There are many different VPN services available in the App Store, making it difficult for iOS users to choose the best VPN for their needs. If you use an iPhone, iPad, or both, then you should install VPN software on your device, especially if you’re frequently accessing the internet.
While iOS and macOS devices come with built-in anti-malware software, they don’t have automatic protection against hackers and third-party spies who want to see what you’re doing online. Only a VPN can give your iOS device this extra layer of security.
To ensure your online privacy and protect your data while surfing the web, we’ve compiled a guide on why you need a VPN for your iOS devices and a list of the best iOS VPNs for iPhone and iPad users.
iOS devices are well known for their built-in virus protection and security. For this reason, many users assume that their iPhone and iPad don’t need any internet security software. However, iOS devices have automatic protection from viruses, but this still leaves them susceptible to threats that only a VPN can defend them from. Here’s why you should be using an iOS VPN:
When you use the internet, many third parties can see what you’re getting up to online. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is one such party that can see, store, and share your browsing activity. Government agencies can also see your network data, undermining your digital privacy.
A VPN encrypts the data you send and receive over the internet. This essentially means that anything you do online is hidden from the prying eyes of your ISP and the government. Connecting to a VPN server also changes your IP address, giving you more anonymity online as your internet actions cannot be easily traced back to you.
So, VPNs for iOS devices can help to give you a lot more privacy online.
As mentioned above, your ISP can see what you’re getting up to on the internet when you don’t use VPN protection. Since ISPs see what we do online, they may throttle our bandwidth and slow down our internet connection if we do anything that is consuming a lot of data. If you’ve ever streamed or gamed, then you may have noticed your internet suddenly slows down a lot.
By encrypting your data using a VPN service, your ISP will not be able to see what your doing and therefore will be unable to throttle your bandwidth and affect your connection speed.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, then it’s likely you use your device often in public. If you frequently connect to public wi-fi networks, you’re at risk of hackers accessing the same network as you and stealing your information.
Hackers frequent public wi-fi hotspots to find information such as banking details and log-in information. This can lead them to steal your identity, which can ultimately cause you a lot of trouble.
VPN encryption will ensure that hackers won’t decipher the encrypted code and see your data. This means you can go about your daily business on the internet in public, without the worry that spies are watching you.
We’ve reviewed the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad users and compiled a list of our top picks. All of the following providers offer a dedicated iOS app in the App Store and work as both an iPad and iPhone app.
We’ve judged each of the following VPNs based on their security and privacy features, server network, customer support, price, and how easy their iPad and iPhone VPN apps are to use.
The best VPN for iPhone and iPad users is ExpressVPN. This VPN combines security features with lightning-fast speed for a secure VPN connection.
ExpressVPN is one of, if not, the best iPhone VPN providers thanks to its easy to use iOS app. Users can choose from a long list of server locations across 94 countries and can access blocked content on their iPhone or iPad with ease. Accessing foreign streaming service libraries is a breeze with ExpressVPN, as it can unblock popular platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Not only does ExpressVPN provide iOS users with more internet freedom and the ability to bypass geo-blocks, but it offers the highest level of encryption and the strongest tunneling protocols. There is also DNS and iPv6 leak protection, which means that your browsing data will always be protected.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and so enjoys great privacy laws. These extend to its users, and the provider has a very strict no-logs policy. In short, Express will never store or share user data. The provider only uses RAM on its servers, which means that all of its users’ browsing data is wiped once the servers are rebooted.
The only downside to ExpressVPN’s iOS app is that it currently doesn’t feature the Network Lock, Express’ kill switch. We’d like to see this added, as it is an essential security feature that protects your data from being exposed should your VPN server go down.
However, ExpressVPN offers more features than any other provider on our list despite the lack of a kill switch. There is split tunneling, unlimited bandwidth, and support for P2P networking. Speeds are fast so that you can carry out your usual internet activities on the iPad or iPhone VPN app without any connection interruptions.
Customer support is first-rate, with a chat feature on the website and a seemingly endless number of tutorials and guides on how to use the VPN. You get 5 simultaneous connections, and there are dedicated VPN apps for Windows, macOS, and Android users. Pricing is expensive, starting from $8.32 per month, but there is a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try out the service for free.
Another one of the best VPNs for iOS device users is NordVPN. Nord offers a great iPhone VPN app that includes all of its impressive features.
One of the most reliable iPhone VPN providers that also works with other iOS devices is NordVPN. This reputable provider is perhaps the most popular in the industry, thanks to the vast array of features it provides its users. NordVPN is one of the most secure providers, using AES-256 bit encryption and a range of secure VPN protocols, including its own NordLynx protocol for the best security.
Not only this, NordVPN has private DNS on every server and an automatic kill switch that is available on its iOS app. It has a great privacy feature called Double VPN, allowing users to send their connection through two VPN servers, masking their real IP address twice.
Privacy is a big selling point for VPNs, and NordVPN has one of the most impressive no-logs policies we’ve seen. The provider will only store basic user information, such as email addresses and billing details. It doesn’t log browsing data and uses RAM on its servers to ensure that user data is never compromised.
We experienced some of the fastest download speeds with NordVPN. This makes it a great iOS VPN app for users who want to game or stream. Moreover, it can unblock almost every popular streaming service, which is a feat that many other providers cannot match. Censorship online is not an issue with NordVPN, and it even works in China.
There are many dedicated P2P servers in Nord’s network, and users can even choose Onion over VPN if they want extra privacy. Split tunneling is another great option that allows you to customize which web traffic is encrypted and which goes through your regular network connection.
With one subscription, users get 6 simultaneous connections and can use the VPN on several different operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. NordVPN can also be configured to your router and used on gaming consoles.
Subscription prices start from $3.71 a month, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee that acts as a free trial for users. Should you run into issues at any time, you can take advantage of Nord’s 24/7 customer service in the form of a live chat and its online help center.
If you have several iOS devices that you want a VPN app for, then Surfshark may be your best option as it offers unlimited simultaneous connections across all of its plans.
Another of the best iPad and iPhone VPNs is Surfshark. This provider has a dedicated iOS app on the App Store that is very easy to use and enables users to quickly and easily connect to a VPN server out of a choice of many server locations.
Surfshark offers decent speeds and can unblock a serious amount of content. It claims to access 15 Netflix libraries, and we found that it worked well when we tested it on German and Japanese Netflix. Its NoBorders mode makes it possible to access censored content in even the most restrictive regions, making it great for people living in places such as China or Russia.
If you want to ensure that your browsing data is always secure, then you can rely on Surfshark. This provider has a strict no-logs policy, provides AES-256 bit encryption, uses RAM only servers, and has DNS leak protection. Moreover, it has an automatic kill switch and offers users a choice between the secure IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN protocols.
The MultiHop feature is one of our favorites and takes footprint masking to a whole other level. Users can connect via multiple countries at once, giving themselves more privacy protection than if they were to connect to one server.
If you want to hide your VPN usage from your ISP, you can employ the Camouflage mode, which hides your VPN use. This is great if you want to use a VPN on your iPhone if your school or work network has restricted access to certain websites.
Since Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections, you can use it on your iPhone, iPad, and other devices simultaneously. There is 24/7 support from the provider in the form of a live chat on the website, and prices start from an extremely low $2.49 a month. Included in every subscription plan is a 30-day money-back guarantee with no strings attached, which means you can test out the VPN app before signing up officially.
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers iOS users an incredible number of servers and has an easy to use iPhone VPN app.
If you want access to many server locations, PIA is the best VPN option in the App Store. Accessing foreign websites on your iOS device is super easy, thanks to PIA’s vast global server network. It can bypass VPN blocks on the most popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer and offers good speeds so you can enjoy HD video quality.
Not only is PIA a great VPN for circumventing censorship, but this VPN provider has many great security features like an automatic kill switch, malware blocking, and built-in wi-fi protection for when you connect to new networks. PIA offers users the option to choose their level of encryption and what tunneling protocol they want to use. The zero-logs policy guarantees users that user data will never be misused.
There is unlimited bandwidth with PIA, which makes it great for torrenting. In fact, torrenting is encouraged by the provider, and PIA offers P2P support and has a SOCKS5 proxy included for better speeds.
PIA’s iOS app is extremely easy to use, with users turning the VPN on with the tap of a button. As well as being able to choose which country they connect to, users can also select a server based on city location.
There are 10 simultaneous connections available across all of PIA’s subscription plans, and there is 24/7 support on the website for customers who need help. PIA is one of the cheapest VPN services on our list, as its 3-year plan costs an impressive $2.19 a month.
CyberGhost is a great VPN for novices who want an easy to use VPN service at their fingertips.
CyberGhost is a great iPad and iPhone VPN because it provides seamless ease of use, perfectly complementing iOS devices’ functionality. CyberGhost is great for users who want to enjoy all of the benefits of VPN software at a lower cost.
Firstly, CyberGhost is big on user privacy, and this is reflected in its no-logging policy. Since the provider is based in Romania, it enjoys great data retention laws, which extend to its customers. Users can access the NoSpy server network, which is made up of servers in Romania and is controlled end-to-end by CyberGhost itself for extra security.
CyberGhost uses military-grade AES-256 bit encryption and has a built-in kill switch to make sure your privacy and security are protected should your server connection go down. CyberGhost also has DNS leak protection to ensure your IP is masked at all times. There is also a wi-fi Auto-Protect feature, which will auto-connect you to a server when the VPN detects you’re using a public wi-fi network.
If you need a VPN to access blocked content on your iPhone or iPad, this VPN provider is a great option. It can subvert many internet restrictions and can unblock streaming libraries on services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. There is also the option to connect to optimized P2P servers if you want to torrent with more anonymity.
Each plan has a 45-day money-back guarantee, and users get 7 simultaneous connections and access to great customer service. The CyberGhost team is extremely personable, unheard of in the VPN industry, and users can contact them via live chat support or social media.
One of the best iOS VPNs on the App Store is PrivateVPN, a small yet super secure provider with a growing server network.
PrivateVPN is a great VPN when it comes to privacy and security features. It uses AES-256 bit encryption and offers a range of protocols to users to get the most secure VPN connection possible. It is also DNS and IPv6 leakproof and has a kill switch to prevent data leaks.
We were extremely impressed with PrivateVPN’s speeds, which are perfect for watching your favorite films and TV shows. PrivateVPN can get past VPN blocks on popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer and HBO Max.
The VPN is extremely easy to use, and the provider offers a lot of support to users. Customers can communicate directly with the developers themselves via the 24/7 live chat or email system.
Each subscription plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and PrivateVPN offers its VPN service for as low as $2.07 a month on the 2-year plan. This is great for iOS users who may not want to spend a lot on a VPN app.
IPVanish offers a great iOS app for iPhone and iPad users, especially those who want an advanced VPN that shows usage statistics and the ability to customize settings and protocols. However, it is still a great iPhone VPN for individuals who may not have ever used a VPN before. There is an auto-connect option that kickstarts the VPN whenever you connect to an internet network.
Security is great with IPVanish, and it uses advanced encryption and has a built-in kill switch to cut off your connection if the server goes down. It offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection and has a zero-logging policy, ensuring your data is always protected.
IPVanish has some of the best customer support we’ve seen. As well as a chat option, there is an email and phone number that users can contact if they run into any issues while using the VPN.
Each subscription plan allows unmetered simultaneous connections, and users can opt for storage protection, which will encrypt their most important files and make sure they remain safe. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
A VPN for iPhone and iPad doesn’t just give you advanced encryption. There are many other things that an iOS VPN can do for you to improve your overall internet experience.
Depending on your location, you’ll be limited to accessing certain content. Although you get access to a lot of content in the US, you can’t access foreign versions of streaming services like Netflix. Using a VPN changes your IP address and digital location. This enables you to access foreign streaming libraries, news websites in other countries, and content that may be blocked in your region.
If you travel a lot, then a VPN is essential as many other countries block content from the US. By having a VPN on your iOS device, you’ll be able to circumvent geo-restrictions, access websites at home and abroad, and have more internet freedom than you’ve ever experienced.
If you download content via torrent clients, then you should definitely use a VPN. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking allows users to share files with others on the internet. However, by doing this, you expose your IP to many unknown people online.
Using a VPN for torrenting not only hides your true location but also encrypts your activity, hiding it from your ISP. This means you won’t face bandwidth throttling from your ISP. Moreover, your identity will be better protected from other users on P2P networks.
Many VPN providers offer access to dedicated P2P servers, which is good since these can improve the overall internet connection.
Since a VPN changes your digital location, you can access foreign stores and find better deals online. E-commerce shops offer different prices depending on your location, which means you can save a lot of money online.
Moreover, you can use an iOS VPN to download different apps from the App Store. You won’t be limited to those in your country, and you may find that some apps are a lot cheaper in other areas. Just remember to change your country or region in the iTunes and App Store settings before you connect to a VPN server in the country of your choice.
If you browse the App Store for VPNs, you’ll likely come across several free VPN options. While free VPNs are appealing as they don’t cost anything, we recommend against using them for several reasons.
Firstly, free VPN services often come with limitations, such as data and device caps. More importantly, free VPNs are known to misuse user data, selling it to third parties. Security is also often weaker with free VPNs.
When you pay for a VPN, you more often than not get some of the best security and privacy features in exchange for your money and the reassurance that your data is safe.
Installing an iPhone VPN or a VPN on your iPad is very easy. Once you’ve signed up for a VPN service, then you need to download your VPN provider’s app from the App Store and sign in with your log-in details. From there, you can begin using the VPN and enjoying all of its great features.
Unfortunately, iOS devices do not come with built-in VPN software. Although all iOS products have automatic malware protection, this is entirely different from VPNs. While it’s unlikely that you’ll get a virus on your iPhone or iPad, you can still be tracked online and have your data stored by third parties. A VPN will protect your personal online privacy whilst also opening the world online for you and giving you extra freedom to enjoy the internet.