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Pick the Best Free VPN for Android to Stay Private and Secure

if you need a VPN infrequently -- say, for when you're in airports or hotels -- a free VPN might meet your needs.

Apps in this Guide

With an Android VPN, you can keep your data and online activity protected and private. A VPN can create a secure point-to-point connection through a public network, dodge geographical restrictions,more

With an Android VPN, you can keep your data and online activity protected and private. A VPN can create a secure point-to-point connection through a public network, dodge geographical restrictions, and skirt content filtering and censorship.

A VPN subscription costs $20 to $80 a year, which doesn't seem like too much to pay for a secure Internet connection. But if you need a VPN infrequently -- say, for when you're in airports or hotels -- a free VPN might meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a country gather information about where I browse?
If you are especially concerned about your privacy, check where where your VPN provider is based. If the service is in one of the Five Eyes alliance of countries -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States -- then your VPN activity is vulnerable to being gathered and shared among the members of the alliance. A larger circle of nations, the Nine and Fourteen Eyes, may also gather and share information. In addition to the Five Eyes group, avoid countries that have a spotty record on guarding personal privacy.
How do you evaluate Android VPNs?
Although VPN services offer a wide variety of capabilities, we came up with a short list of essential points for comparing them. First we looked at how easy the VPNs are to set up and use. Then we checked how much data you get for free and how many useful exit nodes the VPNs connect to. Next we ran informal speed tests, checking throughput with and without the VPN, both running on Wi-Fi and over a cellular connection. We looked at which security and privacy tools the companies say they use -- and if they weren't using OpenVPN and AES, then why? We looked at whether the VPNs leaked data and which user activities the services say they are or are not logging.

Best free VPNs for Android

If you need an VPN infrequently, a free one might be all you need.

Avira Phantom VPN

Avira Phantom VPN

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With Avira's Phantom VPN, you have a simple and free way to guard your privacy while using a public network or to bypass an Internet filter. The VPN offers a good range of countries to choose from to skirt content restrictions.

TunnelBear

TunnelBear

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TunnelBear puts an engaging wrapper on an easy-to-use tool, using a bear motif to help you navigate around the app.

You get 500MB of free data per month, but send a tweet to boost that to 1GB for a month.

To get around geoblocking, TunnelBear has servers in 20 regions, from Brazil to the United Kingdom, though most are in the northern hemisphere.

TunnelBear uses AES-256 encryption and the open-source OpenVPN app to obscure and protect your data. The company says that it does not collect or store user activity -- see its privacy policy for details.