As highly praised as Apple is for its vigilance against the government’s intrusive attempts to surveil iOS devices, the only way iPhone and iPad users can get true privacy is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Not only does an iOS VPN ensure digital privacy by preventing authorities and your internet service provider (ISP) from tracking you, it can also improve security on public WiFi, and help you access websites blocked in your location.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best VPN apps to use if you’re an iOS user – and yes, all these VPN apps work on both iPhone and iPad.
How do we decide on the best VPNs if you’re using iOS?
There are literally hundreds of providers on the market, and not everyone is safe. Some have poor privacy policies that allow them to harvest user data. Others have concerning apps with invasive permissions.
Even when the VPNs are secure, they do not always have apps that run well on iPhones and iPads. Apple’s iOS is generally under-represented when it comes to VPN apps, which means that finding a good one can be tricky.
When we search for the best VPNs to use, we take a number of important factors into consideration:
- The logging policies of the company. No logs make sure your data stays private.
- Connection speeds. A fast VPN is needed for things like streaming.
- Server locations. Quality servers in key locations are essential for unblocking.
- Security features. Quality encryption, DNS leak protection & Kill switches to keep you anonymous.
- Ease of use. Of course, the app needs to be slick, fast and well built.
- Compatibility with different versions of iOS. Ability to use on older iPhones and iPads.
- Money-back guarantee length. Let’s you try before fully committing.
- Simultaneous connections. Allows you to share and protect all your iOS devices.
All the services in this guide have been selected because they perform excellently in every important category mentioned. And, if you have specific needs, you can use the individual summaries below, or our reviews, to find out exactly how each VPN fared in each of these categories.
So without further ado, let’s find out which is the best VPN to use on iOS.
The best VPN for iPhone and iPad
All the services below have been picked out by our experts. These are, by far, the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad. Read on to find out why!
ExpressVPN is an outstanding VPN that has been around for a long time and has proven its reliability. Its iOS VPN software is easy to use and provides all the necessary privacy features to keep your data secure from hackers and your ISP. A killswitch is available and the VPN implements strong VPNOnlineFree encryption. Servers are located in 94 countries, which means you can unblock an endless list of online services and websites from around the world.
Customer support in 24/7 live chat and its agents are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. ExpressVPN also lets users install the VPN software on upto 5 simultaneous devices, which is extremely generous. And, anybody can test this VPN on an iPhone thanks to its no questions asked the 30-day money-back guarantee. Finally, it unblocks Netflix and iPlayer – which makes it perfect for users who want to stream. And because this VPN is lightning fast, you are assured of HD quality.
CyberGhostVPN is a VPN provider based in Romania that has a superb no logs policy, outstanding security settings, and strong VPNOnlineFree encryption. CyberGhost lets you access any online content without being tracked – both at home and on public WiFi.
The iOS VPN app is super easy to use. And, this VPN is priced amazingly – making it perfect for iOS users on any budget. We love that this VPN provides a 45-day money-back guarantee, has servers in over 90 countries, offers great customer support and provides access to popular services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. It also lets subscribers use it on 7 devices simultaneously. Well worth a trial run!
Private Internet Access VPN is a service based in the USA that is seriously impressive. This VPN has apps for all platforms, and you are permitted to use it on up to 10-simultaneous devices. That means you can use it on your iPhone, iPad, macbook, or on Android or Windows PCs. This makes the VPN perfect for families. With PIA, you get a lot of customization and can set up the VPN up exactly as you wish. All of its settings are highly secure which means your data will be secure both at home and on public WiFi.
PIA has servers in over 30 countries and this VPN unblocks Netflix and iPlayer. We find this VPN to be hugely impressive because it is very cheap. It even has 24/7 live chat and a money back guarantee to let you test it risk free.
SurfShark VPN is a relatively new provider that has been making waves across the VPN industry. The VPN is both cheap and reliable, making it a good option for those who don’t have much to spend. The iOS app is available on the app store and it is extremely easy to use. It also provides access to sought after services like Netflix and Hulu – which is great. With Surfshark you get servers in over 60 countries – meaning that you can pretend to be where you like. And this VPN is pretty fast – which makes it great for streaming, video conferencing with privacy, or gaming.
We love Surfshark because it is great for getting privacy both at home and on public WiFi. And you can test it thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee.
VyprVPN is one of our favorite VPNs for iPhone. The company owns and operates all of its own hardware, which takes away a lot of concerns about speeds and reliability on the network. There’s also an optional VyprDNS service, which is great news for those looking to unblock Netflix, YouTube, and similar services on their iOS device.
VyprVPN also has an app for Tomato routers, which allows you to easily get all of your Apple devices covered by one VPN subscription. Only want your iPhone connecting to the VPN? No problem! VyprVPN’s router app allows you to easily manage individual device settings. Try out VyprVPN for iPhone using the link below!
IPVanish is a US-based service that makes it onto our list due to its excellent proprietary server network. This allows it to provide excellent speeds for streaming. Being based in the US is not ideal for a privacy service, however, IPVanish makes sure to never keep any logs – which means it never has any data to hand over to the authorities if it is approached.
IPVanish VPN also provides strong VPNOnlineFree encryption to ensure you never leak your web browsing habits to your ISP. IPVanish is easy to use and the iPhone VPN software is excellent. With servers in over 60 countries – you will always have plenty of choices for unblocking. And, this provider unblocks Netflix US (but not iPlayer). You can test it thanks to its 7-day money-back guarantee, and this VPN permits a whopping 10 simultaneous connections!
PrivateVPN is a service that is often praised by consumers. It gets glowing reports due to its ease of use, amazing unblocking capabilities, and fantastic customer service. True to its name, this Swedish VPN provides a zero-logs policy. And because it provides strong military grade encryption – it will keep your data secure both at home and on public WiFi. PrivateVPN is awesome for unblocking more content. It has servers in 60 countries, and it provides access to geo-restricted services such as iPlayer, RTE, and Netflix (it unblocks more Netflix catalogs than any other VPN).
While it isn’t the fastest VPN in the world, this VPN is very fast – and it never has any trouble unblocking HD streams. We love this VPN and are sure you will too. For this reason, we recommend trialing it with its 30-day money back guarantee. Plus you can use it on upto 5 devices, meaning that it is ideal for protecting all your devices – not just your iPhone.
Ivacy is a VPN that is beginning to make huge waves due to its superb iOS app. While it isn’t top of th list, it is often praised by many iPhone VPN customers. Ivacy VPN is cheap and has apps for all platforms. It has a zero logs policy, excellent security features, and servers in over 100 locations around the world.
That is a huge amount of choice and means you can unblock anything you wish. On iOS, it also provides strong IKEv2 encryption to keep your data private from your ISP and the government. This VPN provides access to US Netflix, and while it isn’t the fastest VPN in the world, it is quick enough to stream in HD. You can test it thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
From the people who developed ProtonMail, ProtonVPN is a no-logs Swiss VPN service that has a strong focus on privacy. It also has an excellent 100% free tier that’s more than good enough for many VPN users’ needs.
The newly-released iOS app uses the IKEv2 protocol by default, but also offers VPNOnlineFree. An iOS widget is available, and the app provides full access to ProtonVPN’s Secure Core (double hop) VPN servers.
All of ProtonVPN’s apps are open source, and you can connect up to a generous 10 devices at once (plan dependant).
This no-logs VPN service is perhaps best known for its very generous free plan which gives you 10GB data allowance per month (if you register, 2 GB if you don’t). The Pro plan has no data limits and gives you access to servers in 63 countries.
The Windscribe iOS app uses IKRv2 and includes a firewall kill switch (uncommon in iPhone VPN apps) and offers to auto-connect on new WiFi networks. As with its other app, you can connect to “Windflix” servers that unblock Netflix catalogs in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.
What is a VPN on iOS?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a versatile program that conceals your location and encrypts your web traffic inside a secure VPN tunnel.
A VPN gives you much more online freedom on your phone. It does this by permitting you to pretend to be a different country. As soon as you connect to a foreign server – you can access websites currently blocked in your location. Plus, a VPN gives you peace of mind by protecting your data from hackers and government snoops.
This is a very brief overview of what a VPN is, but you can find out more information in our what is a VPN? guide.
What can you do with a VPN for iPad and iPhone?
By using a VPN, iPhone and iPad users can:
For more information, check out our guide to streaming US Netflix on your iPhone.
Still not convinced? We recommend checking out our Do I need an iPhone VPN? guide to find other ways that you could benefit.
Can you get a free VPN for iPhone?
Although there are some free VPNs on the market that you can trust, but it is important to know their limitations. It is also important to understand why it is vital to stay away from many free options for iPhone.
Many free VPNs on the app store are too slow or limited in the data they offer, which makes anything outside of day-to-day browsing a struggle. What’s worse is that some services will even collect data on you to sell to third parties. This is the exact opposite of what a VPN program should be doing!
Still want a free iOS VPN? We recommend Windscribe (free option)
Windscribe’s free option is a great choice if you’re not looking to part with your cash. Not only does it offer the same great security that you get on the paid version, but it also gives users a 10GB data allowance each month. This might not be enough to stream a lot of HD content, but it’s more than enough for browsing.
Want more choice? Visit our free VPNs for iOS guide for some other solid recommendations.
Top-tip: Get ExpressVPN for Free!
Did you know you can experience ExpressVPN’s fully paid service without limitations… for free! What a deal!
If you’re finding free services too restrictive, why not test ExpressVPN premium service? Simply purchase a subscription using the button below and take advantage of the no-nonsense money-back-guarantee. Enjoy ExpressVPN for up to 30-days, and when you cancel, you will receive a complete refund!
Visit ExpressVPN >>
When should I be using a VPN?
iOS devices have an excellent reputation for security. However, when it comes to hacking on public WiFi – or tracking performed by ISPs and local network admins – Apple’s phones are just as vulnerable. If you often connect to public WiFi hotspots with your iPhone – it is important to use VPN software.
Without one, you could fall victim to “evil twin” hotspots set up by hackers. You could also have your data, logins, or debit card details stolen due to mis-configured WiFi hotspots. A VPN is the only way to protect yourself against WiFi hacking – so always switch it on.
If you have never used a VPN before, we recommend that you learn a bit more by reading our useful guides:
Still got questions? We cover some of the common queries we get asked by iOS users.
Yes, you can set up a VPN on iPad the same way as on iPhone. Older generations may not work perfectly, but recent models should all work seamlessly. If you want to know how to use VPN on iPad, simply follow the walkthrough in our setting up a VPN on iPhone guide, the process is identical.
In most countries, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN on your iPhone. Some countries such as Russia, Iran, China, Egypt, and North Korea do have some prohibition around the technology. So caution is advised if you live in a country with a totalitarian government. However, on the whole, it is the act of unblocking restricted website content (and not VPN use) that is illegal in those countries. For more information, check out our are VPNs illegal? Guide.
All apps drain your battery faster when they are running, and a VPN is no different. However, VPNs are not a particularly battery-hungry app and should not cause your battery to drain at alarming levels.
If you share your iPhone’s internet connection by tethering it to a laptop or another device, that device will be protected by your VPN connection. This is an easy way to secure a secondary device without having to install the VPN software directly onto that machine. However, all the providers we recommend in our guide offer simultaneous connections.
No. All reputable VPNs for iOS publish their apps via the app store, and this is by far the best way to get the apps. If you jailbreak your iPhone, you may be able to get the VPN app from a random app repository. However, this could open you up to the possibility of downloading an unofficial version that has been infected with malware. We recommend always downloading the official VPN app from the iOS app store.
Now that you have all the information you need about VPN apps on iOS, let’s review our top picks:
– A standout service, great features and superb speeds keeps users coming back
– The iOS app is not just a dream to use, but also secure
Private Internet Access
– The iOS app is great, but what is better is the 10 simultaneous connections
– Slick, powerful and all at a competitive price point – everything you want in a VPN
– You get a whole lot packed into the VyprVPN app, it’s worth checking out
– Boasts superb iOS compatibility and offers several superfast servers
– A popular VPN for iPhone users that provider with no logs
– A great service, a great app and a great price point – what more could you want
– The perfect choice is privacy is at the top of your wishlist
– A great free or paid service for iPhone and iPad users