What Is The Best VPN for iPhone In 2018?
NordVPN is the best VPN available to protect your always-connected iPhone. Excellent connection speeds, comprehensive global server coverage and great customer support make this provider a top-notch way for iPhone users to hide their online activities and protect their priceless business and personal information.
iPhone users who connect to the internet while sipping their favorite coffee shop’s daily special will appreciate the provider’s ability to keep them protected when connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots.
About the iPhone
The iPhone is a touchscreen-based smartphone designed and manufactured by Apple Inc. The device, which debuted on June 29, 2007, runs the iOS mobile operating system. As of this writing, the latest version of the iOS operating system is iOS 11, which debuted in the fall of 2017.
On January 9, 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the Macworld 2007 event in San Francisco to unveil the original iPhone. Initially, two models were offered, a 4 GB model priced at $499 USD and an 8 GB model at $599 USD, both requiring a two-year contract with the exclusive iPhone carrier, Cingular (later known as AT&T).
The device went on sale at 6 p.m. local time in the United States on June 29, 2007. Hundreds of customers lined up outside of Apple stores around the U.S. to purchase what was soon dubbed by the media as the “Jesus Phone.”
The iPhone was then made available in the United Kingdom, France and Germany in November 2007, with Austria getting the device next, in spring 2008.
The iPhone’s user interface is based around a touchscreen, which uses a virtual on-screen keyboard for text entry. The only physical buttons on the device are the Home button, power button and volume control buttons. (The Home Button is no longer available on Apple’s latest flagship handset, the iPhone X. However, other current models of the device have retained the feature.)
The original iPhone operating system didn’t support third-party apps. Instead, it restricted official app development to “web apps” that ran in the device’s Safari web browser. However, the second version of the OS, which debuted the next year, included an App Store, where third-party apps could be purchased and downloaded.
As of February 2018, there are over 2 million apps in the iOS App Store. That’s quite a jump from the original count of 800 when the App Store debuted in July 2008. In 2017, iOS developers earned $26.5 billion - an over 30% increase over 2016.
The installed base of iPhones reached 1.3 billion in January 2017. The popularity of the device is almost single-handedly responsible for making Apple one of the most valuable publicly-traded companies in the world today.
Top 5 VPNs for iPhone
Why Do You Need a VPN for Your iPhone?
Apple’s iOS mobile operating system boasts the 2nd-largest install base of any mobile OS available today (Android is #1). The iPhone alone has an install base of 1.3 billion - this makes it a particularly attractive target for hackers who would just love to steal your valuable personal and business information while you’re using the device.
While the iOS operating system has proven to be somewhat resistant to malware and viruses, it is still susceptible to the same perils that any internet-connected device is faced with. iPhone users who are out and about are likely to find Wi-Fi hotspots, such as those found in coffee shops, an attractive option to traverse the web while enjoying a hot cup of coffee and biscotti.
Connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots exposes iPhone 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 connection provided by your local Blimpie’s Sandwich Shop.
Even if you’re using your iPhone’s LTE data connection or using your password-protected Wi-Fi network at your home or business, you are still subject to monitoring by local or federal law enforcement, other government agencies and even your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
By making use of the encrypted connection provided by a Virtual Private Network (VPN), iPhone users can easily keep their internet activities safe from prying eyes.
A VPN provides protection by encasing a user’s internet connection in an encrypted tunnel. The encryption prevents outsiders from tracking your online travels and also protects your banking, credit card and shopping information safe from those who would steal it.
In addition to offering encrypted connections, a VPN can make your internet connection appear to be coming from another location, be it another state or a country located halfway around the globe.
That location “spoofing” ability makes a VPN an excellent way to access geographically-blocked content, such as that found on BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Spotify and other video and music streaming services.
Choosing the Best VPN for Use With the iPhone
iPhone users looking for a Virtual Private Network provider to protect their device’s internet connection have no shortage of options.
In fact, there’s an overwhelming array of options, possibly leading to feature comparison fatigue, which could cause a user to use the ever-popular “throw a dart at the board and see which provider it hits” method of selecting a VPN.
I’ve written this article to help my readers avoid this mind-boggling task by narrowing down your decision by presenting what, in my humble, not-so-humble opinion are the 5 best VPNs for use with your iPhone.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll list the categories you should consider when evaluating a VPN and I’ll explain why they’re important factors. Then, I’ll list my top 10 VPNs, ranked in order of how well they perform in that particular category.
Finally, I’ll share detailed information about what I consider are the top 5 VPN providers for use with an iPhone, which will hopefully make your pool of possible candidates much more manageable.
No matter what your favorite internet-connected activity is, a fast connection is always a good thing to have in your back pocket (or wherever else you keep your iPhone).
While you can expect a bit of a connection speed hit when using a VPN, there are providers that offer protected connections with only a minimal speed penalty.
Today’s always-connected world demands a fast connection, because if you’re like me, you access cloud storage, streaming music and video, Skype, FaceTime, gaming and much more when you’re on your iPhone.
The table below ranks my top 10 VPN providers according to the connection speeds they provide. They are ranked from first to worst.
The rankings were calculated by first testing the download speed of my ISP-provided connection. I then connected to each VPN provider and measured the download speed again. The speed percentage number was calculated by comparing the two speeds.
Tests were performed using the Speedtest.net website.
Global Server Coverage
Global server coverage is another category that bears close examination when “browsing” VPN providers. Comprehensive global server coverage is a must for users who may wish to access video, audio or gaming services that might normally be unavailable in their area due to geographical blocking.
A VPN’s ability to make it appear as if your connection is coming from another location offers an excellent way to access geo-blocked content, no matter where it might be located. Always look for a VPN provider that has server farms located strategically around the free world in order to provide maximum utility.
The screenshot below is an example of what optimal global server coverage looks like.
Don’t settle for any VPN provider that supplies less than tip-top privacy protections for your payment information and online activities.
When researching, take note of the country the provider is located in. Is the country a privacy-friendly nation?
Also, find out if the company keeps any logs of your VPN connection and your online activities. If they do keep logs, what kind of information do they save in those logs?
Finally, give extra points to a provider that offers privacy-friendly subscription payment options, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards.
I would never wish technical or billing issues on any of my readers, but the odds are in favor of your having to contact your VPN provider’s customer support department. If you do need assistance, you’re going to want to feel confident that the support agents are going to be there for you.
As a rule, VPN providers offer various methods of support. Support methods can include live support chat, a trouble ticket submission form and a searchable knowledge base.
The list below ranks my top 10 VPN providers in order of best support to worst. Rankings were determined by the types of support offered, as well as the speed and accuracy of their replies.
Note: None of the VPN providers listed below offer phone support.
Other Factors to Consider
While it would be great if the price of a VPN provider weren’t a consideration, I’m guessing that you, like myself, can always appreciate a way to save a few bucks. Thankfully, you don’t always have to pay a high price to get a high-quality VPN provider.
When you’re mulling over VPN pricing, keep in mind that the lowest price isn’t necessarily the best price. Take a close look at the service levels offered by a provider to ensure they aren’t cutting corners in important categories such as customer support, connection speed or server coverage.
Also, keep an eye out for special deals, which many VPN providers offer periodically. These deals can save you a significant amount of money, but you may have to commit to a subscription for an extended period to snag the savings. Visit the providers’ websites to view their latest pricing.
Users on tight monthly budgets, who might not be able to dole out the money for an annual or longer subscription, can take advantage of the month-to-month subscription options offered by most VPN services. FYI: You’ll almost always pay more in the long run if you choose this option.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
A kill switch can prevent your internet connection from being laid bare to hackers and other folks who might be trying to monitor your online activities. It does this by disconnecting your internet connection if your connection to the VPN provider is lost for some reason. Most VPN providers include a kill switch option in their apps.
Since this is a “yes/no” type of question, the providers in the table below are listed alphabetically and designated with a simple “Y/N” to indicate if the provider in question offers kill switch support.