Posted in VPNs by OSs

Five Best VPNs for Android

In the modern world of ubiquitous communications security and non-disclosure are increasingly relevant issues, equally at home, in the office or outdoors. What is better in a situation like this: to be totally transparent and self-controlled or ensure that delicate details are protected? VPNs is a strong tool to pursue the latter strategy and use other valuable advantages. This paper discusses five top VPNs for Android devices.

Are you in any way troubled by the news that online and telephone communications are under detailed supervision of public authorities?  At least, this is annoying, considering that you read this paper. VPNs can be used in their plain or sophisticated form to meet your privacy preferences.

Short VPN Purchase Guidelines describe essential features to be present in a decent VPN client based on the following metrics:

  • Promptness
  • Quality of SW
  • Prompt and efficient customer support
  • Number of available IP-addresses and servers
  • Price factors

The top 5 VPN applications for Androids are discussed below based on these metrics. Also, you’ll learn more about VPN settings and providers.

 

 

Five Best VPNs for Android Summary

Rank VPN Grade Min price Review Link to site
1 vypr_logo $6.67 Read review Go to website
2 express-vpn-logo $12.95 Read review Go to website
3 airvpn-logo $9.00 Read review Go to website
4 mullvad-logo $5.50 Read review Go to website
5 IPVanish_Logo $10.00 Read review Go to website

 

 

GOLD MEDAL

VyprVPN 

vypr-android

ADVANTAGES

  • Promptness.
  • Sophisticated encryption
  • Cloud-based storage, which is free of charge
  • Several connections (up to three) can be maintained concurrently
  • Can be tested for free over three days

DISADVANTAGES

  • Based in the U.S.
  • Logs are retained for more than 1 month
  • Cannot use P2P

It simply cannot be a better option for Android users. What makes VyprVPN the best choice? At its basic level VPN service is maintained by Golden Frog privacy team, which is in the market of online security for more than two decades. Also, there are proprietary data centers and Chameleon, proprietary encryption SW, to ensure high performance of VyprVPN.

256-bit OpenVPN maintains strong encryption bearing in mind that peer file sharing is prohibited. However, this does not hold true for basic option. It was out of consideration because it does not offer firewall or continuous PPTP. What else can be tempting for Android users in VyprVPN? Decent UI and safe non-binding trial.

Try the Best VPN for Android on your own!

Non-binding trial for three days

 

 

SILVER MEDAL

ExpressVPN 

expressvpn-android

ADVANTAGES

  • Log-free operation
  • Special stealth servers for Chinese market
  • Dedicated support services for Android
  • Promptness

DISADVANTAGES

  • Price

ExpressVPN is just as great in international surroundings. There is a nice full-value application developed specifically for Androids (possibly expecting that in the future they shall prevail) and round-the-clock support. Speeds confirmed by testing are steadily at higher-than-average level. The client can be tested under risk-free terms thanks to money back-guarantee effective for 30 days.

Focus of the ExpressVPN application on the mobile use friendliness is evident. To speed up mobile connections “on-the-go”, there is a convenient widget available on starting screen. A list of latest connections is maintained for fast selection, This means that there is no need to navigate through servers, which is not that easy on a small screen.

Monthly fee is 8.32 USD, which cannot be called cheap. However, ExpressVPN is worth the money. You can confirm it yourself. Just follow the link below.

 

 

BRONZE MEDAL

AirVPN 

airvpn-android

ADVANTAGES

  • Log-free operation
  • Bitcoins are welcomed
  • Tor over VPN and VPN through SSL/SSH tunnels are supported
  • Statistics of server and user activities is available in real time
  • Port forwarding is dynamically maintained

DISADVANTAGES

  • Unfriendly web-site

In comparison to other services, AirVPN over Android is more technically sophisticated. It has no dedicated Android client. However, configuration files and “Getting Started” manuals are in place to start with OpenVPN. Setup may seem to be a boring process, but the user is then rewarded with strong security, a wide scope of options and high-speed operation, Maybe, AirVPN is a decent choice as well?!

 

 

FOURTH PLACE

Mullvad 

mullvad-android

ADVANTAGES

  • Nicely priced
  • Log-free operation
  • Bitcoins are welcomed
  • Protected against DNS leaks
  • Kill switch-enabled

DISADVANTAGES

  • Issues with server connections

Mullvad is a startup team. Maybe, it is not perfect right now, but it gains strength and already offers a quite decent application featuring kill-switch, port forwarding, and protection against DNS leaks. Its unique competitive advantage is in zero-logging and fully unanimous signup supported, among others, by Bitcoin payment options.

A disadvantage similar to AirVPN is that some manual legwork is needed, but with rewarding results. Follow this link to try Mullvad.

 

 

FIFTH PLACE

IPVanish 

ipvanish-android

ADVANTAGES

  • Speed
  • Vast server coverage

DISADVANTAGES

  • No P2Ps
  • Unclear logging rules

IPVanish operates high-speed servers in several dozen countries. On the reverse side of the coin, P2P sharing is prohibited, and there is no clarity with logging matters. IPVanish team insists that no usage logs are maintained, but letters warning about intellectual right infringement received from them are troublesome. Anyway, IPVanish is a nice mobile option suitable for almost everybody without too stringent anonymity requirements.

 

 

VPN on Android setup process

As might be remembered, a while ago Apple was a kind of monopolist with tablets and smartphones. However, Android devices steadily work their way to the market. Unlike iOS, Android OS is open-source SW, which is evidently advantageous. Also, Android devices and applications are definitely secure.

 

 

VPN for Android

Nowadays global security issues become increasingly relevant. There are governmental surveillance, hacker attacks, acts of terrorism, to name just few. This means that VPN services are essential for everyone, rather than just those who are particularly conscious about safety.

uTorrent-android_vpn      aTorrent-android_vpn

There are certain occasions where VPNs are a must, including torrent use or connecting to public Wi-Fi.

 

 

VPN client built in Android

PPTP and L2TP/IPSec encryption are intrinsically supported by Android devices, while newer generation of Androids support secure OpenVPN as well.

Detailed review of these protocols is available here, and below there is a brief summary:

  • PPTP is easy to set up and nicely supported, but with the lowest security level. It can be used as a stop gap, but evidently unsuitable for any longer run.
  • L2TP/IPsec offers higher security with not as easy setup. In this case a pre-shared IPsec key is required. However, almost all providers offer files for auto configuration or wizards to facilitate this process.
  • OpenVPN ensures decent speed in line with highest security and highest technical sophistication. Still, it is very hard to set up and runs on third-party SW. This means higher power consumption. For a while it was offered exclusively for jail-broken phones. OpenVPN released in 2012  was extended to all high-end versions.

 

 

VPN setup with the use of native VPN client

1. Open VPN setup menu (Settings –> More Networks –> VPN).  The exact process can differ between devices but essentially similar. Screen lock shall be enabled to make the menu accessible during all setup process stages.

vpn-android-setup

 

2. Click “Add VPN Network” or “+” (again, it depends upon the specific device).

vpn-android-setup

 

3. Define a suitable name for the connection and enter essential VPN details.

vpn-android-setup

PPTP setup is not much harder than connecting to Wi-Fi.

 

vpn-android-setup

L2TP/IPsec setup isn’t much harder, but you need a pre-shared key (sometimes lengthy and complex).

 

4. To run VPN, you need to define VPN settings, select VPN connection, enter username and password.

 

5. Here you go.  Active connection is confirmed by the key icon in the upper left-hand corner.

vpn-android-setup

 

OpenVPN for Androids

If there is a configuration file, OpenVPN offering a higher level of security can be used on unrooted Android phones with versions above Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

 

 

VPN setup with the use of OpenVPN for Android

1. Search the VPN provider’s web-site to find the appropriate configuration file. Download it either directly to the phone or to your PC. If required, use WinZip on your phone (in the case of zipped file).

2. Download, install and operate OpenVPN Connect for Android. Choose Functions -> Import and import data from SD file.

3. Press Functions and Import.

openvpn-android-setup

 

4. Select the option to import from SD card and find where it was saved.

openvpn-android-setup

 

5. After the preferred profile is selected, this screen shall be displayed.

 

6. Enter your username & password.

openvpn-android-setup

 

7. At the first launch on the phone, the application requests that you should accept trust certificate. This is required just once.

openvpn-android-setup

 

8. Active connection is confirmed by OpenVPN logo and key icon in the upper left corner.

openvpn-android-setup

 

 

Bespoke applications from VPN provider

After OpenVPN became available for Android devices, proprietary applications were developed by a number of vendors with several nice features including port forwarding, automatic reconnection and facilitated setup. As a rule, they can also be used on older devices, though in line with L2TP/IPsec which is less secure. Refer for more info to specific reviews of VPN providers.

 

 

Performance tests for VPN applications (WebRTC, DNS, Speed, IPV6)

IP check & Speed test are available to confirm the expected performance of the service. It’s just worthwhile to ensure that your provider keeps up with its promises, including the speed of IP cloaking protectionIndeed, speed tests are fast and easy. Open “Combined” at testmy.net to see the downloading/uploading speed of your VPN client. To check your IP-address for leaks meaning that VPN is unworthy, refer to ipleak.net and test-ipv6.com.

 

Summary

Thus, we can confidently conclude that Android is more appropriate for VPN use than iOS, and there is a higher number of VPN providers with dedicated support and bespoke Android clients still waiting to be updated to OpenVPN. However, older devices can be upgraded via L2TP/IPsec. Just try one of the services and sign up for secure web connections at whatever location.

 

Rank VPN Grade Min price Review Link to site
1 vypr_logo $6.67 Read review Go to website
2 express-vpn-logo $12.95 Read review Go to website
3 airvpn-logo $9.00 Read review Go to website
4 mullvad-logo $5.50 Read review Go to website
5 IPVanish_Logo $10.00 Read review Go to website

 

 


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