Despite the large amount of dedicated Android VPN apps available for Android smartphones and tablets, many of you prefer to have your virtual private network integrated into your Android browser. After all, they are often lightweight, free, and keep you from jumping between apps to get where you need to go.
The Opera browser is one of the most popular Android VPN browsers, but there are a few other options available. We list them in this guide and give you some tips on using Android VPN browsers.
Why not use a VPN app?
While Android VPN browsers are handy tools, it’s best to secure your entire connection rather than traffic on your browser. A VPN application will also allow you to access applications currently blocked in your region. Find out more about VPNs on our best VPN page for Android.
The best VPN browser for Android
Since privacy and security is our philosophy, we should urge you to read the pros and cons of Android VPN browsers that we have listed below, before downloading any of the services. Dedicated VPN applications are inherently more private with their ability to protect multiple applications instead of a single program.
If you still believe that a VPN browser is a way to go for you, the following browsers for Android include features very similar to those of a VPN.
Although still technically in beta, Tenta Browser offers a multitude of features designed to improve your online privacy. The most important of these is a “real” VPN (not a proxy) that secures your connection with its own VPNOnlineFree-based encryption protocol called MimicVPN.
A bit confused for a VPN protocol, MimicVPN only protects browser sessions for free users, but that makes more sense considering that Pro users can extend protection to their entire Android device.
And what’s particularly impressive about MimicVPN is that it can provide VPN encryption per tab, with different tabs that can connect to multiple servers simultaneously. It’s a really awesome party thing, although the untested nature of MimicVPN worries us a little.
Free users automatically connect to the nearest VPN server location, while Pro users ($ 1 / month) can select one of 28 server locations in 19 countries. Using the free VPN, we have recorded download speeds of around 14 Mbit / s on our 350 Mbit / s connection, although these undoubtedly improve with a Pro plan.
In addition to offering a real VPN without logs (with full protection against DNS and WebRTC leaks), Tenta Browser has an ad blocker, secure DNS on TLS, DNSSEC, support for blockchain, PIN code or unlocking fingerprints, etc.
One feature that deserves special mention is the encrypted multimedia safe, which downloads videos, music and images to an encrypted folder where they can be played using Tenta’s built-in media player.
Although it uses many open source repositories, Tenta Browser itself is not open source. Please see our full review of the Tenta browser.
Opera is the fifth most popular browser in the world, and its free VPN function has proven itself with its users. This feature was initially only available for desktop versions of the browser (see our review of the Opera browser for more information), but is now included in the Android app (as its rather subtle renaming makes it very clear!) .
As with most browser “VPNs”, VPN is truly a secure HTTPS proxy. But it gets the job done, has no data limitations, and is fast.
The available locations are “America” (United States), Asia and Europe. The connection to America and Europe worked quite well in our tests, but selecting Asia seemed strangely to place us in Switzerland, in Europe. With the exception of the United States, it is not possible to specify a particular country for spoofing.
One cool feature is the ability to enable VPN only when using private tabs, and you can choose whether or not to bypass the VPN when using a search engine to provide more relevant search results.
Apart from the VPN, Opera is a sleek and modern Android browser with built-in blocking, translation and saving of offline web pages. It also includes Opera’s patented data compression technology, which reduces data usage and improves page load times, although it cannot be used while the VPN is running.
Another cool feature is the integrated Crypo wallet, which integrates the Ethereum Web 3 API, allowing you to send and receive Ethereum, Bitcoin and Tron payments directly in your browser.
Although it has a built-in ad blocker, Opera itself is ad-supported, although you can unsubscribe using your browsing history to deliver personally targeted ads.
Psiphon is an open source anti-censorship tool that, on Android, comes with a browser. Although the Windows app includes an optional real VPN, the Android app routes all connections through a SOCKS HTTPS proxy.
This is useful because it allows you to route either only traffic from your browser or (on Android 4+ devices) all traffic from your device through the encrypted tunnel, which acts very much like a real VPN. You can connect to servers in 21 countries around the world.
It is important to understand that there are two versions of Psiphon for Android:
Psiphon – a free version available on the Psiphon website, which must be downloaded as an .APK file and downloaded to your device.
Psiphon Pro – a premium version with a limited free level available for download directly from the Google Play Store.
You can get a totally ad-free experience on the free version of Psiphon or if you buy Psiphon Pro, but those in the free level of Psiphon Pro will still have to brave certain ads. These are custom by default, but users can opt for non-custom ads in the settings. Unfortunately, speed limits have seen our connection to 350 Mbps reduced to just 2 Mbps on the free version and the free level of Psiphon Pro, but if that’s important to you, you can pay for a “boost of speed “limited time.
The free version of Psiphon is completely ad-free, but there are speed limits on both
We don’t know if there are any official speed limits on this app, but even when using a 350 Mbps connection, download speeds hovered around the 2 Mbps mark in our tests. This version of Psiphon, however, is ad-free.
It is also possible to download the Psiphon Pro app from the Google Play Store. It is a premium application with a limited free level. Free users can opt out of personalized advertising, but they will still see prominent ads in the app.
They are also limited to speeds of 2 Mbits / s, although these can be improved by paying a “speed boost” for a limited time. The pricing structure of the Android Pro app, in general, is rather complicated (and that doesn’t even include “speed accelerations”), and it’s not very clear how much the speed improvement that you will see in each price range.
Although the Pro version exists to help support the free Psiphon anti-censorship tool, we find that its monetization measures are both expensive and intrusive, so we can only really recommend using the free APK version. -sideloaded.
The browser provided with Psiphon is a simplified version of the excellent Firefox for Android. It does not support most Firefox bells and whistles (including private mode and support for add-ons), but does not include the ability to sync with your standard Firefox account.
See our Psiphon review for more information.
Aloha Browser Turbo is a browser that has a number of privacy features, including an integrated “VPN” (actually an HTTPS proxy), an ad blocker, a screenshot blocker and a password lock. .
The VPN can be easily activated by tab in the browser simply by clicking on the shield icon to the left of the URL bar. Free users are automatically connected to a nearby server (in the UK we were connected to a server in the Netherlands) and the download speeds were some of the best we’ve seen in free VPN browser apps at around 20 Mbits / s for download on a 350 Mbits / s connection.
The free service is ad-supported, although you can turn off personalized tracking. Or for around $ 2.50 per month, you can upgrade to Premium, which lets you choose VPN servers in 30 countries, remove ads, and (presumably) improve speed performance.
This is the new official version of the infamous Tor browser. Like almost all of the other apps listed here, it’s not really a VPN, but it’s close enough and useful enough that we feel it’s worth mentioning here.
All connections from the Tor browser are routed via the Tor network, that is to say they are transmitted via at least “nodes” managed by volunteers, your data being re-encrypted each time.
Because nobody in the chain can know who you are and where you are going on the Internet, Tor Browser allows true anonymity.
The Tor browser is primarily designed to overcome censorship and access the Internet anonymously, but it can also be used to display .onion websites (also known as “dark web”).
The Tor network is notoriously slow, but if you need real anonymity on the Internet, this is the way to go. The Tor browser for Android is based on the latest version of Firefox, but has been “hardened” to improve privacy and security in a number of ways.
The Tor browser is 100% free and open source.
Should I use an Android browser with a built-in VPN?
The popularity of Opera Browser with an integrated VPN shows that there is a demand for such applications in the Android ecosystem, but it must be said that we think that the advantages of using them are rather limited compared to the use of ” a standalone VPN application from a reputable provider.
Having a VPN built into your browser is definitely handy. By simply tapping an icon, you can easily access websites that are otherwise blocked for you. This level of comfort is increased in applications that offer VPN protection by tab.
All of the VPN browser apps listed here are mostly free – a factor that we’re sure has been a big part of Opera VPN’s appeal.
It should be noted, however, that there are some great dedicated free VPN apps out there, which are much more secure. It is important to be careful when choosing a free VPN and only use apps from reputable providers, as the Android VPN space can be something of a far west.
Some real VPN apps offer a handy feature known as split tunneling. This allows you to choose which of your Android apps uses the VPN tunnel and which one doesn’t.
Using a browser with a built-in VPN bypasses the need for such functionality if it is only your browser sessions that you want to protect, since you can just use the browser VPN instead. That said, split tunneling on dedicated VPNs that support the functionality is fairly customizable compared to the limited VPN browser.
Most browsers with VPN finance their free offers with advertising. Targeted advertising is invariably turned on by default, although all of the apps we reviewed above allow you to turn it off.
However, even when targeted advertising is turned off, these apps use the Google Play services framework to serve non-targeted ads. And Google tracks everything you do online, even if it doesn’t use it to deliver targeted advertising.
There is also the fact that most of these applications are proprietary closed source software. Usually, that wouldn’t be too much of an issue, since VPN providers always know what you get online anyway, but doubling as a browser means that we can never say how this precious data will be applied elsewhere.
Browser VPNs can be very useful for circumventing censorship restrictions, masking what you get online from your ISP and public WiFi host, and masking your real IP address from the websites you visit .
But if you really care about privacy, use an open-source browser such as Firefox or Brave with an appropriate VPN application of good reputation VPN without logs service is the way to go.
Only your browser
One of the great advantages of a VPN compared to an HTTPS proxy solution (what most browser “VPNs” really are) is that it protects your entire VPN connection instead of your browser.
As we discuss under “split tunnel”, there may be times when this can be an advantage, but most of the time it is best to secure your entire connection.