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Best free VPNs for iPhone and iPad in 2022


It is widely known that Apple iOS is truly secure. But putting an extra layer of security, like a VPN, would hurt nobody, except the cybercriminals, right?

Also, a good VPN for iPhone and iPad won’t only keep you protected. It will also unblock streaming services and websites, boost your internet connection, and give you tons of useful features. But can a free VPN do that?

Definitely! But only trustworthy VPNs should be considered, as most of the free VPNs earn money by selling user data to third parties. Or they simply spam you with bothersome ads. Not to mention the huge list of “free VPNs” offered on the App Store which end up costing more than regular VPNs.

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That being said, we have curated a list of the best free VPNs for iPhone and iOS devices in 2022 that are truly safe so that you could find the best provider stress-free. Continue reading to find out which are the good ones!

Top 5 best free VPNs for iPhone:

  1. NordVPN – best free VPN for iPhone
  2. Surfshark – top free iPhone VPN with unlimited connections
  3. Atlas VPN – trustworthy free VPN services
  4. ProtonVPN – a speedy and secure free VPN for iPhone
  5. Windscribe – solid free VPN choice for iOS

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Is it worth having a free VPN on iPhone?

The worth of a free VPN depends on your needs. Firstly, a free VPN can cover only basic needs as most of the free providers have very limited suites of security. You may lose a chance to pick a preferred server and location, or have a short and dull list of features that won’t even help you to bypass geo-restrictions.

Secondly, free VPNs are always looking for a way to make their users subscribe to paid services. Usually, a free version is only a commercial product that is meant to seduce you for a premium product. Therefore, all the limitations and constantly seen reminders to upgrade your plan might bring you more anxiety than security.

All in all, a free VPN is more like a short-term solution for taking care of your online security and anonymity. On the other hand, premium services allow you to have an unrestricted, unlimited, and safe browsing experience. With them, you can secure your identity even when a VPN connection drops, get rid of annoying ads, or access Netflix and other worldwide streaming services.

Pro tip

Looking to go for a premium VPN? We suggest going for options like NordVPN or Surfshark.

Best free VPNs for iPhone and iPad – our detailed list

We absolutely have seen how many free VPNs there are waiting for your attention on the Apple App Store. And getting confused at that point is completely understandable.

To ease your way to getting a trustworthy free VPN, we have tested and picked these 7 free VPNs for your iOS device. For finding out whether they are actually the best, we have based on criteria that start with personalization for iOS, continue with safety, and end with features.

So, take a look and see if there’s The One that you were looking for.

1. NordVPN – overall best free VPN choice for iPhone

NordVPN banner 1
Based in:Panama
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% OFF! 🔥

NordVPN is ultimately the best free VPN for iPhone. It has a modern and user-friendly iOS app. You can easily select from 5400 servers in 60 locations from a map/country list on your Apple device.

Apart from that, NordVPN’s iOS app allows you to pick from different tunneling protocols. That includes IKEv2 and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), but for the best speeds, we recommend the revolutionary NordLynx protocol.

Furthermore, this VPN includes additional security features, and it’s not something you usually get with iOS apps. For example, you can use a kill switch and the dark web monitoring features to protect your sensitive information.

Also, check this out: NordVPN works with Netflix and other streaming platforms, such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. You can use it to watch global content from anywhere.

Even though paid subscriptions cost from $3.29/month, you can try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee. For that, you’ll need to claim NordVPN’s free trial. If you do change your mind and want to get a paid plan, make sure to check NordVPN deals for discounts.

Read our full NordVPN review to find out more about this provider.

2. Surfshark – free VPN with unlimited connections for iPhone

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + Antivirus & 2 months FREE 🔥

Surfshark is another top contender on our list of the best free VPNs for iPhone. You can enjoy an intuitive iOS app that allows you to select from over 3200 servers in 95 locations. Additionally, you get unlimited simultaneous connections, so your family can use it on their iPhones as well.

What’s also worth mentioning is that its iOS app is rich in features for a mobile app. You get a kill switch to stop all Internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. Additionally, there’s WireGuard support, so you can enjoy fast speeds and a stable connection.

When it comes to entertainment, you won’t be disappointed either. Surfshark works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and many other streaming platforms. So, you can watch any global shows on your iPhone while on the go.

The prices of paid subscriptions start from $2.30/month but there are also amazing Surfshark discounts. Alternatively, there’s an option to get a free Sufshark trial for 7 days or use the 30-day money-back guarantee for a longer trial period.

Learn more about this provider in our detailed Surfshark VPN review.

3. Atlas VPN – a trustworthy VPN companion for an iPhone

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:United States
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes (paid-only)
Current deal:🔥 Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF! 🔥

One more free VPN that we would vote for is Atlas VPN that is a mobile-focused provider. Besides being a decently personalized VPN for iOS, this provider also uses AES-256 encryption and claims not to collect user data. Meaning, your privacy remains safe and sound with Atlas VPN.

What’s also great is that you get an unlimited amount of data to use even with a free plan. Now, if you decide to go for a premium plan, you wouldn’t have to worry about spending too much money, as Atlas VPN’s price starts from $2.05/month.

Hopping on a free Atlas VPN’s deck would provide you with features like a kill switch, safe browsing, and P2P file sharing. So, you would stay protected from malicious websites and the danger of the VPN connection dropping off. Also, torrenting could fulfill your weekends.

But, truth be told, that’s not a lot and you would get more by subscribing to a paid version. For example, you could unblock streaming sites and detect data breaches.

Moving further, the connection speed matters, right? Well, here we won’t come across anything surprising, as Atlas VPN offers only three locations to choose from. But it claims to add new locations on a regular basis, so we can hope for better days to come.

For all the information you need, read our detailed Atlas VPN review.

4. ProtonVPN – a speedy and secure free VPN

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Unlimited data:Yes
Unblocks Netflix:Yes (paid-only)
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 50% OFF ProtonVPN! 🔥

ProtonVPN is our top choice as a free VPN for iPhones and iPads. That’s because ProtonVPN offers unlimited data. But that’s not all, as it has also implemented military-grade encryption and has a no-logs policy.

Usually, the iOS version of a VPN app is quite behind the Android one. Nevertheless, here you will get to enjoy the kill switch feature and DNS leaking prevention. The only features that are excluded are split tunneling and alternate routing.

Also, ProtonVPN allows you to choose OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec tunneling protocols, which is a rare case in a free VPN (keep in mind that a premium version also offers the WireGuard tunnel).

If you stay with a free version instead of a premium one, you would get to pick from only 3 countries and their servers. But if you are worried about overcrowded servers, then you might get happier by knowing that ProtonVPN has implemented a tool that shows the current server load.

What’s actually sad about ProtonVPN’s free version is that you won’t get an opportunity to access Netflix or any other big streaming platform. To get that privilege, you would have to upgrade your plan to a premium one. Could that be a breaking point?

If you’re still not convinced, have a look at our in-depth ProtonVPN review.

5. Windscribe – solid VPN option for iOS

Windscribe banner
Based in: Canada
Unlimited data:No
Unblocks Netflix: Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 55% OFF with a 1-year plan! 🔥

Windscribe might get you jumping around from happiness, as it unblocks Netflix even for free users. Just keep in mind that you only get to use up to 10GB of VPN-protected data, so there will only be a few episodes available per month.

Moreover, to get that 10GB, you would have to provide Windscribe with your email address. Yet, if you seek to stay as anonymous as possible, there will be only 2GB available for you.

Nevertheless, even by providing your email address, you would remain pretty secure as Windscribe uses AES-256 cipher and it has a no-logs policy (even though they are located in a 5-eyes country).

The thing we adore about Windscribe is the wide range of tunneling protocols you can pick from: IKEv2, OpenVPN (both UDP and TCP), Stealth, and WStunnel. That’s a great security benefit that you can rarely see in free VPNs.

Windscribe is also decently filled with features. Despite using its free version, you would receive a kill switch feature, SOCKS5 proxy, an ad blocker, a secure hotspot function, and the possibility to use two servers at the same time to have double protection. Moreover, torrenting is also possible and you get to pick from 11 countries, which is outstanding as for a free VPN.

If you wish to have even more than all of this, then subscribing to a paid Windscribe plan would be a smart move to make. Not to mention the fact that you would also be safer.

If you want more information, read our in-depth Windscribe VPN review.

How we tested these free VPNs for iOS

It’s not easy for iOS users to choose the best free VPN. There is a bunch of important details that you have to pay attention to for picking it. Hence, below you will find a list that we have based on for finding the best free iPhone VPN.

  • Security. Look for AES-256 encryption and secure tunneling protocols as OpenVPN or WireGuard. We don’t fall for a VPN easily that doesn’t use these tools.
  • Unlimited data. The bigger the limitation is, the smaller amount of protected network you will have.
  • Speed. No one likes it when the network connection starts buffering. Hence, the faster a VPN is, the better browsing experience you will get.
  • Features. Free VPNs are already quite poor with features, so looking for the most feature-rich provider is a must.
  • Tolerance for iOS. Plenty of VPN providers leave iOS behind Android’s back. Thus, we look for those VPNs that still offer lots of features for iOS.

How do I set up a VPN on my iPhone for free?

Signing up and setting your iOS device for a free VPN is an easy and quick task to do. Below you will find a short guide on how to do that with ProtonVPN. So, grab your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions:

  1. Head to the Apple App Store and type in “ProtonVPN” into the search bar
  2. Click Get
Get ProtonVPN ios
  1. After the app finishes installing, open it and choose to Sign Up
Sign up ProtonVPN
  1. Scroll down and select ProtonVPN FREE
Free ProtonVPN plan
  1. Put in your credentials to create an account
Account info ProtonVPN
  1. Verify yourself with email or SMS
  2. That’s all! Enjoy free and secure browsing

Free iPhone VPN apps compared

To find out how flexible you’ll be with a free iPhone VPN, you should pay attention to several details. They include bandwidth and data limits, rating, extra supported devices, possibilities regarding streaming services, and, of course, privacy policy. And to ease your research on them, we have put this information into a table below.

CategoryNordVPNSurfsharkAtlas VPNProtonVPNWindscribe
Data capUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited10GB
App Store rating4.74.94.83.94.6
Works with Apple TVYesYesNoYesYes
Unblocks NetflixYesYesYes (paid-only)Yes (paid-only)Yes
LoggingNo-logs policyNo-logs policyNo-logs policyNo-logs policyNo-logs policy

Why free VPNs might be dangerous

Despite certain restrictions that come along with a free VPN, there are additional disadvantages. And those are the ones that might be a threat to your Mac or another iOS device.

  • Free VPNs might allow the government to collect user data. Some free VPNs let the government sniff around so that a VPN could work in some heavily restricted countries. For example, China. As a result, the promised privacy with a VPN vanishes.
  • Free VPNs intend to plant a tracker for unspecified reasons. The reasons behind that can vary. For instance, targeting you with commercial content based on your location and activity. Additionally, it can be an extra source of money as it allows the provider to track every step you make while you are connected.
  • A free VPN might be a source of malware infection. Since free VPNs make money by bothering their users with pop-up ads from third parties, malware gets into your Mac through an ad.
  • A free VPN invites unwanted ads. As free VPNs don’t earn directly from you, they do the devil’s job and allow third parties to interfere with your browsing experience. Consequently, by connecting to a free VPN, you might receive more pop-ads or video ads than you did before.
  • With a free VPN, you might get your browser hijacked. As soon as your browser gets hijacked, you might be redirected to websites that you didn’t intend to visit. And often mentioned websites are malicious ones that you know aren’t healthy for your iOS device and your privacy.
  • Freebies are likely to offer you compromised security. With a free VPN, you are more likely to have an extremely limited list of tunneling protocols. One of them might be the PPTP protocol which is outdated and doesn’t encrypt your traffic. Therefore, you come across security gaps and leave your online privacy behind your back.

As you can already assume, free VPNs must make money somehow to maintain their services available (although, they are momentary solutions). So, from here you become a product that guarantees an income. You might sacrifice your own safety instead of the money that you would pay for a premium VPN. That being said, paying for a VPN causes you much fewer problems.

Free iPhone VPNs to avoid

We shall all agree that there are some free VPNs that are trustworthy enough to have access to your real IP address. But let's agree on one more thing – you won’t fall for a VPN that’s included on a blacklist that you will find below.

  1. Betternet – although this provider is seen as one of the top free VPNs for iOS, its actions regarding your security say different things. What we mean by that is that with Betternet, you might have your IP address leaked or get infected with malware.
  2. Hotspot Shield – if you seek to stay as anonymous as possible, then just bypass Hotspot Shield. This free VPN provider was found to use trackers in its application. Oh, and DNS leaking was also detected.
  3. Opera VPN – well, you probably know Opera as a browser. But it also claims to have a free VPN which occurs to be only a browser proxy that can help you to stay anonymous but nothing else. Yet, Opera VPN isn’t successful at this as it broadly collects user data and is owned by a Chinese company.

Conclusion

Indeed, a free VPN might come as a useful security tool in cases such as protecting your privacy while connected to a public wi-fi or finding a feature that fits your needs. But are these benefits worth selling your personal data instead?

While you are connected to a free VPN, your browsing history and personal information might be in danger. Conversely, subscribing to a paid VPN for iPhone requires you to empty your wallet a bit but saves you plenty of nerves and guarantees strong protection.

All in all, you should always weigh a VPN provider before diving into its services all in.


More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for iPad in 2022: add that extra layer of protection
Best VPNs for Mac: improve your privacy status
How to change your location on iPhone or iPad
Free VPN apps for Android: only safe and reliable providers
Best Safari VPNs: protect privacy from potential hackers


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