ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for Android 2014

All modern revolutions come with the modern problems of privacy and security concerns, with leaks appearing on a monthly basis, not to mention that every major company – GCHQ, Google, Facebook, NSA – is tracking your movement online.

So it’s no surprise that the use of VPNs is becoming ever more popular, even if it’s just to protect yourself from hackers while using the public Wi-Fi in your favourite coffee joint.

In our ‘VPN Buying Guide’, we cover the full range of concerns to watch out for. Here we’ve used the following criteria:

  • Speed of service
  • Quality of the software
  • Quality of customer service
  • Number of servers/IPs
  • Price

Using these criteria, here is our list of the five best VPNs for your Android device. After the rankings, you can read more about each one in depth, and we also explain how to best set up your VPN connections.


VPN for Android Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

VyprVPN 4.854.854.854.854.85
Read Review >
$6.67/mo Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN_Logo 4.754.754.754.754.75
Read Review >
$8.32/mo Visit Site >

3

AirVPN_logo 4.654.654.654.654.65
Read Review >
$7.00/mo Visit Site >

4

Mullvad logo 4.54.54.54.54.5
Read Review >
$9.00/mo Visit Site >

5

 IPVanish 4.54.54.54.54.5
Read Review >
$9.95/mo Visit Site >
Winner

VyprVPN

4.94.94.94.94.9 4,9/5

Screenshot

Positives: fast; great encryption service; Android and iOS apps; three-day no risk free trial; up to three simultaneous connections; P2P; free cloud storage

Negatives: based in the US; keeps logs for 30 days

Vypr Android VPN App
The Golden Frog ‘internet freedom’ consortium runs VyprVPN, so not only does it have its own dedicated data centers – meaning better speeds – but you also get a free online cloud storage account with Dump Truck. It runs its own networks and is connected at the highest levels, meaning that, wherever you are in the world, the speeds are excellent.

We’ve only reviewed the Pro and Premium accounts, as the basic service just offers PPTP, which is considered to be insecure. The company provides up to 256-bit OpenVPN encryption, P2P downloading, up to three simultaneous connections and has recently developed its own high-end encryption service codenamed Chameleon.

With a three-day no risk free trial and an excellent Android app, its offering really is the best out there.

Try Out the Best VPN for Android Today!

» Visit VyprVPN

3 no risk day free trial

2nd place

ExpressVPN

4.754.754.754.754.75 4,75/5

ExpressVPN_Logo

Positives: no usage logs; great speeds; 30-day money-back guarantee; superb Android support

Negatives: medium price

ExpressVPN provides the best all-round service. The company has an exceptional Android app (maybe it sees that Android is the future) with a great set of features and dedicated 24/7 support. The speed test was constantly green across the board, and with its 30-day money- back guarantee you have a fantastic opportunity to experience it without risk.

When using the app, it’s clear that it was designed with convenience in mind. It includes a quick-connect homescreen widget so you don’t have to open the app to connect and disconnect. It also comes with Recommended Locations, and makes your recently connected locations easily accessible.

Starting at $8.32/month, it might not be the cheapest service, but it’s definitely worth it, so click the link below to begin experiencing it for yourself.

Visit ExpressVPN »


3rd place

AirVPN

4.654.654.654.654.65 4,65/5

Positives: accepts Bitcoin; no logs; 256-bit AES encryption; dynamic port forwarding; real-time user and server statistics; support for Tor over VPN and VPN through SSL and SSH tunnels; good speeds; three-day free trial, P2P; setup instructions for OpenVPN Connect

Negatives: 3 simultaneous connections

AirVPN is more advanced than most other VPN software out there, keeps no logs and accepts Bitcoin payment. It provides a high-level 256-bit AES encryption, great monitoring services and support for further safety measures, such as VPN over Tor and, VPN through SSL and SSH tunnels.

The let-down is that it only provides a text setup guide together with the configuration files, so you’ll need a small amount of tech savvy.

» Visit AirVPN


4th place

Mullvad

4.54.54.54.54.5 4,5/5

Positives: accepts Bitcoin; no logs; good speeds; cheap; client features internet kill switch and DNS leak protection; P2P

Negatives: a number of things didn’t work

Mullvad is a small start-up company, which does mean that there are a few problems, but don’t let this put you off as it’s constantly improving. It delivers a great set of features, including leak protection, kill switch, server load information and port forwarding. Unlike other companies, it has a 100% no logs policy and requires absolutely no personal information. Even the payment is secure: Bitcoin, cash in post or wire transfer!

Like AirVPN, it provides only minimal but adequate setup support.

» Visit Mullvad


5th place

IPVanish

4.54.54.54.54.5 4,5/5

Positives: fast; lots of server locations

Negatives: no logs policy isn’t to be believed; no P2P

IPVanish is a great provider. It has servers all over the globe, great pricing and on the whole a great VPN for Android.

» Visit IPVanish


How to set up VPN on Android

android-logo-white

Initially, the smartphone (and later the tablet) market was dominated by Apple, but Android has come through stronger year-on-year. Google’s OS definitely offers a large advantage to the security conscious due to its open source nature. The downside is that there are so many versions on so many different devices that it’s near impossible for companies to develop software that works for everyone. However, all the latest high-end devices (Galaxy S, HTC One, Google Nexus) run the latest version, so you shouldn’t experience a problem with this.

VPN for Android

The number of recent security concerns that have arisen in the world (see NSA) clearly highlight the need for the use of VPN services by ‘common folk’ and not just the paranoid or safety conscious.

In addition, it’s always advisable to protect yourself against governments and companies when using common file-sharing services such as torrents, as well as the risks posed by using public Wi-Fi spots.

 uTorrent  aTorrent

µTorrent and aTorrent are great Androids apps – just another reason as to why you should use VPN on your device

Android’s built-in VPN client

Android automatically comes with built-in PPTP and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocol support and newer versions also support OpenVPN. (Heavily modified systems such as the Kindle Fire are more difficult – see here.)

This article discusses in depth all of the protocols, but here’s a brief summary:

  • PPTP– the easiest to set up and most supported, but also the least secure. We therefore don’t recommend it as a stable solution, but as a quick fix for using a public Wi-Fi spot it’s acceptable.
  • L2TP/IPsec– a lot more secure, but it’s trickier to set up due to the need to input a pre-shared IPsec key, though most VPN providers provide detailed guides or even an auto-configuration file to simplify this.
  • OpenVPN– one of the fastest and most secure with the use of the amalgamation of a number of security technologies, but it’s very fiddly to set up and needs third-party software, which might lead to more battery drainage. 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. Open the VPN setting by going to Settings – More Networks – VPN (this varies between devices, but it’s usually very similar). Irritatingly, you’ll have to set up a screen-lock to be able to access this, so follow the prompts if you don’t already have one.

VPN_Settings

  1. Touch ‘Add VPN Network’ or the ‘+’ sign on some devices.

VPN_Add

  1. After giving a suitable name, enter all the details of your VPN.
PPTP L2TP

PPTP setup is ridiculously easy

L2TP/IPsec setup is still pretty easy, but needs you to enter a pre-shared key (which can be long & complex)

4. To start your VPN, go to VPN settings (step 1), touch the VPN connection you want, and enter your VPN username and password.
5. That’s it – you should be connected. A small key should appear in your taskbar indicating this.

Connected

 

OpenVPN for Android

As mentioned above, with the release of the OpenVPN Connect application, unrooted phones are now able to use OpenVPN, as long as a configuration file is provided and your phone is running Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later.

Setting up VPN using OpenVPN for Android

  1. Obtain your configuration file from your provider. Either download it directly to your phone or through your computer. It might come in a .zip file, in which case you’ll need to extract it (we recommend WinZipfor your phone).
  1. Download, install and run OpenVPN Connect for Android. Then touch your Functions button, 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. Enter your username and password

  1. When first using the app, you’ll need to accept the trust certificate (only once).

OpenVPN_Trust

  1. You should now be connected (note the key in the taskbar as well as the OpenVPN logo).

OpenVPN_Connected

VPN provider custom apps

Since the possibility of OpenVPN has been enabled, 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 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 to find out more details.

Testing your VPN connection (all methods)

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.

Using a website such as 123myip.co.uk allows you to check that your IP is indeed in the country of the server you’ve selected and that your identity is actually disguised.
The free speedtest.net app (or alternatively its website) allows you to check your speeds and make sure you that you’re getting sufficient connection rates.

Connected to a server in Holland.

Speed test results


Conclusion

Android is clearly a more suitable platform for VPN compared to iOS, with a number of providers offering great support for it (even their own apps!), though some are yet to catch up with the OpenVPN update. Even if you have an older phone, you’re still able to use the L2TP/IPsec protocol, so we definitely recommend signing up to a VPN service today! See below for our summary of the ratings to help you choose:


VPN for Android Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

VyprVPN 4.854.854.854.854.85
Read Review >
$6.67/mo Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN_Logo 4.754.754.754.754.75
Read Review >
$8.32/mo Visit Site >

3

AirVPN_logo 4.654.654.654.654.65
Read Review >
$7.00/mo Visit Site >

4

Mullvad logo 4.54.54.54.54.5
Read Review >
$9.00/mo Visit Site >

5

 IPVanish 4.54.54.54.54.5
Read Review >
$9.95/mo Visit Site >

Written by Peter Selmeczy

I am an engineer by trade and tech geek by night, who's passionate about sharing his knowledge with the people. Find me on Google+.

15 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Android 2014

  1. Airvpn should now be top on this list. They expanded their membership to allow upto 3 simultaneous connections.

    Other benefits: they are not based in the US and are ran by a privacy advocacy group from Europe.

  2. Nowadays, Android tables are extremely popular. People all over the world use tablet PC to be mobile and be connected to the Internet at the same time.Most of the time, we use public Wi-Fi on mobile devices and this can be very unsafe due to low security in such networks. If you want to safeguard your personal and business data you must care about your Internet safety and security.

  3. I find it odd that your top 5 for Android include 2 that are based in the US, one that has features that don’t work, and another that has a suspect no logs policy. Is that really the best that you can come up with? iVPN has great support, stable connections, works well on Android, supports both OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec, and is based in Malta. I have no connection to them, btw, other than being a user.

    Nothing’s perfect, but surely iVPN deserves a mention. I’ve never heard a complaint against them.

  4. I’m using Privateinternetaccess on Windows and also on Android. On Windows I’m happy with the way it works. On Android, apparently, only browser traffic is allowed to go through the tunnel. My internet banking app doesn’t work when VPN is activated. According to PIA it’s working as designed. I would have expected all WiFi traffic to be VPN encrypted and go trough the tunnel. Not just the browser, but the mobile apps as well.

    Is PIA correct though?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Reinier,

      I have used the PIA Android extensively, and all traffic was routed through the VPN server, including all mobile apps (that’s the way VPN works). The fact that your banking app does not work may because the banking server detects that your are using a VPN (PIA’s IPs are fairly we known), or maybe i automatically refuses connections from outside your country (just guessing, but it may also be able to read your phone’s geoloction data and detect a discrepancy between that and your IP location, which may cause it to suspect fraud and refuse a connection). I would say that the fact the app does not work shows that its traffic is being routed through PIA, so it is your bank you be taking this up with, not PIA…

    1. Hi
      No we haven’t seeing as it was released just a day ago.
      We’re also reluctant to try it as we couldn’t find a website where we could find out more information about the product or the company.

  5. Hi Eric
    We have heard of hide.me and we have been in contact with them before. We’re just waiting for their updates before we review them.
    Peter

    1. Hi Adeep,

      Forgive me if I do do not fully understand your question. Visit ipleak.net to discover your IP address. To find a VPN provider with servers near you, our page on BestVPN by Country may help you (and we are adding more all the time). Otherwise, you have to read our individual reviews, or research providers own web pages (if you let me know where you are, then I may be able to help).

  6. Express was a nightmare.due to fact it is always running and my battery didn’t last till lunch when normally does past dinner

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