An iPhone VPN is the perfect companion to your Apple device. Already better protected out of the box than its Android rivals, using the best VPN on iPhone means that you can also stay safer when browsing the.
It's not just about privacy, though. A VPN will allow to you access streaming sites from all over the world at the touch of a button, and can also get around annoying network restrictions imposed by your school, workplace, or even your government.
However, not every VPN in the App Store is worth downloading – far from it, in fact. That's why we've tested dozens of providers and rounded up the 5 best iPhone VPNs on the market today right here.
What makes the best iPhone VPN?
We recommend paying attention to three main areas when it comes to choosing an iPhone VPN: speed, security, and support. And, 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 (opens in new tab) is our top pick.
The number of servers available is important – ExpressVPN offers around 3,000, rival NordVPN over 5,000 – 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.
So, below is our rundown of the five very best iOS VPNs and what they can do for you – all you need to do is pick which one to go with.
1. ExpressVPN – our favorite iPhone VPN (opens in new tab)
An iOS VPN needs to be simple, usable, and powerful – just like your iPhone. ExpressVPN is the absolute best of the bunch, with clean, clear apps and tons of configuration, plus some more unusual privacy features. You can also claim three months FREE through Tom's Guide.
2. Surfshark – great value plus top usability (opens in new tab)
Surfshark is the most affordable iPhone VPN – but you won't be making any sacrifices as the apps are easy to use, and you'll be able to use features like BlindSearch and HackLock, too. Best of all, though, right now it works out at less than $2.50 a month.
3. NordVPN – an excellent choice for an iOS VPN (opens in new tab)
While its apps aren't quite as perfect as Express's, NordVPN's DNS leak protection, double kill switch, and incredible speeds make up for slight interface issues. Combine that with the 30-day money-back guarantee, and it's a very appealing package.
Our list of the 5 best iPhone VPNs for iOS today(opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN simply provides everything you need from an iPhone VPN. It's quick, private and simple to use, and seeing as the apps over all platforms are virtually identical, once you've used one you'll have mastered them all.
You'll get over 3,000 servers in 94 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.
Beyond technicalities, though, ExpressVPN's iOS interface is excellent and makes it super simple to access these 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.
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 we've had any problem – big or small – the agent has come in clutch and figured it out for us.
If we had to split hairs, we wish ExpressVPN offered a few more simultaneous connections. However, while you can only use five devices on the same account at the same time, you can have the app downloaded on as many as you like. That's plenty for the vast majority of users – and if it's not, 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 look no further.
Get three months FREE of the best iPhone VPN (opens in new tab)
Tom's Guide readers can bag three months free on a 12-month plan, which is excellent value for the best iOS VPN. If you're not sure, though, you'll also be covered by the 30-day guarantee, so you can try before you buy with absolutely no risk.
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 our Surfshark review we 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 – plus it's a good Netflix VPN.
Surfshark has also recently added widgets that streamline the connection process even more, and you'll now be able to report bugs from within the app. And, 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 iPads to your Mac or Windows PC. It's even got a class-leading Linux VPN application.
While it's not quite as well-rounded as ExpressVPN, Surfshark's not far off. It provides a deceptively simple iPhone VPN that punches well above its weight and genuinely competes with the very best, regardless of price.
Sign up now on the Surfshark website (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
As you would expect from the biggest name in VPN, NordVPN provides hugely popular and secure services, and its iPhone VPN is no exception, impressing us in our full NordVPN review.
With great speeds across the majority of its 5,000+ servers, Nord's sure to provide you with a good connection, and its top-tier encryption plus extra features like Onion over VPN and Double VPN will keep you nice and anonymous.
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, and this doesn't work as well on mobile as it does on a monitor, making it slightly awkward to use. This is a very minor issue, though, as you won't really be spending more than a couple of minutes in the app itself.
Other 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.
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. 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.
Sign up now on the NordVPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Ever-improving, Proton VPN 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 with a private VPN DNS network, super secure servers and a verified zero-logging policy, for those that prize their anonymity it's great choice.
Surprisingly, though, there are few sacrifices to be made. 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 4.4 – 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 and huge amount more. Don't be overwhelmed though – it works perfectly out the box, too.
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, you can even try the free VPN first.
Sign up now on the Proton VPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Perhaps a bit of an outlier here, Hide.me is a smaller provider that's well-known for its seriously powerful apps that go above and beyond the functionality often demanded from mainstream VPNs – and its iPhone VPN app is no exception.
While many other VPNs for iOS have somewhat limited functionality compared to their desktop brethren, in our Hide.me review we found it to be almost as powerful. With an infinitely sortable server list, full ping time info, IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP & TCP, and WireGuard protocols, alongside a kill switch, autoconnect and even customizable DNS servers, there's a heck of a lot here to play with – if you're so inclined.
For newbies it all could be a bit much, but in practice it's still as plug-and-play as the better-known options further up this page.
In terms of aesthetics, Hide.me is crisp and clear, and while it doesn't quite have the polish of, say, ExpressVPN, it's a professional looking product that's pleasant to use.
What's more, just like Proton VPN, Hide.me offers a powerful free version that's perfect for testing out its service before committing your hard-earned cash, so it could be a good idea to give it a trial run beforehand.
Combined with near class-leading speeds – especially when using OpenVPN – and great streaming performance, Hide.me is a great shout as an iPhone VPN, and when installed as a Windows VPN, there's even more to explore.
Sign up now on the Hide.me website (opens in new tab)
Best iPhone VPNs for iOS FAQ
What is the best iPhone VPN in 2023?
From our rigorous testing, we rate ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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 iPhone VPN 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.