You can download Proton VPN from F-Droid instead of Google

Posted on May 18th, 2020 by in Service Updates.


We are happy to announce that the Proton VPN Android app is now available for download on F-Droid. This has been a goal for our team — and a popular request from the Proton community — since we made all our apps open source

F-Droid is the largest repository of free and open source Android APKs. (APK stands for “Android package” and is the file format that the Android operating system uses to distribute and install apps.) It lets users download apps without registering for a Google account or handing over any personal information.

Download Proton VPN on F-Droid

Note: Proton VPN will still be available on the Google Play Store, and for most users, this will remain the easiest way to download and install our app.

We wanted to make our app available on F-Droid because it is one more sign of our commitment to transparency. It also makes our app harder for authoritarian governments to block. Read below to learn more about these benefits.

Find out more why you need a VPN app for your Android phone or tablet.

Why F-Droid is better for privacy

F-Droid allows you to download an app without signing up for a Google account, which means that Google can no longer monitor which apps you download. Additionally, Google Play is full of apps that contain hidden trackers that share your personal data with third parties. F-Droid alerts users of these types of surveillance. They put all apps through a strict audit and flag if there are any trackers on an app in its repository.

F-Droid apps are subject to independent audit

Before our app could be published on F-Droid, it had to pass a review by the F-Droid team. In fact, the F-Droid team built the app themselves, using our publicly available open source code. This ensures that the APK does not contain any hidden back doors or third-party trackers. 

This means that Proton VPN code has been reviewed by the security experts at SEC Consult and also by the team at F-Droid.

Making our apps harder to block

VPNs are powerful tools to access blocked or censored content and find out the truth. That’s why authoritarian governments, like those of China, Russia, and Iran, have often pressured tech companies to remove VPNs from their app stores, blocked app stores, or attempted to block the Proton VPN website. They want to keep VPNs — and freedom of information — out of the hands of their citizens. 

Earlier this year, we began hosting the Proton VPN APK on GitHub to increase the number of sites where users could find our app. By also making our app available on F-Droid, the world’s largest free and open source app repository, our website, and the Google Play Store, we are making sure users always have a way to download Proton VPN. Sign up for a Free plan for Android.

Enhanced transparency and defense against censorship

We believe that freedom, the right to free speech, and the right to privacy are all fundamental human rights, and we are fighting to ensure our users can exercise them. By having our apps reviewed by independent third parties, we are creating tools that people can trust. By making them available on more sites, we are making it easier for people to access our service no matter where they are.

Part of increasing access to our service includes making our apps available in more languages. We are also developing new features that will help users living under repressive regimes sign in and use our apps undetected. 

If you think this work is important, please consider signing up for one of our paid plans. Your support helps us develop new features and expand our service.  

Best Regards,
The Proton VPN Team

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Prior to joining Proton, Richie spent several years working on tech solutions in the developing world. He joined the Proton team to advance the rights of online privacy and freedom.

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