Although Apple’s iOS operating system is more secure than the competition, the issue of data privacy still remains. iPhone and iPad users are as susceptible to issues like government surveillance as everyone else.
Despite iOS security benefits, privacy is still something users need to address – that’s why it’s important to use a VPN and leave no security holes.
Unencrypted and unprotected internet usage can expose your personal data to ISPs, and cybercriminals. The latter threat is especially relevant when you’re often using public wi-fi hotspots. These scenarios are what make a VPN such a useful tool for highly portable devices like iPhones.
A VPN for iPhone can solve all the mentioned issues, as well as unlock streaming platforms, and more. That is why we’re bringing our best VPNs for iPhones list.
Here are our top picks:
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
- Support: requires iOS 11.0 or later
- Features: an intuitive VPN app for iPhone (iOS), huge server list, unblocks popular streaming platforms and supports torrents
NordVPN is hands-down the best VPN for iPhone as it provides reliable protection to keep your privacy safe. They use AES-256 encryption and a variety of VPN protocols to leave no trace about your online whereabouts. There are also features like CyberSec, which blocks malicious websites and malware.
Aside from the security features, NordVPN also has the ability to access geo-blocked content. With their SmartPlay feature, you can watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and other platforms, even if they’re blocked in your home country. Specialized VPN servers mean great torrenting speeds and even the ability to function in countries like China or Iran.
Interested? You can get NordVPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee, the cancellation is as straightforward as it gets.
2. Surfshark VPN
- Pricing: starts at $1.99/month
- Support: requires iOS 9.3 or later
- Features: ability to connect all your devices at the same time, Private DNS on every server, CleanWeb that blocks all malware and phishing attempts
Surfshark is one of the fastest services in 2020 and an excellent iOS VPN. However, privacy-conscious Apple users will appreciate so much more about it.
This provider will keep your private data safe with AES 256-bit encryption in combination with OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. Your network traffic will become impossible to intercept. Surfshark enforces a strict no-logs policy, so all your cyber footprints are as good as gone.
This provider has a global network of 1000+ servers in 60+ countries, ensuring comfortable torrenting and unblocking ability. Download Surfshark iOS VPN to reliably unblock Netflix and other top streaming services.
Not one to settle for entertainment, Surfshark has great security features. iPhone users will benefit from AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and CleanWeb – a powerful ad-blocker.
- Pricing: starts at $1.89/month
- Support: requires iOS 10.0 or later
- Features: great security, speeds, torrenting and 6 simultaneous connections
If you have iPhone with iOS version 9.0 or later, PrivateVPN will guard you against any threat. This app supports OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, so no one can track your online activity.
Its 150+ servers in 60+ countries offer surprising performance levels and unblocking ability. As a matter of fact, this service may not have the best iPhone VPN app, but it may be the most capable tool against geo-blocking on this list. Get PrivateVPN to unblock numerous Netflix libraries and other streaming services.
PrivateVPN is the streamer’s, gamer’s, and torrenter’s dream. And neither does it make compromises when it comes to your privacy. There’s no pressure to commit long-term as they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their plans.
- Pricing: starts at $2.75/month
- Support: requires iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2 or later
- Features: works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, can be used for free without limitation for 7 days, specialized servers
CyberGhost app for iOS provides the full functionality of a dedicated VPN for iPhone with all the advantages that the desktop version brings. They now have the largest network of 6200+ in 90+ countries, meaning impressive speeds across the globe.
If we had to choose our favorite thing about CyberGhost, it would be how easy to use its iPhone app is. This is the ultimate VPN for iOS if you’re a first time user. Their intuitive UI surely helps to easily find just what you need.
CyberGhost has specialized streaming servers to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and so much more. If you want to torrent anonymously and without being bothered by slow connections – try CyberGhost with their 45-day money-back guarantee.
- Pricing: starts at $6.67/month
- Support: requires iOS 10.0 or later
- Features: unlimited bandwith, servers optimized for speed, secure AES 256-bit encryption
ExpressVPN is a solid VPN for iOS built with sole intent to protect your privacy while being extremely fast. This is an easy task for them to achieve as they have a wide network of 3000+ servers in 90 countries. This wide-reaching fleet guarantees stable connections and you’ll always be able to find a server nearby.
The servers themselves use TrustedServer technology in tandem with the AES 256-bit cipher. This makes your connections impenetrable by hackers so you can enjoy your time on public wi-fi hotspots.
The service is also useful at home. With the ability to unblock Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu and other streaming services this VPN will also be a beneficial addition for all entertainment addicts out there. You may also try ExpressVPN with a 7-day free trial.
How to choose the best iPhone or iOS VPN on App Store
VPNs are great tools to have on your device, but here’s the thing: poor quality VPNs are actually worse than no VPN. So when it comes to choosing, you need to take care. Don’t just go for the most popular or highest rated app – often, it won’t be the best VPN for iOS. Instead, follow these guidelines to pick your ally.
Before you pick your provider, be aware that the best VPN apps for iPhone must tick all of these boxes:
- Encryption – good VPNs should meet the 256-bit AES encryption standard, only encrypted networks are secure to transmit your data.
- Speed and servers – the best iPhone VPN services usually maintain large server lists, located across the world. So you should always be able to connect and work around geo-blocking. Not all VPNs are clear about their server numbers and might try to hide them away in the small print. So read App Store listings really carefully.
- Multiple devices – like an iPhone, Apple TV and/or Mac user, you may well need to add VPN protection to a number of devices. Don’t get stuck with a VPN, which only offers 1-2 connections. The best iPhone VPN providers are much more generous with their customers, providing 5 or even unlimited device connections. That way, you can include family members in your package.
- Listen to what users say about unblocking – virtually all VPNs promise the world when it comes to unblocking streaming sites like Netflix. But only the best VPNs for iPhone do it reliably. Go beyond the actual App Store listings and check feedback from actual users about whether the hype is matched by real-world performance.
If you rely on the criteria we’ve outlined above you you will be immune to App Store rating manipulations and will always choose a VPN that makes your device more secure.
Which free VPN is best for iPhone?
We normally don’t recommend free VPNs for anything, including for iPhones and iPads. That’s because, with free things, you’re usually the product. Such apps usually will show you a lot of ads, have weak privacy and security, or will sell your data to other third parties. This is the case with Hola VPN and nearly all of the free mobile VPNs – which often have strong ties to China anyways. This makes them inferior to paid services on almost every level.
Lots of established VPNs have free trials, and some even have free versions. Here we can definitely recommend ProtonVPN’s free plan. This is the best free VPN for iPhone, and since they don’t have any data limits (unlike TunnelBear), you can get a lot of bang out of this offering. And if you like the service, the paid version will usually give you a lot more flexibility.
iPhone VPN FAQ
Many iPhone users still think that their devices are unhackable and have no idea what a VPN is for iPhone. Sadly, too often, they learn about it the hard way after their data gets exposed, or their accounts are hacked. While it’s true that iOS is safer than Android or Windows, even its end-to-end encryption isn’t enough to stay safe online.
A VPN for iPhone is a tool that enhances your security and privacy in multiple ways. For example, it protects you when you’re connected to public wifi, helps you avoid geo-blocking, and bypass firewalls. VPNs also provide much better military-grade encryption – something nearly one-third of iOS app developers fail to do.
Many people ask us: Should I use a VPN on my iPhone if I don’t do anything illegal? And yes, you should, because you probably don’t want anyone going through your private emails. Besides, your private data includes your banking information that could end up on the dark web. The point is, many threats are very real, and often the only mistake the user has made was one connection to a public network. VPNs can be a valuable barrier.
Yes, all iOS devices have built-in VPN capabilities. The tricky part is that you still have to configure them and find a friendly server somewhere to connect. There’s also a lack of some basic features, so unless your needs are minimal, they’re probably not a good way to go.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you can configure a built-in client yourself.
1. Go to Settings
2. Tap General
3. Tap VPN
4. Tap Add VPN Configuration
5. Tap Type
6. Select your VPN type (IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP)
7. Go back and enter VPN settings, server, remote ID. You’ll also need to provide authentification information.
8. Tap Done
9. Under VPN configurations, toggle the switch on.
10. That’s it – you’re now using the built-in client.
There is only one way to get a VPN on iPhone. That is to download it from an App Store. This way, you can be sure it has been approved by Apple, although that doesn’t mean that malicious software can’t slip through. This is especially true when we’re talking about free VPNs.
While Android apps are often also available as .apk files on the provider’s website, that’s not a way to get a VPN on your iPhone. Most likely, the App Store will remain the sole app provider for iOS devices in the near future.
Learning how to use a VPN on the iPhone is easy. Most VPN services have a user-friendly interface that’s intuitive enough to start right away. Usually, the main screen is for choosing and connecting to the desired server, while various features can be toggled in Settings.
After you connect for the first time, a pop-up will emerge, asking your permission to add a VPN configuration for this client. Grant it, and then you can start using a VPN on your iOS device.