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9 Best (REALLY FREE) VPNs for iPhone & iPad in May 2021

Looking for a VPN for your iPhone or iPad? Whether it’s for an extra layer of online protection or to bypass geoblocks and enjoy that well-deserved Netflix or BBC marathon, here you can find the 9 best free VPNs for your iOS device. 

A free VPN can be perfect for temporary use or occasional browsing, but you need to be extra careful, as they aren’t always safe to use.

Stripped-back security features leave your data vulnerable to hackers. And, because they have limited funding, most free VPNs restrict your speed, data, and server locations to save money. Many free VPNs don’t even offer apps for iOS.

I always recommend using a premium provider, like ExpressVPN. It has a native iOS app which makes setting it up super simple. With a huge global server network, you’ll be able to bypass geo-restrictions with ease and enjoy superfast speeds. It may not be completely free upfront, but it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free and get a refund if you’re not happy with it.

However, I have found a handful of free VPNs that will keep you secure, and are compatible with your iPhone or iPad too.

Start With ExpressVPN Risk-Free!

Short on time? Here are the best free VPNs for iPhones and iPads

  1. ExpressVPN: Native iOS app, superfast speeds, military-grade security features. You can try it out completely risk-free as it’s backed by a reliable 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Windscribe: Great for streaming and browsing but it can’t bypass Netflix.
  3. Hotspot Shield: A fast and secure service if you don’t need a VPN for streaming.
  4. ProtonVPN: A fast and safe VPN with unlimited data. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support torrenting.
  5. Hide.me: A reliable option if you don’t need a VPN for torrenting.

Plus another 4 really free VPNs | What’s the Catch With Free VPNs? | How We Tested and Ranked These VPNs

Protect Yourself Risk-Free With ExpressVPN!

The Best Free VPNs for iPhones and iPads (Updated May 2021)

Most free VPNs come with restrictive data limits, minimal server selection, and slow speeds, but there are a few that you can rely on.

I’ve done extensive research and testing to bring you the 9 best free VPNs for iPhones and iPads. These VPNs are all compatible with your iOS device, and they offer feature-rich free packages that will keep you safe and anonymous, too.

1. ExpressVPN – Superfast Streaming on Your Favorite Devices


  • Fantastic speeds to stream in HD without interruptions
  • 3,000 servers to easily access geoblocked sites
  • MediaStreamer lets you watch on any WiFi-enabled device
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

ExpressVPN’s latest deal May 2021: Get 3 months completely free on your annual subscription with this current offer! It’s not for certain when this deal will end so it’s best to check the deals page to see if it’s still available.

As a premium service ExpressVPN might not be free, but you can try it out completely risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can claim a full refund within 30 days.

For speeds that will let you stream in the highest possible quality, you could do far worse than the superfast ExpressVPN.

It now has 3,000 servers worldwide, and a wide variety of locations to choose from in countries like the US, Japan, and Germany. Connecting takes seconds, and the broad selection means you’ll easily be able find titles that are only streaming in other countries.

As well as being fast, ExpressVPN’s servers are reliable. I was consistently able to bypass blocks while attempting to connect to Netflix Canada or Amazon Prime Video UK.

To ensure its service is accessible on your favorite Apple devices, ExpressVPN has an intuitive iOS app. Alternatively, ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer will get you VPN features on any WiFi-compatible devices.

Thanks to its advanced verification system, ExpressVPN drastically cuts down on your chances of malware attacks.

With its Lightway Protocol you can rest assured your information will remain hidden, even while you’re switching between servers. It also uses AES-256 — the same level of encryption used by government bodies such as the US.

If you have any issues or questions about the service, you can check out the extensive FAQ section. For more personalised advice, you should contact the live chat support (available 24/7).

For more information on what makes ExpressVPN such an excellent service, check out our review.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

2. Windscribe – 10GB Data Allowance Each Month

  • 10GB data for free, and more available
  • Easy-to-use app for iOS
  • Server locations in 10 countries
  • Allows torrenting
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Adblocker and a strict no-logs policy
  • Works with: BBC iPlayer, YouTube, HBO GO
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, browsers

Windscribe is a Canada-based VPN that has risen up the ranks of free VPN providers due to its generous 10GB data allowance per month and its strong commitment to protecting users’ privacy.

10GB of data is enough to stream in standard definition for over 10 hours. If you just want your VPN for browsing, it’ll probably keep you going for the full month. I still had plenty of data left at the end of my tests.

You can actually get more data if you run out. Tweet the company and they’ll give you another 5GB.

Windscribe’s free plan offers servers in 10 countries, including the US and the UK.

There’s an easy-to-use app to download to your device from the app store. This makes setup super quick.

It cannot bypass Netflix’s geoblocks. However, I was able to access BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and HBO GO easily.

I did experience some buffering and lagging because the free servers aren’t as speedy as premium, so you may struggle to game or stream during busy periods.

It also allows P2P connections. With 10GB of data, you can share large files without using all your data allowance.

You can connect Windscribe simultaneously across an Unlimited number of devices. You’d usually only get unlimited connections with a premium subscription, so this is great if you need a VPN on multiple devices, even ones that aren’t iOS.

Windscribe comes with some cool features, such as an ad blocker and a strict no-logs policy.

There’s also military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection for ultimate security.

Need technical support? You can use Windscribe’s automatic chatbot or their ticketing system.

See why Windscribe is high on my list of free VPNs by reading our review.

Get Windscribe for Free!

3. Hotspot Shield – Reliable Speeds and Solid Security

  • 500MB of free data per day
  • Dedicated app for iOS devices
  • 256-bit AES encryption and built-in ad blocker
  • Perfect forward secrecy feature
  • Works with: YouTube and Kodi
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Chrome, and Firefox

Hotspot Shield excels in providing unrestricted browsing and streaming with tight security.

The free service will give you a 500MB data allowance per day. That’s sufficient for light browsing, but not for content-heavy web activity.

While it has over 3,200 servers across 80+ countries, the free version only gives you access to the US server – meaning you can’t access geo-restricted content from around the globe.

During my tests, I found speeds were reliable. I was able to browse mostly hassle-free. Because there is only one free server, it can become congested when a lot of users connect at the same time. During quieter times, I experienced no buffering or lagging at all.

If you’re wanting to stream, Hotspot Shield might not be for you. It can’t unlock US Netflix for you. I was also unable to access Amazon Prime Video or Hulu. You can access YouTube, though.

It has a convenient app for iOS devices, which uses 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. Free VPNs don’t usually offer this feature, but Hotspot Shield will keep you secure even if your connection fails.

For added privacy, there’s a perfect forward secrecy feature. This keeps each session’s data private, as you’ll have a new key each time you log on.

If you need support, there’s an extensive FAQ section on the website. You can submit a question to the customer support team, but they do not prioritize messages from free users.

Read our review for a closer look at Hotspot Shield’s features and performance.

Get Hotspot Shield for Free!

4. ProtonVPN – Unlimited Data and Bandwidth

  • Unlimited bandwidth and data
  • Servers in three locations, including the US
  • Bypass digital censorship
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy
  • Built-in ad blocker
  • Works with: YouTube and Kodi
  • Compatible with: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux

ProtonVPN’s free plan only offers servers in the US, Holland, and Japan.

There’s a dedicated app to download directly to your iPhone or iPad, and it’s easy to set up. You don’t need to provide any payment details, only your email address.

ProtonVPN doesn’t impose bandwidth restrictions or cap monthly data limits. This means that even with the free version, you will be able to browse the internet to your heart’s content without worrying about running out of data.

You can’t stream or torrent with ProtonVPN, though. However, you can easily bypass digital censorship restrictions, as I was able to get onto Google and YouTube with no problems.

My connection was slow. I struggled to load high definition videos, but I could browse with minimum hassle.

ProtonVPN focuses on privacy, which is great if you’re concerned about keeping your online identity anonymous.

Its headquarters are in privacy-friendly Switzerland, and it keeps a strict no-logs policy. It uses military-grade encryption, too.

There’s also a built-in ad blocker, which is rare for a free VPN. This means you can browse with no interruptions and no targeted ads.

If you need to contact customer service, you can use the ticketing system on their website.

With top-of-the-line encryption and a solid commitment to privacy, it is no surprise that ProtonVPN is one of the best free VPNs. Check out its performance in our tests.

Get ProtonVPN for Free!

5. hide.me – Unrestricted Speeds and Unlimited Server Switches

  • 2GB of free data per month
  • Dedicated app for iOS
  • Free servers in five countries
  • Military-grade encryption, kill switch, and IP leak protection
  • Built-in ad blocker
  • Works with: HBO GO, Netflix Canada, Sky GO, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers

hide.me is an extremely capable VPN service with an easy-to-use app for iOS.

The free version gives you 2GB worth of data a month which is more than enough to catch up with one episode of your favorite TV show.

It offers you access to servers in five countries spread around the globe. This includes Singapore, Canada, US East, US West, and the Netherlands.

You’ll have unlimited server switches, so you aren’t restricted to just one of the three locations.

Operating hide.me is satisfyingly simple, and I found it super easy to navigate the app during my tests.

I found the speeds are pretty impressive, too. I was able to stream and browse with little lagging or buffering, even when I switched between locations.

A closer look at my speeds showed they weren’t deliberately throttled, which is rare for a free VPN.

It will easily bypass most streaming sites’ geoblocks. I was able to access HBO GO and Amazon Prime Video. I could also access Netflix Canada.

hide.me offers 256-bit AES encryption, a built-in ad blocker, and IP leak protection. There are multiple security protocols to choose from, even on the free plan.

It is also worth mentioning that this Malaysia-based provider stands by its privacy policy. It doesn’t store your connection logs, supports multiple protocols to protect your data, and comes with the essential kill switch.

If you need help with setup or just have a question about hide.me, you can use their 24/7 live chat.

Read more about hide.me’s performance in our review.

Get hide.me for Free!

6. TunnelBear – Bypass Censorship Blocks With GhostBear

  • 500MB of free data per month
  • Allows torrenting
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Works with: HBO GO, YouTube, and Kodi
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android

TunnelBear has servers in 23 countries on the free plan, including the UK, US, Canada, Japan, and more. It allows torrenting, too.

It offers users a 500MB data allowance per month, which is fine for light and occasional use. But, keep in mind that it won’t be enough for streaming movies or TV shows extensively.

There’s another 1GB of free data on offer if you tweet TunnelBear.

During my tests, speeds were more than sufficient for on-the-go browsing, but streaming led to a lot of buffering and loading.

It can’t unlock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. However, I was able to access HBO GO and YouTube. Digitally censored sites like Facebook and Google are easily accessible, too.

If you’re looking for a free VPN with strong encryption, a strict no-logs policy and an interface that’s easy to navigate, then TunnelBear is ideal for secure, mobile browsing.

TunnelBear offers a unique feature that allows you to whitelist and blacklist certain websites.

You can use the form on TunnelBear’s website to contact its support team, and they’ll reply to you by email. I received a response within 24 hours. It’s not quite live chat, but still a quick response nonetheless.

Read more about TunnelBear’s performance in our extensive review.

Get TunnelBear for Free!

7. Speedify – Channel Bonding to Increase Speed

  • 2GB free data every month
  • Servers in 430 countries
  • Allows torrenting and P2P sharing
  • Combines cellular data with WiFi to increase speeds
  • ChaCha 256-bit encryption
  • Works with HBO GO and YouTube
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android

Speedify offers 2GB data for free every month. It has a dedicated app for iOS that you simply download straight to your iPhone or iPad.

There’s no need to register to use the free VPN, which means personal data, like your email address, is not linked to your account.

You can choose from servers in 50 countries. If you want to use your VPN for torrenting, you can change the options easily so that Speedify will connect you to a torrent-friendly server. 

Speedify combines your cellular data and your WiFi connection to increase your speed. This sends your traffic twice, and uses twice as much cellular and WiFi data. However, you can set caps on your mobile data and WiFi so you don’t run out of your allowance.

Connections are fast and reliable. When connecting to a server in another country though, I did experience below-average speeds.

During my tests I wasn’t able to unlock US, UK or Canada Netflix. It can’t access Hulu, either.

It can bypass digital censorship, as I was able to access YouTube, Facebook, and Google in restricted locations.

It offers ChaCha 256-bit encryption for high security. For iOS devices, there’s also a built-in kill switch. 

Speedify’s headquarters are in the US, within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance’s jurisdiction. However, this is not a threat to your privacy because Speedify keeps a strict no-logs policy. 

You can only use the free plan on one of your iOS devices.

Read more about Speedify’s features in our review.

Get Speedify for Free!

8. Betternet – Dedicated iPad and iPhone App

  • 500MB free data per day
  • Dedicated app for iOS devices
  • Allows torrenting
  • Reliable speeds
  • AES-126-CBC-bit encryption
  • Good choice for secure browsing
  • Works with YouTube
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Chrome

Betternet offers a dedicated app for your iPhone or iPad and you’ll have 500MB of free data per day. That’s enough to browse online for approximately four hours or listen to 100 songs.

You can only connect to servers in the US, so there’s no ability to switch locations. This means you won’t be able to stream UK platforms, such as ITV Hub or BBC iPlayer. It couldn’t unblock US Netflix during my tests, either.

In fact, you’ll see a premium payment wall when you try and access any streaming websites.

Betternet allows torrenting, but the 500MB daily data cap means you may not get very far.

Speeds were good enough during my tests to browse online any much lag.

It offers 256-bit AES encryption for anonymity. Betternet’s headquarters are in Canada, within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. But, because it doesn’t record your browsing activity, this isn’t a threat to your security.

It does keep partial logs, including your IP address for the entire session.

The free version serves you ads in the app, and information is shared with advertisers to tailor these ads. This may include your approximate location and other information, such as your wireless carrier.

You can only connect one device with the free plan. You can’t access the 24/7 live support service, either.

Learn more about Betternet’s performance in our robust testing in our review.

Get Betternet for Free!

9. PrivateVPN – Unlimited 7-day Free Trial

  • 7-day free trial
  • 150 servers in 60+ countries
  • Dedicated streaming servers for Netflix and others
  • 256-bit AES encryption, automatic kill switch, and zero-logging
  • Super-fast speeds and unlimited data
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, ITV Hub, and more
  • Compatible with: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android

PrivateVPN is a premium vendor that offers a 7-day free trial. It has a dedicated iOS app that is easy to install and use.

It operates 150 servers in 60+ countries, and you can switch between locations as many times as you like. There are also dedicated servers for streaming sites, including Netflix and Hulu.

Private VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and data. During my test, I found that its speeds are reliable, and I could browse and stream with no buffering or lag.

I was able to easily bypass geo-restrictions and stream Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It also allows torrenting.

Private VPN offers 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, a zero-logging policy, and IP leak protection. There are also various security protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN.

You can connect Private VPN across 6 of your devices simultaneously.

If you need help with setup, PrivateVPN offers free remote support. You can also use their online ticketing system and they’ll respond to you by email.

Learn more about why Private VPN is so impressive in our review

Get PrivateVPN for Free!

What’s the Catch With Free VPNs?

A free VPN can be perfect for occasional use – for instance, unblocking websites that are unavailable in your region or protecting your data when connecting to public WiFi. While it’s amazing that you can do all that at no cost, it is important to remember that using a free VPN also has its drawbacks.

Security

A free VPN doesn’t always keep you as safe as you can be online. Some of them don’t keep strict no-logs policies. This means they can provide your internet service provider (ISP) and other third parties with access to your personal information upon request – the exact opposite of what a VPN is supposed to do.

Worst of all, some free VPNs use outdated encryption, which doesn’t keep you secure. Some may even go as far as selling your private data to third parties.

Limitations

Free VPN services are typically quite limited. Bandwidth and speed caps could mean that you can’t actually use them for streaming or torrenting. It also means you’ll usually experience buffering and lagging.

In some cases, you’ll also find that your server selection is limited, so you won’t be able to connect to all the countries you’d like.

Compatibility

Free VPNs aren’t always compatible with iOS devices. This means you’ll struggle to find a free VPN that you can install on your iPhone or iPad. Premium VPNs offer dedicated apps so you can use one VPN across several devices.

How We Tested and Ranked These VPNs

I tested each of the VPNs I recommend so that I could give you accurate, proven information.

I used the results of my tests to compare their security features, speeds, and ability to stream and torrent. I also looked into user reviews and spoke to each VPN’s customer support team.

Security

I only recommend free VPNs that use a minimum of 128-bit encryption. 256-bit is ideal, and that’s the level of security most of the VPNs on my list use. I examined each provider’s privacy policy and asked customer support questions to verify its no-logs policy.

Then, I ran a DNS/IPv6 leak test on my connection to make sure the VPN masked my IP address correctly.

Speed

While connected to each VPN, I ran several speed tests to get a clear picture of how fast it was during peak and off-peak periods.

I have only included VPNs that are fast enough to stream in standard definition, although most are fast enough to watch high definition videos.

Streaming

After my speed tests, I checked each VPN to see which streaming sites it could unblock. Free VPNs can rarely unblock services like Netflix, so I included a list of the streaming services each one can access in my compatibility guides.

Torrenting

I examined each VPN’s website and privacy policy to confirm if it allowed P2P connections.

Then, before testing it myself, I double-checked that it has the security features to protect me while torrenting. I ran another leak test to make sure it hid my IP address, and then I used it to share some files with my friends via P2P.

FAQs

? Will my iOS VPN work with my other devices?

Most free VPNs only offer apps for desktop and laptop computers.

Offering a service for free often means there are no resources to invest in building new apps.

The free VPNs on my list offer apps for iOS and other major platforms. I have included a compatibility guide with each service so that you can check to see if it will work on your other devices. 

? Do these free VPN providers keep log files?

The free VPNs I have recommended do not store any personally identifiable information.

Some keep logs relating to your session times and approximate location. This information is used to monitor server performance, and, in some cases, deliver ads.

? Does a VPN impact speed?

Most free VPNs restrict your bandwidth, and some deliberately slow your connection speed, leading to lag and buffering.

Premium VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and lightning-fast servers that guarantee super-fast connections, no matter where you connect

Bottom Line

While free VPNs can offer a lot in terms of service, online security should never be taken lightly. You get what you pay for, and your privacy is worth the investment.

Many premium VPNs offer free trials and money-back guarantees, so you can test out their services for a short time for free.

If you’re tempted by a premium VPN, check out our guide to the 10 best VPNs for iOSThese VPNs offer maximum security, lightning-fast speeds, vast global networks, and all the best features for streaming and browsing.

Need more help configuring a VPN on your iPhone or iPad? Read our guide to help you set up.

Top VPNs for iPhone/iPad that you can try risk-free with money-back guarantees…

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Elly is an experienced writer in digital technology. With an avid interest in researching the latest cybersecurity and technology trends, Elly is committed to helping vpnMentor's users find the very best VPN and maintain their online privacy.

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