Hand hold smartphone with VPN vitual Private network proxy application on screen. Vector illustration.

Image source: Freepik

A Virtual Private Network or a VPN is like a data tunnel inside the river of communication that you send across your network. Whatever is sent through that tunnel is completely secured and safe from any interception or leak from any third party. It achieves this by routing your communication through a dedicated VPN server and, in turn, masking your IP address.

Benefits of having a VPN on an Android device

Amongst all the VPN users, 64 percent of VPN users connect on mobile devices every month. We use our smartphones to keep in touch with the world wirelessly at all times. You can message or call friends, do bank transactions, send/receive emails, surf the internet, shop online, and even conduct business online.

Using your Android device for this is pretty convenient and time-efficient. It would be best to consider the security factors when using your android device to get all of this done.

Especially if you use public WiFi networks, you need to be extra cautious to protect your online activity. Sophisticated hackers can easily eavesdrop and record every key you tap while interacting on a public wireless connection. This is called keylogging. Attackers can even intercept the data sent between your Android and a website or server and get access to your browsing activity instantly.

A secure VPN connection on your Android smartphone or tablet can provide a host of benefits like:

  • Providing a secure connection through a VPN server by encrypting your data while on that connection.
  • Masking your internet protocol (IP) address so hackers cannot identify your actual IP address & location.
  • Gaining access to Geo-restricted web content through a VPN service.
  • Browsing the internet smoothly as VPN ensures that ad-trackers cannot trace you back through your IP address and show you annoying ads.
  • Preventing corporate data breaches while working from home, preventing leakage of sensitive information online.

Best Paid Android VPN Apps

1. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is one of the leading VPN providers globally. It has 3200+ servers in 65+ countries worldwide. Surfshark doesn’t keep track of your browsing history by maintaining a strict no-logs policy and the camouflage mode ensures even your ISP doesn’t know about your VPN usage. The multi-hop feature enables you to connect via multiple countries at once to ensure complete ID protection & footprint masking.

In case your VPN was to drop, the kill switch ensures that your sensitive info is always safeguarded. A private DNS on each server and leak protection when using the IPv4 stack ensures complete security at all steps. Surfshark encrypts all your data with AES-256 GCM encryption. It uses IKEv2/IPsec as a default protocol & also OpenVPN if you would want to.

The no borders mode allows you to access geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world. If you wanted to let some trusted apps run without a VPN like bank apps, the whitelister option allows you to bypass the VPN and connect them directly to the internet.

Surfshark VPN lets you use it on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with a single account. Also, you can make huge savings by using a Surfshark discount if you plan to buy a subscription. You can even save more by sharing the account with your family members & friends, as it supports unlimited device connections.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN relies on its intuitive and easy-to-use design of the VPN app. It ensures all your communication is always end-to-end encrypted and keeps it private with a strict no-logs policy. NordVPN had 5400+ servers to ensure you can access virtually all of the geo-restricted content globally without sacrificing speed.

It also has Split-tunneling support along with a kill-switch. You can also change your IP twice to completely protect your identity. NordVPN also allows for P2P torrenting. One NordVPN account lets you connect upto six devices at a time.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works on AES 256-bit encryption to provide some of the fastest speeds possible on a VPN. It has advanced data leak protection that ensures your privacy & security stay intact. ExpressVPN has a network of 160 servers across 94 countries and helps access most geo-restricted content on many platforms.

An auto-connect option on WiFi ensures complete security on any public networks that you haven’t marked safe. ExpressVPN also supports split-tunneling & has a kill-switch for complete data protection.

4 CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN offers a simple & intuitive design with a one-tap connection that runs on 256- bit encryption. They have a strict no-logs policy. You can access any geo-restricted content through a network of 6400+ servers in 90+ countries worldwide.

CyberGhost VPN makes sure that you get notified if you are getting connected to any insecure and unsafe public WiFi network.

5. Private Internet Access

PIA protects your private data by encrypting your WiFi by using OpenVPN or WireGuard technologies. They have a strict no-logs policy. PIA also supports P2P torrents & multiple VPN gateways. It also includes a SOCKS5 Proxy for an additional security layer.

PIA also blocks ads, trackers & malware from your browsing. PIA has as high as 34552+ servers in 77 countries, ensuring you can access any geo-restricted content worldwide. A single subscription can work on ten devices simultaneously.

6. IPVanish

IPVanish uses various protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, and an AES-256 bit encryption to ensure complete security & data privacy. They also have a zero logs policy. While some firewalls can detect and block OpenVPN, IPVanish resolves this issue with an OpenVPN Scramble that acts as an extra layer to counter this blockage.

IPVanish can be installed on unlimited devices with a single subscription.

Should I use a free or Paid VPN service?

It is highly recommended that you use a VPN on all of your android devices at all times. Should you use, a free or paid service depends on your individual use and application.

A free VPN service usually ends up selling your browsing data to third-party apps to sustain their business. They also serve ads targeted to you based on your browsing activity, which means they are still keeping track of your browsing history. At the worst, some free VPN providers have been linked to nasty malware payloads.

However, some VPN providers offer genuinely free VPN with a limited data per month or free trials. If your usage is basic and fits in these providers, you can opt for them.

However, if you are using many devices for browsing the web for sensitive information like online bank transactions, you definitely need a paid VPN service. A paid service ensures that your online browsing activity is always safe & secured. When it comes to choosing the right VPN, always choose a brand that is safe & trustworthy.

Conclusion: Choosing the Best Android VPN

As more & more companies offer their employees to work from home, the usage & importance of VPNs has significantly risen in the year 2020. In 2020, there was a rise of 27.1% in VPNs usage globally, as against an average of 17% before that.

Choosing the perfect VPN mostly depends on how you use your mobile device, what type of data you exchange over the web every day, and the security level you desire. In any case, it is always a good idea to have a trusted VPN installed on your Android device for a smooth & carefree browsing experience.