How to install a VPN on Android and what is it for?

If we think first of the VPN on computers, its use also extends to other devices and in particular to Android smartphones or tablets. We say specifically what it can be useful for you and what are the best services on this platform.

A VPN is not only used to encrypt your connection, but also to move your IP address by connecting to a server. Installing a VPN on your Android smartphone aims to improve your privacy: no hacker or government agency can know what you are doing or downloading just by looking at your internet connection. Due to its technical principle, installing and using a VPN can seem impressive. This is really not the case, even on an Android smartphone, as we shall see.

What you need to know before installing a VPN on your smartphone

We won’t lie to each other, installing a VPN is by far the easiest part. However, you should already know how to sort the hundreds of VPN stamped applications available on Google Play. Above all, avoid free VPN applications, which can be nests of malware alongside very poor quality VPNs.

VPNs certified by the Play Store are therefore preferred. Also, check out the user reviews to get a better idea. Once your application is selected, you don’t have to do any further configuration from your smartphone, other than downloading the application, there’s nothing else to do.

Android VPN 1
The list of VPNs available on the Play Store is endless

How do I use a VPN on Android?

Once the application is launched, you will likely be prompted to create an account to use the service (mainly for paid VPNs). Operating a VPN on Android is not much different than operating it on a PC or Mac. Even better, it’s further simplified to use. For example, if you want to quickly connect to a VPN server without going into technical details, just click the button Connect. This allows you to connect to the fastest server or that of the nearest country.

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Remember to check the location of your connection under VPN. It may happen that the default location is not that of the country you are in, often due to a lack of servers. As on a computer, you are then connected to a VPN server with one click and without further manipulation. Your connection will be encrypted and your IP address will be delocalized, all symbolized by a key-shaped icon in the bar at the top right of the screen.

surfshark first login
On the first connection, Android will ask you to validate the VPN connection, like here with VPN Surfshark

However, this method doesn’t let you choose the server – and therefore the country – you want to connect to. To do this, go to your VPN’s search engine, usually a list of countries and cities. This list varies depending on the VPN you choose.

For experienced or privacy-conscious users, some VPNs also allow you to connect to servers with static IPs (which don’t change every time you connect to the server). Other VPNs also offer the so-called multihopWhere multiple serversYou can connect to two remote servers via routing, doubling your confidentiality at the expense of throughput.

Choice of Surfshark server
In general, every VPN has a search engine that makes it easy to find server locations to connect to.

What options are there to know?

Most VPN apps have advanced options with lots of handy features. Here are some of the most important:

split tunneling

often mentioned whitelister Where White listsheplit tunneling you can automatically exclude or include certain applications from the VPN connection. For example, you can run the Netflix app alone through the VPN – to bypass geo-restrictions and access the American catalog – while all other apps have the faster Wi-Fi or 4G connection. .

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The kill switch

This kill switch option allows you to disconnect from the internet if access to the VPN server is suddenly lost. This is to ensure the confidentiality of any data that might be leaked during connection switching between the VPN and your local Wi-Fi or 4G network. We also strongly advise you to activate it systematically.

Override GPS location

This is one of the distinctive features of mobile VPN applications, the ability to match your phone’s GPS location to the location of the VPN. A good way to prepare your vacation a few days in advance or to trick another application into thinking you are in a different location than your current location. Yes, we’re thinking of you Pokémon Go players. Be careful though, only certain VPNs offer this feature, such as Surfshark, Express VPN or NordVPN.

What are the best VPNs for Android?


It is by far the biggest name in the VPN world and lives up to the hype to say the least. Above all, NordVPN offers excellent performance with a huge network of servers around the world.

But what really impresses is NordVPN’s focus on security. With double 2048-bit encryption, surfing the web is as safe as possible. You can even directly access a feature called Onion over VPN, which uses the Tor encrypted network for the more adventurous. Multihop and a few servers for accessing the Internet in authoritarian regimes such as China and the United Arab Emirates are also on the agenda.

The Android application itself is extremely simple and intuitive, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the GPS location replacement feature.

NordVPN currently offers a 2-year subscription with 4 months free for €80.73, which is €2.88 per month.

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Surfshark is a relatively new VPN compared to the competition, but it has some serious strengths that put it in the big leagues.

Surfshark’s Android app is one of the few VPN apps on the market that can both route your connection through encrypted servers and overwrite your GPS location.

Even without this feature, Surfshark is still a safe bet. With 1700+ servers in 63+ countries, each with private DNS. It is also an excellent VPN for accessing foreign catalogs of streaming platforms such as B. with Netflix.

Currently, Surfshark offers a 24-month subscription for $59.76, or $2.49 per month, making it one of the cheapest paid VPNs out there.


ExpressVPN is a powerful and above all extremely easy-to-use VPN, especially on Android. Want to stream Netflix from the US, France, Japan or anywhere else? Express enables you to do this on the best terms. Too bad that the GPS replacement function is not included.

The VPN features private DNS on each server, a wide range of protocols, a kill switch mode, split_tunneling mode, and an interface that will appeal to novices and experts alike, all accompanied by top-notch speeds on almost every server.

If we had to find a flaw, it would be the fact that Express only offers five simultaneous connections — but you can still install the app on as many devices as you like and just sign in and out to get around this issue.

ExpressVPN currently offers a one-year plan for $8.60 per month, ie 102.10 euros over 12 months.

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