If business trips or vacation locks you out of your favorite American Netflix series on your Android phone, a VPN will get you back in. Some content is only available in certain regions. So, for example, if you’re traveling to Latin America and you open Netflix on your browser, you’ll find a selection of popular Latin American films, movies with great Spanish dubbing and subtitles, but maybe not your favorite show.
What’s a VPN?
A VPN, short for virtual private network, masks your IP address so your ISP (internet service provider) can’t track your location. It also has additional features like spoofing your site to a country of your choice—which is the feature that makes VPNs almost essential for streaming.
A VPN’s country spoofing features enable you to bypass region-blocked content and watch movies and series you otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy.
Is using a VPN for streaming legal?
With its ability to hide your location, you might be concerned about a VPN’s legality. But the good news is that only certain countries restrict VPNs.
If you’re living in North America, in countries like Canada or the US—you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even the UK has made it legal, so you can bypass all region restrictions and enjoy streaming all the content you want.
On the other hand, for more restrictive countries, that’s another answer altogether. For instance, the government restricts VPN use in states like China and the UAE. So, If you live in countries like this, you shouldn’t consider buying a VPN.
The VPN features to look out for
When shopping around for VPNs, you might wonder what makes one option better. The short answer is its feature list. So, when you’re looking to subscribe to a VPN service, here are 5 essential features to look out for.
While not a feature per se, the cost of service is still important to consider when shopping for a VPN provider. Some people might wonder if a paid VPN subscription is worth the price, considering there are a ton of free options available.
Free VPNs don’t have as rich an experience as those that require subscriptions. For example, select paid VPNs come with password managers included, may only provide servers across a limited number of countries, or restrict the number of Android devices that you can use with the service at one time.
The best VPNs have several servers in each country. That way, if you connect to a server in Japan and get terrible speeds, you can switch to another Japanese server that could give you a better connection.
Speed comes part and parcel with the number of servers a VPN has. However, there’s another aspect to a VPN’s speed other than the server location.
If you didn’t know, your internet speed takes a hit when connected to a VPN. That said, unless you have gigabit internet (1,000mbps), most top-rated VPNs won’t give you any reduced speeds. In the case of ExpressVPN, for instance, your speed gets capped out at 425mbps while connected to the software.
Depending on your internet speed, you should also be wary of how much a VPN might restrict your download and upload speeds.
Split-tunneling is just a fancy way to say that a VPN can select which apps or software gets connected to the VPN connection.
With the split-tunneling feature, you get to multitask, and your internet bandwidth isn’t affected even by heavy programs or streaming.
For example, suppose you’re using Chrome to browse the web while watching Netflix on the side. In that case, split-tunneling allows Netflix to think you’re in a different country, giving access to region-blocked content. On the other hand, you can exclude chrome from the VPN instance to keep your upload and download speed uncapped by the software.
#5 Simultaneous Device Connection
A simultaneous device connection allows you to have multiple devices access your VPN account. And assuming you’re not a caveman, you probably have more than a single device in your home. For example, you’re probably reading this article on your phone and probably have a laptop or tablet you use to get work done.
If you have at least 2 devices, getting a VPN with simultaneous device connection features is something you should consider.
Another added benefit of a simultaneous device connection is sharing your VPN account with your friends and family. That way, with just a single purchase, you and your family can get access to all the region-blocked content you’ll ever need.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Android
Now that we’ve established the important features to consider before dropping a subscription to a VPN, let’s talk about which VPN is best for you. ExpressVPN comes with all the important features we’ve discussed.
With ExpressVPN, you’ll get a ton of different servers to choose from in 94 different countries. ExpressVPN is an industry leader in this aspect, considering its closest competitor, NordVPN, only has servers in 50 different countries. Yes, Nord has 5000 different servers, but you’re getting less country coverage than ExpressVPN.
As for speed, Express is also hard to beat in that category. With a 425mbps cap, enjoying content won’t be a problem. With that much speed, you’ll enjoy 4K content without worrying about getting a laggy stream.
When it comes to device support, ExpressVPN is unbeaten in that category. iOS, Smart TVs, your desktop? ExpressVPN has full device support for all those devices. And, of course, Android doesn’t get left out. All your Android devices can enjoy the benefits of an ExpressVPN app.
And last but not least, with ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology, all your data is encrypted while using the VPN. Your credentials are safe with ExpressVPN, thanks to their exclusive security. Your data won’t get saved on any hardware, making it untraceable from malicious intent/security breaches.
Overall, you’ll have an enjoyable experience streaming content on Android devices with ExpressVPN. With the software, you’ll get unprecedented access to nearly every country, and you won’t have to worry about hackers accessing your data.
Good Alternative VPNs
If ExpressVPN isn’t in your price range, there are a ton of other options to consider. Some of the best ExpressVPN alternatives include:
When it comes to reliability, you can’t go wrong with CyberGhost. Like ExpressVPN, it’s got a ton of servers to choose from. In fact, CyberGhost’s got over 6,900 servers in 90+ countries.
But if that’s not enough of an incentive, it’s got hand security features! For instance, it’s got a handy kill switch feature that keeps you safe from any potential hackers. The kill switch works by automatically surveying for any threats. If the VPN detects any security risks, the program immediately cuts the network connection.
Thanks to its great server coverage and nifty security features, CyberGhost is a great VPN to have on your Android device!
#2 Private Internet Access
As its name implies, Private Internet Access is one of the most secure VPNs on the market. Besides its robust security system, Private Internet Access also guarantees complete data protection for every subscriber. It accomplishes this feat through its No-logs policy, which restricts the program from keeping records of its user’s network activity.
If you’re particular about internet security, you won’t find a better Android VPN than Private Internet Access.
If you’re a newbie to all this VPN and network jargon, IPVanish is the most user-friendly option. Thanks to its easy-to-use interface and set-up, IPVanish allows its users to get the most out of the VPN without requiring a manual. Additionally, the VPN has an excellent mobile app. Instead of navigating many menus, you can get your Android devices up and running with IPVanish at the touch of a button.
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced VPN user, IPVanish provides an excellent user experience.
Enjoy flawless Android streaming through ExpressVPN
These days, streaming is the number one avenue for enjoying movies. But the catch with streaming is region-locked content. So sometimes, the films you’ve got lined up for movie night aren’t available on your streaming service. In times like this, you might think you’re out of luck. But don’t be fooled, there are ways out of that predicament.
With ExpressVPN, you can say goodbye to all “Netflix and chill” plans inhibited by regional blocking. Instead, you just need to switch on your VPN, look up what Netflix region has the movies you want to stream, and you’re all set.
Davan Hamilton • Editor
Davan Hamilton is an editor and writer based in Jacksonville, FL. Holding a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, her writing spans a wide range, from essays on film criticism and analysis to surreal poetry. Now, she works for Flixed as an editor, continuing to ignore the list of passion projects she’s accumulated. When she’s not glued to her computer, you can find her building endless amounts of Lego sets, binge-reading manga, or playing with (fighting) her cat.
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