To kick off 2016, make sure to add “Internet privacy” and “better online health” to the never ending list of your New Year’s resolutions. And what better way of achieving those things than by implementing a VPN into your daily browsing habit. When talking about VPN use, most people immediately associate with their desktop and completely overlook their mobile devices.
Over the last couple of years, smartphones have gotten so powerful that it has become very easy to manage most of our online presence without getting near a desktop. From updating our Facebook statuses, sending work emails and online banking, we do more and more on our phones every day. For that reason, it’s important to take precaution to secure your connection and protect your online identity.
In this short piece, I will discuss my top three VPN solutions for the iPhone and outline their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to help you make your own choice when it comes to selecting a provider.
As a side note – I’ve been personally testing the following software on an iPhone 6S.
Ok, let’s dive into it.
Best VPN for iPhone 2016
On top of being one of the best VPN solutions for Mac, IPVanish also takes the cake when it comes to using a VPN on your iPhone. Not only is it the most feature-packed solution out of the three listed here, it’s also the fastest.
The interface itself is nothing special, but the iOS app is quite intuitive. After launching IPVanish for the first time and installing the necessary configuration profile, the app is ready to use.
If you’re new to VPNs, then you can quickly secure your connection by flipping the switch, which will automatically connect you to the fastest available server. If you’re looking for a geographically specific IP then you will likely find the country you’re looking for in the server list. Despite offering a vast selection of server locations, my only gripe with IPVanish is that it doesn’t provide a quick overview of the connection quality – something that VyprVPN does by displaying the ping.
For more advanced users, there are a number of further configurable options under the settings menu.
Here you will find connectivity preferences and the ability to chose between IKEv2 and IPSec encryption protocols. As far as connectivity preferences go – IPVanish has an “always on” mode, as well as manual setup for auto-connect based on specific SSIDs and domains – an option that other providers lack.
As you can tell, IPVanish offers a very competitive mobile platform and to further sweeten the deal, IPVanish is also the cheapest VPN solution listed here. If you’re just looking to try IPVanish for a month it’ll cost you US$10 (approx £6.86), and if you’re ready to commit for a full year you’re looking at $6.49 (approx £4.45) monthly.
The VyprVPN app offers the best graphical interface out of the three VPN solutions listed here. As far as connection speeds go, Vypr doesn’t lag too far behind IPVanish; personally, I’ve found the differences in download speeds to be negligible.
My favourite aspect of using Vypr on iOS is the fact that it allows me to quickly judge the quality of the server before connecting. As you can see from the screenshot below, each server has a ping value listed next to it, making it easy to pick the fastest one. That said, VyprVPN also offers a one-click solution which will connect you to the fastest available server without the need to manually search. For more advanced users, Vypr allows you to “star” your most used locations to add them to “favourites” for quick access in the future.
Outside of selecting a region there aren’t any other user configurable options, but the offering is more than sufficient for a casual user looking to secure their online presence. As far as pricing goes, Vypr is only slightly more expensive than IPVanish with the basic package running US$9.99 (approx £6.85) in a month-to-month plan, or $6.67/month (approx £4.57) if you sign up for a whole year.
In my few weeks of testing these apps, ExpressVPN stood out the least. While it gets the job done in terms of encrypting your internet connection, there isn’t too much to be said about it outside of that. There are no user configurable options, and everything is handled under the hood.
Similarly to VyprVPN, Express allows you to browse available servers and add them to your favourites. One thing that ExpressVPN does that other providers do not, is offer a map with all of the available servers marked. Although not a necessary feature, it’s certainly an interesting approach.
Compared to both IPVanish and VyprVPN, ExpressVPN came up short on connection speeds – even when testing on the fastest server. On top of that, ExpressVPN is also the most expensive provider out of the three listed here.
A single month of ExpressVPN will run you US$12.95 (approx £8.89), or if you jump aboard for a whole year expect to spend about $8.32 (approx £5.71) monthly. The bright side here is that if you’re unhappy with the service, or simply experience buyer’s remorse, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
Listed here are just three of the many available VPN providers out there, and although there are many other options – I hope this quick overview got you thinking about investing in your online health.
To wrap-up, all of the listed VPN providers do a great job of encrypting your connection, some just offer a bit more than others. In my opinion, between the low price and the great configurability, IPVanish has the most tempting offering.
That said, it all boils down to preference, so pick a provider and give them a shot.