Best VPN For iPhone and iPad (iOS)

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In Short: The Best VPN For iPhone and iPad

We’ve tested different VPNs to see which one is the best for iPhone and iPad. In our tests, we specifically looked at speed, safety, privacy, usability, extra options, and price. With those considerations in mind, we came to the following top 3 of best VPNs for iOS:

  1. ExpressVPN: overall the best VPN, also for iPhone and iPad.
  2. CyberGhost: excellent VPN, cheaper than ExpressVPN but slightly slower as well.
  3. Surfshark: relatively new VPN, surprisingly cheap and fast.

Would you like to know more about these VPNs or are you looking for instructions on how to install a VPN on iOS? Read our full article below.

Privacy settings iOS iPhoneThese days it’s becoming more and more important to be extra careful when going online. This goes for iPhone and iPad users as well. Public Wi-Fi networks aren’t always safe, and many sites and apps track your online activity. To make sure no (malicious) parties are spying on you, it’s a good idea to start using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

iOS is known for its anti-malware protection. However, these features won’t secure the unsafe networks you connect to. A VPN will give you that extra layer of protection. Fortunately, installing a VPN on iOS is quick and simple. This article will tell you all about the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad.

The Best VPN Apps For iPhone and iPad: Our Top 3

Choosing the right VPN hinges on defining your personal needs. Do you want a fast VPN? Or would you sacrifice some speed for extra encryption and safety? What’s your VPN budget? With these factors in mind, we’ve listed three fantastic iOS VPNs for you. They will all work perfectly on your iPhone and iPad.

1. ExpressVPN: stable speeds and high security

ExpressVPN is a champion of safety, speed, and usability. This premium VPN virtually has no flaws. And it’s especially suitable for iOS users. ExpressVPN protects your data and offers thousands of servers in almost 100 countries. Moreover, its well-designed apps are easy to use and work perfectly on iPhone and iPad.

In our opinion, ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN on the market. This is not only true for iOS, but also for other systems. Still, this VPN service is a bit pricier than many of its competitors. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Meaning you’ll have a month to test the service cost-free. If it doesn’t work for you, you can request your money back. No questions asked.

Great discount on annual subscription + 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost: efficient user-friendly software

CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN provider with a very reasonable price. It offers fast servers, high-level security, and user-friendly apps. It might just be the top iOS VPN pick if you haven’t used a VPN before. Another great advantage offered by CyberGhost is its 45-days money-back guarantee. This is a longer period than most other VPN providers offer. You could view it as a longer “trial period” with CyberGhost.

The only negative: in our tests CyberGhost was slightly slower than ExpressVPN and Surfshark. Nevertheless, its results still proved surprisingly high in our most recent comparison. In short, CyberGhost is a great VPN for iPhone and iPad.

Try CyberGhost for $2.15 per month!
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

3. Surfshark: high quality for a low price

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN that climbed to the top of our lists very quickly. This VPN earned our recommendation as one of the best value-for-money deals out there. It’s very fast and has a simple but solid iOS app. Surfshark’s security and privacy are top-notch as well. With this VPN, you’ll be able to browse on your iPhone or iPad without worrying.

Surfshark made a lot of positive changes in a short period of time. Especially when it comes to their customer support and extra options. They’ve handled their newfound success really well, with a minor occasional stumble. Surfshark, too, offers a 30-days money-back guarantee. So, you can try out their service without being roped into a year-long subscription.

Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.30a month
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN for iPhone

There are several things you need to consider before you choose a VPN for your iPhone. Here are the most important factors we used to construct our list of top 3 VPNs for iOS:

  • Speed: VPNs often affect the speed of your internet connection. Some providers will drop your speed more than others. To ensure your connection suffers as little as possible, we tested how different VPNs affect the internet speed on iPhones.
  • Safety and privacy: Best VPNs for iOS use strong encryption, have a strict no-logging policy, and haven’t had any past privacy mishaps. Additional safety features, such as a kill switch, were also considered in our tests.
  • User-friendliness: An intuitive UI and ease of use are very important factors. Securing your connection should be as simple as possible. This means we paid extra attention to the UI design and the quality of the customer service teams.
  • Servers: If you use your iPhone VPN to unblock sites, you want a large server network. For example, German VPN servers can’t access American Netflix. Also, the closer a VPN server is to your location, the faster the speeds you’re going to get.
  • Extra features and options: Not all VPNs are the same. This also goes for the extra options offered by different VPN providers. Whereas some VPNs are “no-frills” privacy solutions, other providers go out of their way to offer extra options. These can range from adblockers to obfuscated servers. Some VPNs also have special geo-unblocking capabilities and Netflix compatibility.
  • Cost: While the speed and safety of a VPN are incredibly important, the cost of service can’t be ignored. Of course, everyone likes saving a little money. That’s why we also made sure to consider the price of different VPN providers.

Based on the above criteria, we came up with our top 3 best VPNs for iPhone/iOS. Which of these providers is best for you? That depends on which factors you consider to be the most important.

Free vs paid VPN apps for iOS

Free VPN TrophyWith so many VPNs out there, there are also some free options available. They might seem great at first, but most free VPNs come with significant drawbacks. For example, a lot of free VPNs enforce data, speed, and server limits. Because of these, you likely won’t be able to use your iOS VPN as freely as you’d like to.

Moreover, their privacy and security packages are often very disappointing and even dangerous. This is the exact opposite of a good iOS VPN. If you download a random free VPN app on your iPhone, your personal data will be collected and shared. You might even be downloading malware onto your device.

If you would still like to try out a free VPN, we advise picking one from our list of the best free VPN services. Also, check out our top 8 free VPNs for iPhone and iOS devices for more options. This way, you can be certain you’re at least working with a relatively safe and secure VPN. Even though you might still have to deal with speed or bandwidth limits. Also, note that we haven’t specifically tested these VPNs for iPhone compatibility.

Why use a VPN for iPhone and iPad?

VPNs come with countless benefits. As a result, there are many different reasons for iPhone and iPad users to start using them. Here are the three most important advantages of using a VPN on your iPhone.

Securing your internet connectioniPhone users aren’t always aware of the risks that public Wi-Fi networks pose to them. Since the integrated safety features of iPhones are pretty advanced, iPhone users might think they don’t need any additional protection. However, public Wi-Fi networks can be exploited by cybercriminals to access your passwords, personal pictures, and even banking details. iPhone’s safety measures won’t protect you here. Therefore, the most important reason for most iPhone users to get a VPN is to secure their connection.
Protecting your online privacyA lot of people, iPhone users or otherwise, don’t like prying eyes. Companies can use your online personal information to serve you targeted ads and other nuisances. In some countries, it might even be dangerous to visit certain websites or express certain ideas without making yourself anonymous with a tool like a VPN. Lastly, many use a VPN for anonymous downloading, although it should be noted that illegal downloading is still illegal, even if you use a VPN.
Unblocking websites and streaming servicesAnother reason for using a VPN, which is becoming increasingly popular, is a VPN’s ability to unblock geo-restricted content. For instance, a VPN can help you to access foreign websites or content, which would otherwise be blocked for you. It could help you access the American version of Netflix despite not being in the US, or BBC iPlayer without being in the UK. This also works when you’re in a country where many western websites are blocked, such as China.

Installing a VPN on iOS

There are different ways to install a VPN app on your iPhone. Most VPN providers have made it very easy to set up a connection. For more information, you can read everything about installing a VPN on your iPhone right here.

Many VPN providers offer native iOS apps that can be installed by following these steps:

Installing VPN Step by Step Smartphone

  1. Create an account and get a subscription with a VPN provider on their official website;
  2. Download the VPN app from the App Store;
  3. Open the app and log in with your login details;
  4. If you’d like, tweak the VPN’s settings (protocols, additional safety options) to your liking and choose the desired VPN server;
  5. Turn on the VPN. Your iPhone will most likely prompt you to adjust the configuration of your VPN connection by going to “networks”. Allow this.

Now you’re connected to a VPN server and able to enjoy a freer, safer internet.

How to manually install a VPN on iOS

Apart from installing a dedicated app, you can also manually install a VPN on your iPhone. To do this, you’ll need a few details, which you can most likely find on the website of your chosen VPN provider. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to get a subscription to a VPN provider before you’ll be able to set up a connection this way.

Follow these steps to manually install a VPN on your iPhone:

  1. Go to “Settings“;
  2. Scroll down and tap “General“;
  3. Scroll all the way down and select “VPN“.
  4. Tap “Add VPN Configuration” and add the necessary details.

Add VPN Configuration Screenshot

This way you can manually install a VPN on your iPhone. However, if your chosen VPN service has its own app, we strongly recommend you use it. This will make it much easier for you to change between servers and turn the connection on and off.

Conclusion: The Best VPN For iPhone and iPad

Briefly summarized, the best VPNs for iPhone, according to us, are:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Surfshark

These VPNs are all great choices for iPhone and iPad. They all have fast, secure, and user-friendly apps downloadable from the App Store. ExpressVPN offers the most stable and reliable connections. CyberGhost is the perfect provider for beginners. Surfshark is incredibly cheap but still offers great quality.

Would you rather choose a different VPN for your iPhone? Make sure to have a look at our overview of the best VPNs we’ve tested. Whichever VPN you choose, it will provide you and your iOS device with more online safety, privacy, and internet freedom.

Best VPNs for iPhone - FAQ

Do you have a pressing question about the use of a VPN on iPhone or iPad? Check out our frequently asked questions below and click a question for a short and clear answer.

ExpressVPN turns out to be the very best VPN for iOS. This VPN service offers high speeds, a large number of servers in many locations, and an excellent privacy policy that doesn’t allow any logging. Would you rather choose a different VPN? Read about our top three best VPNs for iPhone and iPad right here.

Unfortunately, free VPNs often have a data, speed, or server limit. This means you won’t be able to make unlimited use of secure internet. Moreover, the security of many free VPNs often isn’t great.

If you want to consider all your options anyway, we’d advise you to choose one of the providers from our list of best free VPN services.

The easiest way to connect to the VPN is by installing your provider’s official VPN app. After installing, you’ll likely only have to press a button to activate the connection.

It’s also possible to set up a VPN connection through the settings in iOS. This can be useful when you don’t want to use an app or if there’s no app available. In that case, simply enter your user data in the VPN settings on your iPhone and connect manually. You’ll have set it up in a matter of seconds.

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic by rerouting it through a virtual, encrypted tunnel. Because of this, your IP address can’t be traced and you reduce the chance of data theft. In general, you are much safer online with a VPN.

iOS is known for its good protection against malware. Unfortunately, that doesn’t say anything about the security of the networks you connect to. Especially with public Wi-Fi networks, security isn’t always guaranteed. Therefore, we recommend using a suitable VPN for your iPhone, because it’ll encrypt your network traffic, making it much more difficult for third parties to obtain your information or break into your device.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.