Open the Google PlayStore on your Android device and type “VPN”. Within an instant, you’ll see an endless list of free Android VPN apps, a great many of which claim to be totally free.
Although these VPNs actually are free to download and use, many of these can be dangerous for your privacy. A research by CSIRO revealed that as much as 38% of Android VPN apps (both free and paid) on the PlayStore were secretly injecting malware in user’s devices.
This is an alarming discovery and underscores the importance of being cautious when picking a VPN to use on your Android. Most free VPNs are riddled with pesky ads and unscrupulously sell your information to third parties.
This is why I strongly recommend using an affordable VPN like Surfshark because you can only be 100% sure about a VPN’s legitimacy and service quality if you’re actually paying for it. You can also test it on your Android phone by taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
I tested 33 free VPN apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10, but most of these performed poorly and don’t deserve to be given a chance at all. But I was quite impressed with five of the VPNs that I tested, enough to give them a place in my list of best free VPN for Android as given below.
Main Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN for Android
If you’re going to get a free VPN, you’ll have to accept some disadvantages that almost always part and parcel of a free VPN app. Some of the common disadvantages are:
Free VPN services often neglect to use modern encryption and tunneling protocols, leaving users exposed online. Protection is the most essential function of VPNs, so if a VPN can’t even ensure your security effectively, it certainly can’t be relied on for anything else either.
Since providers offering VPNs for free aren’t charging users anything, they have to enforce data transfer limits in order to serve a large number of users equally. Therefore, you’re going to have to bear bandwidth limits with 99% of free Android VPN apps out there.
Like bandwidth, speed is also often throttled by free providers because they can’t generally afford to provide full speeds to users on the free plan. Providers generally reserve express speeds for their paid users – and honestly – that makes sense since paying customers to deserve the best quality of service.
Free apps generally only support a single device that they’re installed on, unlike paid VPNs that generally support simultaneous connections on a variety of devices. If you need to use a VPN on multiple devices, then a free Android VPN isn’t going to be much help.
5 Best Free VPNs for Android [November 2020]
After extensive research, I have compiled a list of top-rated free Android VPNs that can actually make your online activities safe from the eyes of trackers, spies, governments, cyber-criminals, and their ilk:
So without further ado, here are the 5 best free VPNs for Android phones to have in 2020.
1. Surfshark – Best Free Unlimited VPN for Android
Surfshark offers a 7-day free trial exclusively for Android phones. For 7 days, you will get complete access to all Surfshark features such as its network of 6,500+ servers and the very strong AES-256 encryption. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can enjoy all its features for a month for free.
In addition, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs to unblock popular streaming services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer on your Android phone. Due to its excellent unblocking powers for streaming apps, it is the best free VPN for Android box as well.
Many Surfshark servers are optimized for P2P-file-sharing so if you need to ensure your security while downloading torrents on Android, for instance, you can count on Surfshark’s powerful encryption and zero-logging policy to do the job for you. It also supports unlimited simultaneous connections so you can use it on multiple devices at once.
Surfshark provides unlimited bandwidth and there are no speed caps, which is usually a problem you’ll have to face with most other free services. What’s more Surfshark is the fastest free VPN for Android. You can download it from the PlayStore or you can find this best free VPN apk from google as well.
If you do decide to continue your subscription with Surfshark after the initial 7-day free period, it will only cost $2.21/mo for a 2 year period. That makes it one of the most affordable VPNs to have for better privacy on an Android phone or tablet.
To learn more about this VPN, see this Surfshark review.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fast speeds
- Not entirely free
2. Windscribe – Popular Free Android VPN (10GB/month)
Windscribe is a Canada-based VPN that offers a free VPN app for Android. There are 10 server locations to choose from in the free version some of which even support torrenting (Switzerland and Netherlands). It’s one of the best free mobile VPN App for you.
However, there is a 10GB/month limit on the free version of Windscribe. To get unlimited bandwidth, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan. Moreover, the free plan doesn’t work for the purposes of unblocking streaming apps like US Netflix. You’re again going to need to upgrade to the paid plan if you want access to Netflix with Windscribe on your Android.
Nonetheless, if you need to boost your online privacy and don’t have intensive bandwidth requirements, then the free version will be good enough for use on your Android.
If you want to use it on your smart TV and don’t have a play store, you can also download & install it through Windscribe APK.
You can find more information about this provider in our Windscribe VPN review.
- 1o free servers
- Adlock, P2P, Firewall
- Good speed
- 10GB/mo data limitation
3. Hide.Me – Free & Secure VPN for Android (2GB/month)
Hide.Me is one of the top free VPNs for android in 2020. It uses OpenVPN and IKEV2 protocols, the latter of which is especially efficient fast connectivity on Android mobiles. The service offers 5 servers including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East and US West.
With the free plan, Android users will get a bandwidth limit of 10GB/month. This will translate to about 10 hours of video streaming if you want to use Hide.Me to unblock a streaming service like YouTube TV. In fact, the US servers of Hide.Me did allow me to unblock US Netflix, but it is a bit inconsistent at this.
Overall, Hide.Me is a good VPN app for Android available for free with a decent monthly data transfer limit. You can download the APK file for android devices and smart TVs directly.
For a more detailed evaluation, check out this Hide.Me review.
- Good security features
- Great functionality
- No-logging policy
- Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer
4. ProtonVPN – Free Android App with Unlimited bandwidth
ProtonVPN is a free VPN for Android phone that offers unlimited bandwidth without any catch! That’s excellent for users who are tired of their free services running out of available bandwidth after a few long sessions of usage.
However, its major limitation is that it only offers 3 server locations including the United States, Netherlands, and Japan. With the free VPN apk, you can use the Netherlands server can be used to unblock torrent websites and download files securely, without worrying about getting tracked by authorities online.
Unfortunately, the free version of this service doesn’t support Netflix and other streaming services with powerful geo-restriction technologies in place. At the same time, ProtonVPN is very good for Android users looking to enhance their web privacy.
If you want to use it on your smart TV and don’t have play store, you can also download the ProtonVPN APK.
To find out more, see this ProtonVPN review.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Military grade encryption
- No logging
- Only 3 server locations
5. TunnelBear – Safest Free VPN (500MB/month)
TunnelBear offers multiple free VPN servers for Android. In total, it has more than 20 servers in its network that you can connect to for free.
Unfortunately, TunnelBear has the lowest bandwidth limit of only 500MB/month. You can very easily run out of the data cap on your Android if you do anything more than a few hours of browsing.
Therefore, this VPN is useful as long as you use it very sparingly such as when you’re performing activities where privacy is paramount.
Download the Tunnelbear APK if you have an android smart TV with no Play Store on it.
See this TunnelBear review to learn more about this provider.
- User-friendly app for Android
- 20+ server locations
- Good logging policy
- 500 MB/month data limit
Free VPNs You Should Avoid for Android
With so many VPNs available, there are quite a few that can be malicious to your privacy. Here are the most notable free Android VPNs you must avoid:
1. Hola VPN
Hola is a hugely popular VPN app for Android that is totally free of cost. What many users don’t know about this app is that it uses a peer-to-peer (p2p) system because it can’t afford an actual VPN server network. In a p2p system, the IP address of any user can be assumed by another user, mimicking how actual VPNs work.
This means that another Hola user can acquire your IP address and do anything they want with it. So, if the user performs any illegal activities, it might have legal consequences on you because authorities will assume you’re the actual user behind that IP address.
That’s not all. Hulu was found selling user bandwidth for botnet attacks as well, and that’s a huge red flag. For these highly suspicious facts, Hola VPN is an app best avoided by Android users.
It goes without saying that you should give a wide berth that VPNs with shady policies such as SuperVPN.
Are Free VPNs Safe to Use on Android?
Whether you’re looking for the best free VPNs for Android TV, tablet, or your phone, there’s always a risk that the VPN app you’re installing on your device may be infected with malware. In fact, as research analyzing 283 VPN apps on Google PlayStore revealed, as much as 18% of VPNs on Android do not encrypt user traffic!
That’s not all. The same research also found that 84% of these apps leak user traffic and a whopping 80% request access to sensitive user information including contact information and text messages.
Most of these services are free VPNs for Android phones. This clearly shows that if you want to be safe, it is wiser to use a paid VPN service. The safest free VPN for Android is Sufshark which you can confidently avail of and try it for a whole month while the money-back guarantee lasts.
Nonetheless, if you must use a VPN that is totally free of cost, take a look at the list above as these are legitimate providers that are well-reputed to be safe and secure.
Can you use a Free VPN on Android TV?
Yes. You can use a free VPN on your Android TV while playing games or streaming movies. However, not all VPN providers support Smart TVs. Luckily, the free VPNs I have mentioned all provide an exceptional support for Android Smart TVs.
You can simply download the app from the google play store. If your Android TV doesn’t have a google play store, you can download your favorite free VPN apk from google and install it manually. There’s another option for using a free VPN on your android smart TV and that is by configuring it on your router.
How to Setup A Free VPN on Android Devices?
Here’s how to get and use a VPN on your Android phone:
- Search for a VPN of your choice on Play Store.
- Press Install to start downloading.
- Once it is installed, launch the VPN.
- Log in with your credentials or sign up if you don’t already have an account.
- Choose a server location.
That’s it! Your entire online presence is now encrypted and protected with the VPN.
Can you use android VPNs with other devices?
Yes. You can definitely use these android VPNs with your other devices as well with only one account. The VPNs I have listed down also offer apps for Windows, iOS, and Chrome Browser Extensions.
Is there a free VPN with unlimited data for Android?
Surfshark’s 7-day free trial offers unlimited data for Android and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re looking for a free VPN with unlimited data and an indefinite subscription period, then ProtonVPN is a good choice for this purpose.
Do I need a free VPN on my Android device?
Generally, you’d be much better off with a paid VPN that has the necessary features to keep you secure on the modern web environment. However, there are some pretty decent free VPNs for Android that you should definitely keep.
Is using a free Android VPN legal?
Yes, it is perfectly legal to use a free VPN on your Android device.
Are free Android VPNs safe?
Not all the time. There are safe VPNs and there are unsafe ones as well. Before picking one, it is advisable to read reviews and see what you can find on Google regarding a given VPN. Only choose a VPN that seems legitimate and has a good reputation/reviews.
Can I use a premium Android VPN for free?
You can take advantage of a premium VPN’s free trial or a money-back guarantee. This way, you can use a premium VPN for free for a limited amount of time.
Finding the best free VPN for Android is a tricky business. With many VPNs turning out to be scams and capable of leaking private information of Android users, it pays to be careful when searching for one.
Surfshark is a tried and tested VPN available for Android that works perfectly totally free for 7 days and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you need to unblock streaming apps and improve your online privacy, you should certainly try this VPN out.
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