10 Best (REALLY FREE) VPNs for Android in September 2020
- What Are the Disadvantages of Free VPNs?
- The Best Free VPNs for Android – Full Analysis (Updated September 2020)
- NordVPN – Risk-Free, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Hotspot Shield – 7-Day Free Trial of Premium Version
- Windscribe – 10GB of Free Data Each Month
- hide.me – Stealth Mode to Boost Security
- PrivateVPN – Six Simultaneous Device Connections
It’s hard to find a free VPN that works well on Android. I’ve tested 43 free services on my Galaxy S10+, and most of them were slow and unusable.
Most free VPNs have hidden downsides that range from annoying ads to privacy breaches and data leaks. Because of this, I always recommend using a premium, low cost VPN like NordVPN. It’s fast, versatile, and secure. You can test it out on your Android with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
There are some free VPNs you can use without putting your privacy at risk. These are usually the limited free versions of premium services. After extensive testing, I’ve put together this list of the top free VPNs for Android, based on speed, security, and performance.
- NordVPN: Fast, secure, and unlimited. You can try it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Hotspot Shield: 500MB of free data per day. Reliable, high-speed connections and premium security features.
- Windscribe: 10GB of free data per month. User-friendly Android apps with a built-in ad and malware blocker.
- hide.me: 2GB of free data per month. High-speed connections and military-grade security.
- PrivateVPN: Dependable, secure, and able to bypass geoblocks. You can use free with a 7-day trial.
- TunnelBear: 500MB of free data per month. Its GhostBear mode bypasses geo-restrictions, VPN blocks, and censorship.
- ProtonVPN: Unlimited data, speed, and bandwidth. Easy-to-use, lightweight Android app.
- OperaVPN: Secure Opera browser plugin with unlimited data. You don’t even need to create an account.
- Speedify: 5GB of free data per month and unique channel bonding feature to maximize your connection speed.
- Betternet: Intuitive Android app with 500 MB of free data per day. Supports P2P connections.
What Are the Disadvantages of Free VPNs?
VPN networks are expensive to maintain. Free VPNs don’t charge their users, so they have to make money in other ways.
Some providers use annoying but relatively harmless methods, like running ads. Others are outright dangerous.
Premium VPNs offer apps for most platforms, but free services usually don’t.
Many free VPNs only offer apps for laptops and desktop computers. Most of the Android-compatible services I tested had outdated apps that used a lot of RAM and slowed my phone down significantly.
Free VPNs don’t have the best track record when it comes to protecting your data.
Many services use outdated encryption protocols or don’t encrypt your data at all.
This means your private information is exposed to cybercriminals.
Some free VPNs have even been caught selling user data for profit and installing malware with their apps.
Premium VPNs like Hotspot Shield use military-grade encryption and keep strict no-logs policies. This means that they have no record of your personal information or your online activity.
The safest free VPNs are limited versions of premium services. They are designed to give you a no-cost trial and encourage you to upgrade. These limitations can include limited speeds, data, and bandwidth, or a limited period of unrestricted use.
You may only have access to a few servers, too. This makes it difficult to browse, torrent, and stream.
The limitations on “free” VPNs are usually even greater and more restrictive. You’ll experience busy servers, your connection will regularly drop, and you may have to wait for space on a server to open up. And even if you do get on a server, if it’s busy, your connection will be painfully slow, making streaming, torrenting, or anything else that uses lots of data almost impossible.
The Best Free VPNs for Android – Full Analysis (Updated September 2020)
Free VPNs can’t offer the same speed and security as premium services do. But there are some safe, limited free VPNs for Android. I’ve tested each of these VPNs on my Galaxy S10+ and given preference to vendors that also offer a free trial or money-back guarantee for premium services.
- Lightning-fast speeds
- 5,400+ servers
- Streaming-optimized servers that can unblock Netflix
- World-class security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is a premium service that you can try with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s ideal if you just need a service to use while traveling, or you want to try out a premium VPN.
It operates 5,400+ servers across 59+ countries, including streaming and P2P-optimized servers. It can unblock most popular streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. It can also unblock international apps on the Play Store. You can use it on up to 6 devices simultaneously, and it offers apps for all major platforms.
NordVPN uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. It offers obfuscated servers, and keeps a strict no-logs policy. Its CyberSec technology blocks suspicious websites, malware, and ads.
Our in-depth look at NordVPN includes speed test results and user reviews.
NordVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.
- Yes, P2P specialty servers available.
NordVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.
- 500MB of free data per day
- High-speed servers
- Military-grade encryption
Hotspot Shield offers 500MB of free data per day. That’s enough to browse, check your emails, or stream in standard definition for 30 minutes. You don’t need to supply your card details when you sign up.
Hotspot Shield uses 256-bit encryption and keeps a strict no-logs policy. The free version is ad-supported and limits you to two server locations.
During my tests, I found that its connections are reliable but slow. I experienced some buffering while watching a YouTube video.
Upgrading to the premium service gives you unlimited data and 3,200+ servers across 3,200+ countries. You can test the premium service yourself with its 7-day trial and 45-day money-back guarantee.
See what our extensive testing revealed in our Hotspot Shield review.
Hotspot Shield Free can unblock:
- The free version of Hotspot Shield cannot unblock any streaming sites.
- Yes, P2P supported although torrenting may be limited by data restrictions.
Hotspot Shield works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, and Firefox.
- 10GB of free data every month
- Ad and malware blocker
- Split tunneling
Windscribe offers 10GB of free data per month. That’s enough to stream about 20 minutes of TV per day. You can earn a bonus 5GB per month by tweeting the company.
It uses military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a built-in ad and malware blocker.
The Android app is lightweight and easy-to-use. It won’t impact your device’s performance.
Windscribe supports P2P connections and split tunneling, but the free version can’t unblock Netflix.
It’s also limited to 10 server locations. Upgrading will give you unlimited data and access to servers in 63 countries, including its streaming-optimized servers.
While I was testing Windscribe, I noticed that my connection speeds were unstable. Its free servers sometimes become overloaded, which can slow your connection speed down.
Learn more about Windscribe in our detailed review.
Windscribe can unblock:
- Capable of unblocking US Netflix but only for paying subscribers.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity.
Windscribe works on these devices:
- Android, macOS, iPhone, Windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Also compatible with smart TVs, NAS devices, and routers.
- Military-level security features
- High-speed connections
hide.me offers 2GB of free data per month. This isn’t enough for streaming, but it’s perfect if you just want to unblock websites and browse securely. The app is simple and easy-to-use.
It uses 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. hide.me also keeps a strict no-logs policy.
Its Stealth Mode lets you choose which apps can run when you’re not connected to the VPN. This helps prevent unsafe apps compromising your security.
When I tested hide.me, I found out that it can’t unblock streaming services like Netflix. The free account limits you to 5 of its 70 server locations. Upgrading gets you unlimited data and access to all of its servers.
You can try premium risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
See what other users have to say about hide.me in our review.
hide.me can unblock:
- YouTube, Kodi, Spotify.
- Yes, supports P2P activity.
hide.me works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Windows Phone, Amazon Fire OS. Also router compatible.
- 7-day free trial
- Unlimited data and bandwidth
- Full access to 60+ server locations
PrivateVPN is another premium service that you can use for free with a 7-day trial. You don’t need to enter your payment details, so you won’t be automatically charged when the trial ends.
It uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. PrivateVPNkeeps a strict no-logs policy.
PrivateVPN operates high-speed servers in 60+ countries. There are streaming-optimized servers that can unblock Netflix and most top streaming services.
You can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously with one PrivateVPN account. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all subscriptions.
See how PrivateVPN measures up to the competition in our detailed review.
PrivateVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity; list of P2P-optimized servers available through the app.
PrivateVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
- 500MB free data per month
- Bypasses VPN blocks and deep packet inspection
- Fast, user-friendly app
TunnelBear’s free version offers 500MB of free data per month. This is enough to stream one episode of a TV show in standard definition or download a game from the Play Store.
It uses 256-bit encryption and keeps a no-logs policy. Its GhostBear mode can bypass VPN blocks and deep packet inspection. This makes it a useful choice if you live in a region with internet surveillance and censorship.
I was able to access HBO GO during my tests, but not Netflix of Hulu. Upgrading gets you unlimited data and 5 simultaneous connections. There is no money-back guarantee, so you’ll need to use the free version to test it.
See how TunnelBear performed in during our tests in this review.
TunnelBear can unblock:
- HBO GO.
- Yes, supports P2P activity.
TunnelBear works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
- Unlimited data
- Servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands
- Best-in-class encryption
ProtonVPN offers unlimited free data and bandwidth. It uses military-level security features, including 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
I was able to access Netflix US, Spotify, and Kodi.
The free version grants you access to servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. During my test, I experienced throttling and slow speeds. Upgrading grants you unlimited speeds and access to servers in over 54 countries.
You can try the premium version with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you submit a claim within 30 days, ProtonVPN will refund you for any unused portion of its service.
Find out more about ProtonVPN in our review.
ProtonVPN’s free version can unblock:
- YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, and Kodi..
- No, P2P-friendly servers are not available to free users.
Proton Free works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux.
- Unlimited free data
- Servers in the US, Asia, and Europe
This VPN is a free extension that only works in Opera’s browser. It offers unlimited data, bandwidth, and speeds.
There are no apps, and it only protects the information you send and receive within your browser. It won’t encrypt data from your apps or P2P connections.
There are three server locations to choose from: the US, Europe, and Asia. I wasn’t able to unblock Netflix or any other streaming services with Opera VPN.
My connection was slower than the other VPNs on this list, but I was able to watch a YouTube video after a little buffering.
Learn more about Opera VPN in our review.
Opera can unblock:
- Cannot unblock any streaming sites.
Opera works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux.
- 5GB free data per month
- P2P support
- Unblocks Netflix US
Speedify’s Android app is easy to install and use. It offers 5GB of free data per month. This is enough to stream Netflix in high definition for about 90 minutes.
It uses 128 GCM encryption. This is weaker than 256-bit encryption, but still secure enough for everyday use.
Speedify doesn’t record your browsing activity, but it does collect some user information. This includes your contact details, and the time and duration of your connection.
It uses channel bonding to increase your connection speed by combining your WiFi connection and cell data. I noticed this used twice the amount of data, and my connection was still slow.
I was able to unblock Netflix US, Hulu, and Spotify.
Upgrading to premium gives you higher connection speeds and unlimited data. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it worry-free.
You can learn more about Speedify in our review.
Speedify can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, Kodi, Spotify
- Some servers support P2P traffic.
Speedify works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS.
- 500MB free data per day
- High-end security features
Betternet’s free plan includes 500MB of data per day. This is enough to stream a 20 minute TV show episode in standard definition, but not a movie. You do not need to provide any payment details when you register.
It uses 256-bit encryption and the Catapult Hydra protocol. It offers perfect forward secrecy, but there is no automatic kill switch.
It can’t unblock Netflix or any other streaming services, but all servers support P2P connections.
Upgrading to premium will get you unlimited data. There’s no money-back guarantee, but you can try it completely free with Betternet’s 7-day trial.
We compare Betternet against top VPNs in our detailed review.
Betternet can unblock:
- Cannot unblock streaming sites.
Betternet works on these devices:
- Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome.
😀 Will my Android VPN work with other devices?
My top three VPNs for Android have apps for most major platforms. They also allow simultaneous connections so you can connect all your devices at once.
I’ve included a compatibility guide below each VPN so you can see which apps they offer.
😎 Does a VPN impact speed?
It’s normal to experience some speed loss when you’re connected to a VPN because it takes extra time for your data to travel to the VPN server. It also takes a few seconds for your VPN to encrypt and decrypt your data.
This speed loss should be barely noticeable with a premium VPN.
🤓 Are VPNs Legal?
VPN use is a legal gray area in places like Iraq, Iran, Belarus, Turkey, and Oman. In China, it is legal to use a VPN, but most services are blocked and won’t connect.
If you’re a tourist in these countries, you don’t need to worry. There have been no incidents of tourists getting into trouble for using a VPN.
Secure, fast, and free VPNs for Android are hard to find.
A limited free VPN can be a good solution if you only need a VPN for a short time. However, it’s always better to choose a premium service.
Most premium VPNs offer free trials and money-back guarantees so you can test them out risk-free. My colleague has published a guide to the best VPN free trials here.
If you’re looking for a VPN for long-term use, I recommend NordVPN. It’s fast, secure, and unlimited. Best of all, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Remember, you can save money on your premium VPN plan with our latest deals and coupons.
The best premium VPNs for Android are…
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