The best mobile VPN apps in 2021

All of theproviders should have great mobile VPN apps compatible with multiple devices in their line up – and thanks to the fact we’re relying on smartphones and tablets more and more to replace traditional computers, it’s now the norm to use online banking and transfer sensitive information on the move.

However, there are a lot of substandard mobile VPN listings in every app store, so how can you make the all-important choice of which to entrust with your personal information?


For those who need them, extra features like a kill switch and split tunneling are super useful, and neat solutions like auto-connect can make using the service much easier. 

We’d also recommend going for a provider (like ExpressVPN) that has well-designed apps. You can get away with extraneous, slightly ugly apps on desktop, but mobile VPNs need to be optimized for touchscreens, and be right up to date. So, with all that in mind, here are the best five mobile VPN services for you to choose from. 

We’ve ranked ExpressVPN as the best mobile VPN thanks to its intuitive apps, great speeds and fantastic 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.

If you want to save as much money as possible for your next handset upgrade, Surfshark offers a serious power for just $2.49 a month. While not quite as brilliant all-round as Express, it’s a great alternative for an even greater price.

If you’re after a fast, effective mobile VPN app, Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice. With a simple yet powerful interface and great connection speeds, it’s lovely to use – and Tom’s Guide readers can claim an exclusive price of just $2.49 a month, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

The best mobile VPN apps today

1. ExpressVPN

The best mobile VPN on the market

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, BlackBerry, | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connections: 5

Clean, attractive apps
Great connection speeds
Wide device support
Excellent security
Five-device limit

If you’re looking for the flat-out best mobile VPN, look no further than ExpressVPN. As soon as the app is launched it’s clear that it’s a professional bit of kit, but there’s more to it than just a pretty face.

First things first, you’re greeted by a big on/off switch, and a single tap will get you connected to the pre-selected best server. For many, this is all you’ll need to know – the suggested server is pretty much 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’ll be able to choose from Express’s list of over 3,000 servers. You’ll get class-leading speeds on pretty much all of them, and you’ll also be able to access tons of overseas Netflix libraries, plus BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock and more.

If you want to get stuck in to 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).

If you have any trouble with ExpressVPN’s apps – and, let’s face it, no VPN is trouble-free 100% of the time – the 24/7 live chat support responds in seconds and has, in our experience, always been able to resolve any issues we’ve faced.

The only downside is that Express’s mobile VPN only allows five simultaneous connections per plan – if you’ve got a whole ton of devices you won’t be able to cover them all at the same time, but thankfully you can install the app on as many as you like and log in and out as you wish.

If you want the easiest, most powerful and most reliable mobile VPN available today, ExpressVPN is the choice for you – it really is that simple. But, if you’re not happy with the service, every customer is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can get to grips with the service before you commit.

Tom’s guide readers signing up to a 12-month plan will get three months absolutely FREE. That’s 15 months for the price of 12. And, don’t forget that you’ll be covered by the 30-day guarantee should you realise ExpressVPN’s not for you. What’s to lose?

2. Surfshark

Unlimited connections for a bargain price

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 100+ | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Unlimited connections
Unbeatable price on long plans
Great speeds
Apps are pretty simple 

While Surfshark isn’t as established as some of its rivals, after ourit has quickly become a Tom’s Guide favorite thanks to its charming simplicity and aggressive pricing. It’s not going to be for tinkerers who like to adjust tons of settings, but if you’re looking for a cheap, reliable mobile VPN, it’s a great choice.

The app itself is nice and intuitive, and offers one-touch connection to the best server. And, while it’s not as in-depth as others, it’s got all the essential features like a kill switch, a selection of protocols and auto-connect. For most, that’s going to be plenty.

Surfshark’s a great choice for streaming fans, too, as it unblocks a host of Netflix libraries and other services, as well as maintaining great connection speeds on all but the farthest-flung servers. If you want to stay really secure you’ll also be able to use Double Hop, which connects you to two servers in tandem for extra privacy. 

The biggest selling point, though, 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 connections policy so you really can cover all your devices.

While it can’t compete with ExpressVPN in terms of power and sheer speed, Surfshark offers a seriously tempting package of a useful mobile VPN, bargain pricing, and unlimited device support.

Surfshark is a great choice if you want to ensure your data is private when you’re on the go but don’t want to pay through the nose for it. At just $2.49 a month on a 12-month + 12 months free plan, it’s the best-value way to keep your data safe – plus you’ll also have a 30-day guarantee to claim back your money if it turns out it’s not for you.

3. Hotspot Shield

Good balance of price and performance

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 80+ | Zero-logging: No | Simultaneous connections: 6

Super simple to use
Excellent speeds
Great for streaming
iOS app is a little underpowered

If you’re after a seriously speedy mobile VPN app, Hotspot Shield could be the perfect solution for you. In our fullwe saw some real improvements from the US-based provider, and it’s jumped up the ranking in a number of areas.

First and foremost, Hotspot Shield is all about speed. Whether you’re using a 5G connection or superfast Wi-Fi, it’ll be able to keep up – we saw speeds of around 380Mbps on a 600Mbps connection in our testing, making it a seriously.

The apps are attractive, too. On Android it’s almost a carbon copy of the desktop version, with plenty of features available like an effective kill switch and Smart VPN, which is Hotspot Shield’s version of split tunneling. On iOS, the pickings are slimmer, although it’s still perfectly usable and does the job well.

In terms of streaming support, Hotspot is one of the best. It unblocks a number of Netflix locations, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and a whole bunch of other services.

And you’ll get all that for an Tom’s Guide exclusive price of $2.49 a month – seriously good value.

4. NordVPN

Security giant’s apps are a good option

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 5,500+ | Server locations: 80+ | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connections: 6

Excellent privacy credentials
Great performance
Quite configurable
Not every server is P2P friendly

As a stalwart of the online security game, it’s no surprise NordVPN has developed an excellent mobile VPN to sit alongside its powerful desktop clients. Covered by the same great secure software as their PC brethren, the apps are super secure and offer users real privacy – check out ourfor more info.

Nord’s apps are a sound choice for those looking to stay secure on the go, and will make sure you’re safe when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Also, they offer some interesting features not often seen in mobile VPNs – namely Onion over VPN, and a Double VPN feature similar to Surfshark’s.

A big bonus for privacy seekers will be that NordVPN has very recently undertaken a secondof its servers and privacy policy, which demonstrates a true commitment to the protection of its customers.

One 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 little tricky to use. 

That said, a swipe up will get you to alist, and in practice you’ll only be spending a minute or two using the app, while the rest of your time will be spent enjoying internet anonymity.

Other than that, Nord’s apps are extremely functional and simple to use, and will certainly appeal to those who seek maximum security in their VPN.

5. CyberGhost

Good-value provider with decent mobile VPN apps

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux | Number of servers: 6,100+ | Server locations: 110+ | Zero-logging: Yes | Simultaneous connections: 7

Good value
Specialised for streaming
Loads of servers
No kill switch
Lacks polish

CyberGhost is a good choice of VPN for those who love torrenting and streaming. While the mobile VPN is pretty simple, CyberGhost is priced keenly and can do pretty much all most users will need – read more in our.

A neat feature is split tunneling which is available on mobile, and CyberGhost also switches ports regularly to maintain your security. However, if your connection fails, you haven’t got a kill switch to keep you protected, and you won’t be able to change protocol either (the apps only use OpenVPN).

If you go for the longest plan it’s an affordable option – but our #2 choice Surfshark is even cheaper and is the more well-rounded service. However, CyberGhost has a huge number of servers and millions of people who use them, so they must be doing something right.

If all you need is a mobile VPN to keep you safe on the go and stream content, then CyberGhost is a great choice. However, for most people, there are probably better options further up the page.

Best mobile VPN app FAQ

12 months

24 months

12 months

24 months

Best For
Everything – the #1 best VPN
Torrenting and P2P traffic
Balance of options and ease of use
Compatible Devices
Works With
Number Of Locations
Simultaneous Connections
Unlimited Bandwidth
P2p Traffic
Delivery Medium
Trial Period