A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must-have for any iPhone and iPad users because it’s especially useful for protecting users on the go. The best VPNs for iPhones and iPad encrypt all the traffic traveling to and from your device so that snoopers can’t access it. This protects your privacy from your internet service provider, network administrators, and government agencies. It also keeps you safe when connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots by protecting you from hackers.
VPNs are great for other tasks too. You can use one to unblock geo-restricted streaming services from abroad. By connecting to a VPN server where you need it, you get an IP address in that location. For example, you can connect to an IP address in your home country while traveling abroad, allowing you to access all your home content and streaming libraries while on vacation.
Later, we get into plenty of detail about each of the VPNs on this list. However, if you are in a hurry, here is a summary of our top picks for iPhone and iPad VPNs.
Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS:
- NordVPN: Our top recommendation for iPhones and iOS users. A solid all-rounder with intuitive apps, NordVPN has a large server network and a large suite of security features. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Our top budget pick. Unlimited connections and high speeds. Great for unblocking and has intuitive apps for all operating systems.
- ExpressVPN: High-speed servers for streaming, downloading, and circumventing geo-restriction measures. Best-in-class security and privacy for iPhone and iPad users.
- CyberGhost: A great budget iPhone VPN that doesn’t compromise on performance. CyberGhost is fast and secure, plus offers easy-to-use apps.
- IPVanish: Boasts high privacy and security standards and has solid speeds for streaming. ideal for iPhone and iOS users.
- PrivateVPN: A small but powerful VPN that has strong security features and easily unblocks streaming sites. allows up to 10 connections.
- Atlas VPN: Beginner-friendly option with generous unlimited connection allowance. Fast with unlimited bandwidth and extra secure MultiHop servers.
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The best VPNs for iPhone
Not sure how to choose a VPN? We curated our list of the best VPNs for iPhone, or any iOS device, based on the following key criteria:
- Easy-to-use iOS application available in the App Store
- Fast speeds
- Works with streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC, and Amazon Prime Video
- Strong security features
- Doesn’t keep logs of user activity
Later in this guide, we will provide additional information about how we test and recommend VPNs for iOS. For now, let’s take a closer look at the ones that made our list.
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for iPhones and iOS devices:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our number one recommended VPN for iPhones and iOS devices. The mobile app is fast and reliable and works with iOS 9 or higher. It has a huge network of servers to choose from (more than 5,500 in around 60 countries). It’s excellent at accessing streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu and works well in China.
NordVPN employs 256-bit encryption with perfect forward secrecy. The iOS and desktop apps include a kill switch. Leak protection is built in to help protect your data, and security extras include automatic wifi protection and a double VPN option. NordVPN never keeps any traffic or connection logs, and the company accepts payment via bitcoin.
You can connect up to six devices simultaneously, and additional apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. NordVPN works with some routers too.
- Excellent option for iOS 9 or higher
- Wide global network of fast, reliable servers
- Offers secure, encrypted connections at all times
- Doesn’t keep logs
- Easily unblocks a wide range of geo-restricted sites
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Desktop apps can be sluggish
BEST VPN FOR IPHONE:NordVPN is our #1 recommendation it offers a secure, fast, and reliable service. Its iPhone app is intuitive and can help you browse privately and unblock streaming media with ease. Plus, you can try it out risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a great budget choice for an iPhone VPN. Its easy-to-use app works with iOS 9 or above, enabling you to browse securely and access your favorite streaming sites. Surfshark works to access multiple Netflix libraries, as well as Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. It’s extremely fast and has around 3,200 servers in around 100 countries.
Surfshark keeps no traffic or connection logs and secures your data with 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and a kill switch. You also get automatic wifi protection and split tunneling, among other features. Surfshark accepts bitcoin, which is helpful for signing up as anonymously as possible. Plus, it allows you to connect unlimited devices with one account.
Desktop clients are available for Linux, macOS, and Windows, and there’s a mobile app for Android.
- Servers in around 100 countries
- Beginner-friendly iOS app for iOS 9 or above
- Unblocks lots of streaming sites
- Unlimited connections
- Very fast, reliable service
- Customer support could be refined
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark’s user-friendly apps are adept at accessing geo-restricted sites. Connections are reliable and secure. Allows unlimited simultaneous connections. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN’s app will run on iOS 8 and newer and is very easy to set up on your iPhone. This provider operates more than 3,000 high-speed servers in 94 countries, so you have a huge choice when it comes to spoofing your location. ExpressVPN is known for its superb accessibility and can help you access Netflix US and UK, Amazon Prime Video US and UK, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and lots more.
It even works in China and other countries where the government attempts to block VPNs. If you’re concerned about privacy and security, ExpressVPN has you covered. It employs military-grade encryption with perfect forward secrecy and protects against leaks. No user-identifying logs are kept, and you have the option to pay with bitcoin for added anonymity.
Aside from iOS, you can download apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android. Plus, ExpressVPN can be configured with some home routers. You can connect up to five devices to the VPN at a time. Perfect for connecting your iPhone and any other iOS devices you may have.
- Fantastic speeds for downloading and streaming
- Doesn’t log any data that can identify you
- Hard to beat on privacy and security
- Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and many other sites
- 24/7 live chat support
- Not the cheapest option on this list
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
FAST AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is a solid choice. It has a solid iOS app, and all servers are optimized for high-speed connections. It easily accesses Netflix and most popular streaming sites and prioritizes privacy and security. There’s even a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost makes a sleek, user-friendly iOS app (for iOS 9.3 or higher) that allows you to choose a server based on your needs. For example, the app will automatically select the best server for streaming Netflix or P2P filesharing, taking out the guesswork that comes with many other VPNs. It can also access BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, among other streaming channels. CyberGhost has ramped up expansion and now boasts more than 9,000 servers in around 90 countries.
Every connection is protected by 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an optional kill switch that halts all internet traffic should the VPN connection drop. This provider keeps no logs of your activity while connected.
Apps are also available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android. You can manually configure the VPN with select routers. CyberGhost has a seven-connection limit and offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
- Runs on devices with iOS 9.3 and higher
- Doesn’t compromise on security and privacy
- Minimal configuration required
- Impressive streaming and downloading speeds
- Unblocks a host of geo-restricted content
- Doesn’t reliably work in China or UAE
- More suited to beginners than power users
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost is easy to use and a great choice for new users. It’s a private, secure VPN and streams HD video reliably. Has strong security and privacy protocols. Plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review .
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has apps for most major operating systems, including iOS (10 or above). It’s a fast service that’s popular with torrenters and Kodi users. IPVanish has a smaller network than others on the list (around 2,000 in over 60 countries), but unlike other providers, it does own its servers, which is good for privacy and performance. This service doesn’t work with every streaming platform, but it does access Netflix US and several other popular sites.
This is a no-logs VPN service that utilizes military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and leak protection.
Other apps are available for Windows, macOS, and Android, and the VPN can be manually configured with select routers. IPVanish is generous with its device limit and allows unlimited connections, so you can use it across all your iOS devices.
- App for iOS 10 or later
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Works well with Kodi devices
- Allows unlimited connections
- Doesn’t work in China
- Based in the US
UNLIMITED DEVICES:IPVanish has a speedy network of servers and handles unlimited connections. It’s secure, and private and offers beginner-friendly apps. Subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN offers a minimal yet highly functional app for iPhones running iOS 10 or above. The app provides the option of OpenVPN UDP or TCP, IKEv2, or the IPSec protocol.
The VPN has a relatively small network of just over 200 servers in 63 countries but is very powerful when it comes to accessing geo-restricted content. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer pose no issues, and the same goes for most other streaming services we’ve tested.
PrivateVPN doesn’t maintain any logs of user data. Its security features include military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and protection against leaks. PrivateVPN accepts payment via bitcoin for an added layer of anonymity.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, and Android, and up to ten simultaneous connections are permitted.
- Intuitive app for iOS 10 or above
- Fast speeds for streaming
- Six-device limit
- Small network of servers
- Live support isn’t around the clock
PRIVACY-FOCUSED:PrivateVPN has great speeds and it’s excellent at unblocking. It boasts solid security and privacy features and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Atlas VPN is a relatively new provider with servers across several dozen locations. Having averaged 247 Mbps in our latest tests, it makes our list of the fastest VPNs. Needless to say, it’s, therefore, a great choice for streaming and online gaming, particularly when you consider there’s no bandwidth throttling. Atlas VPN is also highly consistent at accessing restricted content, including streaming services such as Netflix.
The iOS app of Atlas VPN couldn’t be easier to use with a quick connect button and access to live chat and email support around the clock. You can use these apps to connect all of your devices at the same time. Atlas VPN makes for a more secure browsing experience. Not only is it a no-logs VPN, but it also uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. It even has MultiHop servers, an ad tracker, and a malware blocker.
You’ll be able to find Atlas VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. However, routers are not supported as yet, and there also aren’t any browser extensions.
- Very fast speeds for non-stop streaming in HD and even 4K
- Works with popular streaming services, Netflix included
- Connect all of your devices at the same time
- Smaller network of just over 750 servers
- Doesn’t support routers and no browser extensions offered
BEGINNER_FRIENDLY:Atlas VPN is easy to use and lets you secure as many devices as you like at once. Very good speeds with strong unblocking of streaming services. No-logs service with MultiHop servers and live chat support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Atlas VPN review.
Best VPNs for iPhone: testing methodology
Comparitech aims to provide the most comprehensive and accurate VPN reviews on the web. To do so, we evaluate each VPN based on performance tests, expert analysis, and real-world experience. When it comes to an iPhone VPN, we particularly looked for:
- Security: We assess the VPN’s encryption scheme and test it for data leaks.
- Speed: We test connection speeds to servers around the world on every VPN we recommend.
- Unblocking: We’ve run more than 3,000 real-world tests this year alone to find out which VPNs can unblock which region-locked streaming services.
- Bypassing censorship: We check whether the VPN can bypass web censorship in places like China.
We additionally assess each VPN’s customer service, app design, and feature set, among other factors. Read more about how Comparitech tests VPNs on our methodology page.
How to set up a VPN on iPhone
If your chosen VPN provider has a native iOS app (as those on our list above do), setting up a VPN on your iPhone is simple. Just follow these steps.
Here’s how to set up a VPN on iPhone (or any iOS device):
- Select a provider from the list and subscribe (we recommend NordVPN).
- Make a note of your login credentials.
- Go to the App Store and search for your VPN provider’s name. Once you find the app, download and install it.
- Log in to the app using your new credentials.
- Choose the location or server you want to connect to (most apps show these in a dropdown list) and connect. Note that the first time you connect to a VPN server, you may see a popup asking you to allow the VPN to change your configurations. Click Allow.
That’s it. You can now browse, stream, and download completely protected.
How to manually configure a VPN on iPhone
If your VPN service doesn’t come with an iOS app, there’s a VPN tool built into iOS that enables you to manually connect to your chosen VPN server. It’s fairly straightforward to set up, but you will need the following information before you begin:
- The protocol you’ll be using
- The VPN server address
- Your username and password
- If a certificate or shared secret is required, you will need to get this from your VPN provider
Once you have the required information, consult your VPN provider’s website for a setup tutorial or follow these general instructions to manually configure a VPN on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings > General > VPN.
- Select Add VPN Configuration…
- Hit Type and select your protocol. IKEv2 is preferable and offers a good balance between speed and security, but be sure to choose one that your VPN provider supports.
- Then select Back, and in the Add Configuration screen, complete the Description, Server, and Remote ID fields.
- Enter your login information (your username and password). Some VPNs will require you to use a certificate, in which case you can select User Authentication > Certificate, then hit Back and add your certificate.
- Select Done, and you’ll return to the VPN screen.
- Switch the Status toggle to the on (green) position.
Note that manually setting up an iPhone VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and replace your IP address, but you won’t get many of the other useful features found in VPN apps, such as kill switches, leak protection, and automatic wifi protection. In addition, you have to set up each server separately, so you can’t simply switch between thousands of servers as you can in a VPN app.
Connecting multiple iOS devices to the VPN
Are you an Apple fiend? No problem! All of the iOS VPNs we recommended above allow for multiple simultaneous connections, so you can connect your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and any other supported device to the VPN at the same time. This is also useful if you share your VPN subscription with family members or roommates.
If that’s not enough for you, you might consider configuring the VPN connection to your wifi router. A router only counts as one device, and you can connect as many devices to it as you need and route them through the VPN. This also works for devices that don’t intuitively support VPNs, such as Apple TV.
You can configure a VPN on your own with a compatible router. Some routers come with firmware that supports VPN connections, while others don’t. If your existing router firmware doesn’t support VPNs, you may be able to replace it with an open-source alternative like DD-WRT or Tomato.
Note that you should use extreme caution when flashing new firmware to a router. Using firmware that’s incompatible with your exact router model or making a mistake during the flashing process could brick your router and leave it permanently damaged. The exact process varies from router to router, so do your research before trying it out.
Can I use a free VPN for iPhone?
We recommend avoiding free VPN apps altogether, as these can cause trouble for a number of reasons. First, many of the free VPNs you find listed in the App Store don’t offer what you expect from a true VPN. Many employ weak encryption standards, and some don’t encrypt your data at all.
What’s more, many free VPNs make a habit of tracking user activity and using the data for targeted advertising or selling it for a profit.
Even if you do find a secure service, you’ll be disappointed with its performance. These services tend to have few servers and lots of users, which translates to slow speeds and poor connections. They’re also not very good at unblocking streaming sites, and even if they were, you’d rarely get enough data allowance to watch a full show.
Overall, you’re better off paying a small fee for an iPhone VPN that gives you peace of mind and reliable performance.