Best VPN for iPhone in 2021- 5 fast and secure services for Apple fans

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: May 3, 2021
Best VPN for iPhone and iOS

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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.

Top 5 VPN for iPhone and iOS in 2021

All-around leading VPN
Forward-thinking and cheap
Cheapest streaming VPN
Security-first VPN
Popular cheap VPN

Best VPN for iPhone overview:

1. NordVPN

Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat, Email
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
1,185 Mbit/s
  • An intuitive VPN app for iPhone (iOS)
  • Unblocks popular streaming platforms
  • Highly affordable
  • No router app

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.

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

2. Surfshark VPN

Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
647 Mbit/s
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Private DNS on every server
  • CleanWeb that blocks all malware and phishing attempts
  • Weak self-help support section

Surfshark is one of the fastest services in 2021 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 3200+ servers in 65+ 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.

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

3. PrivateVPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
129 Mbit/s
  • Top-notch security features
  • Great speeds
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • iOS app have fewer features

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 62+ 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.

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

4. VyprVPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
70 Mbit/s
  • Uses WireGuard protocol
  • Great for Netflix
  • Decent price
  • No anonymous payments

VyprVPN app for iOS provides the full functionality of a dedicated VPN for iPhone with most of the advantages that the desktop version brings. They have a network of 700+ in 70+ countries, offering global coverage and very fast speeds thanks to the WireGuard protocol.

If we had to choose our favorite VPN for China, VyprVPN would certainly be on that list. It provides excellent security, has no leaks, and has a proprietary Chameleon 2.0 protocol for bypassing the Great Firewall and its Deep Packet Inspection.

VyprVPN has unblocks Netflix US, Canada, and the UK. It also allows torrenting and doesn’t close any ports. If you want a fast and secure service for iOS – try VyprVPN with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

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

5. Private Internet Access

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
Live chat, email
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
75 Mbit/s
  • Uses WireGuard protocol
  • Unblocks Netflix US
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Based in the US

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a solid VPN for iOS that’s budget-friendly, secure, and very fast. Starting from iOS 12.0, it allows connecting using the WireGuard protocol, which is unparalleled when it comes to speed and protection. PIA also has a good coverage in the West, because the majority of its 36700+ servers in over 77 countries are situated in Europe and North America.

The iOS app has virtually the same set of features as the desktop version. This includes the kill switch that you can toggle using Siri commands and the Safari Content Blocker. The latter blocks ads, malware, and malicious websites.

Private Internet Access allows P2P on all servers. What’s more, it unblocks Netflix US and works great with Kodi. You try PIA for iOS risk-free with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.

How to choose the best iPhone or iOS VPN on App Store

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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:

  1. Encryption – good VPNs should meet the 256-bit AES encryption standard, only encrypted networks are secure to transmit your data.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Why it’s important to secure your iPhone device?

Even though personal information that you store on your iPhone is encrypted every time your device is locked, you still need to take additional steps to secure your iPhone.

The main reason behind that is that iPhone does not encrypt your browsing data. It means that anything you do online can be seen by your ISP or the so-called coffee shop hackers.

Back in August 2019, Google’s Project Zero team revealed that numerous hacked websites were used to commit cyber crimes against iPhone users. Personal data, including passwords, credit card information, photos, and text messages were in danger, and all the iPhones released to that date were vulnerable.

Speaking about iPhone hacking, at the beginning of 2020, Google Project Zero’s ethical hackers proved how easy it is to get into an iPhone. In fact, the hacker only needed the Apple ID to access passwords, texts, and emails.

Bu purchasing a high-quality virtual private network, you add an extra security layer to your iPhone. With it, everything you store on your device and all the information you provide while browsing will stay safe.

What is more, VPNs provide you with additional features to keep you secure and private while browsing.

For example, you can count on a kill switch that automatically disconnects you from the Internet if your VPN connection drops. You can also use a split tunneling feature that lets you decide which apps and websites to protect with a VPN, and which ones can be left unprotected.

Lastly, as VPNs are specifically made to keep you secure online, you can count on their support team as soon as you face any issue. If a provider is any good, their live chat support team will solve your VPN problems immediately.

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.

Free VPN apps are full of ads, have weak privacy and security, and they may 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 anyway. This makes them inferior to paid services on almost every level.

A lot of established VPNs have free trials, and some even have free versions. For example, ProtonVPN has 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

Do I need a VPN on my iPhone?

Many people ask us: should I use a VPN on my iPhone if I don’t do anything illegal? The answer is – definitely yes. And the main reasons are as follows:

  1. Using a VPN will keep you safe when connecting to public wifi. Whether you’re staying at a hotel or working from a coffee shop, a VPN will keep your online activities secure and private. 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 to protect yourself from getting hacked.
  2. Your online activities will not be visible to your ISP. Your ISP won’t be able to observe which the websites and the apps you are using.
  3. You’ll be able to stream the geo-blocked content. One of the key selling points of a VPN is the ability to stream your chosen content from anywhere in the world. With a VPN, you’ll be able to bypass the geo-blocks placed on your favorite movies and TV series.
  4. You’ll get to enjoy torrenting. With an iPhone VPN, you will be able to share files P2P without the risk of getting caught.

Of course, that is not a definite list, but the benefits mentioned above will take your iPhone experience to the next level.

Does an iPhone have a built-in VPN?

Shortly, 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 essential features, so unless your needs are minimal, they’re probably not the right way to go.

Therefore, we highly recommend you opt for a high-quality VPN instead that will keep you safe and private online. On top of that, a reliable virtual private network will make sure you bypass all the annoying geo-blocks in no time.

Yes, you’ll be getting a separate product instead of using one that’s already on your device, but the value you’ll get is worth the effort.

How to get a VPN on iPhone?

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.

Does VPN drain iPhone battery?

The good news is that a VPN won’t drain your iPhone battery more than other apps on your phone would.

On the other hand, if you don’t need a VPN to be always on, we highly recommend turning it off to make sure it’s not draining your battery in the background.

Actually, that’s something we would recommend you do with any apps you have on your iPhone if you want to make sure that your battery lasts as long as possible.

What is a VPN for iPhone?

Many iPhone users still think that their devices are unhackable and have no idea what a VPN for iPhone is. 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 fails to do.

Is VPN dangerous for iPhone?

The short answer is – no.

On the contrary, a VPN will help you stay more secure and private online. With its powerful features, such as a kill switch or split tunneling, you’ll be able to enjoy browsing, streaming, or torrenting with no worries.

When it comes to the free VPNs, you should judge them with a grain of salt as usually even if you’re not paying a single dollar, you’re sacrificing your privacy.

How to manually configure a VPN on your iPhone or iPad

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.

How to use a VPN on iPhone?

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

How to track VPN data usage on iPhone

To track your VPN data usage, you would first go to the Settings and then to the Mobile Data.

The bad news is that you can only see an overall usage. It is not possible to track how much data is used by your VPN alone. That is quite disappointing as you can track VPN data usage separately on Android devices.

The only exception is VPN updates. You will be able to see how much data is used when your VPN app is updated.

Bottom Line

Altogether, using a VPN on your iPhone a way to go if you care about staying secure and anonymous when using your device.

With a reliable virtual private network, an already secure iPhone device will be practically unbeatable. Moreover, you’ll expand your streaming options due to geo-unblocking capabilities that high-quality VPNs provide.

When choosing a VPN for your iPhone, consider how secure and fast the provider is, as well as whether it is a great tool to bypass the geo-blocks placed on the streaming platforms you’d like to enjoy.

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  1. Matt

    Only complaint I truly have with NordVPN is it tracks people. It’s App Store page makes it clear it uses identifiers to track users. They also refuse to remove the tracking even though ever other major VPN doesn’t track you. I won’t use ExpressVPN solely because they refuse to add an ad blocker to their VPN. ProtonVPN disconnects too frequently and their ad blocker doesn’t work half the time. It also is a crapshoot when it comes to working with streaming.

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne Author

      Hi again, Matt. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy that was audited by a third party. And as far as I know, the only information they have about you is your payment information and your email. 

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