The 5 best VPN apps for Android in 2022

Choosing the best VPN can be a little tricky for Android users. Most require a subscription with short trial periods for testing. Before you start trying out different services, it’s worth taking a moment to remind yourself of exactly what a VPN does. All VPNs function with the same idea in mind: When active, they act as a screen between your device and the internet. They encrypt your traffic to minimize the chance of your activity being tracked. This helps to protect your data, and hide your online identity and IP address.

However, VPNs can’t protect you from malware. While some VPNs provide antivirus software as a bonus, a standalone security suite offers more robust protection.

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All the VPNs we’ve picked have solid track records and have been tested by third parties. No matter which one you choose, you can feel comfortable knowing your browsing activity is secure. But different VPNs have their own selling points. Some offer faster speeds, while others have more server locations. Read on to find out what VPN works best for you.

NordVPN

Best value for a VPN

Cost: $3.49/month (Best value)

  • Servers: 5,300+
  • Server Locations: 94 countries
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Devices Allowed: 6
  • Jurisdiction: Panama

If you want a fantastic VPN at a great price, NordVPN is your port of call. At $3.49/month for their two-year plan, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value VPN elsewhere. But even though there are plenty of cheaper VPNs around, NordVPN provides the best balance between features and cost.


NordVPN offers users a Double VPN service. This routes your traffic through two separate VPN servers, adding an extra layer of security to your browsing. It’s also got a great auto-connect feature, so you’ll be protected whenever you connect to a new network. It also offers additional benefits. Dark Web Monitor alerts you if your credentials are exposed online, and 24/7 customer support is easily accessible through the app.

NordVPN is based and operated in Panama. Panama has no data retention laws, so NordVPN is not required to maintain data logs. The company states it does not store any of your data.

ExpressVPN

For those who don’t want to compromise on speed

Cost: $8.35/month (Best value)

  • Servers: 3,000+
  • Server locations: 60 countries
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Devices Allowed: 5
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands


ExpressVPN is an excellent choice if you value speed above all else. While it has a relatively small number of servers, they’re located in more countries than any other service on this list, giving you great connection speeds wherever you go. ExpressVPN is available on phones, tablets, desktop computers, and gaming consoles. It’s a great pick if you’re looking to expand your protection to all your devices.

With a built-in kill-switch for sudden VPN disconnects and the ability to automatically connect when connecting to a new network, ExpressVPN has all the tools you need to browse securely on the go.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Similar to Panama, the BVI has no data retention laws. While it is a United Kingdom territory, it is an entirely separate legal jurisdiction.


Surfshark

Fantastic budget VPN

Cost: $2.49/month (Best value)

  • Servers: 3,200+
  • Server locations: 65 countries
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Devices Allowed: Unlimited
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

The cheapest VPN on this list, Surfshark doesn’t slack when it comes to features. It’s the only one on this list that doesn’t limit the maximum number of connected devices for an account, meaning your entire family can be protected.

Surfshark integrates a kill-switch just like its big brothers and has over 3,200 servers. Beyond its VPN service, Surfshark offers a host of add-ons. These include an ad-blocker, a private search engine, and a web monitor to check if you’ve been affected by a data breach.

It’s worth noting that Surfshark recently merged with Nord Security (The owner of NordVPN). While these services remain functionally independent for now, there are no guarantees this will hold true for the future​​​​​​.

ProtonVPN

The best open source VPN available

Cost: $8/month (Best value)

  • Servers: 1,318
  • Server locations: 55 countries
  • Free Trial: None, unlimited free tier available
  • Devices Allowed: 10
  • Jurisdiction: Switzerland

ProtonVPN grew from the team behind ProtonMail, a crowdfunded project dedicated to widespread online privacy. It’s also the only option on this list with a free tier, which provides a fantastic starting point if you’re new to VPNs.

While the selling point for ProtonVPN might be its free tier, it’s probably not the best bet if you value speed and reliability. With only 24 servers in 3 countries, it won’t be breaking any connection speed records. However, looking at the $8/month tier, we see a substantial number of servers and a max bandwidth of 10GB/s, enough to give you decent speed around the globe

If you care about security and privacy above all and are willing to pay a little extra, ProtonVPN should be your go-to VPN.

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland. Switzerland is an ideal choice for VPNs, as it has some of the most strict data privacy and retention laws in the world.

Google One

Best for those integrated with Google’s ecosystem.

Cost: $8.33/month (Best value)

  • Servers: Unknown
  • Server locations: Unknown
  • Free Trial: None
  • Devices Allowed: 5 Google Accounts
  • Jurisdiction: United States

Google One offers a free VPN for people who subscribe to its 5TB of higher monthly plans. It’s quick, easy to use, and we even have a guide on how to set up a VPN through the Google One app. There’s just one catch: All of your data is going through Google. You’ll have to put your trust in Google (a company whose revenue relies partially on advertising) not to look at and share your data. However, according to an independent audit, Google follows the rules.

Google One’s VPN provides an extremely limited set of features. There’s no way to set your VPN server location and very few extra privacy tools. However, a kill-switch for sudden disconnects and integration with Android’s Quick Settings toolbar makes it a simple way to secure your browsing. Put short, it’s an ideal choice if you want a no-frills VPN that just works.

Google is based in the United States. Some believe Google One’s VPN cannot be considered entirely trustworthy since laws like the Patriot Act allow the government to collect web history and browsing data.

None of these options seem right to you? Did you know you can make your own VPN? Check out our guide on how to make your own self-hosted VPN in under 30 minutes.


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