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So you’ve heard about the security and privacy benefits of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app, and you want to take advantage of them on your Android phone or tablet. Now it’s time to pick out the right VPN service for you. You’ve got a number of options to pick from, but here are my picks for the best free VPNs for Android. You might also want to check out our guides to the best free VPNs and the best paid VPNs for any device.

With something as important as a VPN, it’s usually best to pay for the app—it typically means you get a more reliable, more trustworthy experience, as the developers behind the VPN won’t be trying to make money out of you in other ways. Remember that your VPN can see everything you do online, so you have to pick one you trust.

That said, there are definitely some impressive free VPNs that are worth checking out if you’re on a tight budget or you just want to see what using a VPN is like—they’ll typically come with a variety of limitations, but they’re usable. In most cases, you can upgrade to a more fully featured version inside the same app.


PrivadoVPN app

PrivadoVPN is simple to use, and quick.
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It doesn’t take long at all to get started with PrivadoVPN: You just supply an email address, tap on a link sent to that email address, and away you go. Press the big Tap to Connect button on the front screen to connect to a recommended server, and once that’s done, your VPN protection is active—perfect if you need something that’s quick and easy to use.

Switching between server locations is simple, as well, although the available options are limited for free users. If you’re not paying for PrivadoVPN, there are data restrictions, too: You get a 10GB data allowance every 30 days, which should be plenty for occasional use, if you’re saving it for those times when you specifically need the extra privacy protection.

TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN app

TunnelBear VPN comes with several handy extras.
Credit: Lifehacker

TunnelBear VPN is something of a veteran when it comes to the VPN world, and that longevity is evidence that this is a VPN that you can rely on. You won’t have any problems getting started or getting connected, and it’s also an app that’s clear about its privacy policy and how it manages the data and app permissions on your Android device.

The VPN comes with some cool extra features, too, including options to pause your internet connection if TunnelBear VPN is disabled, and to pick specific apps on your phone and tablet that are permitted to work outside of the VPN. As a free user, you’re limited in terms of the servers you can connect to, and you only get 500MB of data to go through in a month.

Proton VPN

Proton VPN app

ProtonVPN is a capable, secure option.
Credit: Lifehacker

Proton products, from email clients to cloud storage, are built with security and privacy in mind, which means Proton VPN is one of the most trustworthy free VPNs for Android out there. We’ve written before about how much we like it: It’s straightforward to use and comprehensive in what it offers, though a lot of features require a paid subscription.

If you stick to the free plan, you can only use Proton VPN on one device, you’re limited in terms of the servers you can connect to around the world, and you have to settle for “medium” speeds rather than the highest available. That’s not bad, however, in return for a completely free VPN service that’s committed to keeping its users safe while online.

Bitdefender VPN

Bitdefender VPN app

Bitdefender offers ad and tracker blocking as well.
Credit: Lifehacker

Bitdefender is a well-respected security software company, so Bitdefender VPN is one of the more trustworthy free VPNs for Android you’re going to come across. It’s quick and simple to use, the connections are usually speedy, and you get extras such as ad blocking and tracker blocking included (even if you’re using the free VPN plan).

When it comes to the free VPN component, you just have to tap to connect, and that’s it—but you can’t choose the server you connect to and you only get 200MB of data per day, so you need to be selective about when you turn it on. Even with these restrictions, the Bitdefender brand and the bundled extras mean it’s still one of the best free Android VPNs.

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN app

Atlas VPN couldn’t be any simpler to use.
Credit: Lifehacker

Atlas VPN has a lot going for it, including an intuitive interface and a consistently reliable level of performance: When it comes to the core VPN functionality, you just tap to enable or disable it, with the connection process and location choice handled automatically. There’s split tunneling support too, if you only want certain apps to connect via the VPN.

The standard free VPN limitations are in evidence here again: You only get a choice of four different locations in terms of where in the world your VPN server is, and there’s a 5GB per month data cap in place as well. For a lot of users, those restrictions are fine—and if they’re not, you’re able to quickly upgrade in the app as and when you need to.

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