Best VPN for iPhone in 2021

Most people have an iPhone or iPad but a lot of people never think of protecting their iOS devices with a VPN app. There’s a common misconception that VPNs are only for desktop or laptop computers and that phones don’t need a VPN. But the internet is the same regardless of the device you’re using, and you will always be exposed to many risks and threats even if you only use your iPhone to surf the net.

If you use your iPhone every day for internet banking, checking emails, or making online purchases then you should definitely be using a VPN app. Even though iOS systems are designed to protect against malware and internet threats, they are not immune from geo-blocks or potential hackers who have accessed your internet network. Luckily, almost all VPN providers work with iOS systems. There is an abundance of choice in the App Store of both paid-for and free VPN services.

The big range of choices can make it difficult for iPhone users to choose a VPN. With this in mind, it’s important to think about what is most important to you in a VPN. Since iPhones provide seamless ease of use to users, it makes sense that each user would want a VPN that complements iOS systems. But if you are also searching for more privacy and better access to blocked sites, and geo-blocked internet content, it’s worth investigating which is the best VPN for iPhone in these areas too.

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Should I Install VPN On My iPhone?

It’s well known that iPhones offer the best protection against viruses and malware. iOS systems like an iPhone or an iPad come in-built with high-tech security to ensure your phone stays free from ransomware and trojans, which could pose a serious risk to your phone’s security. For this reason, users often refrain from installing anti-virus software.

Since iPhones are held in high regard for their above-average protection, many iOS users are oblivious to the other threats of the internet that VPNs can shield you from. As soon as you go online, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see which websites you’re visiting and can store and sell data about your online activity.

What’s more, if you visit websites without a secure https connection or that don’t use an SSL protocol, then you are exposing your online data to internet spies. It’s common knowledge that world governments use our internet data to watch us, and a VPN is a sure way to protect against this.

Even if you visit protected websites, hackers still pose a threat to your online safety. By using public wi-fi networks, there is the chance that third parties could see what you’re doing online and steal your identity. Bank details, passwords, and other sensitive information could be stolen in a minute if you’re connected to a public network without a VPN.

If your iPhone is your main device for all of your internet activity, then it’s essential to invest in a good VPN service. Not only will it provide you with extra security, but you’ll be able to access censored sites such as foreign Netflix. What’s more, VPNs can sometimes speed up your internet connection, which makes it perfect for iPhone or iPad users who like to game or watch Netflix on their phones.

Luckily, there are a lot of VPN apps for iOS systems available on the app store. However, the abundance of choice can also prove to be a disadvantage. Unless you know a lot about VPNs, then it is hard to know which are the best providers. Some VPN providers are better than others, and many can actually be counter-effective since they use older protocols that leave you with unstable encryption and, therefore, exposed to threats.

What Makes a Good VPN For iPhone?

When you’re looking for the best VPN service for your iPhone or iPad in the app store, there are many things you need to consider. Each operating system is different, and there are some features that you should prioritize when you’re looking at VPNs for iOS devices to ensure that you get the best service for your needs.

Which VPN is Best for iPhone?

There are so many VPNs for iPhones, and we know that people don’t have all the time in the world to check out each one before downloading one. We’ve compiled the best iPhone VPN apps to make your decision a little easier. We’ve tried and tested each one of these apps on iPhone and iPad to make sure they work well with both iOS systems.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN doesn’t just have one of the best iPhone VPN apps, but the VPN is great on all other operating systems. With NordVPN you get:

NordVPN is known for its ability to provide users access to geo-blocked streaming services, like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. It also even lets users access special P2P and torrenting servers ensuring that they can share and download files with no data limits.

You can also give your device further encryption with the Onion over VPN option. This option connects you to the Tor network, ensuring that your internet connection is as private as possible and providing you with complete anonymity.

The Nord app itself provides seamless ease of use. You can turn the VPN on and off with the tap of a finger, and use Nord’s well-designed server map to connect to a VPN server of your choice. Alternatively, there is the Quick Connect feature that removes all hard work and connects you to the fastest and closest server with just the tap of a button.

Want split tunneling? You can choose which apps to encrypt and which can be accessed through your regular network on the iOS app. If you need some customer support, you can use the live chat support option on the iPhone app.

2. ExpressVPN

Our second pick on our list of best VPNs for iPhone is ExpressVPN. This impressive VPN provider, based in the British Virgin Islands enjoys fantastic data privacy laws and has an impressive no-logs policy.

ExpressVPN offers its iOS device users many security features. On the iPhone app, many of these are activated upon download, such as the kill switch (known as the Network Lock). By having this integral feature switched on for users, it saves them the trouble of having to do so themselves. It also ensures that their surfing is never at risk should the connection drop or become compromised.

The user interface of the ExpressVPN app isn’t as stylish as some other iPhone VPN apps, but it is clearly laid out which makes it easy to use. You can tap the Smart Location button to be connected to a recommended server, or click the choose location button and select from a list of possible VPN servers.

The privacy and security tools menu on the ExpressVPN app allows users to check whether the app is functioning properly or not. You can check for DNS and WebRTC leaks and view your current connection and IP address. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has encrypted DNS on all of its servers, so leaks are extremely unlikely when you’re using this app!

3. Private Internet Access (PIA)

For access to an incredible number of servers, Private Internet Access is a great choice for your iPhone VPN. Although its features are a little more basic than others on the list, it’s an overall good iOS VPN.

As well as offering the best encryption, PIA VPN comes with extra malware protection in the form of its in-built adblocker. This provides your iPhone extra protection from adware that could download viruses onto your phone.

Private Internet Access has a strict no-logs policy that guarantees all of your online surfing will be private. The company will never store any of your information such as your iOS device’s IP or your internet data. If privacy is the main reason why you’re downloading a VPN, then this provider is a good choice.

One of the most appealing features of this VPN is that you can have ten simultaneous connections with one subscription. You can protect your iPhone, iPad, and any other compatible operating systems you may have.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark is one of the most popular VPN providers due to its incredible prices and device connectivity options. Its dedicated iPhone app is easy to use.

With incredibly low prices, Surfshark is a major competitor in the world of VPNs. It uses AES-256-GCM encryption and the default protocol on all of its apps including the iOS VPN is IKEv2/IPsec which provides fast speeds to users. However, you can choose to use the OpenVPN protocol if you prefer.

The multi-hop feature offers users more privacy on their iPhones as you can connect to servers in multiple countries. This ensures your IP address is fully masked. The VPN has features such as a kill switch and has a Camouflage mode. The Camouflage mode hides your VPN use from your internet service provider and is a great feature to activate if you are using a public wi-fi network.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish is one of the oldest VPN providers and is well-known for its reliable security features and no-logs policy. You can trust that your web data and private information is safe in the hands of this app.

IPVanish is a great VPN, but its iOS VPN app lacks a few of the features that you can find on the desktop client. While there is a kill switch option available on other operating systems, there is currently no kill switch option for iPhone or iPad. We’d like to see this added in the future.

If you’re a fan of P2P networking, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can do so on IPVanish servers. Torrenting is possible thanks to the unlimited bandwidth. This means you’ll get fast connection speeds, so you can also use IPVanish.

With no metered device connections available, this means you can use IPVanish with all of your iOS devices and still be able to connect to an unlimited amount of other devices at the same time. Although IPVanish has great reviews from users, with a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind and want to cancel your subscription.

There are often very good discounts on the IPVanish website, which means users can save a lot of money. However, the standard IPVanish price plan is:

6. PureVPN

PureVPN is an impressive provider since all of its servers support all VPN protocols including OpenVPN. This provides users with first-rate security regardless of the server they connect to.

PureVPN offers a lot of great VPN services to users. There is a kill switch, which is a must-have for an iPhone VPN. As well as this, users can enjoy unlimited torrenting on any PureVPN server. PureVPN has good download speeds, which means you can even torrent on your iPhone or iPad.

We ran several DNS leak tests and found that the app is leak-free, thanks to PureVPN using its very own DNS hardware. This ensures that your IP address and real location will never be leaked while the app is switched on. You can also use PureVPN to access blocked VoIP services and ensure your communication on these is always encrypted.

If you’re a fan of streaming services, then you can potentially use PureVPN to access geo-blocked Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, not all of the VPN’s servers can get through Netflix’s strong VPN block.

There is a 31-day money-back guarantee, offering you an extra day than most other VPN providers.

7. VyprVPN

With a 4.6 rating on the App Store, VypyVPN is a great iPhone VPS for users who want to access streaming sites. VyprVPN can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and Hulu.

VyprVPN is big on internet security and privacy and provides its users with a range of features to ensure they are safe. On its iOS app, you can use the Chameleon protocol that VyprVPN has developed. This protocol helps users to get past DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) scans so that they can get past countries that employ DPI scans.

We ran several DNS tests and there were no-leaks found which means user location is unlikely to be revealed. You can also use VyprVPN for torrenting on its servers. Our VyperVPN speed tests showed good download, upload, and ping speeds which makes VpryVPN one of the best VPNs for streaming on your iPhone.

In terms of customer support, there is no live chat option on the iOS app, which we would like to see added. Other than that, VyprVPN is a good iPhone VPN thanks to several of its features.

Is There a Free VPN for iPhone?

There are many free VPNs for iPhone. We usually recommend against using these since free VPNs often cost nothing for a reason. This is because free VPNs for iPhone usually have:

So free VPNs aren’t the best VPNs for your iPhone. However, most VPN providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee or even a free trial. These provide users the chance to try out a VPN and they give them the flexibility to cancel their subscription if they don’t like the VPN.

Which Free VPN is Best for iPhone?

Good free VPNs are few and far in between. However, some VPN providers offer a free version of their VPN services. A lot of these free VPNs are available on the iOS app, so we’ve checked some of them out and put together a list of the best free iPhone VPNs.

1. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN, best known for its high-end security features that provide users with encrypted internet use. The company has a no-logs policy which means that any user information and web data remain private. ProtonVPN offers a paid and free version of its VPN.

Although ProtonVPN is an impressive VPN, that has access servers in 50 countries, on the free version all of the features are limited. However, security features are not worse on the free version. ProtonVPN uses the best protocols across all of its plans, so even users who have the free VPN will use the OpenVPN protocol.

However, the free VPN doesn’t support P2P and torrenting and users won’t have access to Tor over VPN. Users also won’t be able to access geo-blocked content such as Netflix, since the speeds are not fast enough.

If you need a VPN to simply protect your internet data when you send emails or check your bank, this is a great version. However, we recommend taking a look at Proton’s paid plans if you want something that offers better speeds and a greater range of features.

2. TunnelBear

This VPN provider offers users a paid and free plan. The no-frills free subscription lacks a lot of the great features that you get with the paid plan, but it is still one of the best free iPhone VPNs on the app store.

TunnelBear offers users a really simply designed app, that provides ease of use. It’s a great taster of the VPN world for novices who perhaps want to dip their toes in the water without signing up for a full subscription. You can turn the VPN on and off using your phone with the tap of a button, or configure the settings so that you remain automatically connected at all times.

When it comes to speed service, TunnelBear is not the best VPN. Although on its paid plans it provides high speeds, its free VPN only offers 500mb of secure browsing per month. This is extremely limited and doesn’t offer fast enough speeds for a lot of internet activity.

With the paid plan, you can get unlimited browsing and five simultaneous connections. If you’re new to VPNs and want to try one out before moving over to a full-time subscription, TunnelBear is a good choice.

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield has a dedicated app for iOS users and offers a free version. With the free version of its VPN, the VPN services are limited, but there is still great encryption.

On the paid plans, Hotspot Shields provides unlimited bandwidth to users, which makes it a great app for streaming. It has a wide host of servers across the globe, which means that customers can access geo-blocked content and streaming services like Netflix.

The free version has a daily data allowance of 500MB, which provides users with enough encryption to do a few online tasks, but doesn’t stretch far enough to cover heavy internet activity. As well as this, the free plan provides users with access to one US server.

Although there are a few drawbacks to the Hotspot Shield VPN’s free version, its first-rate encryption, protocols, and in-built ad-blocker are great if you need extra protection while surfing.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wri...
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Last updated: April 15, 2021