Best iPhone VPN of 2024

If you’re an iPhone user and you want your device as fortified as possible, we suggest using one of the best iPhone VPNs available today. Sure, Apple has a solid reputation for keeping its lineup of mobile devices loaded with strong privacy features. But when it comes to your personal info, using a virtual private network is the right way to go. Having a VPN installed on your iPhone will encrypt your internet traffic, which will block your ISP and mobile carrier from viewing your online activity. A VPN will also mask your true IP address, which can thwart mobile apps and websites from learning your physical location.

As an iPhone owner, you’re probably used to the mobile device’s sleek and intuitive interface. Any iPhone VPN app should match the user-friendly nature of the device itself, and deliver top-notch security options as well. VPN experts have tested roughly a dozen of the top VPN providers across a variety of platforms to figure out which one operates best for diverse use cases on different devices.

What is the best iPhone VPN right now?

ExpressVPN is currently top pick for the best iPhone VPN, thanks to its excellent privacy protections and simple, user-friendly mobile interface. Though ExpressVPN is our top pick, the other VPN providers listed below are all more than worthy of consideration, depending on exactly what you’re looking for in a VPN for your iPhone. 

Other VPNs we tested

Proton VPN

If you need a completely free VPN for your iPhone, Proton VPN is the way to go. With Proton VPN, you can get access to three server locations without paying a dime. And unlike other free VPNs, Proton doesn’t put any restrictions on usage or speed. If you want the full, premium version of Proton VPN, it’s $72 per year or $10 per month, putting it in the middle of the pack in terms of price. 

Proton VPN is a great option for privacy-minded VPN users, but its iPhone app falls short of the competition in terms of app design and usability. The user interface is quite clunky, with the home screen displaying a long list of server options, at the bottom of which is an unassuming connect button. You can opt to select a server from a screen depicting a map of the world, but you can only zoom in so far, so if you want to connect to a specific country in Europe, for example, it becomes difficult to do so because the countries are consolidated into a relatively small region. Connecting to a server was also often a sluggish ordeal. But if you can get past these design and usability quirks, Proton is the best free option and an excellent VPN solution overall.

How we test iPhone VPNs

When we evaluate the best iPhone VPNs, we thoroughly test the features offered on each VPN’s iPhone app to see how they compare to the competition. We carefully consider the look and feel of the app and the overall usability of the software, including how easy it is to establish a connection — bearing in mind the user experience iPhone users are accustomed to. We test the performance and reliability of the VPN connection on each of the protocols available in the provider’s iPhone app. We test for leaks and we pay special attention to each service’s kill switch functionality and ensure it’s working as it should. We test each VPN’s ability to circumvent geographical restrictions and access streaming sites. Finally, we evaluate each provider’s pricing to determine the service’s overall value.  

Factors to consider in an iPhone VPN

With so many iPhone VPN apps available, it can be difficult to choose the right solution. Based our extensive research and hands-on testing of VPNs over the years, these are the factors to look out for when choosing a VPN for your iPhone:

Privacy

The primary consideration for any VPN should be privacy. If your iPhone VPN is unable to deliver a sufficient level of privacy, then your VPN is practically useless. Your VPN should offer industry standard AES 256-bit encryption along with basic privacy protections like a kill switch, DNS leak protection and a no-logs policy. If your privacy needs are critical in nature, you’ll need a VPN provider that is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, offers obfuscation and has a RAM-only server architecture. Additional privacy features to look out for include Tor over VPN functionality, ad and tracker blockers and multi-hop connections. It’s also important to choose a VPN that’s trustworthy, transparent and undergoes regular third-party security audits, which can help bolster trust in the VPN’s ability to protect your privacy.

Speed

Your VPN’s connection speeds can have a major influence on the quality of your streaming, downloading, video conferencing, gaming and general web browsing activities. To keep things running as smoothly as possible, you’ll want a VPN that will have as minimal an impact on your regular internet speeds as possible. 

Usability

A good iPhone VPN should run smoothly and be easy to use regardless of your technical expertise. It should have all of the features you need easily accessible with a tap of your finger. Many iPhone VPN apps also include an easy way to get in touch with support directly from the device, which can be helpful if you need assistance on the go. Basically, your iPhone VPN app should be as easy for you to use as your iPhone itself. It should have a large network of servers around the world so you can connect easily and reliably from wherever you may be traveling, and it should be able to help you access geo-restricted content from various regions. 

Cost

Depending on your budget, you may want to take into account the cost and overall value of your iPhone VPN before making a purchase. VPN pricing can vary greatly from provider to provider, but you can typically expect to spend about $5 to $13 per month for a monthly VPN subscription plan. If you want to save some money, you can opt for an annual subscription, where prices can range from roughly $30 to $100 per year. You’ll want to be careful with free VPNs, though, because you may end up risking your privacy instead of protecting it with a free VPN. Proton VPN is currently the only free VPN that recommends. However, most premium VPNs offer a money-back guarantee that can be anywhere from a week to 45 days. You can also get a seven-day free trial with many VPNs when you sign up through Apple’s App Store. So you have options to try various iPhone VPNs risk-free before you decide whether to fully invest in one.   

iPhone VPN FAQs

What’s the best iPhone VPN right now?

ExpressVPN is currently top pick for the best iPhone VPN thanks to its reliability, responsiveness and ease of use. Surfshark is an excellent alternative if you’re on a budget but want an iPhone VPN that boasts a wealth of features. third pick is NordVPN, which is a veteran VPN provider that offers an excellent iPhone app that’s a breeze to use.   Show less

Do iPhone VPNs leak traffic?

Recent independent research claims that VPNs on iOS devices leak user traffic outside of the VPN tunnel, unencrypted. VPN providers have pointed out that the vulnerability exists on Apple’s side and affects all VPNs on iOS devices. Proton VPN outlined a workaround to the issue in a blog post, advising iOS VPN users to connect to a VPN server, enable Airplane mode (to kill existing internet connections and temporarily disable the VPN) then disable Airplane mode. The VPN should then reconnect with all internet connections running through the VPN tunnel. Proton notes that it’s not a 100% guarantee that the VPN will be rendered leak-free through this process. But it can only help.Show less

What does my ISP/mobile carrier see when I’m connected to my VPN?

Your internet service provider or mobile carrier can see that you’re connected to a VPN, but it won’t be able to see the websites you visit or browsing history, because your iPhone VPN encrypts your online traffic. Your ISP/mobile carrier will also see things like the IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to, the timestamps of when you’re connected and the amount of data you’ve transmitted. If you want to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN altogether, you can connect to an obfuscated server, if offered by your VPN.

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