Support Center / General information / How to share a VPN connection via Android hotspot

How to share a VPN connection via Android hotspot

Using a VPN on your Android phone:

  • Prevents your internet service provider from knowing what you do online
  • Prevent websites and WiFi hosts from tracking you on the internet or monetizing your browsing history
  • Allows you to watch your favorite shows and movies when away from home
  • Protect your privacy from P2P peers when torrenting

Why you need a VPN on your Android phone

Android phones can share their internet connection by creating a “mobile hotspot”  that allows other devices to connect to the phone via WiFi so that they can access the internet using the phone’s mobile internet connection.

So if your Android phone is connected to a VPN and shares its mobile internet connection using a mobile hotspot, are devices that connect to the internet using that mobile hotspot also protected by the VPN?

Can you share a VPN connection via hotspot? 

Some people who use Proton VPN would like to share their VPN connection using their Android hotspot by:

  1. Connecting their Android device to a VPN
  2. Enabling the hotspot on their Android device
  3. Connecting another device to their hotspot

Unfortunately, it is not possible on Android to share your VPN connection via a hotspot unless you possess advanced technical knowledge or a rooted device.

Android prevents your device from sharing a VPN connection

While sharing a VPN connection over a hotspot is technically possible, it usually involves modifying the Android operating system. To do this, you must be a tech-savvy user capable of “rooting” your Android device.

What is a rooted device?

For security reasons, Android limits what you can do with the operating system. To “root” an Android device means to gain privileged access to the core operating system so that you can modify these limitations.

Rooting an Android device allows you to modify the underlying Android software code (which is mostly based on Linux). Furthermore, by rooting your device, you can install software that you normally wouldn’t be able to with “stock” Android.

Should you root your device?

No. Most Android users shouldn’t root their devices. The restrictions imposed by Android are there for your security.

Rooting your device removes these restrictions, but they exist for a very good reason —- to keep unwanted guests out of your device and prevent you from making irreparable changes that prevent it from working. 

If you don’t have an advanced understanding of what you are doing and 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 may consider rooting illegal. Rooting your device will almost always void its warranty, and many apps that require high security will not work on rooted devices (banking apps, in particular, are noted for this). 

There are numerous online guides on how to root your Android phone, but Proton VPN advises that you take extreme caution before doing this. Please don’t consider rooting your device unless you are a tech-savvy user.

How to share a VPN

Fortunately, with Proton VPN, there is little need to use your Android device as a VPN hotspot. 

Up to 10 connections with a Proton VPN Plus plan

With our VPN Plus plan, you can connect up to 10 devices at once directly to our service. Just download our apps for Android, Android TV (including Amazon Fire TV), Windows, macOS, iOS/iPadOS, or Linux.

Use a free Proton VPN account

If you need to hotspot your Android device’s VPN connection to help out someone who doesn’t have their own VPN subscription, they can simply sign up for our Free VPN plan. They can then download the Proton VPN app onto their device and access the internet safely and privately without needing to connect to your hotspot. 

Use a VPN router

If your router is connected to a VPN service, then all devices that connect to the internet via that router will also benefit from the VPN (although it is possible on multi-channel routers to configure the VPN to run on just specified channels).

Learn how to install Proton VPN on different routers

Frequently asked questions

Can I share my VPN connection via a hotspot on Android?

On Android (and iPhone), this isn’t possible. Devices using the hotspot will connect to the internet but will not be protected by the VPN.
However, you can connect devices to the Android hotspot and also protect them with a VPN by running the Proton VPN app on the connecting devices. 

Are there any other ways to share my VPN connection?

It is possible to create a hotspot that can be used to share a VPN connection on desktop systems (Windows, macOS, and Linux). This usually requires the desktop system to have at least two active network adapters — one to connect to the internet (for example, a wired Ethernet connection) and another to create the WiFi hotspot (for example, a WiFi card).You can also share a VPN connection using a router.

What is a mobile hotspot?

A mobile hotspot allows the owner of a device with a mobile internet connection (for example, a device that can use a SIM card or eSIM to connect to the internet) to share its mobile internet connection with other devices.When activated, the device creates an SSID (network name) that other devices can connect to via WiFi in the usual easy way. The other devices can be laptops, tablets, or anything that can connect to the internet via WiFi.  A mobile hotspot allows these devices to connect to the internet from just about anywhere without needing their own mobile internet connections.

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