Best VPN for iPhone

tl;dr

Below you’ll discover the top VPN services for iPhone users. You’ll learn about the importance of VPNs in securing your privacy, compare the features of the best VPN providers, and gain insights on installation and usage tips to enhance your iPhone’s security and internet freedom. We cover all the leading providers including CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, NordVPN and more.

The Apple iPhone is not just one of the most popular smartphones on the market right now, but it is the best too.

But there is still one myth about all iPhones that remains. That is the idea that iPhones are somehow totally secure and immune to hackers or malware.

An iOS device is certainly more secure than most Android devices, but they are far from immune, and if you want to keep your online data secure and private, a VPN service is the best option.

That’s why using a virtual private network is just as important on an iPhone as on any other iOS or any other system.

In a rush?

CyberGhost VPN is definitely the best iPhone VPN right now, but in this guide, we’ve compared and ranked 7 of the best to help you make a decision on which to choose.

The Top VPN for iPhone

Below you’ll find our top 7 choices for VPN apps for the iPhone/iPad and other iOS products.

We have tested them exhaustively and found without doubt that they’re all good suitable options for iOS, so you really can’t go wrong no matter which you choose.

1. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • Easy to use iOS app
  • Great for streaming
  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • Fast download speeds
  • No-log policy
  • Big range of servers
Cons
  • Unaudited no-log policy
  • Parent company owns ‘VPN review’ websites

If you are new to VPNs, then CyberGhost VPN is a great choice for an iPhone VPN service, especially for first-time VPN users.

Their iPhone VPN app is exceptional. From the layout we could tell the iPhone app has been designed specifically with novices in mind and is super-easy to use which is just one reason why they’re our top pick.

There are a number of settings that automatically optimise your VPN depending on whether you are planning to stream content, torrent files, or just want to stay secure and hide your online activity.

This ease of use doesn’t come at the expense of their core features either. In my testing I found CyberGhost VPN can easily unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and almost any other streaming service leaving me and the kids happy, especially when travelling.

CyberGhost VPN also offers a kill switch, strong encryption, reliable privacy protections and a decent network of servers. When we tried the app we found the dedicated server list extremely useful.

This is in comparison to other apps which make it a little more difficult to find the server you need.

There are more than 7,000 VPN servers spread across 91 different countries. My favourite part about this is we had no trouble finding the right VPN server for my needs.

Best of all, all you need to get the iOS app is to make a single short trip to the Apple App Store. There is even a huge 45-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to try before you buy and won’t feel nervous about signing up. There is great live chat support too.

This is the best VPN for iPhone because we particularly liked the ease of connection and the ability to click, connect and forget about the app, making it unintrusive the way a VPN app should be.

Our Number 1 Recommendation

45-day money back guarantee

2. ExpressVPN

Mock up of ExpressVPN on different devices

Pros
  • Super fast download speeds
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Easy to use app
  • Registered off-shore
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Expensive paying monthly
  • 5 concurrent connections limit

If your top priority is security and privacy, then ExpressVPN is the one for you. They too have an exceptional iPhone app, which is lightweight, simple to use and looks great.

ExpressVPN is a service based offshore, in the British Virgin Islands, this made us feel safer meaning it can offer a strict no-logs policy, unlimited bandwidth, privacy protections, and disguise user data thanks to the absence of data retention laws there.

ExpressVPN’s iPhone VPN app encryption appeared to be state-of-the-art upon examination and, unlike some providers, doesn’t impact on their connection speeds, which are second-to-none and ideal for streaming content. We found downloads to be effortless and didn’t suffer many bottlenecks.

With a server network that covers 160 locations in 94 different countries, ExpressVPN is also great for unblocking content and getting around censorship overseas too. Compared to many other providers there’s a lot on offer here.

It is great to unblock streaming sites, and we were able to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Apple TV, and just about every other popular streaming sites with ease.

After years of testing VPNs we know streaming can be the hit and miss feature of any product.

In our testing, we liked how their apps are uniform across every device, so whether you’re securing another iOS device like your Mac or iPad, or you’ve got other brands or a different mobile device, you’ll be able to get to grips with them all equally as fast.

On top of that, it has a kill switch to keep your mobile data safe, allows up to five simultaneous connections, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Like CyberGhost, you will find it in the Apple App Store, and we discover it to be cheapest when you take an annual subscription.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Good number of servers
  • Dedicated iPhone app
  • Registered off-shore
Cons
  • Fewer server locations
  • Historical security issue

For iPhone users on the lookout for a value-for-money VPN provider, look no further than NordVPN – one of the most reliable VPN providers around.

NordVPN’s prices are extremely competitive in comparison to ExpressVPN and others. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied. Just contact its customer support via live chat and request a refund.

NordVPN’s iOS app, which works on all iPhones and iPad’s is feature-rich and supports their new NordLynx VPN protocol based on Wireguard.

When we tried this we found it has a clean and simple design which makes it easy to connect with a single tap and we found this functionality really helpful on the move such as when using public transport.

It is also easy to take advantage of their many additional features, which include Double VPN connections, which reroutes web traffic through two servers for extra secure internet access, and VPN over Tor servers, which also sends your data down the Tor network, as well as the more regulation kill switch and DNS leak protection.

Again, we found this to be a top feature on public transport where connection stability can often be a little unreliable.

NordVPN also has a large server network, great speeds, and unlimited bandwidth, and when testing we found it can easily unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and similar services.

It even offers a dedicated IP Address, which means you don’t share your IP with others but have a dedicated IP just for your connection.

Its two-year plan offers the best deal with prices from around £2.50 a month and while it does offer fewer server locations than others, the lower price compensates.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish Deal

Pros
  • Good download speeds
  • Cheap prices
  • Free cloud storage
Cons
  • Registered in the USA
  • Not the fastest

If you like to link up your iPhone with other iOS devices then IPVanish VPN could be your best choice.

This VPN company offers a reasonable all-around service. IPVanish lets you connect an unlimited number of different devices to their network, meaning you can protect all your devices and those of your family too.

We found this great as it allowed us to install on our iPhone but also all the others we, and undoubtedly you will have lying around.

The service has a huge range of apps for almost every platform, and its dedicated iOS app is well-designed and another that we found easy to use on the move.

It comes with an automatic kill switch to protect you and your network data from exposure if the app malfunctions.

Overall a usable app and a decent service with good customer support available via live chat.

We’re a little disappointed that their secure network of servers is not great for streaming, so if you’re planning on unblocking Netflix or most other popular streaming sites, you’ll be mostly out of luck.

This was extremely frustrating for us when using the service and it could be a deciding factor for you if you require it.

5. VPN.ac

VPN.ac Website Jan 17

Pros
  • Very fast speeds
  • Run by security professionals
  • Registered in Romania
Cons
  • Fewer server locations
  • Short money back guarantee

A lot of VPNs like to use phrases like ‘military-grade’ to describe their encryption, but all too often, this is just PR at work. But with VPN.ac, you really can enjoy some of the strongest encryption around.

They use a 4096-bit RSA-key for handshaking, which is one of the highest available in the industry and when combined with their 256-bit AES-CBC encryption, have a claim to be one of the most secure VPN services around.

With ultra-secure server security, perfect for iPhone and iPad, and other devices. Other services often use reduced encryption so it’s one to be careful of.

And, if all else fails, there is always a kill switch to keep you safe. If you need a new IP Address, VPN.ac has you covered, and it is one VPN that offers genuine private internet access.

While our connection was pretty robust, the one or two times we did lose connection the VPN.ac worked exceptionally well and we were pleasantly surprised it cut the connection instantly.

This strong encryption protects your network connection, and it doesn’t mean a compromise on usability or connection speeds either. Compared to other VPN companies, VPN.ac has fewer servers, but the server locations it does offer are in all the high-demand places.

For us in the UK it was fine but if you’re further afield you’ll need to check out their server locations as it may not be suitable for you.

We found it has one of the simplest apps for iPhone and iPad, and VPN.ac’s speeds are some of the best we’ve seen. Our download speed report in our dedicated VPN.ac review shows top results.

In our tests, they performed as well as the bigger-named brands. It is quite simply one of the fastest VPN providers around.

The monthly package is not that expensive (US$9 per month) in comparison to other providers, but you’ll find bargains available on their one and two-year subscriptions.

6. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Very easy to use apps
  • Lots of server locations
  • Unblocks most streaming services
Cons
  • Monthly price expensive
  • Unaudited no-log policy

Surfshark VPN is a very competent and easy-to-use VPN, perfect for use with iPhone and iPad to access the internet securely.

It is based in the Netherlands, a reasonably privacy-friendly nation, and offers numerous privacy features, such as split tunneling, a kill switch, strong encryption and security protocols, whitelister, and a no logs policy.

We found that the split tunneling is particularly useful as it lets you choose which apps should be protected. When you enable split tunneling, you can protect key apps only.

We discovered this option to be ideal when we used it with our banking app which can sometimes throw up problems when using overseas connections.

Surfshark VPN is fast, which makes it perfect for unblocking streaming services and we had no issues watching  Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and others. It has a huge number of servers scattered throughout 65 server locations, with over 3,200 servers in total.

It can be used on all kinds of iOS devices. In our view, the iPad apps are terrific too because they mirror the iPhone version.

It has a great desktop version of the apps, too, as well as dedicated apps for iPhone, Mac, and Windows PCs.

It also stands out from other VPNs as it has excellent customer support and it offers unlimited simultaneous connections meaning you can protect all your devices and those in your household and felt like a relief that we weren’t limited.

7. VyprVPN

VyprVPN website

Pros
  • Fast download speeds
  • Audited no log policy
  • Straightforward apps
Cons
  • Server expansion stalled
  • Not the best for streaming

The last on our list is VyprVPN, which is also a great choice for an iPhone VPN, just pipping Private Internet Access to make it into our top 7.

Like others before it, it has the kill switch for preventing data leaks, it can easily hide your real IP address with its strong servers, and it offers protection for iPhone and iPad alike, among other devices and systems.

Its monthly price is reasonable, but the biggest savings are when you opt to sign up for a year. Our favourite development of the service is their easy to understand payment plans.

VyprVPN has a very easy-to-use iPhone app, which will keep your internet connection safe no matter where you are, even if you are using public Wi-Fi and when testing we had no trouble either at home, in the office or when travelling.

Thanks to its no logs policy, not even your own Internet Service Provider will be able to see what you are doing if you hide your IP address by connecting to one of its 700+ servers, located in over 70 regions.

Delving inside the app we unearthed plenty of features for advanced users too.

We had no issues using it to unblock streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime Video, where Private Internet Access can let you down.

If you ever have a problem with it, you can always contact its customer support via live chat, which is also what you do for its 30-day money-back guarantee, and get a refund.

How to choose a VPN for iPhone

Choosing an iOS VPN is a tough choice. There are a lot of iOS VPN services out there, and at first glance, they can all appear pretty similar.

But there are a few key features that iPhone fans can look out for to help them find the best iPhone VPN provider for their iPhone VPN services. These include:

  • Dedicated iOS apps – Most of the best iOS VPNs these days will offer a dedicated iOS app for iPhone’s and iPads. Some of these are better than others, so choose the best one for your needs.
  • Fast speeds – iPhone’s are fast, but poor iPhone VPN’s offer a slow VPN connection that can eat into these connection speeds. You need to choose a provider with the fastest possible connection speeds.
  • Strong encryption and privacy protection – The biggest benefit of iPhone VPNs is keeping your online data private and secure by sending it through a VPN connection. But some providers offer better protection than others with bonus features like split tunneling and kill switches, so make sure you only choose the best.
  • Consider your needs – The best iPhone VPN will depend on what exactly you use your iPhone for. For example, the best VPN for a high level of security is not always the best for unblocking streaming services like Netflix. Don’t choose one simply because it’s considered the ‘best’; drill down into exactly what you want to use it for. Streaming Netflix, for example, requires servers that are not blocked. You also won’t be able to stream Netflix if a VPN doesn’t have good speeds.

What iPhone VPN is right for you?

CyberGhost is our top overall pick for iPhone users to protect their internet traffic because we used it on our iPhone for several months and frankly almost forgot it was there it was so good.

But you may have a more specific need, so we’ve listed some of the most common best iPhone VPNs features below to help you make a choice.

If you want a long money-back guarantee to let you try before you buy, then CyberGhost VPN is the best choice, thanks to their huge 45-day money-back guarantee.

Alternatively, if you want the VPN that offers the best overall value for money, then NordVPN is the right choice for you. In our tests, it proved to be the most cost effective as well as having one of the best iPhone VPN app features.

If you want strong encryption to keep your data secure on the move and on public Wi-Fi networks, then VPN.ac or ExpressVPN are the right picks for you. All of the mentioned services can help you reach online freedom, hide your own IP addresses, stream foreign Netflix, and more.

But if a large network is what you need, then again CyberGhost wins hands down as it covers over 90 countries. It’s also great for accessing geo-restricted content.

If, on the other hand, you have multiple Apple devices and want to protect them all, or even protect your family’s devices too, then you need unlimited simultaneous connections.

Surfshark or IPVanish’s offers of unlimited simultaneous connections with every account and are the best VPNs for iPhone users that need unlimited connections.

Do I need a VPN for iPhone?

Put simply, the answer to this question is yes.

It is a myth that iPhones are immune to hackers and malware. Any Apple device that connects to the internet is vulnerable, and while iOS machines are more secure than most, you are by no means immune from attack.

There are other security benefits from having a VPN on your iPhone too. Connecting to VPN protocols can hide IP Addresses to help maintain privacy. If you ever connect to public Wi-Fi networks in places like airports, trains, or café, you will want a VPN to keep all your data safe.

Even the European law agency, Europol warn against the risks of using public Wi-Fi and using a VPN is their top tip to combat it.

If you want to unblock Netflix or other streaming services on the go, you will need top use the best iPhone VPN apps.

Likewise, if you want to watch British TV overseas on your iPhone, in our tests we found that a VPN is essential for you, too, as Netflix is not the only one that limits your ability to access its content.

Perhaps you travel to countries where online content is censored or restricted. With a VPN, you will still be able to adjust your iPhone settings and enable you to access everything and unblock geo-restricted content anywhere.

Is the iPhone VPN suitable for Mac?

If you own multiple iOS gadgets, such as an iPhone and a Mac, you can certainly use most VPNs on both devices. Most will offer specific apps for iOS and macOS devices and we factored this into our tests on all the above reputable VPN service providers.

The same features will be present on both devices, although, with some VPNs for iPhone, the look of the app might be a bit different on a Mac.

Most VPNs also allow you to use multiple simultaneous connections so you can protect both devices at the same time.

Are free VPNs for iOS unsafe?

We get asked a lot about the best free VPN for iPhone. The truth is that almost all free iPhone VPNs should be considered unsafe.

While free VPN services are easy to use, a free iPhone VPN is not earning money from you, so they must cover costs and generate profits in other ways.

A free VPN service will do this by collecting and selling user data to advertisers, the government, or others who would be willing to pay for it. Data is an easy resource for a free VPN to exploit.

Some free VPN providers will also contain malware and other security vulnerabilities. Many free VPN options don’t even bother to encrypt your data at all or offer limited free servers which get busy.

There is no such thing as a secure free VPN.

When you search for VPN in the app store, you will find lots of free iPhone VPN apps available. Avoid most of these like the plague. They are not worth the hassle when great premium providers like the ones above cost just a few pounds a month.

If you really can’t afford a proper premium VPN, try Proton VPN. Proton VPN has a reputable free version of a premium VPN service.

Although the Proton VPN free version is extremely limited, it will offer you the core security and privacy features you need. It is the best free VPN.

How can I install a VPN on my iPhone?

iOS devices do not come with a built-in VPN in their operating system. Fortunately, installing a VPN on your iPhone is straightforward (these days, there is no need to manually configure it), and all Apple users need to do is follow a few short steps:

  1. Choose a VPN you wish to use. We recommend CyberGhost.
  2. Go to its website and sign up.
  3. Enter your email address, choose a payment plan, and enter your payment information.
  4. Go to Apple’s App Store and search for the VPN app there.
  5. Download the VPN app on your device.
  6. After the app installation ends, log into it with your email and a password provided by the VPN.
  7. Once inside, find a server network and connect to any of the multiple servers, and you’re done.

Is using an iPhone VPN illegal?

If you are worried about breaking the law by using Virtual Private Networks, you can rest easy – VPNs are entirely legal to use in most parts of the world.

There are some areas where their use may be problematic, such as China and Russia, but for the most part, you won’t have any problems.

VPNs are privacy apps, and you have a right to privacy, which means that you can use any tool to protect yourself. To do this, you need to choose a private VPN like the ones we have recommended.

In that regard, using the best VPNs is no different than setting up a password manager or using an antivirus to protect your device.

The anonymity and privacy protection do concern some countries, as mentioned, but even there, VPN use is not 100% illegal.

However, it is in a legal grey area, especially if you are using it to access blocked websites etc, so you should be cautious if you plan to travel there and ideally get your iPhone VPN options set up in advance.

You most likely can, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Generally speaking, the safest way to get iPhone VPNs is from the app store or from its website.

There are risks if you try to get it from elsewhere. You never know who might be behind the app found in less trustworthy locations or what they did to it.

You could easily download a VPN that appears to be working fine, but in the background, your device may have just been infected by malware.

Learn More

Wandera says “As the majority of these app stores don’t enforce rigorous security vetting of the apps they offer, this can make any device on which they have been installed particularly vulnerable to threats.” (Source)

The number of different malicious threats and their functionalities is too vast to list. Still, each and every one of them is extremely dangerous for your privacy and online security, so it is best not to take any chances.

They do, but not more than most other apps, and certainly not enough for that to be an actual reason against using one.

Learn More

According to TechPenny, VPNs should not drain more than 10%-15% of your battery while they are enabled. (Source)

This is because they have to encrypt all of your data travelling between your device and the VPN server. They will use a bit of your battery power, but you are unlikely to notice any significant effect on battery usage.

ExpressVPN itself stressed that there is no difference between using a VPN app and any other app when it comes to its impact on your battery. The effect is normal and our own tests back up their claims.

Simply turn off the VPN when you don’t need it so that it wouldn’t run in your phone’s background, and you should be fine with no VPN slow connection issues.

From our research for our Best VPN for China article, we suggest Surfshark.

It is one of the only VPN services on this list that works consistently inside China, unblocks censored content, protects against DNS leaks, and hides IP Addresses.

However, if you wish to use this VPN in China, you need to be careful about how you approach the task. For example, you should get it for your phone before you travel there, as you won’t be able to find it in the app store once you are there.

China is known for its censorship, surveillance, and other intrusive methods. As such, it doesn’t want its people to be able to protect themselves. This is why it is blocking many of the best VPNs, and Surfshark  is definitely at the top of the country’s target list.

Download apps before you travel to China, and you should be able to get your VPN connection set up there.

In Summary

Don’t fall for the myth that iPhone’s are secure. You should still be using a VPN, especially if you are connecting to public Wi-Fi networks while you are using your iPhone out and about.

In our tests, it was clear that CyberGhost VPN is the clear overall winner among best iPhone VPNs and we really enjoy its easy of use, fast connections speeds and its uniform look to the other editions of the app.

In our experience we found it straightforward to use and can be enabled and forgotten about while enjoying safe internet access, which is one of the most sought after features of a mobile VPN solution.

Avoid free VPNs at all costs. As we have explained, free VPNs are a security risk and rarely deliver the services they promise. Choose any of our recommended VPNs over free VPNs in the app store if you can possibly afford to.

But regardless of which provider you choose, be sure to use a VPN whenever you are using your iPhone if you truly want your data to remain private and secure or for unlocking more content.

 

Ready to get a VPN? Try our recommended VPN service provider

  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Best VPN for iPhone

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Illustrations (c) Jesada2u | Dreamstime.com

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 7 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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