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Let’s face it, we all live one swipe at a time. That means it’s even more important to make sure our devices are protected against malicious online villains. Enter a mobile VPN app, which will not only boost your smartphone’s security, but also optimize it for accessing content abroad no matter where you are.
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Before you download the first VPN app you come across when searching your designated application store, it’s worth remembering that not all mobile VPN providers are created equal. While you’ll be faced with an endless list of services that promise secure connections and the ability to unblock sites, we’re here to pick through the minefield and deliver our list of the best mobile VPN apps that are definitely worth it- install on your Android or iOS device.
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From unblocking capabilities to speed, and a smooth interface that assimilates itself well on any mobile device to top it off, these are the best VPN options for you.
First, the top VPN for phone users should come from a respected provider with a history of excellence. Our #1 pick ExpressVPN is one such provider, and has long been a leader in simple, powerful mobile VPN apps, great privacy, and great streaming support – not to mention a killer five-star rating in our full ExpressVPN review.
For those who need them, additional features like a kill switch and split tunneling are extremely useful, and neat solutions like auto-connect can make using the service even easier.
We also recommend going with a provider (like ExpressVPN) that has well-designed apps. Sometimes you can get away with old desktop apps, but mobile VPNs need to be optimized for touchscreens and perform as seamlessly as all your other apps. So, with all that in mind, here are the best five mobile VPN services for you to choose from.
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We’ve ranked ExpressVPN as the best mobile VPN thanks to its intuitive apps, great speeds and amazing reliability – and to make sure it’s right for you, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. What’s more, you can also claim three months free with Tom’s Guide.
2. Surfshark – the best value mobile VPN (opens in new tab) If you want to save as much money as possible for your next handset upgrade, Surfshark offers some serious power for for less than $2.50 a month. While not as good as Express, it’s a good alternative for a higher price.
3. NordVPN – great privacy and powerful apps (opens in new tab) Arguably the most popular VPN on the market, NordVPN is a powerful all-rounder. With intuitive apps on iOS and Android along with great connection speeds and streaming performance, it’s worth considering – and it’s very good, too.
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 3, 000+ | Server locations: 160 | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connection: 5
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If you’re looking for the flat-out best mobile VPN, look no further than ExpressVPN. Once the app is launched it’s clear that this is a professional piece of kit, but there’s more to it than a pretty face.
First of all, you will be greeted by a large on/off switch, and one tap will connect you to the pre-selected best server. For many, this is all you need to know – the suggested server is almost always the ‘right’ choice, and for day-to-day security that’s all you need.
If you want to access geo-blocked websites or streaming services, you can choose from Express’ list of more than 3,000 servers. You’ll get class-leading speeds on almost all of them, and you’ll also be able to access BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock and more. It also gains access to some Netflix libraries (Canada, Australia, and sometimes the US), though we found Nord and Surfshark to be a stronger Netflix VPN in recent tests.
If you want to get out of the configuration, you’ll have a selection of protocols to choose from, check for DNS leaks on your network, activate your kill switch and enable split tunneling (although the latter is only available on Android ).
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If you have any problems with ExpressVPN’s apps – and, let’s face it, no VPN is 100% problem-free – the 24/7 live chat support responds in seconds and, in our experience, always resolves any issues we face.
The only downside is that Express’s mobile VPN only allows five simultaneous connections per plan – if you have a whole ton of devices you won’t be able to cover them all at once, but thankfully you can install the app as many times as you like and log in and out as often as you like.
If you want the easiest, strongest and most reliable mobile VPN available today, ExpressVPN is the choice for you – it’s that simple. But, if you’re not satisfied with the service, every customer is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can handle the service before you do.
Tom’s Guide readers get 3 months free from ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) Tom’s Guide readers who sign up to a 12-month plan get three months absolutely FREE. That’s 15 months for the price of 12. And, don’t forget that a 30-day guarantee covers you in case you realize that ExpressVPN isn’t for you. What will be lost?
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Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 3, 200+ | Server locations: 100+ | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connection: No limit
While Surfshark isn’t as robust as some of its rivals, after our Surfshark review, it quickly became a Tom’s Guide favorite thanks to its attractive simplicity and aggressive pricing. It’s not for tinkerers who want to adjust tons of settings, but if you’re looking for a cheap, reliable mobile VPN, this is a great choice.
The app itself is beautiful and intuitive, and offers a one-touch connection to the best server. And, while it’s not as deep as others, it has all the essential features like a kill switch, a selection of protocols and auto-connect. For most, that would be a lot.
Surfshark is a great choice for streaming fans, as it unblocks a host of Netflix libraries and other services, as well as maintaining excellent connection speeds on all but the most remote sites. server. If you want to stay really secure, you can also use Double Hop, which connects you to two servers simultaneously for added privacy.
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The biggest selling point, however, is Surfshark’s price – at around $2.50 a month, it’s one of the best value VPNs out there, especially considering it has a brilliant unlimited policy on connection so you can really cover all your devices.
While it can’t compete with ExpressVPN in terms of power and blistering speeds, Surfshark offers a seriously tempting package of a useful mobile VPN, bargain pricing, and unlimited device support.
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 5, 500+ | Server locations: 59 countries | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connection: 6
As a strong online security player, it’s no surprise that NordVPN has built a great mobile VPN to sit alongside its powerful desktop clients. Covered by the same highly secure software as their PC brethren, the apps are extremely secure and offer users true privacy – see our NordVPN review for more information.
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Nord apps are a great choice for those looking to stay safe while traveling, and will ensure you’re safe when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Also, they offer some interesting features not often seen in mobile VPNs – like Onion over VPN, and a Double VPN feature similar to Surfshark’s.
One minor downside to NordVPN’s apps, however, is the design. The mobile VPN shares the same map-based interface as the desktop clients, and while that works on a large screen, devices with smaller displays make the apps feel cramped and a bit confusing to use.
That said, one swipe up will take you to a list of VPN servers, and in practice you’ll only spend a minute or two using the app, while the rest of your time will be spent enjoying internet anonymity .
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Apart from that, Nord’s apps are highly functional and simple to use, and will definitely appeal to those looking for maximum security with their VPN.
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac | Number of servers: 1, 700+ | Server locations: 64 countries | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connection: 10
Do you want a mobile VPN with unmatched credentials and privacy features? Look no further. ProtonVPN offers powerful apps on all mobile operating systems, and you can even try it out by using the free version.
Beyond privacy, however, ProtonVPN has the ability to unblock Netflix, and with it you can
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