Best VPN for iPhones and iOS Devices
On iOS, VPNs have been used for over a decade now. Since the iPhone’s initial release date in 2007, loads of VPN applications have come and gone from the App Store. Still, some of the best have remained, and continue to grow in features and customers. But make no mistake, Apple products, including the iPhone, can become compromised just as easily as Android devices. That’s why it’s highly suggested that you use a VPN, especially if you’re taking part in activities that involve torrenting or jailbreaking your device.
But even if you’re not planning to circumvent Apple’s restrictions with a jailbreak, a good VPN will beef up the security-any your anonymity-while you browse and handle other apps. Shown below are ten such VPN applications that you can try out for your iPhone, to which many have features that will allow you to link them with other devices (iPads, MacBooks, and PCs) all at once.
And when you’re finished with the list, don’t forget to look at the FAQ to get the scoop on more relevant info before you buy.
What Makes an iPhone VPN Good?
If you’re familiar with the controls and settings of an iPhone, then you’re probably already knowledgeable on some of the controls regarding VPNs. When you download a VPN, you must first configure it from the iPhone’s Settings menu. This basically grants the VPN authorization to behave like a firewall on your phone, allowing the app to control how other applications connect to public servers using the VPN’s own server address. If you’re planning on running more than one VPN on one iPhone, you can switch or delete VPN configurations from the Settings as well. Simply press the Settings logo on the screen, then navigate to the VPN tab that’s directly underneath the Personal Hotspot option.
Your iPhone should ask if you want to configure new VPNs manually before they connect to the server. Unless you change the way your mobile behaves, you won’t have to go to the settings to do any of this at all. Yet it’s still recommended that you get to know where it is, especially if you’re planning on trying out multiple services at the same time. After that’s done, you’ll be ready to use your VPN immediately.
How to Download
All of the VPNs listed in the reviews can be found on the App Store. Due to Apple’s restrictions on allowing third-party applications to be downloaded over Safari and other internet browsers, this is one of only two ways to place the VPN on your iPhone.
The second way involves using iTunes 12.6.3, which isn’t new but the last working version on PC/Mac software that allows users to download and install mobile apps on a computer. This is also helpful for people that cannot use their cellular data plan to install the software in the App Store. As you might know, users cannot download apps that are larger than 100 megabytes using cellular data.
And while it’s unlikely that your VPN will ever require that amount of space on your phone, it’s still something that could be handy to use in case of any changes to future updates.
Best VPN for iOS Comparison Chart
|Available on App Store||Kill Switch||Speed||Family Sharing|
|Private Internet Access||Yes||Yes||75 Mbps||Supported|
|Hotspot Shield||Yes||Yes||62 Mbps||Supported|
|KeepSolid VPN Unlimited||Yes||Yes||66 Mbps||Supported|
Top 10 Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS Reviewed
IPVanish is a VPN that’s one of the first that you’ll come across on a search for VPN applications on the iPhone. Probably the best attribute is that everything is streamlined to work automatically. You can be a complete beginner to VPNs and still get it working on your device in a matter of minutes. Downloading and installation should also be quick.
Additionally, it’s a space-saver; the app itself is only 14.2 megabytes, which is great for anyone operating an iPhone that has few gigabytes left. You will also be able to connect ten devices with one subscription alone, so feel free to get your family using the same plan that you’re on once the subscription kicks in.
- Configurations are automatically set up once the VPN is started on iOS devices, no need for beginners to look for instructions
- Doesn’t require much space on the drive; only 14.2 megabytes of disc space
- Can connect up to 10 devices at one time a recent improvement
- The interface on iPhones looks dated
2. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is another good VPN that’s located in the United States. It has an awesome interface that seems to get better with each new update. App Store software is sometimes notorious for having updates that result in unpredictable (or unwanted) changes, but none of that is a concern with PIA. Everything works well, and you can also use Siri Shortcuts to navigate through the menus. If you’re primarily using the VPN over a cellular data plan, you might see some connection problems at times. This is a bigger problem for those running prepaid at slower speeds. So long as you’re streaming or browsing over Wi-Fi or a decent plan that’s greater than 512 Kbps, this should hardly be of concern.
- The user interface has been recently modified to streamline the application, making all menu options easier to control and navigate
- Support Siri for shortcuts to the application
- Contains widgets that improve all levels of security with the app
- Connection issues have been reported for users trying to access the VPN through their data plan
ExpressVPN has taken everything that VPN users like about anonymous browsing and added additional features inside of the app. You’re getting a firewall and a VPN/DNS shield that can shut down all connections whenever the app crashes. Speaking of crashes, you have to be careful during the installation process to avoid it.
If this does happen, your iPhone may also overheat and require that you do a hard reset to put things back in order. But even this might not work. Just be sure that you’re not browsing or using any other applications when you install ExpressVPN. Other than this minor hiccup, there are few flaws with the service, and their app is surely one of the most reliable VPNs that you’ll find around.
- From the App Store, a seven-day trial is offered that later comes with a money back guarantee
- All streaming services are supported, including music and video
- The app will automatically connect when unknown Wi-Fi networks are paired with the iPhone
- Some installs may not be clean and lead to frequent crashing (recommended to be re-installed in this situation)
NordVPN is also on the App Store and has a seven-day free trial for all users that like to test things out before buying. You will have to fork over your details before the trial starts though, and payment is done automatically. There’s a large number of servers at the ready, and you can find great connections no matter what part of the world you live in. When you have it ready to use after the install is complete, you can either choose a server that’s based somewhere close to where you live or go with one that’s remotely hosted in a different country. The interface is a map that allows you to pick the server you want more quickly, which works well for fast switching. Overall, NordVPN is a good choice for anyone that wants high-grade VPN servers that don’t give out or restrict music and video streaming.
- Contains thousands of remote servers that stretch across all popular regions
- Has the standard 256-AES encryption that’s expected for high-quality VPNs
- Servers can be selected through a map interface that changes at the press of the button
- Some apps may need to be modified in order for the VPN to work (such as Safari)
5. Hotspot Sheild
Hotspot Shield may not have the largest amount of countries to choose from (there’s 25), but server speed remains at an acceptable level. So is connection times to the servers themselves. But the best feature here is how well it adapts to the iPhone. Overheating will never occur, and you can run lots of programs without having things crash or shut down on you in the middle of work/play. If you do experience such a problem, then it’ll most likely be caused by a different application other than Hotspot Shield. Make a note on the date of your purchase when you’ve subscribed, so as to not forget when the date of your subscription will begin. If you go with the subscription prior to this date, then you won’t have the free trial anymore. In any case, Hotspot Shield remains a strong choice and should perform well for people that plan on streaming Deezer or Spotify over their iPhone.
- Servers are provided from 25 countries total
- Users can register with the application (through the App Store) without giving away their credit card information
- Doesn’t lead to overheating when multiple applications are open while the VPN is turned on
- The user trial will end immediately once a subscription is purchased
TunnelBear has built quite a reputation for smartphone users, and it’s mostly good. The One-Tap Connect feature makes using the app as simple as a finger press, so you can operate it all with just one hand if you need to. They also retain a very strong no logging policy that doesn’t change or contain any misleading claims. And this is surely the truth, as servers of audited regularly and tested for privacy leaks. If you use your iPhone in public spaces, you might have some trouble connecting while the VPN is on. If you must connect with it on, just give it a few tried and everything should eventually connect. There’s a little slowdown or signal problems to speak of over cellular data, but you may want to ensure a fast speed from your provider if you anticipate downloading lots of content over TunnelBear.
- Connections are done with just one buttons (One-tap connect)
- No logging is done by the company; guards user privacy
- Undergoes routine auditing by third parties to ensure that customers trust their brand
- Untrusted Wi-Fi signals may not be picked up by the application immediately
X-VPN is available on most popular operating systems, iPhone included. It has 50 countries in its lineup and will guard your phone against DNS and IP address leaks. It’s great on most data plan because of this since your real location will never be exposed. If you stream music, you might now that even one leak could put your remote account in jeopardy of being usable. Having an app such as X-VPN around will take all those worries away. But don’t go with the free version, if you’re looking for a paid VPN. And the trial seems to be lacking in speed, at least superficially. Nevertheless, X-VPN is a good buy that’ll get better once you’re ready for a standard subscription.
- Lots of countries are given with their servers (about 50)
- Blocks all DNS leaks from ever reaching service providers
- Constantly monitors user’s IP for any instances of breaching
- The free version is almost unusable and frequently disconnects
- The trial period isn’t very useful for showing how well the paid version performs
8. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
KeepSolid, also called VPN Unlimited, is featured in the App Store and grants their subscribers with 70 countries to try out. The server amount is always increasing, being abundant in the number that work or sit at the top. For iPad users, streamed movies wil play clear and show no blocked frames or lag in speed. But the same cannot be said for music streaming, which is more unpredictable when accessing through some servers. You can find one that works but sifting through multiple servers is likely to happen. But KeepSolid is still well-taken among consumers, and their strong customer service/response time to troubleshooting is much appreciated.
- All customers have access to 70 countries; recommended for frequent travelers
- Streaming is possible with their subscription-based services, and doesn’t cause overheating
- Support can be contacted quickly through the application
- Some music streaming apps may remain unlocked while the VPN is on
TorGuard is a handy little VPN to try out for browsing and handling privacy-centric activities over the iPhone and iPad. If you like to do your browsing over the Tor network via .Onion apps on the phone, it’s fully compatible with their bridges. Nothing will slow down, and YouTube videos will also play well over the VPN. However, crashing isn’t uncommon. And while this problem will likely be solved when TorGuard s updated a few times, the issue remains and might resort in your reinstalling the app to get things working right. Recommended for people that use anonymous browsers with their VPN.
- Doesn’t place any restrictions on the level of bandwidth that can be used every month
- Safe to use with public hotspots, such as those in parks, airports, etc
- Since speeds aren’t throttled, the VPN is well-suited for music streams that require a high bitrate to play
- Crashing has been reported, to which the only solution could be to reinstall the app
SaferVPN is fairly young, beginning only two years ago in 2017. But even with their infancy, the app has shown that it shouldn’t be brushed to the side. The controls are easy for people that like everything laid out before them, which helps make the application easy to control and navigate fast. Its protocols are fast and familiar, featuring strong AES encryption that will keep network vulnerabilities and attacks far away from your iOS device. Getting through to payment stress could be a pain unless you purchase directly from the App Store and skip the trial period. And the VPN may also be blocked over UAE, Chinese, and Russian ISPs. Unless you live in those countries, then SaferVPN has a lot to offer and will get keep your internet traffic completely private.
- The text and symbols on the interface are easy to see; great for users that are slightly vision impaired
- Uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols
- The Kill Switch will turn either the Wi-Fi or Cellular Data connection off immediately if the VPN itself crashes
- Timely process when attempting payment for a subscription
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I be Able to Use my VPN Subscription on Devices other than My iPhone/iPad?
For the majority of the paid VPNs listed above, you should have no problems if you wish to use the service on a device other than your iPhone. That means you can download the VPN on another computer or smartphone, whether it be Android or a Windows computer, and access the internet with the brand. Many VPN companies have begun to do this, but no application allows users the same number of devices. For instance, one VPN might grant up to 5 devices for a single subscription, while another may only allow three. Sometimes, this number can go as high as ten or more. And to get an even larger number of devices on one plan would require using a router in place of having the app on your iOS phone. Many VPNs today function not as standalone apps for your mobile, but extended programs for everything that connects to the internet in your home, or on your possession.
How can I use Family Sharing with my VPN?
Family Sharing shouldn’t be confused with the device count that’s allowed on iOS VPNs. It’s basically the count for the number of people that are granted access to the VPN that you’re running directly on the phone. And this could also be used for applications other than a VPN if needed. Family Sharing is beneficial for people that need multiple users on the same iTunes account. You can get up to five total, and VPNs can be purchased by more than one person this way. It’s good to have around if your family or friends want to use a different VPN from the one that you pick. All payments will be directed to your account though, so only do this if you know the people you’re sharing the account with.
Is there a Way to Purchase VPNs for iOS anonymously?
You won’t be able to purchase items anonymously over the App Store, unfortunately. If you insist, the best option is to buy the VPN using your mobile browser or from an external computer. Most VPNs understand the popularity of crypto in purchasing their products and will offer Bitcoin as a payment option, at the very least. It’s a lot more private and using your PayPal or credit/debit card to pay for subscriptions, but you won’t be able to continue any future payments with another choice unless it is altered in the VPN’s settings. For example, paying with Bitcoin would have to be done every payment cycle unless the option is changed in between subscriptions. To get more information about changing payments, just contact the VPN you’re interested in and they will provide further details.
How does the Kill Switch Feature work for VPNs on iOS?
It’s a pretty simple operation. When you’re browsing or streaming movies/downloading over the VPN, the Kill Switch will prevent your Wi-Fi or cellular data connection from continuing to access the internet. This allows your service provider to never know the way in which you connect to the VPN, thus protecting the temporary IP in use. It also prevents the applications and websites you visit from connecting to your real IP, which could end up getting accounts blacklisted or permabanned. Always look for a kill switch feature on a VPN, and remember that some won’t call it this, but will market their software with other names. But this is easy to spot when the Kill Switch is branded in such a way; just check out the features advertised on the product’s App Store listing.
Is there a Way for Me to use my iPhone/iPad as a Wireless VPN Hotspot?
The easiest way to do this would be for you to jailbreak your iPhone, something that would immediately void its warranty. Jailbreaking is useful for getting through some of the restrictions that Apple places on their phones but can’t be advised due to the potential security vulnerabilities that could arise from such actions. If you don’t know what you’re doing or consider yourself a novice user, it’s best to hook up your VPN to a router instead of relying on a VPN connection from the wireless hotspot (through the use of a jailbreak).
Will Dedicated IPs work on my iOS Device?
You shouldn’t have problems with connecting to a dedicated IP that’s featured with a VPN. But do take note that such IPs are often sold separately as their own individual plans, and you won’t get the service with an ordinary VPN subscription. Knowing this, some applications may have the feature included with the service once downloaded, but you will have to put down additional funds to use it. Dedicated IPs are best for streaming situations that would otherwise have your account blacklisted from using “public” VPN services. Since the network on most paid servers involves sharing with other users, the chances of getting blacklisted are there, but small. But don’t use a dedicated IP if you value privacy, as the address could open you up to being identified much easier in the event of a hacking, logging, or data mining attempt.
Can I Buy a Subscription from a VPN outside of the App Store?
Of course. Since paid VPNs are mostly subscription-based, that means you’ll be able to use the plan on any operating system where the brand is available. If you were to buy NordVPN for a Linux distro (while using it to browse the site), the plan would easily transfer over to your iOS device. You would have to simply download the VPN from the App Store, then use your account information to sign in on the mobile/tablet. The same applies to any operating system, as long as you ensure that the service is featured on your phone. And as previously mentioned, this is a good way to pay for a VPN if you wish to remain more anonymous than what’s possible through App Store transactions.
Looking through all the great VPNs on iOS is easy to do, but those evaluated here will provide the very best in functionality and server speed. Simply put, it doesn’t get much better than what’s been reviewed. They will all work wonderfully in providing you will better privacy during your internet sessions, and many can be shared with other mobile hardware or other computers. Had bad luck with streaming video or music in the past with an account that wasn’t based in your region? A VPN will put such problems to rest and give you unparalleled access to more streaming options, at least if there’s better quality or something that isn’t accessible from your actual location. Try them all out if you can, then pick the one you like the most!