iPhones and iPads are more secure than the competition, but Apple users still risk their privacy each day spent without a VPN service. Unencrypted and unprotected internet usage can expose your personal data to governments, ISPs, and cybercriminals. Not to mention, VPN is a great way to unblock Netflix, torrent anonymously, and more.

That’s why we bring you our Best VPN for iPhone list. Here are our top picks:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo
  • Location: Panama
  • Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
  • Features: great security, speeds, server list, torrenting and support

NordVPN is hands-down the best iOS VPN as it flawlessly meets all our criteria:

  • Has an intuitive VPN app for iPhone (iOS)
  • Great connection speeds and security features
  • Unblocks popular streaming platforms and supports torrents

Their specialized VPN servers mean great torrenting speeds and the ability to function in countries like China or Iran.

Additionally, this is the most secure iOS VPN on the market – it has solid encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and strong bonus features. Perhaps more importantly, the Panama-based NordVPN operates under a strict no-logs policy.

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN service logo
  • Location: British Virgin Islands
  • Pricing: starts at $1.99/month
  • Features: great price and security features, unlimited simultaneous connections, top speeds

Surfshark is one of the fastest services in 2020 and an excellent iOS VPN. However, Apple users will appreciate so much more about it.

This provider has a global coverage of 1000+ servers in 60+ countries, which ensures comfortable torrenting and unblocking ability. Surfshark iOS reliably unblocks 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.

3. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN service logo
  • Location: Sweden
  • Pricing: starts at $1.89/month
  • Features: great security, speeds, torrenting and 6 simultaneous connections

The Swedish PrivateVPN may be small, but it will guard you against any threat. Its 150+ servers in 60+ offer surprising performance levels and unblocking ability.

As a matter of fact, PrivateVPN may not be the best VPN app for iPhone, but it may be the most capable tool against geo-blocking on this list. It will unblock numerous Netflix libraries and other streaming services.

PrivateVPN is the streamer’s, gamer’s, and torrenter’s dream, but it also has military-grade encryption and strict no-logging policy.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost service logo
  • Location: Romania
  • Pricing: starts at $2.75/month
  • Features: great security, server list, torrenting and support

CyberGhost is based in Romania, a VPN-friendly and privacy-friendly country. The Ghost currently has 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 new to the business.

CyberGhost has specialized streaming servers to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and so much more. It will also let you torrent anonymously and without being bothered by slow connections.

5. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN service logo
  • Location: British Virgin Islands
  • Pricing: starts at $6.67/month
  • Features: great security, speeds, server list, torrenting and support

ExpressVPN operates one of the most wide-reaching networks on the market (its 3000+ servers cover 90+ countries), ExpressVPN is lightning fast and great for streaming.

The media platforms it unblocks include Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, and more. Yet it also boasts some of the most comprehensive security features among iOS VPNs.

What is a VPN for iPhone?

Many iPhone users still think that their devices are unhackable and have no idea what is a VPN for iPhone. Sadly, too often they learn about it the hard way after their personal data gets exposed or their accounts are hacked. While it’s true that iOS is safer than Android or Windows, even it’s 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 a much better military-grade encryption because nearly one-third of iOS app developers fail to do that.

How to get a VPN on iPhone

There is only one way how 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 in. 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.

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. The world is full of free VPNs, which promise protection while delivering very little (apart from buckets of promoted ads and, if you’re really unlucky – malware).

Moreover, the apps available on the VPN App Store selection vary by country. So, for example, leading VPNs like ExpressVPN might be unavailable in China or Saudi Arabia.

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. And don’t use price as a guide. 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:

  1. Cutting edge encryption – good VPNs should meet the 256-bit AES encryption standard. And don’t be fooled by free services like Hola. Most of them can’t be relied upon to keep your data protected.
  2. Speed and servers – the best iPhone VPN services usually maintain large server lists, located across the world. For example, NordVPN runs over 5500 servers in 58 countries. 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.
  3. Avoid free VPNs – in general, free VPN tools are poor VPNs, and this applies to App Store downloads as much as anything else. As with any app, if the service is free, the user is the product. Free VPNs, therefore, tend to harvest user data and send plenty of ads, and they often seriously limit the speeds of free users as well. This makes them inferior to paid services on almost every level.
  4. 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.
  5. Listen to what users say about unblocking – virtually all VPNs promise the world when it comes to unblocking streaming sites like Netflix. But only a good VPN for iPhone does so reliably. So go beyond the actual App Store listings and check feedback from actual users about whether the hype is matched by real-world performance.

Now, ratings can be a good indication of the general quality of an app. But things can change fast in the world of VPNs. What worked well last year (and therefore rose the rankings), might have been exposed as flawed recently. And App Store rankings can be gamed as well.

By all means, use the rankings as one metric, but also rely on the criteria we’ve outlined above to ensure that the VPN you download meets the gold standard for iOS protection.

Are there any issues with VPN downloads from the App Store?

In general, the App Store has a great reputation – especially in comparison to less well-regulated Android app repositories. But it hasn’t escaped controversy altogether.

For example, in 2018, Apple was forced to remove some anti-malware tools from security firm Trend Micro, after users discovered that they were collecting sensitive data.

In 2017, MalwareBytes reported that so-called malvertisers had also targeted Apple users via a VPN download called My Mobile Secure (which wasn’t secure at all).

However, this case was resolved fairly quickly via an iOS patch, and the consensus remains that the VPNs available from Apple’s App Store are more reliable than their Android cousins.

How to use a VPN on iPhone

Learning how to use a VPN on 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. Please do grant it, and from now on you can start using a VPN on your iOS device.

Free VPN 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: meaning they’ll 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 mostly have strong ties to China anyways.

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.