Unfortunately, you cannot share a VPN connection over an Android hotspot unless you possess advanced technical knowledge or a “rooted” device.
Why you can’t share your Android’s VPN connection over a hotspot
Users have written to us asking if they:
- Connect their Android device to a VPN
- Enable the hotspot on their Android
- Connect another device to the hotspot
Will the VPN protect the second device’s connection?
The answer is no, this will not work. The Android operating system (OS) prevents other devices from sharing its VPN tunnel. If you connect your Android device to a VPN and then share its Internet connection to another device with a hotspot, the other device will not be routed through the same VPN tunnel as your Android device. Instead, it will use your native ISP connection.
The Android OS prevents your Android device from sharing its VPN tunnel with other devices.
While sharing a VPN connection over a hotspot is technically possible, it involves making modifications to the Android OS. You will need to have a rooted Android device and be a tech-savvy user. You can also share your VPN connection through a hotspot by using specific third-party applications designed to allow VPN tethering, but most of them will also require root access to the Android OS.
What is a rooted device?
For security reasons, the Android OS has certain system limitations. To “root” an Android device means to gain privileged access to the core of its OS and modify these limitations. If you root an Android, you can also change certain functionalities via the software code (which is mostly Linux). Furthermore, by rooting your device, you can install software that you normally wouldn’t be able to with a stock Android OS.
However, the average Android use should not root their device. Most of the OS restrictions that you have on your Android are there for security reasons.
By rooting your device, you open all of the “gates” to gain full access to the Android software code. However, those “gates” will be open for unwelcome visitors as well. If you do not have an advanced understanding of what you are doing, and you modify the code by following online guides, you could damage your phone or expose it — and your data — to hackers.
It is also important to note that some countries and mobile companies consider rooting illegal. Also, rooting your device will almost always void its warranty. There are numerous online guides on how to root your Android phone, but ProtonVPN advises you take extreme caution before proceeding. Do not consider rooting your device unless you are a tech-savvy user.