When someone mentions VPNs, most people tend to assume that they are talking about PC-based programs. However, if you’ve ever read any VPN reviews or know anything about VPNs in general, you might also know that one of the main features that providers tend to advertise about these products is their device compatibility.
That’s why today we’ll be taking a look at the best VPN apps for both Android and iPhone users, and try to figure out the best mobile VPN out there.
First of all, we’ll talk about the top 5 VPN apps for Android. Since a lot of these apps are compatible with multiple operating systems, I’ll only mention the duplicates when we talk about iPhones, and will concentrate on a couple that we still haven’t talked about.
Finally, at the very end, there will be one last question left to answer - what is the best free VPN app out there? Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 5 VPN apps for Android users.
1. NordVPN - 4.4 out of 5 (96,000 reviews)
Ranks #1 out of 6 VPNs
What are the main NordVPN Pros?
Here's the list of the benefits NordVPN offers:
- Security: Kill switch, no DNS or IP leaks, safe jurisdiction. No logging.
- Data Encryption: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN
- Speed: 8/10
- Additional Features: Supports torrenting and unlocks Netflix.
NordVPN tops the “best VPN app” charts in the Android category. And that’s not without a good reason, either.
Nord is one of the top industry giants - you’ll constantly see it dominating the markets for every single device out there. The provider offers users more than 5000 different servers to choose from - that’s an absolutely insane amount!
Nord has managed to garner almost 96,000 user reviews on the app store, maintaining an average score of 4.4 out of 5 stars. The absolute majority of users appreciate Nord for the VPN’s amazing speed benchmark (I experienced a very small amount of speed loss!) and governmental-grade data encryption (AES 256-bit combined with the OpenVPN protocol).
Combined with its strict no logging policy, Nord comes out to be one of the safest and most reliable VPNs in the game.
That’s not all, however.
Out of the 5000+ servers that NordVPN offers, a good portion of them are dedicated to one or another specific use.
The company has working Netflix servers and allows Peer-to-Peer file sharing (the most commonly known form of this would be torrenting) - both features are highly sought-after when it comes to the best VPN apps for Android!
Price-wise, Nord is one of the cheapest VPNs on this list, coming out to be $2,99 USD per month (if you choose the most popular, 3-year plan). A real bargain when you think about the product and all of its benefits!
2. ExpressVPN - 4.1 out of 5 (73,000 reviews)
Ranks #2 out of 6 VPNs
What are the main ExpressVPN Pros?
Here's the list of the benefits ExpressVPN offers:
- Security: No logging policy, located in the BVI.
- Data Encryption: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN.
- Speed: 9/10.
- Additional Features: Supports torrenting and unlocks Netflix; more than 3000 servers.
Clocking in at number two, we have ExpressVPN. Discounting anything else, Express is probably most famous for its speed - once you enable this VPN, you might not even notice a difference! Personally, I experienced around a 10% speed loss with ExpressVPN turned on - that’s literally nothing!
Surely, though, great speed isn’t the only reason for choosing Express as an option when it comes to the best VPN apps out there.
This service provider is constantly competing with the above-mentioned NordVPN in all terms of the matter - top-tier data encryption and an equally-strict no logging policy, the ability to use torrents and watch Netflix USA for international users, a ton of servers to choose from (more than 3000), and so on.
User reviews reflect that, too - it scores a rating of 4.1 out of 5 in the app store.
So, why is Express placed in the second spot, then? Well, one of the main factors that prevent ExpressVPN from climbing into the top spot of being the best mobile VPN is the price - ExpressVPN will cost $8,32 USD per month if you purchase the 12-month plan.
Do keep in mind that this isn’t a bad price per se - considering everything that ExpressVPN unlocks, and the unbelievable speed that it provides, 8 bucks ain’t nothing! However, Nord seems to have struck a better “price vs quality” middle ground, and that’s why it has the upper hand in this “best mobile VPN” review.
3. Surfshark - 4.1 out of 5 (700 reviews)
Ranks #3 out of 6 VPNs
What are the main SurfShark Pros?
Here's the list of the benefits SurfShark offers:
- Security: No logging policy.
- Data Encryption: OpenVPN
- Speed: 5/10
- Additional Features: Super cheap, allows torrenting & Netflix and supports TOR.
If you need the best VPN app, and are also looking for the best possible price, Surfshark might be the VPN for you.
While Surfshark does not have the biggest server pool or the fastest connection speed, the company emphasizes the fact that it’s the only VPN provider (at least out of the “top 10” lists) that offers unlimited device connectivity.
While this isn’t necessarily important when you’re looking for the best mobile VPN, it’s still nice to know that, with Surfshark, you’ll be able to connect as many devices to the VPN as you might wish.
Going into the actual app page on the Android store, you’ll notice that Surfshark only has around 700 user reviews. You shouldn’t get discouraged - there ain’t anything fishy going on.
The fact of the matter is that Surfshark is still a very young VPN service provider, so this amount of reviews isn’t odd at all. On the contrary - the fact that Surfshark has managed to climb up to the top of the VPN industry in such a short amount of time is quite a statement!
AES 256-bit data encryption, no logging policy, the OpenVPN protocol, Netflix and torrenting… You name it - Surfshark’s got it! As I’ve mentioned earlier, though, the best part of this VPN provider becomes evident when we start talking about prices - purchasing the 24-month plan, it would only cost you $1,99 USD per month!
That is literally the best price in the game, and thus places Surfshark among the top 3 best VPN apps for Android.
4. TunnelBear - 4.5 out of 5 (172,000 reviews)
Ranks #4 out of 6 VPNs
What are the main TunnelBear Pros?
Here's the list of the benefits TunnelBear offers:
- Supports torrents
- No logs, no leaks
- Has a free version
Excluding everything else, let it be known - TunnelBear has the absolute best mascot in the VPN industry.
TunnelBear is the most famous VPN app in the Android app store - 4.5 out of 5 stars and almost 172,000 reviews isn’t anything to scoff at! How in the world did TunnelBear manage to reach this? Simple - an app with an amazing usability aspect.
I didn’t mention TunnelBear’s mascot without a reason - this VPN provider is famous for having the best visualizations in the industry. The app is no exception - it’s super fun to use, and that tends to be a huge criterion when it comes to mobile VPN users.
Although it is true that TunnelBear is better when used on Android devices (because Android supports OpenVPN and AES 256-bit data encryption, while iOS does not), both operating system users will be able to enjoy a strict no logging policy, which is a good sign!
While the Bear doesn’t offer the best speed in the game, and doesn’t unlock Netflix USA for international users, the pricing of the VPN makes sense - the 12-month plan will cost you $4,99 USD per month. Overall, a decent choice when looking for the best VPN app for Android!
5. Private Internet Access - 4 out of 5 (19,000 reviews)
Ranks #5 out of 6 VPNs
Finally, let’s take a look at the final contender for this “best VPN app” list - Private Internet Access (otherwise known as PIA).
The best part of PIA is the speed - it is somewhat comparable to that of NordVPN, which is a big deal! Another great feature of this VPN provider is the number of servers that you’ll be able to access - PIA offers more than 3000 servers to its users! In this aspect, it’s pretty close to ExpressVPN.
With a score of 4 out of 5 on the app store (and with 19,000 reviews and counting), Private Internet Access is surely a pretty well-known and respected VPN provider! It has a pretty good price tag, too - choosing the 2-year plan, you would be charged $3,49 USD per month.
With torrenting allowed and these speed parameters in place, that’s a bargain!
6. IPVanish - 4.5 out of 5 (28,000 reviews)
Ranks #6 out of 6 VPNs
Now that we’ve covered the top 5 VPN apps for Android users, let’s transition and take a look at what iOS has to offer.
Since the vast majority of the top VPN providers offer their services on most of the main platforms out there, all of the above-mentioned VPNs fit into the iOS crowd, too. That being said, there are two specific VPN providers that aren’t on the Android list, but definitely deserve a spot on the iPhone one.
With that, let’s take a look at both of these providers.
IPVanish is a decent choice for an iPhone VPN simply because it offers great security features and does not log your data. Since this is an iOS app, OpenVPN isn’t available - instead, IPVanish utilizes the iOS equivalent, the IPSec protocol (if you want, however, you could use IKEv2 protocol, too).
Many users love IPVanish because it has a whole lot of interesting features and offers great speeds while connecting to servers even on the other side of the world. The reviews are a great reflection of that - the VPN scores a grade of 4.5 out of 5 (with more than 28,000 reviews and counting).
When it comes to prices, a 12-month subscription will cost you $6,49 USD per month. While this is definitely on the pricier side of things, it’s still a good alternative for the “best VPN app for iPhones” if, for example, you don’t want to use NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
What About the Best Free VPN Apps?
As I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this “Best VPN App” article, a whole lot of people wonder what is the best free VPN app out there. Online, you will find various different articles around this subject - most of them point to completely free VPNs, but the fact of the matter is that these usually aren’t all that good.
So… Why am I mentioning this, in the first place?
Two words: free trials.
Most of the VPN providers that we’ve covered in this best VPN app review offer users free trials (TunnelBear, for example, has a free version altogether). Considering this fact alone, you could try out any and all of the VPNs on these two lists, and then decide whether or not they’re worth your time and money.
Even though this isn’t really a straightforward answer to the above-mentioned question (“what is the best free VPN app?”), it’s still one way of looking at it.
If you value your data privacy and security, then you are best off with a free trial of a reputable VPN, rather than a free VPN that’s full of flaws and logs every single thing that you do online.
As you might have noticed, there are a lot of VPN providers to choose from when we’re talking about the best VPN app (both for Android and iOS).
Each of the providers mentioned on this list have their own pros and cons, their individual strengths and weaknesses. Which one would suit you best?
Well, it all kind of depends on what you’re looking for. Some VPNs are better security-wise, while others shine in the feature department. Admittedly, though, there are also those which excel in both of these areas - that’s why they’re on the top!
Whatever your choice might be, I hope that this “Best VPN App” review was helpful to you in deciding which VPN app to pick. I hope that you’ll choose the best VPN for yourself, and wish you the best of luck!