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Best VPN for iPhone & iPad

Illustration of iPhone
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

There are nearly a billion iPhone users worldwide, but the vast majority of them aren’t using a VPN. If you’re one of them, we highly recommend you start using a secure VPN for iPhone.

Your iOS devices are like a vault of personal information: everything from your contacts to your email to sensitive personal details are stored on them. Without a VPN, transferring your data electronically is potentially at risk.

The iPhone VPNs we recommend in this guide are the very best we’ve tested. They will secure your device, anonymize your web traffic, and prevent your mobile carrier from snooping and throttling your internet speed. They also unlock Netflix and other geo-restricted apps on the go.

They’re also the quickest and easiest to use on your iPhone or iPad. They’re compatible with iOS 13, 12 and older versions, too.

However, the best iPhone VPNs don’t come free. If you’ve never used a VPN before and want to try before you buy, then take a look at our best free VPNs for iPhone. They’re limited in what they can do (slow speeds, with data caps, no Netflix access), but they’re safe and won’t cost a dime.

Best iPhone VPN Features

  1. Intuitive & bespoke VPN app for iOS
  2. Fast download speeds (short & long distance)
  3. No logs policy & no IP address leaks
  4. Unblocks with Netflix and other streaming sites
  5. Safe and modern privacy tools
  6. Won't slow down or use up space on your device

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

Best iPhone VPN Apps

1. ExpressVPN

Ranked #1 VPN for iPhone

  1. Super intuitive iOS app
  2. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  3. Lightning speeds, peaking at 85Mbps
  4. Unblocks Netflix & iPlayer
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  6. Useful auto-reconnect feature
  1. No VPN kill switch for iOS app
  2. Not as cheap as its rivals
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is our highest-scoring VPN overall, but that’s not just based on desktop performance – it’s also an outstanding iOS VPN.

If you’ve never used a VPN on mobile before then you’ve nothing to fear, it could scarcely be any easier to use.

The iOS app is reliable, intuitive, and won’t bog down your iPhone or iPad when it’s running.

We recorded extremely fast speeds through it when connecting to nearby servers, as well as the fastest speeds we’ve ever seen when connecting to foreign servers.

It doesn’t keep any logs, so you can be sure that your personal data is in safe hands, but we do have one concern when it comes to ExpressVPN’s security.

ExpressVPN for iPhone and iOS doesn’t have a kill switch. This means that if its connection should drop, your data will be left unprotected.

It has an ‘auto-reconnect’ feature to rectify the issue as quickly as it can, but it’s a shame it’s lacking such a key feature (that the desktop app has had for years).

It’s also quite expensive – but we feel it’s worth the money. Once you subscribe to ExpressVPN you’ll be able to use it on all your other devices, too.

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

2. NordVPN

Ranked #2 VPN for iPhone

  1. Easy-to-use iOS app
  2. No personal logging whatsoever
  3. Fast speeds - 70Mbps global average
  4. Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  5. Generous 6 device connection limit
  6. Connect securely to 60 countries
  1. Obfuscated VPN servers don't always work in China
  • Best Price

    $3.49/mo over 36 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,552 servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

NordVPN doesn’t quite measure up to ExpressVPN but it comes close, especially when considering the price and its privacy credentials.

There’s no logging here, with NordVPN only ever monitoring general server loads to ensure optimal performance. Your user data is never retained or monitored.

Speeds are very quick across its server network, and it’s one of the few providers that will still reliably unblock both Netflix and BBC iPlayer, even on mobile.

The well-designed iPhone app offers a streamlined experience, and there’s a choice between OpenVPN and IKEv2 – two secure VPN protocols.

A recent update to the iOS app means there’s now obfuscated VPN servers available, which makes it easier to use in China. However, the servers are fairly hit and miss, with some users still struggling to bypass the Great Firewall.

If that doesn’t effect you, though, then NordVPN is a top VPN available at a reasonable price.

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

3. CyberGhost

Ranked #3 VPN for iPhone

  1. User-friendly iPhone & iPad App
  2. Completely zero-logs provider
  3. Exceptional same-country download speeds
  4. Easy access to load of streaming services
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Mobile kill switch
  1. Smaller server network than its rivals
  2. Torrenting difficult on iOS
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo. over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    87Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

All the VPNs on this page are simple to use on iOS, but CyberGhost is probably the simplest when it comes to streaming.

The server selection screen has a special filter just for streaming-optimized servers, along with the streaming service they’re recommended for.

While that’s a fantastic inclusion (there’s a massive 43 of them), CyberGhost falls down slightly when it comes to servers in general: 60 countries is good, but you can find more elsewhere.

You’ll also need to do some manual setup in order to get torrenting to work, too, although it’s unlikely you’ll be looking to do that on iOS.

It’s a top choice for privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy, VPN kill switch, and first-party DNS servers all implemented to prevent your true IP address from being exposed.

Once you’ve signed up to CyberGhost you can also use it on up to seven different devices at once – a very generous allowance, particularly at such an affordable price.

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

4. IPVanish

Ranked #4 VPN for iPhone

  1. Sleek, highly configurable iPhone app
  2. Very strict zero-logs policy
  3. Unlocks US Netflix
  4. Fast download speeds & even better uploads
  5. Connect securely to 50 countries
  1. No VPN kill switch for iOS app
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
  • Best Price

    $5.20 over 12 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    84Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    57 countries, 1,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

If you’ve never used a VPN on iOS before then IPVanish may prove a little intimidating.

If you’re not? Then IPVanish is one of the fastest, most customizable VPN apps available for the iPhone and iPad.

Those seeking total control over their data and privacy will find no shortage of toggles, graphs, and settings to help create the ideal VPN experience.

The logging policy is top-notch, too, with no data retained whatsoever. You may have read stories of IP Vanish aiding US law enforcement by surrendering logs, but this was in 2016 when under different management.

We’re confident you can trust IPVanish.

The speeds we’ve recorded in our testing place IPVanish right up there with the fastest VPNs on the market, and it consistently works to unblock US Netflix (although it definitely struggles with other locations).

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

5. PrivateVPN

Ranked #5 VPN for iPhone

  1. Simple iOS app
  2. Strict zero-logs policy
  3. Barely affects WiFi speeds
  4. Works with Netflix & iPlayer
  5. Secure servers in 59 countries
  6. Very cheap on 15-month plan
  1. Only 150 individuals servers
  2. No VPN kill switch for iOS app
  • Best Price

    $1.89/mo over 2 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    86Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

It may not be the biggest name in VPNs, but PrivateVPN is a product that every iPhone or iPad owner should consider when picking their next VPN service.

PrivateVPN is fast, with download speeds barely dropping 7% when we connected to a nearby UK server.

PrivateVPN is secure, with leak protection and a number of protocols to keep your data anonymous.

PrivateVPN is trustworthy, with a logging policy that promises users no data of any sort is logged or stored.

PrivateVPN isn’t perfect, though.

There’s no kill switch on iOS, which is our biggest complaint of the service. If PrivateVPN’s connection should drop at any time it could leave your data exposed, if only for a second.

It also doesn’t have very many servers. 150 is a small number, and could lead to slower speeds if you connect to a popular one at a busy time of day (although we’re yet to see that happen).

For the low price PrivateVPN charges over a long-term subscription it’s definitely be a VPN to consider.

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

iPhone/iPad VPN FAQ

What's the Best Free VPN for iPhone & iPad?

Screenshot of Windscribe Free VPN app displaying server locations list

We’ve actually created a page dedicated to the very best free VPNs for iOS. But if you want to cut to the chase, the best free VPN for iPhone (and iPad) is Windscribe.

Typically, free iPhone VPNs come in one of two varieties: a stripped-back limited version of a paid product, or an unrestricted but inferior product from a potentially untrustworthy VPN provider.

Generally speaking, Windscribe is neither. It doesn’t have THAT many limitations, compared to other free VPNs. In fact, its 10GB monthly data cap is one of the most generous we’ve seen.

Also, you can connect to 20 different VPN locations across 10 different countries.

Windscribe’s custom iOS app is very easy to use, and absolutely free: you won’t need to enter any payment details whatsoever. If you’re reading on your iPhone or iPad, tap the link to download Windscribe.

Is it Safe to Use a VPN on iPhone?

Not only is it perfectly safe to use a VPN on an iPhone, we go as far as to say it’s unsafe not to use one.

Using a VPN on a mobile device is incredibly important, especially if you have the Wi-Fi toggle always turned on. This means your iPhone is always looking to connect to new WiFi hotspots. Some of these hotspots could be rogue, and dangerous.

If you regularly use free WiFi at train stations, cafes, fast food restaurants or hotels, your phone may have been left exposed to hackers.

A VPN is a fast, inexpensive, and extremely effective way to protect your iPhone and iPad from potential hackers, snoopers and cyber criminals.

The only danger of using a VPN on iPhone? Using a bad one.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of free VPNs that can’t be trusted. These unsafe VPNs may access your iPhone’s files, sell your personal data, or even infect your device with malware.

Sinc 2016, we’ve spent over 30,000 hours testing and reviewing VPNs, so you can rest assured that the VPN apps we recommend are all safe.

How to Use a VPN on an iPhone/iPad

A screenshot of NordVPN on the iOS App Store

There are two ways to set up a VPN on your iPhone/iPad: downloading and installing the VPN app directly onto your device, or installing it on your home router (for home use).

We’ll cover how to install a VPN directly on your device, which is what most people do as it makes switching VPN servers a great deal easier.

Once you’ve downloaded the VPN from the App Store, follow the on-screen prompts to install it on your device.

Then, choose which protocol you’re going to connect with. We always recommend OpenVPN since it strikes the best balance between speed and security, but IKEv2 is a good alternative.

For the best possible VPN speeds, connect to a VPN server close to your physical location (unless you want to get an IP address from another country). The best VPN services have an ‘automatic’ setting that does this for you.

Once you’re connected to a VPN server, the VPN software will run in the background, and you can use your iPhone or iPad as you normally would.

Another useful tip is to ensure your VPN kill switch is always turned on. This security feature cuts off all internet traffic in the unlikely event of a VPN connection drop. This way you’re protected all the time and your true IP address won’t accidentally leak.

If you want a more in-depth run-through on the above setup process, read our user-friendly guide on how to install a VPN on iPhone, complete with step-by-step instructions and helpful screenshots.

The Dangers of Public WiFi

Illustration of a man connected to public wifi while traveling.

Using an unsecured WiFi network is very risky, and it’s mind-boggling as to why so many public places, as well as hotels and restaurants, don’t secure their WiFi hotspots.

Here are three dangers of using an unsafe WiFi hotspot:

1Rogue WiFi networks

Cyber criminals creat fake (rogue) free WiFi networks, luring internet users to connect to them. Once you connect to a rogue hotspot, all the data you transmit over that WiFi network could be harvested by cyber criminals.

2Man-in-the-middle-attach (MITM)

An MITM attack is when a hacker intercepts the data being transferred between two (or more) devices.

A hacker can either actively ‘eavesdrop’ (snoop) on supposedly private communications, or actually alter communications.

3Malware attacks

MITM attacks can also involve viruses and malware being injected into your device.

Our advice is to always use a safe VPN on public WiFi. A mobile VPN encrypts all your web traffic, and some VPNs even have built-in malware protection.

For more information, read our full guide on how to stay safe on public WiFi.

Does a VPN Drain an iPhone's Battery Life?

This is a fair question – your smartphone’s battery is precious, and some apps can be battery-intensive.

A VPN will use up your iPhone’s 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).

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.

Should I Leave My iPhone VPN Always On?

It’s absolutely fine to leave your VPN on all the time on your iPhone or your iPad.

As we’ve explained above, a VPN will have very little effect on battery life and can only make you more secure online.

Of course, there will be some instances where you’ll need to turn it off: for example, if your free VPN is running low on data. Unless one of those situations arises, then there’s no reason to turn the VPN off.

Does an iPhone VPN Use More Data?

A screenshot of the app data usage screen on iOS 12

No, your iOS VPN will not use more mobile data.

We get it – you’ve not got much data left on your plan for the month and it costs a fortune to buy more, but there’s no need to worry.

Your VPN will encrypt all the data sent and received from your handset, but it won’t add to it. Your mobile data consumption will be exactly the same as if you weren’t using one.

Does Apple Recommend VPNs?

Apple has never put out a statement or a press release stating its view on iPhone owners using VPNs.

However, we can make some assumptions about Apple’s stance by looking at the iPhone itself. In fact, the most recent iOS versions are all very accommodating towards VPNs.

If you open the Settings app and then go to General>VPN, you’ll see the option to manually configure a VPN. This is a feature Apple included deliberately.

A screenshot of the VPN settings menu on iOS 12

If you’ve already installed a VPN, you’ll see a toggle switch that allows you to easily turn the VPN on and off. You can even have more than one VPN installed, and use that Settings menu to manage both VPNs.

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.

Other Useful iPhone Security Apps

Mobile VPNs are our favorite security tool for iPhones and iPad, given their multiple uses and versatility. However, there are other security apps that you should also have on your device.

Here’s a list of useful apps that you may want to start using for extra security, and peace of mind.

1Avira / Norton Mobile Security

Avira Mobile Security and Norton Mobile Security are two of the most known security apps that protect you from several online dangers. Useful features include:

  • WiFi security
  • Virus protection
  • Phishing protection
  • Identity protection


Lookout is an app focused on identity theft protection and software protection. Lookout monitors your personal and financial information and alerts you when it’s exposed.

Other features include:

  • Out-of-date software alerts
  • Safe web browsing
  • WiFi protection
  • Breach monitoring

3Last Pass

LastPass is one of the best password managers available. If you don’t use a password manager, you should. It’s one easiest ways to make sure that you use strong passwords, and avoid having them stolen by keylogger software.

Other good password managers are 1Password and Dashlane.

4Robo Shield

Robo Shield is a spam call blocker. The app identifies spam calls and allows you block them.

It’s database is updated regularly, and over time you will receive less annoying phone calls.

As mentioned above, these security apps should be used in conjunction with a mobile VPN.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio