Best VPNs for iPhone

NordVPN is a solid VPN for iPhone

Even though iPhones offer more security than most mobile devices, there is still the need to get a VPN to have a better online experience. For instance, a VPN will help protect your device when using an unsecured public WiFi network. Using such unsecured networks can expose your data to malware, cybercriminals, or eavesdropping.

A VPN prevents this by encrypting your internet traffic, thus keeping your device safe. It can also help you bypass restrictions and internet censorship like geo-blocking, for example. This article will give you the details about the best VPNs available for your iPhone.

1.     ExpressVPN

Features

  • Number of servers: More than 3,000
  • Speeds: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • 24 live chat: Yes
  • 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Pros/Cons

  • Fastest VPN out there
  • Strict no logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Few discounts

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN apps available on all major operating systems. It was launched in 2009 with the company based in the British Virgin Islands. ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs available as it has over 3000 high-speed servers at various locations all over the globe, which makes it ideal for streaming or torrenting.

This VPN uses an AES 256-bit cipher for encryption, which is the highest level of encryption for your iPhone and, presently, is unbreakable. Like other VPNs, ExpressVPN works by changing the user’s IP address and encrypting internet traffic. This obscures the user’s real location, thus allowing you to connect to different services from specific regions, which may not be accessible while using your exact location.

This VPN offers you a wide range of servers, with options available in about 94 countries and 145 cities all over the world. This wide range of servers helps to make sure that users can get a nearby server quickly, to get the highest VPN speeds available.

The service also allows up to five simultaneous connections. This means as an iPhone user, you can simultaneously use ExpressVPN on Linux, Windows, or Mac OS. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee available, which allows you to get a refund if you’re not pleased with the service within the first 30 days.

The basic monthly package costs around $12.95, though you can get a discount by purchasing a 12-month subscription at $8.32 per month. Registration is easy as the service accepts payment methods like MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, American Express, and even Bitcoin. Though this service can be set up manually on your iPhone’s VPN settings, the best way to get the full experience is to install the purpose-built app for iOS. The app is available on the App store as “ExpressVPN.” After the download, the user can then launch the app and follow the instructions to register and setup.

ExpressVPN offers the option to choose the VPN protocols you want to use. The “Automatic” option selects the best VPN protocol available based on the network settings. There is also the Kill Switch, which is a network lock that works by blocking all internet traffic if the connection to the VPN service drops on your iPhone. This ensures your data remains encrypted and secure, with your real IP address kept safe. Though your web traffic is open to the company, it does not store information about your web activity. It does not store the contents and destinations of your data, your IP address, DNS queries, or personal information.

There is a unique feature called split tunneling. When this is on, the user can choose which applications make use of the VPN tunnel, allowing access to local and foreign content. It also offers DNS leak protection on iPhones. Though ExpressVPN isn’t cheap compared to most VPNs, it provides an exciting combination of speed, privacy, and performance.

2.   NordVPN

Features

  • Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
  • Servers: 5342 in 58 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Lots of pricing options
  • Netflix support kept up to date
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Slow app

NordVPN is a VPN service based in Panama, with an extensive network of over 5,100 servers in 61 countries. This is one of the most famous names on the market as the company boasts of over 12 million customers. This service has special categories for torrenting, streaming, and extra security.

It has 256-bit encryption and a combination of reliable VPN protocols for protection. There is a NordVPN app available on the AppStore for iPhone users, with which you can connect to various servers across the world. Though the app is free, you have to pay to use the service, as with most other VPNs.

The company no longer offers free trials or free subscription tier, due to some issues in the past. A 30-day subscription costs $11.95 on NordVPN, while the one year plan costs $83.88. Two-year and three-year plans are also available for $95.75 and $107.55, respectively. On an iPhone, the payment is handled through iTunes, though it is possible to sign up using different payment options. With one subscription, you can use the service on up to six devices simultaneously.

NordVPN also has servers in places like China, Russia, and some countries in Africa. On the app, there are some security features named CyberSec. CyberSec includes DDoS protection, Ad blocking, and malicious website protection. Since the company operates under Panama’s jurisdiction, it has a no-logs policy because of the absence of data retention laws, which means your privacy is assured. The company only collects voluntary diagnostic data and app crash statistics.

On the iPhone app, there is a big map on the main page, with pins pointing to all the NordVPN server locations across the world. The interface looks particularly stunning and is quite easy to navigate. There is a quick-connect button you can tap, which will connect you to the nearest and fastest VPN server if you are in a rush. If you want a specific server location, there is the List option that displays the server locations, including their specialty servers. The specialty servers include Onion (TOR), P2P, and Anti-DDoS.

These specialty servers help to ensure you can quickly get the one you need. Though many VPNs are unable to access Netflix due to the Netflix proxy error, you can easily access the streaming service on your iPhone using NordVPN. It easily bypasses Netflix’s detection measures. The service works flawlessly with Netflix catalogs in the UK, US, Canada, Brazil, France, and Japan. This is due to the proprietary SmartPlay DNS feature. There are also instructions and server suggestions on the iPhone app for other popular streams like BBC, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. NordVPN also has more than 4,600 servers in 46 countries dedicated to torrenting.

The P2P server on the VPN interface ensures smooth and safe torrenting. There are some other great features like LAN invisibility, DNS leak protection, Auto connect, Special obfuscated servers, OpenVPN, TCP, and UDP protocols, and Onion over VPN servers. Overall, NordVPN offers excellent value for its price.

3.   SurfShark

Features

  • Free trial? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: unlimited
  • Ad blocking? Yes
  • Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries

Pros/Cons

  • No footprints
  • Allows torrenting
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not the cheapest around

SurfShark is a fast-growing VPN service with over 1000 servers in 61 countries. It is one of the cheapest VPN apps for iPhones as it comes as cheap as $1.99 per month. It also has a feature that most other VPNs do not have, which is the option to use it on as many devices as possible. Most VPN services only allow usage on five or six devices simultaneously. SurfShark allows for unlimited usage. With just one subscription on your iPhone, you can use it on as many devices as you like.

One of the main features the service has is the CleanWeb. This feature blocks phishing attempts, malware, and intrusive ads. This helps conserve mobile data and also helps to increase loading speeds when browsing on your iPhone. Surfshark also has a strict no-log policy, meaning that no records of the user’s online activity are kept. The SurfShark app is available on the AppStore for free, and you can register and use the service in four easy steps. After downloading the app, select one of the three available plans: the monthly plan, the one year plan, and the 24-month plan.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee that ensures you can change your plan or cancel the service at any time. There is a quick connect option available, which is then followed by the “Add VPN Configuration” option. Once this has been clicked, you’d be required to enter your device password. The interface is straightforward to use and interactive. SurfShark is mainly divided into four tabs: Virtual, Physical, P2P, and MultiHop. The MultiHop is a unique feature of SurfShark.

With this feature, you can connect your iPhone or any device to multiple countries. This increases the connection speed while protecting your privacy. This VPN also has another layer of security known as the Camouflage mode. It is also known as Obfuscation by other VPN providers. This option scrambles your digital presence and makes it more difficult to trace. On the Surfshark homepage, it is clearly stated that the VPN does not store browsing, downloading or purchasing history; Outgoing and incoming IP addresses; Bandwidth; Network traffic; the VPN servers used, and connection timestamps. The app only stores the billing information and the email ID.

Unlike many other VPN services that do not support Netflix streaming, Surfshark allows this. It works with Netflix catalogs in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and India. It also supports streaming on Amazon Video and BBC iPlayer. SurfShark is compatible with torrent software such as uTorrent and BitTorrent. Though the default VPN protocol is the IKEv2, users can switch to OpenVPN at any time. The NoBorders option, which is activated by default, bypasses any geographical restrictions you can encounter while surfing the internet.

Surfshark has not experienced any security breach in the past, neither have they been involved in security scandals. It is one of the safest and most reliable VPN apps you can use on your iPhone.

4.   UltraVPN

Features

  • One click connect? Yes
  • Bandwidth cap? No
  • Servers: 100+ superfast servers
  • Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

Pros/Cons

  • Firewall
  • Apps for all devices
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not as many servers as others

UltraVPN is a VPN service run by Network Connect, which has other VPN brands such as SafeVPN and PrivacyWeb. The iPhone app is available on the AppStore and can run on devices with iOS 8.0 and later. The software has an excellent user interface, with the features clearly labelled. The pricing is a little bit more expensive than many other VPNs. It is also complicated in a way due to some conditions associated with renewal. The monthly plan is available for $6.99 for the first subscription, and $8.99 on renewal.

The price drops to $4.99 per month if you choose to pay six months upfront. It then increases to $9.98 on renewal. However, this plan only gives support for connecting up to three devices simultaneously. To get help for unlimited devices, you have to pay an additional $2.92 a month for the first year.

Users can get a more significant discount if they subscribe for a longer period. There is also a 7-day free trial available to all users. Once you download the software, you can use the service for free for seven days without providing payment details. The VPN also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can get a full refund if you decide to cancel the service during the first month. 

UltraVPN accepts Mastercard, Amex, PayPal, Visa, and Discover. However, it does not accept cryptocurrencies.

As for privacy, the website claims the service has a no-logs policy. “We do not keep tabs on your online activities, so your browsing habits remain completely anonymous.” The app does not store the user’s connection data, online activity, and VPN service data. However, the service notes the device IP and the amount of traffic that goes through their servers.

On the iPhone app, there is a main console that displays the selected location and other available locations. Unfortunately, there is no “Automatic” selection option to connect to the nearest server. However, it highlights servers within countries and their specific positions. With UltraVPN, you can access Netflix on your iPhone easily. There is a Netflix viewing location on the app called “UltraFlix US.” The VPN also works well with Hulu, Now TV, and Sky. UltraVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, the most secure VPN protocol. It also uses the very stable AES-256 encryption standard.

There is a unique Kill Switch called “The firewall.” This feature helps hide your real IP address by stopping all online activity if the connection breaks. Though UltraVPN supports torrenting, the provider doesn’t advertise the service for torrenting. However, P2P is available, and the VPN works fine with torrenting software such as BitTorrent and uTorrent. This service also offers active DNS leak protection, which ensures your identity and online activity are masked at all times, even from your internet service provider.

The VPN offers constant speed as it has a zero bandwidth cap. Overall, the service is well above average, and it provides a decent value for its price.

5.    CyberGhost

Features

  • Connected devices at once: 7
  • One click connect: Yes
  • Automatic kill switch? Yes
  • Servers: 5900 worldwide

Pros/Cons

  • No logs policy
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Apps for mobile devices and routers
  • No free option

CyberGhost is a VPN service based in Romania. It has about 6,200 servers across 90 countries. On an iPhone, the VPN supports the IKEv2, which is quite modern and acceptable. The number of server locations keeps increasing, with an excellent geographic distribution of servers. A strong geographic distribution means that you have more choices when looking to change your location. The VPN has 90 server locations that are spread out across the globe.

Like most VPN services, CyberGhost gives a discount for paying upfront for longer intervals. The one-month plan with CyberGhost costs $12.99, while the six-month subscription costs $47.94. The yearly plan costs $63.00. These plans can be purchased with traditional payment options PayPal, Mastercard, and Visa. There is the option to pay with Bitcoin if you want your payment to be anonymous. A subscription to CyberGhost will let you use the service on seven devices simultaneously.

This means you can use the VPN on your iPhone together with six other devices at the same time. This is above the provincial average of five devices for most VPNs. CyberGhost supports P2P file sharing and BitTorrent. The servers are particularly compatible with torrenting software. Users can safely upload files through the port forwarding feature. The service also has servers specially made for streaming. This means the service will allow access to video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, without having to turn off VPN protection.

The app is available on the AppStore, and there should be no trouble installing it on your iPhone. The interface looks unconventional as it has the option of swiping left or right to display four panels. These panels represent the four modes of operation: Secured Streaming, Secure WiFi, Choose My Server, and Surf Anonymously. In each group, there is a simple explanation of the model coupled with a high-resolution image. The “Surf Anonymously” and the “Choose My Server” modes compress web traffic and includes other settings to block malicious content and tracking.

The Secure WiFi option controls how the VPN reacts after connecting to other hotspots. It can be set to either come on always for a specific network or remain off for a trusted network. The Secured Streaming mode displays the supported streaming services such as Crunchyroll and Netflix, as well as the most suitable servers for accessing the streaming services. The Surf Anonymously mode selects a country and an available server automatically. It shows the most crowded and fastest servers.

CyberGhost provides ad and malware blocking through the VPN connection. It is one of the fastest VPNs available for iPhones, as seen in various speed tests. The service also has a data compression feature that can help reduce data usage and load times. There is a strict no-logs policy and an automatic Kill Switch. Since the service is based in Romania, which has no data retention laws, the company doesn’t record or store details about the user’s IP address, online activity, or connection timestamp. Though the service is slightly more expensive than most VPNs, the additional features offered make it worth the price.

6.   ProtonVPN

Features

  • P2P support? Yes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
  • Country of origin? Switzerland
  • Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
  • Simultaneous devices: 5

Pros/Cons

  • Professional support
  • Modern interface and apps
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Lesser known provider

ProtonVPN is a Virtual Private Network based in Switzerland. It was developed by CERN and MIT scientists, with a strong stance on privacy. The company doesn’t have a large number of servers, 464 to be precise, but they have a proper geographic distribution. The servers are well spread across 35 countries, including India, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea. The servers and networks are self-owned and are very trustworthy. The VPN has a feature called the Secure Core, a technology that redirects traffic through multiple servers before it leaves the network, leaving the users untraceable.

There are four pricing tiers available on ProtonVPN for all users, though there are limited features on some of the tiers. The first tier is free, but only allows one simultaneous connection and access to servers in only three countries. There is no limit to the amount of data you can use on this tier, making it the best free VPN you can use on an iPhone. The next tier is the basic subscription, which goes for $5 per month and $48 per year.

This tier allows the connection of two devices simultaneously, with access to more servers. This tier also allows P2P file sharing. The next tier is the Plus subscription, which costs $10 per month and $96 per year. All ProtonVPN servers are available on this tier, and five simultaneous connections are also supported. The final tier, called Visionary, costs $30 per month and allows up to 10 simultaneous connections. ProtonVPN is one of the few VPN services that allow access to the Tor Anonymization Network. The app is available on the AppStore for free, and it has a polished and professional interface.

It has a map view that can be collapsed to a standard list view. You can stream Netflix content on multiple servers on your iPhone with ProtonVPN. It also bypasses the geo-restrictions on other streaming sites like Amazon Prime and Hulu. The service is equally a good choice for torrenting as it allows P2P file sharing on all servers with a strict no-logs policy. You can be assured that your data is secure as the VPN uses a 4096-bit RSA key exchange and AES-256 encryption, one of the best available. With proven respect for privacy and a good track record, it’s quite apparent that this VPN is an excellent choice for any iPhone user seeking additional protection.

Conclusion

For anyone who desires anonymity, unrestricted access to websites, and streaming services, the VPNs examined above performs all these functions and more. They have been subjected to a large number of tests and have been proven to be reliable. The apps have been created for iOS devices and will run smoothly after installation. It is then left to you to make a choice depending on your preferences. However, a stable internet connection is required to enjoy these services.