How to setup a VPN on Android (2024)

There are a myriad of reasons as to why you might want to setup a VPN on your Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Some of those reasons are for security purposes and others are to simply get your local network or ISP to stop being a nuisance. After all, who wouldn't wantISP's to stop throttling them on certain websites, such as BitTorrent, even if the file you are downloading is completely legal.

We're going to be reviewing whata VPN is, why you want to use one, how to set one up, and the best VPN apps to use on your device.Be sure to read on to find out more and finally have a truly private Internet connection.

What is a VPN?

A VPN may sound more technical than your used to, but it really isn't. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) simply allows you to secure your connection while on a private network. More technically, upon connecting to a VPN, you'rebeing routed through servers across the world, masking your IP to keep it away from prying eyes, such as your ISP.

For instance, your ISP collects all of your browsing history data, and some ISPs even throttle a lot of services, such as BitTorrent and Netflix. You might be familiar with Comcast doing this extensively. We're not advocating piracy, as the file you could be downloading off of BitTorrent could be entirely legal. In connecting to a VPN while downloading from BitTorrent and streaming through Netflix, youmight find the speeds to be faster, as it stops the ISP from throttling the connection and collecting that data. As I mentioned earlier, it securesallof your data.

Another great example is websites that are geo-blocked. Some websites, such as Netflix UK, are onlyfree to access if your IP is in a certain country. For instance, if your IP is based out of the U.S., you cannot access the U.K.'s version of Netflix. Running a VPN and masking your VPN in another country makes this possible.

Why you should use a VPN

In our digital age, it can be a real concern of hooking up to public networks at the Airport or at your local coffee shop, especiallywith incidents like these becoming more common.In cities that are highly populated, like New York, using your banking information on a public network is essentially the same thing as standing in the middle of a crowd, and announcing your username, log-in, and social security number to everyone.

Setting up your VPN right after you hit a public network will keep your most personal information secure, where it would normally be open for anyonewith knowledge to see.

Best VPN apps to use

There are a lot of VPN apps out there. Some are free and others are subscription based. However, I feel like there are three specific top-of-the-line ones that are worth looking at here.


How to setup a VPN on Android (1)

My all time favoriteVPN app to use is Tunnelbear, as it'squick and easy to setup. It's ease of use is remarkably impressive. However, for the most part, it is a service that you have to pay for, but it is certainly worth the $4.99 per month. There's also an option to pay for it on a yearly basis for a flatrate of $49.99. There is always the option of taking it for a test run, as the company does give you 500MB of dataon a monthly basis for free.

Like most VPN apps you can choose where your Virtual Private Network is located so that you can access those websites that are geographically blocked, such as Netflix UK, and etc.

You can download it here.

Hideman VPN

How to setup a VPN on Android (2)

Hideman VPN is another favorite, although it's not as straight forward as Tunnelbear is. That's not to say it's hard to set up either, the design and layout is just different, and thus there are more menus to wade through. It does the same thing as most VPN apps, such as encrypt your data, hide your IP, etc. You really do not want a free solution, and I'll explain why soon.

Much like Tunnelbear, Hideman isn't free either. There services do cost money, but not nearly as much as Tunnelbear. A year subscription will only run you about $25.

You can download it here

Hola VPN

How to setup a VPN on Android (3)

Finally, we have Hola VPN. This particular VPN app is unique in that it is entirely free and has it's own built-in browser. However, it doesn't matter what connection you're on, it runs extremely slow.

As I mentioned earlier, you need to watch out for free VPNs, but this is one of the few that will do you well, as it handles the data management and security much differently than other free solutions out there.It takes advantage of idle resources, such as data when you're not using your phone,and shares it with its users.In layman's terms,everyone's extra broadband data is thrown into a pool to be shared with users so that Hola doesn't have to chargeyou for a data subscription.

It's an interesting way to handle to handle datamanagement that not many other free VPNs do.

You can download it here.

Setting up aVPN

Setting up a Virtual Private Network on your mobile device is ridiculously easy. In this case, I'm using my personal preference, Tunnelbear. It's really just the option of selecting your choice of country, and then tapping connect, although you may have to enter payment information if you're using a subscription-based service.

However, some smartphones have their own integrated Virtual Private Networkswhere you don't need to hunt down a decent VPN app. Just head on over to Settings > Wireless and Networks > Other. Ifyour smartphone has it, select the VPN option under Other, type in your desired username and password, and then simply tap connect! Your VPN should beready to use now.

The idea of setting up a VPN can sound intimidating, if it has never been in your technical realm. However, if you're able to navigate applications like Facebook and Twitter, setting up a VPN is just as easy.

Final words

One thing you need to keep in mind before going forth with your new Virtual Private Network is that VPNs can slow your connection down.You won't be likely to notice it on a broadband connection, but you'll definitely be able to see the change if you're using a VPN over a cellular network.

Another thing to keep in mind–not all free solutions are good solutions. Some free VPNs have a little bit of security, but not nearly enough. They're alright fordoing your usual browsing on the web, but I certainly wouldn't trust them with bank account information and other personal accounts. Just be sure to carefully research what you use and connect to.

If you have any questions or need further help setting up a VPN, post a comment below or we'd be more than happy to help you over on our forums.

Brad WardAuthor

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.

How to setup a VPN on Android (2024)


How to set up a VPN on Android? ›

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & internet. VPN. If you can't find it, search for "VPN." If you still can't find it, get help from your device manufacturer.
  3. Tap the VPN you want.
  4. Enter your username and password.
  5. Tap Connect. If you use a VPN app, the app opens.

Is there a 100% free VPN for Android? ›

Yes – ProtonVPN is a completely free Android VPN that you can use for as long as you like. It offers unlimited data and servers in 3 locations. Plus, there's a kill switch that works as a last security resort.

How do I fill up my VPN? ›

Set Up a VPN on an Android Device
  1. Use the application store to download a VPN app.
  2. Go to “Settings” and from there click “Network & Internet” then “Advanced” and, finally, “VPN.”
  3. Click “Add VPN.”
  4. Fill out your VPN's “Name” and “Server” and hit save.
Jan 30, 2024

How to setup VPN on Android without app for free? ›

Manually (built-in)
  1. Go into your Android settings.
  2. Click Network & Internet.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Select VPN.
  5. Click the plus sign.
  6. Enter in your administrator's information.
  7. Click Save.
Jan 19, 2024

Does Android have a built-in VPN? ›

Android includes a built-in (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and IPSec) VPN client. Devices running Android 4.0 and later also support VPN apps.

How to get free VPN on Android? ›

Proton VPN for Android is entirely free to use and always will be because everyone has the right to privacy.

Is there a free VPN that actually works? ›

Proton VPN's free tier is the only truly free VPN we've encountered that's worth using. True, it lacks support for torrenting and doesn't include all the bells and whistles as its paid subscriptions, but Proton VPN's free tier is secure and doesn't put limits on speed, data or usage time like most other free VPNs do.

Which is the best free unlimited VPN for Android without registration? ›

The best completely free VPN for Android is Proton VPN. The free VPN delivered high levels of internet privacy and security in our tests, as well as excellent speeds connecting to its free servers. Unlike other safe free VPNs, Proton VPN allows unlimited bandwidth, and there is no requirement to submit payment details.

Do free VPNs actually work? ›

Paid VPNs offer faster and more reliable speeds, as they typically have more servers and less crowded networks. Free VPNs have weaker security features and may not use the strongest encryption or the safest VPN protocols. They are generally easier to hack.

How do I manually set up a VPN? ›

Head into “Settings.” Click on “Network and internet” and then choose “VPN.” Click “Add VPN.” Now, fill in the fields: select “Windows (built-in)” for your VPN provider, name your connection under “Connection name,” enter the server name or address, select the VPN type, and choose the type of sign-in info.

How to setup VPN for free? ›

Setting up a VPN in Android
  1. Head into Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced > VPN (you should see a little key icon). ...
  2. If you happen to be setting this up on a new phone, or if you haven't yet set a screen lock or password, Google will prompt you to first set one for your phone. ...
  3. Now create your VPN profile.
Mar 1, 2019

How do I use VPN for beginners? ›

Once you choose a VPN app for Mac or a VPN suitable for Windows, here's how to start using it:
  1. Download a reliable VPN. We recommend NordVPN, which is super easy to use on both Windows and Mac.
  2. Install the VPN app onto your computer.
  3. Connect to your preferred server.
  4. That's it – now you can start browsing safely.
Jan 12, 2024

What is the strongest VPN configuration? ›

What is the most secure VPN protocol? Lightway, IKEv2, L2TP, and OpenVPN are all secure protocols, but the title of the most secure VPN protocol should go to Lightway, which uses wolfSSL, a well-established cryptography library that is FIPS 140-2 validated—which means it has been rigorously vetted by third parties.

How does a VPN work on an Android phone? ›

Your actual home IP address is faked or hidden using the new one from the VPN service or provider. Encrypted data packets are sent between you and the remote VPN server when browsing online, so you stay safe and secure no matter what.

Does Samsung have a built in VPN? ›

The built-in Android VPN client is one of the VPN clients that enterprises can use. It is available on all Samsung devices but has been limited to simple VPN configurations as seen in the Android Settings app. Samsung devices come with an enhanced version of the Android VPN Service.

How can I use VPN for free Internet? ›

Use a VPN to access free Wi-Fi hotspots.
  1. Choose a reputable VPN provider. There are many VPN providers out there, but not all of them are created equal. ...
  2. Use a strong encryption protocol. ...
  3. Connect to a server in a country with good internet speeds. ...
  4. Keep your VPN software up to date.
Oct 6, 2023

What is VPN used for? ›

A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, establishes a digital connection between your computer and a remote server owned by a VPN provider, creating a point-to-point tunnel that encrypts your personal data, masks your IP address, and lets you sidestep website blocks and firewalls on the internet.

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