Online security should always be a priority, even when you’re accessing the internet on your Android device.
Google’s mobile operating system has a user base of over two billion. This market dominance means that hackers are more likely to attack Android users in an attempt to claim as many victims as possible.
It’s likely not a surprise that there are hundreds of VPN apps available for the Android operating system. The majority of the best VPN service providers offer users dedicated VPN applications for most versions of Android. A small number of VPN providers also allow Android users to manually configure their own network, allowing for almost complete control over your protected internet connection.
While it may seem daunting at first, it’s fairly easy to set up a VPN service if you have the proper instructions.
A quick word of warning before we get started: Just because a VPN service’s app is on the Google Play Store does not mean it is legitimate. There are many apps available that promise free privacy and security services, but it is often the case that these apps either do nothing or do very little to actually protect you. It’s best to stick to using one of the VPNs we discuss below.
The Top 5 VPNs for Android TV
ExpressVPN is essentially the best VPN for Android TV users. They provide over 3,000 servers in 160 locations with over 30,000 IP addresses available to use.
Additionally, ExpressVPN allows three simultaneous connections per account, allowing you to spread your protection across several of your devices.
- Excellent connection speeds
- Well-designed Android application
- Lack of advanced security features like a kill switch
- The number of simultaneous connections is limited to three
The ExpressVPN Android app is designed with usability in mind, and when compared to other VPN apps on the market, it some fairly advanced options.
For example, a powerful location selection tool is included, which allows you to choose the destination of the server you want to connect to. This gives you the ability to choose a server closer to you to improve your internet speeds or a server in one of 94 countries to further mask your location.
A downside to ExpressVPN is that it doesn’t have a kill switch, meaning that your computer will be left unprotected if the connection to the VPN server is lost. However, while the connection is active, it protects you and your data with AES 256-bit encryption—one of the top ciphers in the encryption market.
ExpressVPN has fast, reliable internet speeds and is able to be used across a wide range of devices. While it will protect your Android TV, it is also capable of protecting tablets, smartphones and computers as well.
Once you sign up with ExpressVPN, you can follow the directions on their website to install their app on your Android TV. Generally speaking, you will need to download the app either as an APK file or from the Google Play Store. Similar directions can be followed to install the app on your other devices if you decide to do so.
A 24/7 live support chat service is available if you need help in the process.
All ExpressVPN packages come with a 30-day money back guarantee and there is a seven-day free trial, allowing you to make sure it works for you before continuing with the service.
Three options are available to choose from when purchasing from ExpressVPN, with the 12-month option giving you the best rate and providing the longest protection.
NordVPN is considered one of the most secure VPNs available, which makes it ideal for those with data protection in mind. They offer over 5,300 VPN servers in 62 locations.
NordVPN also allows six devices to be connected simultaneously on a single account.
- Advanced security features, including double encryption
- Reasonably fast performance
- Fairly basic app
NordVPN features Double VPN technology, providing an extra layer of security to your connection. As its name would suggest, Double VPN encrypts your connection and passes it through a VPN server, and then encrypts it again and passes it through a second server.
This is contrary to other VPN services that only direct your connection through one server before connecting you to the internet. While the number of Double VPN servers is somewhat limited, the availability to use them is there for all NordVPN users.
NordVPN has a strict zero-logs policy, meaning that they do not record or track their customers. When using a VPN, your focus is on privacy and security, so it makes sense to use one that doesn’t keep your information—even for their own use.
The NordVPN Android app is fairly easy to use, but it lacks many of the configuration options available on the apps of some other VPN services.
It doesn’t have a kill switch feature, which may leave you vulnerable if your connection to the VPN server is lost. While the Android app is somewhat basic, the desktop version of the app has a more advanced user interface with more options to choose from.
The NordVPN app has a unique and useful feature that allows it to automatically reconnect to a VPN server when the user switches from W-Fi to a cellular connection or vice versa. This feature allows consistent protection without the user having to remember to reconnect to the VPN every time their connection changes.
NordVPN has a seven-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee to give you ample time to make sure it meets your needs before purchasing.
Several plans are available to choose from, with the three-year option providing the best deal and the longest coverage. After purchasing, you will have access to 24/7 live chat customer support to help you get NordVPN installed on your Android TV and your other devices.
IPVanish offers about 1,200 VPN servers in 60 locations with over 40,000 IP addresses available. They allow 10 simultaneous connections on a single account.
- Excellent performance
- Unique extra features
- No free trial
IPVanish offers some unique features such as split tunneling and obfuscation.
Split tunneling allows you to decide which of your apps should have a protected internet connection and which should be allowed to connect directly to the internet. While this does leave some of your data unprotected, it improves internet speeds for apps that do not contain sensitive information.
Obfuscation essentially disguises your VPN connection to make it appear as a regular connection. Some ISPs and governments restrict encrypted internet traffic, so the obfuscation feature allows you to continue to use your VPN without a hindered connection.
One feature that IPVanish is missing is a kill switch, which may leave you unprotected if your connection to the VPN server is lost. With the connection active, your data is protected by 256-bit AES encryption and the OpenVPN protocol.
IPVanish does not log the activity of their users and maintains high download speeds through their servers.
IPVanish does not offer a free trial, but there is a seven-day money back guarantee to give you some time before fully committing to the service. Several plans are available, with the one-year package providing the best deal.
Live 24/7 chat support is available after purchasing a plan.
CyberGhost VPN has over 4,500 servers in over 60 countries. When the service is purchased with through an in-app purchase on an Android device or an iOS device, up to five devices with the same Google account or Apple ID can be used simultaneously.
A purchase made through the CyberGhost website allows up to seven devices to be connected concurrently.
- Offers high connection speeds, making it ideal for streamers
- Offers strong privacy and security features on a budget
- Ease of use
- Occasionally fails to unblock streaming sites
CyberGhost doesn’t keep any logs on their customers’ browsing history, their connection times or their IP addresses.
They provide 256-bit encryption and additional security features that are not offered by other VPN services, including an ad-blocker with forced HTTPS redirect and malware protection. This keeps users protected from common internet threats and annoyances when using CyberGhost.
The CyberGhost VPN app allows users to select which features they would like to activate at any given time. Android TV users should use the Unblock Streaming feature, which will allow access to streaming sites like Comedy Central, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Once you select a streaming site you want to connect to, CyberGhost automatically connects you to a VPN server in the region best suited to access the site.
CyberGhost offers dedicated apps for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. All of the available packages include a 45-day money back guarantee, with the three-year plan providing the best value and longest protection.
StrongVPN has over 650 servers across over 20 countries. Up to 12 devices can be connected simultaneously on a single account and nearly 60,000 IP addresses are available for use.
- Dedicated DNS service
- Works with BBC iPlayer and Netflix
- Allows 12 simultaneous connections
- Above average performance
- No trial period
- Lack of advanced features
Windows application is very basic
StrongVPN may not have all the features that you generally look for in a VPN service but it provides standard VPN functionality, which may be preferable to some users.
The ability to connect 12 devices simultaneously is a strong draw for this service and will likely allow you to keep all of your family’s devices protected.
Two plans are available to choose from, with the one-year plan providing the best deal. A 30-day money back guarantee is included with both of these options, as is 24/7 chat support.