.

5 Best VPN’s for Android Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review >
$6.67/mo Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review >
$12.95/mo Visit Site >

3

AirVPN Logo
Read Review >
$9/mo Visit Site >

4

Mullvad Logo
Read Review >
$5.5/mo Visit Site >

5

IPVanish Logo
Read Review >
$10/mo Visit Site >

Winner

VyprVPN

5/5

5 Best VPN's for Android 2015

  • PROS
  • Fast
  • High-level Encryption
  • Free Cloud storage
  • Up to 3 simultaneous connections
  • 3-day free trial offered
  • CONS
  • US-based
  • Keep logs upwards of 30 days
  • P2P not allowed

VyprVPN is an excellent choice for Android users, but why? For starters, the VPN service is run by the Golden Frog internet privacy group, who have been on the cutting edge of web security since 1994. What’s more, VyprVPN have their own data centers (additionally premiering their own encryption software called Chameleon), resulting in blazing fast performance.

Encryption is quite beefy at 256-bit OpenVPN, just remember that peer-to-peer file-sharing is not allowed. Also, this information doesn’t apply to the basic plan, which we didn’t review as it only offers the broken PPTP protocol and no firewall.

As if these points weren’t enough, a slick user interface and risk-free trial offer make VyprVPN the definitive choice for Android device users.

Give the Best VPN for Android a try!

Visit VyprVPN »

3 day risk-free trial

2nd place

ExpressVPN

4.5/5

ExpressVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • No usage logging
  • Dedicated ‘Stealth Servers’ for China
  • Specialized Android support
  • Fast Speeds
  • CONS
  • Not the cheapest solution

ExpressVPN are consistently excellent across the board. Simply stated, they offer a fine Android specific app (maybe they envision Android having a dominant future) with extensive features and 24/7 support. What’s more, speed tests are consistently above average to great on mobile. Meanwhile, the 30-day money back to guarantee gives you a safety blanket to try the client without risk.

It’s readily visibile that the ExpressVPN app was made with mobile convenience a priority. The client includes a tap-to-connect widget on the home screen to facilitate mobile connectivity, say in an airport. What’s more, recent connections are remembered so you can connect to them quicker as opposed to sifting through servers on a (small-ish)smartphone screen.

Coming in at a somewhat pricy $8.32 per month, ExpressVPN by no means is a cheap provider, however, the service is patently worth it, so click the link below to begin experiencing it for yourself.

Visit ExpressVPN »


3rd place

AirVPN

4.3/5

AirVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • No Logging
  • Accept Bitcoin
  • Support for Tor over VPN and VPN through SSL/SSH tunnels
  • Real-time server and user stats
  • Dynamic Port-Forwarding
  • CONS
  • Website a tad bare

AirVPN over Android is a bit more technical than other services, with no bespoke Android client. Don’t worry though, the setup guides and configuration files to get started with OpenVPN are easy enough to get through once, if a bit tedious. What’s more, upon completion of the setup you’ll be treated to robust security, a plethora of customizable options, and consistently strong speeds. You see, on account of those features, now might be the time to give AirVPN a try.

Visit AirVPN »


4th place

Mullvad

4.1/5

Mullvad Logo

  • PROS
  • Good Price
  • No logs
  • Accept Bitcoin
  • DNS leak protection
  • Killswitch
  • CONS
  • Some server connection issues

Mullvad is a nascent start-up company (like us!), which can at times cause some minor hiccups, but don’t fret as they’re always improving and offer a pretty good app to begin with. Here’s why: DNS leak protections, killswitch, port forwarding are all included. Meanwhile, unlike many competitors, Mullvad has a total no logging policy and no personal info is necessary for signup, with Bitcoin payments a much-appreciated option to preserve anonymity.

Sadly, as with AirVPN you’ll have to do some manual legwork, but the results should be well worth it. Click below to give Mullvad a try.

Visit Mullvad »


5th place

IPVanish

3.9/5

IPVanish Logo

  • PROS
  • Fast
  • Extensive server locations
  • CONS
  • No P2P allowed
  • Dubious no logging policy

IPVanish offer servers in over 40 countries, at fast speeds, to boot! But that’s just part of the story. Sadly, p2p file sharing isn’t allowed, by extension calling into question whether IPVanish keep usage logs. They say they don’t. Meanwhile, there are instances of “cease and desist” letters from their service, so be wary of this. Regardless, IPVanish is great as a mobile solution and more than adequate for all users save those looking for the highest levels of anonymity.

Visit IPVanish »

How to set up VPN on Android

android-logo-white

After an initial near-monopoly by Apple on the smartphone (and tablet) market, Android devices have surged year-in-year-out. So what? Well, the appealing nature of Android OS lies in it being open source software, unlike iOS. Therefore, Android devices and apps running on them have a distinct advantage security-wise.

VPN for Android

The number of recent security concerns that have arisen in the world (government snooping, terrorist attacks, hackers and ‘hacktivists’ ransacking sensitive data) clearly highlight the practicality of using VPN services by laypeople and not just the paranoid or safety conscious.

Piggybacking off that paranoia, it goes without saying that VPN’s are almost indispensable when torrenting or using public Wi-Fi anywhere.

 uTorrent  aTorrent

µTorrent or aTorrent have excellent mobile offering as well – one more reason to use a VPN with your Android device

Android’s built-in VPN client

Android devices come supporting PPTP and L2TP/IPSec encryption protocols. Newer devices also support the more secure OpenVPN. (Kindle devices are a bit harder – see here.)

This piece provides an in-depth look at all of the protocols, but here’s an overview:

  • PPTP– simple setup and well supported yet the least secure. Should be considered like a bandage for a gunshot – it’s a quick “fix”, but you’d be better off with a hospital  .
  • L2TP/IPsec– stronger security, with trickier setup as you’ll need a pre-shared IPsec key. Nevertheless, most provider have guides or auto-configuration files to smooth the process. this.
  • OpenVPN– speedy with the most security while using several technological parts for a greater whole. However, it’s a tad complex 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 versions have this ability.

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.

VPN_Settings

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

VPN_Add

  1. Name the connection appropriately, then input the relevant information about the VPN.
PPTP L2TP

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

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

4. Running your VPN, starts with going to VPN settings (step 1), choosing your VPN connection and plugging in your username and password.
5. Done.  A key icon will denote this in the upper left hand if you’re connected.

Connected

 

OpenVPN for Android

Remember that unrooted Android phones on anything newer than Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwhich) can use  the more secure OpenVPN protocol,  so long as a configuration file is available.

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. Afterwards, select Functions, then select Import and Import from SD file.
OpenVPN_Import1 OpenVPN_Import2 OpenVPN_Import3
Touch your functions button     and press import. 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 app launch on your phone asks to accept the trust certificate, thankfully only once.

OpenVPN_Trust

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

OpenVPN_Connected

VPN provider bespoke apps

Since OpenVPN usage has been possible on Android devices, some companies have created their own apps, which 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 some  more details.

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

It’s only natural that you should want to check that you’re receiving the service that you’ve been promised, and there are two main ways of achieving this: IP check and Speedtest.

It’s always a good idea to quickly check up on your provider’s trustworthiness. Are they offering you IP cloaking protection at the speeds promised?

Speed tests are (hopefully) quick and definitely quite 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.

Conclusion

As it turns out Android is better suited to using VPN technology than iOS, with comparatively more VPN providers offering dedicated support and bespoke Android clients, those yet to update to OpenVPN. Nevertheless, older devices can still upgrade on a flat nothing by using L2TP/IPsec, so give the one of the services below a try and signup to browse more safely on the move!

Best VPN Clients for Android Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review >
$6.67/mo Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review >
$12.95/mo Visit Site >

3

AirVPN Logo
Read Review >
$9/mo Visit Site >

4

Mullvad Logo
Read Review >
$5.5/mo Visit Site >

5

IPVanish Logo
Read Review >
$10/mo Visit Site >

Published 2015-11-13
Written by Dimitri M

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

16 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Android 2015

  1. I tried Express VPN in the Philippines and connected to several of their U.S. West Coast choices. All of them dropped in Mbps to the point they were all useless.

    1. Hi Farhad,

      I’m afraid that I don’t really understand what you are asking for. BestVPN is a review website, and we do not offer VPN ourselves. Our page on 5 Best Free VPNs might be what you are looking for.

  2. hi,
    i’d like to set up a vpn server on a raspberry for cascading voice communication. is it possible to remove encryption (just like a gateway) to save bandwidth and computing power? will a rpi be capable of doing this task?
    do you have some further information on how to set up the rpi?

    thx,
    bobby

    1. Hi booby,

      A VPN without encryption is just a proxy. I don’t currently have information on how to set up what you want, but may research it i the future.

  3. what should i install to make my internet connection stable using open vpn connect? my phone is not rooted android 4.4.2 kitkat.

    1. Hi wendell,

      You do not need root – just install the OpenVPN Connect app. The app will not work, however, unless you have signed up for a VPN services (such as the ones listed above.)

    1. Hi Meet,

      To use VPN you have to sigh-up for a VPN service (which will provide you with the necessary settings.) You cannot setup VPN without joining a VPN service.

    1. Hi Meet,

      Your VPN provider will have setup guides explaining the setting you need to connect to its service.

  4. Hi Md Rafiqul,

    Did you navigate to Settings>More Networks>VPN?

    Each device is slightly different, but the overall menu names should be close enough to that. From there, just follow the instructions in the ‘Setting up VPN using the native VPN client’ portion of this article. Let me know if you continue to have problems with setup.

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