Best iPhone VPN for iOS in 2024

iOS-style app icon displaying the best iOS VPN for iPhone
(Image credit: OpturaDesign /

Apple's devices are often thought of as more secure and safer to use than others, but there's nothing your iPhone can do once you've sent your internet traffic out into the wild. Thankfully, there's an easy way to fix that – by using the best iPhone VPN.

A VPN for iOS works the same way all the best VPNs do: it encrypts your data before it leaves your device, making it totally unreadable to snoopers or your internet provider. The most powerful options can also access tons of streaming sites from all around the world so you can stay up to date, no matter where you are.

My team and I have tested dozens of VPNs on iPhone, and I highly recommend not downloading the first one you see in the App Store. Read reviews of each – I've included an in-depth analysis of my top five further down the page – before making your choice. If you've done that and you're ready to take the plunge, pick just from the top three below.

The 3 best iPhone VPNs at a glance

1. ExpressVPN – the best iPhone VPN overall

1. ExpressVPN – the best iPhone VPN overall
ExpressVPN offers the best iPhone VPN experience out of any VPN I've tested. It connects in seconds, it's very easy to use, and offers class-leading privacy and streaming performance. Prices start at $6.67 per month, which includes three months free, and you can also take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out.

2.NordVPN – the most server locations on iOS

2. NordVPN – the most server locations on iOS
NordVPN is my #1-rated VPN overall, and one of its bonuses is the fact it has servers in more locations than any other VPN I've reviewed. It's super secure, very fast, and great value starting at $3.39 per month. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can make sure you like it before you commit.

3. Surfshark – the best cheap iPhone VPN

3. Surfshark – the best cheap iPhone VPN
Surfshark offers an intuitive iPhone VPN app ideal for first-time users. It comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, and delivers with the fastest speeds I've seen. At $2.19 per month, it's an excellent choice if you're in need of a cheap iPhone VPN, and you can also try it on for size with its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Recent updates

There have been a number of changes to this guide in recent times, with NordVPN snatching second place from Surfshark, due to its all-round excellent performance – on iPhone and every other device. Most interesting, though, is the new inclusion of Private Internet Access, which has replaced at fifth. PIA has made a ton of improvements to its mobile apps, and it's well and truly earned its place here.

The best iOS VPNs for iPhone of 2024

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ExpressVPN: The best iOS VPN overall

ExpressVPN running on an iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN perfectly fits in with Apple's "it just works" philosophy, with seamless apps and super-fast connection times. It's not the cheapest, but it's very secure and a pleasure to use for newbies and experts alike.

Number of servers: 3,000+ in 105 countries | Max simultaneous connections: 8 | App Store score: 4.7 | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play

iPhone app is near-perfect
Excellent 24/7 support service
Great streaming ability
Zero knowledge DNS
Maximum of 8 simultaneous connections
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN you can set and forget: ExpressVPN's iPhone app comes with an auto-connect feature that makes sure that you're always connected to a secure server.

✔️ You want access everywhere: ExpressVPN has servers in a whopping 160 locations, allowing unrestricted access around the globe. 

✔️ You want an easy-to-use iPhone VPN app: as one of the most beginner-friendly VPNs, ExpressVPN comes with tons of helpful guides, 24/7 support, and a simple app that connects in one tap.  

Avoid if:

❌ You're on a strict budget: as good as it is, ExpressVPN isn't cheap. Those on a budget may be better off with Surfshark.

❌ You want built-in antivirus: ExpressVPN isn't such a complete a security package as NordVPN due to the lack of native antivirus software. 

❌ You want a VPN for both iOS and Linux: with only a command-line interface for Linux installations, ExpressVPN isn't ideal for Linux users.  

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

ExpressVPN is a great premium choice for iOS thanks to its super versatile apps that are a delight for both beginners and those with a tech background. Security is impeccable and you're protected by class-leading encryption, a verified no-logs policy, and blockers for adware and malware. It should definitely be on your shortlist.

ExpressVPN simply provides everything you need from an iPhone VPN. It's quick, private and simple to use, and seeing as the apps on all platforms are virtually identical, once you've used one you'll have mastered them all.

The nifty Location Picker is super simple and lets you swipe right on a location to put it into your Favorites section, and a Recent Location list, as the name suggests, contains regions you've connected to lately. The Network Protection feature steps in to act like a kill switch by restricting your internet access if the VPN fails unexpectedly, and works perfectly.

You'll get over 3,000 servers in 105 countries, meaning wherever you are you'll be able to get a quality connection. Plus, all your data's protected by AES-256 encryption as standard, with a selection of protocols and a kill switch.

> Sign up to my top-rated iPhone VPN

Beyond technicalities, though, ExpressVPN's iOS interface is excellent and makes it super simple to access more in-depth features, meaning you can have as basic or as complex an experience as you want – perfect for novices and experts alike. Plus, you'll be able to claim a 7-day VPN free trial through the App Store.

Threat Manager keeps trackers and malware at bay, and coupled with a smart auto-connect feature and a strict no-logs policy, ExpressVPN scores full marks on security and reliability.

You'll be able to access all popular streaming sites thanks to its wide network of servers and excellent unblocking capabilities. At around 410 Mbps when using the in-house Lightway protocol in my ExpressVPN review, connection speeds aren't quite as fast as rivals NordVPN or Surfshark, but that's still over 10 times the speed needed to stream 4K or UHD content. If your base connection is only 100 Mbps or so, you won't notice it's on.

Even the best services can have issues, though, and that's why it's so important to have a quality support system backing you up. Express's 24/7 live chat is the best in the game, and whenever I've had any problem or query – big or small – the agent has come in clutch and figured it out.

If I had to split hairs, I'd welcome a few more simultaneous connections. However, while you can only use 8 devices on the same account at the same time, you can have the app downloaded on as many as you like. It's also quite expensive, although you definitely get what you pay for – and if it's not for you, you're covered by a no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, Express offers the most fully-featured iPhone VPN app money can buy, so if you want the best, you need to look no further.

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ExpressVPN test results
DesignClean and minimalistic design and options are easy to find and use⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIdeal for just about everyone, including beginners and tech experts⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceQuick enough for streaming, torrenting, and downloading, but Surfshark and NordVPN are faster⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingAccess to every streaming platform I tested it with ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyClass-leading encryption and no-logs policy alongside nifty add-ons ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 customer support with tons of helpful guides⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceAbsolutely splurge-worthy but not ideal for budget-conscious users ⭐⭐⭐

The best iPhone VPN for travel

NordVPN running on an iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is our top-rated VPN overall, and despite some small design quirks on iOS, it's still one of the very best – especially if you're looking to stream geo-blocked content.

Amount of servers: 6,000+ in 110+ countries | Max simultaneous connections: 10 | App Store score: 4.7 | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play

Excellent security
Great for streaming
Fast connections
Recently verified no-logging
Map-style interface isn't ideal on smaller screens
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want unrivaled streaming support: NordVPN effortlessly unblocks every streaming platform there is, and you'll be able to access all of them on your iOS device. 

✔️ You want access to tons of servers: With 6,000 servers in 111 countries, NordVPN is the best iPhone VPN for travel – especially if you're heading off the beaten path.

✔️ You want a fully audited provider: NordVPN has had just about every aspect of its product audited, which instills a lot of confidence in the brand.

Avoid if:

❌ You want to protect a lot of devices: NordVPN only offer 10 simultaneous connections, which can't match Surfshark's unlimited allowance.

❌ You value simplicity: NordVPN isn't hard to use for the most part, but its map-style interface is a little complex on handheld devices. 

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

NordVPN is more than just a capable VPN for your iPhone – a built-in antivirus, a password manager, and a bunch of other security tools mean that it can protect you from everything dangerous on the internet. It's also our top choice for streaming, and a 30-day money-back guarantee will allow you to test the service before committing.  

In my NordVPN review, Team Blue came out as my new #1 VPN overall. As you'd expect, it's also an excellent iPhone VPN, but this is an area where close rival ExpressVPN does outdo it – albeit by the slimmest of margins.

In our hands-on testing, NordVPN delivered speeds of over 950 Mbps on our gigabit line. This is quite significantly faster than ExpressVPN, and combined with its massive fleet of over 6,000 servers in 111 countries, it could appeal more. – especially if you;re a`lso looking for one of the best travel VPNs. You'll also get useful features like Onion over VPN and Double VPN to increase your protection if you really need it.

Double VPN ensures extra protection by routing your Internet traffic through two servers instead of one, thereby encrypting it twice. Onion over VPN is a delight for those who want to access the Tor network without ever having to download the Tor browser.

> Sign up to our top-rated VPN overall

While it's effective, NordVPN's app design isn't quite as clean as ExpressVPN's – it retains the map-based interface from the desktop client. Personally, I don't think this  works as well on mobile as it does on a monitor, making it slightly awkward to use. This is very much a personal issue, though, and many people prefer this layout.

Additional features include two kill switches, DNS leak detection and auto-connect, and Nord has now even introduced Siri support which we're sure someone will find useful. Surprisingly, Nord's iOS app gets more options in some areas than its Android and Windows clients, and you'll be able to connect to OpenVPN UDP or TCP, and IKEv2, in addition to Nord's proprietary NordLynx protocol. 

While NordVPN's new Threat Protection Pro is only available on its desktop apps, iPhone users can use Threat Protection Lite. This protects you from ads, malicious websites and unsafe networks when you're connected to the VPN, which is a nice added bonus.

Other than that, Nord's great for streaming as well, so if you're on a trip and don't fancy hauling out your laptop when you're on the train, you'll be able to unblock pretty much everything straight from your phone. It's worth noting that NordVPN is one of the few providers that effortlessly unblocks hard-to-crack locations including the Japanese Netflix library, no matter if you're halfway across the globe. Plus, if you're deep in the Apple ecosystem, it works great as a Mac VPN too.

If you're after a security-focused iPhone VPN that will do everything you need it to and more, NordVPN could be the right choice for you – and a 30-day guarantee covers you in case it's not.

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NordVPN test results
DesignIntuitive and cool design, but a little less clutter would have been lovely ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe iOS app is simple from every angle, and it's only the map-like interface that's slightly complex ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceLightning-fast speeds, almost as quick as Surfshark ⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingTop-notch unblocking and gets past all popular and unpopular streaming sites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyA complete package with a built-in antivirus coming in clutch for all-around security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 customer support with lots of helpful guides⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceVery reasonably priced but not as cheap as some of the rivals ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best cheap iPhone VPN

Surfshark running on an iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

3. Surfshark

Surfshark far outperforms its bargain price-tag, and its iPhone VPN apps are almost as simple to use as ExpressVPN's. If you're looking for privacy on a budget, this is the one to go for.

Amount of servers: 3,200+ in 100 countries | Max simultaneous connections: Unlimited | App Store score: 4.8 | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play

Incredible value
Top-notch security 
Unlimited connections
The fastest connections I've tested
Minor kill switch issues in our testing
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN for your family: Surfshark comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can protect any number of devices with just a single subscription. 

✔️ You want an iOS VPN that's rapid: as the fastest provider in my testing, Surfshark is an excellent choice for you if speed is your priority. 

✔️ You want a budget pick: it's hard to beat Surfshark's value for money thanks to the sub-$2.50 price tag.  

Avoid if:

❌ You want a VPN for torrenting: Surfshark doesn't quite measure up to the likes of ExpressVPN when it comes to support for torrenting. 

❌ You want the best-in-class kill switch: Surfshark's kill switch is indeed reliable but it's not as complete as that of NordVPN or ExpressVPN, as it failed when I tampered with low-level settings. 

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Surfshark is your best bet if you want to cover a lot of devices at a bargain price. Despite being one of the cheapest around, it doesn't short-change you and provides class-leading speeds and unblocking capabilities, alongside very usable apps. An excellent alternative to ExpressVPN and NordVPN if you can't stretch to the very best.

Spent all your cash on the brand new iPhone and need a cheap VPN? Look no further – Surfshark is an absolute bargain, but don't be fooled into thinking it's a second-rate provider. With simple, intuitive apps, and a surprising amount of additional features, it's one of the best iPhone VPNs available.

In my Surfshark review, I found the iPhone app to be totally plug-and-play, but while many will be satisfied with just pressing auto-connect, you'll also be able to explore some other features. For example, you can switch protocol between WireGuard, OpenVPN UDP and TCP, and IKEv2, and use a kill switch to ensure your connection doesn't become compromised.

Although on Windows the kill switch isn't the best I've seen, and those of ExpressVPN and NordVPN are better, Surfshark is great on the security front on iOS thanks to an independently audited no-logs policy and RAM-only servers alongside a CleanWeb feature that blocks malware and irritating, potentially malicious ads as well. Plus, it's simple to toggle it on – you'll find an option in the Features tab on the app's left-hand side. 

It's also a good Netflix VPN with servers in over 100 countries and lightning-fast speeds. In my latest testing, it peaked at a jaw-dropping 950 Mbps when set to use the WireGuard protocol and beyond Netflix, it's smooth sailing with sites like Hulu, Prime Video, 10Play, and pretty much everything else.

It's worth noting that OpenVPN speeds were the very best I've seen, beating out NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Mullvad, and every other VPN I've reviewed.

Surfshark has recently added widgets that streamline the connection process even more, and you'll now be able to report bugs from within the app. Its 4.8/5 score in the App Store shows that its users really like the app itself.

One of its biggest selling points, though, is Surfshark's unlimited simultaneous connections policy. That means you'll be able to cover every single device you own, from your iPhone and iPad to your Mac or Windows PC. It's even got a class-leading Linux VPN application which offers a graphical user interface (GUI), unlike ExpressVPN. 

While it's not quite as well-rounded as ExpressVPN, Surfshark's not far off. It's easily the best cheap iPhone VPN, that punches well above its weight and genuinely competes with the very best, regardless of price. 

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Surfshark test results
DesignFun and intuitive design, tailored to suit first-time users ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEasy-to-use iOS app which is on par with the desktop client in terms of functionality ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFastest provider in my testing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingPowerful unblocking with access to everything under the sun⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySome kill switch issues, but everything else is excellent ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportFriendly 24/7 support with no shortage of self-help resources ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceCheap provider with unmatched value for money ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the best free iPhone VPNs

Proton VPN running on an iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

4. Proton VPN

Proton VPN has made a name for itself by offering a simple yet powerful iPhone VPN that has a few unique features. Its free version is also very capable, and while it can't quite match the likes of NordVPN, it's definitely worth considering.

Number of servers: 3,000+ | Max simultaneous connections: 10 | App Store rating: 4.5 | 24/7 support: No (live chat available) | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play

Class-leading free option
Excellent privacy features
iOS app rivals Windows power
Great for streaming
Support isn't 24/7
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN that prioritizes security: with open-source apps, strict privacy laws, independent audits, and an auto-connect feature.

✔️ You want a free iOS VPN: Proton VPN offers a handy free plan that comes with unlimited bandwidth, zero ads, and access to 100 servers in three locations. 

✔️ You need excellent unblocking: Proton VPN's paid version knocks it out of the park when it comes to streaming and gets past geo-restricted content like a breeze.  

Avoid if:

❌ You're on a budget: Proton VPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN, but it's still more expensive than the likes of Surfshark and Private Internet Access. 

❌ You're going to need 24/7 support: while Proton's support team is knowledgeable and kind, it's not available around the clock like many other providers are. 

❌ You want to stream for free: Proton VPN's free plan doesn't come with streaming support, which is only available to users of the paid plan.  

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Proton VPN is an ideal choice if you want unrivaled privacy, with a Swiss HQ and open-source iOS apps serving proof that the provider delivers what it says on the tin. There's also a free plan with unlimited data, which you can use for as long as you want to, and if you want a taste of the full package, a 30-day money-back guarantee will be your friend.   

Ever-improving, in our Proton VPN review we found the renowned provider is now one of the best services on the market, and its iPhone VPN is seriously powerful. Unlike much of the competition, the iOS app keeps almost all the functionality of the desktop apps and transfers them to a handheld platform.

First and foremost, Proton VPN is a privacy-focused product. Based in Switzerland (a country outside EU and US jurisdictions) with a private VPN DNS network and a verified zero-logging policy, for those that prize their anonymity it's a great choice. Its Secure Core servers are a highlight, and they work by routing your data through a super secure server in either Sweden, Iceland, or Switzerland before connecting you to your location of choice. 

Proton's iPhone app, like all of its apps, is independently audited by third-party experts, and it's open-source as well, meaning you're free to check its reliability 24/7. 

If you love streaming on the go or always watch TV on your iPhone or iPad, Proton VPN is the only VPN to rival the Big Three of ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark when it comes to unblocking exclusive content on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and more. 

Last time we checked, Proton VPN had a fairly average 3.8/5 rating in the App Store, but now it's sitting pretty at a healthy 4.5 – this shows that the Swiss provider is taking note of any issues that its users have and is regularly improving the service.

If you enjoy digging around in settings, you'll be pleased. Head over to the settings tab, and you'll see a choice between WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, NetShield malware blocking, a kill switch, VPN Accelerator, and a huge amount more. 

The VPN Accelerator claims to amp up server speeds by up to 400%, and with speeds peaking at over 950 Mbps in my testing, it looks like it does the job well. So, if you weren't too impressed by Proton's 3,000+ servers, you'd be glad to know that all the ones I tested were super functional and powerful for whatever you need them for. 

One of our few issues with Proton VPN is the fact that its live chat support isn't 24/7 yet, although when active, it's well implemented. Overall it's a very powerful VPN for iPhone, and if you want to test it out, it also feature in our best free VPN guide, with a plan that comes with access to over 100 servers in 6 countries, unlimited data, and a smooth ad-free experience. It's one of the best free iPhone VPNs, and definitely worth a try.

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Proton VPN test results
DesignFun and dynamic design, and the dark mode is a personal favorite ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe iOS app is much simpler and easier to use than the desktop apps ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceSufficiently quick for every use case⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingOn par with the top providers and unblocks just about everything ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyOne of the very best, thanks to Swiss laws, open-source apps, and an always-on VPN feature ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLacks 24/7 live chat but lots of technical guides are available ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceQuite expensive than its peers, but there's a great free plan⭐⭐⭐

The best iPhone VPN for experts

Private Internet Access running on an iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access offers huge customization while still maintaining a modicum of simplicity. A recent upgrade to its iOS VPN app has modernized the experience, although be aware that it's not quite as fast as the others on this page.

Amount of servers: 20,000+ in 91+ locations | Max simultaneous connections: Unlimited | App Store score: 4.7 | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+, YouTube

Powerful, in-depth iOS app
No-logs policy has been proven in court
Great streaming performance
Apps may be a little in-depth for some
Connections speeds lag behind the fastest
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a customizable experience: Private Internet Access offers a ton of features for those who need them.

✔️ You're in the US: With servers in every US state, you'll be able to avoid state bans and connect exactly where you want.

Avoid if:

❌ You're a first-time VPN user: PIA's in-depth features mean it's powerful, but potentially intimidating for beginners. 

❌ You need the very fastest iPhone VPN: Private Internet Access is no slouch, clocking in at around 320 Mbps in our testing – but NordVPN and Surfshark are three times faster.

Bottom line: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Private Internet Access is absolutely perfect if you're looking to tinker with your iOS VPN experience, with different encryption levels, customizable DNS, and powerful automation features you won't find anywhere else. However, beginners may find it a little complex, and if you're running a gigabit connection, it won't be able to keep up.

Private Internet Access has been around since 2010, and is owned by Kape Technologies, which also has ExpressVPN and CyberGhost in its hangar of privacy products. Unashamedly the techy's choice, PIA has garnered a strong following thanks to its commitment to privacy and very customizable apps.

In our Private Internet Access review, we found that this translates over to its iPhone VPN app, and it offers a lot more than the competition – only sacrificing a little usability in the process.

First up, you'll get all the basics like AES-256 encryption, a selection of protocols including WireGuard and OpenVPN, and plenty of servers around the world. In fact, PIA boasts the most servers of any VPN I've tested, and although many of these are virtual servers – servers that aren't physically located in the country that their IP address is from – this a bonus.

Look into the settings, and you'll see that PIA offers a lot more than just that. First of all, it has a kill switch, which many of the best iPhone VPNs don't have. It's not impossible to code a kill switch on iOS, as evidenced here, but due to Apple's restrictive system it's a big job to get one to work. Kudos to the PIA team for putting in the effort to offer this.

Elsewhere, you can adjust what kind of encryption you use, customize your DNS, set up the Content Blocker, and activate Siri shortcuts. The most interesting thing, though, is PIA's ability to automate certain functions. While it's not quite as powerful as its Windows counterpart, you can set rules on what the app will do depending an what network you're using, and whether you're using mobile data.

One of PIA's biggest downsides is the fact that in recent years, other VPNs have raced ahead in terms of connection speeds. PIA isn't slow, but in our testing it topped out at around 320 Mbps. 

For comparison, The fastest VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark both maxed out our gigabit connection at over 950 Mbps, and ExpressVPN delivered around the 410 Mbps mark. So, PIA won't hold you back if you're using a pretty standard Wi-Fi connection, but on top-of-the-line fibre lines and fast 5G, you might feel slightly restricted.

Overall, if you think you'll be using PIA's more advanced tools, it's worth considering, But, if you're after the simplest and fastest option, you're best off choosing from the top three above.

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Private Internet Access test results
DesignWell put together, and displays its advanced functions fairly intuitively⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIt's by no means confusing, but beginners may find there's too much going on.⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceMiddling speeds.⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocked everything we threw at tit.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyExcellent privacy, and with an audited and court-proven no-logs policy.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportGood customer support with detailed guides⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceExcellent value at around $2 per month⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The experts that test VPNs at Tom's Guide

These are the experts who have tested, reviewed, and ranked the best VPNs in this guide:

Headshot of Tom's Guide VPN Editor Mo Harber-Lamond
Mo Harber-Lamond

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. He's covered VPNs since 2020, and in that time he has helped test and review over 100 providers. Mo handles the day-to-day testing of VPNs, making sure that they work for real people in real situations. As an iPhone user himself, he knows exactly what makes VPNs effective on Apple's devices, and has spent hours playing around with the settings, searching for that perfect configuration.

How to choose the best iPhone VPN

There are a few key factors when it comes to choosing an iPhone VPN, and we test all of these in our reviews.

Privacy and security

This is undoubtedly the most important area to take into consideration. You should make sure your chosen software covers all the basics such as a reliable kill switch (if available), a tight no-log privacy policy, powerful AES-256 encryption and secure protocols to choose from. 

All the VPNs on this page impressed us when faced with our stringent privacy testing, so you can be sure each one is safe to use.


As we have seen, NordVPN and Surfshark are the providers shining the most in terms of speeds reaching staggering peaks of 950+ Mbps. That's great if you're planning to use your VPN for gaming or torrenting as speed is crucial here. Yet, it's worth keeping in mind that you only need a mere 25 Mbps for seamless 4K streaming. As a rule of thumb, the faster your VPN is, the less you'll notice – especially if you're planning to use the software across different devices at once.


Some people will be perfectly happy using a slightly clunky app if it means they'll get extra features unavailable elsewhere, while others want the simplest, smoothest experience possible. 

You'll know which camp you fall in, so make sure you know what you VPN is like to use and what it does or doesn't offer before you sign up. This is easily tested out with a free trial, or a money-back guarantee.

Servers and streaming

The number of servers available is also important – ExpressVPN offers around 3,000, rival NordVPN over 6,000 – and if you're a TV, film, or sports lover, streaming performance will also be key. Website unblocking from the best providers is generally very reliable, and all those listed here can be trusted to get you access to just about anything you want.


A 24/7 chat support is also a nice added value, especially if you're new to the VPN world. Of course, it's nice if the aesthetics match the seamless interface of iOS, too. As we found out, very few VPNs can actually match these criteria – and of those that do, ExpressVPN is our top pick.

How we test the best iPhone VPNs

When it comes to recommending a product that users will entrust with quite possibly every byte of their online life, I have to be absolutely sure that my choices are correct, and thoroughly tested.

Unlike some sites, we don't simply reel off a spec sheet and declare the provider with the most impressive claims the winner. Instead, we have a dedicated team in-house that gets hands-on with all the providers listed (and more). 

Every 6 months, after scouring the website for new claimed features or changes in policy, we sign up to a plan and install it on a range of devices — iOS included. First, we check every available setting across the board to ensure it's functioning as promised by the provider. Our experts actively look for flaws as well by, for example, forcing the VPN to drop to see how its kill switch feature will react to that.

As we use the apps, if anything appears to be behaving strangely we'll investigate that. We might dig into the source code, or view the contents of its RAM. This general usage stage is also how we make decisions on aesthetics and ease of use – although these are admittedly more subjective.

From speed results and streaming unlocking capabilities, to customer support and app usability, we regularly make sure to test every aspect of the software that could affect the experience of our readers.

Best iPhone VPNs for iOS FAQ

What is the best iPhone VPN in 2024?

From our rigorous testing, we rate ExpressVPN as the very best iPhone VPN for iOS on the market – is super simple, provides extraordinary protection, and is excellent for streaming.

If you're looking for something a little cheaper, though, we'd recommend Surfshark. It's not quite as well-rounded as Express, but it's still secure and great for streaming – and it's less than $2.50 a month.

Do I really need a VPN on my iPhone?

If you want to make sure your sensitive information is kept safe and out of the hands of ne'er-do-wells, an iPhone VPN is an essential bit of kit.

However, security isn't the only use for an iPhone VPN. If you're traveling abroad and have a subscription to a service like Netflix, you may find that your favorite shows aren't available where you are. If you've got access to a quality VPN, you can virtually relocate yourself back home and get access to what you're used to.

The opposite is true as well, though, and you can globe-trot around Netflix libraries to explore what other nations get with their subscription.

Finally, you might question if you need a VPN on your iPhone as well as your computer. There's a simple answer to that, and it's 'why not?'. All the VPNs above offer multiple simultaneous connections, so you may as well use as many as you can.

What does a VPN for iPhone do?

Once your iPhone is connected to the internet, be it through your network connection or Wi-Fi, it's at risk. In the case of unsecured public Wi-Fi, like at coffee shops, hotels and airports, this risk is even greater. Risk of what? Your data being exposed. That's is where a VPN works to keep you safe.

By routing your connection through its own servers, it can make you appear somewhere you're not. It will also assign you a new IP address, which makes you appear to be someone you're not. Essentially, all your traffic is encrypted, and that keeps you – and your iPhone's data – safe. 

Are iPhone VPNs fully featured?

Overall, VPNs for iOS have most of the same features of VPNs on other platforms, but there are a couple of limitations.

Most notably, iPhone VPNs can't support split tunneling due to a restriction in iOS's code. However, few users on an iPhone will miss this feature.

Some smaller providers also may not have put as much effort into their iPhone apps and they have with Windows and Android, due to iOS's smaller userbase, but all the providers we recommend here are clean, easy to use, and powerful.

Can I get a free iPhone VPN?

Free VPN services can be very tempting, but while there are some good options, they're all limited in some way or another.

While functionality is an issue (most have data caps or throttles speeds), when considering free iPhone VPNs there's a very real danger to the user. Free services on the App Store have been known to be 'fleeceware' – offering a free trial and secretly charging massive weekly fees afterwards – while other simply don't work and will give you a false sense of security.

Due to the fact that you simply haven't got the configuration of a desktop Mac or PC on a iPhone, there's a risk that you'll be caught out by a scammer, and any settings you're not happy with might not be available to change.

For both VPNs for iPhones and Android VPN, we wholeheartedly recommend going with a paid service, or at the very least one of our top-rated free providers. Don't just go searching the App Store and download the first free choice you come across. 

Does my iOS device have a VPN built in?

Since iOS 2.0, iPhones and other portable Apple devices have supported VPN connections – but they've never come with a VPN built in.

However, VPN integration is now absolutely seamless, so if you pick any of the best iPhone VPN services from our list, you can be sure that you'll get – and stay – protected in seconds.

Mo Harber-Lamond
VPN Editor

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.

With contributions from