Updated on: September 25, 2023
Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for iOS in 2023
ExpressVPN: Has an extremely intuitive iOS app that also comes with high-end security features, including a malicious site blocker and a built-in password manager. It also maintains the fastest speeds on the market and works with 100+ streaming services. And it has affordable plans and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
iOS devices provide tons of security features, but they can’t secure your online traffic — so anyone can spy on your online activities and track your real location.
A VPN provides that kind of protection, as it encrypts your traffic so that nobody can spy on it. It also prevents anyone from seeing your real IP address, which reveals your location — this helps you access streaming services from your country when you’re traveling abroad.
While most VPNs have an iOS app, they’re not that great — they’re either buggy and difficult to use, or they have slow speeds, lack essential security features, or don’t work with most streaming services.
But all the VPNs on this list have excellent iOS apps. However, my top choice is
Quick summary of the best VPNs for iOS:
ExpressVPN— Best VPN for iOS users in 2023.
CyberGhost VPN— Very good iOS VPN for streaming.
NordVPN— Great iOS VPN for security.
Private Internet Access— Good Siri automation & strong privacy.
Surfshark— Good iOS VPN for beginners.
- Plus 3 more!
- Comparison of the Best VPNs for iOS in 2023.
ExpressVPN — Best VPN for iOS in 2023
I really like how beginner-friendly the provider’s iOS app is — it only takes 1–2 minutes to download and install it, and it comes with a quick-connect feature that automatically connects you to the fastest server for your location with just 1 tap. What’s more, it’s effortless to manually find and connect to servers (it only took me 3–4 seconds), and all settings and features come with helpful explanations.
You also get excellent security, as the provider’s iOS app comes with:
- Threat Manager — Stops ad trackers from spying on your online activities and also blocks connections to malicious websites.
- ExpressVPN Keys — A good built-in password manager that lets you secure unlimited logins, auto-fill login fields on websites, and generate secure passwords.
- Full leak protection — The iOS app has built-in protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. I ran leak tests on servers in 5+ countries and never experienced any issues.
- RAM-only servers — All of the provider’s servers save everything to the RAM, meaning every server reset wipes all data.
- Perfect forward secrecy — Changes the encryption key for each VPN session to prevent hackers from compromising past or future encryption keys.
ExpressVPN also provides very good privacy. Its no-logs policy has passed several independent security audits, and its iOS app has also been audited and no security issues were found.
Plus, you get excellent streaming support, as this VPN consistently works with 100+ streaming services, including popular platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and HBO Max. In fact, it’s the best VPN for streaming on the market.
And, ExpressVPN is also the fastest iOS VPN on this list — in my speed tests, all websites loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos loaded instantly and never buffered, and I never experienced lag or high ping while playing online games.
ExpressVPN has the best iOS app on the market — it’s extremely simple to install and use and easy to navigate. Plus, it comes with industry-leading security and privacy features, including a malicious site blocker and a built-in password manager. It also has the fastest speeds on the market, works with 100+ streaming apps, and backs all of its affordable plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN — Very Good iOS VPN for Streaming
CyberGhost VPN also has 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries, which is one of the largest server networks on the market — this makes it really simple to find and connect to nearby servers to get good speeds.
And speaking of speeds, this VPN is really fast — in my tests, all sites I visited loaded instantly, HD videos loaded instantly and there was no buffering, and 4K videos took only 3 seconds to load. Even so, I still had faster speeds with ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost VPN’s iOS app is also simple to use since its interface is really mobile-friendly. You can connect to the fastest server with just 1 tap, and it also just takes 3–4 seconds to manually find and connect to servers. Plus, I like how you can automate VPN connections on Wi-Fi — for example, you can make the VPN automatically connect to a server when your device detects a Wi-Fi network.
The VPN is also really secure, as it has advanced features like full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and RAM-only servers. You also get good privacy, as its no-logs policy passed an independent security audit, and the provider publishes regular transparency reports that detail how it didn’t comply with user data requests.
CyberGhost VPN provides very good streaming via 100+ streaming servers that can access 50+ streaming platforms. It also has the largest server network on this list, really good speeds, a very intuitive iOS app, and strong security and privacy features. Its plans are very affordable, and there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee for all long-term plans.
NordVPN — Really Good iOS VPN for Security
For starters, it has Threat Protection Lite, which protects you from unwanted ads and malicious websites — it blocked just about every ad in my tests and prevented me from visiting shady HTTP websites. Also, the provider’s iOS app comes with Dark Web Monitor, which scans the dark web and alerts you if it detects that the login credentials that are associated with your NordVPN account have been compromised.
You also get access to double VPN servers, which route your traffic through 2 VPN servers, adding another layer of encryption. In addition, the iOS app also comes with Meshnet, which lets you link up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections — for example, you can use it to securely share files from your iOS device to your home computer when traveling.
NordVPN also has other advanced security and privacy features, including full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy, and its no-logs policy has passed several independent security audits.
Plus, I like how user-friendly the VPN’s iOS app is — it has a quick-connect feature, its interface is very simple to navigate, and there are useful explanations for most settings and features.
NordVPN is good for streaming, as it works with 10+ streaming platforms, including top services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ — but I think you get better streaming support with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
Also, the provider has really good speeds — when I used its iOS app, websites loaded instantly, HD videos took just 1–2 seconds to load and didn’t buffer, and 4K videos loaded in less than 4 seconds. That said, I had faster speeds with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
Private Internet Access — Good Siri Automation Options & Strong Privacy
Private Internet Access (PIA)’s iOS app has Siri-related automation options, a quick-connect feature, and an intuitive design. I’m a fan of how you can record a personalized phrase that allows Siri to tell the provider’s app to connect to or disconnect from a server.
The VPN also provides strong privacy, as its strict no-logs policy has been proven true in court and has also passed an independent security audit. In addition, all of its apps are open-source (anyone can inspect the code for security issues), which provides great transparency.
I also like how you get strong security — PIA includes full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and RAM-only servers. Unfortunately, PIA doesn’t have a feature that blocks malicious sites or ads on iOS, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN do — but I like how the provider’s app lets you quickly enable the Safari browser’s content blocker.
The provider can access 30+ streaming services, including top platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu — plus, it also works with smaller streaming services, such as YLE, FranceTV, and Ruutu. You get dedicated streaming servers in 5+ countries, including the US, the UK, and Japan.
The VPN also provides fast speeds — in my speed tests, all websites loaded instantly, HD videos loaded instantly and there were no quality drops, 4K videos took only 1–2 seconds to load, and I was able to play online games without any lag. That said, ExpressVPN provided me with slightly better speeds.
With prices that start at $2.19 / month, Private Internet Access is very budget-friendly. It also backs each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PIA has a really user-friendly iOS app that comes with convenient Siri automation options. It also provides strong privacy via an audited no-logs policy and open-source apps. Plus, it has strong security features, really good streaming support, and fast speeds. Also comes with very affordable plans and a 30-day -money-back guarantee.
Surfshark — Good iOS VPN for Beginners
Surfshark’s iOS app is very simple to navigate — the interface is intuitive, it only takes 4–5 seconds to find and connect to servers, and there are short explanations for all settings and features.
Surfshark also provides pretty good security and privacy — its iOS app comes with CleanWeb, a good ad blocker, and it also has IP Rotator, which regularly changes your VPN IP address without disconnecting you from the server to make it harder for anyone to track your online activities. In addition, you get access to double VPN connections.
You also get perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, but I think it’s a shame that Surfshark is missing full leak protection (it only has DNS leak protection) — competitors like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN all have full protection against all leaks.
Surfshark works with 50+ streaming apps (but not Disney+) and provides fast speeds. Sites generally loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos in 2–3 seconds, and 4K videos in 4–5 seconds — that said, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN were much faster in my tests.
Surfshark has super affordable plans that start at only $2.30 / month. Also, it allows unlimited device connections and has a 30-day money-back guarantee for all of its plans.
Surfshark allows unlimited connections, making it a good pick if everyone in your family uses an iOS device. Its iOS app is really easy to use, comes with useful security features, has good streaming support, pretty fast speeds, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN — Good Free Plan for iOS
Proton VPN has a good free plan for iOS users since it comes with unlimited data — most free VPNs limit how much data you can use each day or month.
I also like how the provider’s free iOS app is secure — it has advanced features like full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and full-disk encryption, which keeps all data safe on a server even if it’s compromised. Also, Proton VPN has an audited no-logs policy, and its iOS app is open-source and audited.
Plus, the iOS app is really intuitive. It comes with a quick-connect feature and a Profiles feature, which lets you set up your own connection preferences — for example, you can create a profile that automatically connects you to the fastest server in a specific country.
But the free plan has some limitations — you can only use servers in 3 countries (the US, the Netherlands, and Japan), you can only connect 1 device, and you don’t get streaming support.
Upgrading to the provider’s paid subscription adds more perks, like 2,900+ servers in 60+ countries, up to 10 connections, and support for 30+ streaming services. The provider also has decent speeds, but it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN.
Proton VPN’s Plus subscription starts at $4.99 / month. And each purchase is backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN has a good free plan for iOS users since it comes with unlimited data. The free plan also provides access to good security and privacy features. Its paid subscription is backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
TunnelBear — Beginner-Friendly iOS VPN With Split-Tunneling
TunnelBear has a user-friendly iOS app that’s fun to use — you can use a digital map to connect to servers and select auto-connect for the fastest speeds. When you select a server, a digital bear digs a tunnel to the server’s location. What’s more, the digital bear roars when you connect to a server!
I’m also a big fan of the provider’s SplitBear feature, which offers split-tunneling. TunnelBear is one of the only VPNs that has split-tunneling on iOS. The provider also allows unlimited connections and has decent speeds — but it’s nowhere near as fast as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPN.
TunnelBear has a free plan, but I don’t recommend it because it limits you to 2 GB per month — that’s only enough for a few hours of web browsing. Instead, it’s better to purchase its affordable paid plans that start at $3.33 / month. Unfortunately, there’s no money-back guarantee.
TunnelBear’s iOS app is really easy and fun to use, it’s one of the only iOS VPN apps out there that comes with split-tunneling, and you also get unlimited connections. TunnelBear has a free plan and affordable paid plans but lacks a money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN — Affordable VPN With a Great iOS App
PrivateVPN is a highly affordable VPN with a user-friendly app for iOS devices. To connect to servers in 60+ countries, there’s a convenient search bar, plus the servers are organized alphabetically. The favorites option also lets you save your regular servers for quick access. It provides access to Stealth VPN, too, which bypasses VPN blocks and censorship.
The VPN has a great array of features, too, including great streaming support for sites like Netflix and Hulu, good torrenting support with port forwarding, and really fast speeds (though not as fast as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN). Unfortunately, it’s missing a kill switch on iOS.
PrivateVPN has really affordable plans starting at $2.00 / month. They’re all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is a great iOS VPN for those on a budget. Its app is feature-rich and customizable, it’s user-friendly, and it has great streaming and torrenting support with fast speeds. Its affordable plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best VPNs for iOS in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||iOS Kill Switch||Number of Countries||Free Plan||Simultaneous Connections||Money-Back Guarantee|
||$6.67 / month||✅||90+||❌||8||30 days|
||$2.19 / month||✅||90+||❌||7||45 days (long-term plans only)|
||$3.19 / month||✅||55+||❌||6||30 days|
||$2.19 / month||✅||80+||❌||Unlimited||30 days|
||$2.30 / month||✅||100+||❌||Unlimited||30 days|
||$4.99 / month||✅||60+||✅||10||30 days (prorated)|
||$3.33 / month||✅||45+||✅||Unlimited||❌|
||$2.00 / month||❌||60+||❌||10||30 days|
How to Choose the Best VPNs for iOS in 2023
- Select a VPN designed with a user-friendly iOS app. This ensures an easy, intuitive user experience.
- Choose a VPN with strong security features. All the VPNs on this list come with essential security and privacy features, such as 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy (to prevent the VPN from spying on your traffic), protection against IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks, or a kill switch, which disables web access if the VPN disconnects.
- Go for an iOS VPN with great streaming support. I only recommend choosing a provider that works with popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max.
- Look for a VPN with fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your speeds due to the encryption process, but the VPNs on my list maintain really fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and gaming on iOS.
- Opt for a VPN offering good value. Select a service that provides extras like ad blocking and site protection, lets you use multiple devices at once, has well-priced plans, and offers free trials or a good refund policy.
How to Install a VPN on Your iOS Device
Installing a VPN on an iOS device is very simple. Just follow these steps and you’ll be all set in only a couple of minutes:
- Decide on a VPN Service: Before you can install a VPN, you need to decide which one you want to use. I recommend ExpressVPN since it’s the fastest and has a great iOS app.
- Download the App: Open the “App Store” on your iOS device. Then, search for the VPN service you’ve chosen. Tap the “Download” button next to the VPN app.
- Open the App: Once the app is downloaded, tap to open it.
- Sign Up or Log In: If you’re new to the VPN service, you’ll need to sign up. If you already have an account, simply log in.
- Follow On-Screen Instructions: The VPN app will likely guide you through the setup process. Follow any on-screen instructions to set up your VPN profile.
- Allow VPN Configuration: You may see a pop-up asking for permission to add a VPN configuration to your device. Tap “Allow” to proceed.
- Pick a Server and Connect. Finally, pick your desired server from the list (or use an auto-connect option) and connect to the VPN. Now you can use your iOS device securely!
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:
- IPVanish. IPVanish has good speeds and is easy to use, but it’s not good for streaming since it doesn’t work with top services like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer.
- VyprVPN. VyprVPN is a really good VPN for streaming, and it’s beginner-friendly, but it doesn’t have a very large server network and isn’t as fast as the others on my list.
- BolehVPN. BolehVPN is fast and secure, but it doesn’t have an iOS app — instead you have to download and install a third-party OpenVPN client, which isn’t easy for most users. Plus, the third-party client doesn’t have an intuitive interface.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best VPN for iOS?
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for iOS devices in 2023 — its iOS app is extremely simple to navigate, comes with high-end security features including a built-in password manager and a malicious site blocker, provides the fastest speeds on the market, and can access 100+ streaming services.
Do you need a VPN on iOS?
Yes, I strongly recommend that you purchase an affordable VPN for your iOS device. All iOS devices have built-in security features and are good for protecting you against malware, but a VPN provides extra layers of security that aren’t included on iOS devices.
A VPN provides strong online security and privacy — it encrypts your data, making it completely unreadable, and it also prevents anyone from seeing your real location.
My top choice is ExpressVPN — it has a very intuitive iOS app, provides excellent security features, has lightning-fast speeds, and works with 100+ streaming services.
How to download and use a VPN for iOS
It takes just 3 fast and easy steps to install a VPN on your iOS device:
- Pick a good iOS VPN. Choose an affordable VPN that has an intuitive and secure iOS app, like ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app. It takes only 1–2 minutes to complete the installation process.
- Connect to a VPN server. Open the VPN app and either use the quick-connect tool to connect to the fastest server, or manually select a server to connect to from the provider’s server list. Once connected, you can surf the web securely.
Is there a free VPN for iOS?
Yes — Proton VPN has a decent free plan for iOS users, which allows unlimited data, comes with a very intuitive iOS app, and provides access to strong security and privacy features. But, you only get access to servers in 3 countries (the US, the Netherlands, and Japan), only get 1 connection, and there’s no streaming support.
Instead, I recommend purchasing a reasonably-priced VPN, like the ones on this list. This way, you get access to all of the VPN’s features, its entire server network, and multiple connections, and you’re able to stream content on all of the popular platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
What is the fastest VPN for iOS?
ExpressVPN provided me with the fastest speeds in my tests — all websites loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos loaded instantly and I didn’t experience any buffering, and I was able to play online games without experiencing high ping or lag. This is not really surprising, considering this is the fastest VPN on the market.
Will using a VPN on iOS increase battery usage?
Yes, it’s possible — even though all top iOS VPNs design their apps to minimize battery usage, the apps will still be running in the background, which will impact your device’s battery. On average, an iOS VPN might increase battery usage by around 10–15% on Wi-Fi, and up to 20% on mobile data.
But there are ways to optimize battery usage with an iOS VPN:
- Use a light VPN protocol. Stick to protocols that don’t use too much data, such as WireGuard and IKEv2/IPSec. ExpressVPN even has its own protocol (Lightway) that’s designed to consume less battery.
- Don’t use the VPN 24/7. Once you’re done using the VPN, disconnect from the server and close the VPN app, so that it doesn’t run in the background.
- Dim the screen’s brightness and close background apps. This will help your device’s battery last longer.
Do iOS devices have a built-in VPN?
No, there’s no such feature on iOS — you can set up a manual VPN connection on iOS, but you’ll still need to use a VPN server, which the iOS device can’t provide. It’s honestly much better to just get a VPN with an iOS app, as it’s the most convenient option.
Can I use an iOS VPN to change my Apple App Store location?
No, as the Apple App Store location is influenced by your Apple ID location, not your IP address. To change the Apple App Store location, you’ll need to manually change your Apple ID location. You can do that by going to Settings > Media & Purchases > View Account and tap Country/Region. Keep in mind you’ll need to add a valid payment method from the selected country or region.
However, a region-locked app might not work in a different country. Still, you might be able to use it with a VPN if you connect to a server in the app’s original country — just make sure doing that isn’t against the app’s terms and conditions.