Best iOS VPN

Almost all of the best VPN providers offer a decent VPN iPhone app for iOS devices, but with such a large array of options to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you.

That’s why we’ve done the research and put together a list of the best iOS VPNs of 2021. Our list includes ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, IPVanish, and CyberGhost VPN.

Apple devices are some of the most secure on the market thanks to their integrated malware blocking technology. However, even iOS devices are not immune to every internet threat. This is why we recommend installing an iPhone VPN, even if you believe your Apple device to be relatively secure.

Table of content

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a piece of software that encrypts your private online activity, protecting you from cybercriminals, spies, and censorship. A VPN reroutes your private internet data through a secure tunnel of servers to ensure your online activity is secure and anonymous. By creating a completely private internet connection that masks your real IP address and location, your internet activity is almost untraceable.

Downloading and utilizing a premium VPN service is one of the simplest ways to protect your identity and anonymity online. When you activate a VPN connection, your internet traffic runs through the encrypted tunnel of VPN servers so that no one, including your ISP (Internet Service Provider), has access to it.

Without a VPN connection, your ISP can view the websites that you visit and your browsing history. Utilizing a VPN will alter your IP address (the unique number that identifies your device and its specific location) so that you can use the internet privately. With a different IP address, you can also make it appear as if your internet activity is originating in an entirely alternate location, enabling access to geo-restricted streaming sites, censored websites, and blocked apps.

A VPN will also protect your device from a range of other internet threats such as unsecured Wi-Fi networks, malicious advertising, cybercrime, and identity theft. If you travel frequently, you likely connect to unsecured public WiFi hotspots in cafes, hotels, or airports, which may be putting your personal data at risk.

While VPNs provide an important additional layer of privacy, more and more users are installing VPNs for the purpose of accessing geo-restricted streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. Setting up a VPN connection will allow you to maintain complete freedom online and enable you to bypass firewalls, censorship, and geo-restrictions.

How to choose the best iPhone VPN

There is a host of iPhone VPN apps on the market, making it often difficult to choose the best ones. However, there are a few key features that all of the best iPhone VPNs should possess, namely fast connection speeds, strong security and privacy features, and excellent customer support. And, a well-designed client is a bonus.

Although the above factors may seem simple, most VPNs lack one or all of these features. However, all of the VPNs below tick all of these boxes and more. There are some additional features that we would like to see in iOS VPNs, including an extensive server network across a wide range of countries to enable access to geo-restricted content on a host of overseas streaming sites.

Another important aspect is app design, especially considering the small size of an iPhone screen. No matter what VPN for iPhone you choose, it should offer a client that is specially designed to work seamlessly with iOS. You will want an iOS app that is easy to navigate, intuitive, and reflects the excellent functionality of your iPhone device.

Best iPhone VPN

Apple has an excellent reputation for offering its users high levels of security against a range of cyberthreats. However, iOS devices are not immune to every internet threat and an increasing number of iPhone users are installing VPNs to provide an extra layer of security and privacy online.

Utilizing a premium VPN service is the only way to ensure you are completely protected online. VPNs also offer handy features such as the capacity to overcome geo-restrictions. There is an overwhelming selection of iOS VPNs available on the Apple app store. So, to save you time, we have compiled a list of the best ones.

Below are our favorite VPNs for iPhone:

1. ExpressVPN

An iPhone VPN should be simple, functional, and powerful, and seamlessly reflect the sophistication of your apple device. Express VPN does just that and offers one of the best iPhone VPN apps on the market. It combines a clean, well-designed iOS app with a range of excellent configurable privacy features.

ExpressVPN offers everything you need in an iPhone VPN app. It is efficient, private, and easy to use, even for a beginner VPN user. This British Virgin Islands-based service is excellent on a range of other devices and operating systems too, including Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more.

The iOS app provides access to over 3000 secure servers across 94 countries. This means that you will be able to get a decent connection wherever you are. Also, all of your web traffic is secured by industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption, a wide range of first-rate protocols, and a split tunneling feature enabling you to tailor your experience.

The iPhone VPN app is easy to install and set-up and features a smart server selection option with a range of useful features. Users can connect to their desired server with a single tap and enjoy the protection of the VPN in seconds. Its interface is well-designed too, making it easy to navigate to access these sophisticated features. This means that the VPN is suitable for beginners and experts alike.

ExpressVPN is great for accessing content on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu too, making it an ideal VPN for streaming.

However, even with the best VPN providers, you may run into issues occasionally, so excellent customer service is vital. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has reliable 24/7 live chat on hand whenever you need it. You will receive a helpful response in minutes and the operators are all internet security experts.

Perhaps the only downside to ExpressVPN is its limited offer of 5 simultaneous connections. However, for the typical iOS user, 5 is sufficient. Although you can only protect 5 devices at the same time, you can still install the app on as many devices as you want.

There is also no integrated kill-switch, which may be an issue for some users. However, there is an auto-reconnect feature that will attempt to re-establish a VPN connection if the previous one fails.

If you are not entirely happy with the service, you are covered by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN offers one of the best iPhone VPNs and boasts an impressive range of advanced features for a reasonable price.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN offers an excellent iOS app for iPhone that provides complete DNS leak protection, automatic VPN connection, and a double kill switch.

NordVPN’s iOS app is one of the best on the market. It is extremely user-friendly and its interface is well organized. The client includes a “Quick Connect” option to allow an automatic connection to the best available server in terms of speed and proximity.

When it comes to privacy and security, NordVPN operates on 256-bit encryption, offers a reliable integrated kill-switch, and double encryption, that reroutes your data through two different VPN servers rather than just one. The VPN provider also boasts a transparent no-logs policy that has even been independently audited by the renowned internet privacy company PricewaterhouseCooper to ensure its reliability.

The iOS app also offers an auto-connect feature to automatically activate the VPN if it detects an unsecured Wi-Fi network. There is also Siri capability which may be attractive to some users. All of the features that you would expect from a premium VPN’s desktop client are there including a complete protocols menu, special sever lists, and more.

The VPN is great for streaming too, so if you are traveling with just your iPhone, you will be able to unblock almost everything straight from your apple device. NordVPN offers excellent performance too especially thanks to its proprietary WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol and extensive range of over 5000 high-speed servers.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not completely happy with the VPN service for additional peace of mind.

Overall, NordVPN’s iPhone VPN app is an excellent choice for iOS users but no matter what device you use, the VPN service will have you covered with additional support for macOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and more.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark is arguably the best iPhone VPN when it comes to affordability. The low price does not mean lower quality either. Its iOS app is well-designed, easy to use, and includes a range of excellent security features.

If you are looking for an affordable iPhone VPN service, Surfshark is arguably the best option. Its subscription plans start at just $2.50 a month, making it one of the cheapest VPNs for iPhone on the market. This low price does not mean that the provider cuts corners or offers a lower-quality service either. In fact, Surfshark offers an excellent VPN for iPhone that matches the quality of some of its more expensive competitors.

The iPhone VPN is simple to use meaning that you can enjoy a secure VPN connection in a matter of minutes. There is a range of advanced features including the option to choose between OpenVPN UDP and TCP, and IKEv2 protocols, as well as an automatic kill-switch, to make sure your connection is secure and never becomes compromised. There is also a clear location list, and split tunneling to allow you to choose which apps run through the VPN connection.

One of the main benefits of Surfshark’s VPN for iPhone is its policy of unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that you can use Surfshark’s VPN apps on all of your devices for a single subscription price. In theory, you could share the VPN with your friends and family members too.

Despite that Surfshark’s VPN for iPhone may not be quite as powerful as some of its competitors, it remains one of the best iPhone VPNs on the market when it comes to affordability and ease of use.

There is 24/7 live-chat support too in case you run into a problem which using or installing the VPN app on your iPhone or iPad.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish is one of the best VPNs on the market and it comes with an excellent, feature-laden iPhone app too.

IPVanish is one of the oldest and most popular providers in the VPN market. It offers a popular app for Apple devices too. If you require fast connection speeds, for streaming or gaming, it is a great choice.

The VPN app is arguably designed with VPN experts in mind and offers a large amount of statistical data at a glance. The iPhone version is somewhat simpler than the desktop app, but its design is not as sophisticated as some of the other options on this list.

There is a range of in-depth security features too including an automatic connection option, a reliable kill-switch, and a choice of industry-standard protocols. The VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections too, which makes it one of the most cost-effective options on this list.

If you enjoy technical data and statistical graphs, IPVanish’s VPN service is extremely powerful and is suitable for a range of VPN uses. However, for casual users or VPN novices, we are inclined to recommend a simpler, cleaner option like that offered by Surfshark.

5. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost is a well-known and popular VPN provider with a decent app for iPhones and iPads.

CyberGhost’s iPhone app supports OpenVPN and WireGuard as well as military-grade encryption for a completely secure connection. On the Apple app, you are also able to access a full list of locations and a favorite server list. If you want to access streaming services on your iPhone, CyberGhost offers fast speeds and decent unblocking capabilities too.

The service is also one of the cheapest available with prices starting at just $2.25 per month as long as you are happy to commit to a longer subscription plan. There is a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, which is more than most providers offer. However, monthly plans are somewhat pricey and do only come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Despite that the provider has not yet been independently audited, it offers a clear privacy policy and an additional transparency report.

If you run into any issues while using the VPN, there is live chat support and a range of comprehensive written guides on the website.

6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access combines performance and affordability in an excellent app for iPhones and iPads.

IPVanish offers fast connection speeds and a great user experience, making it an excellent option for your Apple device.

In terms of security, the service utilizes OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols, as well as 256-bit AES encryption. There is also a reliable kill-switch and a transparent privacy policy, which states that the provider does not store data of any type.

There are some great additional features too including a Favorites option that allows you to save your most commonly used server, as well as an ad and malware blocking tool.

If you are looking for a VPN for accessing streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu, we would recommend another of the VPN services on this list, as PIA is known to struggle to unblock these sites.

The multi-year plan is the most cost-effective choice, at just $3.35 per month, if you are ready to commit for that long.

7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is one of the more basic VPN apps for iPhone but it does boast incredible connection speeds, making it one of the best VPNs for iOS for streaming and gaming.

If you are looking for a simple VPN service for iPhone that is free from complicated features, Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice. It can unblock almost every streaming service including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Hulu. And thanks to its impressive streaming servers, you can watch your favorite Netflix shows in high definition without worrying about buffering or lag.

There is P2P support too, but the iPhone client does lack a kill-switch feature, auto-connect option, and split tunneling. However, its simple features are enough for the typical user.

8. Windscribe

Windscribe offers an iPhone app that is easy to use and packed with advanced features.

Install Windscribe’s iPhone app and you will have access to a well-designed interface that allows access to a host of excellent features. Some of Windscribe’s features may appeal only to advanced VPN users, such as its custom OpenVPN configuration and preferred protocol settings. However, the basic VPN functions enable access to blocked websites and apps with ease. The app is easy to use and has something for every iPhone user.

With access to servers in 110 cities across 63 countries, there is an excellent choice when it comes to picking a server location. And when it comes to streaming, Windscribe unblocks YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more with ease.

The VPN operates on IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols as well as AES-256 bit encryption to make sure your data traffic is safe from prying eyes. There is also VPN obfuscation technology, to hide the fact that you are using a VPN.

The VPN app even supports the new secure WireGuard protocol which ensures excellent connection speeds no matter where you are located. This means that Windscribe can run in the background when you are on the go and connected to public WiFi networks and cellular data, without it slowing down your streaming or browsing speeds.

The app is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera too. And with unlimited simultaneous device connections, you can use the app on all of your favorite devices and even share the VPN with your friends and family too.

While there is no money-back guarantee, Windscribe offers an excellent free version, enabling you to test the app before you commit to a paid subscription plan. There is also no live-chat option and only basic support guides, which may be an issue for novice VPN users.

Do I Need a VPN on my iPhone?

If you want to ensure your private and sensitive data remains safe and secure, we would recommend installing one of the best iPhone VPNs. The best VPN services will ensure that all of the information that you share and receive on your Apple device is protected from prying eyes.

However, security and privacy are not the only reasons to install an iPhone VPN. Whether you are traveling abroad and want to continue to watch your favorite shows as you would at home, or you want to access sports coverage that is not typically available in your region on your iOS device, an iPhone VPN is a useful addition.

If you download a premium iPhone VPN from the app store, you will be able to virtually alter your location and access the internet as if you were in a different country. When you travel overseas, you may find that you cannot access your normal television shows and movies. This is because of copyright regulations and agreements. However, an iPhone VPN will enable you to overcome any geo-restrictions that may be preventing access to a host of streaming content.

Also, if you require a VPN for your iPhone and your computer or tablet too, simply choose one of the VPNs that offer multiple simultaneous connections, and enjoy the benefits of a VPN on all of your devices.

What Does an iPhone VPN Do?

When you connect to the internet from your iPhone, whether through your home network connection, or an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot, your personal data may be at risk.

A VPN reroutes your internet connection through its own remote servers. The VPN masks your real IP address and location and replaces it with that of the VPN server. Thus, it will appear as if you are located in an entirely alternate region. An iPhone VPN encrypts all of your personal data traffic so that you and your iPhone are protected.

Is There a Free iPhone VPN?

When looking for an iPhone VPN, you will likely come across an array of free VPN apps and there are some decent free VPNs available. Although downloading a free VPN may be tempting, it is necessary to note that every free iOS VPN is limited in some way and some may even put your internet privacy at risk.

Most free VPNs will come with a data limit or restricted connection speeds. Some more malicious providers may even offer a free VPN that poses a real danger to user privacy and security. Multiple free services have even been known to offer a free trial while secretly charging high weekly fees later on. Others simply do not provide the same level of protection as premium VPNs.

Whether you require an Android or iOS VPN, we would recommend opting for a paid service or at least a free version that is offered by one of the best iPhone VPN providers.

Does my iOS Device Have a Built-in VPN?

Even though your iPhone and other Apple devices support VPN connections, they do not come with an integrated VPN. However, iOS VPN compatibility is seamless, and all of the iOS VPNs on our list will offer a high-quality experience.

In most countries, installing and using VPNs is legal. However, their use has been banned or restricted in a few countries including China, Russia, and North Korea. Although a VPN connection makes it possible to bypass state censorship and restrictions and access the internet in these countries, it is likely not worth the risk should you be caught by the authorities.

Are iPhone VPNs Safe?

All of the premium VPNs listed above are completely safe and trustworthy. However, this does not mean that all VPNs can be trusted and we would advise against searching the Apple app store and downloading the first iOS VPN that you see. It is important to be aware that there are many malicious VPN services on the market whose intention is to cause harm to the users that they falsely promise to protect.

It is even more important to remain cautious if you are looking for a free VPN. Even free VPN apps need to make a profit somehow, and many do so by inserting advertisements into your browser, while others may track your internet activity and sell your private data to third parties for profit. Free VPNs typically also offer lower-grade encryption protocols and slow connection speeds.

When Do I Need to Use my iPhone VPN?

We would recommend that you keep your iPhone VPN activated whenever possible. A VPN is the only way to protect your online activity and ensure your IP address is hidden. If you want to keep your browsing activity safe from the prying eyes of hackers, spies, and your ISP, it will be necessary to keep your VPN activated all of the time. Also, most premium VPN products run seamlessly in the background and will not affect the performance of your iOS device.

If you use public Wi-Fi networks, using a VPN is vital as most such websites are unsecured and are a common target for hackers and cybercriminals because of the low levels of security that they offer. A VPN will encrypt your data traffic when connected to such networks to ensure it is safe from malicious actors.

We would also recommend activating your VPN connection whenever you share sensitive or confidential information online. Without a VPN, hackers or cybercriminals may be able to intercept your connection and steal financial or personal data. A VPN will protect your activity so that no one can view or misuse your data.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
Read more about the author

PrivacySharks » VPN – Best VPN of 2021 – What is a VPN? » Best iOS VPN
Last updated: July 6, 2021