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Best VPN for iPhone

Simon Migliano
Simon MiglianoUpdated

It’s essential to use a VPN with your iPhone as mobile devices are an increasingly rich source of personal data. Most VPN providers offer custom apps for iPhone users but they aren’t all of the same standard – some lower quality options can even put your data at risk – so we try and help you make the right choice. We thoroughly test all of the VPNs on our site so we can provide the most accurate recommendations. Our top choices offer high quality native iPhone apps, excellent performance, and top-notch privacy and security features.

Our top picks for iPhone allow you to browse privately on a secure, encrypted connection and still be able to access your favorite sites and apps, free from intrusive government surveillance and unwanted data collection by your ISP. Our high-tech proprietary speed testing tool means we can assess real-time VPN performance in several locations across the globe, and provide you with these results in the speed and reliability section of our comprehensive reviews. To see which VPN we recommend for a specific purpose, tell us why you need one below, or read on for the best VPNs for iPhone.

The 5 Best VPN Services for iPhone
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. IPVanish
  4. CyberGhost
  5. HideMyAss!
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for iPhone
ExpressVPN

Great speeds and access to Netflix. Sleek, well-designed iPhone app.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
What we like
  • Very fast speeds, average of 64Mbps globally
  • Loads of advanced privacy features
  • Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  • Modern, user-friendly iPhone app
  • Connect securely to 94 countries
What we like less
  • Price could be lower on shorter plans
  • Three simultaneous connections only
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is hands-down the best VPN provider on the current market. It’s our top iPhone pick for consistent, reliable performance on both local and more distant connections, with same-country speeds peaking at 184Mbps down and 164Mbps up. It’s also unrivaled for quick, easy access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services.

The software is incredibly sleek and user-friendly on iPhone and all other platforms,  and although it’s only possible to use it on three devices simultaneously, this shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Express also performs incredibly well on privacy, collecting only anonymous usage stats in order to maintain a high level of server performance. The iOS app offers DNS leak protection, but unfortunately lacks other security features found on the desktop apps, like split tunneling and a VPN kill switch, which is a little disappointing.

Customer service is fantastic, with friendly agents available 24/7 via live chat, and loads of online resources. It’s a premium product so not the cheapest option out there, however you can bring the monthly cost down to a very affordable $6.67 on the 12-month plan. ExpressVPN strikes the perfect balance between privacy and performance.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
NordVPN

Great balance between speed and security. Slick, easy-to-use iPhone app.

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
62 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
What we like
  • Fast speeds - 69Mbps global average
  • Works with Netflix and other streaming sites
  • Simple yet effective iPhone app
  • Generous 6 device connection limit
  • Connect securely to 62 countries
What we like less
  • Extra protocols require manual config
  • Slow responses to email and LiveChat
Bottom Line

NordVPN doesn’t quite measure up to ExpressVPN but it does come pretty close, especially when you consider the price. Speeds are very quick across its server network, peaking at over 292Mbps down on some local connections, and it’s one of the few providers that still works reliably with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

The well-designed iPhone app offers a streamlined, user-friendly experience, although the lack of VPN protocol selection could be off-putting for some. Nord is one of our top picks for privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy and loads of privacy extras including a VPN kill switch and servers optimized for use with TOR.

Customer support is a mixed bag, with a good set of online resources, but responses to email and live chat can be slow at times. However, at the bargain price of $2.99 per month on the three-year plan, most people will be able to overlook this, as really Nord is excellent value for money when you consider the level of performance on offer.


Read our full NordVPN review

3
IPVanish

Fantastic speeds and solid privacy features. Highly configurable iPhone app.

Best price
$6.49 per month
Special deal
46% off with 12-month plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
61 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
What we like
  • Fast download speeds - 48Mbps global average
  • Works with popular apps including Netflix
  • Sleek, highly configurable iPhone app
  • Very strict zero-logs policy
  • Connect securely to 61 countries
What we like less
  • Short refund period (7 days)
  • Could confuse inexperienced users
Bottom Line

IPVanish is a powerful VPN that’s focused on raw speed rather than user-friendliness. Speeds on local connections are ridiculously fast, peaking at almost 345Mbps in some locations, however performance across longer distances is a lot less consistent. It’s currently working with Netflix, which is good news for streaming fans.

The software offers a high level of configurability on iPhone and other popular platforms, however there are slicker options out there if you don’t like playing with a bunch of settings. A strict zero-logs policy is a privacy bonus and mitigates the fact IPVanish is based in the privacy-unfriendly US. However, the iOS app lacks some of the security features included in the desktop apps, such as IPv6 leak protection and a VPN kill switch.

Customer support is improving with the new live chat option. There are cheaper options out there, but you can save yourself 46% by opting for the annual plan, which brings the monthly cost down to a reasonable $6.49. IPVanish is a great choice for iPhone-owners with heavy P2P usage, along with anyone else seeking high levels of performance and privacy.


Read our full IPVanish review

4
CyberGhost

Innovative iPhone app with strong privacy features. Works with Netflix.

Best price
$3.50 per month
Special deal
73% off with 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
What we like
  • Fast download speeds - 64Mbps global average
  • Quick, easy access to Netflix
  • Innovative yet user-friendly iPhone app
  • Completely zero-logs provider
  • Connect securely to 60 countries
What we like less
  • Server network could be bigger
  • Torrenting restricted to US servers
Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a budget VPN for iPhone that doesn’t compromise on performance. Speeds on local connections aren’t quite as good as other top picks but they consistently exceed 187Mbps, which is easily quick enough for HD streaming and multiple file downloads. You can access Netflix and other popular services through dedicated streaming servers.

CyberGhost’s iPhone app is user-friendly and aims to customize your experience based on what you want to do online, such as streaming, torrenting or just general browsing. It’s a solid choice for privacy too, due to a strict zero-logs policy as well as a VPN kill switch and first-party DNS servers to prevent your true IP address from being exposed.

Customer support is very informative, and the recent introduction of 24/7 live chat is very welcome. CyberGhost is the cheapest VPN on the current market at $3.50 per month on the 18-month plan, so as long as you’re willing to overlook a few minor downsides, it’s a great choice if you’re looking to stick to a budget.


Read our full CyberGhost review

5
HideMyAss!

Great speeds across a huge server network. Simple yet very slick iPhone app.

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
190+ Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
What we like
  • Great speeds - 60Mbps global average
  • Optimized servers for streaming and torrenting
  • Well-designed, streamlined iPhone app
  • Brilliant customer support
  • Connect securely to over 190 countries
What we like less
  • Based in the privacy-unfriendly UK
  • Connection logs stored for three months
Bottom Line

HideMyAss! offers the biggest global server network of any provider. Performance is excellent on iPhone and other platforms both locally and across longer distances, with download (and upload) speeds consistently coming in at over 180Mbps, meaning you can stream your favorite shows on Netflix in buffer-free HD.

The newly-updated software is sleek and modern, both on iPhone and other major platforms. If you’re looking to click-and-forget, HMA! is the perfect choice, although this does mean you sacrifice the advanced features you get with providers such as IPVanish. Privacy-wise it’s good enough for those just looking to mask their IP address, however an intrusive logging policy will be a red flag to some, with your connection details being stored for up to three months.

Customer support is informative with speedy replies via live chat. It’s pretty pricey but worth paying for if you want to be able to connect to a server almost anywhere in the world, and you can cut the monthly price down to $2.99 on the three-year plan. Go with HMA! if you value raw speed and server choice above anything else.


Read our full HideMyAss! review

How we picked the best VPN for iPhone

Our top picks all have dedicated iOS apps, providing an outstanding user experience on iPhone as well as other popular platforms. They produce outstanding results in our latest speed tests on both local and international connections, and also offer reliable access to major streaming sites such as Netflix. We also looked for privacy-friendly logging policies as well as advanced privacy features such as a VPN killswitch and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks.

We regularly test all the VPNs on our site to make sure our recommendations for iPhone users are kept up to date. We are constantly running speed tests to assess VPN performance on the iOS applications and even check out the quality of customer support.

How to use a VPN for iPhone

Before you start using a VPN on your iPhone, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to install the software at router level or directly onto the iPhone that you’re going to use. There are advantages to both options, but most people tend to install individual apps on their devices as it makes switching servers a great deal easier. However a downside of this is that you’re often restricted as to how many devices you can protect simultaneously, usually around 3-5.

You then need to choose which protocol you’re going to connect with. We recommend OpenVPN in most cases as it strikes the best balance between speed and security, however popular providers will offer other options should you need them. In order to ensure you’re getting the best possible speeds, you should try and connect to a server close to your physical location – most providers will have an ‘automatic’ setting which does this for you.

Once you’re connected, the VPN will run in the background, so you can carry on using your iPhone as you normally would. Make sure your killswitch is turned on, as this will cut off all internet activity should the VPN connection be interrupted for any reason. This saves you having to constantly check that you’re still protected and ensures that your true IP address won’t be accidentally leaked.

Check out our user-friendly guide to installing a VPN on iPhone, complete with step-by-step instructions and loads of helpful screenshots.

How to choose a VPN for iPhone: 8 Tips

  • Does it have a dedicated iPhone app?

    The majority of popular VPN providers offer dedicated iPhone apps, ensuring a user-friendly, streamlined experience on mobile as well as desktop. Obviously the quality of these apps varies a great deal from one provider to another, so in our top picks we’ve only included those that pack in loads of advanced privacy features without being too clunky or complex. Make sure that your chosen protocol (OpenVPN in most cases) is available on the iPhone app, as this isn’t the case with every provider.

  • Does it offer fast, consistent speeds?

    Not every provider offers the same level of performance, so you need to ensure you choose one that isn’t going to slow down your iPhone too much. Generally speaking, the faster the better, however if you’re going to be doing lots of gaming you also need to look for a provider with low latency. Take a look at our speed tests to give you a better idea of which providers offer the quickest, most reliable speeds.

  • Does it have servers in the locations you need?

    For the quickest speeds, you’ll need to connect to a VPN server as close as possible to your physical location. The more servers a provider has, the better, as servers are far less likely to get congested. Look at our speed test results for individual locations in our reviews to get the best idea, especially if you’re looking to connect to a specific country.

  • Will it work with your favorite websites and apps?

    Do you enjoy watching Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN will work with these apps. We are constantly testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other apps, and share these results in our VPN reviews.

  • What is their logging policy?

    Most VPNs will tell you they’re strictly “zero logs” and don’t store any of your personal information, however in reality this is rarely the case. To deliver consistently good speeds across a huge global network, you need to monitor at least some user connection details, such as amount of bandwidth transferred or device used. You could read loads of privacy policies to find out exactly what’s collected and stored or let us do that for you just check the logging policy section of our review for a plain English explanation. In an ideal world you want a VPN that doesn’t log your IP address and limits timestamp logs to just the date of your connection, or better still one that doesn’t collect any logs whatsoever.

  • Check connection, encryption and security features

    The sheer amount of VPN jargon can be overwhelming, even if you are pretty tech-savvy. Do look out for OpenVPN though, as this connection protocol offers the best overall blend of speed and security. Ignore talk of military or bank-grade encryption and just look for AES-256, as that’s the gold standard. Unless you know your DNS from your IPv6, a VPN killswitch is the main thing to look out for among security features as it will protect you from exposing your real IP address should your connection drop unexpectedly.

  • Are their client apps and software easy to use?

    Most of you aren’t just going to be using a VPN on your iPhone, so you want to make sure that the provider you choose also offers decent apps for other devices such as your computer. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, user-friendly and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so hopefully we know a thing or two!

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Even the most expensive VPN plans are very affordable but you will likely have a budget in mind. 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing a VPN with a long refund period, preferably 30 days and with no questions asked. These guarantees are much more common than traditional free trials but are essentially the same thing.