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Best Free iPhone & iPad VPN

By Simon Migliano | Updated January 27, 2020

Illustration of iPhone

There are nearly a billion iPhone users worldwide – but the vast majority aren’t using a VPN.

If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place.

A VPN for your iPhone (or iPad, too) is 100% essential, now more than ever.

Think about all the information stored on your iOS devices and you’ll know you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands

With that in mind, lots of people turn to free VPNs – why pay when you don’t have to?

But there’s so many free VPNs that it can feel impossible to make a decision. Especially when so many free VPNs either perform badly or are outright dangerous to your security and privacy

That’s where we come in: we’ve put together a list of the best free VPNs available for iPhone and iPad. 

These picks are the safest, most reliable, and best-performing free VPNs around. 

If you want to get the absolute best security, we recommend that you look at our list of the best paid-for services for iPhone and iPad

How We Picked the Best Free VPN for iOS

  1. Quick setup & easy to use iOS app
  2. Consistently fast download (& upload) speeds
  3. No personally-identifiable logs & no IP leaks
  4. Works with Netflix & major streaming services
  5. Kill switch & other recommended privacy features
  6. Generous data allowance

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

Best Free VPN Apps for iPhone & iPad

1. Windscribe

Ranked #1 Free VPN for iOS

  1. User-friendly iOS app
  2. Local downloads reach 50Mbps
  3. Minimal logging
  4. Connect securely to 10 countries
  1. No kill switch for iOS
  2. 10GB monthly data cap
  • Best Price

    $4.08/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    63Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    63 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Windscribe is the best free VPN we’ve tested, but that’s not just because of its desktop performance — it’s a good free VPN for iOS, too. 

It’s got a very nice, simple design which puts it to the top of our iPhone and iPad list.

And Windscribe Free is going to protect you, too: this is a super secure product in a free VPN market filled with poor choices, encrypted to top standards and using OpenVPN protocol – our favorite.

Local speed performance is also very good – Windscribe Free is one of the fastest free VPNs we’ve tested. Online tasks are made smooth and speedy.

On the negative side, the VPN kill switch is missing from Windscribe Free for iOS. This is a flaw in its security worth taking into account. If the connection drops, the lack of kill switch could leave your true IP exposed.

You may see Windscribe’s 10GB data cap and be put off by the limitation. But this is actually one of the most generous offerings from a free VPN service.

Windscribe Free is also generous in the way it lets you use the app on multiple devices (with no limit) and it allows you to torrent, too. 

There’s truly nothing to lose if you decide to try Windscribe Free. Windscribe doesn’t even ask for payment details to download its free VPN, meaning there’s no risk of you forgetting to cancel and getting an unwelcome bill in your bank statement. 

For a more in-depth look, read our full Windscribe review.

2. ProtonVPN Free

Ranked #2 Free VPN for iOS

  1. Simple app for iPhone
  2. Peak local downloads of up to 60Mbps
  3. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  4. No data cap
  1. No kill switch for iOS
  2. Limited to just three server locations
  • Best Price

    $4.00/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    44 countries, 698 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid

The Bottom Line

ProtonVPN offers a free, user-friendly custom app for iOS. 

Best thing about ProtonVPN’s free app: it comes with no speed or data restrictions. This gives it an edge on Windscribe – and all other free VPN services, in fact. 

So what’s the catch? Well, you can only connect to three VPN server locations, less than Windscribe’s 10. These locations are: Japan, Netherlands, and the US. 

Also, you can only use ProtonVPN Free on one device, and there’s no torrenting allowed. If you have both an iPhone and an iPad you’ll have to choose which device to protect.

Far more positively: ProtonVPN has exactly the same level of privacy and security as its premium version. This makes it one of the safest free VPNs around, collecting very little user information – nothing that can be used to identify you. 

Like Windscribe, there’s isn’t a kill switch for iOS included. However, the ‘Always On’ feature reestablishes a VPN connection automatically should it cut out, rather than kill your internet entirely.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ProtonVPN Free review.

3. Hide.me Free

Ranked #3 Free VPN for iOS

  1. Straightforward app for iPhone
  2. Local downloads hit 75Mbps
  3. VPN kill switch for iOS
  4. Very minimal logging policy
  1. Data allowance restricted to 2GB per month
  2. Limited to five server locations
  • Top Speedi

    81Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    4 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Hide.me Free is a super private and secure VPN.

It has a minimal logs policy, and the custom iOS app does come with a VPN kill switch.

Hide.me is identical to the premium service when it comes to privacy and security – its main strength and appeal. Hide.me’s iOS apps are encrypted with AES-256 – a virtually unbreakable cipher. 

Speeds are very fast too, but as with all free VPNs, Hide.me comes with some serious restrictions: a 2GB per month data cap. That’s only a few hours of Full HD Netflix. 

Another limitation is five choices of servers in four countries. These are: the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US.

It’s a decent global spread, but inevitably performance will be affected if any one location gets too busy. 

If you want a VPN just to browse the web on your iPhone and iPad, you should consider Hide.me Free. It provides an ad-free service and fast speeds for breezy surfing of the web. 

Anything other than this – streaming, torrenting, large file downloads — is too much of an ask.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Hide.me Free review.

4. TunnelBear Free

Ranked #4 Free VPN for iOS

  1. iOS app is simple and quirky
  2. Good peak downloads
  3. Connect securely to 22 countries
  1. No kill switch for iOS
  2. Restrictive 500MB monthly data cap
  • Best Price

    $4.17/mo over 2 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    77Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    23 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid

The Bottom Line

TunnelBear is a beginner-friendly VPN with distinct apps for popular devices including iOS. 

One of TunnelBear Free’s strengths is the availability of 22 countries to connect to. This gives you more choices than our other top picks for iPhone and iPad. 

The big but with TunnelBear Free is its very low 500MB per month data cap. You won’t be able to do much with TunnelBear Free, other than protect your iPhone on public WiFi every now and again.

This is particularly the case as TunnelBear Free’s privacy policy is clear and trustworthy, verging on no-logs whatsoever. And it’s a pretty quick VPN, too, especially when connecting locally, ensuring that your web browsing won’t be made a struggle.

TunnelBear Free is another free VPN with no kill switch – it’s a rare thing to see, but it’s still a security concern that it doesn’t have one. 

For a more in-depth look, read our full TunnelBear Free review.

5. Avira Phantom Free

Ranked #5 Free VPN for iOS

  1. iOS app suited to beginners
  2. Good same-country speeds
  3. Minimal logging
  1. 1GB monthly data cap
  2. No manual server selection
  3. No kill switch for free users
  • Best Price

    $6.50/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    73Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    34 countries

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid

The Bottom Line

Avira Phantom is a decent free choice if you’re looking to browse safely online on your iPhone or iPad.

Avira Phantom Free is available has a nice iOS app with the basic level of privacy to ensure your online anonymity. 

Avira Phantom Free’s privacy policy isn’t quite zero-logs, but it’s minimal enough to ensure that you’re kept totally unidentifiable.

The free version of Avira’s VPN is restricted to a 1GB per month data cap – that’s twice as much as TunnelBear but still entirely too restrictive.

TunnelBear Free has it beat for speed, but there’s no limit to the number of simultaneous connections you can have. So you can put Avira on both your iPhone and your iPad. 

But you are limited by what servers you can select; Avira Phantom Free connects you automatically and you have no choice. With Avira, you get what you’re given. 

Like a number of its rivals on this page, Avira’s free VPN also doesn’t come with a kill switch – in fact it’s very light on advanced features in general.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Avira Phantom Free review.

Popular Questions

How To Use a Free VPN for iPhone

If you want a simple VPN solution for your iPhone, choose one that offers a custom iOS app – that way all you need to do is install it from the App Store and log in.

Make sure to enable extra security features such as the VPN kill switch and DNS and IPv6 leak protection if the app offers them. If there’s an option to choose the VPN protocol, we recommend OpenVPN.

Now choose the VPN server – the closer it is to your physical location the better performance will be – and connect.

If you don’t want to use a custom app, take a look at our simple guide for manually installing a VPN on your iPhone.

Individual Using iPhone

Is There a Free VPN for iOS Without Subscription?

Yes, there are plenty of free VPN services for iPhone and iPad that require no subscriptions or payment details. 

All of the VPNs on this list are easily available without requiring any payment details whatsoever. 

This is great, as it means you can’t forget to cancel your subscription and get charged. 

Simply decide which VPN you like the look of in our list and download it. Or, if you want to test them all, you can do that while knowing there are no financial obligations. 

Which Free VPN for iOS is Unlimited?

When it comes to the best free VPNs, all of them have various limitations. This is obviously to entice you to purchase the premium version.

Some free VPNs limit server locations, others the extent of the features available. 

Most common among free VPNs are data caps: Windscribe’s 10GB being the most generous on our list and TunnelBears 500MB being the most stingy. 

The only free VPN for iOS which has unlimited data is ProtonVPN Free.

Which is the Best Free VPN for iPhone & iPad in China?

It takes a strong VPN to beat the censors in China. 

For this reason, it’s difficult to find a free VPN for iOS that works there – they’re often just not up to scratch. 

If any of these VPNs are going to bypass Chinese censorship, it’ll be our #1 – Windscribe.

It’s reported to be quite effective in China, especially on the desktop, but for iOS users it’s hit and miss. Unfortunately, that’s as reliable as it gets with free VPNs in China. 

You could also try TunnelBear, as it comes with ‘GhostBear Mode’, which is designed to circumvent censorship.

Screenshot of TunnelBear GhostBear Mode from the TunnelBear Websitte

But, as with Windscribe on iOS, this option is not always reliable.

If not in China, Windscribe and TunnelBear are more likely to work in countries like Dubai, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, and Turkey. 

Which Free VPNs for iPhone & iPad Should I Avoid?

There are so many free VPNs out there – you should avoid almost all of them.

We understand the desire to avoid paying, as well as the pain of too much choice, which is why we put together this list of the safest and best free options out there for iOS users.

But the free VPN market is legitimately dangerous. A great number of them either don’t work, are poorly made, or are simply designed to do the opposite of a VPN and extract your information. It’s a minefield.

With that in mind, we wanted to share our knowledge of the VPNs available with our list, but we’re prepared to name and shame the worst options, too.

Make sure you don’t download:

  • #VPN
  • Betternet Free
  • FreeVPN by FreeVPN.org
  • PatronVPN
  • Psiphon
  • SkyVPN
  • SlickVPN
  • TouchVPN
  • TurboVPN
  • VPN Book
  • VPN Proxy Master
  • VPN360
  • VPN99
  • YogaVPN

What is the Best Free VPN for Gaming on iOS?

Whether it’s PUBG or Mobile Legends, videogames on iPhone and iPad are bigger than ever. 

Some of these popular games have been banned in various countries – perhaps even yours. Turning to a VPN is one of the most common ways to get around it. 

Bear in mind: free VPNs present serious limitations to gamers. 

Free VPNs often feature minimal server lists and serious data caps. With a stingy data cap you’ll run out of bandwidth fast, ending your game early. 

Worse than that, free VPNs often just don’t cut it when it comes to privacy and security. Some are actually more dangerous than not using one at all

If you want a VPN for gaming, we highly recommend choosing a paid-for VPN. 

With that in mind and you still want to know which is the best free VPN for iOS gaming around, we recommend Windscribe with its 10GB of available data or, of course, ProtonVPN, which is unlimited in its available data. You’ll be able to play a bit longer with that than you would with other VPN services like TunnelBear.

What is the Best Free VPN for Netflix on iPhone?

We all know that movies and TV aren’t resigned to the cinema and the living room anymore. We see people enjoying them nearly everyday on our daily commutes, only they’re enjoying Netflix on iPhone.

Security conscious people love to watch Netflix too, so they wonder: how can I protect my device whilst enjoying the latest episode of my drama?

And who wants to spend the money, right? You’re already paying the Netflix fee.

We get that, but here’s the problem: even the best free VPNs fail to access, and those that manage to get under the radar soon begin to sink under the limitations of data caps.

Avira Phantom Free for example, while we have had intermittent success unblocking Netflix, it’s 1GB monthly data cap just isn’t going to allow you to binge at all. You might get around to an episode a month with that.

Does a VPN Drain iPhone Battery?

This is a fair question — we know that your smartphone’s battery is precious, and some apps can be super battery-sensitive. 

A VPN will use up your iPhone or iPad battery, but only slightly.

First of all, there will only be a difference when the VPN is actually being used to encrypt and transfer data (like when you watch YouTube, for example).

iPhone Low Battery

Secondly, the difference will be so minor that you it’s extremely likely you won’t even notice it at all, which is a good thing.

The benefits of using a VPN to keep your iPhone secure far outweigh the potential extra battery usage.

Does Apple Recommend VPN?

Apple have not put out any sort of official statement or press release clarifying how it feels about its iOS users using a VPN, but we can make some assumptions about its stance by looking at an iPhone or iPad. 

The most recent versions of iOS are all very accommodating towards VPNs. If you open the Settings app then browse to General > VPN you’ll see the ability to manually configure a VPN — a feature deliberately included by Apple.

What’s more, if you have a VPN already downloaded and set up and you’ll see a toggle switch, allowing you to quickly turn it on and off. You can even have more than one installed .

When your iPhone VPN is connected you’ll see a small ‘VPN’ icon at the top of the screen when you swipe to open Control Centre.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is our Head of Research and has tested hundreds of VPNs since 2016. His research has been covered by the BBC, The New York Times, CNet, Wired, and more. Read full bio