For iPhone users, having a reliable virtual private network (VPN) is crucial for maintaining security and privacy while using the internet. A VPN creates a safer and more secure browsing experience, minimizing the risk of data breaches.
With numerous VPN options available for iPhone users, choosing the right app can be a challenge.
To simplify the selection process, we have curated a list of the best VPNs for iPhone users in 2023.
Best VPN for iPhone: Comparison table
The following table provides a summary of the common features found in VPNs and how these features compare against each other.
|Free trial version
|Number of connections
|Starts at $3.99/month
|Yes, 7-day free trial
|Starts at $2.39/month
|Yes, 7-day free trial
|Starts at $6.69/month
|Yes, 7-day free trial
|Starts at $3.33/month
|Offers a free version
|Starts at $1.83/month
|Starts at $5.50/month
6 Best VPNs for iPhone users
Here is our list of the top VPNs for iPhone users in 2023, detailing their unique features, pricing plans, pros and cons.
NordVPN: Best overall
NordVPN provides iPhone users with various VPN features that enhance their online privacy and security. The app is best used on the KEv2 VPN protocol for iOS and offers features like Threat Protection Lite to protect users from annoying and potentially malicious ads and a NordLynx protocol, which, according to NordVPN, delivers ultra-fast speed. For those who prefer to use voice commands on their iPhone device, NordVPN can easily be managed using the Siri voice assistant. With this feature, all that is required is to set up a Siri shortcut, eliminating the need for users to touch their device when connecting their iPhone to the VPN. Other advanced features include a dark web monitor, which alerts users when their credentials hit the dark web; an automatic kill switch that prevents user data from leaking to the web; and Onion over VPN for enhanced privacy.
NordVPN provides three subscription plans: Standard, Plus and Complete, with billing options available on a monthly, yearly or biennial basis. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
- Monthly plan: Complete – $14.99/month, Plus – $13.99/month, Standard – $12.99/month.
- One-year plan: Complete – $6.99/month, Plus – $5.99/month, Standard – $4.99/month.
- Two-year plan: Complete – $5.99/month, Plus – $4.99/ month, Standard – $3.99/month.
- Only compatible with iOS 13.0 and later versions.
- “Kill switch” feature to maintain anonymity.
- Compatible with Siri (voice assistant).
- Split tunneling for selective routing of internet traffic.
- No-logs policy.
- Can be used through voice commands.
- Additional security features like kill switch and Dark Web Monitor.
- User-friendly interface and easy setup process.
- Users can switch between different VPN protocols.
- Additional security features are only available on higher-subscription plans.
- Subscriptions might be considered higher compared to other VPN providers.
- Only six devices can connect to a single account.
Read our comparison guide of NordVPN vs Surfshark.
Surfshark: Best for multiple device connections
Surfshark VPN offers a range of features for iPhone users seeking online privacy and data security. Built for iOS 13.0 with 64-bit architecture or later versions, Surfshark VPN is easy to set up on the iPhone as users can run the installation directly from the Apple store. For protection against intrusive ads and an enhanced web experience, Surfshark offers the CleanWeb and Bypasser features. One key advantage of Surfshark over some of its competitors is its ability to connect with unlimited devices. The VPN also boasts over 3,000 servers in 100 countries, providing users with a wide range of connection options for the best speeds.
Surfshark offers the following pricing plans, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Monthly subscription: $12.95 per month.
- 12-month subscription: $3.99/month.
- 24-month subscription: Starts at $2.39.
- RAM-only servers for extra privacy and security.
- Runs only on iOS 13.0 with 64-bit architecture or later versions.
- CleanWeb and Bypasser features block ads and malware.
- Supports WireGuard or IKEv2 protocol.
- No-logs policy to protect user privacy.
- Large server network for global access.
- User-friendly interface and easy setup process.
- Offers a seven-day free trial.
- Supports unlimited simultaneous device connection.
- Only compatible with iOS 13.0 with 64-bit architecture or later versions.
- There is no split tunneling in the iOS version.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN: Best for speed and reliability
ExpressVPN is another VPN solution for iPhones with a vast network of servers in numerous countries. Built to run on iPhone 6+ up to the latest models and iOS 12 and later versions, ExpressVPN offers more compatibility with older iOS versions. Some impressive features include the availability of multiple encryption protocols like UDP, TCP and IKEv2 encryption, which users can select manually or allow the VPN to do so automatically. The built-in security features can offer protection over WiFi, LTE/4G, 3G and all mobile data carriers. With one subscription, users can connect to up to five devices simultaneously. ExpressVPN also allows iPhone users to customize their VPN with links to their most-used services for easy accessibility.
ExpressVPN offers three subscription plans with different pricing and billing cycles. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Monthly plan: Starts at $10.41/month.
- 6-month plan: Starts at $8.03/month, billed every six months.
- 12-month plan: Starts at $6.69/month, billed every 12 months.
- No activity logs are kept.
- Split tunneling feature.
- High-speed connections.
- Kill switch for added security.
- Runs on iPhone 6+ and later models.
- Supports multiple encryption protocols.
- Multiple language support.
- Offers protection over WiFi, LTE/4G, 3G and all mobile data carriers.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Supports in-app troubleshooting.
- In-app troubleshooting offers limited answers to queries.
- Offers only five simultaneous connections.
IPVanish: Best for accessing streaming channels
IPVanish offers iPhone users online protection in four key areas, ISP tracking, public WiFi snoopers, unjust censorship and hackers. To provide the best VPN service possible, IPVanish offers features like Connect on Demand, which automatically secures your internet connection when the VPN detects a malicious domain. There is also the API balancing feature designed to suggest the most stable VPN server automatically. Apart from operating a no-log policy, there is also the Alternative Connection Mode feature for boosting VPN connections in countries and situations where VPN connections are difficult to achieve. In addition, IPVanish supports the iOS 13 version and later and grants connection to an unlimited number of devices on a single account.
IPVanish follows the monthly, yearly and two-year pricing methods, with a 30-day money-back guarantee attached to all plans, except the monthly plan.
- Monthly plan: Starts at $11.99/month.
- Yearly plan: Starts at $4.50/month.
- Two-year plan: Starts at $3.33/month.
- VPN protocols include WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN and IPSec.
- Offers access to Netflix and other streaming channels.
- Unlimited device connections.
- Available on iOS 13 version and later.
- Supports unlimited device connection for each plan.
- There is a no-logs policy in place.
- Clean user interface.
- Offers a 7-day free trial.
- It is not cost-effective if you do not intend to connect to multiple devices.
- There is no kill switch feature in the iOS version.
Atlas VPN: Best for unlimited bandwidth support
Atlas VPN is another viable VPN option for iPhone users. With Atlas, users can use the free version with limited features or get the paid version to unlock premium features. Some of the key features that might interest users include ease of use, unlimited bandwidth and device connections, use of AES-256 encryption, data breach monitor and ad blocker functionality. With the paid version of Atlas VPN, users can have access to 1,000 servers and global content access to geo-restricted streaming channels. In addition, there is also SafeSwap server functionality, which allows users to connect to the internet from several IP addresses at a time.
Atlas pricing comes in one-month, one-year and three-year plans, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Monthly plan: Starts at $11.99/month.
- One-year plan: Starts at $4.08/month.
- Three-year plan: Starts at $1.83/month, plus three extra months free.
- Malware Blocker support.
- SafeSwap servers for flexible access to the internet from different IPs.
- Uses WireGuard protocol.
- SafeBrowse, Data Breach Monitor features.
- Runs on iOS 14 and later.
- Offers a free version.
- No bandwidth limit support.
- Affordable pricing.
- Accepts simultaneous connection to unlimited devices.
- Servers are available only in 49 countries, which is short of what other VPNs offer.
- Only runs on iOS 14 or later versions.
Read our comparison guide of Atlas VPN vs ProtonVPN.
ProtonVPN: Best for privacy-focused users
is an open-source VPN app offering various features for secure and private internet browsing. ProtonVPN employs encryption protocols and does not log user activity. Notable features include Secure Core, which routes user traffic through multiple servers to protect the connection, and a NetShield Ad Blocker that shields users from trackers, illicit ads and malicious domains. In addition, ProtonVPN has unlimited bandwidth and a kill switch/always-on feature that automatically reconnects users to the VPN when the connection is lost. The VPN has over 1,900 servers across 65 countries worldwide and can connect to 10 devices simultaneously.
Like most popular VPN vendors, ProtonVPN follows monthly, yearly and biennial pricing plans, with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
- Monthly plan: Starts at $10.90/month.
- One-year plan: Starts at $6.50/month.
- Two-year plan: Starts at $5.50/month.
- Access to a vast network of servers.
- It is an open-source application.
- Supports up to 10 simultaneous connections.
- DNS leak protection.
- Offers over 1,900 servers across 65 countries.
- Protected by Swiss privacy laws.
- Automatic kill switch for instant reconnection when the connection is lost.
- User-friendly interface for easy installation and usage.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth.
- Only available for iOS 14 and later versions.
- Pricing may be on the high side for some users.
What are key features of VPNs for iPhone?
VPN software provides various features that enhance iPhone users’ data privacy and security. Below are the key features.
Ad and tracker blocking
With the growing prevalence of online advertisements and tracking technologies, people are becoming increasingly concerned about safeguarding their privacy while browsing the internet. VPN software addresses this concern by offering built-in ad and tracker-blocking capabilities. The ad and tracker blocking feature lets users enjoy a cleaner and more secure browsing experience by effectively blocking intrusive ads and preventing trackers from monitoring their online activities. In addition, this feature not only enhances privacy but also improves website loading times and conserves data usage.
WiFi security and protection
VPN software also ensures better security and protection when using public WiFi networks. Public WiFi hotspots in coffee shops, airports or hotels are often insecure and vulnerable to cyberattacks. This makes these places a hotbed for hackers who are always on the lookout to intercept user data, including log-in credentials or other sensitive information. However, with a quality VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a secure tunnel, even when connected to public WiFi. This feature shields your data from potential eavesdroppers and safeguards your online activities.
Split tunneling is a feature that allows users to select specific apps or websites to bypass the VPN tunnel while the remaining internet traffic remains protected. This feature enables users to prioritize their network traffic according to their preferences. By utilizing split tunneling, users can access localized services or stream region-restricted content, all while maintaining the security and encryption provided by the VPN. It offers a well-balanced solution that combines privacy and accessibility.
A no-logs policy is a fundamental feature of trustworthy VPN services, especially for iPhone users concerned about online privacy. A no-logs policy ensures that the VPN provider does not collect, store or track information about users’ online activities, IP addresses or other identifiable data. This feature also contributes to data protection by reducing the risk of data getting into the hands of hackers in the event of any data breaches and hacking incidents.
How do I choose the best iPhone VPN?
When faced with many VPN options for your iPhone, there are several factors you should bear in mind before picking a VPN provider.
One of the primary considerations when choosing a VPN service is cost. Compare the subscription plans and the features each plan covers. Also, run your cost comparison against what other VPN vendors offer. Similarly, you may need to check if the VPN offers a free trial period so you can easily test the software and determine whether it suits your needs before paying for the subscription.
Ease of use
Apple’s iPhones are designed with simplicity and sophistication in mind. You want to go with a VPN that offers sophisticated yet easy-to-use features. For instance, if you are the type who likes activating your apps using voice commands, you may need to check out NordVPN, as it offers compatibility with Siri. Another consideration here is the payment, installation and activation processes. You want to use an application that provides a seamless payment method and a straightforward installation and activation process.
Security is paramount when it comes to VPN software. Look for VPNs with solid encryption protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2, a strict no-logs policy and a kill switch that ensures your data remains secure even if the VPN connection drops. Also, consider whether the VPN provider undergoes independent security audits. Fortunately, all the VPNs that made it to our list advertise secure encryption and operate a strict no-logs policy.
Evaluate the performance of the VPN software by considering factors such as server network size, connection speeds and server locations. A comprehensive server network with strategically placed servers can provide faster and more reliable connections.
Some VPN applications may not be compatible with your iPhone or iOS version. From our list, you can see that while some are compatible with iOS 12, others are compatible with iOS 13 or 14. Therefore, you should consider your device’s iOS version and determine if your preferred VPN app is compatible.
Our review process for this list involved a rigorous evaluation based on certain criteria. We focused on identifying VPN providers with solid security features, including strong encryption protocols and no-logs policies. Our approach also focused on compatibility with iOS versions, user-friendliness and cost. We also assessed user reviews from the Apple store and other reputable sources to gather further insights.
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