10 Best (Cheap!) VPNs for iPhone, iPad & iOS – Tested 2024

Reading time: 15 min

  • Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony

    Written by: Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony Content Editor

Apple devices are known for their security, but the increase in cyber threats over the years means no iPhone, iPad, or iOS device is truly safe. Every time you go online, you risk exposing your data and activities to hackers, network administrators, advertisers, apps, and other third parties.

You need a VPN for your iOS devices to encrypt your connection, keep your activities private, and your data secure. Unfortunately, not all VPNs are reliable as some drain your battery life and mobile data. Some VPNs may be great for other operating systems, but their iOS apps seem like an afterthought, making them poor value.

I tested over 40 VPNs and found that ExpressVPN is the top choice for iOS devices. Its lightweight protocol, high-speed connections, and strong security features place it miles ahead of its competitors. While it’s not the cheapest VPN in this list, it’s risk-free to try since every plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try ExpressVPN with iPhone

Quick Guide: Best VPN Apps for iPhone and iOS in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — The best VPN for iOS with high-speed servers, advanced security features, a lightweight app, and obfuscation to get around network blocks.
  2. CyberGhost — Watch your favorite shows easily during commutes with optimized streaming servers for as low as $2.03/month, but expect a short 14-day refund period with the monthly plan.
  3. PIA — Cheap long-term VPN with a huge network to prevent overcrowding and slow connections, but US headquarters may be a privacy concern for some.
  4. NordVPN — Meshnet makes it easy to link your mobile devices for file sharing, but it’s not the easiest iOS app to use, especially for beginners.
  5. Surfshark — One of the most feature-rich apps for your iPhone and iPad, but the first few connection attempts may take a while or even fail.

Click here for 5 more top VPNs for iPhone, iPad, and iOS devices.

The Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS (Tested in 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — The Fastest VPN for Streaming, Video Calling, and Gaming on iOS Devices

Key Features:

  • Global network of 3,000+ servers in 105 countries
  • Military-grade encryption, Network Protection, and TrustedServer technology
  • Supports 8 simultaneous device connections, including iOS 12 and up
  • Get help from a knowledgeable and responsive 24/7 live chat or email support team
  • All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN tops this list because it has high-speed servers and a lightweight iOS app. Of the 2 protocols available on my iPhone, I found ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway (UDP) was the fastest. Unlike IKEv2, it ensured my speeds never dropped more than 13% from baseline, even on distant servers. Because of this, all my video calls had excellent quality.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN speed tests showing servers in the US, UK, Australia, and Germany
ExpressVPN gave me really fast speeds on iOS regardless of the server I connected to

I also used its online security tools on my iPhone to test several ExpressVPN servers for DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. All the servers disguised my IP address successfully and kept my data secure — I found leaks that occurred in iOS apps with other VPNs, even with an encrypted connection.

Other advanced ExpressVPN features that secured my iOS data and traffic include:

  • Network protection — this kill switch feature blocks all internet traffic when your VPN connection is interrupted and prevents the common leaks mentioned above when enabled.
  • Advanced protection — blocks ads, trackers, harmful sites, and lets you control access to adult sites.
  • Obfuscation — allows you to access sites blocked by the WiFi network at your workplace or school, for example.
  • Password generator — creates secure passwords and calculates how long it would take for current computers to crack them.
  • ExpressVPN Keys — a password manager that generates secure passwords for your online accounts that are protected with zero-knowledge encryption to ensure only you can access them.

At $6.67 per month (for a 1-year + 3 months plan), ExpressVPN is slightly pricier than my other top VPNs for iOS. However, ExpressVPN is a great value for its ultra-fast servers, security and privacy bonuses like iOS Threat Manager and Advanced Protection.

Regardless of which plan you pick, ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you get a full refund easily. I tested the policy myself by asking for my money back via live chat. A customer support agent approved my request in seconds, and the money was back in my account in 2 days.

ExpressVPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, 10 play, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Showtime, ESPN, beIN, ITVx, SkyGo, Paramount+, PlutoTV, DirecTV, RaiPlay, Crunchyroll, NBC, and more.

ExpressVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Nvidia Shield, Xiaomi Mi Box, Chromecast, Roku, Android TVs, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan + 3 months free (you can save up to 49%)! 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 — Cheap VPN Great for Streaming on iPhone and iPad

Key Features:

  • 11,676+ secure servers in 100 countries
  • AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and WiFi protection
  • Connect 7 iOS devices and others at the same time
  • Prompt customer support via 24/7 live chat, email, and online guides
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on all long-term plans

CyberGhost’s optimized servers make it easy to watch your favorite shows lag-free on any iOS device (version 13.0 and up). They’re available for residents in many countries, including the US, UK, Brazil, Australia, and Japan. These servers are reliable, too — our team in the US found they worked with regional streaming services, like Netflix US, on the first try.

CyberGhost’s optimized servers are more reliable for streaming

On top of the essential security and privacy features you need from iOS VPNs, like military-grade encryption, IP leak protection, and a kill switch, CyberGhost also offers:

  • WiFi protection — allows you to use unsecure public WiFi networks safely by automatically triggering a VPN connection.
  • Secure protocols — provides WireGuard and IKEv2 protocols that are not only safe but also use mobile device resources more efficiently.
  • Dedicated IP — prevents you from sharing your IP address with other users and minimizes the risk of being blocked by certain online services.
  • RAM-based servers — doesn’t store identifiable data, so it doesn’t have any information to provide if requested by authorities.

It’s also a great VPN for beginners as the iOS app is easy to use. The home screen widget allows for 1-click connections — I didn’t even have to open the VPN app. If you need help, you can contact support from the app itself and it will open the web page with the ticket contact form.

On the flip side, CyberGhost’s month-to-month plan only allows you to try it risk-free for 14 days and costs more overall. For a longer guarantee period and a way cheaper monthly fee, try the 2-year + 4 months plan for $2.03 a month. It has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee that CyberGhost honors even if you never intended to subscribe long-term.

I personally made sure that was the case by requesting a refund via live chat after a few weeks of testing CyberGhost. Fortunately, my request was approved in under a minute and the money was back in my account within 3 working days.

CyberGhost works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Showtime, ESPN, ITVx, SkyGo, RaiPlay, Paramount+, PlutoTV, Crunchyroll, NBC, and more.

CyberGhost works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.03 per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 84%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Large Network for Faster, More Reliable Connections on iPhone

Key Features:

  • A huge network of 35,000+ servers in 91 countries
  • Customizable encryption for iOS devices, and MACE ad and malware blocker
  • Help is available via 24/7 live chat, email, and online guides
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA has the largest server network on this list to make congestion-free connections on your iOS device. Overcrowded servers don’t have enough bandwidth to support every user and online activity, which causes slowdowns. But since PIA has 35,000+ servers, the load is so widely distributed that none of the servers I connected to in the US, UK, Japan, and other countries were slow.

Screenshot of Private Internet Access speed tests showing servers in the US, UK, Australia, and Germany
Nearby PIA servers were the fastest but none of those tested lagged

You can expect advanced security and privacy features from PIA for your iPhone and iPad such as:

  • Customizable encryption — choose between 128-bit encryption to optimize speed and 256-bit for better security with OpenVPN protocol or IKEv2 to balance both.
  • Safari content blocker — works in the background to block unwanted ads and trackers directly within Safari.
  • Connection automation — create rules to connect or disconnect PIA automatically after joining certain WiFi networks.
  • Anonymous payment — allows subscription using gift cards from major brands, including Apple.

If you use your iPhone while jogging or driving, PIA has Siri shortcuts to connect and disconnect through voice commands — plus, there’s a widget that works right from the home screen. You can also download InBrowser and log in with your PIA account to keep your browsing history, cookies, and sessions private and wipe them clean after you close the app.

One thing that might raise alarm is that PIA is based in the US, which is the main member of the 5 Eyes Alliance — an online surveillance data monitoring and sharing treaty. However, I wasn’t worried since PIA’s no-log policy has been audited and proven in multiple court cases.

Considering PIA comes with unlimited device connections, it’s one of the cheapest VPNs out there, especially for large households. You can connect every device you own for $2.19 a month with the 3-year + 2 months plan.

If you only need it short-term, it’s also one of the top monthly VPNs. You can even try PIA on iOS for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. My refund request was approved within minutes after reaching out via 24/7 live chat support. The money was returned in 4 days.

PIA works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, ITVx, RaiPlay, PlutoTV, Paramount+, NBC, Crunchyroll, and more.

PIA works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to PIA for as low as $2.03 per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer, so grab it now before it's gone! See more information on this offer here!

4. NordVPN — Share Files Safely From Your Computer to Your iOS Device With Meshnet

Key Features:

  • At least 6,300 servers in 111 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, Meshnet, NordLynx protocol, and a kill switch
  • 24/7 live chat assistance, email support, and an online knowledge base
  • Use 10 devices at the same time
  • Risk-free plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN’s Meshnet feature allows you to establish a private and secure connection between your iOS device and others like a home computer. After you link your devices with Meshnet, it creates a direct encrypted tunnel to ensure file transfers are safe. To use it, you have to enable Meshnet in NordVPN’s settings on both devices.

For further security and privacy, NordVPN’s iOS app has the following features:

  • Dark Web Monitor — alerts you if your personal information appears on the dark web.
  • Threat Protection Lite — blocks malicious websites and ads on your iOS device.
  • NordLynx protocol — optimizes speed without affecting security.

Uniquely, NordVPN’s iOS app includes access to many of its specialty servers. Besides the obfuscated servers that hide the fact you’re using a VPN, you can use Double VPN for double encryption, and P2P network to download torrents. The Onion over VPN servers access Tor network seamlessly.

Like PIA, NordVPN’s iOS app is compatible with Apple’s Voice Control — just set up Siri shortcuts to have hands-free VPN protection. Besides providing a widget to operate the VPN from the home screen, NordVPN has auto-connect. It automatically establishes a VPN connection whenever you connect to WiFi, mobile network, or ethernet.

While NordVPN packs a multitude of features for the advanced user, accessing these settings isn’t straightforward. You’ll need to navigate to “Account” and click the small cog icon to tweak your VPN settings. Though it may not be the most intuitive, as you continue using the app, you’ll find the process becomes second nature.

With plans that cost as little as $3.39 per month, it’s easy to find one that suits your needs. You can also use it for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. When I tested this, the support team tried to extend the trial period — but they initiated my refund immediately after I said I wasn’t interested. I got my money back in 6 business days.

NordVPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, NBC, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, ITVx, RaiPlay, PlutoTV, Paramount+, Crunchyroll, and more.

NordVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TVs, routers, and more.

5. Surfshark — Enjoy Some of the Best Security Features Available for iOS Devices

Key Features:

  • 3,200+ servers in 100 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, IP Rotator, CleanWeb, and Camouflage Mode
  • 24/7 live chat, email support, and online guides, including Surfschool
  • Connect unlimited devices simultaneously
  • All plans provide 30 days for refund requests

Surfshark’s iOS app is a powerhouse of security features. Besides those that you’ve come to expect, like military-grade encryption and a kill switch, Surfshark has CleanWeb to block ads and malicious websites. It also has a function that automatically secures your internet connection on untrusted networks. Other features include:

  • Rotating IP — changes your IP address regularly without dropping the connection for enhanced privacy.
  • NoBorders Mode — allows you to access the internet in restrictive regions (except China).
  • Invisible to devices — keeps your device hidden from hackers, especially when you use unsecure public hotspot.

The iOS app also provides access to Surfshark’s specialized servers. For example, Static IP servers provide a consistent IP address, useful for online banking. MultiHop routes your traffic through two VPN servers, doubling the encryption and anonymity. Dedicated IP servers offer a personal IP address that isn’t shared with other users, enhancing security.

I found that Surfshark is easy to use with my iPhone, thanks to several Siri shortcuts. Commands like “connect” and “disconnect” can be activated by voice. The app even allows you to pause the connection for specific time intervals. Additionally, direct access to the support site from the app ensures help is always at hand.

Although it took just 1 click to connect to a server, the initial connection always needed over 30 seconds to establish and occasionally required multiple attempts. Fortunately, after I overcame the initial hurdle, subsequent connections were faster and more reliable.

You can try Surfshark with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $2.19 a month. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back, and it only took 4 days.

Surfshark works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, NBC, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, ITVx, RaiPlay, PlutoTV, Crunchyroll, and more.

Surfshark works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TVs, smart TVs, routers, and more.

6. PrivateVPN — Access the Internet Freely on iOS Devices Even in China With Stealth Mode

Key Features:

  • A choice of 200+ servers in 63 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, Stealth Mode, a kill switch, and a no-log policy
  • Live chat is available 24/7 along with email support and remote setup
  • Allows you to connect a maximum of 10 devices simultaneously
  • Affordable with a 30-day money-back guarantee

PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN mode bypasses VPN blocks and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) firewalls. When you enable Stealth Mode on your iOS device, it disguises your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic, allowing you to access the web freely without detection. This has made it one of the few VPNs that work reliably in China, where internet restrictions are stringent.

Besides Stealth Mode, PrivateVPN has many other features to make sure all your mobile transactions, communications, and browsing are secure and private:

  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols — offer a balance of speed and security, catering to various needs.
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy — ensures that each session has a unique encryption key, enhancing security.
  • Dedicated IP servers — provides a personal IP address in select countries for activities requiring consistent identification (like online banking).

Servers across PrivateVPN’s network also work with most major streaming platforms, so it’s great to catch a few of your favorite episodes on your iPad or iPhone. After testing its global server locations, our international team confirmed it’s one of the best VPNs to watch Netflix in the US and other countries.

PrivateVPN doesn’t have as wide a server network as some other VPNs listed here, especially PIA. This can lead to certain websites blocking specific IP addresses. However, this doesn’t worry me much since PrivateVPN consistently adds new IP addresses to its network.

If budget is a main concern, PrivateVPN’s 3-year plan is extremely affordable at $2.00 a month. Regardless of your preference, all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. After I sent PrivateVPN an email asking for a refund, an agent replied the same day saying it was being processed. I got my money back 9 days later.

PrivateVPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, NBC, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, PlutoTV, Crunchyroll, and more.

PrivateVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Chromecast, smart TVs, routers, and more.

7. IPVanish — Self-Owned Servers Protects Privacy on iOS With No Third-Party Interference

Key Features:

  • 2,400+ privately owned and managed servers in 55 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection
  • 24/7 live chat, email support, and online guides
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

IPVanish keeps your iOS data private by owning and maintaining all its servers. You don’t have to worry about third-party data center operators potentially accessing your data because IPVanish has full control over its server environment. In contrast, most VPN providers rent their servers from the owners, which can carry some risk.

Notable security and privacy features that IPVanish has include:

  • Split tunneling — allows you to choose which apps’ traffic is encrypted (this is a feature that’s rarely available in iOS VPN apps).
  • WireGuard, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols — some of the best in the industry for iOS devices to provide speed and security.
  • Auto-Connect — secures your internet connection in untrusted environments automatically.

The IPVanish app on iOS is intuitive, offering in-app access to live chat and phone support, ensuring help is always a few taps away. When you select the option, you won’t be redirected to a web page — everything is managed within the app. Its user-friendly interface also allows for easy server selection by country or city.

One drawback is that IPVanish’s monthly plan doesn’t include a money-back guarantee. However, there’s a simple workaround. Just select the 2-year  plan — it’s $2.19 a month, but you can ask for a refund within 30 days. So technically, you can still use it for a month without paying anything.

Unlike the other VPNs, you can’t ask for a refund from IPVanish via live chat or email. To get my money back, I logged into my account and canceled my plan. The refund was processed automatically and I got my money back after a week — even without following up.

IPVanish works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, NBC, Peacock TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, PlutoTV, Crunchyroll, and more.

IPVanish works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Chromecast, smart TVs, routers, and more.

8. PureVPN — Quantum-Resistant Keys Prevent Future Attacks on Your Current iOS Data

Key Features:

  • More than 6,000 servers in 65 countries
  • AES 256-bit encryption with Quantum-Resistant keys, and IP leak protection
  • Fast support via live chat, email, online forums, and an online knowledge base
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • All subscriptions are protected by a 31-day money-back guarantee

PureVPN’s iOS app (version 12.3 and up) includes quantum-resistant keys in selected countries to prepare your data for future security. These keys withstand the potential threats posed by quantum computing, so that your current data becomes useless if hackers collect them for future attack.

Other ways PureVPN protects your data include:

  • Reconnect on Disconnect feature — reestablishes the VPN connection automatically if it gets interrupted so that your iOS traffic is always protected.
  • VPN on Demand — activates PureVPN automatically when you enter certain predetermined URLs so that their traffic is routed strictly through an encrypted tunnel.

The speed test function in PureVPN’s iOS app lets you measure session health by performing speed tests before and after connections. This feature helps you understand the VPN’s impact on your internet speed, ensuring you always have the best possible connection.

The app also allows you to add shortcuts to frequently visited sites and services like Netflix or ChatGPT. Once connected, the site opens automatically in Safari. You can specify a server for these shortcuts to enable 1-click connections.

Although PureVPN lacks Siri shortcuts and widgets for iOS, the app compensates for this by being easy to use. Most functions are accessible within just 2 clicks, making it a user-friendly option even for those who prefer simplicity in their apps.

I found a PureVPN 2-year + 3 months plan that’s as low as $2.14 a month and backed by a 31-day money-back guarantee. I tested the policy by requesting a refund via live chat and it took 8 days for the refund to appear in my bank account.

PureVPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, Tubi TV, Peacock TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, Crunchyroll, and more.

PureVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Chromecast, smart TVs, routers, and more.

9. Proton VPN — Secure Core Routes Traffic Through Servers in Countries With Strong Privacy Laws

Key Features:

  • Over 4,988 secure servers in 71 countries
  • Military-grade encryption, no-log policy, a kill switch, and a Stealth VPN protocol
  • Live chat and email assistance besides an online support center
  • Connect up to 10 devices at once
  • Refunds are allowed within 30 days

Proton VPN’s SecureCore feature protects you from network attacks on iOS by routing your data through multiple encrypted servers located in privacy-friendly jurisdictions. This makes it harder for third parties to see your private information on iOS.

You’ll also find the following quality features in Proton VPN’s iOS app:

  • Stealth protocol — bypasses network blocks and censorship.
  • NetShield — blocks ads, trackers, and malware.

The VPN accelerator in Proton VPN optimizes the speed of your VPN connection and its reliability. It’s particularly useful when you’re connecting to distant servers, ensuring that your internet speed remains fast and consistent.

Its iOS app lets you choose between a list or map view for selecting servers. The inclusion of a widget makes it convenient to connect to the VPN without opening the app. It also has an “always-on VPN” feature that automatically reestablishes your connection if it drops, keeping your online activities continuously secure.

The only problem I had with Proton VPN is that its customer support can be slow. The live chat availability is inconsistent, while email and online ticket support are only available on weekdays. Even so, the response time was acceptable as I mostly received an answer within 24 hours.

You can get Proton VPN for $4.49 per month if you choose the 2-year plan. It will allow you to request a refund within 30 days, but you’ll only be reimbursed for the remaining days in your subscription.

Proton VPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, YouTube TV, Peacock TV, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, and more.

Proton VPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, smart TVs, routers, and more.

10. StrongVPN — Helpful Customer Support Team With Multiple Contact Points

Key Features:

  • 950+ servers in 30 countries with more than 59,500 IP addresses
  • AES 256-bit encryption, zero-logging privacy policy, and StrongDNS
  • Customer support includes 24/7 live chat, email, and an online forum
  • Connect a maximum of 12 devices with a single subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on the annual plan

StrongVPN has comprehensive customer support, available 24/7 for iOS users. You can reach out for assistance via live chat, email, online forum, web articles, and even by phone. The multi-channel support ensures that help is always within reach, whether you prefer a quick chat or a detailed email exchange.

It has a variety of protocols for iOS, like OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and WireGuard, providing flexibility and security options based on your needs. I also liked that StrongVPN has a ‘Best Available Location’ feature on its iOS app. When selected, it intelligently connects you to the most optimal server based on your location, ensuring fast and reliable connections.

Unfortunately, StrongVPN’s iOS app has seen a few leaks in the past, when it routed everything sent over WiFi through that network’s router, not the VPN connection. To avoid accidental leaks, make sure you turn on the VPN before any online activity. Luckily, I didn’t experience any leaks during my 2-week test.

The 1-year plan is just $3.97 a month, which is more economical than StrongVPN’s monthly plan. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, just log in to your account and submit a Cancel Request Form. It takes about 5 minutes, and I got my money back within 14 days.

StrongVPN works with: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, Crunchyroll, and more.

StrongVPN works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, smart TVs, routers, and more.

Quick Comparison Table: 2024’s Best VPNs for iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Cheapest Price iOS Compatibility Simultaneous Device Connections Siri Shortcuts/Widget Best Protocol for Long Battery Life Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN $6.67/month iOS 12.0 and later 8 Lightway and IKEv2 30 days
CyberGhost $2.03/month iOS 13.0 and later 7 Widget WireGuard and IKEv2 45 days
PIA $2.19/month iOS 12.1 and later unlimited OpenVPN IKEv2, and WireGuard 30 days
NordVPN $3.39/month iOS 13.0 and later 10 NordLynx, IKEv2, and OpenVPN 30 days
Surfshark $2.19/month iOS 13.0 and later unlimited Siri shortcuts OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard 30 days
PrivateVPN $2.00/month iOS 9.0 and later 10 OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec 30 days
IPVanish $2.19/month iOS 14.0 and later unlimited IPSec, IKEv2, and WireGuard 30 days
Proton VPN $4.49/month iOS 14.0 and later 10 Widget WireGuard and Stealth 30 days
PureVPN $2.14/month iOS 12.3 and later 10 IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard 31 days
StrongVPN $3.97/month iOS 13.0 and later 12 OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and WireGuard 30 days

How I Tested and Ranked the Best iPhone VPN App

I tested dozens of VPNs and compared them against these criteria to rank the best ones for your iPhone and iPad:

  • Native app for iOS — some of the VPNs I tested have a widget and/or Siri shortcuts to connect quickly, and all of them have native iOS apps.
  • Strong security features — each VPN provides military-grade 256-bit encryption and leak protection, crucial for maintaining your digital safety.
  • Zero-log privacy policy — VPNs with RAM-based servers and an audited no-log policy provide the assurance that no identifiable iOS data will be stored or shared.
  • Fast connection speeds — these VPNs offer smooth video calls and UHD streaming, which I tested under different network conditions.
  • Global server network — a wide server network means more bandwidth and connectivity options.
  • Works with streaming services — the VPNs work well with popular streaming sites so you’re not cut off from your favorite shows.
  • 24/7 customer support — each service has a responsive and knowledgeable support team available round the clock.
  • Money-back guarantee — I only looked for VPNs with a money-back guarantee, so that you don’t lose your money if you decide you don’t like your choice.

Easy Guide: How to Set Up a VPN on iPhone, iPad, or iOS Device

  1. Install a top iOS VPN. If you want the highest security for your device and the best speeds, download ExpressVPN from its official site instead of the app store to be eligible for the money-back guarantee.
  2. Launch the app. Sign in with your username and password or subscribe from within the app.
  3. Allow the VPN to add configurations. You’ll be prompted to enter your device password to allow installation.
  4. Connect to a server. Choose a location depending on your needs. If you want the fastest server, choose one in a local location.
  5. Start browsing, streaming, or gaming on iOS. Now you’re fully protected while you use your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS devices.

FAQ: iPhone, iPad, iOS, and VPNs

What’s the best VPN for iPhone?

All the VPNs on this list are top choices for iPhone and iPad. ExpressVPN came out on top, though, because it had the least impact on my iPhone’s battery and the fastest connection speeds among all the VPNs I tested. It also works in China without complicated configurations, which almost no VPN can do. Plus, it’s safe to use on public WiFi networks even if you’re making online purchases.

Which VPN is best for watching Netflix on my iPhone or iPad?

ExpressVPN is the best iOS VPN to watch Netflix. It works with more than a dozen Netflix catalogs, so you can still stream while connected. My colleagues from around the world confirmed that TV shows and movies played lag-free in UHD on their local Netflix in the US, UK, Japan, Colombia, and other locations.

What’s the fastest VPN for iPhone?

During my tests, I found that ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN for iPhone, especially when I used its Lightway protocol. My speeds were at least 18% faster than the other VPNs. Even though your data takes longer to travel on distant servers, I didn’t notice any difference in my streaming and video call quality with Lightway.

Will using a VPN impact my iPhone’s battery life or mobile data?

Premium VPNs with native iOS apps are designed to minimize battery and data use. However, some impact is inevitable with all iOS apps and low-quality VPNs can increase battery drain up to 20%. Here are some ways to minimize your mobile data and battery consumption while using a VPN:

  • Connect only when necessary. To lower your data consumption, only use a VPN when you’re accessing sensitive data, like on banking apps and email accounts.
  • Switch to a light protocol. Lightway from ExpressVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 use up minimal battery power on iOS.
  • Install the VPN on your router. This protects all the iOS devices connected to your home network without you having to run a battery-draining app.
  • Dim your screen. This, coupled with closing background apps, can help your battery last longer.
  • Use split tunneling. Instead of encrypting traffic from your entire iOS device, choose only a few critical ones to slow down battery depletion.

Can a VPN help me change my Apple App Store location?

No, your Apple App Store location depends on your Apple ID location, not your IP address. If you’re traveling abroad and would like to access local iOS apps, you can change your Apple ID location by tapping Settings > Media and Purchases > View Account. Then add a credit card from your new location or enter an iTunes gift card code.

Keep in mind that if you download any region-locked app in one location and attempt to use it in another, the app might not work. However, you can use a VPN to connect to a server in your original Apple ID location and use your favorite apps. Just ensure that VPN use is not against the app’s Terms of Conditions, and that the app is legal in your local country.

Is it safe to use a VPN on an iPhone?

Yes, as long as you use one of the top VPNs for iOS. Avoid downloading a VPN that you haven’t fully researched or tested before. If you’re lucky, you might get away with just a slow VPN. But there are many scammy providers offering VPNs that don’t work for a premium price. Some steal your data or infect your iPhone with malware without your knowledge.

Can I use a VPN on more than just my iOS devices?

Yes. All the best iOS VPNs work with most major routers, browsers, and operating systems, including Windows, Android, Linux, and Chromebook. Some VPNs are even compatible with smart TVs and other streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick. Avid gamers can also set up a VPN connection on their Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.

Does my iPhone come with a built-in VPN?

There’s no built-in VPN on iOS devices. While you can manually configure your VPN settings directly on iOS devices, you still need a subscription to one of the top iOS VPNs. It’s a slightly complicated process, so it’s easier to just install a ready-to-use VPN with a dedicated iOS app.

If you’ve heard of iOS 15’s iCloud Private Relay, you have to understand that it’s a proxy service that only works as long as you’re using Safari. It’s not available in every country and you can’t use it to change your location. A VPN is much faster than Private Relay and encrypts the traffic from your entire iPhone or iPad.

Can I use a free VPN on my iPhone and other iOS devices?

You can, but I don’t recommend it. There are hundreds of options on the App Store, but only a handful of free VPNs are safe. Most make money by selling your data to advertisers. Worse, some free VPNs are decoys to infect your devices with malware and defeat the purpose of using an iOS VPN.

Even the best free VPNs limit your data server selection and speeds. These free VPNs aren’t powerful enough for most streaming sites either, since they can’t invest in refreshing their IP addresses continuously.

Stay Safe Online With a VPN for Your iPhone and iPad

Your iOS devices aren’t immune to cyber threats despite Apple’s commitment to security. Whether it’s an iPhone or iPad, it’s constantly at risk of eavesdropping, malware, and being hacked. Unfortunately, many VPNs on the App Store can’t protect your data without compromising speeds or draining your battery and data in a flash.

After testing dozens of VPNs for speed, encryption, streaming, Siri shortcuts, and more, I found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for iPhones and other iOS devices. As someone who constantly travels for work, I use ExpressVPN to protect my data while connected to unsecured WiFi networks, too.

You can try ExpressVPN’s iOS app with no risk because it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide that it’s not for you, you can ask for a refund via 24/7 live chat. I got my request approved with no questions asked.


Summary — Best VPNs for iPhone, iPad, and iOS in 2024

Top Ranked Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.03 / month Save 84%
Private Internet Access
$2.03 / month Save 83%
NordVPN
$4.39 / month Save 69%
Surfshark
$2.19 / month Save 86%
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