VPN

Android VPN Setup: Configuring a VPN on an Android Device

Author
Jonathan Kraske
Last update
28. Nov 2023
Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.

VPNs offer an ideal solution for accessing your company's intranet from home, or anonymously surfing the web. Configuring VPNs for Android devices, such as smartphones, is a piece of cake. Below, we'll show you how to do it, and what to pay attention to.

A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted, virtual Internet network that fulfills two primary functions. Depending on what it is that you want to do, you can establish a VPN connection either with or without a dedicated client.

Android devices already have all that you need to connect to a remote VPN network, such as your company's intranet from home. This means that you won't need to download an app to do so.

However, if you want to be more anonymous and secure when surfing online, or bypass geo-blocking, then you need a third-party VPN provider.

Below, we'll guide you through both methods.

Configure a VPN in Android's Settings

A VPN connection can be configured with just a few steps using Android's settings:

1) Go to "settings" (Depending on the device, this can be named differently).

2) Under "connections" look for VPN. If you can't find a "VPN" option, tap "advanced settings" (or use the device's search tool).

3) Click on the "+" symbol, or "Add a VPN".

4) A new window should open, in which you can name your network.

Hint: Use a name that is related to the destination's location or its purpose.

5) Finally, select the protocol (PPTP, L2TP, etc.), the server address, username, and password. Also, decide whether the VPN connection should always be activated or only when in use.

Important: During this step, all data is transmitted to your server operator. If using an online service, you should receive an email that contains this information.

6) Save the settings.

7) Go back to "connections", and select the VPN from the list of available networks, entering the username and password you created.

Hint: You can configure your VPN to always be on by selecting "VPN always activated" in the network list.

8) A window for the connection request should open. Confirm this by selecting "ok".

9) A key symbol in your device's status bar indicates that you are connected to the VPN.

VPN Apps: The Easy Way

Android's integrated VPN is not enough to ensure your online anonymity. For that, you'll need a VPN service, which grants access to VPN servers, typically against a fee.

There are two ways to connect to these: You can manually configure a connection through your device's settings with data from your VPN provider (as described in Step 5 above). However, downloading and using their intuitive apps is even easier, since these automatically configure all settings needed to connect to a VPN.

Once installed, a VPN app allows you to select a server from a list of countries, and connect to it instantly with a single tap. Typically, these apps also come with a range of extra features: Split tunneling, for example, allows you to select which apps use the VPN connection, while double (or multi-hop) VPN routes your connection through a second server, boosting your security.

NordVPN (our winner's) Android app.

To get access to the widest selection of server locations and features, you'll need to purchase a subscription. However, there are a number of freemium VPNs that can be used for surfing or shielding your Internet connection on the go at no cost. We evaluated 27 of the most reputable and well-known VPNs, and below, you can see our Top 5:

Best Overall 2024
NordVPN
NordVPN
(877,857 )
NordVPN is our number one VPN because it combines speed, ease-of-use, and functionality in a slick package that's also pretty affordable.
5,500+ servers, 60 countries
excellent performance
no logs
6 devices simultaneously
affordable 2-year package
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.79
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
(736,465 )
ExpressVPN can impress with a strong performance, a huge server network, and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
3,000+ servers
160 cities in 94 countries
reliable performance
good for streaming
secure browser extensions
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$6.67
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee
Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN
(207,223 )
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but it's a lot more than a great budget option: the relatively new VPN boasts strong protection, many features, and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
3,200+ servers in 100 countries
unlimited number of devices
many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
cheap 24-month plan
expensive monthly plan
8.8
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$1.99
monthly price
Visit Website*
Get 83% Discount
Proton VPN
Proton VPN
(144,686 )
With its open source philosophy and extra security features, Proton VPN targets security-conscious VPN users. But thanks to its user-friendly interface and suitability for streaming, it's worth a look for a wide audience.
open source & external audits
2,900+ servers in 67 countries
great performance
free plan without data limit
not suitable for China
9.1
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
Proton VPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Free forever
HideMyAss! VPN
HideMyAss! VPN
(86,656 )
HideMyAss' main claim to fame is its impressive server infrastructure, but the VPN also delivers solid speeds and handy features like its IP Randomizer. When it comes to streaming, however, it's not always the most reliable choice.
290 locations in 210 countries
IP Randomizer
strong performance
support with live chat
unreliable for streaming
8.6
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
1
Contract Period
12 - 36 months
HideMyAss! 36 months
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee

Comprehensive reviews of all VPNs from our sample can be found here.

Top VPN Provider 2024
Sponsored
from $3.79
per month
NordVPN
from $6.67
per month
ExpressVPN
from $0.00
per month
Proton VPN
from $1.99
per month
Surfshark
show all
Author: Jonathan Kraske
* Ad disclaimer: For links marked with an asterisk, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. The commission has no influence on our editorial rating.
Continue Reading
Best Overall 2024
Sponsored
NordVPN
5,500+ servers, 60 countries
excellent performance
no logs
6 devices simultaneously
affordable 2-year package
9.4
Review
excellent
Try NordVPN now
30 days money-back guarantee