10 Best VPNs for iPhone & iOS (Safe & Fast) in March 2023
- Best VPNs for iOS and iPhone — Full Analysis (Updated March 2023)
- ExpressVPN — Overall Best VPN for iOS: Secure, Lightweight, and Fast
- CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Streaming on Your iOS Devices
- Private Internet Access — Large Server Network for Fast, Reliable Connections on iPhone
- NordVPN — NordLynx Protocol Gives You Fast Speeds Worldwide on iOS
- Surfshark — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Protect All Your iOS Devices Under 1 Account
- Quick Comparison Table: Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS
- Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for iPhone and iOS
- Quick Guide: How to Get a VPN on iPhone in 3 Easy Steps
- FAQs About iPhone and iOS VPNs
- Get the Best VPN for iPhone & iPad Today
While iOS might be considered secure, mobile data breaches and leaks are rising. You need a VPN to protect your online privacy from hackers and advertisers. However, finding a reliable, privacy-focused VPN for iPhone and other iOS devices is challenging. Some VPN apps in the App Store leak your personal information (like your iPhone IP address), while others excessively drain your iPhone's battery and slow down your device.
My team and I tested 85 iOS VPNs to find the best ones. We ensured all the VPNs on this list are safe and easy to use, have robust security features, and superfast speeds (and won’t noticeably affect your iPhone’s performance).
I recommend ExpressVPN for iPhone. Its military-grade security features protect your online data, while its high-speed global network can help you access your favorite streaming platforms and websites worldwide. You can test ExpressVPN on iOS risk-free because it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tried its refund policy to ensure it's trustworthy, and got my money back in 3 days without hassle.
Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS — Tested in March 2023
- ExpressVPN — Lightweight apps offer robust security features to protect your iPhone and iOS devices. Plus, it has fast speeds and an extensive server network.
- CyberGhost — Streaming-optimized servers and fast speeds to watch your favorite shows on your iPhone or iPad without slowdowns.
- Private Internet Access — Customizable iOS app with strong security features, but located in the US (inside the 5-Eyes Alliance).
- NordVPN — NordLynx protocol boosts your speeds even over long distances, but the kill switch can’t be manually enabled or disabled on its iOS app.
- Surfshark — Allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices under 1 account, but the iOS app doesn't offer split tunneling (Bypasser).
Best VPNs for iOS and iPhone — Full Analysis (Updated March 2023)
1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best VPN for iOS: Secure, Lightweight, and Fast
Tested March 2023 Try Risk-Free for 30 Days
- Lightning-fast speeds are ideal for streaming on your iOS device
- 3,000 servers in 94 countries to bypass geo-restricted apps on your iPhone
- Connect up to 5 iOS devices simultaneously
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (12.0 or later), Mac, Apple TV, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
ExpressVPN’s secure iOS app protects your online data. It uses military-grade (AES 256-bit) encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means that it’s almost impossible to decode your data, as the encryption key changes frequently. In addition, it also offers IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection. I tested 10 of its servers on ipleak.net with my iPhone 12 and didn’t find any leaks. Your real iPhone IP address will remain concealed.
You can choose between multiple security protocols on ExpressVPN’s iOS app (Lightway - UDP, Lightway - TCP, and IKEv2). The app offers a convenient “automatic” option, where ExpressVPN picks the protocol most appropriate for your network. However, I preferred using the Lightway - UDP protocol. Lightway was the fastest and its lightweight design optimizes battery life on your iPhone.
It safeguards your online privacy on your iOS device as well. ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy audited and verified by independent security companies. Its headquarters are located in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance), so it’s not obligated by law to log or share your data. However, this would be impossible anyway as ExpressVPN uses TrustedServer technology. This means that all servers are RAM-based and thus wipe all your data with every reboot.
I had superfast speeds during my tests on my iPhone 12. Its local servers in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK, had average speeds of 65.4 Mbps. You only need 25 Mbps to stream in Ultra HD, so this was more than enough. I was even more impressed when I tested its long-distance servers and my speeds only dropped by 4%. You don’t have to worry about annoying slowdowns while streaming or gaming with your iOS device.
ExpressVPN also has 3,000 servers in 94 countries (all of them support torrenting). I could access my US Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ accounts with ease. With so many reliable servers, you can always find a stable connection to browse, stream, or even torrent on your iOS device. In addition, ExpressVPN has servers that work in China and other countries with strict censorship (like Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia). However, we don’t condone any illegal activity and recommend you always check the local laws before using a VPN somewhere they are regulated.
The iPhone and iPad app is user-friendly and supports 17 different languages. All you have to do is select a country from the drop-down menu and click the connect button. It even has a “Smart Location” feature, automatically connecting you to the fastest nearby server. And although the iOS app doesn’t come with a kill switch or split tunneling feature like with Mac, it does offer unique features such as a “Password Generator” and “Threat Manager”. The latter gives you the option to block trackers and malicious sites. ExpressVPN receives an excellent 4.7-star rating on the App Store with over 197 thousand reviews.
The VPN is compatible with iOS 12 and up. However, you can manually configure L2TP VPN on iOS 11 and below. ExpressVPN also comes with a feature called MediaStreamer, which lets you unblock streaming platforms on your Apple TV. And since the Apple Watch uses your iPhone's connection, ExpressVPN will also work with it.
You can get ExpressVPN’s cheapest plan for $6.67/month per month, which is a tad more expensive than other VPNs. However, I found that ExpressVPN often offers discounts or free months of service. I recommend the 1-year plan since it offers the same features as the monthly one, but it comes at a cheaper monthly price — I got mine at 49% off and 3 months of service free. You can pay for a subscription using credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay. The VPN even allows you to pay with cryptocurrencies, so you can sign up anonymously.
ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that if you’re not satisfied, you can get all your money back. I tried the policy myself and asked for a refund using its 24/7 live chat support — it was an easy process. I only had to answer a couple questions about why I wasn’t satisfied and my refund was approved — I had my money back on my credit card 3 business days later.
2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Streaming on Your iOS Devices
- 9,091 servers in 90 countries, including servers designed to unblock streaming apps
- Superfast speeds to watch your favorite shows on your iPad without buffering
- 7 simultaneous device connections to cover all your iOS devices
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (13.0 or later), Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
CyberGhost has an extensive server network of 9,091 servers in 90 countries, including streaming-optimized servers. I was even more impressed when I saw that the iOS app has dedicated servers for tons of specific streaming platforms in different countries (such as a UK server optimized for BBC iPlayer, and an Italy server optimized for Netflix IT). During my tests, I could easily access Netflix US, Hulu, and Disney+. This means you don’t have to waste any time searching for a reliable streaming server on your iPhone.
It keeps your iOS device protected with advanced security features such as AES 256-bit encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. Plus, I liked its WiFi Auto-Protect feature, as it detects when your device is connected to public WiFi and automatically connects for added assurance. It also has an ad and malware blocker that is always active while connected to the VPN.
CyberGhost also offers multiple security protocols. When I tested its iOS app, I was able to choose between IKEv2 and WireGuard. My recommendation is to use WireGuard as it’s a highly secure protocol. Moreover, when I tested the speeds using both protocols, WireGuard was faster and drained less battery.
The VPN has a strict zero-logs policy as well. While reading through it, I found that it offers special NoSpy servers. These servers are located in CyberGhost’s headquarters and are only accessible by its own staff members. This means that if you’re worried about privacy, CyberGhost will keep you well protected.
I was impressed with its lightning-fast speeds. When I tested 15 of its servers on my iPhone 12, my speeds averaged 59.6 Mbps. Although CyberGhost’s speeds are not as fast as ExpressVPN’s, they are still quick enough for streaming your favorite shows in high quality (you only need 5 Mbps to stream in HD). This means you can stream and browse on your iPhone and iPad without buffering.
You don’t need to be a tech expert to use CyberGhost, as it comes with an easy-to-use app optimized for iOS. It also doesn't take up much storage space at only 54 Megabytes. It took me less than 5 minutes to download and install the app on my iPhone 12. In addition, I could connect to a server with only 1 tap. It even offers a “Best Location” feature, so you don’t need to search for the fastest server manually. The app is compatible with iOS 13 and higher and there is a dedicated app for Apple Watch, which I found quite unique.
A minor con is that the VPN doesn’t work in China. However, you can still use it in other countries with strict censorship (such as Iran and Turkey).
You can get CyberGhost’s long-term plan for only $2.11/month, which makes it a pretty budget-friendly option. There’s also a monthly plan, but it’s almost 10 times more expensive. Since both give you access to the same features, I recommend signing up for a 3-year subscription.
I was impressed with CyberGhost’s money-back guarantee, as it’s 45 days (longer than what most VPNs offer). If you’re not happy with it, you can always claim a refund. After using CyberGhost for 41 days, I tested its refund policy. The 24/7 live chat agent approved my request and I had my money back in my PayPal wallet after 4 days.
3. Private Internet Access — Large Server Network for Fast, Reliable Connections on iPhone
- 29,650 servers in 84 countries to unblock any website with your iPhone
- Fast speeds ensure no congestion when using your iOS device
- Protect all your iOS devices with Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (12.0 or later), Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
Private Internet Access (PIA) has a large network of 29,650 servers in 84 countries (all P2P-friendly). This means that you can always find a server nearby, which results in faster speeds since data doesn’t have to travel far. Plus, I was impressed that the iOS app shows the latency of each server — it allowed me to search for the fastest one manually (something that’s not possible in most iOS VPN apps). With PIA, you’ll have no problem finding a reliable server for streaming Netflix (including US, UK, Canada, and Japan) on your iOS device.
It also offers robust security features to protect your iPhone and iPad. You can choose between 2 different encryption options, including AES 256-bit encryption. It also has IP/DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and a special “Content Blocker” for Safari that blocks all ads, trackers, and malware. All these features can be turned on and off using the toggle buttons.
Additionally, you can alternate between several security protocols (IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN). I recommend using OpenVPN if you want to maximize your security. It’s open-source and thus continuously being improved, but it does use up a lot of battery life. If you want to optimize your speeds, it’s better to use the WireGuard protocol (it's faster and more lightweight than OpenVPN).
I had some fast speeds with PIA. When I tested its US and UK servers on my iPhone 12, my speeds averaged 54.7 Mbps. This allowed me to download a 500 MB file within 3 minutes. So you won’t have any annoying slowdowns while torrenting, streaming, and browsing.
The PIA app is compatible with iOS 12 and higher. It’s user-friendly, mirrors iOS’ light and dark mode, and can be used with iOS’ Shortcuts. It even has a widget for iOS versions 14 and 15 so you can connect directly from your home screen. Moreover, the setup process was easy — it only took me 5 minutes to download the app and connect to a server.
A minor con is that PIA is headquartered in the US, which isn’t great for privacy. However, while reading through its logging policy, I found that PIA doesn’t log any personal information (only your email address and payment info when you sign up). Moreover, PIA’s logging policy has been proven in 2 court cases — the VPN had to appear in court to provide data logs, but had none to share.
PIA offers a long-term plan for only $2.03/month. Short-term plans are also available, but the plans get more expensive when the subscription period gets shorter. This means that you’re better off with the 3-year plan.
In addition, it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested this after 24 days by emailing customer service to cancel my subscription (you cannot ask for a refund through its live chat). My money was refunded after 5 business days.
4. NordVPN — NordLynx Protocol Gives You Fast Speeds Worldwide on iOS
- Fast NordLynx protocol ensures smooth performance on iOS
- 5,585 servers in 60 countries to change your IP on iOS
- 6 simultaneous connections to secure your iOS devices
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (13.0 or later), Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, routers, and more
NordVPN offers its proprietary NordLynx protocol on iOS, which is a very fast WireGuard alternative. During testing, it gave me consistent speeds on both local and faraway servers. I only experienced around an 8% drop. For reference, the normal drop range is up to 20%, so this was an impressive result. You can expect uninterrupted streaming or browsing on your iOS device, no matter which server you connect to.
It has a network of 5,585 servers in 60 countries to safely change your IP on iOS. All of them are RAM-only, meaning all your data is wiped off after each reboot, which protects your privacy. I tested servers in different locations, and my connection was always stable. Plus, you get some specialty servers for P2P file-sharing, Double VPN (for extra encryption), and Onion Over VPN (for Tor).
Something that I really liked in combination with the Onion Over VPN servers is the Dark Web Monitor feature. If it finds sensitive data linked to your email address, passwords, or other personal information, it sends you an alert. That way, you can protect your accounts right away.
NordVPN’s iOS app is intuitive, and you can easily find the different optimized locations under “Specialty Servers” on the main screen. Close by, under them, you can also see the whole list of countries worldwide. Or you can use the search bar to look for a specific one, as I did. It also lets you favorite your most-used servers and saves them in a separate tab for easy access.
The VPN’s headquarters are in Panama, which is outside the 14 Eyes Alliance, thus, it isn’t required to share any user data. It also adheres to an audited no-logs policy. This further strengthens your data privacy since it doesn’t collect or store your identifiable information.
NordVPN protects your data with industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. Aside from the NordLynx protocol, it offers OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) and IKEv2 on iOS, which are also fast and secure options. There’s also a Threat Protection feature that I found really handy. It makes sure that you remain safe online while browsing the internet by blocking access to malicious websites.
It has a kill switch on iOS, but it’s not ideal because you can’t enable/disable, or test it manually. However, customer support confirmed that the feature works automatically and properly by cutting off your internet if your VPN connection suddenly drops.
The lowest-priced plan costs $3.29/month. This is for a long-term subscription, which gives you the best value for your money. You can pay with a credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrency, and more. If you live in the US, the UK, Canada, or Germany, you can also buy a NordVPN subscription from some of the local retail stores.
Both short- and long-term plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which lets you test out NordVPN on your iOS device at no risk. The guarantee is legitimate — I requested a refund through the 24/7 live chat after two weeks of using the VPN. The representative approved my request, and I got all my money back just a few days later.
5. Surfshark — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Protect All Your iOS Devices Under 1 Account
- Unlimited simultaneous connections to use the VPN on any number of iOS devices
- 3,200 servers in 100 countries, including MultiHop options for extra security
- Fast speeds for uninterrupted activities on your iOS device
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (13.0 or later), Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, routers, and more
Surfshark offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, so you can protect all your iOS devices at the same time. This gives you great value for money since you can use the VPN on as many devices as you want with just 1 subscription. Plus, when I connected my iPhone, iPad, and Windows PC to it, the performance was still smooth. I experienced an average drop of only 10% on different servers and could stream in HD on Netflix without buffering.
Its iOS app is easy to navigate even if you’ve never used a VPN before. I really liked how customizable its Quick-connect feature was. It lets you choose any of its server locations that you would like to connect to automatically every time. Or you can select the Fastest location or Nearest country option. During testing, I could easily find all the other features in the same Settings menu, which is well organized.
When it comes to privacy, Surfshark offers RAM-only servers that remove your data after each reboot. It also has a strict no-logs policy, which means that it doesn’t store, collect, or share any of your private and identifiable information.
Aside from the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, it safeguards your iOS device and data with many other features. These include an ad/tracker/malware blocker called CleanWeb and a kill switch to ensure that your IP never leaks in case of unexpected disconnection. Additionally, you can choose between 3 fast protocols, WireGuard, OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2. I suggest using WireGuard because it gives you a good balance of speed and security.
There’s a NoBorders feature that I manually enabled from the settings menu. But it also works automatically if you connect to a restrictive network. It gives you a list of the best servers to use under such circumstances. Also, it comes with an automatic Camouflage mode when using the OpenVPN protocol, which makes your iOS VPN connection look like regular traffic. This is a great feature to use in combination with NoBorders in restrictive countries like China.
A minor inconvenience is that its Bypasser (split tunneling) isn’t available on the iOS app. It’s a great feature to have if you want to exclude some apps from the VPN traffic and use your normal connection instead. This is usually good and more secure if you frequently use your banking apps on iOS. But if you want to just use your real IP for banking, you can either pause your VPN connection for some time or disconnect and reconnect when you’re done.
It offers monthly and yearly plans that come with the same features. The longer the subscription, the more affordable — you can get Surfshark’s longest plan for $2.30/month.
There’s also a money-back guarantee, which gives you 30 days to try it out on your iOS device and see if it’s for you. If not, getting a refund is easy. It took me just a couple of minutes — I contacted support through the live chat, and they quickly accepted my request. My refund was issued within 5 days.
6. IPVanish — Superfast Speeds for Browsing on Your iPhone Without Slowdowns
- Fast speeds to browse websites uninterrupted with your iPhone
- Unblock popular streaming platforms on your iOS devices, thanks to 2,200 servers in 75 countries
- Cover all your iOS devices with an Unlimited number of connections
- Can unblock: Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (14.0 or later), Mac, Apple TV, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
IPVanish has lightning-fast speeds, so you can surf the web and stream on your iPhone without buffering. I tested 10 of its servers and didn’t get speeds lower than 40 Mbps. Since you only need 5 Mbps to stream in HD, this was more than enough to watch my favorite shows in high quality.
Its iOS app keeps your online data protected with AES 256-bit encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, a strict no-logs policy, and IP/DNS leak protection. I ran multiple tests on its US, UK, and Albania servers, and didn’t find any leaks. Moreover, you have the option to choose between several security protocols, including WireGuard, IKEv2, and IPSec. I decided to use WireGuard as it’s secure and super fast.
Another great feature is IPVanish’s WiFi protection. Every time I connected to an unsecured WiFi network with my iPhone 12, the VPN connected automatically. This gives you an extra layer of safety as you don’t have to remember to turn your VPN on while on the go.
IPVanish has a user-friendly iOS app compatible with iOS 14 and higher. You can connect to a server with 1 tap, and it’s even possible to use shortcuts for Siri. Similar to Private Internet Access, I was able to manually choose a fast server, as IPVanish shows the ping and load of each one. IPVanish's app also shows you the number of servers available in each country. I also particularly like that the app has a built-in customer support and knowledge base, so I didn’t have to exit the app when looking for a troubleshooting guide.
IPVanish offers a server network of 2,200 servers in 75 countries, but I couldn’t consistently access my favorite streaming platforms. When I tested its US server, I could access my Netflix US account. However, I couldn’t unblock Hulu or Disney+ with IPVanish’s iOS app.
You can get a long-term plan for only $2.49/month. Keep in mind that the longer you subscribe, the cheaper the plan will be. So if you only want to sign up for a month, it’s definitely not the cheapest option.
You can also test IPVanish free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. If you’re not impressed, you can claim a refund. After using the VPN for 28 days, I decided to test this policy. I only had to log in to my account and submit a request for a refund ( I didn’t even have to contact customer support). Within 1 hour, I received an email that my refund was approved. I had my money back in my bank account within a week.
7. PrivateVPN — Intuitive iOS App for Beginners
- Simple and easy-to-use iOS app
- Access any content from your iPhone with 200 servers in 63 countries
- Use the VPN on up to 10 iOS devices simultaneously
- Can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (10.0 or later), Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
PrivateVPN has an easy-to-use iOS app great for beginners. There’s a one-tap connect button to connect you to a server in a couple seconds. Plus, I liked that you can add servers to your favorites by clicking on the star behind it for easy access later. Like CyberGhost, PrivateVPN offers a list of servers optimized for streaming, so finding the right one is easy. The app is compatible with iOS 10 and higher.
The iOS app has high-level security features to protect your iPhone’s traffic. You can choose between 4 different types of encryption, including the strongest AES 256-bit. It also offers Perfect Forward Secrecy and IP/DNS leak protection. When I tested 5 servers, I didn’t find any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.
PrivateVPN’s iOS app uses multiple security protocols to keep your personal information safe (OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec). During my tests, OpenVPN had the fastest speeds, although it did drain my battery faster than IKEv2. The VPN also has a strict no-logs policy to safeguard your online privacy. However, I was a bit disappointed that the app doesn’t offer a kill switch.
I was impressed with its StealthVPN feature. It disguises your VPN connection, making it look like regular traffic. This way, you can use PrivateVPN on restrictive networks and to bypass tough firewalls (like that of Netflix).
A minor con is that its smaller server network resulted in some servers being overcrowded. During my tests, I had some inconsistent speeds with PrivateVPN. However, I never had speeds slower than 35 Mbps, so it’s still more than enough to stream in HD. Its 200 servers in 63 countries even allowed me to access every streaming platform I tried. I was able to stream Lupin on Netflix US without slowdowns.
You can get a PrivateVPN subscription for as little as $2/month. Although a long-term subscription is always cheaper, I found even the short-term plans affordable compared to other VPNs. You can pay for your subscription using a credit card, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies.
PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to get a refund if you’re not satisfied. After using the service for 27 days, I requested a refund through its 24/7 live chat. The chat agent told me to send an email with my reason for canceling. My refund was approved quickly, and I had my money back in 8 days.
8. Proton VPN — Customizable Security Features to Protect Your iOS Device
- Multiple security protocols and a kill switch to keep you safe online while using your iPhone
- 2,696 servers in 67 countries helps you unblock content on your iOS device
- Secure up to 10 iOS devices at the same time
- Can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (12.1 or later), Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
Proton VPN offers you several options to protect your iPhone and iPad. The iOS app has multiple security protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. I could even choose to use its “Smart” option so that I’m always automatically connected to the best protocol for my network. Moreover, the app comes with a kill switch and ad blocker (NetShield).
It is open-sourced and comes with a strict no-logs policy. While reading through it, I found that its policy is verified by independent audits. Moreover, Proton VPN’s headquarters are in privacy-friendly Switzerland, outside the 14-Eyes Alliance. This means that they’re not legally required to log your data, so you don’t need to worry about your privacy on your iPhone.
The VPN offers a high-speed network with 2,696 servers in 67 countries. When I tested its faraway Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago servers, I had an average speed of 32.4 Mbps. I could watch my favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu without slowdowns.
Proton VPN is a trustworthy VPN app for iOS versions 12 and later. I was able to quickly and easily connect to a server using the Quick Connect button. Using the Proton VPN iOS widget, activating the VPN is easy.
Unexpectedly, there is no live chat option available on the ProtonVPN website. In their vast store of information, they did, however, have the answer to my question.
The VPN offers a free plan, but it has limitations such as a tiny server network, slow speeds, only 1 device connection, and it doesn’t work with any streaming sites. That’s why I’d recommend signing up for its Plus plan (it starts at only $4.99/month). This way, you can enjoy the full service, including its large server network and 10 simultaneous device connections.
If you subscribe to Proton VPN through its website, you can try the Plus plan for 30 days (it has a money-back guarantee). However, the VPN will only issue a refund for the unused portion of the service period. When I asked for my money back on day 23, I got my money back for the remaining 7 days (it took 10 days to arrive).
9. hide.me — Owns its DNS Servers to Keep Your iPhone and iPad Activity Extra Private
- Private DNS servers, AES-256 bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection
- Get around geoblocks using your iOS device with 2,100 servers in 78 countries
- 10 simultaneous iOS device connections
- Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (12.0 or later), Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
All of hide.me’s servers run on private DNS, meaning that the personal information on your iPhone is super safe. That’s because hide.me manages all its DNS servers instead of renting them from third parties, which is common among VPNs. This gives an extra layer of protection because it removes any middleman from having access to your information.
The VPN offers top-grade security features to protect your iPhone’s traffic, too. It comes with 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. I could even choose between multiple security protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. If you’re looking for a fast and secure protocol that’s good for battery life, I recommend using WireGuard — it had the fastest speeds during my tests.
Its fast speeds make hide.me a great option for streaming as well. When I tested its US and UK servers, I had an average speed of 30.2 Mbps, so I could watch Twilight in high quality without any buffering.
You can use 2,100 servers in 78 countries, including 9 streaming-optimized servers. I tested hide.me with Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ and I could access all my accounts without issues.
The app is compatible with iOS 12 and up and requires only 24.5 MB of storage space. It’s also super easy to navigate, so you don’t need to be a VPN expert to use hide.me on your iPhone. You can connect to a server in 1 tap and sort all servers by ping. I particularly liked that hide.me’s app works with iOS’ dark and light mode.
The VPN offers a free plan, but it comes with limitations. You can only use 5 server locations and your data is capped at 10GB per month (that’s only enough to watch a couple hours of HD video). Moreover, I couldn’t even access Netflix or Disney+ using it. That’s why I preferred using its money-back guarantee with a paid subscription (you can get hide.me for just $3.45/month).
In addition, you can try hide.me for 30 days risk-free with its money-back guarantee. If you’re not impressed, you can ask for a refund. All I had to do was write an email to ask for my money back. My refund was approved within 24 hours, and I saw the money in my account in about a week.
10. TunnelBear — Strict No-Logs Policy to Protect Your Privacy on Your iPhone
- Keep your iOS data private with a no-logs policy and leak protection
- 2,600 servers in 47 countries to easily access content worldwide
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: iOS (12.0 or later), Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, and more
TunnelBear has a strict zero-logs policy, so you don’t have to worry about your online data being logged or shared. While I was reading it, I found that the policy has been verified by independent security companies. Moreover, TunnelBear also publishes an annual transparency report that shows how many requests are made for data (it never has anything to share).
Its AES 256-bit encryption, automatic WiFi connection, and IP/DNS leak protection protect your iPhone’s data. I tested 5 of its servers and didn’t find any IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks. However, the iOS app doesn’t come with a kill switch, which is pretty disappointing.
I made some good progress with the help of TunnelBear. I found that the regional servers in France, the UK, and Spain had an average speed of 29 Mbps after successfully completing my tests. I was able to experience a startling 25.6 Mbps on its remote servers, showing that it is more than fast enough for streaming.
You can access content worldwide with TunnelBear’s 2,600 servers in 47 countries. Its network let me unblock Netflix US, HBO Max, and Hulu. However, torrenting is only supported on a few of its servers, including the US, UK, Netherlands, and Romania.
The dedicated iOS app offers user-friendly features like one-tap connect, auto-connect, and even 3D touch support. Moreover, I found its app fun to use — it has a map with jars of honey representing the server locations, and every time you connect you’ll hear bear sounds. The app is compatible with iOS 12 and up.
I was a bit disappointed that TunnelBear doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. However, it does come with a free version if you want to test it first. Keep in mind that its free version comes with limitations, such as a very restrictive data cap of 500 MB/month.
Luckily, the VPN offers affordable plans. You can sign up for its long-term plan for only $3.33/month.
Quick Comparison Table: Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS
The table below compares the features of all the iOS VPNs in this list. You can see the lowest price and the length of the money-back guarantees. I’ve also included the iOS compatibility of each VPN.
Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for iPhone and iOS
A reliable iPhone VPN should provide you with robust security features, fast speeds, and an extensive server network. I’ve listed the key features I tested to determine my shortlist:
- Advanced security and privacy features. A good iOS VPN should have AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection. All of the VPNs listed here offer these features. Even better is an iOS VPN with a kill switch, which isn't always available. Moreover, I read through every logging policy to ensure that these VPNs truly keep your data private.
- Fast speeds. I tested the speeds of all the VPNs I shortlisted to ensure that you can browse, stream, and torrent without slowdowns on your iOS device. I recommend at speeds of at least 25 Mbps since that's the minimum requirement for Ultra HD streaming.
- User-friendly iOS app. I made sure that the VPNs on this list come with native iOS apps that are easy to install and use.
- Global server network. All the VPNs offer an extensive server network so you can access content from all over the world.
- Ability to unblock streaming sites. I ensured that all the VPNs can access your favorite streaming sites (like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu) on your iPhone and iOS device.
- Compatibility with other iOS versions and Apple devices. I checked all the VPNs to be sure that they’re compatible with the most recent iOS versions, starting from iOS 9. Moreover, all the VPNs I listed can be used on other Apple devices (such as Mac computers, Apple Watch, and Apple TV).
- Reliable customer support. I made sure that it was easy to get in touch with customer support or find answers on the VPN’s website. It's best to go with a VPN that has 24/7 live chat support so you can solve any issues immediately.
Quick Guide: How to Get a VPN on iPhone in 3 Easy Steps
- Download an iOS VPN. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a lightweight, easy-to-use iOS app, robust security features, and superfast speeds.
- Connect to a server. Choose a location from the server list and click connect. If you want your connection to be as fast as possible, choose a local server.
- Start browsing! Now you can safely browse, stream, or game on your iPhone and other iOS devices.
FAQs About iPhone and iOS VPNs
Will an iPhone VPN also work on an iPad, Mac, and other devices?
Yes. An iPhone VPN will work the same on iPad since they run the same operating system. Plus, all the VPNs in this list have native apps for macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and more. They also come with multiple device connections, so you only need 1 subscription to connect them to multiple devices.
What is the best Netflix VPN for iPhone and iPad?
There are a few really great Netflix VPNs for iPhone. All of the VPNs in this list are good for unblocking Netflix on iOS because they have global server networks and speeds fast enough for streaming in HD (you need 5 Mbps for HD and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD/4K).
During my tests, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and PIA performed the best to access Netflix on my iPhone 12. They all had speeds higher than 50 Mbps and managed to consistently unblock more than 10 different Netflix libraries.
Are iPhone VPNs safe?
Not all iPhone VPNs are safe. However, all the VPNs that are shortlisted here are tried and tested to ensure that they’re safe to use.
If you get a random iOS VPN from the App Store, it’s possible you could get scammed by accidentally downloading a “fleeceware app”. This is a fraudulent app that steals your money by overcharging you for a service that doesn’t even work (even after you’ve deleted it). Moreover, some VPNs can have sketchy logging policies and sell your data to third parties.
Will a VPN drain my iPhone battery?
Yes, a VPN will drain your iPhone’s battery a bit. This is because it is constantly connected to a server to encrypt background processes. However, good iOS VPNs come with highly customizable apps so you can minimize the VPN’s battery usage.
To lower your VPN’s battery consumption, I’d recommend switching to a lower-consuming protocol like WireGuard or IKEv2. ExpressVPN even has its own unique Lightway protocol, which is specifically designed to minimize battery drainage. You can also use split tunneling to specify which apps run through your VPN connection, so not all of them are being encrypted. Moreover, your iPhone’s battery will last longer by dimming your screen’s brightness and closing background apps.
Can I use a free VPN on my iPhone and iPad?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Most free iPhone VPNs are not safe to use as they often log and sell user data to third-party advertisers. This completely defeats the purpose since VPNs are meant to protect your personal information. That’s why it’s better to choose a low-cost premium VPN that offers a money-back guarantee.
In addition, free VPNs come with annoying limitations such as slower speeds, smaller server networks, data caps, and weak security features. Some free iPhone VPNs that are best to avoid are HolaVPN, Touch VPN, Flash VPN, and VPN Proxy Master.
Can a VPN bypass iPhone App Store restrictions?
No, a VPN can’t bypass App Store restrictions. Your app store location is based on your Apple ID, not your IP address. This means that you have to change your Apple ID region to change your app store location.
However, once you’ve changed your app store location and downloaded an app, you need to connect to a VPN to keep this app running (for example, you need to connect to a US server to watch Hulu). Make sure to choose a VPN with an extensive server network, so you can use your favorite apps from anywhere.
What is the best iPhone VPN for China?
A good iPhone VPN for China uses obfuscation, DNS/IP leak protection, and a kill switch to bypass tough firewalls and keep you protected. There are only a few VPNs that can bypass the Great Firewall of China, including ExpressVPN.
Keep in mind that it’s illegal to use non-government-approved VPNs in China, so you should read up on the most recent local laws before using a VPN there. However, no tourist has ever been penalized for using one since the government goes after VPNs by blocking them, not by tracking down VPN users.
Another tip is to download the VPN before you travel to China. The Chinese government blocks VPN websites as well, so you can’t download them once you’re in the country.
Does my iPhone/iPad have a built-in VPN?
There’s no built-in VPN on iPhone or iPad. Luckily, all iOS devices support VPNs, and you can even add them manually in your device’s settings. However, I prefer to just simply download the native iOS app as the setup process is much easier.
A feature included on iOS 15 is iCloud Private Relay, which works as a proxy service. However, it only works with the Safari browser, it’s slower than most VPNs, and you can’t change your server location. I’d recommend using a top-tier VPN as it has compatibility with multiple devices, superfast speeds, and extensive server networks.
Can I share a VPN connection on my iPhone through a WiFi hotspot?
No, this is not possible, unfortunately. Even if you are using a VPN that supports connection sharing, your iOS device can’t share a VPN tunnel with other devices the way an Android device can. You can still share a hotspot, but the VPN will cover only your iOS device.
Why do I need a VPN to protect my iPhone?
A VPN protects your online privacy and keeps you safe from online hackers in ways iOS itself can’t do on its own. A trustworthy iPhone VPN encrypts your data and hides your online activities, so you’re safe from data snoops. Even your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing online. In addition, a VPN can bypass geoblocks, which allows you to access geo-restricted content from anywhere.
How do I improve my VPN speed on iPhone?
Any VPN will slow down your internet speed due to it sending your traffic through an encrypted tunnel. With a premium VPN, you won’t notice the reduction. However, your speed could be affected by the time of day, your actual location, ISP, or your base connection. If you’re experiencing a delay when connected to a VPN on iPhone, there are a few things you can do:
- Change your tunneling protocol in your iPhone’s VPN app. WireGuard on iOs is extremely fast and usually gives the best speeds on iPhones. ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol delivers equal (if not sometimes better) speeds.
- Switch to a server closer to your real location. You’ll usually get the best speeds when connected geographically to a server closest to you. Some VPNs will automatically connect you to the fastest server (like ExpressVPN’s Smart Location feature), while others display its servers’ ping (in ms) so that you can find the fastest one.
- Look for a server with a low user load. If you’re connected to a server in a popular location, such as L.A, you might be experiencing congestion. Try a different server for a faster connection.
Get the Best VPN for iPhone & iPad Today
With so many iOS VPNs in the App Store, it’s difficult to know which ones are reliable. All VPNs on this list offer a lightweight iOS app with robust security features to keep your iPhone safe. Moreover, their extensive server networks allow you to access content worldwide.
I recommend ExpressVPN for iOS. Its sleek iPhone and iPad apps have top-notch security, excellent features, and consistently high speeds. You can even try ExpressVPN out on your iPhone risk-free (it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee). If it’s not for you, you can easily claim a refund.