Do you own a smartphone? If so, you’re probably used to handling most things on the mobile device alone. Smartphones have basically become mini-computers, and everything from sending off work spreadsheets to monitoring health can be done of them. But with the advancement of such hardware has unfortunately given smartphones the same issues that exist on ordinary computers. This includes malware and hacking attempts. But one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of your personal information ending up in someone else’s hands is by utilizing a VPN. Below are ten such VPNs that are highly recommended by IT professionals across the board. When the reviews are finished, read the FAQ for additional pointers that’ll simplify your buying decision. Let’s get started!
How do VPNs Work?
VPNs aren’t as complicated as some may believe them to be. The technology has been around for a long time but has become even more popular in the past decade. This is due mostly to hot button incidents that involve the disclosure of how governments surveil people across the world. When you get on the internet, the information that you send to over servers is public, which means that it can be read by someone else. While there are some security features that will limit what can be seen, ordinary browsing can easily result in the user being tracked. Whereabouts such as your location, name, type of computer and even time spent online are exposed to the public. A VPN privatizes such info, sending your server through their computers (the VPN) and then routing back to the site you wish to visit. Additional feature includes encryption and firewalls, something that has become commonplace among the best VPNs on the market.
The Benefits to using a VPN on a Smartphone
Although VPNs are readily available for computers, there are loads of benefits for users that browse the web and use applications of smartphones. For starters, some apps will only work depending on your located, whereby the software will read your IP address to determine it. If you’re in a foreign country and need to get on an app that doesn’t work with your data plan there, a VPN can be used to spoof your IP, allowing you to visit as if you were back home. This can encompass many applications, but most use them primarily for streaming movies and music. Netflix is a popular one, and as soon as you’re logged into a VPN, access will be granted if you were previously blocked.
- ExpressVPN: Average Upload Speed: 20 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 69 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- PureVPN: Average Upload Speed: 21 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 66 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- SurfShark: Average Upload Speed: 15 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 69 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- VyprVPN: Average Upload Speed: 17 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 66 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- Hotspot Shield: Average Upload Speed: 10 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 60 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- CyberGhost: Average Upload Speed: 20 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 70 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- Windscribe VPN: Average Upload Speed: 8 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 65 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- TunnelBear VPN: Average Upload Speed: 11 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 63 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- NordVPN: Average Upload Speed: 17 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 67 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
- IpVanish VPN: Average Upload Speed: 12 Mbps; Average Download Speed: 60 Mbps; On iOS: Yes; On Android: Yes
Top 10 VPNs for Mobile Devices Reviewed
ExpressVPN’s red logo is easy to spot, and even consumers that aren’t familiar with VPNs will probably recognize it. They’re often featured on the news for the positive things they do to safeguard their user’s privacy. ExpressVPN’s mobile applications for both Android and iOS are great, having little differences in the way they function. When you download it from either the App Store or Google Play Store, you’ll only spend a moment or two doing so.
Severs work quickly and there’s little wait time. When looking at a side-by-side comparison to other VPN choices, you might notice how there are fewer servers given with ExpressVPN than most others. Don’t take this as a negative, however; the servers that are included are broad, spanning over much of the world. But similarly to others, there is Netflix support and torrent clients should work without issue. Overall, ExpressVPN is 100% guaranteed to be a good choice for anyone in need of a VPN.
- No deceptive payment actions were taken during the free trial period; don’t take payment until manually subscribed to
- Many of the servers are very fast, including those that don’t appear first in the drop-down server options
- The company has taken great measures in the past to ensure user anonymity
- There are fewer servers available than most other competitive VPNs
- A less than fast internet connection may result in sporadic long wait times (to connect to a server)
PureVPN is probably one of the most reviewed out of all those shown in this list. That is, reviewed by other sources. They have become known as the people’s VPN, having good customer service that handles problems fast and on time. Going into the technical side of the software, there’s no logging done at all. The website also doesn’t take much information from the people that visit it. And when you’re using it on a mobile, other apps work as they should, having no lag. For iPhone users, crashing might occur on some occasions. The best way to prevent this is by making sure that you do a clean install, keeping all programs closed until the download is finished. Indeed, PureVPN is a great buy for smartphone users of all types. Make it one of your first choices to begin a trial with if you’re hard-pressed on what to get.
- Very little is logged from the company, including on their website during sign up
- Doesn’t interfere with the speed of other applications when the VPN is turned on
- Has solid customer service are usually responds to questions in a short waiting period
- On iOS, the app may crash when the phone is low on memory
3. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN is another VPN that’s available of mobile stores for Android and iOS. You don’t have to buy it from there if you don’t want, though. Simply visit the website and put in your payment info when choosing the plan to subscribe to. This is probably the best way to acquire it if you’re using Bitcoin. Protections from IP leaks and DNS holes are all here should your data plan ever be reduced in signal strength. Download time is also very quick and won’t take you more than a minute to have completed. When you’re connected, some websites may load pretty slow but this can be fixed by using OpenVPN as your main protocol. Buffering when streaming video could also happen. Try to tweak your settings a bit on your mobile. And when you’re done, enjoy Surfshark’s thousands of servers for everything you do on the web.
- Good protection against IP and DNS leaks of all kinds
- Available in a wide variety of regional App Stores and Google Playstore
- Can be downloaded rather quickly, doesn’t hog up too much smartphone storage space
- Web pages on browsers may load slowly, even on primary servers
- Buffing is likely during the streaming of video content
VyprVPN is another great VPN that’s recommended for people that like to mix business with fun activities on their phone. It works outstanding when using productivity apps that reply to lots of memory. And when you’re doing so, your mobile won’t slow down or drain the battery faster. The enormous amount of servers is also well taken, so there’s a good chance that you’ll never encounter a moment of blockage when using the app for Netflix or Hulu. If your connection goes out for a moment and reappears, the killswitch feature will put a wall around your IP, preventing your provider from knowing what was visited. It’s especially great for torrents because of this. If you’re using an Android, consider looking into VyprVPN before testing the others.
- Has a huge listing of servers and remote server locations spread out throughout the world
- Manages to be fast on ISPs with average broadband speed
- Efficiently works to shut down all open apps to block potential leaks
- Their customer service response time could be quicker
- On Android devices, crashing has been reported
5. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield has been on the App Store and Play Store for a long time. And in that timeframe have received lots of praise for server response time and speed. Getting through the download process is also simple, and changing setting is easy to do for most users. This includes people that have never used a VPN before. The app’s main menu options are very simplistic and only a few buttons must be pressed for you to get on one of the servers. However, servers that are first are often the best, with others being hit or miss at times. There’s only one protocol given with the VPN too, which might not sit well with people that want to use those that are open-source, such as OpenVPN. Regardless, Hotspot Shield manages to be a top contender and remains highly recommended.
- Has an exclusive protocol that only users subscribed to the service have access to
- Going through the menus and accessing servers performs well, with no chances in between Android and iOS
- Has a good amount of servers to choose
- Server quality quickly diminishes when using those that aren’t first on the list
CyyberGhost is a speed demon, and this isn’t said lightly. The VPN’s speed is extremely fast and you may even forget that you’re on it once connected. There are plenty of servers to choose from, and most of them work with the same haste of those on the top of the drop-down menu. Speaking of the menu, sorting through the countries that are given is easy on the hands and eyes. This makes it good for people with slight vision problems, so you won’t have to adjust your smartphone’s settings from squinting at the words on the app’s screen. Video streaming is beautiful and music has good playback that doesn’t skip from a slowed connection. If your internet connection is a bit slow, the speed may not be the same as what was just described. Try to update your data plan if you’re running anything that’s lower than 4 megabytes per second, and this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
- Has speeds that are often listed as some of the fastest of all VPNs
- Easy to sort through the menu and settings options
- Great for watching videos and streaming music from alternative applications
- People using slower internet connections will notice the speed benefits of the service
7. Windscribe VPN
Windscribe has a pretty layout that’s blue and white, having large flag banners that make the server choices easy to recognized without putting your head close to the screen. But the best thing of all is that there is hardly any instance of crashing. Customer service interactions are generally positive and reps are knowledgeable about the application. You can contact them directly from the app, or go to the website for additional help. For both Android and iOS, the application works great and appears identical in every way save for the settings in which setup is completed. With so many good things to say about the way that it works, it’s probably why the application doesn’t update very often on smartphones. It’s not something negative, but it would be nice to see newer features or changes to the layout. But Windscribe is still a great VPN. Recommended for casual VPN use for entertainment or basic web browsing.
- A good choice for customers that need a VPN that doesn’t crash often
- Has a knowledgeable customer service reps that can fix most issues promptly
- The VPN is streamlined for iOS and Android but performs and looks the same; an ideal choice for users that plan on sharing accounts with multiple phones
- The app itself look old in appearance
- Doesn’t update very often on iOS devices
8. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear VPN is a cute little teddy bear for its logo, rather, a fierce-looking bear that’s ready to guard your smartphone like never before. The VPN has thousands of servers that work fast with average to high-speed connections. Even when you’re signal’s bar is low, you should still be able to connect without waiting too long. And if you’re planning on paying for a subscription from the website, there’s a lot of payment options. You don’t have to stick to the App or Play Store to find and obtain a plan from TunnelBear. Prices between what’s shown in the stores mentioned and the website itself are usually the same. There might be discounts given at different times of the year but the service is generally considered to be a cheaper option for people that still want a high-quality VPN.
- Great network of servers, with the fastest being in the EU and US
- Has many payment options that can be used either from the App Store/Play Store or from the company’s website
- No widespread reports of deceptive logging
- Slowdowns at random times may be common, especially on Android phones
- Not as many payment choices as the other brands
NordVPN is available on all smartphone platforms, including Windows and Google OS. The iOS and Android Play Store shouldn’t be forgotten about either, and downloading from either one will only take a few seconds to finish. But before you subscribe, understand that there’s no real trial period. You will have to put your payment information through when you open the app after it’s downloaded. Updates occur frequently, which is a good way to prevent Zero Day attacks since hackers won’t be likely to find something to exploit before it can be patched. But even if you don’t turn on automatic updates for the apps on your smartphone, NordVPN remains well protected against all hacks, featuring military-style encryption. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone to figure out what you’re doing on the web. Use NordVPN for its ideal location in Panama and well-received, speedy servers.
- Has proven to be a very trusted name in VPNs; great for its location in Panama
- Unlike some VPNs that are housed on smartphones, Nord doesn’t contain loopholes that could be used for Zero-Day attacks; updates regularly
- No hidden are unexpected fees
- Trial period is confusing and requires payment details to be submitted
10. IpVanish VPN
IpVanish VPN finalizes with an application that’s good for torrenting. iOS isn’t known for having access to torrent applications without jailbreaking an iPhone, making Android and Windows smartphones better with this software. It has all the right protocols that you’ll need to hide your download from your data plan. Streaming is also pretty fast and high definition video should play without long waiting/buffering times. If you are going to use it on iOS, you can. Older phone models work great on it. Running any Apple smartphone that’s older than an iPhone 6 can be rife with slowdowns and lag, but this won’t happen when you’re using IpVanish to connect over the internet.
- Has no long setup process and is ready to use right away (after downloading and installing)
- For Android phones, the VPN is a great choice for torrenting
- Stable enough to be used on older Android and Apple phones without overheating or crashing
- While it is minimal, the company does log sign ins from the app and web traffic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it difficult to set up a VPN on a Smartphone?
Not at all! There are usually two ways in which a VPN can be placed on a smartphone. The first is through the store that’s featured with the operating system that you’re using. For Apple, this is the App Store. Android has the Google Play Store. Each of them has all of the VPNs shown in the reviews above. Simply type in the name of the VPN that you want, and scroll down until you see it in the list. File sizes can vary but most VPNs shouldn’t require much of your disk space.
The second option is through the website of the VPN itself. In fact, you might find it easier to complete the payment with some VPN companies this way. When you’re finished downloading the VPN, open the application. Depending on which software you’re running, you may have to configure the VPN to run on your smartphone, but most of them will do this automatically for you. More advanced options are given but they must be put in automatically, such as choosing your own protocol. As a safety caution, always go with the default settings if you’re not sure about what you’re doing.
Are there any major differences between iOS and Android VPNs?
For the most part, no. Both iOS and Android VPNs will operate about the same. There’s usually a one-button design that you must press when choosing which server you want, along with a drop-down menu that shows all the different countries that you can pick. Where the similarities may end is with advanced settings, as mentioned earlier. But they’re often built to look and appear the same. If you are using NordVPN or ExpressVPN on either one or both of the OS’, you won’t have much of a learning curve to worry about. And this is really helpful if you’re using a plan much be accessed from more than one device. The same applies to other alternative operating systems for smartphones.
How can I subscribe to a VPN service anonymously from My Mobile?
You obviously won’t be able to do this from the Play Store or the App Store, but you can subscribe anonymously from the VPN’s website. Most VPNs today will allow you to make payment through cryptocurrency, with the most popular being Bitcoin. Other altcoins may also be available such as Ethereum and the security-centric Dash. Of course, you could always do this anonymously from the OS store if you’re using an account that doesn’t have your personal details attached to it. Still, it can be quite difficult to keep yourself completely anonymous when using a smartphone, unlike computers and laptops.
What Applications should be Avoided while using a VPN?
Most applications should function as normal when you’re on the VPN. There are a few that may not work so well with the services. PayPal is one of them. If you use a VPN over PayPal, you might have problems signing in on the next attempt to do so without it. If this happens, you’ll be forced to do an identification check so that the company can ensure that it’s you on the other side of the account. It’s an annoying but completely necessary precaution that must be done since banking tends to be one of the most sought after means of obtaining money by criminals. And like this service, other money or banking platforms may also not work well over a VPN. Just remember to never have your banking apps open whenever you’re signed on to a VPN, and you shouldn’t have this issue occur.
What are some of the Benefits to Using a Mobile VPN?
There are enough benefits for using a VPN on a smartphone to write a novel about. but the basics are protections against hackers of all sorts and the ability to access websites that might be blocked in your region. This also includes sites that you partially blocked or restricted, such as Netflix. The company routinely forbids users from getting on accounts that you not in the user’s country of origin. As a result, you won’t be able to access your Netflix account from a foreign country if you’re on a vacation. The same applies to music streaming services. Deezer is another company that won’t allow you to sign on from a location that’s not the same as the one you are subscribed to. It’s important that you make sure to always use a VPN when entering such apps, as some may even try to lock your account if they notice you getting on from an unfamiliar location.
How Safe are free VPN Apps?
Free VPNs are either hit or miss, although most of them definitely aren’t safe at all. And this isn’t said to drive consumers away from paying anything; most of them have to pay for the services they offer in some fashion. The easiest way for a free VPN to do so is through logging and advertising. They might take your user data and even send it off to third parties. You should always use extreme caution when checking out a free VPN, making sure to read the fine print of their user agreement. As shown, they often collect user information to pay for what they offer. Android is especially susceptible to users downloading risky applications because of so many apps that are featured on the Play Store. iOS also has the problem but to a lesser degree, since most apps in the App Store are vetted before being placed on the program.
How long to Trials last For?
Free trials are always great to try out, and it’s recommended that you use it to the fullest whenever it’s available. Just about all of the VPNs listed have some sort of trial offer, meaning that you won’t have to pay anything until the time stipulated by the company is reached. Trial periods for smartphones are unfortunately slightly less than what might be given with the same computer on a PC. But remember that this applies to the mobile’s operating system alone. Surfing through the store will quickly reveal how different some of the trial options are when compared to what’s shown on the website of the VPN. For example, a VPN may offer you a seven-day trial on the website, but may only have a three-day period on the Google Play Store.
If you wanted a longer time to consider whether or not you like a VPN application, you could always contact the company directly through email or live chat. But that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll allow you to do so. This is one of the reasons why you might want to sign up for a service through the website first. Still, check out what’s shown on the OS store before proceeding to finalize the payment on your smartphone’s web browser. The App Store and Play Store are limited in text space, so you won’t learn much about the VPN as a whole if you’re just reading what others have said in the reviews. You’ll want to see what the service is all about, and the best way to do that is by going directly to the source. When you’re done with the payment, you will be able to download and sign up with the VPN without having to put in any payment details later.
Trials are also good for hopping, or gong from one VPN to the next to see which one works best on your mobile device. If you are going to do it this way, be sure that you chance the VPN before the time expires, especially if you must give the company your payment details before making a temporary account. Many VPNs have their trials set up to automatically give users the most expensive plan from the list when the trial’s time is up. It’s recommended that you put the date of your trial beginning somewhere on your phone, allowing it to notify you when the time is ready to switch. You can either unsubscribe from the OS store or on your browser, depending on how you began the service. If you don’t have to put in your payment details, then this shouldn’t apply to you.
Going through the list of VPNs may make you a little confused as to which one is the best. The best answer to that is neutral; there isn’t such thing as the best VPN. The choices shown in the reviews reflect what’s best for the category of paid VPNs though, so you can’t go wrong with either of them. Try picking one that has an emphasis on what you’re looking for the most, whether it be the cheapest or fastest option. And when you’re done looking and are ready to download, be sure to test it out with different applications on your smartphone. The search for good VPNs isn’t hard at all, especially for mobile devices. You’ll be surfing the web safely in no time at all!