The best Android VPNs can help keep your data secure and your online activities private. If you need one infrequently, you may be tempted to download a free VPN, but we have concerns about how somemore
The best Android VPNs can help keep your data secure and your online activities private. If you need one infrequently, you may be tempted to download a free VPN, but we have concerns about how some free services make money if they are giving away their products. In the long run, a safer choice might be a paid VPN, which can run as little as $6 a month to $40 a year for an unlimited connection.
A VPN, or virtual private network, creates a secure and private connection through a public network to ensure no one can snoop on your communications. A VPN can also help you skirt geographical restrictions and dodge censorship and content filtering by letting you connect to a server located in various regions across the globe.
You have several choices when shopping for a VPN. You can choose an all-in-one approach, where the VPN provider includes both the app and the service. Just download the VPN app and click Connect.
Others take a two-step approach, where you first pick a VPN service and then download a third-party app, such as the OpenVPN client, that you configure to connect to the service.
If you're just looking to skirt a network restriction when at work or school, for example, a good VPN might be all you need.
However, if you are looking for end-to-end privacy, a VPN is just one piece of a security toolkit that includes an encrypted browser like Orfox browser, a secure messaging app like Signal, and a password manager like LastPass.
A handful of VPN providers offer a free version of their service with a monthly data cap or with limited capabilities. Be aware, however, that the adage "If you aren't paying, you're the product" very much applies to free VPNs. Several recent reports have found that some free Android VPNs violate user privacy by tracking their activities and sharing their data with third parties. Using a free VPN certainly does not guarantee your Internet activities will be protected.
You can find lots of free VPNs for Android, but be careful to pick one that's not violating your privacy and making money off your data.
If you are looking for a free VPN, TunnelBear's puts a friendly face on networking security and privacy, watching over your data with a bear-themed virtual private network. TunnelBear offers 500MB of free VPN data each month. And if you need more, you can tweet to @theTunnelBear to get 1GB for free for a month.
For another trusted free VPN, check out Windscribe, which offers a free 2GB of data a month. If you are willing to sign up with your email address, Windscribe will increase that to 10GB a month.
Just because you pay for a VPN doesn't mean you can trust it.
For a one-stop VPN service, iVPN lets you sign up for a month for $15, three months for $40, and a year for $100. It also gives you a three-day free trial to see if you like the service before you pay.
Another all-in-one service, NordVPN starts with a free seven-day trial. You get a monthly subscription for $11.99, half a year for $41.99, or a full year for $69.99.
OpenVPN is the trusted open-source Android VPN client app. It doesn't provide the virtual private networking service, however. Instead, after you subscribe to a VPN service, you use the OpenVPN app to connect to the service.
AirVPN offers a range of subscription periods, from three days for $1.23 to one year for $66.20. After you sign up for the service, set up the OpenVPN app to connect.
BolehVPN is another VPN service where you sign up first and then connect with the OpenVPN app. Subscriptions run from $3.70 a month, to a year for $79.99.
Mullvad gives you three free hours to see if you like its service and then charges you $6 a month for unlimited data.
If you want the fastest VPN, you aren't going to find a much better or more trusted service than VikingVPN. It's not the cheapest, however, starting at $14.95 a month.