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Introducing our new Android VPN app with OpenVPN support

Posted on December 30th, 2019 by in Service Updates.

illustration of ProtonVPN Android app

 

A brand new version of ProtonVPN’s Android app is now available which includes OpenVPN support and better connection stability. If you are an Android ProtonVPN user, you can now choose between using IKEv2 or OpenVPN by installing the new 2.0 version of our app. 

Most VPN providers only offer one major protocol, typically IKEv2 for mobile devices and OpenVPN for desktops. As a result, these VPN providers are more vulnerable to government censorship, ISP blocks, and technical problems. Supporting multiple protocols on Android will make it more difficult for ProtonVPN to be blocked or censored, and sets a new foundation for additional work we have planned in 2020 to make ProtonVPN even more censorship resistant.

Get the new app for Android

Because there are a number of new changes in ProtonVPN 2.0 for Android, we are releasing a brand new app. To get the improved ProtonVPN app, you need to download and install it from the Android Play Store. The existing app will not automatically update to the new one:

Download the new secure ProtonVPN 2.0 app

Or if you’re a beta tester, join the new open beta.

*Note: Remember that you must first disconnect from ProtonVPN before installing the new app from the Play Store. Additionally, the new app may take up to 24 hours to appear in Play Store search results, but you can access the app directly via the download link above.

Afterward, you can uninstall the old app, which will no longer be supported. 

With the release of the new ProtonVPN 2.0 Android app, we will also be dropping support for the older Android 4.x operating system. Android 4.x is outdated, no longer supported by Google, and no longer a secure operating system, and we highly recommend that all Android 4.x users update their devices as soon as possible. Supporting only Android 5 or higher will also allow us to develop ProtonVPN faster. 

If you are unable to upgrade, we will continue to support two ProtonVPN Android apps (the old v1.4, along with the new v2.0) for a period of time. However, we cannot promise long-term support, and we encourage all Android 4.x users to upgrade as soon as possible so you can install the new ProtonVPN 2.0 app for Android.

In the future, the new 2.0 app will also come with a number of additional improvements, such as enabling single sign on (SSO) for both the ProtonMail and ProtonVPN apps (and any other future apps, such as ProtonCalendar and ProtonDrive, which will be developed by Proton Technologies AG). We are also making some slight modifications to the ProtonVPN Terms and Conditions reflecting that the legal entity you are contracting with will be Proton Technologies AG (the parent company of ProtonVPN). 

Benefits of OpenVPN support 

Adding OpenVPN support in ProtonVPN 2.0 comes with several benefits. VPN protocols, like OpenVPN, manage the way your device transmits and encrypts data, balancing speed and stability to provide a consistent, secure connection. Offering OpenVPN alongside our existing IKEv2 protocol means you have greater choice and can adapt how you use our services depending on your needs. For example, IKEv2 has traditionally been seen as the go-to VPN protocol for mobile devices because it offers faster connections. This also makes it ideal for streaming and gaming. 

However, IKEv2’s reliance on User Datagram Protocol (UDP) can be a weakness. Public WiFi providers looking to limit traffic on their networks will be more likely to limit IKEv2 access. Governments and ISPs trying to block VPN access may also block all UDP traffic because it is not necessary for regular web browsing. However, OpenVPN also supports Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in addition to UDP, which makes it more effective at circumventing blocks placed on VPNs by Internet service providers or local networks. 

Learn more: What’s the difference between UDP and TCP?

Each VPN protocol has distinct features, and which one is correct for you will depend on your situation. With two VPN protocols to choose from, the ProtonVPN Android app is now more flexible and adaptable. 

What’s next?

We started ProtonMail and ProtonVPN because we want to make it possible for all citizens around the world to control their data and protect their privacy. We believe the launch of ProtonVPN 2.0 for Android and the other anti-censorship capabilities we are building in 2020 will bring us one step closer to that goal. Thank you for your continued support.

Best Regards,
The Proton Team

Follow us on social media to stay up to date on the latest ProtonVPN releases:

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To get a free ProtonMail encrypted email account, visit: protonmail.com

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

Post Comment

37 comments

  1. Kulmohan Singhq

    Great post you’ve posted here on android app

    Keep Sharing.

  2. Mount

    Is UDP the only drawback of IKEv2 compared to OpenVPN? Do they share same servers? Is IKEv2 opensource? Is IKEv2 recommended over OpenVPN unless we want TCP?

  3. Ben Wolford

    Our implementation of IKEv2 is fully open source. In general, we think both OpenVPN and IKEv2 work well so we don’t actively recommend one over another.

  4. Carlos

    Hello,
    I am not finding a way to have an exception for the LAN traffic (192.168.1.*) traffic not to go through VPN, once it is active. Isn’t this possible ?
    Thanks in advance!

  5. Alex

    Hello!
    Why do you publish the new app instead of updating the previous ‘old’ version? It leaves a sense of a loss of control on the app or some other mysterious, probably malicious process behind.

  6. Chanson de Rolans

    I am green with envy, as I wait for your iOS app to similarly support OpenVPN, both TCP and UDP, as does one of your major competitor’s iOS app, because all of your reasons, supra, for bringing OpenVPN to Android apply with equal force for bringing OpenVPN to your iOS app.

  7. Richie Koch

    You are correct, which is why we are currently working on our iOS app so that it will support OpenVPN also.

  8. Katano

    This is great! Are there any plans of releasing these new functionalities for iOS users as well?

  9. Richie Koch

    Yes! We are currently working on adding OpenVPN support to our iOS app as well. We will make an announcement on the blog when it is ready, so stay tuned.

  10. Peer

    Hi, I love your app. Where can we download it without the preying eyes of google. It would be nice if you would plac the app on Fdroid and/or direct download apk for all those people who know what they are doing.
    Thanx for the support, Peer

  11. Richie Koch

    Hi Peer,
    We understand your concern and we are happy to announce that now that our Android VPN app is open source, it will be available on F-Droid shortly.
    You can find more details on our open source apps here: https://protonvpn.com/blog/open-source/.
    Cheers.

  12. Gary

    I’m using ProtonVPN 2.0, and it’s been working well. With the added OpenVPN support there is now one feature that would be very useful for me – a fallback to OpenVPN when IKEv2 is blocked. My work network blocks IKEv2, and in the past I used a separate OpenVPN client to connect in that environment. I hoped to use just the new ProtonVPN app, but changing protocols back-and-forth within the app is (slightly) more awkward than simply firing up the separate OpenVPN app. So, I’m still using a separate OpenVPN app when in a WiFi environment that blocks IKEv2.
    Thanks for everything!
    Gary.

  13. Lilboy

    Hello there,
    are there plans for a build-in blocker for advertising and tracking?
    Best regards

  14. Richie Koch

    Hello,
    We are planning on developing an ad blocker in the near future. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest news. Cheers.

  15. Richie Koch

    Hello,
    We are planning on developing an ad blocker in the near future. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest news. Cheers.

  16. John.

    Concerning security and anonymity, why is the app download only available via Google play, one of the most insecure and privacy intrusive venues that exists. An apk link would be appropriate and appreciated

  17. Luz

    What are the system reqs for the new VPN?
    I used to run the previous VPN version on my android box with no problem, when looking for version 2 I can’t find the app on the Apple store. Pls advise

  18. Viedaise

    Is there a way to obtain the Android VPN download without having to share with Google that I’m getting it?
    Thanks.

  19. WTR

    Do you have a direct apk download link for those of us who are using degoogled LineageOS?

  20. Alexander

    Happy to be a paid subscriber to you guys at Proton. Keep up the great work; the Internet needs more organizations like you.

  21. Richie Koch

    Thank you for your support! Paid users like you allow us to continue fighting for a more private and free Internet.

  22. Mohamed gamal

    Hi,
    First of all I wanna thank you for great work, your app is very useful, but I can’t sign in on windows and I try to make hotspot from phone with proton VPN running in the background and still get same message that I cannot sign in. So I will appreciate your help to give a solution.
    Thank you

  23. Roshin

    Not supporting on my OnePlus 5 . Always shows something went wrong. please help me.

  24. J.M.

    Do you have the APK for those of us who hate, and I do say HATE, Google and do not have or want to use the play store? I have disabled Google and deleted much and do not want to go back.

  25. Richie Koch

    We understand why you would like to avoid the Google Play Store. Now that our Android VPN app is open source, we will be adding it to the open source Android app repository F-Droid shortly. We’ll announce when our app is on F-Droid via social media or this blog.

  26. regular_vpn_user

    Is there a known date for the end of support for the ‘old’ ProtonVPN app?
    Is there or will be there an alternative to download the app from another source other than Google’s store?

  27. Ærø

    This is good news!
    One question.
    Where can users that do not have google play store download this version? (Users that have a Google free ROM on their phones for example)
    As version 1 has a direct download link .

    Regards
    Ærø

  28. Shrdlu

    Why exactly is it important (or necessary) to turn off VPN while downloading the app from PlayStore?

  29. Johannes

    Will there also be an update for the iOS app soon? Especially with streaming I have my issues and often have to reconnect after I opened a streaming app to actually watch.

  30. linux

    Greetings ProtonVPN,
    Congratulations on ProtonVPN 2.0 for Android. I love the new app. However, I’ve got two questions:
    a) What happened to the kill switch we had before?
    b) Maybe I got this wrong with OpenVPN, I don’t know how to make it run (protocol)? The only protocol which shows the app is “IKEv2”.
    Thank you for your time.
    Kind regards, linux777

  31. Phil

    Fantastic, now just for Proton Calendar and Proton Drive.
    Keep up the great work 👍🏻

  32. Richie Koch

    Thanks! And, just so you know, our Calendar beta has begun! Try it out and let us know what you think!
    https://protonmail.com/blog/protoncalendar-beta-announcement/

  33. webcapcha

    Why does new app require read storage permissions, opposite to previous version?

  34. Steve

    Thank you so much!
    But, could you please provide a link to the APK?
    The motivation for this is already provided by “c” on October 20, 2018:
    https://protonvpn.com/support/best-android-vpn-app/
    I’m a very happy user, but it is a mystery to me why a page like this doesn’t just show a link to the apk, along with the playstore link (preferably with checksum or signature). FDroid is a good option too.

  35. konglomerat

    Thank you for your efforts on improving the service we love and use daily.
    Are you also actively working on implementing Wireguard into the new v2? I am really looking forward to this and think I am not the only one.

    Thank you on advance

  36. Roxana Zega

    Hi,

    We are strong supporters of WireGuard, and we are eagerly awaiting the date when it will be ready for wide deployment.
    Unfortunately, given the current state of software support, it would require a lot of effort to make WireGuard available on all our apps (instead of just offering limited support on Linux). For this reason, and because Wireguard is currently UDP-only and therefore easy for censors to block, it hasn’t been a top priority for us.

    We may come back to this in the second half of this year. However, we are prioritizing TCP-based solutions to better bypass state censorship systems.

    Thanks

  37. Jack

    As your Chinese supporter. I really expect protonvpn will have “protocol obfuscation” and “domain fronting” features in 2020:)

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