Maybe you want to hide your location to get U.S. Netflix from another country, maybe you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and you don’t want to expose any sensitive data, or perhaps you’re just concerned about being snooped on in general. The online world is rife with threats to your security and privacy.
BY USING A VPN SERVICE- AKA A VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK
By using a VPN service — aka a virtual private network — you can ensure that all of your internet communication is encrypted and potentially protected from prying eyes. You can also use it to connect to servers in different countries and fool websites such as Netflix. However, not all Android VPN apps are created equal. There are countless services on offer, so it can be tough to choose the right one.
You should also consider what you’re signing up for. You’re placing a lot of trust in the VPN service you choose, and some of them have questionable policies when it comes to privacy. If the service is being offered for free, it’s important to stop and think about the business model. Are they selling your data, or exposing you to other threats? To give just a couple of examples, Hola was found to be selling users’ bandwidth, and VPN Defender is owned by analytics company App Annie.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO DO A LITTLE HOMEWORK ON THE SERVICE YOU CHOOSE
Possibly the fastest and most reliable service on the market, VyprVPN is provided by Golden Frog, a company that has a solid track record when it comes to online privacy and security. It owns and runs its own networks without third-parties, doesn’t share your data with anyone, and only keeps logs of IP addresses, connection times, and bytes used for 30 days. It offers 50 server locations spread across the globe, support for 256-bit encryption, and a proprietary technology called Chameleon, which masks the fact you are using a VPN service. Chameleon is ideal if you’re looking to stream content from another country.
THE ANDROID APP IS ALSO INCREDIBLY EASY TO USE
The Android app is also incredibly easy to use. You can just tap connect to find a local server, choose the fastest server, or browse the list if you want to specify a particular country. You can see basic info on your connection, check a speed graph, and see a connection log. The nice thing about the VyprVPN app is that you can also configure it to automatically connect according to your preferences, including whenever you join an untrusted network, which is perfect for public Wi-Fi protection.
You can try it for free with a 500MB monthly data usage limit. We recommend going for the Pro account, which is $15 per month or $100 annually, or the Premier account, which is $20 per month or $120 annually. Doing so will grant you the extra features that make the service worthwhile. You can even have two simultaneous connections with the Pro account and three with the Premium.
With ExpressVPN, you have a choice of nearly 100 different locations around the world. The service is also generally reliable and touts excellent 24/7 customer support, along with support for 256-bit encryption and the ability to have two simultaneous connections.
The company doesn’t log traffic data or browsing activity, either, and the app is straightforward to use. It provides a list of viable locations with which you connect and usually works pretty well, allowing you to connect within seconds and showcasing your basic speed info. There’s also a home screen widget for quick connections, and you can try ExpressVPN free for 24 hours. After that, you’re looking at spending $13 per month, $60 for six months, or $100 for a year. The feature set is the same across the board, though, and each comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
This service has more than 500 servers spread across 101 countries, and it has a self-managed network, so there are no third-parties involved. It supports 256-bit encryption, offers round-the-clock support, and boasts a zero logging policy for your online activities. You can also have five simultaneous connections going on different devices.
The Android app is easy to use. You can browse based on your country of choice, simply tap to join a server, or just pick the fastest server available. You can also set a purpose for your online activity, whether you intend to stream movies, share files, or look for higher security and anonymity. PureVPN also says it has dedicated servers for these specific purposes, though, we’re not sure what the impact of this actually is.
You initially get 2GB of free data when you sign up, allowing you to briefly try the service before you have to pay the necessary fee. Subscriptions are currently priced at $10 per month, $45 for six months, and $50 for a year, but those prices are a special offer at the time of writing.
If you want something cute and stylish, then TunnelBear is for you. The USP here is simplicity in a friendly, bear-themed package. There is minimal logging, and TunnelBear promises to never track what you do online, to not log your IP, and not to share your data with any third-party. It also supports 256-bit encryption, has servers in 15 major countries, and offers fairly quick speeds.
The Android app is even super cute and easy to use, if a little light on data. You can see server locations on a map and tap to have your bear tunnel to them. There’s also a handy widget for the home screen.
Although you can get 500MB of free data every month, plugging the service on Twitter will net you an extra 1GB. The normal subscription costs $7 per month or $50 for the year, which gets you unlimited use on up to five devices simultaneously.
F-Secure Freedome VPN
You’ll find a decent range of servers in Europe, North America, and Asia with Freedome. It covers 16 countries in total right now. Finnish provider F-Secure promises to not log your data and allows you to create an account without registering, though, it also doesn’t allow BitTorrent use in many countries (including the United States and United Kingdom).
The Android app is pretty stylish and couldn’t be simpler to use. Fire it up, and you’ll see a big button that you can tap to turn the service on and off. There are some stats beneath. You can change location, and that’s about it. F-Secure is also an anti-virus provider, so the Freedome app offers protection from viruses, malware, and dodgy websites.
Moreover, you can try it for free for 14 days. After that, you’re looking at spending $36 a year for one device, $40 for three devices, or $48 for five devices.
Flash VPN has one of the simplest interfaces you will find. There is no complicated set up or configuration. You’ll see one button that will let you choose between servers based in Japan, the United States, or England. This VPN is completely free, and there is no connection time limit. With no complex menus, no time limits, and the fact that it’s free, if you want a quick VPN to unblock a website or two, this might be the VPN for you.
NordVPN is one of the most well respected VPNs for a number of reasons. Their no logging policy, strong military-grade encryption, and the fact that the service is based in Panama, far away from U.S. or European monitoring, makes it a very popular VPN service. In their own words: “NordVPN never logs where you go on the internet. If anyone asks, the best we can do is shrug our shoulders, and we like it that way”.
If you settle for the one month plan, you’ll be paying $11.95. You can also choose to pay every 6 months, and this plan will cost $7 per month, or go for the 1-year plan which works out at $5.75 per month.
IPVanish also promises to keep your data encrypted and secure, without any logs. IPVanish suspended their operations in Russia due to Russia’s laws conflicting with the company’s ‘no log’ policy, so it is safe to say they take this seriously. Because IPVanish doesn’t keep logs, they don’t track your activities on the internet, so you can use the service even if you do a lot of downloading.
Their plan drops from $10 per month to $6.49 per month, if you subscribe for a whole year.
Hideman is a popular VPN that offers 256-bit encryption. The interface is very easy to use, and it has servers in over 20 countries. For premium members, there is no limit on speed, or bandwidth, but BitTorrents are restricted to a few countries that allow this like Russia, Panama, Hong Kong, and a few others.
It is available for Windows, MacOS, and Android. Based in the United Kingdom, Hideman has plans as low as $2.07 per month for mobile devices for a 1-year subscription.
Download now from:
VPN by Private Internet Access
A great VPN service, Private Internet Access is very simple to set up, and very secure. If you want to use a VPN service, and also access services like Netflix in the U.S., then look elsewhere. This VPN seems to have been blocked from using U.S. Netflix. The mobile app enables you to have a ‘one-click connect’ so that you can connect the VPN when you open the app.
It does have an Internet Kill Switch that blocks all unencrypted internet traffic after you connect to the VPN. PIA also promises a ‘no log’ policy, meaning your traffic will not be monitored while connected to the service.
Pricing starts at $6.95 for a 1-month service, or $39.95 if you buy 12 months, which broken down monthly works out to $3.33 per month.