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Best VPN For iPhone and iPad (iOS)

Last edited: July 6, 2020
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In Short: The Best VPN For iPhone and iPad

We’ve tested different VPNs to see which one is the best for iPhone and iPad. In our tests, we specifically looked at speed, safety, privacy, usability, extra options, and price. With those considerations in mind, we came to the following top 3 of best VPNs for iOS:

  1. ExpressVPN: overall the best VPN, also for iPhone and iPad.
  2. CyberGhost: excellent VPN, cheaper than ExpressVPN but slightly slower as well.
  3. Surfshark: relatively new VPN, surprisingly cheap and fast.

Would you like to know more about these VPNs or are you looking for instructions on how to install a VPN on iOS? Read our full article below.

Privacy settings iOS iPhoneThese days it’s becoming more and more important to take extra precautionary measures whenever you’re online. This goes for iPhone and iPad users as well. Public Wi-Fi networks aren’t always safe to use, and a lot of websites and organizations try to track your online activities. In order to make sure no (malicious) parties are watching your every online move, it’s a good idea to take some safety measures, such as using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

iOS is known for its very decent anti-malware features. However, these features won’t affect the safety of the networks you connect to, which might still be unsafe. A VPN will give you the extra protection you need. Fortunately, installing a VPN on iOS is simple. This article will tell you all about the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad.

The Best VPN Apps For iPhone and iPad: Our Top 3

In order to choose the right VPN, you’ll first have to know what you’re looking for. Do you want a fast VPN? Or would you rather work with high levels of encryption and extra safety measures? How much are you willing to pay for a subscription? With these considerations in mind, we’ve listed three fantastic VPNs for you, which will all work perfectly on your iPhone and iPad.

1. ExpressVPN: stable speeds and high security

ExpressVPN is a VPN that scores exceptionally well in terms of safety, speed, and usability. This premium VPN is especially suitable for iOS, because it has virtually no flaws. ExpressVPN keeps your data safe and has a network of thousands of servers in almost 100 countries. Moreover, it has a well-designed, easy to navigate app that works perfectly on iPhone and iPad.

It won’t surprise you that we currently find ExpressVPN to be the best VPN on the market. This is not only true for iOS, but also for other devices. Still, the VPN service has one downside: it’s quite a bit pricier than many of its competitors. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has a 30 day money back guarantee, meaning you’ll get your money back if you aren’t satisfied with the service and withdraw your subscription during the first month.

ExpressVPN
Our pick
Our pick
Deal:
3 months for free with a one-year subscription
9.5
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost: efficient user-friendly software

CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN provider with a very reasonable price. Its servers are fast, its security is high level, and the app is very easy to work with. This might just be the very best VPN to use if you don’t have a lot of experience with this kind of software yet. Another great advantage offered by CyberGhost is its 45-days money-back-guarantee. This is a longer period than that offered by most other VPN providers. As such, you could say you’ve got a longer “trial period” with CyberGhost.

The only negative that came out of our tests is that CyberGhost’s servers are slightly slower than those of competitors ExpressVPN and Surfshark. Nevertheless, this provider’s speed test scores still proved surprisingly high in our most recent comparison. In short, CyberGhost is a great choice of VPN for your iPhone and iPad.

CyberGhost
Deal:
Try CyberGhost for $2.75 per month and get two extra months for free!
9.3
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

3. Surfshark: high quality for a low price

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN that climbed to the top of our lists very quickly. We would definitely recommend this VPN to any user, since it offers one of the best value for money deals out there. It performs very well in terms of speed and has a simple but good iOS app. Surfshark’s security and privacy are top-notch as well. With this VPN, you’ll be able to surf the web on your iPhone or iPad without worrying.

We’ve seen Surfshark make a lot of changes to their service in a short period of time, especially when it comes to their customer support and extra options. They seem to handle their newfound success really well, even if it comes with the occasional minor stumble. Surfshark, too, offers a 30-days money-back-guarantee, so you can try out their service without instantly being tied to a year-long subscription.

Surfshark
Deal:
Safe and anonymous internet for only $1.99 a month
8.8
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN for iPhone

There are several things you might want to consider before you choose a VPN for your iPhone. Here are a couple of important criteria we paid special attention to in constructing our top 3 for iOS:

  • Speed: VPNs often affect the speed of your internet connection. Some providers might decrease your internet speed more than others. To ensure your connection will suffer as little as possible, we paid special attention to the effect of different VPNs on the internet speed of our iPhone.
  • Safety and privacy: If a VPN uses strong encryption protocols, has a strict no logging policy, and hasn’t had any past mishaps when it comes to the protection of their users’ privacy, you’re likely dealing with a good VPN. Any additional safety features, such as a kill-switch, were also considered in our tests.
  • User-friendliness: If a VPN is difficult to navigate and use, it becomes harder to properly protect your internet connection. Because of this, we consider user-friendliness an important factor. This means we also paid attention to the design of a VPNs interface and the quality of its customer service team.
  • Servers: If you use a VPN to unblock sites, you want a VPN to have a lot of different servers in different countries. For example, if you use a VPN server in Germany, you won’t be able to access American Netflix. Also, the closer a VPN server is to your location, the faster the speeds are you’re going to get.
  • Extra features and options: Not all VPNs are the same. This also goes for the extra options offered by different providers. Whereas some VPNs can be considered “no-frills” privacy solutions, other providers go out of their way to offer extra options. These can range from adblockers to obfuscated servers. Some VPNs also have special geo-unblocking capabilities and Netflix compatibility.
  • Cost: While the speed and safety of a VPN are incredibly important, the cost of a service can’t be ignored. Of course, everyone likes saving a little money. That’s why we also made sure to consider the price of different VPN providers.

Based on the above criteria, we came up with our top 3 of best VPNs for iPhone/iOS. Which of these providers you want to choose, depends on which factors you consider to be the most important.

Free vs paid VPN apps for iOS

Free VPN TrophyWith so many VPNs out there, there are also some free options available. Even though these might seem great at first, most free VPNs come with some significant drawbacks. For instance, a lot of free VPNs enforce data limits, speed limits, or server limits. Because of these, you likely won’t be able to use the VPN as freely as you’d like to.

Moreover, there has been research indicating that the privacy and security offered by free VPNs is often very disappointing and even dangerous. This is the opposite of what you’re looking for when considering internet safety software. If you download a random free VPN on your iPhone, chances are your personal data will be collected and shared with others. You might even be downloading malware onto your device.

If you would still like to try out a free VPN, we advise you to choose one of the VPNs in our list of the best free VPN services. This way, you can be certain you’re at least working with a relatively safe and secure VPN, even though you might still have to deal with limitations on your speed or data. Also note that we haven’t specifically tested these VPNs for iPhone compatibility.

Why use a VPN for iPhone and iPad?

A VPN comes with countless advantages. As a result, there are many different reasons for iPhone and iPad users to get themselves a VPN subscription. Below you’ll find short summaries of the three most important advantages of using a VPN on your iPhone.

Reason Explanation
Securing your internet connection iPhone users aren’t always aware of the risks that public Wi-Fi networks pose to them. Since the integrated safety features of iPhones are pretty advanced, iPhone users might think they don’t need any additional protection. However, public Wi-Fi networks can be exploited by cybercriminals to access your passwords, personal pictures, and even banking details. iPhone’s safety measures won’t protect you here. Therefore, the most important reason for most iPhone users to get a VPN, is to secure their connection.
Protecting your online privacy A lot of people, iPhone users or otherwise, don’t like prying eyes. Companies can use your online personal information to serve you targeted ads and other nuisances. In some countries it might even be dangerous to visit certain websites or express certain ideas without making yourself anonymous with a tool like a VPN. Lastly, many use a VPN for anonymous downloading, although it should be noted that illegal downloading is still illegal, even if you use a VPN.
Unblocking websites and streaming services Another reason people use a VPN, which is becoming increasingly popular, is a VPN’s ability to unblock geo-restricted content. For instance, a VPN can help you to access foreign websites or content, which would otherwise be blocked for you. It could help you access the American version of Netflix despite not being in the US, or BBC iPlayer without being in the UK. This also works when you’re in a country where many western websites are blocked, such as China.

Installing a VPN on iOS

There are different ways to install a VPN app on your iPhone. Most VPN providers have made it very easy to set up a connection. For more information, you can read everything about installing a VPN on your iPhone right here. Many VPN providers offer an iOS app that can be installed by following these steps:

Installing VPN Step by Step Smartphone

  1. Create an account and get a subscription with a VPN provider on their official website;
  2. Download the VPN app from the App Store;
  3. Open the app and log in with your login details;
  4. If you’d like, tweak the VPN’s settings (protocols, additional safety options) to your liking and choose the desired VPN server;
  5. Turn on the VPN. Your iPhone will most likely prompt you to adjust configuration of your VPN connections by going to ‘networks’. Allow this.

Now you’re connected to a VPN server and able to enjoy a freer, safer internet.

How to manually install a VPN on iOS

Apart from installing a dedicated app, you can also manually install a VPN on your iPhone. To do this, you’ll need a few details, which you can most likely find on the website of your chosen VPN provider. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to get a subscription to a VPN provider before you’ll be able to set up a connection this way.

Follow these steps to manually install a VPN on your iPhone:

  1. Go to “Settings“;
  2. Scroll down and tap “General“;
  3. Scroll all the way down and select “VPN“.
  4. Tap “Add VPN Configuration” and add the necessary details.

Add VPN Configuration Screenshot

This way you can manually install a VPN on your iPhone. However, if your chosen VPN service has its own app, we strongly recommend you use it. This will make it much easier for you to change between servers and turn the connection on and off.

Conclusion: The Best VPN For iPhone and iPad

Briefly summarized, the best VPNs for iPhone, according to us, are:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Surfshark

These VPNs are all great choices for iPhone and iPad. They all have great, user-friendly apps that can be downloaded from the App Store and they perform well when it comes to both speed and security. ExpressVPN offers the most stable and reliable connections. CyberGhost is the perfect provider for beginners. Finally, Surfshark is incredibly cheap but still offers great quality.

Would you rather choose a different VPN for your iPhone? Make sure to have a look at our overview of the best VPNs we’ve tested. Whichever VPN you choose, it will provide you and your iOS device with more online safety, privacy, and freedom on the internet.

Best VPNs for iPhone - FAQ

Do you have a pressing question about the use of a VPN on iPhone or iPad? Check out our frequently asked questions below and click a question for a short and clear answer.

ExpressVPN turns out to be the very best VPN for iOS. This VPN service offers high speeds, a large number of servers in many locations, and an excellent privacy policy that doesn’t allow any logging. Would you rather choose a different VPN? Read about our top three best VPNs for iPhone and iPad right here.

Unfortunately, free VPNs often have a data, speed, or server limit. This means you won’t be able to make unlimited use of secure internet. Moreover, the security of many free VPNs often isn’t great.

If you want to consider all your options anyway, we’d advise you to choose one of the providers from our list of best free VPN services.

The easiest way to connect to the VPN is by installing your provider’s official VPN app. After installing, you’ll likely only have to press a button to activate the connection.

It’s also possible to set up a VPN connection through the settings in iOS. This can be useful when you don’t want to use an app or if there’s no app available. In that case, simply enter your user data in the VPN settings on your iPhone and connect manually. You’ll have set it up in a matter of seconds.

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic by rerouting it through a virtual, encrypted tunnel. Because of this, your IP address can’t be traced and you reduce the chance of data theft. In general, you are much safer online with a VPN.

iOS is known for its good protection against malware. Unfortunately, that doesn’t say anything about the security of the networks you connect to. Especially with public Wi-Fi networks, security isn’t always guaranteed. Therefore, we recommend using a suitable VPN for your iPhone, because it’ll encrypt your network traffic, making it much more difficult for third parties to obtain your information or break into your device.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For VPNoverview.com he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship and online privacy.

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