If you’ve got an Android smartphone or tablet and you don’t want your device or apps giving away your geolocation info around the clock, you might want to consider using a VPN. Can a VPN eliminate all your privacy concerns on an Android device? Most certainly not. But the best Android VPN can provide you with whole-device protection so Google can’t see your geolocation, your internet service provider can’t view your browsing activity or app usage, and your other apps’ owners can’t track what you’re doing outside of their apps. And in an era of constant surveillance and ever-increasing data breaches, that kind of protection is enough to prevent you from being low-hanging fruit.
According to the most recent trend reports, Android-specific VPN downloads have made up about 75% of the mobile VPN surge over the past few years. In just 12 months between 2019 and 2020, more than 480 million mobile VPN apps were downloaded around the globe, or 54% more than the year before, according to research firm Top10VPN. Though free VPN services accounted for 84% of all mobile VPN downloads, we strongly recommend that you avoid using free VPNs. It’s better to go with a trusted paid VPN that’s among one of our recommended providers. It isn’t about promoting premium services; it’s about safety. In the murky world of VPNs, you really do get what you pay for.
If you’re on a budget and trying to save money, or you simply need a temporary VPN on your Android device, we suggest you test-drive one of our recommended VPN providers with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Though it isn’t the same as a permanently free VPN, most premium VPN providers are more than willing to offer you a sample of their goods to prove their service is worthy of a long-haul subscription.
These are the best Android VPN options we’ve tested. Though CNET’s directory of the best VPN services ranks these apps and others by how well they held up during the testing and evaluation process, this list of the best Android VPNs specifically focuses on the mobile offerings of each VPN service provider. CNET regularly tests and evaluates new VPN apps — so be sure to check back here to get up to speed as new contenders emerge.
Read more: You Need to Be Using a VPN on Your Phone. Here’s How to Set It Up in Under 10 Minutes
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