The ProtonVPN Android app is now available in several app repositories to ensure you can easily get ProtonVPN for free on Android. Some of these repositories, like GitHub and F-Droid, do not download and install the app directly on your device as Google Play does with Android devices (or as the Samsung Galaxy Store does with Samsung devices). Instead, these repositories will let you download the ProtonVPN APK, which you will need to install.
Installing an APK is simple and should only take you 5 minutes. This guide will take you step-by-step the process.
What is an APK?
APK stands for Android Package file. As the name suggests, it contains the code of an app that was designed to run on the Android operating system.
How to install an APK
When you download an APK, your Android will automatically recognize it, which means you should be able to open it simply by tapping on the icon. However, just like running an unknown .EXE file can put your computer at risk, installing an unknown APK file can compromise your Android device. You should only install APK files from verified, trusted sources.
For this reason, most Android devices will not let you install downloaded APKs by default.
Here’s how to bypass this default setting. Note: The titles of these menus and options may vary slightly, depending on your device.
- Go to Settings and tap on Security.
- In the Android Security Settings menu, you will see an option that says Unknown Sources with a checkbox next to it. If it is empty, that means your device will not execute an APK that did not come from the Play Store. Tap the empty box to allow unknown APKs.
- Your device will then show you a disclaimer that you alone are responsible for any damage an APK does to your device. Tap OK.
Once this is done, you are ready to install the ProtonVPN APK. Once you download it on your device, you can find the APK file in your Download folder. Once you find the ProtonVPN APK, simply tap it to begin the installation process.