Your smartphone is an extension of your personality and lifestyle. Whether you use it for business or leisure, it is vital to ensure the safety of your Android device’s data. Users from all walks of life, regardless of profession or financial status, would benefit significantly from the security and protection that a virtual private network (VPN) provides.
Investing in a VPN for your Android device adds a near-impenetrable layer of defense. Think of your tablet or smartphone as a house. Like a fire alarm or a security system, a VPN will protect your device from data breaches, identity theft, and information leaks.
How easy is it to install a VPN?
Most VPNs for Android smartphones and tablets are consumer-friendly and easily installed with the push of a button. Virtual private networks are no longer limited to personal computers and laptops. With the emergence of competitive, affordable, and often free services, VPNs’ accessibility will only improve as time passes. For Android devices, simply logging in the Google Play store and typing the search terms “VPN” or “virtual private network” will populate dozens of results.
Paid VS Free VPNs
Choosing between a paid subscription or a free service often comes down to a person’s device usage. For businessmen and women who frequently travel, logging in to public WIFI spots exposes their Android tablets and phones to potential malware or phishing attempts.
A paid VPN subscription offers robust encryption systems, security protocols, and constant software updates to safeguard your phone or tablet from potential threats. Professionals who deal with confidential information should consider investing in a monthly or annual VPN service.
Casual users who want an extra layer of security and protection, but who don’t necessarily need niche functionalities, can opt for freeware VPNs instead. Regardless of one’s professional needs, having a VPN on your device affords unique advantages. For example, since VPNs primarily hide a person’s IP address and exact location, features typically hidden behind a domain firewall can be unlocked. Want to watch the American or Japanese version of Netflix? Not a problem – just switch your location to the country of choice, and your VPN will make it seem as if you’re watching from somewhere in New Jersey instead of New Brunswick, Canada.
Why should you choose paid VPN services
Because of the increasing sophistication of malicious thieves, foolproof security countermeasures may be the cheaper option as time passes. Paid services, such as the ones provided by companies like Nord VPN, SurfShark, and Express VPN, often come with a dizzying pool of essential features. One of Nord VPN’s benefits, for example, is a handy “kill switch” option that monitors your computer or smartphone. In the unforeseen event of a data breach, Nord VPN will sever all connections, preventing malicious third parties from accessing your files.
Aside from this, VPN subscriptions offer higher browsing speed, more servers and countries to choose from, and no limitations on data usage.
Difference between free VPNs and paid VPNs
Most VPN services offer both free and paid options for customers. Think of open virtual private networks as trials for an upgrade to a monthly or annual subscription. Since the pricing between VPN providers can be competitive, most of the products you’ll see on the Google Play store will have a free version to offer potential customers.
The critical thing to note when downloading a free VPN application is the robustness of its basic features. Always examine if the product offers these following options:
- Plentiful server locations. VPNs that have only a handful of servers in a tiny cluster of countries are vulnerable to attacks.
- Cross-platform capabilities. Almost every competent VPN provider in the market allows access from Android devices and personal computers.
- No-log policy. This protocol holds special priority above other features for users who worry about remote surveillance. If your VPN does not have a no-log policy, consider shopping around for another service.
Top 5 Free Android VPN
These VPNs can be used completely free. Prices listed in the table are for Premium plans
Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of the top-five free VPNs for Android smartphones and tablets.
These service providers have different assets and benefits – nonetheless, they all have the same commitment and focus on privacy and anonymity.
ProtonVPN, although not the cheapest, offers one of the best free VPNs in the market. This service places a significant emphasis on security and privacy, and unlike its other alternatives, ProtonVPN provides unlimited data on its freeware version. Best of all, it also offers a ProtonMail bundle for new subscribers – a must for professionals who work remotely. As a Switzerland-based company, ProtonVPN’s servers rely on the strongest privacy laws in the entire world. If you want to upgrade from the basic model to its ProtonVPN Plus version, the price ranges from $10 a month to a whopping $96 a year.
New users will love TunnelBear’s easy-to-use VPN. Its free version, although equipped with a minimal 500 MB of traffic, gets rid of the complicated technical jargon and presents beginners with a simplified interface. Its no-logging policy ensures that your browsing history and internet usage are safe from prying eyes. To make full use of TunnelBear’s potential, users have to upgrade to their paid service. Fortunately, the company’s fees are very affordable, with costs going as low as $3.33 a month for a three-year subscription.
HotSpotShield has one of the sleekest designs for an Android device VPN. Aside from its stylish interface, this service offers unlimited access to VOIP and messaging applications such as Skype and Viber. However, its free version is supported by advertisements, which users might find to be a little intrusive. If you don’t mind seeing pop-ups of ads on your Android device, HotSpotShield punches way above its weight class.
Windscribe offers most of what you need from a free service: reliability, security, and ease-of-use. Its free-to-use option gives you access to 11 locations and up to 10 GB of bandwidth to use monthly. Despite its modest bandwidth, Windscribe has P2P support, adblocking capabilities, and a secure firewall. The unlimited version has two pricing options: a $9.00-a-month subscription or a single billed payment of $49.00 annually. That’s a steep 55% discount that gives you unlimited bandwidth and a whopping 52 locations.
Last but not least, Speedify is a mobile-focused VPN that was created specifically for Android and IOS devices. For users who do most of their browsing on smartphones and tablets instead of laptops and desktop computers, Speedify’s VPN has a unique failover system that will automatically shift from WiFi to cellular data once you step out of your modem’s frequency range. The failover program makes streaming songs or YouTube videos seamless and hiccup-free. It’s an excellent service that might appeal to fitness buffs and outdoor enthusiasts who want to stream a podcast episode or a workout album while biking or jogging.
Is it vital to use a VPN?
Your Android mobile device is like a wallet, a phone, and a computer all rolled into a single, compact package. It only takes one misstep for opportunistic thieves and criminals to access your entire life’s history and strip it away. A VPN empowers individuals with peace of mind and the confidence to explore new horizons in the digital realm.
And that sense of security is something that money just can’t buy.