Though it might seem daunting at first, setting up a VPN on iPhone or iPad is not a tricky as you might think. That being said, you probably want to make sure you're using a top-tier VPN service if you're already rocking the best iPhone or iPad and that doesn't necessarily mean just hunting down an app based on App Store ratings.
There's a lot more to take into account than app reviews alone. From encryption and security to geo-restriction unblocking, of the many iOS VPN options out there, you'll want to make sure your choice has the right features for your needs.
Here's a quick explainer for those who are unsure of what a VPN is. A VPN (short for virtual private network) works by bouncing your signal through another server, using an assigned IP address. All that means you appear to be someone else, somewhere else with encryption being added to any data sent or received. While that's great for anonymity and security, it also means you can appear to be anywhere in the world you need.
So on your iPhone or iPad, no matter where you are or what network connection you're on – be it cellular or Wi-Fi – you can relax knowing you're safe and secure.
Which is the best iPhone and iPad VPN? We've tested a lot of them and narrowed the list down to six that each offers a unique appeal to help you find the best one for you. There are also a lot of great VPN deals that you'll want to check out as well.
How do you pick the best iPhone and iPad VPN?
The majority of VPN services work across various platforms, with most having dedicated iOS and iPadOS apps. That means finding the best VPN for your iPhone, and iPad essentially boils down to finding the best service for your needs since they pretty much all support Apple gear.
A well-designed and functional app is preferable for most people, especially discerning Apple users, though you won't actually spend too long in the VPN's app itself once you've got it up and running. Instead, your focus should probably be on the privacy and security features your VPN service enables (since, you know, that's one of the main reasons to use one) as well as its speed, server count and locations, customer support, and, of course, price.
As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to VPN services, but even the top-tier options aren't super expensive. Most cost just a few dollars a month if you're willing to subscribe for the long term and free trials or money-back guarantees mean you don't have to risk any money to find out if a service is right for you.
We have a full list of picks further down in this guide, but our top three best iPhone and iPad VPN options right now include ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN.
1. ExpressVPN: The absolute best iPhone and iPad VPN option for most people
ExpressVPN is our top pick for any iPhone or iPad user looking to get set up with a VPN. Its balance of speed, reliability, ease of use, and customer service make it a great option for most people.
2. NordVPN: The most well-known iPhone and iPad VPN for security
You've probably heard of NordVPN. It's been around a long time and has been one of the most popular options for a while, offering a high-quality experience for not a lot of cash.
3. Surfshark VPN: The best cheap iPhone and iPad VPN out there
With Surfshark, there is no limit to how many devices you can connect simultaneously, which is great if you have a ton of tech. It's one of the more affordable options, so give it a shot today!
The best iPhone and iPad VPN
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 in 94 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
- Servers in 160 locations
- 100 Mbps download speed
- Great customer support
- Support for all major platforms & browsers
- Netflix unblocking
- Generally more expensive than competitors
- Limited to five simultaneous connections
ExpressVPN may not be the most affordable option, but it still tops our list of best iPhone VPNs thanks to its reliability, fast speeds, and the ability to use it on various platforms with ease. Its iPhone VPN app is well-rated and easy to use for getting service set up and switch locations., too. If you do encounter any issues, 24/7 live support can help you out.
Our pals at Android Central praised ExpressVPN's widespread server availability, super speeds, and ease of setup in their ExpressVPN review. You can use ExpressVPN to add security to your browsing sessions, spoof your location to access geo-restricted media, and more.
In addition to using it as an iPhone or iPad VPN, you can also use ExpressVPN on Mac, Android, Windows, web browsers, and so much more. In fact, the only real downside of ExpressVPN is that you can only use it simultaneously on five devices which is on the lower end, though you can set it up on your Wi-Fi router, which only counts as one connection even if all of your tech is hooked up to Wi-Fi at home.
ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than some of the other services out there but right now you can get 15 months for just $99.95, which is a 49% discount. It breaks down to just $6.67 a month, which isn't a lot of cash for something you'll use daily. Sign up today to make the most of that discount and, if you don't absolutely love the service, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund.
Best server options of any popular iPhone and iPad VPN
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer, Amazon | Servers: 5,500+ | Server Locations: 80+ in 60 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
- Over 5,500 servers
- 2048-bit encryption
- Multiple plan options
- Security breach in 2018
NordVPN is one of the most high-profile VPN services and has been a popular choice for a long time — and for good reason. It offers top-notch security, tons of features, and brings everything together in a rather affordable package.
NordVPN has almost 5,500 servers available to use that are spread across close to 60 different countries. Unlike many others, NordVPN opts to use 2048-bit encryption to keep things as secure as possible, and that's on top of the standard features like DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and more. Its iOS app is well-reviewed and simple to use. It also has a Mac App Store app for your desktop and laptop needs.
One thing that put a ding in NordVPN's reputation was a compromised server back in 2018. After investigating it, and the confirmation from Nord, it was understood that it was a single server with limited information being obtained. Our pals at TechRadar have a great breakdown as to how it happened, so be sure to check that out if it's a concern.
The company offers plans a bunch of different plans ranging from one month to three years. Be sure to check out our NordVPN pricing guide, so you can ensure you get the best price when signing up. You can opt to pay for just a single month of access or go with a one-year or two-year plan and drop the per-month cost down as low as $3. Better yet, the two-year plan includes 3 additional months of access for free right now.
Be sure to check out our full NordVPN review now for more info.
Best budget iPhone and iPad VPN option
Compatible with:iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon | Servers: 3,200+ | Server Locations: 100+ in 65 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- 100% RAM-only servers for extra privacy
- Company based in British Virgin Islands
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fewer servers
Though Surfshark is one of the most affordable iPhone and iPad VPNs, it is still one of the best in terms of features and ease of use. It's got a straightforward iOS and iPadOS app that is well-reviewed, too.
Surfshark used to be somewhat held back by the fact it had fewer servers than a lot of the competition, but that recently changed as its server count has gone up to over 3,000, which is above average. They are spread across 65 different countries, so you have a ton of choices, and Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices to it simultaneously. That's a huge benefit in an iPhone and iPad VPN since you won't need to disconnect one of your gadgets to connect another one.
It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you enough time to try it out and see if it's the iPhone and iPad VPN service for you or not. Be sure to check out our Surfshark review as well. The company recently changed its pricing structure, giving you 24 months of access for just $59.76 total, which breaks down to about 8 cents per day. After the first two years, it renews annually at this price.
Best streaming VPN for iPhone and iPad
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 7,100+ | Server Locations: 110+ in 91 countries | Trial Period: 45 days
- Over 7,000 servers available
- Based in Romania & Germany
- Automatic server matching for geo-restricted content unblocking
- 45-day money-back guarantee on 3-year plan
- Connection speeds are slower than the competition
CyberGhost is a VPN service based out of Romania and Germany, offering over 7,000 different servers that span more than 110 locations around the globe, which is pretty impressive.
It's not just about the number of servers, though, but how easy it is to get the right one for your needs. If streaming media is your priority, CyberGhost really excels in this area. Its app makes it really easy to get access to region-restricted content from several different services. Simply select the geo-blocked service you want from a list, like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc, and then it will show you the best servers to connect to view the content. Once connected to the server, the app will even open a browser window for you to start streaming. Super simple.
The service can block ads, trackers, and malicious sites and even offers data compression to help save you some MBs while on the go.
Thanks to the ease of use, speeds, and reliability it offers, CyberGhost has been able to bring over 10 million users to its service. The pricing is quite competitive, and by signing up for longer-term plans, you can also help reduce the per-month cost of the service. Will you be the company's next subscriber? Check out our full CyberGhost VPN review for all the details.
5. Private Internet Access
iPhone and iPad VPN with tons of server choice
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 28,000+ | Server Locations: 104 in 78 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
- No data limits
- Supports 10 devices at once
- Affordable pricing
- Has kill switch
Private Internet Access, or PIA, has apps for iPhone and iPad that are easy enough to use, if a little stripped-back. The service is solid security-wise, though, with support for L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols.
PIA is a United States-based VPN which is not preferable when it comes to picking a VPN provider since the U.S. is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance which has potential implications for security and privacy. That being said, PIA uses AES 256-bit encryption and has a very clear no traffic logging policy.
If you want to run your VPN on more than just one iOS device (or across various platforms), PIA is perfect for that as it allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is more than many other providers.
PIA is a good choice in terms of price as you can get it for as little as $2 per month when you go for one of its longer-term plans. Don't be put off by the fact that you have to commit to a long-term deal, though, as there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find it doesn't work right for you.
iPhone and iPad VPN with cloud storage included
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu | Servers: 1,600+ | Server Locations: 75+ in 50 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
- Over 40,000 shared IP addresses
- Great customer support
- Now offers unlimited devices to be connected simultaneously
- Cloud storage option
- Some servers appear to be in different places than what's stated
- No iOS kill switch
There's a lot to like about IPVanish including excellent speeds, user-friendly apps, and plenty of server options for streaming content.
For security, IPVanish offers 256-bit encryption and supports the IKEv2, IPSec, and PPTP protocols. A zero-logs policy assures you that you have total privacy without any sort of tracking of your activities. However, IPVanish is also based in the U.S., so it could be forced to hand over any data it does have if compelled to. That being said, the iOS app has no kill switch, so bear that in mind if iPhone and iPad will be the devices you use it on mostly.
IPVanish proved to offer excellent speeds in our testing, so much so that it actually improved our download speeds over long distances compared to our normal rates, and even more so on shorter hops.
Pricing is pretty reasonable, with plans starting at just $3.20 per month. IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, too. Read our IPVanish review for more info on it.
What about the others?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of VPN providers out there, with most claiming to be the best iPhone VPN or best iPad VPN on the market. We do our best to check out all of the most popular options, and we will continue to update this list with more providers as they pass our testing. We've rounded up all the best VPN picks, along with the best free VPNs and best cheap VPNs. Not all of those picks have been vetted to work great on iPhone and iPad, which is why you'll want to refer to the list above first before looking elsewhere.
You can also keep an eye out for VPN deals as a way to help save you some money on your new investment.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
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