The five best Android VPN apps for phones and tablets 2020

Android is powerful, customisable, and vulnerable – a VPN is the perfect way to secure it

android vpn app on mobile
(Image credit: mirtmirt / Shutterstock.com)

All of the best VPN providers offer an Android VPN app, which is hardly surprising given that Google’s operating system is used on more than two billion active devices worldwide. But why should you care about having an Android VPN installed on your device? 

First off, when switched on they encrypt every last bit of internet traffic coming from your phone, meaning that even if crooks intercepted your info, they wouldn't be able to read it. Plus, you'll also hide yourself from government spying. However, as well as improving security, Android VPNs also give you more freedom online. Because they unblock geo-restrictions, you can access websites that aren’t available in your region and stream all the latest content wherever you are. 

Choosing a VPN that suits your needs isn’t exactly easy, though – there are literally hundreds available on the Google Play Store, and only a few are worthy of your attention. Below, we're rounding up the five very best Android VPN apps – starting with the unbeatable ExpressVPN – so you can be sure you're getting your money's worth and definitely staying protected.

1. ExpressVPN – the best Android VPN today
With clean, polished apps, serious security and excellent performance, ExpressVPN is the best Android VPN available. T3 readers can claim three months free on any annual plan, and you'll also have a 30-day money-back guarantee before you commit.View Deal

2. NordVPN – the biggest name is still one of the best
Excellent on all devices, NordVPN is a great Android VPN. With over 5,000 servers and with impenetrable encryption, it's one of the best all-round services for mobile devices. While the interface could do with work, the price tag of just $3.71 a month is very tempting.View Deal

3. Surfshark – the cheapest Android VPN worth having
While it's not quite as fully featured as ExpressVPN, Surfshark doesn't compromise much at all – but its  monthly price of less than $2.50 might suggest otherwise. Stream to your heart's content with over 1,700 servers, and test the waters with a 30-day money-back guarantee.View Deal

The five best Android VPN apps in 2020:


(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

1. ExpressVPN

The best Android VPN app money can buy

Specifications
Number of servers: 3,000+
Server locations: 160
Maximum devices supported: 5
Play Store rating: 4.0
Reasons to buy
+Super easy to use+Powerful features on mobile+Dedicated Android kill switch+Awesome customer support
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

If you’re looking for the best all-round Android VPN app that money can buy, look no further than ExpressVPN.

Like any great VPN app, ExpressVPN allows you to stream the latest movies and TV shows on platforms like Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer; browse the web anonymously; unblock websites, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; as well secure your messages, photos and videos. 

The Android app is very easy to use and looks great, with excellent features such as a location picker, AES 256-bit encryption, unsecure network detection, advanced leak protection, a kill switch for improved security and the ability to add links to applications and services you use regularly from within the VPN.

Compatible with all Android smartphones, tablets and TV boxes, the app allows you to connect to 160 server locations in 94 countries and choose from 12 languages. ExpressVPN for Android is simple to install, and if you ever run into issues, there are guides available in the app along with class-leading 24/7 customer support. 

It isn’t the most affordable VPN out there, but you really do get what you pay for – and this Android VPN definitely packs a punch. Either way, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy. 

Exclusive offer – save 49%: T3 readers also get 3 months free with all annual ExpressVPN plans


(Image credit: NordVPN)

3. NordVPN

A straightforward VPN that doesn’t compromise on features

Specifications
Number of servers: 5,400+
Server locations: 55+
Maximum devices supported: 6
Play Store rating: 4.2
Reasons to buy
+Excellent security and privacy+Plenty of configuration+Tons of servers
Reasons to avoid
-Interface has tendency to overdo things

With over 10 million downloads and a 4.2 rating on the Google Play Store, NordVPN is clearly one of the most popular Android VPN apps available. 

NordVPN has definitely been designed for ease of use, allowing you to connect to the best VPN server through a simple tap, and will automatically connect whenever you join a new Wi-Fi network. 

If you use multiple devices, you’ll be happy to learn that you can connect up to 6 from one account. As well as this, there are over 5,000 global servers to choose from, and you’re provided with unlimited data. 

Another impressive feature is “Double VPN”, which puts your data through two sets of encryption instead of one – a very nice comfort blanket for the privacy-concerned. However, this comes at the price of speed, so it's worth considering what you value more before getting stuck in.

While NordVPN pitches itself as an easy-to-use VPN app, it comes with advanced functionalities such as split tunnelling, custom DCs, specialised servers for different needs and the option to choose different protocols. We must say, though, that compared to some, Nord's Android app can be a little tricky. The map-based interface works well on large screen, but on mobile it's clunky.

However, for the price, it's a very tempting offer.

Click to head through to the NordVPN website


(Image credit: Surfshark)

4. Surfshark

The cheapest VPN is truly feature-packed

Specifications
Number of servers: 1,700+
Server locations: 100+
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Play Store rating: 4.2
Reasons to buy
+Ridiculously cheap +Kill switch support+Lots of servers
Reasons to avoid
-Privacy policy could be clearer

Surfshark is often praised for being one of the best cheap VPN apps on the market. But while it’s significantly cheaper than the competition, that doesn’t mean it compromises on quality.

You’re getting a feature-packed VPN service, which includes things like a dedicated kill switch; protection against adverts, browser trackers, malware and phishing; IPsec and IKEv2 end-to-end encryption; and a no logs policy.

If you want to encrypt your Android phones, tablets, TV boxes and other gadgets, you get support for unlimited devices and can connect to over 1,700 servers in 63 countries. Should you ever need help, you can easily create a support ticket inside the Android app, and 24/7 live chat is also available too.

Click to head through to the Surfshark website


(Image credit: IPVanish)

2. IPVanish

A highly capable VPN app

Specifications
Number of servers: 1,400
Server locations: 75
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Play Store rating: 4.0
Reasons to buy
+Kill switch incorporated+Great configuration features+Lots of servers
Reasons to avoid
-Interface isn't as intuitive as others

IPVanish is another highly capable VPN app for Android. Describing itself as “a secure environment for everyday internet use”, it’ll encrypt and secure all your online data – which includes emails, instant messages, data transfers, browsing history and online banking.

The Android app is quick and easy to set up, asking you to select a city and then click on “connect” to begin encrypting your data. It comes with some advanced features, including split tunnelling, obfuscation, IPv6 leak protection, an integrated kill switch, plus unlimited simultaneous connections (great for protecting your whole household).

You shouldn't find the app low on servers, offering over 1,500 worldwide, and most deliver a speedy performance. When it comes to security, you’re blessed with advanced AES-256 encryption, and IPVanish won’t store your connection or activity logs. While it's not the cheapest VPN out there, you do get a 30-day money back guarantee and 24/7 support – plus a generous 250GB of SugarSync cloud storage for absolutely free.

Click to head through to the IPVanish website



(Image credit: CyberGhost)

5. CyberGhost

A decent VPN app experience for Android

Specifications
Number of servers: 6,400+
Server locations: 111
Maximum devices supported: 7
Play Store rating: 4.0
Reasons to buy
+Zero logging policy+Prevent bandwidth throttling+Kill switch
Reasons to avoid
-More powerful options out there

Rounding off this list is CyberGhost, and while the Romanian-based provider is up there with the best, it doesn't quite have the polish of those above it here.

However, it does have some interesting features that are pretty unique, namely its filtering system. If you want to stream, CyberGhost can tell you which servers will perform best, and the same goes for torrenting, too. Combined with its 6,400+ servers, that gives it quite an edge over many others.

Also, CyberGhost is one of the best cheap services around, so it you love streaming and want to save a packet, it could be worth a look – plus, its 45-day guarantee is longer than any other.

Click to head through to the CyberGhost website


If you're looking specifically for the ideal VPNs for Windows devices, make sure you also read our Windows 10 VPN guide.

Do I need an Android VPN?

The short answer is yes.

Compared to iOS (Apple fan? Our iPhone VPN guide may also prove useful), the fact that Android is an open source operating system opens it up to more security risks. While developers and security pros are constantly mitigating these, new threats are always emerging.

Having a VPN app installed on your Android device will definitely improve security overall and keep your data safe as you use internet-connected services. It’ll effectively keep you one step ahead of online crooks. We hate those guys!

What can I do with an Android VPN app?

There’s so much you can do by having a VPN app installed on your Android device. It’ll allow you to hide your IP address so you can browse the web without worrying about ISPs and governments spying on you; prevent cyber criminals from hacking into your device and accessing your data as you use public Wi-Fi; get around geo restrictions so you can unblock websites and content that aren’t available in your country or region; stream any TV show, movie or song; prevent bandwidth throttling; ensure a fast gaming experience; and find the best deals online.

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