While the iPhone’s iOS operating system has proven to be somewhat resistant to malware and viruses, it’s still susceptible to the same perils that any internet-connected device is faced with.
Using the right VPN has become increasingly important in recent years.
Connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots exposes iPhone mobile users to man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing attempts, and the other perils that come along as part of the deal when using the unencrypted internet.
However, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can protect iPhone users from these online perils.
A VPN is a powerful tool and also provides a reliable way to gain access to online content that is normally blocked in your area of the world. This includes streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and numerous other video streaming services.
How to Use a VPN With Your iPhone
To use a VPN with your iPhone, do the following:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my #1 pick.)
- Install the VPN from the iOS App Store on your iPhone.
- Log into the VPN service.
- To protect your in-country online activities, select a VPN server located inside your country. Or, to access geo-blocked content in another country, select a VPN server located in the country you’re trying to access.
- Enjoy your newly secured internet access!
Best VPN Services for Use With the iPhone
These 5 VPN services have proven to do the best job of protecting and enhancing your iPhone’s online activities. If you’re short on time, here’s a summary:
- ExpressVPN: My top choice for protecting your iPhone, this provider offers comprehensive online privacy and the best security for your iPhone-related online activities, all via a reliable app. The provider’s fast connections and excellent global server coverage provide access to content around the globe.
- NordVPN: This budget-priced VPN provider makes an excellent option for iPhone users looking to save money on comprehensive VPN protection. The provider offers well-protected connections, ensuring that users aren’t lacking reliable VPN protection merely because they’re looking to save money on a VPN subscription.
- CyberGhost: New iPhone owners and folks who don’t have much experience in using a VPN are recommended to consider this provider. It offers easy-to-use apps, fast connection speeds, and streaming- and downloading-optimized servers around the globe.
- VyprVPN: This provider offers a reliable iPhone app that delivers comprehensive online protection thanks to its military-level encryption, kill switch protection, custom DNS servers and proprietary Chameleon protocol that helps hide your VPN activity.
- Surfshark: This relatively recent addition to the VPN ranks is doing an excellent job of establishing itself as an attractive VPN option for iPhone users. In addition to above-average connection speeds, the provider offers an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
As you consider each VPN provider, you’ll find that each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. While a provider may offer excellent global server coverage, it may lack a bit in the connection speed department. Meanwhile, another provider may offer excellent customer support, but lack app offerings for a large number of connected devices.
This is why it’s important to consider each provider’s service offerings carefully.
When ranking the best VPN services to use with your iPhone, I considered the following factors:
- iPhone app support (that’s an easy one)
- Global server coverage
- Download speeds
- Online security
- No-logs privacy protection
- Customer support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPN companies for iPhone:
ExpressVPN, my top choice for protecting your iPhone, delivers fast, well-protected connections and provides excellent geo-blocked content via its comprehensive global fast server network.
The provider offers apps for the iOS platform (which includes the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) for devices running iOS 10 or later.
In addition to iOS, the provider also offers native app support for the macOS, Windows, Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, Chromebook and Linux platforms. Browser extensions for the Firefox and Chrome platforms are also available, as is wide-ranging router support. Up to 5 devices can connect concurrently to the service using the same username.
ExpressVPN’s global server network consists of over 3,000 servers stationed in 94 countries around the globe. The network delivers optimal access to geo-blocked content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other popular streaming services.
Your iPhone is an always-connected mobile device, and no matter if you’re connected to your cellular provider or you’re using a Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s important not to slow your connection speeds as much as possible.
ExpressVPN provides fast download speeds, the fastest VPN servers in my most recent round of VPN speed tests. Plus with unlimited bandwidth, the provider never restricts your use with daily or monthly data caps.
ExpressVPN’s no-server-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option have things covered on the privacy end of things. Plus, the provider offers TrustedServer protection, where all servers run entirely in RAM, not from hard drives, meaning all of your data is wiped with every reboot.
Always-available customer support options include 24/7 live chat, a trouble ticket system, email support and a support knowledge base.
- iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app support
- Excellent global server coverage
- Fast download speeds
- Top-notch online privacy and security protections
- Always-available support
- More expensive than some other VPNs
BEST VPN APP FOR iPHONE:ExpressVPN is the best choice for iPhone users looking to protect and enhance all of their online activities on their iPhone or other iOS devices. In addition to an easy-to-use app, the provider also delivers fast, well-protected connections to most countries around the world. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is a popular VPN service for the iOS and offers an excellent option for budget-minded users who require comprehensive VPN protection for their iPhone, but don’t want to drain their bank account to do it.
NordVPN offers apps for the iOS family of devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) running iOS 11 or later. Apps are also available for the Android, Android TV, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is router support for numerous routers. Up to 6 devices can be connected at once on a single set of login credentials.
The provider’s global server network includes 5,600+ servers stationed in 59 countries, offering access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming platforms.
While this VPN’s connection speeds won’t exactly set the internet on fire, they are more than up to smooth streaming of HD video, online gaming and basically any other iPhone-related online activity. No data caps to worry about here.
A no-server-logs ever policy protects your privacy, as does a cryptocurrency subscription payment option.
Around-the-clock customer support is there when you need it, thanks to 24/7 support chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Servers in 59 countries
- Support for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Best low-priced options
- Slowest connection speeds on this list
BEST LOW-PRICE VPN APP OPTION:Budget-minded iPhone users looking for above-average VPN protection at a below-average price will appreciate the useful advanced features of NordVPN. The provider offers well-protected connections to content around much of the globe. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
If you’re new to the mobile scene, or if you’ve never used a VPN before, you should take a close look at what this VPN offers.
CyberGhost offers an easy-to-use app for iOS devices running iOS 9.3 or later. Apps are also available for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, macOS, Linux and Windows devices. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Router support is also available. Up to 7 devices can connect concurrently on the same login.
With over 5,700 servers based in 89 countries, CyberGhost has most of the world covered. A good number of those servers are optimized for streaming from various streaming services around the globe, and the network also includes numerous file sharing-optimized servers.
Those streaming and file sharing servers benefit from fast connections that can easily handle HD and 4K streaming, as well as sharing and downloading large files.
All CyberGhost connections are protected using banking-level strong encryption, kill switch protection, and DNS leak prevention. In addition, Wi-Fi Auto-Protect automatically turns on VPN protection when you connect to a new, unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot.
Unfortunately, the iOS app is missing the desktop app’s ability to block ads and malware and to force websites to serve up HTTPS pages.
Privacy protection is also optimal at CyberGhost thanks to a total lack of server logs, as well as a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Always-on support consists of 24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support database.
- Streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers
- Fast download speeds
- No server logs
- Wi-Fi Auto-Protect
- Mobile app is missing some of the desktop app features
EASY-TO-USE iPHONE VPN APP OPTION:CyberGhost is my recommended VPN for new iPhone or VPN users who are looking for an easy method of protecting and enhancing their online activities. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
VyprVPN offers optimal protection for the iPhone and other iOS devices. The provider owns and operates its entire global server network, keeping third-party contractors away from your personal data.
This provider’s iOS app works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS 10.0 or later. In addition, apps are also available for the Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire, macOS and Windows device platforms.
Router support is also available, but browser extensions are not. 5 devices can connect simultaneously on each account.
VyprVPN global server coverage includes 700+ proprietary servers, stationed in 65 countries. The fact that the provider owns and operates its server network means that third-party contractors never have access to your information, providing an extra layer of privacy.
VyprVPN’s connection speeds are mid-level at best, but still have enough oomph to stream HD video, and can also handle online gaming and likely any other online activities you enjoy on your iPhone. No data caps or any other restrictions to worry about.
VyprVPN connections are protected by military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and the ability to use custom DNS servers. Automatic public Wi-Fi protection protects your iPhone when you connect to an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot. The service’s “Chameleon” protocol hides your VPN activity.
The provider doesn’t keep any type of user logs on its servers, but lacks a cryptocurrency payment option for completely anonymous subscription payments.
Always-available customer support is made up of 24/7 support chat, email support, a support contact form and a searchable troubleshooting database.
- Reliable mobile connection protection
- Automatic VPN protection on public Wi-Fi
- Proprietary server farms
- Monthly cost more expensive than many competitors
- No cryptocurrency payment option
OFFERS EXTRA LAYER OF PRIVACY:VyprVPN’s self-owned and operated server farms ensure that your personal information will be kept out of the hands of third-party contractors. Automatic public Wi-Fi protection ensures that you’re protected from prying eyes when you’re using your favorite coffee shop’s hotspot. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of VyprVPN.
Surfshark is an up-and-coming VPN provider that offers a reliable iOS app, a small but quickly growing server network, and more.
The provider’s iOS app works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch mobile devices running iOS 9.3 or later. Apps are also available for the Android, Amazon Fire, Linux, macOS and Windows platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as is support for a variety of routers. The provider allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, making this an attractive option for users who require protection for a large number of devices.
While the provider’s global server network is a bit thin coverage-wise, its server count of 1,000+ servers in 61+ countries has nearly doubled from this time last year. The servers do offer reliable access to Netflix, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer and numerous other streaming services.
The connections provided by Surfshark’s servers provide plenty of bandwidth for video streaming, gaming, and downloading and sharing files. No data caps to worry about with this provider.
All Surfshark connections are connected by bank-grade strong encryption, a kill switch, and a feature to automatically turn on VPN protection when you connect to an unsecured network like a public Wi-Fi hotspot. “Multi-Hop” routes your internet connection through dual VPN servers for added protection.
Surfshark keeps no server logs of any kind and keeps your subscription payment info anonymous by accepting Bitcoin.
Customer support is an always-available proposition, thanks to 24/7 live chat, a support request form and a searchable knowledge base.
- Fast connections
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Thin but quickly growing global server network
- Monthly subscription option is a bit expensive
GREAT FOR LARGE GROUPS OF USERS:Surfshark delivers reliable protection for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. The provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections policy allows even large groups of users to protect their devices on the same login. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Can I Use a Free VPN App With My iPhone?
While it won’t require a considerable effort to find a free VPN that works with your iPhone, there’s a better than good chance that you will not be happy with the experience due to a lack of privacy protection and their less-than-convenient services.
Free VPNs are lacking in privacy. Even “free” VPNs need to make money somehow, and some do it by monitoring their users’ online activities and then selling that info to advertisers and other parties that are willing to pay for that valuable information.
Meanwhile, other freebie providers have been caught injecting advertisements and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions.
As for the “less than convenient” part, you’ll find that when you log into your free VPN provider, you may be forced to sit in a virtual queue, waiting until you’re given the green light to connect to a server.
Once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll likely find that you’re either presented with a limited number of servers to select from, or that you’re automatically connected to a server of the VPN provider’s choice.
Once you are connected, you may find that your connection speeds are heavily throttled. (Free VPNs like to preserve as much bandwidth as possible for their paying customers.) Plus, you’ll likely be hit with a daily or monthly data cap.
I don’t know about you, but none of this sounds like a good experience to me.
What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
A VPN both protects and enhances your iPhone-related online activities, as well as those of all of your other connected devices.
In the protection category, a VPN encrypts your internet connection, preventing any interested third parties from monitoring your online activities.
Nosy Nellies that would be interested in your online antics can include your Internet Service Provider (they can sell your usage info to advertisers and other third parties), hackers (they can steal your personal info, including banking info and other sensitive information), and law enforcement and other government agencies (because they’re the government, and they always want to know what their citizens are up to).
ISPs have also been caught throttling or blocking their customers’ internet connections, only because they’re streaming from “unapproved” sources or they’re sharing files with other users. A VPN’s encrypted tunnel prevents an ISP from monitoring your online activities.
If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone or another iOS device, there’s a good chance that you’re connected to an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot. The provider’s encrypted protection keeps you safe from hackers when you’re banking, paying bills, shopping or engaging in other online activities.
A VPN can also expand your online activity possibilities, as it can temporarily assign a new IP address to your iPhone.
Since an IP address can be used to determine your physical location, a spoofed address makes it appear as if you’re in another location around the globe. This opens access to geo-blocked content like streaming services, gaming arenas, and even financial services that might be blocked due to security concerns.
When your iPhone is connected to the internet (and your iPhone is always connected), you’re an open target for nosy third parties that are looking to monitor your online travels. A Virtual Private Network – like my #1 top pick, ExpressVPN – protects your online activities from prying eyes, while also enhancing your online entertainment possibilities.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN Apps available today and is a powerful tool. It offers robust connection protection, blazing download speeds, and a global server network providing reliable access to geo-blocked content around the world. It’s an excellent choice for iPhone users who will also appreciate the provider’s easy-to-use iOS app that provides simple, one-tap protection from the dangers of the internet.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.
iPhone VPN Q&A
⭐Is a VPN Safe To Use on iPhone?
The answer can best be summed up in a single word: “Absolutely.” As long as you select a reputable VPN provider like any of the five I’ve listed in this article, you are safe using a VPN with your iPhone mobile device. Make sure the provider keeps no logs of any kind, and never shares any information with marketing partners.
⭐Should VPN Be Turned On or Off?
Ideally, your VPN should always be turned on. This is especially important if you’re a regular user of unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspots. Even if you only use your secured home network, turning on your VPN can offer added protection, open access to geo-blocked content, and prevent connection throttling by your ISP.
⭐What is The Best VPN for an iPhone in China?
ExpressVPN provides the best VPN protection from inside of China. The provider offers well-encrypted internet connections, and continues to be able to work around the Great Firewall of China. The provider isn’t based in China, and has no servers located inside of China, so it isn’t beholden to the country’s data retention or data sharing laws.
⭐Do I have to configure my iPhone manually?
While most VPN providers offer information on how to set up their VPN protections on your iPhone manually, there is no need to do so. All of the providers mentioned in this article offer easy-to-use apps that do all configuration automatically. You simply install the provider’s app, enter your login credentials, and tap a server name to connect. No complicated setup required.