10 Best VPNs for iPhone | iOS VPNs Tested and Reviewed in December 2019

There are dozens of mediocre VPN apps on the App Store, and finding a reliable, fast, and safe service for your iPhone and iPad is a time-consuming process. I’ve tested 65 VPN apps on my iPhone XR, and discovered that many of them were slow, leaked my location, or jammed my phone.

iOS provides sophisticated built-in security features to protect your identity, data, and location. But it lacks the basic features of a VPN, like masking your IP address to bypass geoblocks. Pairing a quality VPN with iOS’ security suite will provide unbreakable protection for your device.

A VPN for your iPhone or iPad needs to offer more than just the basics to be worth using. During my tests, I found a few services that offer additional features to protect your iPhone or iPad.

I have handpicked each VPN on this list based on its app usability, performance, and security features. I tested each of them to confirm that they are safe, fast, and anonymous. You can find out more about my testing process here.

Short on time? Here’s a quick summary of my top VPNs for iPhone and iPad: 

  1. ExpressVPN – the fastest VPN I tested, and it offers the best iOS app.
  2. NordVPN – safe, reliable, and a good choice for streaming.
  3. CyberGhost – the best choice for beginners and Apple Watch users.
  4. Surfshark – unlimited connections make it the best value for money.
  5. IPVanish – easy to use iOS app and excellent customer service.

These high-performance VPNs work seamlessly, whether you’re using the latest iPhone or an older version of iOS. I gave preference to services that unblock popular streaming services, like Netflix, and those that also offer built-in ad and malware protection.

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If you only need a VPN for your iOS device for a short time, this is perfect for you.

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means a whole month of streaming, browsing, and more with ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast speeds. We tested ExpressVPN’s refund policy, and it’s fast and easy to get your money back. Try it now!

2019’s Best VPNs for iPhone and iPad – Updated December

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest VPN for iPhone and iPad 

  • Easy-to-use iOS interface with one-click connect
  • Supports all iOS versions, including iOS 8.0 and later
  • Unlimited bandwidth with up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • Apple Pay accepted: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • ExpressVPN can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, all servers support P2P activity

ExpressVPN’s user-friendly iOS app puts it at the top of my list. The one-click connection makes it simple to use. Just log in and click connect, and the app will do the rest.

ExpressVPN operates 3,000+ servers in 160 locations, with specialized servers for streaming and torrenting. During my tests, ExpressVPN was able to unblock most major streaming platforms, including Netflix.

It’s also the fastest VPN I tested. ExpressVPN provides unlimited, lightning-fast connections that are perfect for streaming in HD and 4K without buffering.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, so users benefit from the region’s privacy-friendly data retention laws. The iOS app protects your data with 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. It uses the OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2, and IPSec protocols.

ExpressVPN’s innovative TrustedServer technology ensures that all its servers load the same up-to-date software. These servers run on RAM, which requires power to write data. This means that every time an ExpressVPN server is rebooted, it is wiped completely clean.

You can use its MediaStreamer software to stream on devices that don’t support VPNs, like gaming consoles and some smart TVs. Unfortunately, MediaStreamer does not encrypt your data while you’re streaming.

ExpressVPN draws a lot of attention to its split tunneling feature. Split tunneling allows you to control which services you access through your VPN, and which you access through your local IP. But unless you’re trying to access wireless devices on your network via your IP, split tunneling isn’t useful for most users.

Don’t use ExpressVPN if:

You’re looking for a VPN with an automatic kill switch. ExpressVPN offers one for Windows and Android, but there is no kill switch for iOS.

You can contact ExpressVPN’s customer service 24/7 via live chat.

All its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free.

Our in-depth ExpressVPN review takes a closer look at this top service, and included comments from other users.

Try ExpressVPN NOW!

2. NordVPN

The best VPN for streaming 

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: Yes
  • NordVPN can unblock: Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, P2P specialty servers available

NordVPN’s feature-rich service is great value for your money. Its easy-to-use iOS app is second only to ExpressVPN.

It operates a network of 5,400+ high-speed servers in 60+ countries, with specialized servers for streaming and P2P connections.

NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature can unblock 150+ streaming services, including Netflix US. It detects the server you need to bypass a geoblock and make the change automatically. Best of all, NordVPN is fast enough to stream in HD and 4K.

NordVPN is based in Panama, outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. The iOS app offers 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, as well as a built-in ad and malware blocker. It doesn’t log any data, either.

Advanced obfuscation settings let you bypass censorship without being detected, even in heavily restricted locations like China. It is also compatible with Onion over VPN for Tor.

NordVPN is also integrated with Shortcuts, Apple’s dedicated Siri app. This means you can activate it hands-free by saying, “Hey Siri, connect to NordVPN.”

Don’t use NordVPN if:

You want to pay with PayPal (NordVPN only accepts PayPal in Brazil, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany, Italy, and Mexico).

If you have any questions, NordVPN’s customer service team is available 24/7 via live chat.

You can try NordVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our full NordVPN review to read users’ opinions and see how it ranks in our more detailed tests.

Try NordVPN NOW!

3. CyberGhost

A great choice for beginners and Apple Watch users

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: Yes
  • CyberGhost can unblock: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others. You also get a dedicated streaming profile.
  • Supports torrenting: Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users

User-friendly CyberGhost offers a powerful but simple iOS app. It’s well-designed and easy to set up and use. There is also a dedicated app for Apple Watch.

The app is ready to connect as soon as you log in. Its one-click Best Location feature automatically connects you to the fastest server based on your location.

Its network includes 6,000+ high-speed servers in 90+ countries, including optimized servers for streaming and P2P. During my tests, I was able to access popular streaming services like Netflix and HBO GO.

CyberGhost offers unbreakable 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and an automatic kill switch. There is also a built-in ad blocker.

Don’t use CyberGhost if:

You need a VPN that works in China. If you need a VPN for China, my colleague has written a guide to VPN services that still work there.

You can contact customer support 24/7 via live chat. Or, use CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee to test it out for yourself.

Our detailed CyberGhost evaluation includes reviews written by other customers.

Try CyberGhost NOW!

4. Surfshark

Best value for money 

surfshark devices
  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: Yes
  • Surfshark can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, all servers support P2P activity

Surfshark has quickly built a reputation as one of the best up and coming VPN services. Its growing network includes 800+ servers in 50+ countries.

It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you can protect all of your devices with just one account.

The iOS app supports P2P connections and can access popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It’s also designed to minimize battery usage, so you can stay connected without draining your battery.

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. The iOS app uses 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection to safeguard your data. It doesn’t log any of your activity, either.

Its built-in security suite, CleanWeb, blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts.

Surfshark’s NoBorders mode makes it easy to bypass censorship and access your favorite iOS apps, no matter where you are.

The Camouflage mode helps you hide your VPN use from your ISP, so no one has to know you’re sneaking past firewalls and geo-restrictions.

Don’t use Surfshark if:

You want to install the VPN on your router using passthrough mode.

Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it out risk-free. There is also a 7-day free trial for iOS users.

Read our detailed review to see what real users think about Surfshark.

Try Surfshark NOW!

5. IPVanish

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • IPVanish can unblock: Netflix, BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes

This US-based provider operates a high-speed network of 1,300+ servers across 75+ locations.

Its powerful iOS app is easy to use and offers 3D touch support and automatic wi-fi protection. It also suggests the fastest server based on your location when you log in.

During my test, I was able to access Netflix US, Hotstar India, SlingTV, and a handful of other popular streaming services.

IPVanish has a zero-logging policy and offers a choice of protocols including IKEv2 and IPSec. It also offers DNS/IPv6 leak protection, obfuscation, and an automatic kill switch.

Don’t use IPVanish if:

You’re looking for a service based outside the 5/9/14-Eyes’ jurisdiction.

Customer support is available 24/7 via the website.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all its services.

Read our detailed review to find out more about IPVanish, including real customer comments.

Try IPVanish NOW!

6. PrivateVPN

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • PrivateVPN can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, all servers support P2P activity; list of P2P-optimized servers available through the app

PrivateVPN is a budget-friendly choice with high-end security features. Its iOS app is simple to configure and use. You can connect to a server with just one click.

The network is smaller than others on this list, with 150+ servers across 60 locations, but this doesn’t affect its overall performance. PrivateVPN is fast, and its streaming-optimized servers can access Netflix and other popular streaming services.

PrivateVPN offers 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection.

Thanks to its Stealth mode, PrivateVPN is powerful enough to bypass tough VPN blocks and deep packet inspection.

Don’t use PrivateVPN if:

You need a VPN with an automatic kill switch.

PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee makes it easy to try out its service risk-free.

You can read user comments and see how PrivateVPN performed during our in-depth tests in our review.

Try PrivateVPN NOW!

7. Private Internet Access (PIA)

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • PIA can unblock: Netflix
  • Supports torrenting: Yes

Private Internet Access (PIA) operates a network of 3,300 servers across 30 countries. It provides fast connections, and its iOS app is easy to use.

It offers 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy, but there is no kill switch for iOS. The app includes an ad, tracker, and malware blocker, but it only works if you’re using Safari to browse.

During my tests, I was able to access Netflix US and other top streaming services with PIA.

Don’t use Private Internet Access if:

You have an older device that doesn’t support recent versions of iOS. PIA is only compatible with iOS 10.0 or later

You can reach out to PIA’s customer service team 24/7 via the website.

It offers a 7-day money-back guarantee so you can test it out on your iOS device.

Our in-depth look a Private Internet Access also includes real customer reviews.

Try Private Internet Access NOW!

8. TunnelBear

tunnelbear devices
  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • TunnelBear can unblock: Doesn’t guarantee compatibility with streaming services
  • Supports torrenting: Yes

TunnelBear is a strong choice to protect your iOS device. It offers military-grade security features, and operates a large network of 4,000+ servers across 55+ countries.

The dedicated iOS app offers user-friendly features like one-tap connect, auto-connect, and even 3D touch support. TunnelBear’s minimalist design also fits in well with the Apple aesthetic.

Don’t use TunnelBear if:

  • You are looking for a VPN to unblock Netflix.
  • You have an older device that doesn’t support recent iOS versions. TunnelBear is only compatible with iOS 10.0 or later.

Alongside its premium subscription, TunnelBear offers a limited free account with 500 MB of data per month. This isn’t enough data to stream or torrent, but it is enough to test TunnelBear out.

All premium subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Our in-depth TunnelBear review includes opinions from other customers.

Try TunnelBear NOW!

9. VyprVPN

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: No
  • VyprVPN can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, P2P activity is supported

VyprVPN has a dedicated app for all of your iOS devices, and it’s super easy to use. You’ll have unlimited bandwidth and data for unrestricted browsing and streaming.

It offers over 700 servers in 70 locations, each with reliably fast connections. You can ping test any of its servers to make sure you’re connected to the quickest one available, and easily switch to another if you need to.

For your iPad, VyprVPN has an unique interactive map so you can easily browse servers and assess latency.

VyprVPN offers military-grade encryption, so you’re secure wherever you are, even on public networks. It also has a Chameleon feature that bypasses digital censorship, and DNS protection to prevent any IP leaks.

There is a kill switch, but this is only for Mac and not other iOS devices.

Don’t use VyprVPN if:

You need a VPN that offers a kill switch.

Read what real users have to say in our full VyprVPN review!

Try VyprVPN NOW!

10. SaferVPN

  • Offers iPad app: Yes
  • Kill switch for iOS: Yes
  • SaferVPN can unblock: Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes (but retains some collection logs, which isn’t ideal for torrenting)

SaferVPN operates over 700 servers in 34 countries. It performs well in speed tests and can access popular streaming platforms like HBO and BBC iPlayer.

The iOS app is user-friendly and includes an automatic kill switch. It also automatically connects you to the best VPN server when you use public wi-fi.

Don’t use SaferVPN if:

If you need a VPN to bypass tough government censorship. SaferVPN does not work in China, Russia, Egypt, or the UAE at this time.

SaferVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24-hour free trial so you can try it out risk-free.

Take a look at our detailed SaferVPN review to see how it compares against its competitors.

Try SaferVPN NOW!

Best VPNs for iOS: Quick Comparison Table

VPN Money-Back Guarantee Simultaneous Connections Compatible Streaming Services Supports P2P
ExpressVPN 30 days 5 Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer All servers
NordVPN 30 days 6 440+ including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV Yes, dedicated servers
CyberGhost 45 days 7 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and more. Yes, dedicated profile
Surfshark 30 days Unlimited Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and more. All servers
IPVanish 7 days 10 Netflix, BBC iPlayer Yes, but Terms of Use prohibits torrenting
PrivateVPN 30 days 6 Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. All servers
Private Internet Access 7 days 10 Netflix US and UK. Yes
TunnelBear 30 days 5 Streaming not guaranteed Yes
VyprVPN 30 days 5 Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video Yes
SaferVPN 30 days 5 Netflix, Sling TV, Kodi, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, ESPN, ABC, NBC, HBO Now, Showtime, Sky, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Zattoo, ZDF, NRK, SVT Play, Vimeo Yes

How I Ranked & Tested These VPNs

I tested each VPN on this list to make sure it meets my strict criteria for safety, speed, and usability.

I looked for VPNs that:

  • Provide high-performance apps for iPad and iPhone
  • Are compatible with multiple iOS devices and generations
  • Support Apple Pay
  • Offer 3D touch support
  • Offer apps for other Apple platforms, like MacOS and Apple Watch

In addition to iOS compatibility, I tested every VPN to ensure it performed well in the following categories.

Powerful Security

Every VPN on my list uses military-grade encryption and keeps a strict no-logs policy.

I gave preference to VPNs that offer an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection.

Fast Speeds

Speed is one of the most important aspects of choosing a VPN, particularly when you’re on the go with your iPhone or iPad.

It’s normal for your connection to slow down a little when you connect to a VPN. Your data has to travel farther to reach the VPN server, and it takes some time to encrypt and decrypt your information. However, this should be barely noticeable when using a premium VPN.

All the VPNs on this list meet the speed requirements to torrent and stream in high-definition.

Unblock Streaming Services

I made sure that all of the services I listed can unblock at least two popular streaming services.

FAQ

Do I need a VPN to protect my iPhone?

iOS offers tough built-in security features. When you pair that with a quality VPN, your device will be impenetrable.

VPNs encrypt your data to protect your personal information from cyberthieves. Without a VPN on your iOS device, your data is completely exposed.

A VPN is also the easiest way to protect yourself against DDoS attacks, doxing, and internet surveillance. And, if you enjoy streaming, your VPN can help you access services like Netflix US.

Are the best VPNs for iOS also the best for Mac?

The top three services on my list offer great apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. You can use one VPN service simultaneously on multiple devices, so you don’t need to buy an extra service just for your Mac.

Are free VPNs safe?

Free VPNs are rarely safe to use.

If a business isn’t making money from its product, it needs to find alternate ways to turn a profit.

Some free VPNs generate revenue by selling users’ data to third parties, even if they’ve promised top-notch security. A few have even been found to install malware and trackers on your device.

There are some safe free VPNs, though. These are the limited free versions of premium VPN services, like TunnelBear.

The problem with these free VPNs is that they heavily restrict your speed and data. They can be a good option if you only need a VPN for a few days, but you won’t be able to torrent or stream.

With so many premium providers offering free trials and money-back guarantees, there’s no reason to risk your security or limit yourself with a free VPN.

VPN use is legal in about 95.9% of the world.

The main exceptions are Iraq, Iran, Belarus, Turkey, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In these countries, VPNs are heavily restricted. It is legal to use a VPN in China, but many VPN services are blocked and do not work.

If you’re a tourist in one of these countries, you don’t need to worry. There haven’t been any issues with international tourists using VPNs in these countries.

Can a VPN bypass iPhone App Store restrictions?

You can use your VPN to bypass the App Store’s geo-restrictions and download exclusive apps from other countries.

  1. In your iPhone’s settings menu, select iTunes & App Store.
  2. Click View Apple ID, and confirm your login details if you are prompted to do so.
  3. Tap Country/Region and then click Change Country or Region.
  4. Choose a country from the list that you want to download apps from, then click agree.
  5. Open your VPN app and connect to a server in the country that you want to download apps from. Once it’s connected, you’re ready to go.

Note that you may be asked to change your payment information and address. If you don’t have a payment method set up, you can use an iTunes gift card code. For updating your address, you can choose a random street address based in the country you’re switching to.

What is the best VPN for iPhone to watch Netflix?

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are the best VPNs for unblocking Netflix on your iPhone.

To learn more, check out my colleagues’ article on how to change your Netflix region.

What is the best VPN for iPhone in China?

ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and PrivateVPN are all secure choices to protect your iPhone in China.

One of my coworkers has written an informative guide that you can use to learn more about the best VPNs for China.

How to install a VPN on your iPhone

Installing a VPN on your iPhone is easy.

You need to first sign up for a VPN service. Once you’ve registered, your new service provider will send you a link to download its iOS app.

ExpressVPN is my top choice for iPhone because its iOS app is powerful and easy to use.

Summary

I tested every VPN on this list to ensure it is safe, fast, and secure.

My top recommendation for iOS is ExpressVPN because of its high-performance app and lightning-fast connection speeds. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free on your iPhone or iPad with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get Started with ExpressVPN NOW!

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