We show you how easy it is to install and use VPN on your Android phone or tablet. Unblock video and get a secure private connection on public Wi-Fi.
VPN is a reliable and affordable way to protect yourself from digital surveillance, and access forms of entertainment or websites that are not available in your country.
On Android phones, another good reason to use VPN is whenever you are connected to an unknown Wi-Fi network – especially those that don’t require a password to join, because most free public hotspots don’t. This will encrypt your connection to the internet and prevent people from stealing your personal or financial information.
Of course there are a number of endless VPN services that you can use, and if you haven’t used one provider yet, read our buying advice and the best VPN recommendations for Android.
Matching pairs for Android users include:
It’s just great to activate and run it on your device, so this is how it works.
How to set up VPN on an Android phone
We use ExpressVPN here to illustrate how to run and run VPN. First go to the Google Play Store and search for ExpressVPN. Download the application and then tap the Open button when the installation process has finished.
You must set up an account, so select the Start Free Trial option and enter your email address. The trial runs for seven days, during which you have access to all services offered. After that, you must subscribe to continue using it.
Most paid VPNs include multiple devices, and in the case of VPN Express, you can use this service simultaneously on a combination of five cellphones, tablets or PCs.
You may be asked for permission to configure your VPN (e.g. To set connections automatically). Don’t refuse this request, because VPN will not work otherwise.
The final option is to let the VPN share crash reports and other technical data with the developer. This is anonymous and only exists to help them monitor system performance. You can tap Allow if you are happy to send this information, but there is also a Don’t Allow option below.
With an account created you can now begin your adventure in Virtual Private Networks.
When really activating VPN, it’s as easy as pressing a big power button.
Open the application and you will be presented with a large button in the middle. As you may have guessed, this turns VPN on and off. Underneath all see the recommended server location. This can be changed by tapping the Select Location button.
The latter is important if you want to watch, say, Netflix from another country, because you just have to choose a server in that country. This is also useful if you find that your connection is slow, because sometimes certain servers can experience problems due to heavy traffic or because it is farther away.
When you press a button, or select a country, you will see a green shield around the button.
Now you are free to use your normal web browser knowing that all activities are hidden from surveillance. In the notification bar all see the lock icon, which states that the VPN is running and encrypts your connection.
Of course, if you go to a website or application like Facebook or YouTube then the site itself will know it’s you and record your actions, but for surfing and your general online entertainment is practically anonymous.
One of the nice things about the Android ExpressVPN application in particular is that it offers a homescreen widget so you can connect to the server from your homescreen and view VPN status without having to launch the application.
You might see a slowdown in your connection speed, which is unavoidable due to the encryption and re-routing of your data, but hopefully it’s only minimal.
If you feel it’s too slow, try switching servers. Otherwise you can limit VPN use to only certain activities that you want to keep private, or to catch up on Season 3 of Overlay.
When finished, return to the application and tap the On / Off button again and your handset will return to normal connection.
Which VPN is the best?
Getting a VPN and running your Android device is very easy. First of all, you must choose one to download. There are two main types of services available – free or subscription based.
We recommend paying for VPN services, and prices can be as low as only a few pounds or dollars per month. Most of them offer a trial or money back guarantee. See the services we recommend in our best VPN collection.
What is VPN?
If you’re curious about how it works, a Virtual Private Network is a software-based connection between two points that encrypts all data sent and received. People often use VPNs to use public Wi-Fi, hotel connections, or other potentially insecure networks without the threat of hackers stealing their information.
Another benefit of VPNs is that they disguise the location of your computer and make it look like you are entering from Los Angeles when you are actually sitting in a coffee shop in London.
This can be useful in several ways. First it gives you very good privacy because your ISP and the government cannot monitor your online activities, and second it means you can avoid regional restrictions on services like Netflix.