Best free VPN for iPhone and iPad in 2022

Julie Cole
Julie Cole | Contributing Writer
Last updated: September 23, 2022
Free iOS VPN
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Even though Apple devices are considered pretty secure, they don’t do much when it comes to privacy. And what’s where the free VPNs for iPhone come it. In addition to extra protection, these services can unblock Netflix, disable ISP bandwidth throttling, and help find better deals online, among other things.

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With the best free VPN for iPhone and iPad, your entire connection will be encrypted with a bank-grade cipher. Moreover, your real IP address and location will be hidden from third parties. Read on to learn about why you need a free VPN service on your iOS device and how to choose the one that suits your needs.

Best free VPN for iOS: shortlist

  1. The best free VPN for iOS devices
    9.7
  2. Free iPhone VPN with no device limit
    9.3
  3. Freemium iPhone VPN with cheap plans
    9.1

Why you need to use a free VPN on your iOS device

You really shouldn’t underestimate just how easy it is to have your data stolen – particularly if you are browsing the web on your iPhone or iPad while connected to a public wi-fi. Thankfully, your data will remain well away from any prying eyes if you use a reliable free iOS VPN.

With a free VPN for iPhone, not only will you enhance your online privacy, but you’ll also have the ability to get around geo-blocks of popular online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max, among others.

What’s more, you can find cheaper flight tickets and more better deals by simply switching to a server in another location. A free VPN for iOS also helps against ISP bandwidth throttling where you get slower speeds because of your traffic type and volume.

The are plenty of free iPhone VPNs available. However, just a few can tick all the boxes, especially when it comes to privacy. The next section explains how to get the top free VPN for iOS that we recommend for iPhone and iPad users.

How to install the best free iOS VPN

  1. Choose a reliable free VPN for iPhone and iPad. Our top recommendation is NordVPN, now 68% off!
  2. Download the VPN app for your iOS device
  3. Connect to a nearby server for best performance
  4. Browse the web securely!

Get the best free VPN for iOS

Best free VPNs iPhones and iPads in 2022

Below are the Top 5 free VPNs for iOS that offer excellent security and privacy. Some of them are also capable of unlocking Netflix and other streaming platforms. We also prioritized free iPhone VPNs that come from reputable providers, don’t have data caps, and allow torrenting.

1. NordVPN – the best free VPN for iPhone

9.7
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
59
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, Email
  • NordLynx-powered performance
  • Great for streaming
  • Independently-audited and secure
  • Only six simultaneous connections

Hands down, NordVPN is the best VPN for securing iOS devices. The provider hails from privacy-respecting Panama, adheres to an audited no-logs policy, and gives subscribers the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s also the main reason why NordVPN is the industry’s fastest VPN.

The network of 5500+ servers spread across 59+ countries is nothing to scoff at. And if you’re surveillance-wary, rest easy – most servers are RAM-only, so they can’t store any data.

The NordVPN iOS app has almost the same features as the desktop version but with additional perks. We’re talking about an integrated kill switch, Siri shortcuts, and Threat Protection Lite. Other than that, you also get the Dark Web Monitor, custom DNS, and Multi-factor authentication.

NordVPN allows torrenting on P2P-friendly servers and works great against geo-blocking. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to watch Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and many other streaming platforms.

Although NordVPN is not entirely free, you don’t have to pay immediately – take advantage of the 7-day free trial and the 30-day money-back guarantee. And when the time is up, subscribe for no more than $3.09/month. Even more special deals are available on our NordVPN coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN – free iPhone VPN with unlimited devices

9.3
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
95
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
  • Infinite connections
  • Excellent speeds
  • Cheap and highly effective
  • Unaudited no-logs policy

Surfshark is another great VPN for iPhones that lets you connect as many devices as you want. Located in the Netherlands, this provider has a solid no-logs policy. It also had its whole infrastructure audited by Cure53.

Additionally, subscribers get a truly global fleet – 3200+ RAM-only servers across 95+ countries. Browsing on your iPhone will be smooth as butter, too, all thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol and state-of-the-art Nexus technology. While enhancing performance and privacy, it also allows IP rotation.

Surfshark VPN offers a plethora of features, such as Camouflage and NoBorders modes for use in censorship-heavy countries. There’s also CleanWeb that blocks ads and malware. Unsurprisingly, there’s also a reliable kill switch, which is still not guaranteed among iOS apps.

And if you’re looking for a way to broaden your entertainment options, Surfshark VPN will do the job. It can easily bypass Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and many other popular streaming platform geo-blocks. And you can do it on many different devices with the Smart DNS feature.

Combining the 30-day money-back guarantee with the 7-day free trial lets you use the service for over a month free of charge. And if you decide to subscribe, no one’s stopping you from picking the cheapest plan – $2.21/month. You can also find more Surfshark deals on our coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. Atlas VPN – freemium iPhone VPN with cheap plans

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
37
Number of servers
Number of servers:
750
Support
Support:
Email, tickets, FAQ
  • Easy-to-use app
  • WireGuard tunneling protocol
  • Allows P2P
  • No router configuration

Atlas VPN offers the best free version for iPhone. It has solid performance thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol and allows torrenting. Moreover, users get NASA-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection.

The free version of Atlas VPN lets you connect to servers in the US and the Netherlands. Its data cap is set to 5 GB/month and one account allows two devices. And while you won’t get Netflix, the same issue plagues the majority of free VPNs.

Upgrading to Atlas VPN premium brings you full speed, 750+ servers in 37+ countries, unlimited simultaneous connections, and excellent streaming capabilities. Furthermore, you get Tracker Blocker, Data Breach Monitor, and SafeSwap servers that rotate your IP address.

If you’d like to unleash the full potential of Atlas VPN, subscriptions start at just $1.83/month, including a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also find more deals on our coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.

4. Proton VPN – privacy-focused free iOS VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
64
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1700
Support
Support:
Email, knowledge base
  • Top-notch security and privacy
  • No data cap
  • Free tier has lots of servers
  • No streaming or torrenting

When it comes to enhancing your online privacy for free, you can’t go wrong with Proton VPN. This reputable provider offers unlimited data and 140+ servers in 3 countries – the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. Additionally, expect good speeds with the WireGuard tunneling protocol.

Proton VPN also has an indepdendently-audited no-logs policy, a reliable kill switch, and leak protection. What’s more, it’s based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, a country without data retention laws. Unsurprisingly, the free iOS app uses military-grade encryption.

Just like any free VPN for iPad and iPhone, Proton VPN comes with some limitations. For starters, you won’t get the best possible performance. Also, neither streaming nor torrenting is allowed and one account is restricted to one device simultaneously.

Upgrading to Proton VPN premium will unlock P2P downlods, as well as Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and other content platforms. Furthermore, you’ll get all 1700+ servers in 64+ countries. Premium features also include Secure Core servers, VPN Accelerator, and split tunneling, among others.

You can get Proton VPN iPhone app for $4.99/month. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Finally, you can find special deals on our Proton VPN coupon page.

For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.

5. Ivacy VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
69
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5700
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • No registration
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Unlimited data
  • Fewer features on iOS

If you’re looking for a quality free iOS VPN, Ivacy is worth of consideration. To start with, this provider doesn’t require registration, which is great for anonymity. Next, it comes with no data caps, meaning you can use the service without worrying about losing protection for the rest of the month.

Free Ivacy VPN version offers servers in the US, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. What’s more, torrenting is allowed, so you can download GBs worth of data, even though the speeds might be slower without WireGuard. Another disadvantage of this free iPhone VPN is inability to unblock Netflix or any other streaming platform.

Upgrading to Ivacy VPN premium lets you choose from 5700+ servers in 69+ countries. It also adds WireGuard, DDoS protection, real-time threat detection, and 10 simultaneous connections. Unfortunately, even the paid Ivacy for iOS comes without a kill switch and split tunneling.

Ivacy VPN prices start at just $1.00/month. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee and access to 24/7 live chat. Besides, you might find even more interesting offers in our Ivacy coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of Ivacy VPN, read our Ivacy VPN review.

6. Hotspot Shield – free iPhone VPN with solid encryption

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
85
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1800
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Proprietary Hydra tunneling protocol
  • Allows torrenting
  • No need to create an account
  • Slow speeds

Hotspot Shield is another good option if you’re looking for a free VPN for iPad and iPhone. It comes with a military-grade encryption, Always-on VPN (kill switch), and two tunneling protocols. The first one is Hydra, an in-house product, and the latter is the well-known IKEv2/IPSec.

With a free Hotspot Shield version, you get one location in the US. Your connection is also limited to one device per account. And contrary to Android, the iOS version doesn’t show ads.

The two main drawbacks of this free VPN for iPhone is data cap and speed. The former is set to 500 MB/day, and the latter won’t exceed 2 Mb/s. So even though free Hotspot Shield allows torrenting, downloading larger files can be a nuisance.

Upgrading to Hotspot Shield premium unlocks all 1800+ servers in 85+ countries. Additionally, you get Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and more streaming platforms. The device limit also expands up to five and 24/7 live chat becomes available.

Should you decide to go premium, the best current offer for Hotspot Shield is $7.99/month. You’ll have plenty of time to test all the features thanks to the lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee. Finally, don’t miss the speial offers on our Hotspot Shield coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.

7. Windscribe VPN – free iPhone VPN that unblocks Netflix

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
60
Number of servers
Number of servers:
480
Support
Support:
Email, knowledgebase
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Allows P2P
  • Generous data limit
  • Lacks WireGuard

If you’re in search of a free VPN for streaming, Windscribe is your top option. This service unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and sometimes even more content platforms. However, the fun is limited with an otherwise generous 10 GB/month data cap.

The free Windscribe version allows torrenting and has servers in 11 countries – way more than most competitors offer. Just don’t expect breakneck speeds as the WireGuard protocol is reserved for subscribers. From the security standpoint, free iOS and iPad clients come equipped with a kill switch, leak protection, and military-grade encryption.

Upgrading to Windscribe premium brings you the whole fleet of 480+ servers in 60+ countries, including those optimized for streaming. You also get two stealth protocols, ad & malware blocker, multi-hop, and limitless simultaneous connections.

Windscribe premium can be yours for just $1.00/month. The 3-day money-back guarantee is not much, but there’s also a 1-day free trial to test all the features beforehand. Lastly, check our our Windscribe coupon page for more discounts and special deals.

For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.

Top free iPhone & iPad VPNs compared

Let’s see how each of our best free VPNs for iOS stack against each other. I’ve compared their key features, namely available countries, data cap, streaming & torrenting support, and the number of available devices.

VPNCountriesData capStreamingTorrentingDevices
Atlas VPN25 GB/monthNoYes2
Proton VPN3UnlimitedNoNo1
Ivacy VPN4UnlimitedNoYesUnlimited
Hotspot Shield1500 MB/dayNoYes1
Windscribe1110 GB/monthYesYesUnlimited

Based on the collected data, I can recommend a VPN according to your priorities:

  • Best free VPN for iPhone & iPad – Atlas VPN
  • Best free iPhone VPN without subscription – Ivacy VPN
  • Best free iPhone VPN to change location – Windscribe
  • Best free unlimited data VPN for iPhone – Proton VPN
  • Best free iOS VPN for streaming – Windscribe
  • Best free iOS VPN for torrenting – Ivacy VPN

As you can see from the table above, most free VPNs for iPhone and iPad have pretty strict data caps and won’t unblock Netflix. Therefore, I suggest trying out NordVPN, our best VPN overall, risk-free for 37 days.

How we picked the best free VPNs for iOS

When choosing the top free VPNs for iPhone and iPad, we used the following criteria. I must point out that none of our recommended services meet all of them. That’s because all free VPNs have limitations due to their nature, sacrificing speed, privacy, features, or all three.

Before downloading a free iOS VPN, consider these points:

  • Security. Free iPhone VPNs may sacrifice security for speed, offering AES 128-bit encryption. Don’t settle for that and only use services with a bank-grade AES 256-bit cipher.
  • Privacy. Not much to expect here. Most likely, your data will be collected and sold to third parties. The best option probably is choosing either a reputable VPN service, such as Atlas VPN or Proton VPN or one that requires no registration (Ivacy VPN).
  • Speed. All free iOS VPNs are slower than their premium counterparts. Since the server selection will be limited anyway, look for a provider with the WireGuard tunneling protocol.
  • Server selection. Usually you’ll get servers in the US and the UK. Some providers might add a couple more countries in Europe or one in Asia. However, expecting a free VPN server in South America or Africa would be naive.
  • Data cap. The amount can range from megabytes to gigabytes. 5 GB/month can be considered generous, but there are also limitless options, such as Proton VPN or Ivacy VPN. Unfortunately, no data cap usually means no Netflix and no torrenting as well.
  • Streaming. Only a few free services can unblock Netflix, not to mention other content platforms. Even if they do, the speeds might be not enough for HD video quality. Our only recommendation here is Windscribe, which also happens to offer the best country selection.
  • Torrenting. Most free VPNs for iPhone allow P2P but you will be hindered by poor performance and data caps. For torrenting fans, I suggest downloading Ivacy VPN – it has no data cap.
  • Features. VPNs for iOS tend to have fewer features in general, and that becomes especially apparent with the free services. Thus, don’t expect anything more than a kill switch and leak protection. If you’re looking for split tunneling, multi-hop, or malware blocker – opt for the best VPN with a free trial instead.

Free VPN configuration for iPhone

There are two methods to configure your free VPN for iPhone. The first requires only installing the app and choosing preferred settings. The other option is manually configuring your free VPN for iOS without the app. Here are the step-by-step guides for both cases.

Method 1: Setting up a free iPhone VPN app

  1. Choose your free VPN for iOS. I recommend Atlas VPN, our top option.
  2. Go to the Apple App Store and download the VPN app.
  3. Press Open, read the information, and tap the Accept & continue button.
  4. Choose Get started

Atlas VPN setup on iOS

  1. Enter your email address to create an account.
  2. Tap Open email button and press Confirm to complete your sign-up.

Atlas VPN setup on iOS

  1. When a pop-up appears, click Allow to receive notifications.
  2. When asked whether you’d want to open this page in the Atlas VPN app, choose Open.

Atlas VPN setup on iOS

  1. Once you’re back in the app, press X at the top-left corner to close the premium offer.
  2. Tap the big Connect button and allow Atlas VPN to add VPN configurations.

Atlas VPN setup on iOS

That’s it – now your connection is protected!

Method 2: Manually configuring free iPhone VPN

  1. Pick a free VPN for iOS that offers manual configuration. I recommend Proton VPN, which has an easy IKEv2 protocol setup.
  2. Use the Safari browser (no other will do) to download the Proton VPN IKEv2 profile.
  3. Open iPhone settings and tap Profile downloaded.

Proton VPN manual configuration on iOS

  1. Choose Install and then again after the warning message to finish installing the Proton VPN Root CA certificate.

Proton VPN manual configuration on iOS

  1. Now open your phone’s Settings and navigate to General -> VPN & Device Management -> VPN and tap Add VPN Configuration at the bottom.
  2. Choose any Description for your VPN connection. For the Server field, create a free ProtonVPN account on their website.
  3. On the website, go to Settings -> Downloads -> OpenVPN configuration files and choose the desired country. In the drop-down server list, tap Action and copy the server name back into your iPhone’s VPN Configuration menu.
  4. For your OpenVPN / IKEv2 username and password, go back to the ProtonVPN website’s Settings -> Account -> OpenVPN / IKEv2 username, copy them both.

Proton VPN manual configuration on iOS

  1. Tap Done. A new manual VPN configuration with your chosen name should appear. Toggle the Status switch at the top to connect.

Proton VPN manual configuration

That’s it – now your iOS device is protected!

Dangerous free iPhone VPNs to avoid

As I’ve mentioned already, the majority of free VPNs for iPhone and iPad are dangerous. In the best-case scenario, your data will be sold to third parties. If you’re unlucky, installing a dangerous iOS app will infect your device with malware.

Therefore, if for some reason you didn’t like any of our top VPNs for iPhone and are willing to find something on your own, at least avoid these ill-reputed providers.

Not recommended iPhone VPNsWhy you should stay away
Betternet
  • Used to install malware
  • Sells your data
  • Shows ads
  • Might leak your IP
Hola VPN
  • Works as a P2P network
  • You share your IP and bandwidth
  • Sells your data
Hoxx VPN
  • Cooperates with the US government
  • Sells your data
Psiphon
  • Sells your data
  • Shows ads
  • Unknown encryption
  • Outdated tunneling protocols
Tuxler VPN
  • Sells your data
  • Shows ads
  • Unknown encryption
VPN Gate
  • Works as a P2P network
  • You share your IP and bandwidth

Conclusion: which free iPhone VPN to choose?

Even though most free VPNs are of poor quality, you can find at least a few good options for your iPhone or iPad. Our top free iOS VPN choice, however, is Atlas VPN.

This service comes from a reputable provider, offers good speeds, and allows torrenting. What’s more, Atlas VPN comes with a generous 10 GB/month data cap. Finally, you can always try the premium version risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

FAQ

Which free VPN app is the best for iPhone?

The best free VPN for iPhone is Atlas VPN. It offers solid security and privacy while staying reasonably fast. Moreover, the free Atlas VPN app has a kill switch, a generous data limit, and is not against torrenting.

How do I setup a VPN on my iPhone for free?

The first and the easiest method of setting up a free VPN on your iPhone is simply downloading the provider’s app. Alternatively, you can manually configure a VPN on your iOS device.

Does Apple offer a free VPN?

No, Apple doesn’t offer a free VPN for iPhone or any other device. That means you’ll need a third-party app to protect yourself online. Here are the top free iOS apps, including Atlas VPN, Proton VPN, and more.

What is the safest free VPN for iPhone?

Proton VPN is the best free iPhone VPN for security and privacy. The provider has an independently-audited no-logs policy and military-grade encryption. It’s also located in Switzerland, a privacy-friendly country.

Do I need VPN on my iPhone?

Yes, even the latest iPhone models need a VPN for online protection. A solid VPN, such as Atlas VPN, will hide your IP address and encrypt the whole traffic. This way, no third party will be able to tell what you’re doing online.

4 comments
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  1. Taylor

    Great list! Thanks for pointing out free providers. Even if free options aren’t the optimal choice, it’s always better to have something instead of nothing. Hackers are getting away with more every day.


  2. Conner99

    There are a lot of VPNs on the market that offer free service for the iPhone. I like to stick with a company that I know and trust so I use Windscribe. I’m able to surf the web on my iPhone or iPad from Wi-Fi hotspots and not have to worry about being tracked or monitored by hackers, network administrators, and anyone else.


  3. Gabrielle Carvalho Goncalves

    I’m always skeptical when I see “free” and “VPN” in the same sentence. If you have a low standard and/or need for security, a free VPN may be a good option for you. I like how this blog mentions the advantages and disadvantages of these different free VPN’s. I won’t use them but for some people, free VPN’s are an option if you choose them wisely.


  4. Norma Jansen

    Thanks for the list, I didn’t even know it could be useful to have a VPN on an Ipad. I’m already using Windscribe for my main computer, I think I’ll use it too for the iPad then. Thanks !

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