Before talking about Android VPN Service and the top 10 Android VPN Service Providers let’s briefly discuss the phenomenon called Android which has changed the way we live our lives. Android is among the most sought OS to empower the handheld devices of contemporary times. Android is arguably termed the world’s most popular mobile platform as it powers millions of phones, tablets, and other devices. With an amazingly fast browser, multi-tasking capabilities, easy connect & share, cloud sync, and your favorite apps your Android-powered device is beyond smart.
This list of Top 10 Android VPN Services is created based on our Selection Criteria. Check out the list and select the one which best suits your requirements.
- CyberGhost VPN
- Surfshark VPN
- IPVanish VPN
- Ivacy VPN
- Atlas VPN
Best VPN For Android For Streaming Websites
One of the most common purposes of seeking an Android VPN Service is to access geo-restricted streaming websites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, Vevo, etc on the Android device. With Android VPN Service users can access these websites no matter what their real location is. The demand for these and other related streaming websites is huge all over the world and not only ex-pats but users from other parts of the world subscribe to Android VPN Service for the same reason.
Best VPN For Android for Security
If someone believes that he’s safe on the internet because he is using an Android device then he needs to think again. No matter which device, or OS you use the threats of hacking, spamming and information theft are always there. In order to protect their personal data and sensitive information, security-conscious individuals opt for Android VPN Service which makes them secure in the not-so-secure cyber world.
Best VPN For Android for Online Freedom
Freedom is every human’s right and the same applies to the individuals using the internet. Android VPN Service gives users the online freedom they are looking for. Stringent internet censorship and filtration policy are imposed in countries like China, KSA, South Korea, etc by the respective governments. Access to a lot of social networking and other websites is blocked and hence in order to browse these websites users lookout for the best Android VPN Service which enables them to bypass the censorship and access the websites of their interests with utmost ease.
These days everyone is tracking you. The NSA. The UK’s GCHQ. Online advertisers. Google, Facebook. Using a VPN is a crucial part of taking back your privacy and your security, whether you just want to browse on public wifi without everyone reading what you are doing, or want to download torrents.
What To Look For Selecting The Best VPN For Android?
While choosing to use a VPN is a no-brainer these days (in our humble opinion), choosing the right one can remain a tricky task. We discuss what we think is important when making this choice in some detail in our VPN Buying Guide, but to summarize:
ExpressVPN – Best VPN For Android
ExpressVPN manages a good balance between great general VPN features and an amazing Android client and support. With servers all over the world, a no-logs policy (which is not perfect in our view, but is a damn sight better than most), fantastic speedtest.net results, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, ExpressVPN makes an attractive proposition.
Just to drive the point home, ExpressVPN specifically invested in creating an amazing Android client. While their iPhone software is good, they made their Android app the real selling point of ExpressVPN, and it really is that good.
IPVanish VPN – Top Android VPN
IPVanish is another service that initially impressed us, but ended up leaving us feeling let down. Claiming a ‘no logs’ service, with servers in 41 different countries and some fantastic speedtest.net results, what was there not to like? The answer came within 48 of using IPVanish when we received a ‘cease and desist email from it, claiming that by downloading torrents we had violated its Terms of Service, and would face termination of the service if we continued. In our view, this makes a mockery of the concept of ‘no logs’, which is intended to ensure users’ online activities are not, and cannot, be monitored. Fail.
How To Set Up Best VPN For Android?
When the first Android phone was released back in 2008, the smart-phone market (the tablet market did not even begin to emerge until after the release of the first iPad in 2010) was to all intents and purposes a one-horse race, with Apple possessing an almost total monopoly on both sales and innovation. This meant that, in the face of almost no meaningful competition, Apple could not only charge whatever price it wanted for its (admittedly very good) mobile hardware but could exert unprecedented control over what owners and developers could do with it.
Enter Android: although developed by Google, with all its vast resources and technical knowhow, it is an open-source platform, allowing handset (and later tablet) manufacturers the ability to build their own devices powered by it, and developers to tweak and change the code to suit whatever purpose they desired. It was a simple strategy, tempt the manufacturers with a cheap but high-quality OS, and allow them to flood the market. The result? Perfusion of low-cost handsets that put the power and versatility that was previously the preserve of the iPhone, into the hands of the masses.
VPN for Android
With so many people using Android phones and tablets as their secondary and, increasingly, their primary means of accessing the internet, it becomes ever more important to secure your online privacy using a VPN service (as the recent revelations about blanket surveillance by the United States NSA on its own innocent citizens have just served to highlight).
In addition to government spying, the popularity of P2P file sharing apps such µTorrent for Android means that protecting yourself against anti-piracy enforcement agencies and copyright legal trolls should be a high priority.
Android’s built-in VPN client
All* versions of Android come with a VPN client built-in, which supports the PPTP and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols. We discuss the merits or otherwise of these different protocols in this article, but they can be summarized as:
PPTP – despite its continued popularity in the business world, PPTP is not very secure, and should only be used for ‘quick and dirty’ VPN connections, or when no other option is available. On the plus side, it is very easy to set up.
L2TP/IPsec – is secure, although thanks to the need for entering a long preshared key, it is a bit fiddly to set up. In the desktop VPN world, it has been largely superseded by OpenVPN, but it remains a good option and one that is available to all* versions of Android.
Because OpenVPN is only possible on recent Android phones (see below), almost all VPN providers offer some support for the native built-in client, supplying the necessary infrastructure and setup guides for either or both PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.
*With the exception of heavily modified versions such as that used by Amazon’s Kindle Fire range, which has had the client deliberately removed – to use VPN on a Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD, please see our article on the subject.
Setting up Android VPN using the VPN client
- Open the VPN settings. This varies a bit by Android version, but in general, go to Settings –> More settings -> VPN
- One potentially irritating aspect of the client is that it requires you to set up a screen lock if you don’t already use one. Just follow the prompts.
- Enter a name for your VPN connection, choose Type, and enter the details given by your VPN provider
- To start the VPN, go to VPN settings (step 1), touch the VPN connection you want, and enter your VPN username and password
- You are connected.
OpenVPN for Android
Until recently, it was only possible to run OpenVPN on a rooted Android device. However, in December last year (2012), the open-source OpenVPN for Android by Arne Swabe app appeared in the Google Play store, which allows OpenVPN to run on unrooted Android phones using standard generic OpenVPN configuration files. Since then, other OpenVPN clients, both generic and custom-built by individual providers, have started to appear.
OpenVPN – is the preferred VPN protocol these days as it is faster and more secure than L2TP/IPsec. The real downsides, for those who can run it, are that generic clients such as OpenVPN for Android are a bit complicated to set up and that because an extra, separate app needs to be running, it may drain the battery more than using the built-in client.
Unfortunately, OpenVPN apps make use of features that are only available in Android versions 4.0 or later, so users of older phones must make do with the built-in client for their VPN needs (which if using L2TP/IP sec is not a huge disadvantage).
Setting up VPN using OpenVPN for Android
- Download the open VPN configuration files from your VPN provider’s website, and unzip them to a folder on your Android device. You can do this either by downloading the zip files to your desktop or laptop computer, unzipping them there, and then transferring them to your Android device or by downloading them directly to your Android device and unzipping them with an app such as ZArchiver.
- Download, install and run OpenVPN for Android. Then touch the folder icon to the bottom right of the screen
- Navigate to the folder where you saved the unzipped OpenVPN config files, and chose a server
- It takes a minute for OpenVPN to import and parse the files
- Once it’s done you will see the server name. Touch the Settings icon to its right
- Actual settings may vary by provider, but usually, you need only go to Basic…
- . … and fill in your account details
- To start the VPN, just fire up OpenVPN for Android, and touch the server name you want to connect to.
The Android operating system is very well supported by almost every VPN provider, although some have yet to catch up with the release of OpenVPN for Android. OpenVPN for Android is great and allows owners of newer Android devices to use the protocol with a minimum of fuss. Users of older phones shouldn’t worry though, as L2PT/IPsec is still a great VPN protocol, and will work with everything! We do also love it when providers supply their own apps, as this makes setup insanely easy, and can add extra groovy features.