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Best free VPNs for iPhones in 2024


There are many options to choose from when it comes to free VPNs for iPhones. However, while some reliable free iPhone VPNs offer good security and acceptable speeds, most of them carry some security risks, such as data collection, malicious ads, and inadequate security features. Therefore, we recommend choosing a reliable premium VPN like NordVPN to ensure the best possible security and privacy protection for you and your iPhone.

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On the other hand, if a premium VPN is not an option for you, a free VPN for iOS is a good alternative if you choose a reliable provider.

We tested over 42 VPN services to find the most trustworthy options that grant adequate security and privacy at no cost. Pick one of the providers below, and you won’t have to worry about data collection or other cybersecurity issues.

Best free VPNs for iPhone in 2024: shortlist

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How to choose the best free VPN for iPhone

Free iPhone VPNs tend to be limited, but even a free VPN should not compromise your iPhone or personal data security, deliver good speeds, and offer at least a few free servers to select from. Here are more things to consider when choosing the best free iPhone VPN:

  • Free version. Ensure that the iPhone VPN really offers a free version of some kind, such as a free plan, a free trial, or a money-back guarantee. Some of them will require a signup process, but there are also free iPhone VPNs that don’t ask for your email.
  • iOS app. Choose a VPN that offers a dedicated app for iOS. That way, you will be sure to get all the latest software updates and ensure a good performance, lag-free connections, and an iOS-specific intuitive interface.
  • No-logs policy. Free VPNs tend to collect and use your data for profit, so make sure to get a VPN with a strict and independently audited no-logs policy.
  • Encryption. Strong encryption is crucial in ensuring that your data remains secure at all times. Choose a free iPhone VPN with AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption.
  • Security features. Additional security features such as a kill switch and IP leak protection are essential. Some extra features to look out for are split tunneling, ad-blockers, special servers, and threat protection.
  • Servers. Free iPhone VPNs often have very few free servers available. Check out your options and choose one that offers servers in a location that you need.
  • Speed and performance. Tunneling protocols such as WireGuard and OpenVPN will ensure not only a secure but also a fast connection.

Best free VPN for iPhone – detailed list

We reviewed and tested 42 VPNs and their iOS app functionalities. Our evaluations included running speed tests and researching free server fleets, privacy policies, security measures, and more. Keep reading to find our detailed results.

1. NordVPN – overall best free VPN for iPhone

NordVPN banner
Free version:Free option
Data limit:Unlimited
Max device support:6
Current deal:Try NordVPN for free!

NordVPN is the best free VPN for iPhone. It has a modern and user-friendly iOS app as well as a large server fleet of 6100+ servers in 61 countries. You can use NordVPN for free for 7 days, and with the money-back guarantee, that period can extend for 30 days more.

Security and privacy. NordVPN uses powerful AES encryption, but the NordLynx protocol implements the ultra-secure XChaCha20 protocol. Plus, we examined the privacy policy and found that it doesn't store any activity logs. Even the anonymized data it retains can be opted out of. Moreover, the zero-logs policy was audited three times by independent companies.

Features. This VPN comes with a market-standard kill switch and even Threat Protection. The latter ensures you don’t download malware, blocks ads, and prevents trackers.

Speeds. Our NordVPN speed tests continuously show some of the highest download speed retention rates with NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol, averaging 96%.

Who it is for: NordVPN is the best for anyone looking for a top-tier iPhone VPN to use for free. It is suitable for beginners and experienced VPN users alike.

You can claim NordVPN’s free trial, but you can also use the 30-day money-back guarantee on top of it.

2. Surfshark – free iPhone VPN with unlimited connections

Surfshark banner
Free version:Free option
Data limit:Unlimited
Max device support:Unlimited
Current deal:Try Surfshark for free!

Surfshark is another reliable free VPN for iPhone that comes with an intuitive iOS app and over 3200 servers in 100 countries. The best part is that you can use Surfshark for free for 7 days, and extend that period to 30 more days with the money-back guarantee.

Security and privacy. Surfshark combines robust AES and XChaCha20 encryption to make your connections with WireGuard swift and secure. You can also rest assured that your data is completely hidden using RAM-only servers and an independently-audited no-logs policy.

Features. Surfshark comes with a kill switch as well as CleanWeb that blocks trackers, ads, and malicious websites – in our Surfshark tests, this feature worked perfectly. You can also enjoy enhanced twice-encrypted connections using MultiHop servers.

Speeds. Considering that this VPN uses the WireGuard protocol, it’s no surprise that it retained an average of 92% initial connection speeds during our testing. To see how it compares to another top VPN, read our Surfshark vs NordVPN analysis.

Who it is for: Surfshark is one of the VPNs for those who want to use it on several devices at once – great to share with families, among friends, and at work.

You can claim Surfshark’s free trial for 7 days and make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee for a longer trial period.

3. Norton Secure VPN – well-balanced free VPN for iPhone

norton vpn banner
Free version:Free option
Data limit:Unlimited
Max device support:10
Current deal:Try Norton VPN for free!

Consider Norton Secure VPN if you need a trustworthy and established free VPN for iPhone. The service doesn’t have an unlimited free version and instead grants a 7-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee options.

Security and privacy. Your online escapades will remain completely confidential because Norton VPN utilizes robust AES-256 encryption. And while the service is located in the US, your data is in good hands because the VPN boasts a strict no-logs policy.

Features. The iOS app provides the Wi-Fi Security feature to boot up the VPN whenever you connect to an unfamiliar network. Besides that, you can enable auto-connect to always connect to the fastest available server. However, the application lacks a kill switch and split tunneling.

Speeds. Our Norton Secure VPN tests with the OpenVPN protocol showed the provider is relatively swift and suitable for lag-free browsing and video streaming. Naturally, the Norton VPN’s speed potential is hampered by the absence of WireGuard.

Who it is for: Norton is a great free VPN for iPhone for personal use, and if you’re looking for extra strong security features and stable connections.

Once you’re done with the free trial, you can use Norton for free for one more month with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Proton VPN – secure free VPN for iPhones

ProtonVPN banner
Free version:Yes
Data limit:
Unlimited
Max device support:
10
Current deal:Try Proton VPN for free!

Proton VPN is another great free VPN for iPhones and iPads. It offers a user-friendly iOS app, provides you with unlimited data, and includes servers in three locations, including Japan, the Netherlands, and the US.

Security and privacy. This free provider comes with the WireGuard protocol, meaning your data is encrypted with the modern ChaCha20 encryption. We reviewed that the privacy policy doesn’t log any of your personal data. The only eyebrow-raising thing was the fact that continued use of the service after any policy changes would be considered accepted. That being said, the policy has been independently audited.

Features. The free version comes with no data caps, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection only. The premium version comes with more advanced security features, such as Tor over VPN, double VPN, or a VPN accelerator for improving performance. If the premium features are what you need, you’ll have to consider upgrading.

Speeds. During our Proton VPN tests, it showed an average speed retention rate of 85% compared to the baseline speed.

Who it is for: If you need an iOS VPN for daily usage, Proton VPN is a great free solution.

5. Bitdefender – free VPN for iPhone with great features

bitdefender-vpn banner image
Free version:Free plan, 30-day money-back guarantee
Data limit:
Unlimited
Max device support:
10
Current deal:Get up to 43% OFF Bitdefender VPN!

Bitdefender is another great free VPN for iPhones and iPads. If you're already a Bitdefender security plan user, you automatically get access to the free Bitdefender VPN. And even if you don't have the security pack, you can still try out Bitdefender VPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Security and privacy. Bitdefender uses a speedy Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol and has useful features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and customizable auto-connect. However, how much data they log is unclear, which may concern some users.

Features. The key contrast between Bitdefender’s free and premium plans is the daily traffic limit – the free version offers only 200Mb per day, while the premium comes with unlimited data. In addition to essential security features, the premium VPN from Bitdefender includes extras like an ad blocker, anti-tracker, app traffic optimizer, and double hop for enhanced functionality.

Speeds. In our Bitdefender tests, this VPN turned out to be super fast, maintaining an average speed of 17% compared to the initial speed.

Who it is for: Bitdefender is a great free iPhone VPN for those who already have the antivirus subscription – it’s a free addition to your iPhone security suite.

You can use Bitdefender VPN completely for free if you already have a Bitdefender antivirus package. If not, you can also use the 30-day money-back guarantee to use it for free for a month.

Best free VPNs for iPhone compared

To find out how flexible you’ll be with a free iPhone VPN, you should pay attention to several details. They include free versions (such as free plans, trials, or money-back guarantees), bandwidth and data limits, ratings, and supported devices.

BrandNordVPNSurfsharkNorton VPNProton VPNbitdefender vpn logo for tables
Free versionFree option Free optionFree optionYesYes
Cybernews rank
4.9
4.7
4.2
4
3.9
App Store rating4.74.94.34.64.7
Data capUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Free servers6100+ servers in 61 countries
3200+ servers in 100 countries
1000+ servers in 29 countries
3 locations4000+ servers in 53 countries

How we selected and tested these free VPNs for iOS

We used iPhone 7 iOS 15.7.6 for testing iOS VPNs and looked at various criteria to rank them. First and foremost, we evaluated the free versions of each VPN and ranked them based partially on what plans they offer. We included iOS VPNs offering free plans, free trials, and money-back guarantees. We also conducted a series of performance tests to ensure that each free iPhone VPN works well. This includes monitoring the kill switch functionality, testing speeds with servers in different locations, and the overall functionality of the iOS app.

We also considered who will benefit the most from using a specific VPN. For example, we evaluated whether each VPN has a beginner-friendly interface and functions, or if it's better suited for users with more technical VPN knowledge. Finally, we looked into user reviews and Apple App Store rating of each free iPhone VPN to help guide our ranking system.

How to set up a free VPN on iPhone

Acquiring and setting up a free VPN on your iOS device is an easy and quick task. You can download any free VPN for iPhone on our list from the Apple App Store, or download and install it from the provider’s website. After that, you will need to create your account by entering your email or using a verification code. If you need help, here is a short guide on how to set up a free VPN on iPhone. So, grab your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions:

  1. Head to the Apple App Store, find, download, and install the NordVPN app.
  2. Create an account or login.
  3. Launch the app and click on the Settings icon in your account section. There, you’ll find the VPN connection tab where you can choose one of the tunneling protocols, including NordLynx, IKEv2, or OpenVPN (UDP or TCP variant).
  4. Connect to a server of your choice and start browsing safely!

Free VPN for iPhone without a subscription

Some free VPNs for iPhone don’t require subscribing to the service in any way. Usually, this means that you won’t need to make an account and/or give your payment details. Currently, the only trustworthy free VPNs for iPhone that you can get without a subscription are Proton VPN and Windscribe. With ProtonVPN, you will need to provide your only email to use the free version. Windscribe does not ask for your email or any other details to use their service.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a free VPN for iPhone

Using a free VPN for an iPhone is a double-edged sword. There are many benefits to free VPNs, however, they also come with some disadvantages and limitations.

Here are some advantages of using a free iPhone VPN:

  • Use a VPN for iPhone for free. This one is self-explanatory – it is always nice to have an opportunity to use a great service completely for free.
  • Hiding your activities from your ISP. A trustworthy free VPN with strong AES-256 encryption is all you need to become invisible to your ISP and other potential onlookers.
  • Masking your IP address. A free VPN will encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address.
  • Changing your location. Free VPNs can still it appear that you’re connecting from another region, although the server location selection might not be that big.
  • Bypassing censorship. Free VPNs can circumvent geographical restrictions and censorship by rerouting your traffic through another country.

Here are some disadvantages to using a free VPN for iPhone:

  • Free iOS VPNs might collect and sell user data. Some free VPNs might not have a no-logs policy and will collect and use your browsing data for profit.
  • Minimal security and other features. Free VPNs don’t have the features to protect you against malicious ads, viruses, online trackers, or malware. Additionally, features like split tunneling or special servers might not be available at all.
  • Subpar performance. Free VPNs often don’t have the resources to ensure efficient and fast speeds. They might also use older and slower tunneling protocols.
  • Fewer server locations. Free VPNs offer fewer server locations to choose from than premium providers because they usually don’t have the resources to expand their server network.
  • Advertising paid plans. Free users are constantly reminded that an upgrade and better results are just a click away.

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. Hola VPN – this free iPhone VPN has a bad reputation even on Reddit, and that says a lot. They’re the opposite of a no-log VPN – they collect loads of private information, from your full name and IP address to your social media profile picture. Plus, they have a history of hackers exploiting their service vulnerabilities, allowing them to manipulate user data.
  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.

Video review: free VPNs for iPhone

Check out our comprehensive video review of the best free VPNs for iOS:

Conclusion

There are many benefits to using a reliable free iPhone VPN. With it, you can get yourself some privacy and advanced protection online, hide your IP address, and access some geo-blocked content. However, a free VPN might come with disadvantages as well: not all of them have no-logs policies, and many lack additional features, vast server networks, and exceptionally fast speeds.

To unlock all that a VPN can offer, you can try NordVPN for free for 7 days, and use the money-back guarantee to extend the free period to 30 more days. If you do decide to go for a completely free iPhone VPN, make sure you get a trustworthy one. It’s better to get a limited free version of a premium VPN provider than opt for the completely free one.


More free VPN guides from Cybernews:


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