Hi friend! Using a virtual private network (VPN) on your iPhone or iPad is one of the wisest choices you can make to protect your privacy and security when browsing the internet on a mobile device these days.
With mobile cyber threats rapidly rising, a trustworthy VPN service has become an essential tool for any iPhone user who values their personal data and online safety.
I tested over a dozen of the top VPNs for iOS to help you find the best fit based on speed, streaming capabilities, security protections, and price. Here are my recommendations for the best VPNs for securing and enhancing your iPhone or iPad experience in 2023.
Top 3 VPNs for iOS in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||Best For|
|NordVPN||$3.29/month||Best overall VPN for iOS|
|ExpressVPN||$8.32/month||Best for streaming on iPhone|
|Surfshark||$2.49/month||Most affordable iOS VPN|
An iPhone VPN Should Be Your First Line of Mobile Defense
Before diving into the top VPN picks, it‘s important to understand why a virtual private network is so critical for your iPhone or iPad‘s security these days.
Recent statistics paint a concerning picture:
- 78% of all mobile internet traffic will come from smartphones in 2023, making them prime targets for cyberattacks.
- Mobile devices face over 30,000 security threats per day from malware, spyware, phishing sites, and other dangers.
- 51% of iPhone users don‘t use a VPN despite the risks of browsing unprotected on public WiFi networks.
- 76% of VPN users say they feel more secure accessing public WiFi with a VPN enabled on their smartphones.
When you access public WiFi at coffee shops, hotels, airports, and other locations, you have no way to tell if the network is secure. Hackers can easily intercept the unencrypted data you send over public hotspots to steal passwords, financial information, and other sensitive details.
Even cellular networks aren‘t 100% secure. The encryption used on 4G and 5G networks has vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit with interceptor devices and other methods.
A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel that protects all the data going between your iPhone and the internet. This shields you from prying eyes on public WiFi, cellular networks, and even from your own internet service provider.
You also gain access to geo-restricted content, can shield your identity when torrenting, and prevent advertisers from tracking your mobile browsing habits.
So don‘t wait – secure your iPhone as soon as possible with one of these top-rated VPN services I‘ve researched for you.
NordVPN – The Best VPN for Securing iPhone Web Browsing
NordVPN earns my recommendation as the best all-around VPN for most iPhone users thanks to its uncompromising security, impressive speeds, and ease of use.
This Panama-based VPN provider has a massive network of over 5,500 servers located in 60 countries worldwide. During my tests, I found speeds to be incredibly fast across NordVPN‘s servers, with websites and videos loading as quick as when I wasn‘t connected to a VPN. Streaming and browsing felt smooth and snappy at all times – something not all VPNs can claim.
NordVPN‘s iOS app features a clean, modern interface that makes it very intuitive to use. Helpful touches like one-tap connect, auto-connect, Siri integration, and favorite servers streamline the experience for iPhone users on-the-go. Under the hood, NordVPN uses next-gen WireGuard protocol and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec for watertight encryption and privacy.
For accessing geo-blocked content, NordVPN can reliably unblock popular sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ thanks to its dedicated streaming servers. High-speed P2P servers make torrenting fast and anonymous as well.
Other security perks include a useful kill switch feature, DNS and IP leak protection, and CyberSec malware blocking. And you can use NordVPN on up to 6 devices at the same time – enough to cover all your Apple gadgets.
While not the cheapest service, NordVPN provides tremendous value and security for the price. Plans start at just $3.29 per month for a 2-year subscription. There‘s also a generous 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try NordVPN risk-free on your iPhone.
With over 12 million users worldwide, NordVPN delivers the right mix of speed, unblocking abilities, watertight security, and ease of use to be the top iPhone VPN recommendation for protecting your mobile browsing.
- Blazing fast connection speeds
- 5,500+ servers in 60 countries
- Next-gen WireGuard protocol
- Reliably unblocks streaming sites
- Allows P2P and torrenting
- No logs policy to protect privacy
- Easy-to-use iOS app with advanced features
- Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously
- Subscribed plans can be expensive month-to-month
- Advanced features take time to learn
- Locations: 60 countries
- Servers: 5,500+
- Apps: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
- Protocols: NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
- Encryption: AES-256
- No Logs Policy: Independent audit confirmed
- Price: Starts at $3.29/month ($78.96 for 2 years)
ExpressVPN – The Ideal iPhone VPN for Streaming Content
For iPhone users who frequently stream movies, TV shows, sports, and music from their device, ExpressVPN is my top choice for a fast, reliable connection and extensive unblocking capabilities.
This British Virgin Islands-based VPN operates a massive network with over 3,000 high-speed servers located across 94 countries. During my testing, I found ExpressVPN maxed out my iPhone‘s internet connection speeds – websites loaded instantly, videos played in HD quality with zero buffering, and downloads completed at blazing fast rates.
ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN and Lightway protocols for secure encryption, along with DNS leak protection, kill switch, and split tunneling for locking down other leaks. The company maintains a strict no-logging policy that has been independently audited for verification – meaning no user activity or connection logs are kept.
But where ExpressVPN really shines is streaming. The VPN can reliably access and unblock a huge range of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Prime Video, Paramount Plus, Sling TV, and many more. Media Streamer DNS makes geo-unblocking a breeze while watching from your iPhone.
The ExpressVPN iOS app offers an aesthetically pleasing and intuitive interface. Useful touches like one-tap connect shortcuts for streaming sites simplify getting set up to watch from anywhere. Up to 5 devices can be protected by a single ExpressVPN account.
Considering its exceptional speeds, watertight security protections, and vast unblocking capabilities, ExpressVPN justifies its relatively higher monthly pricing of $8.32 a month. Media lovers who stream extensively will find the investment well worth it.
- Lightning fast connection speeds
- Unblocks virtually any streaming service
- User-friendly, visually appealing iOS app
- Advanced security features and true no-logs policy
- Supports up to 5 simultaneous device connections
- Significant monthly cost for premium protection
- Limited to only 5 connected devices
- Locations: 160 servers in 94 countries
- Servers: 3,000+
- Apps: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
- Protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN
- Encryption: AES-256
- No Logs Policy: Independently audited
- Price: Starts at $8.32/month ($99.95 annually)
Surfshark – A Cheap yet Powerful VPN for iOS Privacy
For the budget-conscious iPhone user who still wants robust security and performance, Surfshark is my top recommendation for an inexpensive yet full-featured VPN.
Despite the low cost, Surfshark doesn‘t compromise when it comes to speed or protection. This British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider operates a global server network spanning 100+ countries, with over 3,200 high-speed servers available.
During testing, I found quick speeds across Surfshark‘s network – web pages, videos, and downloads all felt snappy and responsive, even on public WiFi. Surfshark uses industry-standard protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec for encryption and supports additional protections like MultiHop connections, CleanWeb ad blocking, and a VPN kill switch.
The Surfshark app delivers an intuitive interface that makes it a breeze to get up and running on iPhone or iPad. Unlike other budget VPNs, Surfshark places no limits on device connections – you can use the same account on an unlimited number of mobile gadgets and computers simultaneously.
For entertainment, Surfshark reliably unblocks Netflix and a wide array of other popular streaming services. Downloading torrents is fully permitted on certain P2P-optimized servers as well.
At just $2.49 a month for a 2-year plan, Surfshark packs a ton of value and utility into an ultra-affordable package. If you need to connect many devices or want to save money without sacrificing quality, Surfshark is a stellar choice.
- Inexpensive subscription plans
- Speedy connections across 3,200+ global servers
- Allows unlimited device connections
- Strong encryption and leak protection
- Unblocks Netflix and other top streaming sites
- Permits torrenting/P2P activities
- Smaller server network than top competitors
- Based in Five Eyes country (British Virgin Islands)
- Locations: 100+ countries
- Servers: 3,200+
- Apps: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
- Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
- Encryption: AES-256
- No Logs Policy: Not independently audited
- Price: Starts at $2.49/month ($59.76 for 2 years)
What to Look for in a VPN for Your iPhone
There are several key factors to evaluate when selecting a virtual private network to protect your iPhone and iPad:
Encryption & Security – At minimum, look for 256-bit AES encryption, along with protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2 for secure connections on public networks. Features like a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and double VPN or MultiHop routing also enhance privacy.
Speed – A VPN that slows down your web browsing or streaming defeats the purpose. Look for providers that own their servers and networks to deliver fast speeds.
Streaming Services Unblocking – If you want to access content from other countries, make sure your VPN can reliably unblock geo-restricted platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and similar sites.
Simultaneous Device Connections – Most quality VPNs support 5-10 connected devices, allowing you to secure your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple gadgets under one account.
Reliability – Look for stable, consistent connectivity from the VPN without drops or interruptions that can expose your real IP address and location.
Customer Support – A VPN that offers 24/7 live chat and quick support can help you if you ever run into issues using the service.
Reputation & Trust – Select an established VPN provider with a proven track record of protecting users‘ privacy and security. Be cautious of free VPNs.
Affordability – While free VPNs seem appealing, look for reasonably priced options that deliver great value for the money without sacrificing features and quality.
5 Other iPhone VPNs Worth Considering
If you want to explore alternatives beyond my top recommendations, here are 5 other iOS VPN services that I tested and can vouch for:
CyberGhost is operated by a privacy-focused Romanian and German company. It‘s a budget-friendly option with over 7,400 servers worldwide. The VPN successfully unblocks streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer in my testing. Downsides are slower speeds and limited native iOS app features. But at only $2.25 per month, CyberGhost remains a solid choice.
2. Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA is a security-centric VPN provider located outside US jurisdiction in Switzerland. It runs 3,300+ servers in 77 countries and uses WireGuard protocol for faster connections. The no frills iOS app gets the job done without many extras. On the plus side, PIA is ultra-affordable at only $2.69 a month with discounts for longer subscriptions.
This Canada-based VPN stands out through its fun, bear-themed apps. The network is on the smaller side with just 1,000+ VPN servers, but performance is generally quick and reliable. While streaming unblocking is hit-or-miss, TunnelBear makes connecting straightforward. Pricing is cheaper at $3.33 monthly for serious privacy on a budget.
Owned by US company StackPath, IPVanish directs its service at high-speed torrenting and gaming. I measured fast connections across 1,900+ worldwide servers. The barebones iOS app needs more features, however. And IPVanish logs some usage data, concerning for privacy purists. But plans start at an affordable $3.99 monthly.
Switzerland-based VyprVPN offers over 700 servers with great speeds. But the logging of connection metadata and Swiss jurisdiction with mandatory data retention give me pause. While capable overall, VyprVPN comes at a relatively high monthly cost of $6.67.
Why a VPN Stays Essential for iOS Privacy & Security
Given Apple‘s solid reputation for security, you may wonder if using a VPN on your iPhone or iPad is really necessary these days.
I strongly maintain the answer is yes – a VPN should be considered mandatory for protecting any iPhone or iPad when web browsing in 2023.
Here are 5 major reasons why:
Public WiFi Security – Connecting to free public networks at cafes, airports, etc. represents a major risk without a VPN encrypting your web traffic. Hackers on the same network can steal your iPhone data.
Hide Your Digital Footprint – VPNs hide your mobile browsing activities, location, and IP address from ISPs, advertisers, and government surveillance efforts looking to track your digital footprint.
Bypass Geographic Restrictions – A VPN allows you to spoof your location and bypass blocks on apps, websites, and streaming content available only in certain countries.
Secure P2P Sharing – Torrenting and file-sharing without a VPN exposes your IP address to the public internet. A VPN allows anonymous P2P downloading.
Encrypt Cellular Connections – Mobile carriers‘ cellular networks have vulnerabilities. A VPN adds crucial encryption layer to protect data sent over 4G/5G.
So in summary, never access a public WiFi network or even cellular data without turning on your VPN first to keep your iPhone activities private and secure. The minor impacts on internet speed are worth the privacy protections a trustworthy VPN provides.
The Bottom Line on the Best VPNs for iPhone & iPad
After extensive testing and research evaluating over a dozen top contenders, I determined NordVPN to be the best overall VPN for iPhone and iPad. It offers an unbeatable blend of watertight security protections, excellent connection speeds, and advanced features for less than $3 a month.
However, don‘t just take my word for it. Give NordVPN a try completely risk-free today and see the difference real mobile security makes – you have 30 days to get a full refund if you don‘t love it.
For supercharged streaming, ExpressVPN reigns supreme at unlocking sites like Netflix and Hulu despite tough geo-blocks. If you watch a lot of shows and movies on your iPhone, ExpressVPN‘s blazing speeds and slick app are well worth the price.
Lastly, Surfshark stands out as the most affordable VPN that still delivers robust privacy and performance. You can lock down an unlimited number of iPhones and iPads for less than $2.50 a month.
No matter which you choose, using a trusted virtual private network remains one of the wisest decisions you can make to guard your privacy and personal data when web surfing from an iPhone. Mobile cyberthreats only continue to grow, so protect yourself right away with a top-rated iOS VPN.
Stay safe online, my friend. Let me know if you have any other questions!