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6 Best FREE VPNs for iPhone & iPad (Tested September 2022)

Ashleigh Naidoo
Last Updated by Ashleigh Naidoo on September 01, 2022

There are hundreds of free iOS VPNs, but finding a good one is surprisingly hard. I’ve tested many free VPNs that slow my iPhone down, drain its battery life, and even collect my private data. Worse still, some of these free VPNs have high ratings on the App Store.

So you don’t have to rely on trial and error like I did, I ranked the best free VPNs for iOS 14 and older. Each VPN has a custom iOS app and protects your internet connection whether you’re using your home network, public WiFi, or mobile data. However, free VPNs do come with minor cons, like data limits, small server numbers, and slow speeds.

If you’d rather use a VPN without any restrictions, ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for iPhone and iPad. It has unlimited data, thousands of global servers, streaming and torrenting support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. When I tested the money-back guarantee, my refund was approved in minutes and the money returned within 1 week.

Try ExpressVPN on iOS today!

Quick Guide: Best iOS VPN Apps for Free in 2022

  1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for iPhone and iPad with high-speed global servers, unlimited data, a strict no-logs policy, and 30-day money-back guarantee. Try ExpressVPN on iOS!
  2. CyberGhost — Optimized servers for high-quality iOS streaming, but only free for 45 days.
  3. Hotspot Shield — Free 500MB of daily data, but only 1 US server.
  4. TunnelBear — Connect to servers in 48 countries, but limited to 500MB free data each month.
  5. Hide.me — 10GB free monthly data with powerful privacy features for iOS, but only 5 server locations available.
  6. ProtonVPN — Unlimited free data for browsing iPhone or iPad, but doesn’t allow streaming or torrenting.

Try ExpressVPN risk-free on iOS!

The Best Free VPNs for iPhones and iPads (Tested September 2022)

1. ExpressVPN — #1 iPhone and iPad VPN With Fast Speeds, Top Security, and Guaranteed Anonymity

Key Features:

  • Unlimited data for endless browsing, streaming and torrenting
  • 3000 servers in 94 countries for global internet access
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands with audited no-logs policy, advanced encryption, and leak protection
  • Native app for iOS 10 and later (plus Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Windows, Android, smart TVs, routers, and more)
  • Supports 5 device connections at the same time

While it’s not a free service, ExpressVPN provides the best, most comprehensive VPN service for your iPhone and iPad, as well as other devices. It does come with a money-back guarantee that gives you 30 days to try it. This makes ExpressVPN a great choice if you want to test the service before committing.

Although ExpressVPN is compatible with many different operating systems and devices, I found it to be especially intuitive on iOS. ExpressVPN works with all Apple devices and includes a Smart DNS service called MediaStreamer. This allowed me to access streaming sites on my Apple TV, which doesn’t offer a native ExpressVPN app. You can even encrypt your Apple Watch data with ExpressVPN if you tether it to your iPhone.

I was impressed by the fast speeds, especially when using far away servers on its global network. The speed on my iPhone XS never fell below 89Mbps, even while testing servers in Australia — it only dropped 25% of my usual internet connection, which isn’t much considering the distance. I suggest using its proprietary Lightway protocol (ExpressVPN’s version of the new WireGuard), which is the best combination of speed and security.

ExpressVPN’s fast speeds meant I could stream, download, and browse online with zero lag

After testing multiple servers, I can confidently say that ExpressVPN is consistently fast enough for streaming and downloading without any lags or interruptions. I tested ExpressVPN with top services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Popcorn Time by connecting to multiple servers. ExpressVPN worked with every streaming service I tested.

Access to streaming services is just one perk of ExpressVPN’s military-grade encryption, which effectively masks your IP address with zero data leaks. With ExpressVPN’s high-level protection you can safely use your iPhone or iPad on any network, including public WiFi and 3G, 4G, and 5G data, without risking your data security. You’re also protected by ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology, which guarantees your online activity is never logged or stored — every time the server reboots, all traces of your data are instantly erased. This zero-logs policy is backed up by several independent audits so you can rest assured you’re completely anonymous every time you use ExpressVPN on your iOS devices.

Although I never experienced connectivity issues, I was disappointed to find that ExpressVPN doesn’t offer kill switch functionality on its iOS apps. This means your IP address and activity could potentially be exposed if the VPN connection is interrupted.

I thought there might be a hidden catch when it came to its money-back guarantee — so I was impressed to find none. I tested ExpressVPN’s refund policy and it really is a “no questions asked” policy. It took just a couple of minutes to make the request using ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat. Best of all, I had my refund in less than a week. I recommend that you sign up for ExpressVPN through its website as that means you’ll deal directly with the company when contacting support. If you sign up through the App Store, you have to contact Apple and it can be a tedious process to get help that way.

You’re protected by the 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with ExpressVPN

Try ExpressVPN risk-free!

September 2022 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Unlimited Bandwidth on iOS App and Free for 45 Days

Key Features:

  • No data caps for unlimited streaming, browsing, and more
  • 8200 servers in 91 countries for easy global connections
  • Zero-logs policy keeps your data secure and anonymous
  • Dedicated app for iOS 13 and later (plus Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, and more)
  • Supports 7 device connections at the same time

CyberGhost’s iOS app features optimized streaming servers that are ideal for reliably connecting to your favorite services. During tests, my team and I found CyberGhost’s optimized servers easily accessed services like Netflix US, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. I was especially impressed that CyberGhost worked with my streaming apps, as many VPNs can only access streaming services on mobile through a browser like Safari.

With CyberGhost’s optimized servers also come solid download speeds, so I didn’t experience any lag or buffering while streaming. I could also browse online and even play mobile games without experiencing interruptions.

I could stream and browse lag-free with CyberGhost’s connections

I did notice a drop in speed when I connected to distant servers. This is to be expected as increased distance means it takes longer for data to reach the server and return to your device. I didn’t notice much of a difference to my connection, but if your regular internet speeds are slower this could impact your speed more significantly. For the fastest connection, choose a server close to your physical location.

CyberGhost’s overall security is impressive, with military-grade encryption securing your iOS device connection. Unlike ExpressVPN, CyberGhost has kill switch functionality on its iOS apps so your data is protected even if the connection becomes unstable. I felt reassured my data was safe even when I connected to public WiFi or my mobile network. I was also pleased to see CyberGhost uses RAM-based servers that don’t log or store any user data. This is particularly important as CyberGhost hasn’t undergone an independent audit to verify its no-logs policy — I’m confident that CyberGhost’s servers are literally unable to store any user data.

I found CyberGhost’s iOS apps to be intuitive and easy to navigate, making it a good choice for a user new to VPNs. I was a little disappointed to see the apps aren’t more Apple-integrated, with no haptic menus or widgets. However, it only took 2 taps on my iPhone to open the app and connect to a server, taking less than 30 seconds overall.

You can try CyberGhost for free for 45 days with the money-back guarantee. This makes CyberGhost a good choice if you only need an iOS VPN for a short time, as you can get a full refund once you’re finished using the service. I tested the process by contacting the 24/7 live chat and requesting my money back. The chat took less than 2 minutes and I had my refund in a week.

Try CyberGhost for free!

September 2022 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.29 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 3-year plan (save up to 82%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Hotspot Shield — Military-Grade Encryption to Protect iOS and 500MB Free Data Per Day

Key Features:

  • 500MB daily data allowance for free
  • Only 1 US server location for free users
  • Military-grade encryption and US headquarters
  • Custom app for iOS 12 and later (plus Windows, Mac, and Android)
  • Allows just 1 device connection per account

Hotspot Shield’s free iOS app is a solid choice if you want to browse online with a secure connection. It doesn’t offer unrestricted speeds or data like some other free providers, but it still prioritizes your data security so you can use the web anonymously.

The app features the same military-grade encryption available to premium users, as well as Hotspot Shield’s “perfect forward secrecy.” This extra layer of security gives you a new session key every time you connect to the service — even if a hacker managed to access your connection, they could only see what you’ve done in that single session. Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield’s free iOS app doesn’t have kill switch functionality.

I was disappointed to find that Hotspot Shield capped my connection speed at around 5Mbps, especially as it’s usually such a fast VPN. I tested the service multiple times throughout the day and always had the same result.

Screenshot of Ookla speed test with Hotspot Shield connected to a US server.
I was disappointed that my iPhone speeds for Hotspot Shield were so slow

The website openly states that it caps speeds for free users to prioritize premium customers. However, even with slow speeds, I could easily browse on Safari without any noticeable lag. Unfortunately, this is pretty slow for streaming — which is unfortunate because Hotspot Shield’s US server successfully accessed Netflix in tests.

You don’t need to sign up to use the free iOS app. Simply download Hotspot Shield to your iPhone or iPad and connect straight away.

Get Hotspot Shield for free!

4. TunnelBear — Connect Your iPhone and iPad to Encrypted Servers in 48 Countries for Free

Key Features:

  • 500MB free monthly data
  • Fast connections to servers in 48 countries
  • Based in Canada with audited no-logs policy and advanced encryption
  • Native app for iOS 11 or later (and Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux)
  • Supports 5 device connections at once

TunnelBear is a fast, free VPN with a huge server network. Users have access to every server, which is rare as free VPNs normally limit server numbers. From your iPhone or iPad, you can access servers in Japan, the US, Brazil, New Zealand, and Norway.

During testing, TunnelBear could easily access Netflix libraries around the world without being detected.

Screenshot of TunnelBear connected to a US server with Netflix showing US-only content.
I could access Netflix using TunnelBear’s server

I was also able to access Amazon Prime Video and Hulu using TunnelBear but due to limited data caps, I couldn’t actually stream anything. TunnelBear offers just 500MB data per month, which is enough to check your emails or online bank account securely but not much else. TunnelBear’s data allowance would let you stream about 30 minutes of SD-quality video — but that’s it until the allowance renews the following month.

It’s a shame that the cap is so low as TunnelBear’s speeds are excellent. I ran speed tests using Ookla on more than 10 servers, including the UK, the US, Japan, and New Zealand. On average, my speeds were around 90Mbps with the lowest speed in Japan at 67Mbps. This made it easy to check emails, browse the internet, and shop online from my iPhone without any lag.

If you only need to check the internet a few times while you’re on vacation, TunnelBear is a perfect choice — even despite its strict data cap. You will need to sign up for an account to use TunnelBear’s free iOS app. All you need is a valid email address and password, which TunnelBear stores for operational (login) purposes.

Get TunnelBear for free!

5. Hide.me — Advanced iOS Privacy Features and 10GB Free Monthly

Key Features:

  • 10GB free monthly data allowance
  • 5 server locations in Canada, Germany, Netherlands, US East, and US West
  • Located in Malaysia with kill switch, no-logs policy, leak protection and AES 256-bit encryption
  • Supports iOS 9 or later (plus Windows, Mac, Android, and more)
  • Only allows 1 device connection

Hide.me’s top-tier security is one of the best I’ve seen from a free iOS VPN. It includes advanced features that other services don’t offer, like an automatic kill switch to protect your data if your connection is interrupted.

I was also pleased to find that Hide.me offers DNS and IP address leak protection for free users. I confirmed this by connecting to all available servers and running tests — hide.me successfully hid my data every time, guaranteeing I remained anonymous.

Screenshot of IP leak test showing German locations with hide.me connected to a German server.
I didn’t have to worry about my data security as hide.me had zero leaks

While it’s not possible to stream on Netflix (streaming services are limited for free users), I could use Hide.me to watch YouTube US videos in HD quality. This is due to Hide.me’s uncapped speeds! I ran speed tests for all available servers and they never dropped below 88Mbps (fast enough to browse, shop online, and even watch a few videos without any buffering). With a 10GB monthly limit, Hide.me gives you enough data for around 10 hours of HD streaming.

You don’t even need to create an account to use the service — just download the app to your iPhone or iPad and connect to a server.

Get hide.me for free!

6. ProtonVPN — Unlimited Data for Free but Only 3 Server Countries

Key Features:

  • Free data with no monthly or daily caps
  • 3 server locations in the Japan, Netherlands, and US
  • Based in Switzerland with military-grade encryption and no-logs policy
  • Supports iOS 11.0 or later (and Mac, Windows, Android, and Linux)
  • Allows 1 device connection only

ProtonVPN is a fast free VPN for iOS with no data or bandwidth caps. Better still, the free plan has the same military-grade encryption as its premium software. As ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, it isn’t required to store user data — and independent audits have confirmed the iOS app is secure.

While you can only choose from 3 server locations, I was impressed by the connection speeds. During tests, the Netherlands had an average of 40Mbps, but Japan barely hit 10Mbps download speeds. The US servers had an average speed of 100Mbps, which is fast enough to browse, bank, and shop online. Unfortunately, ProtonVPN’s free service doesn’t allow streaming or torrenting.

Screenshots of Ookla speed test result when connected to one of ProtonVPN's free US servers.
I was impressed by ProtonVPN’s unlimited speed on its free server options

I was also disappointed to find that the free account is missing NetShield (ad ad and malware blocker), and the ProtonVPN’s iOS app lacks a kill switch. However, there’s an “Always On” feature that automatically reconnects to a VPN server. As ProtonVPN can take several seconds to connect, this does pose the risk of some data leaking.

You can download ProtonVPN’s iOS app totally free, though you do have to sign up for an account with a valid email address (although you can use a throwaway email for better anonymity.

Get ProtonVPN for free!

Comparison Table: 2022’s Best iOS VPNs for iPhone and iPad

Free Plan Monthly Data Server Countries Unblocks Netflix Device Limit
ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee Unlimited 94 5
CyberGhost 45-day money-back guarantee Unlimited 91 7
Hotspot Shield 15GB 1 1
TunnelBear 500MB 48 5
Hide.me 10GB 4 1
ProtonVPN Unlimited 3 1

Try ExpressVPN risk-free!

Are Free VPNs Really Safe for iPhone or iPad? (Surprising Results)

Yes, some free VPNs really are safe to use. However, the safest free VPNs services are offered by premium VPN companies. These companies cover the cost of operating a free VPN with revenue from paying customers so they don’t have to sell your data to advertisers like some free options. They also perform well because they’re like a sample of the premium subscription — the free service shows how secure, fast, and user-friendly the VPN is but has some limitations (like not being able to use Netflix or having a data cap).

Unfortunately, plenty of VPNs on the App Store advertise as 100% free and secure when it’s actually the opposite. Many free VPNs lie about the level of encryption offered, inject ads into your web browser, sell your internet history to the highest bidder, and even install unwanted software onto your iPhone or iPad (like adware or spyware).

Some of these free VPNs even have high ratings, making it even more difficult to figure out which ones are safe. An example is VPN 360, which has over 29,000 ratings and 4.5 stars out of 5. This VPN logs URLs visited through its connection and can impose data logging whenever it wants to (the privacy policy states it will disclose your information to the authorities if deemed necessary). Never randomly download any free VPN you come across on the App Store without conducting prior research.

My personal recommendation is to take advantage of a premium VPN’s money-back guarantee. For instance, CyberGhost is a premium VPN and it’s free for 45 days with the money-back guarantee. Just remember to ask for a refund after you sign up and you’ll be able to use every advanced feature for the remainder of your money-back guarantee period.

You can use CyberGhost at no cost with this simple hack (I’ve even done it myself)

Get CyberGhost for free!

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for iPhone and iPad

I ran tests on all the top iOS VPNs out there (paid and free) using my iPhone XS and iPad, both running iOS 14. I checked each VPN for:

  • Hidden catches. Free VPNs have limitations, but some are so limited they are barely usable. I checked for generous data allowances, no speed caps, streaming and torrenting support, and reliable server connections at all times.
  • Top-tier security and privacy policies. Even a free VPN should have military-grade encryption and leak protection. I also examined each VPN’s privacy policy to ensure your data isn’t sold to advertisers or other third parties.
  • User-friendly iOS apps for iPhone and iPad. I looked at how easy it was to download, install, and set up the apps on an iPhone XS and an iPad.
  • Fast speeds with minimal battery drain. I ran multiple speed tests to ensure every VPN is fast enough to browse, shop online, and stream without draining my iPhone and iPad’s battery.

Try ExpressVPN today!

4 Easy Steps: How to Download and Use a VPN on iPhone

  1. Sign up for the VPN and download it to your iPhone from the app store. I recommend you try ExpressVPN on iOS as it has high-level encryption, fast speeds, and zero limitations.
    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's website with subscription and download options for iOS.
  2. Sign in with your account details once the VPN app is installed. Some VPNs don’t require you to sign in at all!
    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's iPhone app on the login screen
  3. Tap “Allow” to add the VPN configuration file. You’ll be prompted to enter your iPhone passcode.
    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's iOS app requesting permission to allow VPN configurations.
  4. Connect to a server and start using the internet securely!

Download ExpressVPN for iOS

FAQ: Free VPNs and iPhones

Which free iOS VPN is the best for Netflix?

During tests, both Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear successfully worked with Netflix. Unfortunately, TunnelBear’s free plan limits you to only 500MB per month and Hotspot Shield only has 1 free server in the US. This is because free VPNs purposefully restrict access to bandwidth so that paying customers have priority (and secretly encourage you to upgrade to a paid plan!).

As a big Netflix UK fan, I don’t want to wait for my free data to renew each month. As a result, I prefer to use a premium VPN to stream Netflix on my iPhone. ExpressVPN has unlimited bandwidth for Netflix streaming in HD and it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied. I even tested the money-back guarantee myself to make sure it works. It only took a couple of minutes over 24/7 live chat to get my refund approved and the money returned to my account in 5 days.

What’s the best free iPhone VPN for China?

Unfortunately, free VPNs are notoriously unreliable in China. Free VPNs simply don’t have the technology to keep you safe from China’s advanced internet surveillance measures, nor the resources to continually break through the country’s firewalls. In fact, only a few premium VPNs even work in China.

ExpressVPN is one of those VPNs and it’s equipped with military-grade encryption to protect your online activity. You can try ExpressVPN in China to see for yourself. It comes with a 30-day guarantee, so you’re entitled to a full refund if it doesn’t meet your needs.

Will a VPN drain my iPhone’s battery?

Like any other app, a VPN will impact your iPhone’s battery life. This is because a VPN constantly encrypts your internet connection, even when background processes like mail syncing are running.

However, I found that ExpressVPN didn’t drain my battery any more than a background app like Netflix or Spotify. If you really need to conserve battery, you can always switch off the VPN connection (although I don’t recommend this if you’re connected to a public WiFi network). Luckily, you can test out ExpressVPN for yourself and see how it affects your own iPhone or iPad. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’re entitled to a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

Will an iPhone VPN work on my other devices?

Yes. For example, ExpressVPN has dedicated apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Windows, Android, and more. In fact, ExpressVPN is even the top-rated VPN for Windows. Better still, you can connect 5 devices on a single subscription.

Unfortunately, you’ll find many other free VPNs only allow you to connect 1 device at a time (although TunnelBear allows 5 device connections, but the trade-off is you only have 500MB of free data per month).

Do free VPNs keep logs?

The free VPNs on this list do not keep any personally identifiable data. However, some of them do store data — information like the time you connect to the VPN server, your approximate location, and other performance-related data. This information is used to run analysis to improve the service and, in some cases, show you advertisements based on your general location.

There are less trustworthy VPNs that log and store your personal data, including your IP address and online activity. This data is then sold to advertisers so they can target you more effectively and so the VPN can make a profit. I’d recommend carefully reading the privacy policy of your chosen free VPN to ensure your data is secure before using it. Or, better yet, you can use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN with a guaranteed no-logs policy. If you want to keep your data 100% secure, there’s no better option.

Try ExpressVPN today!

Protect Your iPhone and iPad With a High-Quality Free VPN

It can be a challenge to find a free VPN that doesn’t compromise the security of your iOS devices. There are a lot of low-quality services that have extreme limitations or shady policies that don’t protect your data. Even worse, many of them have high ratings on the App Store so you can’t easily tell if they’re safe.

Fortunately, every free VPN on this list is designed to protect your iPhone and iPad, as well as other compatible devices. But even safe free VPNs have their own limitations — like a small number of servers, limited data, or no streaming and torrenting support.

For this reason, I recommend you use a premium VPN instead. You can try ExpressVPN on iPhone or iPad risk-free as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you’re entitled to a full refund if you’re not satisfied with its performance (no questions will be asked). I’ve tested the policy out for myself and I confirm it works — it only took a few minutes to get my refund approved over 24/7 live chat and the money returned to my account in under a week.


The Best VPNs for iPhone and iPad in 2022 (With Money-Back Guarantees)

Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.29 / month Save 82%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
HMA VPN
$2.99 / month Save 75%
IPVanish VPN
$3.99 / month Save 64%
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