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How to add a VPN to Android

Using a virtual private network is one of the best ways to help protect your digital privacy and stop certain services tracking your location – which is why we recommend any privacy conscious phone user take advantage of one of the best VPNs we’ve reviewed and currently recommend.

Here to help make the process of getting one as easy as possible we’ve created this guide detailing how to install a VPN onto any Android device.

NOTE: We used Surfshark for this guide, as it’s our current pick for the best VPN. However, other similarly solid (not to mention cheaper) VPN services are available, and the method for using them is much the same.

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What we used

  • We used the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus 5G, but these methods will work on any Android phone.
  • We used the Surfshark VPN app, as it’s our pick for the best VPN and it has a free trial.

The Short Version

  • Open the Google Play Store
  • Download Surfshark VPN
  • Create account
  • Subscribe and authenticate
  • Connect and Allow
  • Select your region
  1. Step

    Launch the Android Play Store

    The exact position of the Store’s shortcut will depend on how you’ve setup your home screen, but it looks like the icon circled in the above screenshot.Android Play Store shortcut

  2. Step

    Download Surfshark VPN

    Download the Surfshark app from the Google Play Store, then open the app. Tap OK to enable it to find and connect to devices on your local network.Android Surfshark VPN Install

  3. Step

    Create account

    Tap the Start Free Trial button, enter your email address and create an 8-character password.Surfshark VPN Android

  4. Step

    Subscribe and authenticate

    Hit Start Free Trial. Hit Subscribe and authenticate your card.Android Surfshark VPN subscribe

  5. Step

    Connect and Allow

    Tap Quick-connect, followed by OK. The app might now ask you to turn off your device’s Battery Optimisation feature, so agree to Turn Off if so.Android Surfshark VPN quick connect

  6. Step

    Select your region

    You are now connected via a VPN, meaning your online activity is encrypted and your location hidden. If you want to make it appear like you’re in a specific country, go back into Surfshark, hit the Locations tab at the bottom, and select your desired location.Android Surfshark VPN locations


How do I revert to a ‘normal’ connection?

Simply head into the Surfshark app and hit the Disconnect button.

Should I trust free VPN services?

Free VPN services range wildly in quality and security, and often give your data to marketers. If you’re going free, stick to reputable VPN companies.

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