Best free VPN for iPhone and iPad in 2023

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: February 1, 2023
Free iOS VPN
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Virtual Private Network (VPN) services allow users to bypass geographical restrictions and browse the web anonymously. How, you may ask? By redirecting your traffic through remote servers and encrypting your connection.

And while there are numerous free VPNs for iOS devices, they aren’t optimal for achieving specific goals. For starters, they usually can’t unblock Netflix or protect you against serious cyber threats. Instead, they merely hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic.

Therefore, you should invest in a premium iPhone VPN, such as NordVPN, if you need a well-rounded package. It will keep your connection speeds high, unblock loads of foreign content, and effectively protect every device you own. Best of all, it includes a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee for commitment-free testing.

Secure your iPhone with the top VPN on the market

Don’t rely on subpar free VPNs to protect your precious iPhone. Instead, get NordVPN, the fastest and most secure VPN service available. You can start without commitment using the free trial.

9.6 /10
7-day free trial
30-day money-back guarantee
Top connection speeds and digital protection

Best free VPN for iOS: shortlist

  1. Best free VPN for iPhone
    9.7
  2. Free iPhone VPN with unlimited data
    9.3
  3. Security-focused free VPN for iPhone
    9.2
  4. Completely anonymous free VPN for iOS
    8.8
  5. Free iOS VPN for daily browsing
    8.6

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

VPNs have the potential to grant loads of benefits to their customers.

For example, you can use one to change your location, hide your IP address, and unlock foreign movies. Additionally, your online activities are completely hidden from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and other nosy onlookers. Plus, iPhone users can greatly benefit from a VPN because it will protect you when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

However, it’s vital to point out that only premium VPNs for iOS are capable of granting all of these benefits. On the flip side, free services struggle in many of these areas. Notably, they provide abysmal connection speeds, minuscule server fleets, and only a handful of security features.

NordVPN iOS landing page

But that doesn’t mean that reliable free VPN services don’t have their place. In fact, they’re absolutely vital in poorer regions with limited internet access, excess surveillance, and online censorship. Then a few performance issues aren’t a deal breaker when you need a costless way of gaining online privacy.

But don’t think that every free VPN is trustworthy. Some are pretty nefarious and may collect your data or inject malicious software into your device. As such, we recommend picking one of these free VPNs for the iPhone.

Best free VPNs for iPhone

Below are the top free VPNs for iOS that offer adequate security and privacy. All of them utilize AES-256 encryption to keep your online escapades indecipherable. However, don’t expect them to change your Netflix region or stream video in UHD without stuttering. Go for a premium streaming VPN if that’s your goal.

Conversely, an ultra-secure VPN can protect you against malicious ads, online trackers, and even malware. Meanwhile, a no-cost VPN can prevent surveillance and censorship at best. Plus, you’ll have to deal with monthly data caps.

1. Atlas VPN – the top free VPN for iPhone

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
37
Number of servers
Number of servers:
750
Support
Support:
Email, tickets, FAQ
  • Powered by WireGuard
  • Solid security features
  • Permits P2P
  • 5 GB monthly data cap

Atlas VPN offers the best free version for iPhone. It comes with robust security features, a no-logs policy, and 2 simultaneous connections. Moreover, it provides excellent connection quality with the open-source WireGuard protocol. .

Even with limitations, you can expect solid performance. The freemium tier gets to pick from 3 server locations – 2 in the US and 1 in the Netherlands – and use the 5 GB monthly data cap however they like. Like for torrenting, since P2P is enabled on all servers.

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 $2.05/month. And since the plans are protected with the 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no risk in committing. You can also find more deals on our Atlas VPN coupons page.

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

2. Proton VPN – privacy-focused free iOS VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
66
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1700
Support
Support:
Email, knowledge base
  • Based in Switzerland
  • VPN Accelerator for excellent speeds
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy
  • No streaming or P2P

When it comes to enhancing your online privacy for free, you can’t go wrong with Proton VPN. It has an independently-audited no-logs policy and open-source apps. What’s more, it’s based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, a country without data retention laws.

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. And if you decide to connect to the other side of the globe, VPN Accelerator ensures great connectivity throughout.

Like any free VPN for iPad and iPhone, Proton VPN has some limitations. For starters, neither streaming geo-blocked content nor torrenting is allowed. Another point is that one account is restricted to using a single device simultaneously.

Upgrading to Proton VPN premium will unlock P2P downloads, as well as Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and other content platforms. Furthermore, you’ll get all 1700+ servers in 66+ countries. Premium features also include Secure Core servers, NetShield, and split tunneling, among others.

You can get the Proton VPN iPhone app for just $3.99/month. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee and 10 simultaneous connections. Finally, you might potentially find a better deal on our Proton VPN coupon page.

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

3. Hide Me VPN – free VPN for iOS with solid security features

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
40
Number of servers
Number of servers:
2000
Support
Support:
Live chat
  • Fast connection times
  • 8 server locations
  • Includes split tunneling
  • 10 GB monthly data limit

Hide Me VPN is a solid middle-ground free VPN for iOS. The costless version includes a generous 10 GB monthly limit, 8 connection options, and split tunneling. It’s also quite fast, even though the free plan doesn’t include WireGuard.

Free hide.me users can utilize IKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEther, and SSTP tunneling protocols. Meanwhile, the premium plan unlocks WireGuard and the proprietary Bolt traffic acceleration technology to provide mind-blowing connectivity. However, unlike most free VPNs, this provider includes split tunneling for customizing which apps should be included in the VPN tunnel.

The service is also a great choice if you want free access to a surprisingly diverse selection of foreign IP addresses. Specifically, you can connect to Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If that’s not enough, the premium plan unlocks a whopping 40+ countries and 2000+ servers.

Get the rest of what Hide VPN offers by subscribing for only $3.00/month. Don’t forget to use a coupon code at checkout to ensure access to the most appealing deals. Keep the 30-day money-back guarantee in mind if you start having second thoughts.

For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.

4. Ivacy VPN – truly anonymous free VPN for iPad

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
69
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5700
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • No data caps
  • Allows torrenting
  • No account registration
  • Lacks a kill switch

If you’re looking for a quality free iOS VPN, Ivacy is worth 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.

The free Ivacy VPN version offers servers in the Netherlands. Furthermore, torrenting is allowed, so you can download heaps of data, even though the speeds might be slower without WireGuard. Additionally, the free plan doesn’t include a kill switch, making P2P a potentially risky endeavor.

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.

The prices for this free VPN for iPhone 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 on our Ivacy coupons page.

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

5. Hotspot Shield – secure free iPhone VPN for daily activities

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
99
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1800
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Fast connections with Hydra
  • Doesn’t require registration
  • No-logs policy
  • 500 MB daily data cap

Hotspot Shield is ideal for iOS users who need only a bit of secure data every day. The VPN imposes a 500 MB daily limit, which appears tiny at first. However, over the month it ends up more than what the competition offers.

Another significant drawback of this free VPN is that you’re limited to one country – the USA. This isn’t a problem for iPhone wielders in America but will result in slower connectivity for users elsewhere. But the slowdown might not be so dramatic due to the presence of the proprietary Hydra protocol, which made Hotspot Shield one of the fastest VPNs on the market.

Committing to the premium Hotspot Shield unlocks numerous other boons, such as a fleet of 1800+ servers across 99+ countries. Plus, you’ll be able to secure up to 5 different devices and unlock countless foreign Netflix libraries.

Be sure to use a Hotspot Shield discount code to reduce subscription prices to a mere $7.99/month. And don’t forget about the extended 45-day money-back warranty period if you ever change your mind.

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

Top free iPhone & iPad VPNs compared

These VPNs might appear pretty good to the uninitiated. In reality, they’re quite barren of the perks you’d expect from an industry leader like NordVPN. We put together a comparison table to showcase this disparity.

Atlas VPNProton VPNHide Me VPNIvacyHotspot ShieldNordVPN
Countries2381160
Data cap5 GBUnlimited 10 GBUnlimited500 MBUnlimited
Simult. connections211116
Average connection speedN/A179 MbpsN/AN/A85 Mbps1,093 Mbps
Streaming (e.g., Netflix)NoNoNoNoNoYes
TorrentingYesNoYesYesYesYes

As you can see, the free services are bogged down by various limitations. You’ll have slower connection speeds, fewer server options, and zero chance of changing your Netflix region. Consider signing up for our recommended alternatives if you need these boons. Plus, you can take them for a spin without any risks, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantees.

Best free VPN alternatives

How we tested free VPNs for iOS

If you want the best experience possible whilst using free software, you have to be picky about the service. Not every provider is cut out for the job, so we strongly recommend considering certain criteria that we applied when making our top free VPN for iPhone list:

  • Ensured security. Free services, understandably, have fewer features than their premium counterparts. Still, certain things are mandatory for keeping yourself safe. These are AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and IP & DNS leak protection.
  • Total privacy. Such providers have a reputation for collecting and selling user information to stay afloat. Because of this, it’s crucial to look for VPNs with strict no-logs policies. Extra points go to those who have undergone an independent audit to verify them.
  • Reasonable limitations. Don’t expect extra fast speeds since free iOS VPNs offer limited bandwidth to avoid network congestion. Most also have servers in just a few countries. The key here is to find a service with enough room to breathe, for example, with a 5 GB/month data cap and 3-5 connection point locations.
  • Perks. Only a few free services can reliably unblock Netflix, not to mention other content platforms. The same can be said about torrenting being enabled. If one or the other is on the table, consider yourself lucky. This also applies to features like split tunneling, malware blockers, Double VPN, etc.
  • Customer support. Premium users are usually prioritized over free ones since they’re actually paying for the service when it comes to getting professional help. It’s a nice touch if you’re able to contact support in more ways than just via email.

If you think that even good free VPNs for iPhones won’t be able to fulfill your needs, the solution is simple. Opt for a premium VPN service without annoying limitations.

How to set up a VPN on iPhone

Getting a VPN up and running on your iPhone is a pretty straightforward process. However, it’s crucial to download the VPN app from a reliable source to ensure you’re not installing some cheap imitation. Therefore, we recommend going to a provider’s official website to find the correct App Store link. The remaining procedure is pretty easy. Here’s how the process looks in four simple steps.

  1. Sign up for a top-shelf VPN that supports iOS devices. We recommend NordVPN, the best VPN for iPhone
  2. Visit the provider’s website and find the link to the official application on the Apple App Store. Alternatively, search for the software directly on the App Store
  3. Download the VPN and log in with your account
  4. Enable the kill switch, connect to a suitable server, and start browsing securely!

Secure your iPhone with NordVPN

Risks of unverified free VPNs

It shouldn’t surprise you that many free VPNs aren’t worth trying. Firstly, legitimate ones impose debilitating restrictions that make your online experience quite frustrating. Specifically, you’ll have extended loading times due to slow connectivity and only the bare minimum regarding digital security.

On the flip side, unverified free VPN services include much more heinous downsides, such as:

  • Data collection and selling
  • Overabundance of ads
  • Potential trackers and malware in the software
  • Subpar results

In my opinion, using any free VPN is usually not worth it. You’ll be better off even with a cheap VPN provider. If you’re unwilling to commit, consider starting with a free trial instead. You’ll be happy to hear that many of the best VPNs offer time-limited trials, which are available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Personally, I’d start with NordVPN, the best premium VPN for iOS.

Dangerous free iPhone VPNs to avoid

Want a few examples of the most dangerous free VPNs out there? Read our reviews about these providers or just avoid them altogether.

  • Betternet – shows excessive ads and sells your data
  • Hola VPN – your bandwidth is shared with other users
  • Hoxx VPN – shares your data with governments
  • Psiphon – uses outdated technology and shows ads
  • Tuxler VPN – shows ads and sells your data
  • VPN Gate – works as a P2P network

Conclusion

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 choices can attest to that.

These services come from reputable providers, offer good speeds, and allow torrenting. And you can always try premium versions risk-free thanks to the money-back guarantees.

What is your free iPad VPN of choice? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


You may also like to read:
Free VPN for Android
Change location on Android
Change location on iOS
Free VPN for Chrome
Free VPN for Popcorn Time
How to set up NordVPN on Apple TV


FAQ

Is there a completely free VPN for iPhone?

Yes, there are plenty of completely free iPhone VPNs for iPhone, for example, Atlas VPN. Unsurprisingly, such services aren’t as feature-rich as premium providers like NordVPN. That means you should subscribe to a paid service if you want all the benefits a VPN can provide.

What's the best free VPN app for iPhone?

Atlas VPN is the number one free VPN for iPhone. It provides adequate security, solid connection speeds, and a reasonable 5 GB monthly data cap. However, we recommend committing to the paid plan to remove these limitations and gain other perks like Netflix unblocking and limitless device connections.

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

First, you’ll need to pick a reliable free iOS VPN. Then you’ll have to visit the provider’s website or search for the software on the App Store. After that, download the VPN app, sign up, and you’re good to go. Keep in mind that your performance will be limited because costless VPNs usually throttle connectivity and impose data caps.

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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