Apple’s iPhone is widely regarded as a stable and secure smartphone, but that isn’t to say that iOS doesn’t have its own issues regarding security and privacy – particularly in today’s climate of hacking and security breaches. Using one of the best VPN services ensures you retain your digital privacy, while also allowing for other neat features like accessing geo-restricted content and circumventing censorship.
How to choose the best VPN service for iPhone or iOS
There’s no shortage of VPNs with decent iOS support, with many providers offering dedicated iOS apps, which is obviously a main consideration here – and preferably the software will be easy-to-use, and yet provide enough options for more advanced users to be able to tweak things.
Below are the five best VPN services for iPhone/iOS that we’ve picked out for you.
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ExpressVPN is our top pick for best all-round VPN, and specifically for iOS devices. This British Virgin Islands-based provider has a large server network (with 148 server locations in 94 countries) that managed to provide very good speeds throughout our testing. ExpressVPN also has no trouble helping you access services like Netflix and Hulu, making it ideal for streaming. Its custom traffic obfuscation will allow you to achieve better connectivity in censorship-heavy regions like China and the Middle East.
The iOS client is very easy to set up and boasts a user-friendly interface that focuses on smart server selection via different filters. Users can connect with a single tap and use the VPN seamlessly, with an option to reconnect automatically should your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection unexpectedly drop. The app itself supports iOS 7 and higher, a significantly wider level of support for the iPhone than found elsewhere.
The prices aren’t the cheapest, but may be worth the added cost for those who want the best VPN experience for iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads. The most affordable option is the yearly subscription, for which ExpressVPN throws in 3 additional months for free. The packages available are:
IPVanish delivers consistently great performance, and indeed actually improved our download speeds by around 15% over long distances, with even faster results when it came to some short hops. The native client supports iOS 8 or better, works equally well on iPads and connects automatically anytime internet traffic is detected. It also suggests the fastest server based on your location and ping time.
When it comes to security, the service offers a broad range of protocols, and on the privacy front, IPVanish doesn’t record any online activity or connection data while using the iOS app.
In short, the only niggle with IPVanish is its pricing. There is no free trial available and the service is slightly more expensive than others. That said, the three plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year subscription is the most affordable option. The packages available are:
This Switzerland-based provider owns and operates all of its servers, and boasts exceptional performance levels as a result. Our tests revealed an outstanding boost in download speeds, with performance being over twice as fast as our regular rates.
The native app supports iOS 9 and higher, plus it comes with useful features like automatic fastest server selection, iPad compatibility and automatic encryption of untrusted Wi-Fi connections. It’s also worth noting that VyprVPN doesn’t restrict your connections by IP address (i.e. you can access the network via your router, mobile phone network via 3G/4G and so forth).
There are only two pricing plans to choose from, and you can be billed either monthly or annually. Going the yearly route offers a big saving. Make sure you use the three-day free trial to properly test the service as VyprVPN doesn’t allow refunds. The packages available are:
NordVPN’s iOS app is user-friendly with an eye-pleasing interface. Everything is well organized, with at-a-glance information displayed by the ‘quick connect’ widget which details the closest server, availability, load percentage and so on. This provider’s network boasts a plentiful amount of servers, and offers perfectly acceptable performance.
On the security front, NordVPN supports 256-bit encryption, and offers an automatic kill switch, along with double data encryption (which passes your data through two separate VPN servers). This provider also has a ‘no logs’ policy, although the exact stance on session logging isn’t made clear, which is a slight fly in the ointment.
Potential customers can sign up for a free trial, tucked away on the website, which is useful as the monthly billing is certainly on the expensive side. The rest of the paid subscriptions are much more reasonably priced, and indeed if you want to commit longer-term, the two-year plan actually offers fantastic value. The packages available are:
SaferVPN offers lots of quality software clients, and the iOS app is no exception. You can connect with a simple tap without any prior configuration as the app automatically determines the best server locations for optimal performance. The client also automatically protects data over any unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot.
SaferVPN manages its own network. In our performance tests, we found speeds were pretty good compared to rivals, and we obtained solid download rates even over longer distances.
On the downside, this VPN records a great deal of session data, although none of this is related to your actual activities online – but it’s still far more information than competitors collect, generally speaking.
The service boasts a free access-all-areas 24-hour trial to check it out. Among the three price plans, the 2-year plan offers the best value. The packages available are: