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Best VPN for iPhone

Last edited: January 24, 2020
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Short Summary: the Best VPN for iPhone and iPhad (Top 3 iOS VPN)

We’ve tested different VPNs on iPhone and iPad to see which one is the best in terms of speed, safety and 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 (best overall VPN, especially for iPhone and iPad)
  2. CyberGhost (excellent VPN, cheaper than ExpressVPN but a bit slower as well)
  3. Surfshark (relatively new VPN, very cheap and fast)

Would you like to know more about our criteria or would you like to learn how to install a VPN on iOS? Then read the article below.

These days it’s becoming more and more important to take some extra precautionary measures whenever you’re online. Public Wi-Fi networks aren’t always safe to use, and a lot of websites and organisations are tracking your online activities. As such, in order to assure yourself there are no (malicious) parties watching your every online move, it’s a good idea to take some safety measures, such as using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

iPhone users too can greatly benefit from using a VPN connection. It’s true that iPhones generally have good anti-malware features. However, these of course don’t affect the safety of the networks you connect to, which might still be insecure. Malware or no malware, using unsecured networks can lead to a host of issues, just think about hackers stealing your data for example. That’s why it’s a good idea to install a VPN, which helps ensure the safety of your connection. This is especially important because many iPhone and smartphone users rely on public Wi-Fi networks these days, especially when travelling.

Fortunately though, installing a VPN on your iPhone is simple and easy. We’ll get to this later. But first, have a look at our guide for choosing a good VPN for your iPhone and our top 3 of VPNs for iPhone.

Which VPN to choose for your iPhone? – Our top 3

Needless to say, in order to choose the right VPN, you first have to know what you’re looking for in a VPN. A few important criteria which we paid special attention to in choosing our top 3 and which are likely important for you to consider, can be found below.

  • Speed: VPNs decrease the speed of your internet connection to a degree. However, there are large differences in these speed decreases between different providers. With some you will barely notice anything and with others you notice a significant difference. That’s why we paid attention to this when testing different VPNs on our iPhone.
  • Safety and privacy: To determine the degree of safety and privacy offered by a VPN, we looked at the protocols offered and the VPN’s logging policy. We also considered whether a VPN has gotten any negative news coverage related to safety or privacy violations. Lastly, we took into account safety features, such as a kill-switch. 
  • User-friendliness: Because, obviously, people are less keen on installing and using a VPN which is difficult to navigate and not user-friendly, we also considered user-friendliness as an important criterion. This means we also paid attention to design and look 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 created equal, of course. This also goes for the extra options offered by different VPN 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 anti ad-trackers to obfuscated servers. We also paid attention to extra options such as geo-unblocking capabilities and Netflix compatibility.
  • Cost: Of course, everyone likes saving a little money. That’s why we also made sure to consider cost and value.

Based on the above criteria, we came up with the following top 3 of best VPNs for iPhone.

1. ExpressVPN

We recommend ExpressVPN to all iPhone users, because this premium VPN has virtually no flaws when it comes to safety, speed and user-friendliness. This VPN will protect your data and has a large server network of more than 3000 servers in 94 countries. To make things even better, ExpressVPN is a great fit for iPhone, thanks to its great app. The app is well-designed and easy to navigate. ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN right now, which also happens to be very well-suited to iPhone. The only downside: This VPN is a bit pricier than many of its competitors. Fortunately, however, you can try VPN free of charge, thanks to its 30 days money-back-guarantee.

Our pick
Our pick
3 months for free with a one-year subscription
  • Super fast and simple VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a great VPN provider for a very reasonable price. Its servers are fast, its security is definitely up-to-scratch and the app is very user-friendly. Another great advantage offered by CyberGhost is its 45-days money-back-guarantee. This is a longer money-back-guarantee than offered by most other VPN providers. As such, you could say you’ve got a longer “trial period” with CyberGhost. The only negative, if you will, that CyberGhost has, is that its servers are slightly slower than ExpressVPN’s servers and Surfshark’s servers, according to our tests. Nevertheless, CyberGhost is still a great choice for a good VPN on your iPhone.

3 year subscription for just $2.75 per month
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

3. Surfshark

Surfshark is definitely a VPN we recommend to iPhone users and to VPN users in general. One of the reasons is that it arguably offers the most value of any premium VPN out there. It’s quite possible the cheapest major VPN provider, at only $1,99 for a 2-year subscription. It also offers good speeds and a great, easy-to-navigate mobile app. The security and privacy offered by Surfshark are top-notch. Surfshark is relatively new on the VPN market, having shown a lot of improvements in a short span of time. The main reason for many to go with this provider though, is still its low price and the great value it offers. Surfshark too offers a 30-days money-back-guarantee.

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

Free vs paid VPN apps for iPhone

With so many VPNs out there, there are of course also some free Virtual Private Networks. Even though these might seem great at first, most VPNs do come with some significant drawbacks. For instance, a lot of free VPNs enforce a data limits, speed limits and sometimes server limits. Moreover, there has been research indicating that the privacy and security offered by free VPNs is often not up to scratch.

If you would still like to see if a free VPN is right for you, we advise you to read our article on the best free VPN services. In this article we discuss several free VPN providers which, contrary to a lot of free VPN services, are very decent VPNs. Do notice that we haven’t paid special attention to iPhone compatibility when creating our list of the best free VPNs.

Why use a VPN for iPhone?

If you’re using public Wi-Fi networks, there is always a chance others are trying to steal your data. Especially in some holiday destinations public Wi-Fi networks aren’t always safe. By using a VPN, you can make it much harder for cybercriminals to get a hold of your data, such as your email log in or your online banking details. Also, a VPN helps you to reclaim your online privacy. Also, with a VPN you can bypass so called geo-restrictions. For instance, a VPN can help you to access the American version of Netflix, regardless of where you are in the world.

By now, you probably know what a VPN can do for you. Nevertheless, below you will find a short summary of the advantages of using a VPN on your iPhone.

Reason Explanation
Making your internet connection more secure. For many of our readers, this is the main reason for using a VPN. iPhone users aren’t always aware of the risks that public Wi-Fi networks pose to them. Since the integrates safety features of an iPhone often mean no extra anti-virus software is required, iPhone users forget sometimes that networks too can be dangerous. Public Wi-Fi networks can be exploited by cybercriminals to get access to your data, such as passwords, pictures and even log in details for online banking. 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 leek spying eyes as far as their online lives go. After all, companies can use your personal information to serve you targeted ads and other nuisances. For many, protecting their privacy is just intrinsically important. Also, in some countries which are not characterized by a lot of political or religious freedom, it might even be dangerous to visit certain websites or express certain ideas online without using something to make yourself more anonymous online, such as a VPN. Lastly, a lot of people use a VPN for anonymous downloading.
Unblocking websites and streaming services Another reason people use a VPN, which is increasing in popularity these days, is a VPN’s ability to unblock a lot of geo-restricted content. For instance, a VPN can help you to access foreign websites or content, which otherwise would be blocked. For example, it can help you to access the American version of Netflix, despite not being in the US, or the BBC iPlayer, without being in the UK.

Installing a VPN app on iPhone

There are a variety of ways to install a VPN app on your iPhone. Also, most VPN providers have streamlined this into an easy and convenient process. Nevertheless, we’ll give you a brief step-by-step guide down below which is applicable to most iPhone users.

  1. Get a subscription with a VPN provider (one which you know has an iPhone app).
  2. Download the VPN app from the app-store.
  3. Open the app and log in with your log in details.
  4. If you’d like, you can tweak the VPN’s settings to your liking. Think protocols, additional safety options, etc.
  5. Lastly, turn on the VPN connection. Once you press connect, your iPhone will most likely prompt you to adjust the VPN connections configuration. Simply follow the steps.

Installing a VPN on your iPhone manually

Apart from installing a dedicated app, you can also install a VPN on your iPhone manually. To do this, you’ll need a few details, as shown on the screenshot below.

Add VPN Configuration Screenshot

Once you get to this screen, you’ll have to fill in a few details which you can find on the website of your VPN provider.

To get to this screen, simply follow these steps:

  1. First, go to Settings.
  2. Once there, scroll down to “General“.
  3. Now scroll all the way down and select “VPN“.
  4. Lastly, choose “Add VPN Configuration“.

This way you can manually install a VPN on your iPhone. However, note this way of doing things is considerably less “user-friendly”. After all, if you want to tweak your VPN connection in any way, you will always have to come back to this screen and change things manually. While using a VPN app this is much easier, often happens automatically and switching servers is much more convenient.

Conclusion: the best VPN for iPhone

Briefly summarized, the best VPNs for iPhone right now in our book, are the following three:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Surfshark

All of the VPNs above work great on iPhone. After all, they’ve all got great, user-friendly apps for iPhone and perform very well when it comes to both speed and security. Moreover, ExpressVPN is not only one of the best VPNs for iPhone, but also the best VPN in general in our opinion. CyberGhost offers great value at very reasonably prices, while Surfshark is so affordable for a premium-VPN, that it makes for a great first-time VPN for iPhone users. If you can’t find a VPN that you like between these three options, you could also have a look at our handy overview of all the VPNs we tested. Moreover, this button allows you to filter VPNs by everything from price, to features to iPhone compatibility. Happy and safe browsing!

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