Apple’s iPhone is widely regarded as a stable and secure smartphone, but that isn’t to say that iOS doesn’t have its own issues regarding security and privacy – particularly in today’s climate of hacking and security breaches. Using one of the best VPN services ensures you retain your digital privacy, while also allowing for other neat features like accessing geo-restricted content and circumventing censorship.
How to choose the best VPN service for iPhone/iOS
There’s no shortage of VPNs with decent iOS support, with many providers offering dedicated iOS apps, which is obviously a main consideration here – and preferably the software will be easy-to-use, and yet provide enough options for more advanced users to be able to tweak things.
Below are the five best VPN services for iPhone/iOS that we've picked out for you.
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Best all-round VPN
Number of servers: 850+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
IPVanish delivers consistently great performance, and indeed actually improved our download speeds by around 15% over long distances, with even faster results when it came to some short hops. The native client supports iOS 8 or better, works equally well on iPads and connects automatically anytime internet traffic is detected. It also suggests the fastest server based on your location and ping time.
When it comes to security, the service offers a broad range of protocols, and on the privacy front, IPVanish doesn’t record any online activity or connection data while using the iOS app.
In short, the only niggle with IPVanish is its pricing. There is no free trial available and the service is slightly more expensive than others. That said, the three plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year subscription is the most affordable option. The packages available are:
Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: 200,000+ | Maximum devices supported: 3-5
This Switzerland-based provider owns and operates all of its servers, and boasts exceptional performance levels as a result. Our tests revealed an outstanding boost in download speeds, with performance being over twice as fast as our regular rates.
The native app supports iOS 9 and higher, plus it comes with useful features like automatic fastest server selection, iPad compatibility and automatic encryption of untrusted Wi-Fi connections. It’s also worth noting that VyprVPN doesn't restrict your connections by IP address (i.e. you can access the network via your router, mobile phone network via 3G/4G and so forth).
There are only two pricing plans to choose from, and you can be billed either monthly or annually. Going the yearly route offers a big saving. Make sure you use the three-day free trial to properly test the service as VyprVPN doesn’t allow refunds. The packages available are:
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $3.75 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 1301 | Server locations: 61 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
NordVPN’s iOS app is user-friendly with an eye-pleasing interface. Everything is well organized, with at-a-glance information displayed by the ‘quick connect’ widget which details the closest server, availability, load percentage and so on. This provider’s network boasts a plentiful amount of servers, and offers perfectly acceptable performance.
On the security front, NordVPN supports 256-bit encryption, and offers an automatic kill switch, along with double data encryption (which passes your data through two separate VPN servers). This provider also has a clear ‘no logs’ policy which is good news on the privacy front.
Potential customers can sign up for a free trial (you can find that tucked away here), which is useful as the monthly billing is certainly on the expensive side. The rest of the paid subscriptions are much more reasonably priced, and indeed if you want to commit longer-term, the two-year plan actually offers fantastic value. The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$7.00 a month] 6-months - $42.00
- [$5.75 a month] 1-year - $69.00
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $79.00
Best VPN for streaming
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 145 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
This British Virgin Islands-based provider has a large server network that managed to provide very good speeds throughout our testing. The provider also has no trouble helping you access services like Netflix and Hulu, making it ideal for streaming.
The iOS client features a user-friendly interface that focuses on smart server selection via different filters. Users can connect with a single tap, while the app itself supports iOS 7 and higher, a significantly wider level of support for the iPhone than found elsewhere.
ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN as its main pillar of security, along with 256-bit encryption. There is also an automatic kill switch and private, encrypted DNS on every server. The provider doesn't collect or log traffic data or browsing activity.
The downside here is that the service is among the pricier VPNs out there, and there’s no free trial either. The most affordable option is the yearly subscription, as ever. The packages available are:
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.95
- [$6.67 a month] 12-months (plus 3 free months) - $99.95
Most affordable VPN
Number of servers: 400+ | Server locations: 30+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
SaferVPN offers lots of quality software clients, and the iOS app is no exception. You can connect with a simple tap without any prior configuration as the app automatically determines the best server locations for optimal performance. The client also automatically protects data over any unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot.
SaferVPN manages its own network. In our performance tests, we found speeds were pretty good compared to rivals, and we obtained solid download rates even over longer distances.
On the downside, this VPN records a great deal of session data, although none of this is related to your actual activities online – but it’s still far more information than competitors collect, generally speaking.
The service boasts a free access-all-areas 24-hour trial to check it out. Among the three price plans, the 2-year plan offers the best value. The packages available are: