If you use an iPhone or iPad, you may already feel secure knowing that Apple prioritizes security on its products. However, if you want to ensure your privacy, it might be a good idea to use a reputable and well-tested virtual private network (VPN). Without a VPN, your internet service provider can track your online activity and other websites can collect your IP address. While an iPhone doesn’t have the capability to prevent this, a good iPhone VPN can.
There are many VPNs available that are specifically designed for use with Apple products, and more are being developed by leading VPN providers. However, it’s important to note that some research has shown that even when using an encrypted VPN tunnel, iOS (and some MacOS) users’ browsing and internet data may still be sent to Apple.
Mobile VPNs have become increasingly popular in recent years, with over 480 million mobile VPN downloads between 2019 and 2020, according to research firm Top10VPN. This represents a 54% increase from the previous year. While 84% of these downloads were for free VPNs, it is generally recommended to avoid free VPNs due to their limited effectiveness and potential risks. Instead, it’s better to use a trusted paid VPN service. If you decide to pay for a VPN, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth by choosing a reputable service.
This list of the best iPhone VPNs is based on our main VPN list, but focuses specifically on mobile VPNs for iOS devices. If a service is ranked higher on this list than on the main VPN list, it’s because the mobile app experience was particularly good. We are constantly updating this list through additional research and hands-on testing, so be sure to check back regularly for updates.
|Service||Jurisdiction||Network||Speed Loss (latest test)||No. Simultaneous Connections||Price||Features|
|Surfshark||Netherlands||3,200+ servers in 99 countries||19%||Unlimited||$13/month, $60/year, 2-year subscriptions available||Camouflage mode, split-tunneling, NoBorders mode, multihop VPN connections, CleanWeb technology, Nexus network|
|ExpressVPN||British Virgin Islands||3,000+ servers in 160 locations across 94 countries||2%||5||$13/month, $60/6 months, $100/year (current discount: 3 months free), 2-year subscriptions available||TrustedServer deployment process, i2Coalition member, open source Lightway encryption protocol, detailed FAQs and troubleshooting articles, 24/7 customer support, 30-day money back guarantee|
|NordVPN||Panama||5,600+ servers in 84 locations across 59 countries||13%||6||$12/month, $60/year (current discount: 3 months free), 2-year subscriptions available||Diskless RAM-only server infrastructure, solid encryption, accepts anonymous cryptocurrency payments, retail store payments|
|IPVanish||United States||2,000+ servers in 75 locations across 52 countries||58%||Unlimited||$11/month, $16/3 months ($30 quarterly after first 3 months), $48/year ($90 annually after first year)||Configurable interface, IP address checker, leak testers, password generator, connection kill switch|
ExpressVPN is a top VPN choice for privacy protection and fast speeds. In our tests, it caused a speed loss of only 2% and did not have any data leaks. Its apps for iOS and Android are user-friendly and allow for quick connection. In addition to standard security and privacy tools, ExpressVPN offers an IP address checker, leak testers, and a password generator. The company has increased its third-party audits, published details about its TrustedServer deployment process, and joined the i2Coalition to advocate for improved VPN industry ethics. It has also released an open source Lightway encryption protocol.
ExpressVPN has excellent customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It has a large network of over 3,000 RAM-only servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Its best plan offers five simultaneous connections for $100 per year, or you can choose a $13 per month plan or pay $60 for six months. The annual plan includes a limited-time deal of three extra months for a total of 15 months of service.
NordVPN is a reliable and secure VPN service for iPhones. In our tests, it did not have any data leaks and caused a speed loss of 13%. It offers a generous simultaneous connection count of six and a dedicated IP option. NordVPN’s server fleet is optimized for peer-to-peer sharing, although it has blocked torrenting in 14 countries. Our latest tests showed some issues with Nord’s killswitch when using its iOS app, but Nord recommends a sideloaded iOS app available on its website for users. NordVPN does not accept PayPal payments, but it allows for payment with major credit and debit cards, AmazonPay, Google Pay, ACH transfer, and various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Dogecoin. It can also be purchased at retail stores like Staples, BestBuy, and Walmart with cash.
Surfshark is a popular VPN service that offers a range of features to enhance your privacy and security online. It has an easy-to-use interface and a global network of over 3,200 servers in 99 countries. In addition to standard VPN features such as a kill switch and DNS leak protection, Surfshark offers unique features like camouflage mode, split-tunneling, and NoBorders mode. You’ll also get access to Surfshark’s CleanWeb technology, which blocks ads and malware and helps you avoid phishing attacks.
One of Surfshark’s standout features is its Nexus network, which connects the VPN’s entire server network together and allows you to choose multiple servers to route your connection through. The functionality is similar to Tor, but Surfshark claims it is faster. With its Dynamic MultiHop, IP Randomizer, and IP Rotator functions, the Nexus network can provide extra layers of protection for users with critical privacy needs.
In terms of speed, Surfshark is generally fast, but we did experience some inconsistent results in our tests. Surfshark was able to unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content, but we had some difficulty accessing Disney Plus. Surfshark offers competitive pricing, with introductory rates that increase after the first billing cycle. However, even with the price increase, Surfshark is still relatively inexpensive compared to other VPNs. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish is a fun and flexible iPhone VPN choice for beginners, with a configurable interface that allows users to understand and customize their VPN connection. Its iOS app includes a range of features for precision-tuning, such as visual graphs of internet activity and controls for split-tunneling and LAN connection allowance. While it is not the fastest VPN, its speed loss of 58% in our tests is average for VPNs. Its Quick Connect feature may not always connect to the best available server, so it may be necessary to manually choose a server with a lighter load to optimize speeds. IPVanish’s monthly plan costs $11 per month, but it offers a discounted yearly plan of $40 for the first year, which then increases to $90 per year. It also has a quarterly plan that costs $13 for the first three months and $30 for each subsequent three-month period. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but only for the yearly plan. IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous connections and has a connection kill switch for privacy protection.
What is the best iPhone VPN at the moment?
According to our testing and evaluation, Surfshark is currently the top choice for the best iPhone VPN. It offers strong performance, unlimited device support, and a range of unique security features. ExpressVPN is a close second, with its easy-to-use app and fast speeds, while NordVPN rounds out the top three with its extensive server network and solid security. Keep in mind that some research has suggested that even with a VPN, iOS (and some MacOS) users’ browsing and internet data may still be sent to Apple. We will continue to update our recommendations as more information becomes available.
What is a mobile VPN and how do I choose the right one for me?
A mobile VPN is a type of virtual private network specifically designed for use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile VPNs generally have a smaller memory footprint and require less processing power than desktop VPNs, making them faster and more battery-efficient. When choosing a mobile VPN, consider factors such as compatibility with your device’s operating system, speed, security measures, and the number of simultaneous connections allowed. Our top three VPN recommendations listed above all have strong mobile apps.
How do I set up a VPN on my iPhone or Android phone and why do I need one?
To set up a VPN on your iPhone or Android phone, you will need to download and install a VPN app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once the app is installed, open it and sign in with your VPN account details. From there, you can select a server location and connect to the VPN by pressing the appropriate button in the app. You may need to grant permission for the app to access your device’s network settings in order to establish the connection. A VPN is useful for protecting your online privacy and security by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address. It can also allow you to access content that may be restricted in your location.
What is the best free VPN?
While there are some free VPNs available, we do not recommend using them as they can be risky. Many free VPNs make money by selling user data and some have even been found to contain malware. In addition, free VPNs are often slow, have usage and data limits, a limited selection of servers, and are generally less secure than paid VPNs. They may also not work with streaming services. If you are looking for a budget-friendly VPN, consider one of the cheap options on CNET’s list.
Can I get into trouble for using a VPN?
In most parts of the world, using a VPN is legal. However, in countries where VPN use is banned or illegal, such as China or Iran, you may be at risk of facing legal consequences for using a VPN. If you are in a country where VPN use is restricted, you can connect to an obfuscated server, which will disguise your VPN traffic as regular HTTPS internet traffic, making it harder for authorities to detect your VPN usage.
What information can my ISP or mobile carrier see when I am connected to a VPN?
While your ISP or mobile carrier will be able to see that you are connected to a VPN, they will not be able to see the specific websites you visit or your browsing history, as your traffic is encrypted. They will be able to see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to, as well as timestamps and the amount of data transmitted. If you want to hide your VPN usage from your ISP or mobile carrier, you can connect to an obfuscated server, if offered by your VPN.