The internet is an infinite web of interconnected cells. Important as this is in this age of information and technology, there’s no denying the security risks it also makes possible.
A virtual private network (VPN) is an invaluable asset in this day and time. Unfortunately, finding one that works well requires a bit of a search. How about finding a free VPN for Android? Extremely difficult.
Most free VPN providers for Android set up shop with terrible intent. Many look to sell your personal data and browsing history to the highest bidder, effectively becoming that which they claim to prevent. Others, however, are prone to regular data leaks and breaches that put your data in the wrong hands.
For this reason, it’s always recommended that you spend a few bucks to get yourself a reputable, premium VPN service such as CyberGhost. These VPNs are trustworthy, with serious data protection techniques and superfast servers.
But that’s not to say all free VPNs are bad. Here, we’ve put together a list of the best free VPNs for Android. These are VPNs you can use at no monetary or privacy cost. They also deliver quality download speeds, and are easy to use.
Connecting to an Android VPN secures your traffic through multiple encryption layers. This encrypted traffic is then routed through a secure server in a different location. By the time your traffic request emerges from the server, it is given a new IP address associated with the server location.
Thanks to this process, a VPN allows you to:
Setting up VPN networks, and keeping them running, consumes plenty of resources. This cost is what is typically borne by subscribers to premium VPN services. So, what happens when the VPN provider doesn’t take your money?
If they aren’t finding other harmful ways to benefit from your patronage, you’re likely to experience the following limitations:
PrivateVPN heads our list of the best free VPNs for Android. This is thanks to its provision of wholly premium services at no cost. Interestingly, you don’t need to enter any payment details before you begin, so there’s no chance you’d be erroneously charged.
PrivateVPN provides users with access to its entire premium package during the trial period. This means access to every high-speed server in more than 60 countries. All of these servers are optimized for streaming and torrenting, and successfully unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others like it.
For security, the VPN combines a 256-bit encryption protocol with IPv6/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. No logs of your personal activities are stored.
The limitation? The free plan is only available for 7 days after which you’d have to purchase the service. Want to test out even more? Feel free to take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee on your first purchase. Users will also enjoy up to 6 simultaneous connections.
Windscribe is a fairly generous free VPN provider for Android. This provider allows as much as 10GB of free data each month, but only if you register with your email. Otherwise, you’d have to make do with 2GB of monthly data. For an extra 5GB of data, you can tweet at them.
That said, Windscribe’s generosity is also noted in the number of servers it avails free users – 20 in 10 countries. For a free plan, this is plenty to choose from.
Though lightweight, the Windscribe Android app is packed full of features. Security is assured with a combination of a military-grade 256-bit encryption, kill switch, strict no-logs policy, and built-in ad/malware blocker codenamed R.O.B.E.R.T.
All Windscribe servers support P2P file sharing and torrenting. However, its free servers are not strong enough to bypass Netflix. Free servers can also get a little slow due to overcrowding, especially the more popular US servers.
The VPN is present across a variety of OS and platform, including browser VPN extensions for Android.
Arguably the best free VPN clients for Android, Hotspot Shield offers user free 500 MB data per day or 15GB monthly. Although limited, it gives you plenty of data for protection while surfing the internet or checking your mail. It also provides just enough for standard definition streaming of up to 30+ minutes.
You wouldn’t need to sign up or enter your credit card details to begin. Just download and connect. The app will automatically select a server for you. To freely select your desired server, and also have more server options (over 3,000), you’d need a premium plan.
Hotspot Shield employs a rugged 256-bit encryption in conjunction with a strict no-logs policy. Although mostly stable, the 2-server limitation for all free users sometimes manifest in the form of slower connection speeds.
This makes Hotspot Shield a tad difficult to use for streaming. If you’re looking to unblock services like Disney+ and Netflix, you should also know that the free Hotspot Shield doesn’t work on that front.
For a full taste of what you can get with the premium version at no cost, you could take advantage of a free 7-day trial period. You’d also enjoy a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee on your first VPN subscription.
If you’re in need of a free phone VPN that simply protects your privacy at all costs, hide.me makes for a great candidate. However, with only 2GB of free data provided each month, this isn’t a VPN for streaming. But it should carry you through regular website browsing and unblocking.
hide.me follows a strict no-logs policy. Its easy to use app combines a 256-bit encryption with an automatic kill switch to great effect. And if you’d rather not run certain apps through your encrypted network, those can be filtered out using its Stealth Mode option.
Speaking on limitations, hide.me limits free users to just 5 servers out of 70. As with most free VPNs on this list, hide.me cannot unblock streaming services like Netflix. But these can both be changed by upgrading to a premium account.
The premium option can be enjoyed risk-free for 30 days, thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Like PrivateVPN, ProtonVPN’s free version has no caps on data limits. This is a completely free VPN for Android with no data caps, ads, or hidden charges. Likewise, there’s no known record of data selling.
A free mobile VPN, the VPN is easy to set up and use. Once you sign up, you’d be granted access to 3 different servers – in the US, Netherlands, and Japan. Your connection will then be protected by a 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, and a 4096-bit RSA encryption.
With the free version, though, you should be prepared for the tussle with network speed due to congestion. This makes it a poor choice for any looking to use ProtonVPN for streaming. There’s also no support for P2P file sharing on the free servers.
The ProtonVPN free version is available for 7 days as soon as you sign up. After this, your first purchase will be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Yet another free VPN for Android on our list, Speedify is easy to install and use. The VPN offers 5GB of free data each month, and is strong enough to unblock Netflix.
For security, Speedify employs the 128GCM encryption, which is weaker than the 256-bit encryption. However, this is still strong enough for regular everyday use. To ensure connection speeds are high enough, it uses channel bonding, which combines your Wi-Fi connection with cellular data.
Unfortunately, connection speeds remain slow. Channel bonding consumes more data, and it’s hardly any faster still. Meanwhile, Speedify collects more user information than most, with your contact details, and connection times and duration all stored. No browsing history is recorded.
The Opera browser may not be the most popular Android browser, with others like Chrome and Firefox stealing the limelight, but it’s a chromium-based browser that has continued to improve.
If you’re in need of a browser VPN for Android, this is one of your better bets. You’d be able to select from three virtual locations – Asia, Europe and the US, with no data limits, time caps, or required subscriptions.
You should note, though, that the Opera VPN is limited in scope to just the Opera browser. This means no other apps will receive VPN encryption when you connect on the browser.
Opera VPN doesn’t unblock Netflix. If it did, the slow connections experienced most times will make streaming frustrating. If you’re only an occasional VPN user, this sure is a great VPN option for Android, that’s uber easy to use.
There’s a ton of VPNs for Android to select from out there. But there’s no guarantee they’d work well, deliver decent speeds, or even keep your personal data secure. Before selecting any free VPN, be sure to check out the reviews of others, check for the busines model adopted by the VPN provider, and the VPN’s limitations.
That said, a number of VPNs, such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN offer between 30- and 45-day money-back guarantee on first time purchases. This can be exploited to enable you try out the VPN, and receive your money back should you choose against continuing with the provider.