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Though Apple’s security is more robust than some smartphones, it can be vulnerable to certain attacks, such as ‘honey pot’ traps on public wifi. A VPN provides high-grade encryption.

VPNs for iPhones come with advanced encryption and a choice of VPN servers which disguise your current location and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions for streaming and gaming. Using a VPN on your iPhone will conceal your real IP address ensuring your online anonymity.

Yes, free VPNs are downloadable from the iOS app store. However, you should proceed with caution since they don’t often have the same level of security as paid VPNs. Typically, free VPN encryption is of a lower standard and they’re more likely to sell your sensitive information to third parties.

We’ve come up with a shortlist of the best Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for iPhone users, featuring blistering speeds, streaming access, and a long list of interesting features to pick from. 

The best VPN for iPhones – both paid and free VPNs – will provide a secure and encrypted connection, and mask your real IP address in the process. An iPhone VPN can enhance your security with features such as split tunnelling, optimised servers, and robust kill switches. Some can be used for secure streaming, while others should definitely be avoided. 

Most iPhones contain a lot of sensitive information, and it’s common to use the internet for online shopping, banking and email services. Whether you’re using your mobile data or wifi, without a VPN, your connection might not be secured and you could be at risk of cybercrime. 

We’ve tested over 100 iPhone VPN apps to establish which ones have super fast performance, can successfully bypass geo-restricted content and protect your online identity with robust security features.

Our top three VPNs for iPhone

All three of our recommended VPNs for iPhone have best-in-class security and high download and streaming speeds, making them all ideal for using on the go. All three apps are intuitive and easy to set up too. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a top-notch VPN.

How we wrote this guide to VPNs for iPhone

We’re dedicated to bringing you the most factual and up-to-date details so you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a VPN for your iPhone. We will only recommend a service after many hours of testing, head-to-head feature comparisons, and after reading the opinions of industry experts.
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100+ HOURS PERFORMANCE TESTING
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200+ HOURS COMPARING PRODUCTS
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25 PROVIDERS COMPARED
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3 VPN EXPERTS CONSULTED


The best iPhone VPNs right now

We’ve narrowed it down to a top five list of the best VPNs for iPhone available right now.

NordVPN: Best overall VPN for iPhone

NordVPN on iPhone
NordVPN’s iOS app (NordVPN)
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 6
  • Number of servers: 5,500+ in 60 countries
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx (WireGuard protocol)
  • No-log policy: Does not log user activity 
  • Audited: Yes, by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland and Deloitte
  • Headquarters: Panama
  • Pricing:
  • NordVPN 2 year
    £2.49
    /month
    NordVPN 1 year
    £3.59
    /month
    NordVPN 1 month
    £10.39
    /month

Pros
Lots of features available on iOS
Independently audited no-logs policy
Speedy iOS app
Cons
Monthly price is above average for Plus and Complete plans
Automatic subscription renewal is enabled by default
Basic browser extensions

NordVPN for iOS offers users a secure and private method to access the internet, protecting their online activities from hackers, surveillance, and potential data breaches. With fast download speeds, it’s ideal for online gaming and torrenting, while advanced security features and privacy protocols make NordVPN a good choice for journalists and reporters in more restrictive locations.

Streaming is a breeze, thanks to features like SmartPlay, which can be used to access a long list of geo-restricted sites and services found in regions like the US and the UK. SmartPlay works automatically in the background, while you’ll also find support for Onion over VPN connections, alongside a sturdy kill switch. 

Threat Protection works to keep you safe from ads, unsafe connections, and malicious sites while connected to NordVPN. Meshnet is a free feature that is perfect for file sharing, work collaborations, and multiplayer gaming, as it allows secure connections between several devices.

Performance is another plus, with faster connection speeds available via the proprietary NordLynx protocol. You’re unlikely to see any slowdown while connected to NordVPN servers, and there are 6,100+ to pick from in 74 countries. Our speeds all exceeded 200Mbps on every server we tested, which is ideal for streaming and gaming on iPhone.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)(ms)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN3914014
UK to UK23116.55059%4%
UK to US27635.812071%9%
UK to Aus24023.924161%6%
Date tested: 11/02/24

NordVPN has three payment tiers – Standard, Plus, and Complete – and each is available as a monthly, yearly, or two-year plan. The monthly fees are billed every month, while the others require payment up front. For the most significant savings, NordVPN’s two-year deal currently comes with a 70 per cent discount, along with three extra months for free as an added incentive.

Subscription Term Standard plan Plus plan Complete plan
Monthly £10.39 ($13.26) / month £11.19 ($14.28) / month £13.09 ($16.71) / month
12 months (+3 months free) £3.59 ($4.58) / month (£53.85/$68.74 up front for 15 months) £4.39 ($5.60) / month (£65.85/$84.06 up front for 15 months) £6.39 ($8.16) / month (£95.85/$122.36 up front for 15 months)
24 months (+3 months free) £2.49 ($3.18) / month (£67.23/$85.82 up front for 27 months) £3.19 ($4.07) / month (£86.13/$109.95 up front for 27 months) £5.19 ($6.63) / month (£140.13/$178.89 up front for 27 months)

NordVPN for iOS uses AES-256. The provider says it doesn’t retain any user information or record online activities, and PwC and Deloitte have independently verified its no-logs policy. 

The NordVPN app is available on the App Store and can be quickly installed on your iOS device with a simple sign-up process. It features a modern and visually appealing design with a map-based interface. 

Users can easily connect to a VPN server by tapping on a country pin, selecting a specific server from the list, or using the Quick Connect button. Customisable settings allow users to tailor their app’s functionality, add Siri commands, quickly contact in-app support, and access their favourite features.

Overall, the NordVPN iOS app offers a smooth and user-friendly experience with robust security features, streaming support, and solid performance.

Although NordVPN is at the higher end of the price band, we feel the quality of its iOS app easily justifies paying more. The provider continues to diversify, broadening its range of innovative features with additions such as Meshnet and NordLynx. Its user-friendly app appeals to both VPN novices and experienced users seeking the complete package of online security and privacy.

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full NordVPN review.

Today’s best NordVPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
NordVPN 1 year £3.59 /Month
£3.59 /Month
NordVPN 1 month £10.39 /Month
£10.39 /Month

ExpressVPN: Best beginner iOS VPN

expressvpn running on an iphone
(ExpressVPN / Independent Advisor)
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 8
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: Lightway, IKEv2
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: British Virgin Islands
  • Pricing:
  • ExpressVPN 12 month
    £6.77
    /month
    ExpressVPN 6 month
    £8.12
    /month
    ExpressVPN 1 month
    £10.53
    /month

Pros
Servers in 105+ countries
Beginner-friendly apps
Audited no-logs policy
Cons
Fairly expensive
Many locations use virtual servers, rather than physical servers found in the country in question
High latency when connecting to far-away servers

ExpressVPN’s iOS app offers reliable online privacy and security for mobile users. While it predominantly focuses on streaming and gaming, ExpressVPN is likely to be popular with anyone who wants to hide their IP address, unblock censored websites, and safeguard data. It’s excellent at accessing geo-restricted content, which is why it’s the best VPN for iPhone in China – a jurisdiction renowned for its robust firewall. 

The iOS app allows users to customise their experience by selecting the ideal protocol for their needs, including the company’s proprietary Lightway protocol, which is the default option for most devices. ExpressVPN’s advanced features include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and dynamic encryption keys. RAM-only servers found in a total of 105 countries makes for an impressive network, which can’t be matched by any of the other providers on this list. 

With ExpressVPN’s iOS app, users can turn on an ad blocker, allowing them to browse the web uninterrupted. The advanced protection tool safeguards users from ads, trackers, malicious sites, and adult sites. The provider uses AES-256 encryption to keep your data safe and secure. ExpressVPN also has a solid no-logs policy, which KPMG has independently audited for the avoidance of doubt. 

Speeds are decent, if not the fastest you’ll find on the market. Results were still in excess of 200Mbps during the latest round of testing, so you won’t have to worry about lag or slowdown while using the Lightway protocol. 

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)(ms)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN4713754
UK to UK21689.25346%24%
UK to US2149.5512645%3%
UK to Aus19830.330442%8%
Date tested: 11 /02/24

Streaming is another strong point, as ExpressVPN has a knack for gaining access to the majority of platforms worldwide. This is the case for BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and a string of iOS-compatible services.

ExpressVPN’s iOS app is very user-friendly, with a stylish interface and easy-to-find tools. However, it lacks a few extras available on its other apps, such as split tunnelling, and it isn’t as feature-packed as NordVPN’s app. Even so, it’s another worthy option, if you’re willing to pay a little more each month.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £10.53 ($13.36) / month
6 months £8.12 ($10.30) / month (£48.75/$61.84 up front)
12 months £6.77 ($8.59) / month (£81.29/$103.11 up front)

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Today’s best ExpressVPN deals
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
ExpressVPN 6 month £8.12 /Month
£8.12 /Month
ExpressVPN 1 month £10.53 /Month
£10.53 /Month

Surfshark: Best affordable iOS VPN

Surfshark VPN on iPhone
Surfshark’s VPN app on iOS (Surfshark)
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Unlimited
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: The Netherlands
  • Pricing:
  • Surfshark 24 month
    £1.79
    /month
    Surfshark 12 month
    £2.29
    /month
    Surfshark 1 month
    £10.29
    /month

Pros
Affordable deals when looking at long-term plans
Unlimited number of connected devices
RAM-only servers in 100+ countries worldwide
Cons
Surfshark One features are hidden behind an additional paywall
Doesn’t notify users if the connection drops
A few features missing on iOS

Surfshark has designed an iOS app that’s ideal for VPN newbies. It features descriptions for everything, creating an instructional interface that can be toggled off as the user becomes savvier. 

The iOS app includes some nice features, such as an effective kill switch, protocol options, IP Rotator, and the CleanWeb ad and malicious site blocker. However, it lacks split tunnelling and the variable encryption option, which is only available on Surshark’s VPN for Android.  

Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It offers fantastic value for money given the level of security, which is why it’s been named by our researchers as the best cheap VPN on the market.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £12.23 ($15.45) / month
12 months £2.29 ($2.90) / month (£32.06/$40.66 up front)
24 months (+2 months free) £1.79 ($2.27) / month (£46.54/$59.03 up front for 26 months)

Surfshark’s iOS app uses AES-256 encryption – the same as the other VPNs on this list. It also uses obfuscated, RAM-only servers and has a strict no-logs policy, which Deloitte has verified.

The iOS app is particularly straightforward to use and customise, with attractive light or dark themes. Packed with features, the logical navigational paths are clearly marked, and it offers one-click connection and a helpful search function to locate the ideal server for your needs. 

Surfshark was able to come up with the goods during our speed tests, hovering well over 400Mbps when connected to US and UK server locations. It matches up to more expensive options in this respect, proving to be on the faster end of the scale.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)(ms)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN4773924
UK to UK45782.94896%21%
UK to US41415.512987%4%
UK to Aus3202624567%7%
Date tested: 11/02/24

As such, it’s another solid option for secure streaming, working well with a long list of popular platforms like BBC iPlayer. The same goes for iOS gaming, and more.  

Although missing several features seen with the Android version, we found Surfshark’s iOS app uncomplicated and aesthetically crisp. Simple for VPN novices, we particularly liked the signposting and descriptive labelling, making a quick start super easy. 

Score: ★★★★

Read our full Surfshark review.

Today’s best Surfshark deals
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
Surfshark 12 month £2.29 /Month
£2.29 /Month
Surfshark 1 month £10.29 /Month
£10.29 /Month

CyberGhost: Best for streaming

cyberghost-ios-iphone
CyberGhost’s VPN app on iOS (CyberGhost)
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 7
  • Number of servers: 9,000+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania
  • Pricing:
  • CyberGhost 2 year
    £1.78
    /month
    CyberGhost 6 month
    £6.19
    /month
    CyberGhost 1 month
    £10.89
    /month

Pros
User-friendly apps with labelled streaming servers
11,000+ RAM-only servers in 100+ countries
Extended 45-day money-back guarantee for subscriptions longer than six months
Cons
One-month plan only has a 14-day money-back guarantee
No double VPN, Onion over VPN, or obfuscated servers
Geo-restrictions in some countries, including China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates

CyberGhost’s app for iOS lacks many of the features found on Android, such as split tunnelling and access to OpenVPN. This is the case with many iOS VPN apps, in our experience. However, there’s the usual choice of protocols and several robust security features on offer.

For example, the Best Location feature works well, offering a one-click connection, as does Smart Rules, which allows users to customise the VPN settings. It also provides a dedicated IP address for an additional monthly fee, bypassing annoying CAPTCHAs and identity verification. 

Streaming is undoubtedly CyberGhost’s main selling point, as it’s especially easy to access the majority of popular services while connected to the provider. You’ll find labelled apps to access specific platforms, removing any guesswork while connected to the iOS app. It also happens to be one of the speediest providers on the market, with a massive network of 11,000+ servers to pick from in 100+ countries. Even on the Australian server, we saw speeds well over 300Mbps.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)(ms)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN4603395
UK to UK42687.95893%26%
UK to US41442.312290%12%
UK to Aus3518.0728576%2%
Date tested: 11/02/24

CyberGhost offers an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee – two weeks longer than most other providers. However, this is only applicable for longer subscriptions, with one-month deals coming with a 14-day money-back guarantee instead.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly £10.89 ($13.81) / month
6 months £6.19 ($7.85) / month (£37.14/$47.11 up front)
24 months (+2 months free) £1.78 ($2.26) / month (£49.92/$63.32 up front for 28 months)

It uses AES-256 for encrypting user data, and has a solid no-logs policy. This has been verified by Deloitte. 

CyberGhost’s app for iPhone is missing several features available on the Windows app, such as split tunnelling and OpenVPN protocols, and it lacks the intuitive navigation that NordVPN and ExpressVPN excel at. However, it’s still easy to use, and our connection remained stable throughout.

In our iPhone tests, CyberGhost managed some fast speeds (426Mbps), which, taken in isolation, should place the app higher in our ranks, but with a lack of key features, the iOS app misses out on the top spots. In any case, it’s still a great option for secure streaming.

Score: ★★★★

Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

Today’s best CyberGhost deals
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
CyberGhost 1 year £6.19 /Month
£6.19 /Month
CyberGhost 1 month £10.89 /Month
£10.89 /Month

Proton VPN: Best iOS VPN for privacy

Proton VPN iPhone
Proton VPN’s iOS app (Proton VPN)
  • Free version: Yes
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 10
  • Number of servers: 2,700+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Switzerland
  • Pricing:
  • Proton VPN 2 years
    £4.27
    /month
    Proton VPN 12 months
    £5.13
    /month
    Proton VPN 1 month
    £8.55
    /month

Pros
Capable free tier with no bandwidth cap
Audited no-logs policy
Packed with advanced security features
Cons
No streaming with free servers
Reasonably expensive
Some users will have no need for many of the advanced privacy features

Proton VPN is one of the few providers to offer a free tier with no bandwidth cap, however, some features – such as the NetShield ad blocker – are only available with a paid account. The always-on feature is an effective kill switch, and Secure Core servers are a useful option for added privacy. 

The provider offers monthly, 12-month, and 24-month subscriptions. It also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. Proton VPN Free is helpful in a pinch, but you won’t get streaming support or the full range of server locations on offer. In comparison, paid Proton VPN plans give users access to 3,800+ servers in 85 countries, including support for P2P, Tor over VPN, and much more.

Subscription Term Price
Monthly €9.99 (£8.55) / month
12 months €5.99 (£5.13) / month (€71.88/£61.51 up front)
24 months €4.99 (£4.27) / month (€119.76/£102.48 up front)

Proton VPN uses AES-256 to encrypt user activity and data. It also has an audited no-logs policy, verified by Securitum. The provider offers a ‘VPN Accelerator’, which is used to boost connection speeds. To that end, it performed well during testing, coming in at 444Mbps via US servers. UK to UK connections saw speeds of 432Mbps, so Proton VPN definitely uses WireGuard to great effect.

Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)(ms)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN4383704
UK to UK4329.327299%3%
UK to US4445.88126101%2%
UK to Aus43112.723498%3%
Date tested: 11/02/24

Connecting to most of Proton VPN’s servers took the longest time of all our VPNs tested on iOS – around 10 seconds. The Proton VPN iPhone app presents a busy interface, which could appear confusing for VPN newbies. It has some nice touches, such as country flags on the map screen, but with so many icons, it’s hard to isolate the one you require. Once familiar with the controls, customisation becomes simple. 

We found that the kill switch didn’t always send alerts or reconnect, meaning that, although we were safely disconnected from the internet, a manual connection was required before continuing to browse safely. As we’ve mentioned, streaming support is included, but only for paid subscriptions.  

Proton VPN’s iPhone app allows access to its speedy specialised servers, including Secure Core. However, there were flaws with the kill switch reconnection. It did block access to the internet, preventing IP exposure. However, without remembering to manually reconnect, there could be privacy issues.

Score: ★★★★

Read our full Proton VPN review.

Today’s best Proton VPN deals
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
Proton 1 year £5.13 /Month
£5.13 /Month
Proton 1 month £8.55 /Month
£8.55 /Month

The best VPNs for iPhone compared

To compare the best iPhone VPNs, we considered several key factors: 

  • Encryption: a good VPN for an iPhone should have strong encryption that will protect your Apple device when browsing or using apps – AES-256 is widely considered the most unbreakable encryption available – and support secure protocols, such as OpenVPN or WireGuard 
  • No-logs policy: this policy ensures the VPN provider does not collect or monitor any information about your online activities from your iOS device while using their service. Many providers have verified the robustness of their policies by inviting independent VPN audits – every VPN we’ve listed above has an audited no-logs policy
  • Fast and stable connections: a good iPhone VPN will still retain a good level of speed while using the VPN app. We chose VPNs with multiple servers in different locations that were also capable of bypassing geo-restrictions for gaming and streaming
  • Security features: we looked for dedicated iOS VPNs with security features such as a kill switch, split tunnelling, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection, all of which give users an added layer of security
  • Subscription price: Pricing was also an important factor to consider. We compared the pricing and plans offered by each VPN provider. Some offer a VPN free trial or money-back guarantee, which allows users to test the service before committing to a subscription
Price From £2.49/m From £6.77/m From £1.79/m From £1.78/m From £4.27/m
Free version No No No No Yes
Max number of connected devices 6 5 Unlimited 7 10
Number of servers 5500+ 3000+ 3200+ 9000+ 2700+
AES-256 encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audited no-log policy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Where to buy

Which VPN is the fastest for iPhone?

Below, we’ve charted the download speeds we achieved with each VPN on various servers. In our latest round of testing, Surfshark maintained the best download speeds across all servers compared to our baseline results.

VPNNo VPN Download speed (Mbps)No VPN Upload speed (Mbps)UK to UK Download speed (Mbps)UK to UK Upload speed (Mbps)UK to US Download speed (Mbps)UK to US Upload speed (Mbps)UK to Aus Download speed (Mbps)UK to Aus Upload speed (Mbps)
Surfshark47739245782.941415.532026
Proton VPN4383704329.324445.8843112.7
CyberGhost46033942687.941442.33518.07
NordVPN39140123116.527635.824023.9
ExpressVPN47137521689.22149.5519830.3

Why do you need a VPN for your iPhone?

Using a VPN on your iPhone enhances privacy and security by encrypting your internet traffic, masking your IP address, and allowing access to geo-restricted or censored content. It also protects you from the security flaws of public wifi networks, which can leave you vulnerable to identity theft, malware, and data theft. Mobile banking, online shopping accounts, and messaging apps are all valuable to hackers; using a VPN protects your personal information to a greater extent. 

An iPhone VPN will change your IP address, encrypting your connection in the process. This allows the user to access various sites and services, including streaming platforms, and blocked social media sites. You’ll be able to avoid throttling, censorship, and it will provide a boost to online privacy.

How to install a VPN on iPhone

Here’s a step-by-step guide if you’d like to install a VPN on iOS devices:

  1. Choose a reputable VPN provider: research and select a trustworthy VPN service that meets your needs in terms of privacy, security, and server locations. NordVPN is our top pick for iOS
  2. Download the VPN app: go to the App Store, search for the chosen VPN provider’s app, and download it onto your iPhone
  3. Install and launch the app: open the app and follow any necessary prompts to complete the installation. Sign up for an account or log in if you already have one.
  4. Configure VPN settings: most VPN apps will guide you through the configuration process. You may need to grant the app permission to add VPN configurations to your device. In some cases, you may also be asked to select a server location or adjust settings such as encryption protocols
  5. Connect to the VPN: once the app is set up, tap the connect button. The app should display a connected status, often with a VPN icon in your iPhone’s status bar
  6. Verify your connection: you can check your new IP address and location by visiting a website like whatismyip.com. This will confirm whether your traffic is being routed through the VPN server or not.

What to look for when buying a VPN for an iPhone

When selecting a VPN for your iPhone, consider the following factors:

  • Compatibility: ensure the VPN provider has a dedicated iOS app compatible with your iPhone’s operating system version
  • Security: look for solid encryption protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, or WireGuard, and features like a kill switch, which disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops
  • Privacy policy: choose a provider with a strict no-logs policy, as this means there is no record of your online activities 
  • Speed and performance: opt for a VPN with fast servers and minimal impact on your internet speed. An extensive server network and multiple server locations will ensure optimal performance
  • Ease of use: the app should have a user-friendly interface
  • Customer support: reliable customer support, including live chat and email assistance, is important in case you encounter any issues
  • Price and subscription plans: compare price plans, considering the features offered. Look for a provider with a money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service before committing
  • Reputation and reviews: research user reviews and recommendations to gauge the VPN provider’s overall reputation and the quality of its service
Compare our top recommended providers
Best Overall
Get up to 67% off
Best Value
Get 79% off + 2 months free
Best All-rounder
3 months free on the 12 month plan
Best for Gaming
Get 82% off + 2 months extra

What’s the best free VPN for iPhone?

A free VPN often provides less security and privacy for iOS devices. Typically, a free VPN won’t have a no-logs policy that ensures users’ data is never stored or logged. A free service from the Apple App Store usually lacks key features, such as split tunnelling and a kill switch, and comes with a limited data allowance. However, if you do decide to download a free VPN from the App Store, we would recommend Proton VPN Free. It comes with an unlimited amount of data and an independently audited no-logs policy – which is very rare for free services. With Proton VPN free, users can connect to one of 22 servers in three locations and all web activity will be encrypted by AES-256 encryption.

The majority of free iPhone VPNs should be avoided, given they can’t be trusted with your personal data. It’s not unheard of for free providers to sell user data in an effort to monetise the service. Others come with malware attached, hoping to trick unsuspecting users into infecting their own devices. Lastly, some free VPNs lack basic encryption, and will be leaking your IP address while connected.

How to use a VPN on iPhone

This section will help you understand how to use VPN on iPhone settings. If you ever change VPN provider, this method will also show you how to change VPN on iPhone. Once you’ve downloaded a VPN app onto your phone and registered with the provider, follow these steps to set up a VPN on your iPhone:

  1. Tap on your Settings app 
  2. Choose General
  3. Press VPN
  4. Tap Add VPN Configuration
  5. Press Type and pick the VPN protocol you want to use. Likely IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP  
  6. Type in a description and a server name for the VPN  
  7. Type in your username and password  
  8. Click Auto or Manual to enable a proxy server (if you are using one)  
  9. Press Done

This will enable the VPN in your iPhone settings. Now you’ll need to activate it when you want to use the VPN:

  1. Go to the Settings app on your phone
  2. Go to General
  3. Choose VPN
  4. Tap the status switch on your VPN to turn it on

If you’re wondering how to turn off VPN on iPhone, then just repeat the steps one to four above.

Best VPN for iPhone Q&A

A VPN works by routing your traffic through an encrypted server in a location of your choice. This is much the same on iOS, where you’ll be able to use an app to connect to VPN servers in various locations. You can download various iOS VPNs via the Apple App Store.

No, iPhones don’t currently have any true built-in VPNs – but there are a number of good VPN apps compatible with iPhones available for download on the Apple App Store. The best iPhone VPN apps will support automatic and manual configuration and conceal your real IP address to bypass geo-restrictions. iCloud+ subscription holders do have access to a Safari feature called Apple Private Relay, but while the service can keep your browsing data private using proxy servers, it is not a true VPN.

In all honesty, it depends on what you’re planning to use your iPhone VPN for. For instance, NordVPN is our top recommendation for the average iOS user, but alternatives like Surfshark might be better if you’re looking for a cheap solution. If you’re more interested in streaming support, CyberGhost or ExpressVPN will be helpful. Anyone in need of a decent free tier or advanced privacy features will be well served by the likes of Proton VPN.

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll see improved connection speeds while using an iOS VPN. The manner of encryption tends to lead to slower speeds, although the majority of premium providers will be able to negate any loss in performance.

It’s never a good idea to blindly trust any online services with your personal data, but an audited VPN is a better option than entrusting your data to your ISP and the sites you visit. Once again, we’d strongly recommend avoiding the use of random free VPN services, especially if it lacks an independently audited no-logs policy.

An iPhone VPN can save money when shopping online by allowing you to change your virtual location to access different prices or deals. Some e-commerce websites display prices based on the user’s location or IP address. Connecting to a VPN server in a different region or country can potentially find lower prices for the same products or services, ultimately saving money on your purchases.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

How we review iOS VPNs

Our VPN for iPhone review scores are determined the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30%)
  • Features and functionality (30%)
  • Reputation and credibility (25%)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10%)
  • Customer experience (5%)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload, download, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees, and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and current as possible. Learn more about our methodology for reviewing VPNs here.

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security and privacy it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Connection speeds, and overall performance in terms of reliability
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor strongly recommends that you follow the local laws in your region whilst using a VPN. We do not condone the use of a VPN to bypass copyright restrictions, or to stream content without a valid subscription in your current region. Make sure to comply with any and all applicable laws and regulations whilst using a VPN with streaming services, and any other relevant platforms.

Overall Score: 4.5/5
Overall Score: 4.5/5

If you’re looking to protect your privacy while using your iPhone, then NordVPN is the best option. Its double VPN encryption adds more privacy to your browsing, and performance is top-notch too. Plus, at less than £3 per month , it’s hard to beat the price.

Surfshark: Best for beginners
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Surfshark: Best for beginners
Overall Score: 4.5/5

If you’re new to VPNs or just want to enhance your iPhone’s privacy without a complicated app, Surfshark is a great option. It had a low impact on speeds in our testing, meaning you can have it running in the background and hardly notice. It’s also one of the cheapest VPNs , making it a no-brainer.

ExpressVPN: Best for geo-unblocking
Overall Score: 4.5/5
ExpressVPN: Best for geo-unblocking
Overall Score: 4.5/5

Travelling and need to use your iPhone to access your favourite websites back home? ExpressVPN is known for its ability to bypass geo-restrictions, making it ideal for keeping up with the news while you’re abroad. The downside is that it’s more expensive than its competitors.

James Milin-Ashmore circle

James Milin-Ashmore

VPN Tech Editor

James Milin-Ashmore has covered cybersecurity and VPNs since the mid-2010s, writing for industry publications and services such as VPN Mentor, Liquid VPN, Comparitech, Bleeping Computer, ProPrivacy, AlwaysVPN, and more.

With a focus on ethics and digital privacy, his work has been featured in a range of publications, including the Activist Handbook and Reader’s Digest. In his spare time, he’s likely to be watching sports, or taking his dog for a walk around Hertfordshire.

Dr Phil Legg

Dr. Phil Legg

Professor of Cyber Security at UWE

Dr. Phil Legg (MCIIS, FHEA, PhD, BSc) is a Professor of Cyber Security at the University of the West of England (UWE). He is the Co-Director of UWEcyber, a Gold Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE) as recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre, and he is the Programme Leader of the NCSC-certified MSc Cyber Security course at UWE.

He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Higher Education (Distinction), and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He has CompTIA PenTest+, Security+ and Microsoft Azure professional certifications. He is recognised as a Full Member of the Chartered Institution of Information Security (MCIIS).

Professor Legg is passionate about outreach and works closely with schools and colleges across the region to upskill in cyber security education, and he is a founding member of CISSEUK – a collaboration network across academia, industry and government to support all levels of cyber security education.

Prior to joining UWE in 2015, he worked at the University of Oxford in collaboration with the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure as part of the Corporate Insider Threat Detection research programme.