15 best Android VPN apps

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There are a few bugs here and there. First, you can't tell if the network has been configured incorrectly, allowing others on the network to see your data. The same is true for sporting events, such as official MLB streams. The paid options bump that up to 50GB and unlimited data, respectively. It has a lot of the same features.

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You'll have access to: Unlimited pageviews both app and developer details Recent install count per app last 30 days Detailed ranking data per app Recent install count per developer last 30 days Full timeline per developer Device market shares data per country 1 Month. Each subscription will automatically renew 3 days before the expiration date for the same time period. Subscriptions can be cancelled at any time before the renewal. It'll boot you from the network after 60 minutes.

You can renew or reconnect as needed. However, this mechanic boots people off to free up bandwidth for active users. There isn't a lot of additional information. Thus, we can't comment on their logging practices or privacy. However, it'll work well enough to make it look like you're somewhere else.

It's a good, simple, free option. It's also the same developer that serves Opera its free VPN servers. It has a lot of the desirable features.

The app has a strict no logging policy. Additionally, it's one of the few VPNs that actually has extra features for those who download torrents. Add servers in 28 countries and this is actually a feature packed VPN. The prices are fairly reasonable. The free version gets you MB of data. It boasts a lot of good things. That includes unlimited bandwidth for free, no logging or user tracking, and it boasts servers all over the world.

It seems almost too good to be true, right? During our testing, we didn't run into any real issues. The UI is easy enough and it does connect. Speeds are about average, but for the price, we didn't really think about it much.

This appears to be a really decent, free VPN. We had no problems with it. It works like most VPN apps. You connect, it hides your location and your traffic, and that's that. The free version gives you MB per month. The company has a no logging policy. It will also shut down all traffic if your connection is interrupted. That way nothing gets through on accident. It's good for what it is. It can do all of the things you'd expect. There are over half a dozen countries to choose from. You can also just choose the fastest server if needed.

It doesn't require a username, login, or account. However, we couldn't get a bead on their logging practices. It's not available in China for what that's worth. It is completely free with no in-app purchases or subscriptions yet.

There are ads, though. VyprVPN is another popular option. It features servers in over 70 countries. They also maintain their own hardware. Otherwise, it works as expected. You connect and then surf the web. The free version includes a one-time stipend of 1GB.

You'll have to pay for one of the premium plans to get more. But for most people, this feature will probably be used to watch region-locked streaming content. The same is true for sporting events, such as official MLB streams. That said, companies and content providers are starting to get wise.

Netflix in particular has begun blocking VPN connections. Note that streaming companies are well within their rights to block VPN users. There are some VPNs that work with Netflix. But in my experience, their effectiveness can change on a day-to-day basis as the streaming companies and VPN services play a cat-and-mouse game of spoofing and blocking.

There's also been much talk about whether a VPN can save net neutrality. The idea is that, if you tunnel past your ISP, it won't be able to throttle your connection or charge you to access specific online services.

That makes sense on paper, but it will all depend on what the ISPs decide to do. They could simply throttle all VPN traffic, for example. To me, the issue of net neutrality is one that should be decided on by Congress and not left up to individuals to solve, ad hoc. It's not surprising that rerouting your connection to other, perhaps distant, servers can have a negative impact on your web browsing speed. Usually, a VPN greatly increases your latency, and reduces the speed of download and uploads.

How annoying the impact is will depend on the location of the VPN servers and the network infrastructure the VPN provider can access, among other things. Very rarely, a VPN service may actually improve your web browsing. Generally, that's because the VPN provider has access to higher bandwidth internet in other countries. But it is, as I've said, a rare thing.

Note that most VPNs can also protect you when you're connected to cellular networks as well. This might seem like overkill, but there are exotic attacks to intercept cellphone data. One such attack involves jamming the LTE and 3G bands, forcing nearby phones to attempt to connect via a 2G connection, the encryption of which has long been broken.

The attackers use a portable cell tower, similar to a Femtocell , and trick nearby phones into connecting. In my testing, I don't look at VPN performance over cellular connections.

That's because I can't control how or when the phone connects with cell towers. By restricting my testing to Wi-Fi, I can control more variables and emulate the circumstances most people will probably experience.

The biggest hurdle to using a VPN on a mobile device is maintaining a connection. Annecdotally, I've found that it takes longer to establish connections when a VPN is engaged, and that dropped connections are more common with VPN than without. That's just my impression, however, and I know that VPN companies are working to ensure that their products don't intrude too much on your daily usage. I definitely recommend taking advantage of free trials with VPN services, so you can get a sense of how the product will work in your life firsthand.

Although Android phones and tablets are radically different in form factor than desktops and laptops, what I look for in a VPN remains the same. The question I am asked the most is "which is the fastest VPN? The number and distribution of available VPN servers provided by the company is far more important than speed. Lots of servers in lots of places means that you'll have an easier time finding a nearby server while traveling.

When you're in a foreign country and you're desperate to get information directions or translation, perhaps , you probably won't be worried about whether or not the Wi-Fi connection you've found is secure. VPNs give you some assurance in these situations. The location of the VPN company is also important.

Depending on where the company has its corporate headquarters, local laws may require the company to retain user data. That's not a good thing, especially if maintaining your privacy is your primary concern. Reading the company's terms of service is a great way to figure out the logging and data retention policies.

Nearby servers are good, since they generally provide better speed and performance. A surfeit of servers also means that you'll have many options when spoofing your location, should you desire it. Most VPN services don't allow BitTorrent , since it's a drain on resources and opens a legal can of worms. A few services allow file sharing on specific servers, and even fewer will allow them on any server.

While I seriously doubt many people will be using their Android phones for Torrenting, be sure to respect the rules for your chosen VPN service. Breaking them can sometimes mean being banned without a refund. Finally, price and licenses are a very important factor to consider.

VPN services range from free to incredibly expensive, and you'll want to make sure you can connect all your devices to the VPN service. If you're looking at a service that falls outside this range, be sure that it's offering something unique to make up for it. Most companies allow five or six devices to connect at a time. You'll want to make sure you have enough licenses to cover all your mobile devices and computers, too.

Most VPN services have a pretty consistent design across platforms, but it's an unfortunately rare thing for developers to create a VPN for macOS that actually blends in. I highly recommend trying several VPN services on all your machines and finding the ones that work best for your particular mix of devices.

What Is a VPN?