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Best VPNs for iPhone and iPad in 2021

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Apple's iOS devices are known for enhanced security and privacy features. However, even they aren't fully safe from all the online threats – they can still get infected by malware and spyware, and be tracked by the third-parties, resulting in your privacy getting compromised.

If you're using public wi-fi networks, this danger becomes even bigger: this is why it is very important to protect your devices with a VPN that masks your online identity and keeps you secure.

In this post, we searched for the best VPNs for iPhone and iPads in 2021. Armed with iPhones with the latest iterations of iOS, we checked out dozens of VPN providers – and put together a list of the best VPNs for iPhone for you to choose.

Top 5 best VPNs for iPhone and iPad:

No time to read? Here are the best VPN services for your iOS device. They are sure to unlock the full potential of your iPhone.

  1. NordVPN – the ultimate VPN for iPhone and iPad
  2. Surfshark – iPhone VPN value king
  3. VyprVPN – secure and intuitive VPN for iPhone and iPad
  4. PrivateVPN – secure and customizable iPhone VPN
  5. IPVanish - good for unblocking Netflix on iPhones and iPads

Do I really need a VPN on my iOS device?

Whether you're using iPhone or iPad, there are several reasons why installing and using a VPN isn't such a bad idea.

  • Increased privacy. Although iOS is a secure operating system, it still relies on the ISP for online connectivity. So, as soon as your data leaves the device, it's subject to surveillance. Not to mention that the things that you do online leave breadcrumbs all over the Internet. It makes it all the easier to connect the dots if there's the same IP address.
  • No censorship or geo-blocking. Your ISP-assigned IP address can hold you back when accessing content that the right's holders decided shouldn't be available in your region. If you disagree, you can dodge this by connecting through another country, which, unsurprisingly, allows you to view it.
  • Location spoofing. There are several reasons why you may want it: maybe you're traveling abroad, but still want to access the same content you could back in your home country. Or maybe, a different country has a better streaming library on your platform of choice. Either way, through international IPs, a VPN will help you access all that you need.
  • Safer browsing. Public wi-fi networks are not secure – if you're using any of them, your internet activity is at risk of being targeted by hackers and identity thieves. A VPN shields your data and protects your online privacy from these threats.
  • Data saving. Usually, when you're going through websites, you're downloading text and images and sending data to various web trackers. Most quality VPN services use various web filters to prevent them from loading. So if you find yourself constantly exceeding your carrier's data cap, this is one way to save it.

Best VPNs for iPhone & iPad – our detailed list:

Don't be swayed by the overblown promises of VPN ads. Creating a quality VPN for iOS is no small task. Even the top VPN service providers have a hard time creating functional apps. Here are the best-in-class VPNs for iPhone and iPad that excel in security, performance, and have numerous useful features.

1. NordVPN – the ultimate iOS VPN

nordvpn banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5,500+ servers in 59 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now 72% OFF!

NordVPN is the best VPN for iPhone, no question about it. iOS app developers are often forced to cut features as they're hard to implement due to Apple's strict supervision. Still, even though NordVPN is going against all odds, they emerge victorious.

You could probably count the number of iOS VPNs that have a kill switch on the fingers of one hand. NordVPN is one of the select few that have it. It's always on, and you can't disable it, but then again, you shouldn't want to anyway.

NordVPN even includes small tweaks specifically for the iOS app. There's a favorites tab, which allows you to quickly access servers you use most frequently. As you would expect, the app aligns with your system-wide color scheme. It will automatically use the light or dark theme, depending on which you're using elsewhere.

The service is impressive in other technical regards, as well. It encrypts your connection with the military-grade 256-bit AES cipher. Plus, on iOS, you can use the IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), and NordLynx tunneling protocols. This covers all the bases, giving you the ultimate security and good versatility options.

You can unblock most streaming services, and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark – the VPN for iOS value king

surfshark banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 65 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get Surfshark, now 83% OFF + 3 Months FREE!

Surfshark is currently one of the best offerings on the VPN market, and the same holds true for iOS users as well. With unlimited simultaneous connection options, you can connect not only your iPhone or iPad, but your entire product lineup on one account.

Surfshark has a kill switch when most of their rivals don't include it on iOS. It can be a problem if the connection between your device and the server gets interrupted. This could expose your IP address and give your ISP intel on what you were doing online. You can turn it on or off, depending on how you want it to be set up.

You also get the CleanWeb feature, which functions as a filter for your browser. It blocks out URLs known to be associated with phishing and malware. This can come in handy if you're in the habit of clicking on suspicious links.

If you're living in a country with strict internet rules, Surfshark will automatically enable NoBorders mode. Then, it will give you a special list of servers configured to perform under such circumstances.

Your privacy will be protected with the AES-256 cipher, which is unbreakable for petty hackers and government institutions alike. You can route your connections using IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), or WireGuard. All of them have their uses and are great picks, making the service all the more usable.

3. VyprVPN – best companion for Apple devices

vyprvpn banner
Based in:Switzerland
Servers/countries:700 servers in 70 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get VyprVPN, now 44% OFF the 1-year plan! 🔥

VyprVPN is one of the best services for Mac, and it doesn't disappoint on iOS. You do get quite a lot of advanced features.

Your connection will be encrypted with AES-256 cipher, and there's plenty of tunneling protocols to choose from. There's IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Chameleon. This selection works to your advantage whether you want to defeat restrictive censorship or get fast VPN speeds. In either scenario, VyprVPN has your back.

You can toggle Public Wi-Fi protection to automatically connect to a VPN when you join unfamiliar networks. For cases when your connection becomes interrupted, you can turn on automatic reconnect. Sadly, this setup is missing a kill switch.

The service is also pretty versatile when used for entertainment. It did unblock most streaming platforms that we tested, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and DAZN. So, whether you're a sports or TV-series binger, you'll have plenty of things to watch.

Even though VyprVPN doesn't have a free version, you can still try it. iOS and Android users can take advantage of a special 3-day free trial. The only downside is that you'll have to provide payment details for it to work.

4. PrivateVPN – a highly customizable iOS VPN

PrivateVPN
Servers/countries:150 servers in 62 countries
Free version:No
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get PrivateVPN, now 79% OFF! 12 Months + 12 Month extra! 🔥

PrivateVPN is the perfect candidate if you want a safety-oriented solution for iOS with plenty of customization. Security-wise, the VPNs iPhone app goes all out on security features, the top one being Stealth VPN, which allows bypassing geo-blocks in regimes that block VPNs, like China.

In terms of customization, PrivateVPN does really well, too. You can also use a dedicated IP if you want to connect to the same IP address every time you launch the VPN. There's also a choice between four encryption ciphers, including 256-bit encryption, you can pick whether you need more speed or stronger security.

Also, while most VPNs give you an option for only one protocol, PrivateVPN allows you to choose between OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2. A wide variety of protocols means fewer visits to customer support, as changing the protocol usually fixes various connection problems.

All these privacy and customization features aside, PrivateVPN does that basics really well, too. It's a pro at unlocking streaming content: with no issues on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and YouTube.

For trying all of this out, PrivateVPN offers a 7-day free trial, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 6 simultaneous connection options that you can use on both desktop and mobile devices.

5. IPVanish - good for unblocking Netflix

IPVanish
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:1,600 servers in 75 locations
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Save 73% OFF the IPVanish 2-year plan!

IPVanish is one of the best VPN services that you could install on your iPhone. It offers a fully private network, offering full protection against DNS leaks, and helps you protect your mobile device from many online threats. It's a fully fleshed out VPN option with several great features.

For example, the application offers customizable connection options, Siri shortcuts, and an alternative connection mode that will help you in case you have VPN connection problems.

You can also switch between a light and dark mode depending on what kind of color palette you like more. However, keep in mind that there’s no in-built kill switch on the iOS app of IPVanish.

The tool has ~1,600 servers in ~75 locations, which means you’re likely to find the specific country you need. The huge list of countries can also come in handy when trying to unblock various Netflix libraries or geo-blocked YouTube videos.

One of the best things about IPVanish is the fact that you can use the service on unlimited devices simultaneously. In other words, a single subscription for $3.51 a month will cover all the devices you own.

6. ExpressVPN – one of the most solid VPN services

expressvpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,000 servers in 94 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!

You might have heard a lot of things about ExpressVPN. I can confirm that the part about their speeds being great holds true: when set up properly, this thing is so fast, you can forget you're using a VPN in the first place!

Although, Lightway, their fastest proprietary tunneling protocol, isn't available on iOS. OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) and IKEv2 work well, and you can still get very fast VPN speeds. Even if IKEv2 doesn't work, you'll always be able to rely on OpenVPN.

Even if something goes haywire in your app, you can fix the issues without deleting the app. You can just head to Settings, and click on reinstall VPN configuration. This will reset your iPhone VPN connection settings, which should fix issues, and doesn't require you to re-download the whole app again.

You can set up the app to connect automatically. The feature will do it for you if you constantly forget to connect to a VPN. It will also reconnect if your connection is interrupted. However, it's worth mentioning that the app doesn't include a kill switch.

Still, ExpressVPN unblocks most streaming services, so if you're looking for a VPN for entertainment, it will work wonderfully. You can unblock Netflix, the BBC iPlayer, DAZN, to name a few.

Although an iOS version of ExpressVPN could be a bit better, you're still getting a premium customer service. Plus, you can try it for a month with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

7. PureVPN - a strong VPN solution for iPhone

purevpn
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:6,500+ servers in 140+ countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:PureVPN is now 74% OFF!

PureVPN is one of the most underrated VPNs. This is a shame, as it does deliver an excellent VPN service.

Its iOS application offers a decent selection of tunneling protocols: OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, and IKEv2. What’s more, you get the choice of 6,500+ servers in over 140 locations.

Additional options include dedicated P2P servers and port forwarding (which can be really beneficial to advanced users). The iOS app of PureVPN is also able to reconnect to a server in case the VPN suddenly disconnects.

You might also like to know that all the apps of PureVPN work with various streaming services like Netflix (we managed to unblock the US library), BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and DAZN.

If you're keen to try the service, you can get any of the subscription plans and make use of its 31-day money-back guarantee.

How we selected and tested these iOS VPNs

Finding cybersecurity products for an iPhone is no small task. The limitations of the iOS itself play a role. All third-party apps are sandboxed and can't easily modify parameters that Apple decides shouldn't be touched. This makes adding features like a kill switch difficult, as it interferes with a lot of other processes.

In turn, it also makes choosing a VPN all the more problematic. The best VPN for Android will have little to do with which is better for iOS. Here are the criteria that we selected when choosing the best ones.

  • Security. Although Apple's App Store is much better curated than Google Play Store, you may still end up with a sub-par service if you're not careful. The fact that you can download the app doesn't mean that it's safe or will protect your connection. You need to make sure that your service uses strong encryption ciphers with secure tunneling protocols.
  • Privacy. Technical qualities are important but don't underestimate the business location. Past collaborations with law enforcement can be serious red flags. Take a note of whether the service has publicly audited its privacy policy. All of this can paint a pretty accurate picture of how it will deal with your connection details.
  • iOS client. Most VPN clients for iOS are garbage, especially compared to what Android or desktop users are getting. Still, it doesn't mean that you just give up and get used to whatever is on offer. There are some notable examples of VPN providers that push the envelope further, granting essential features that you need.
  • Performance. A faster and more efficient VPN means less waiting around and getting more things done. Using the same tunneling protocols doesn't mean that they will be implemented equally. Implementation is a factor, and even if a service has WireGuard, it doesn't mean that it will always be faster than OpenVPN. You have to check how the service acts in real life.
  • Censorship circumvention. The ability to access restricted websites is one of the reasons why people are looking into VPNs. Yet, unblocking media streaming websites is a hard nut to crack, and not all services can deliver. The best ones are compatible with Netflix, and others, giving you more usability out of your VPN subscription.
  • Price. There should be a healthy ratio between the price and the things that you get. If there is an imbalance, this isn't something that gets you higher up the best VPN for iPhone list. Though, in most cases, with VPNs, it's quite easy to find a service that gets you a lot of bang for your buck.

How to set up a VPN app on iPhone or iOS

There are two routes on how you can set up a VPN on iPhone: installing an app that automatically adds all the needed configurations or setting it up manually. If you're going down the manual route, it's worth mentioning that you should already have a remote VPN server to connect to.

Setting up a VPN on iOS manually

  1. From your home screen, go to Settings
  2. Tap General, then VPN
  3. On the new screen, tap Add VPN configuration
  4. Tap Type, then select the appropriate protocol
  5. Enter the required VPN settings information
  6. Enter your login data
  7. Tap Done and slide the Switch to turn it on

Installing a VPN app on iOS

  1. Head to Apple's App Store
  2. Search for the provider's app name. We recommend NordVPN.
  3. Click on the icon and tap Get
  4. The app will download and install
  5. Launch the app and log in
  6. The app will ask to add VPN configurations, allow it
  7. You can now connect to their servers via an app

Is it safe to use a VPN on iOS?

As long as you're relying on a reputable VPN service provider, there's little that you have to worry about. A trustworthy VPN will purge any logs that they have on you as soon as you disconnect from their service. Even if the government came knocking on their doors, they would have nothing to show them.

That is not to say that all providers have identical definitions of what a no-logs policy should mean. Some even scrape the concept altogether and sell off your data in turn for a free forever VPN service. Needless to say, such products have little to do with cybersecurity and can be a considered a threat to your privacy. The fact that you're using an iOS device doesn't make you immune to this.

What is the fastest VPN for iPhone?

All the iPhone VPNs on this list are genuinely fast – but which one's the fastest? For this test, we put the highest-rated VPNs to the test, checking their speeds from various international locations.

If all you care about on a VPN is speed, you should pick a server that's closest to your physical location. However, if you're interested in unlocking international streaming content, and geo-restricted sites, international performance will also be crucial. So, we tested both.

  • Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
VPN serviceClosest serverAverage international speed
NordVPN281 Mbps249 Mbps
Surfshark272 Mbps263 Mbps
VyprVPN289 Mbps242 Mbps

The top 3 providers were surprisingly close to one another. NordVPN was the best all-around option, Surfshark had the best international speeds, and VyprVPN had the fastest close server performance, but slightly lagged behind on worldwide servers.

Is there a free VPN for iPhone?

Some premium VPN service providers have free versions alongside their paid offerings. Their tactic is to get you to try the service and eventually convert you into a paying customer. Still, if you never convert, there are opportunities for free forever VPN services.

Even in this list, Hide.me VPN and Windscribe both have free versions that you can install on your iPhone without paying. Even if a service doesn't have a free version, you can take advantage of their money-back guarantee. Get a monthly subscription, and then when it's nearing expiration, ask for a refund. Not only you're getting your money back, but you also get access to a premium service.

Video review: Best VPNs for iPhone

Best VPNs for iPhone video review

Conclusion

If you're shopping for a good VPN for iPhone, the options are a bit scarce, but it's possible to find one that does its job well. If you're choosing from trustworthy providers, you can get a secure tool that increases your privacy and unlocks a truly global browsing experience.

You don't necessarily have to spend a fortune to get one, too. Some of them have handy free versions, which you can use to decide whether you need more features or servers to connect to. Either way, an iOS device with a VPN is a superb combination. An extra layer of security is always worth having!


More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for Android in 2021: protect your online traffic and data

Best VPNs for Mac: protect your device with a VPN

Best VPNs for Linux in 2021: improve your privacy on Linux

Change location on iPhone: change your iOS device GPS location


FAQ

Comments

Fuldn
Fuldn
prefix 2 months ago
I have an iphone and plan to use vpn. I see surfshark has noborders mdoe for highly censored countries, which one are those and can I turn it off if it is enabled automatically?
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 1 month ago
Hi there! The NoBorders feature will turn on automatically as soon as the VPN detects network restrictions. It will allow you to use the VPN in countries like China. However, you can turn off the feature manually so that it wouldn’t activate on its own.
Wilkerson
Wilkerson
prefix 3 months ago
I've recently become way more security conscious after reading about apps that are designed to secretly collect data from users. Good I found this list and now can download safe vpn for iphone without worries I'm gonna be scammed. Thanks!
doing well
doing well
prefix 5 months ago
Does surfshark iphone app sets everything automatically for optimal speed and security? Or do I need to go to iphone vpn settings and play around with the protocols and other parameters?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 4 months ago
They have automatic configurations, so if you don’t want to change anything, you can leave the settings as they are. The best practice is to try different protocols and parameters, as some of them might work better for you.
Pattent
Pattent
prefix 5 months ago
Can I sign up for Surfshark vpn subscription without my legit email address & pay with crypto?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 5 months ago
Yes, this is possible. Though if you register with a throwaway email address, you won’t be able to take advantage of their data breach alerts as they are tied with the email that you’ve registered with.
Glenn
Glenn
prefix 5 months ago
how do I set up iPhone vpn? I don’t use the app so I have to go to settings, add bunch of values, select protocols but I have no idea how to do that, please help
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 5 months ago
Usually, the only thing that you’ll have to do will be to download the app from the App Store, and it will take care of everything for you. As for how to add it manually, we have the guide in the article.
yeaboopple
yeaboopple
prefix 5 months ago
Guys, thanks for the vpn tips for browser on iPhone. First I’ve looked on the App Store but there was too much to sift through and I got so overwhelmed. This review really helped to clear my mind. Much appreciated.
Viewer
Viewer
prefix 6 months ago
I’m looking for VPN iPhone app that’s not so mainstream. Hide me vpn sounds interesting, but you’ve mentioned it’s for users in Asia only. So it doesn’t work elsewhere in the world?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 6 months ago
No, it works everywhere around the globe. It’s just that since they’re based in Malaysia, they have a lot of servers in Asia.
For example, this is useful for users living in China. Usually, they’re picking nearby servers to have better connection speeds.
Tristan
Tristan
prefix 6 months ago
When I make a wifi hotspot on a iPhone with vpn on, can I share a secure connection with someone else? Like for their traffic to also be routed through a vpn. Is that possible?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 6 months ago
It won’t be possible without jailbreak. On iOS hotspot feature is designed in such a way that it only passes the cellular signal assigned by your provider. It acts as a separate link from your device’s subnet.
Frank
Frank
prefix 6 months ago
Which is the fastest vpn app for iPhone? Is that the first one on the list- Nordvpn?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 6 months ago
Yes, NordVPN was the fastest VPN that we tested. No other was as consistent across the different tunneling protocols.
such a pro
such a pro
prefix 6 months ago
hello. maybe you know about stuff like this from before? I have problem on my iPhone wifi after vpn use. I cant connect to internet, it just is loading but never loads nothing. maybe I forgot to turn something on? i use iphone 7
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 6 months ago
It can be that you enabled a kill switch that shuts down your Internet connection. That’s why the pages don’t load. Though it would be better to specify what service you are using, this might help pinpoint the solution.
chipper
chipper
prefix 6 months ago
I agree that Nordvpn is the top rated vpn for iphone. They just think about their customer: design is clear and simple, while the quality is top notch. IMHO, a truly good match!
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