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How to Setup VPN on Android for Free: A Detailed Guide

How to Setup VPN on Android for Free: A Detailed Guide


Using a VPN is key to keeping your online activity safe and private. While most people have learned the importance of implementing VPNs on their computers and browsers, many leave their phones unprotected unfortunately. For users looking to fix this vulnerability in their cyber defenses, we have prepared a guide on how to set up a VPN on Android for free. Here, we will plan every step you need to take in detail, helping you to secure your mobile internet connection without making a hole in your pocket.

What is a VPN and why do I need one?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that allows you to create a secure and private connection to another network. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel for your online connection, mask your location and IP address, and prevent third parties from spying on your online activity or identifying you.

VPNs are an important tool for accessing geo-locked content and streaming region-specific libraries. It also keeps sensitive data secure, allows users to access censored content, and assists journalists and activists in countries where freedom of expression is at risk.

Setting up a VPN on Android or any other operating system is essential to protect your connection on all internet-ready devices. Besides antivirus software, VPNs are one of the most important elements of our phone’s cyber defense. Since we use our smartphones to communicate and access sensitive data on a regular basis, it is essential to keep them safe from hackers.

Android VPN Ready

The great thing about Android is that it comes with VPN support pre-built. You can manually connect to the VPN server directly through the settings of your Android phone. However, setting up a VPN like this requires you to write the VPN configuration information yourself. This may be a problem for inexperienced users.

How to set up a free VPN on Android without having to do everything manually, then? By downloading one of our free VPN for Android apps, which takes care of the entire configuration process for you. Both options work, so let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

Set up Android VPN manually

If you decide to connect to a VPN server on Android manually, there are a few things you should know before delving into the process.

First of all, you will need to be logged into the VPN and the server configuration data on hand to establish a manual connection. This data can be obtained from your system administrator if you are connected to a business network or from an Android VPN service provider in the market if you are not.

Many VPN providers offer instructions on how to set up a VPN on Android for free on their website. In most cases, you’ll just need to log into your account on the provider’s website and find the setup buttons on more devices or connect manually, which then reveal the server information you need. Once you have all the VPN settings, you are ready to connect manually.

The other thing to keep in mind is that manually connecting to a VPN server limits the choice of VPN protocols at your disposal. The three supported protocols are PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. They are all somewhat old and less secure than newer ones like OpenVPN, which are used via dedicated apps.

So how do you connect to a VPN on Android, then? Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1 – Go to your Android phone Settings > Network Settings

The first step involves going to the settings panel of your smartphone. There, you need to find the option to access your network settings. The exact name can vary depending on your device and Android version. It might be called Network and Internet, Network Settings, Connection and Sharing, or anything like that.

Step 2 – Click on the VPN button and click on Add VPN

Once in the network settings, you will need to locate the VPN section of the cell phone. In most cases, it will simply be called a VPN. Click this button, and you will be greeted with a nearly blank screen, with a small plus sign written above it Add VPN.

Click that, and you’re ready to log into the VPN and server data you got earlier. This is critical for the next step in our guide on how to set up a VPN on your Android phone for free.

Step 3 – Write down the VPN information

Now, you need to write down all the information that you got from the VPN provider or network administrator. The information includes the name of the VPN server, username, password, and the VPN protocol to be used. Under the Advanced tab, you will find the options related to DNS. In most cases, you won’t have to mess with them at all.

As mentioned earlier, pay special attention to which protocol you will choose. Most VPN providers will restrict you to a specific provider if you are connecting manually. The thing to avoid is PPTP, because it is outdated and suffers from many security holes. Once you have written all the data, click the Save button. Congratulations: You’ve finished the penultimate step in our guide on how to set up a VPN on Android for manual connections.

Step 4 – Tap on the saved VPN profile to connect

Now, the VPN connection profile will be saved to your phone, allowing you to connect on demand with ease. Wondering how to use a VPN? Easy, just tap on the saved profile from the VPN selection screen, and it will connect. This is; You have successfully created a VPN connection on your Android phone manually.

Using the OpenVPN protocol

Before we move forward, there is one more important thing to mention. As mentioned earlier, Android does not support manual OpenVPN protocol connections by default. If you are wondering how to use a VPN on Android using the OpenVPN protocol, you can circumvent the operating system restrictions by downloading a dedicated app like OpenVPN for Android.

We recommend the OpenVPN protocol (if you don’t want to use a dedicated VPN app), as it is more secure than the one that Android supports by default.

Connect to a VPN on Android using a dedicated app

Using a dedicated VPN app is a much easier and faster alternative to setting up a VPN connection manually. There is a wide range of VPN providers for Android to choose from. Although the free versions often have limited features, they should mostly get the job done.

So how to set up a VPN on Android for free with a dedicated VPN app? There are multiple ways to do this. First, you will need to find a good free VPN on the Internet. Once you have chosen your preferred provider, the next step involves downloading the app itself.

You can download the application through Google Play. If for some reason you can’t access the store, you can find the APK installation files online by doing a quick Google search. Simply download it and start the installation manually. Be careful if you are downloading APK files from an unofficial site, as they are likely to be infected with malware.

After starting the installation, the process is mostly automatic, as the installer handles most of the VPN settings for Android by itself. Another thing to keep in mind is that many free VPNs out there actually don’t encrypt your connection and just spoof your location instead. Hence, we recommend that you stick with the proven and reputable providers like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Not only does it make connecting to a VPN easier, but it also makes it more secure.


After reading this guide, you should be fully equipped to get the VPN up and running on your Android phone. As we already said in our How to Use a VPN in Android guide, try to stick to trusted VPN providers, and always use their dedicated apps if possible. Remember: Avoid PPTP and go for OpenVPN whenever possible. Finally, consider using a paid VPN for maximum protection. The free versions are often very limited in scope, have less bandwidth and far fewer server options than their paid counterparts.

in-depth reading


Can you set up a VPN for free?

Yes, you can set up a VPN on Android without paying. Most of the popular VPN providers offer a free category of service that works on Android phones. You can either connect manually by typing the VPN configuration data or through VPN apps that you can download from the Play Store.

What is the best free VPN for Android?

TunnelBear, Kaspersky, and HotSpot Shield are some of the most popular free VPNs available on Android. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Is there a free VPN for Android?

Yes, there are many free VPN apps for Android. Just be sure to stick with trusted others who already encrypt your connection and not just hide it.

How do I set up a VPN on my Android phone?

As we explained in the β€œHow to Setup VPN on Android for Free” guide above, you can easily set up a VPN on Android by yourself. There are steps to take:

  1. Access your phone’s network settings.
  2. Click VPN > Add VPN.
  3. Type your VPN server information and username/password.
  4. Tap on the saved VPN profile to connect.

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