Internet, Networking, & Security VPN 122 122 people found this article helpful How to Connect to a VPN on Android Use an Android VPN to protect your privacy by Molly McLaughlin Writer, Editor Molly K. McLaughlin has been a technology writer since 2004. Her work has appeared on PCMag, Dealnews, Wirecutter, and many others. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Molly McLaughlin Updated on April 17, 2020 reviewed by Ryan Perian Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12+ years' experience working in the IT industry support and management positions. our review board Article reviewed on Jul 07, 2020 Ryan Perian How to Get a VPN How to Get a VPN Introduction VPN Basics What is a VPN? What Does a VPN Hide? What Are VPN Tunnels? Do I Need a VPN? Why Do I Need a VPN? Top Benefits of Using a VPN Choosing a VPN The Best Free VPN Services The Best VPN Service Providers The Best Linux VPNs The Best VPNs for Kodi The Best Free VPNs For Android The Best Free VPNs for Macs The Best VPNs for Netflix The Best VPNs for iPhone The Best International VPN Services The Best Chromebook VPNs The Best VPNs for Gaming Setting Up Your VPN Set Up VPN Connections in Windows 10 Set Up a VPN on Windows 7 or 8 Set Up a VPN on Mac Set Up an iPhone VPN Set Up VPN on PS4 Set Up VPN on Xbox One Install a VPN on Linux Set Up VPN on Chromecast Use a Mobile VPN on Android Fixing VPN Errors The Most Common VPN Error Codes How to Fix VPN Error 800 How to Fix VPN Error 619 Fix a VPN That's Not Connecting Test & Fix a DNS Leak Tweet Share Email If you've connected an Android device to an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot at a local coffee shop, airport, or another public place, you need is a VPN. Free Wi-Fi is nearly ubiquitous in most U.S. cities and municipalities, but because these hotspots are vulnerable to hackers who can tunnel into the connection and view nearby online activity. VPN apps protect your Wi-Fi connection and keep hackers out. Your app will alert you whenever your connection isn't private, so you'll know when it's best to connect. You can also connect to a VPN without installing a third-party app in just a few easy steps. Using a VPN might sound like overkill, but you never know who could be taking advantage of the extensive usage of free Wi-Fi. You can even install multiple VPN apps. Google Pixel users have a built-in VPN called Wi-Fi Assistant, which, when enabled, automatically protects you when you're using unsecured networks. The 8 Best Free VPNs For Android In 2020 How to Set up an Android VPN Once you've chosen an app and installed it, you'll have to enable it during set-up. Follow the instructions in the app to allow mobile VPN. A VPN symbol (a key) will show up at the top of your screen to indicate when you're connected. You don't have to do anything else. If you want to confirm that the VPN is recognized by your phone or adjust settings, follow the instructions below. The steps for Samsung Galaxy devices are slightly different from stock Android; scroll down to the next section for those directions. The directions below should apply in general, no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. The instructions below use stock Android and Samsung's custom Android OS running Android 10. Open the Settings app. Tap Network & Internet Tap Advanced, then VPN. You should see any VPN apps you've connected; if you have a Pixel, Wi-Fi Assistant will be on the list. Tap the gear icon. On this screen, you can turn on Always-on VPN (if the app supports it) and Block connections without VPN (this prevents your phone from connecting to the internet until the VPN connects). Finally, you can tap Forget VPN to disable it. How to Set up Samsung VPN Samsung Galaxy phones use a similar process to stock Android to modify VPN settings, but the menus are different. Here's what you need to do. Open Settings. Tap Connections Tap More Connection Settings, then VPN. Tap the gear icon. Here you can enable Always-on VPN (if the app supports it) and Block connections without VPN (this blocks your phone from connecting to the internet until the VPN is active). Finally, you can tap Delete VPN profile. (Doing this doesn't uninstall the app; it only disables it.) How to Enable Wi-Fi Assistant on Pixel Smartphones If you have a Google Pixel phone, you can access a built-in VPN called Wi-Fi Assistant. Once you enable this feature, your PIxel phone will automatically connect to the VPN if it detects an insecure network. To turn it on, you need to set your phone to automatically connect to open Wi-Fi networks. Open Settings. Tap Network & Internet > Advanced. Tap Wi-Fi Tap Wi-Fi preferences. Toggle Connect to open networks on. You'll get a pop-up message about Wi-Fi Assistant. Tap Got it.