Best Android VPN 2023 – CNET

If you use an Android smartphone or tablet, and you don’t like the idea of ​​your device or apps giving away your geolocation information around the clock, you might want to consider using a VPN or virtual private network. Will a VPN completely eliminate all your privacy concerns on your mobile device? of course not. But the best Android VPN can offer you device-wide protection so that Google can’t see your geolocation, your ISP can’t see your app usage or browsing activity, and The owners of your other apps don’t know what you are doing outside of their app. And that kind of protection is enough to keep you from being low-hanging fruit in an age of constant surveillance and rapidly increasing data breaches.

According to the latest trend reports, specifically for Android VPN Downloads have accounted for about 75% of mobile VPN growth over the past few years. More than 480 million mobile VPN apps were downloaded worldwide in just 12 months between 2019 and 2020, according to Research company Top10VPN. This is about 54% more than the previous year. Although free services accounted for 84% of all mobile VPN downloads, we strongly recommend using an experienced paid VPN and avoid using free VPNs for Android whenever possible. This is not about promoting premium services; It’s about safety. In the murky world of VPNs, you really do get what you pay for.

However, if you’re trying to save money or just need a temporary VPN on your Android device, we suggest you test drive one of Our recommended VPN providers with a 30-day money-back guarantee. While this is not the same as a permanently free VPN, most premium VPN providers are willing to offer you a sample of their wares to prove that their service is worthy of a long-term subscription.

Below, you’ll find the best Android VPN options we’ve reviewed. While CNET’s Directory of the best VPN services Ranking these apps and others according to how well they stood up during the testing and evaluation process, this list of the best VPNs for Android focuses specifically on each VPN service provider’s mobile offering. CNET regularly tests and evaluates new VPN apps — so be sure to check back here to catch up when new contenders emerge.

read more: You need to use a VPN on your phone. Here’s how to set it up in less than 10 minutes



Savings 49% discount with a 12-month plan (+3 months free)final exams No leaks detected, 2% speed loss in spring 2022 testingNetwork 3,000 plus servers in 160 locations in 94 countriesJurisdiction British Virgin Islands

Despite battling major upheavals through the end of 2021, ExpressVPN has won our Editors’ Choice award for Best VPN of 2022. One of the two largest providers in the world, the VPN titan has been in business since 2009 and once again aggressively raised the industry bar for service transparency this year.

49% discount with a 12-month plan (+3 months free)



Savings $2.49 per month with a 24-month plan (+2 months free)final exams Zero data leaks and 19% internet speed loss in Fall 2022 testingNetwork 3,200 plus in 99 countriesJurisdiction Netherlands

Surfshark boasts an impressive suite of privacy and security features, unlimited simultaneous connections, an easy-to-use interface, and an extensive global network. And it is still significantly cheaper than most of its competitors. That’s what helped Surfshark earn CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Best Value VPN in 2022.

$2.49 per month with a 24-month plan (+2 months free)



Savings 59% discount with a 24-month plan (+ 3 additional months)final exams No leaks detected, 13% speed loss in summer 2022 testingNetwork 5,600 plus servers in 84 locations in 59 countriesJurisdiction Panama

NordVPN is one of the most recognized brands in the VPN field. Part of the brand’s recognition is based on its distinct and straightforward design. Nord’s Android application It’s just as easy to communicate with as its desktop VPN client, with a similar design. It presents no learning curve for a first-time user looking to switch from desktop to mobile.

IPVanish VPN logo


Savings 66% discount with a 12-month planfinal exams DNS leaks detected, 58% speed loss in Spring 2022 testsNetwork 2,000 plus servers in 75 locations in 52 countriesJurisdiction United States

A big win for IPVanish is its fun and configurable interface, making it an ideal client for those interested in learning how to understand what a VPN does under the hood. With the redesigned app for androidIPVanish manages to pack the same extensive suite of buttons and digital dials into a clean and refreshing mobile interface to impressive effect.

66% discount with a 12-month plan

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Android VPN FAQ

What is the best VPN for Android right now?

Thanks to its impressive performance, speed and usability, ExpressVPN It’s CNET’s current pick for the best VPN for Android. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s the fastest of all the VPN options right now. Surfshark It is a close second among Android VPN choices and offers a simple and effective app. NordVPN, The third best option is a heavy hitter that costs more than Surfshark but less than Express. Although it doesn’t offer as many server locations as the others, NordVPN’s network is constantly getting faster and more secure, and it’s easily the most reliable service we’ve tested. finishing the group, IPVanish It is a solid choice for beginners.

A mobile VPN is a VPN optimized for use on mobile devices. The best VPN providers we reviewed all offer excellent mobile apps that work well on both Android and iOS devices. Using a mobile VPN can also yield faster speeds than desktop VPNs, as they typically require less processing power and have a smaller memory footprint. Check out CNET’s other specific VPN guides below for more information on mobile VPNs. They are regularly updated with new information as we continue to review VPNs, so check back often.

What is the best free VPN?

We do not recommend using free VPNs as they are dangerous to use. Free VPNs usually make money by selling user data, and some have even been found to be full of malware. Moreover, free VPNs are often slow, impose usage and data limits, offer a minimal selection of servers and are generally less secure than paid VPNs. Check out CNET’s list of the best cheap VPNs if you want to find a budget-friendly premium VPN.

Can you get in trouble for using a VPN?

Unless you’re in a country like China or Iran where using a VPN is prohibited or illegal, you don’t have to worry about getting into legal trouble just for using a VPN. In most countries, using a VPN is completely legal. But if you’re in a country where VPN usage is restricted, you’ll need to connect to an obscure server. This will mask your VPN traffic as regular HTTPS web traffic, so authorities won’t know you’re using a VPN in the first place.

What are the disadvantages of using a mobile VPN?

There are several downsides to using a mobile VPN, but they depend on a few key factors: your usual geographic location, your choice of VPN provider, the quality of your phone’s mobile service, and your phone’s relative processing speed.

  • Slower speeds: VPNs can slow your typical browsing speed down to half of their typical speed. However, we’ve speed-tested the VPNs we recommend, and update them regularly so you can find the fastest speeds if you’re worried about slowdowns. Check out our list of the fastest VPNs we can find.
  • Connections dropped: If you live in an area with poor mobile data speeds or internet service connection quality, you will notice that a VPN may cause you to disconnect your internet connection more often. You can prevent this by switching from a UDP-based protocol (like Wireguard, used by Surfshark or NordLynx from NordVPN) to a TCP-based protocol. The trade-off is that UDP is generally faster, while TCP is generally more stable. If you use ExpressVPN, we recommend switching to Lightway in the settings menu. It is a custom encryption protocol that combines UDP speed with TCP stability for a much smoother experience.
  • Some sites will not be accessible: Some websites rely on your IP address to verify your identity and allow you to use their services. A VPN hides your IP address. If these sites can’t recognize you, they may not let you in. Other sites like Netflix often fight access by VPN users and will block you from accessing their services if they detect your VPN. Few VPNs are able to bypass Netflix’s block, but we test each VPN for streaming capability and report the results in our full reviews. So if mobile streaming is important to you, be sure to check out the full review before committing to a subscription.

What does my ISP see when I’m connected to my VPN?

Your ISP will see that you’re connected to a VPN, but they won’t be able to see any of your internet activity like the sites you visit or your browsing history because your traffic is encrypted. It will also show things like the IP address of the VPN server you’re connecting through, the timestamps of when you’re connected, and the amount of data being transferred. You can connect to an obfuscated server, if your VPN offers one, to hide your VPN usage from your ISP.

Can a mobile VPN make me completely anonymous online?

No VPN can make you completely anonymous online. There seems to be a common misconception that VPNs can make you anonymous, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security when using a VPN. Online anonymity is nearly impossible to achieve, given the size of the average person’s digital footprint. VPNs are great for protecting your privacy and keeping your data safe from online snoopers, but you can’t trust your VPN to give you complete online anonymity—even if it claims to.

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