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6 Best iOS VPN Apps for iPhone (2023)

Rob Mardisalu

Rob Mardisalu

Editor of TheBestVPN.com
iPhone VPN

Say you need a VPN for your iPhone. What do you do?

You open the app store, type in VPN, check some reviews and proceed to install one of the hundreds iOS VPN apps.

However, nine times out of then, you just installed a free iOS VPN app that may invade your privacy or be unbearably slow.

Some of the most popular free iPhone VPN apps have been known to:

  • Spy on your browsing history and habits (what sites you visit & when you visit them)
  • Request unnecessary permissions & read your data (access photo library, read your calendar, access health data)
  • Share and even Sell all the data above (advertisers, government agencies or worse)
  • Cripple your connection speeds
  • Leak your DNS and IP Address (pinpointing your phones exact location)

Concerned yet?

We have worked hard to unveil exactly which of the 118 most popular VPN apps spy on your browsing habits and sell your data to third parties.

In this article we are going to save you from reading through all 118 privacy policies we analyzed and provide you with our top picks for the best & safest iPhone VPN providers.

Backed by years of experience, thousands of tests and with your privacy as our top priority, here are our top choices:

6 Best VPNs for iPhone & iOS

As we mentioned, your privacy is our top concern when we review VPN providers. We test a VPN by first going through their privacy policies, terms of conditions and other applicable policies. We then perform DNS & IP leak tests to make sure you’re never at risk.

All 6 VPNs listed below have a strict no-logging policy, are fast and work 100% on your iPhone:

1. NordVPN – Standalone app for iPhone, safe & easy to use

Taking over the online security world by storm NordVPN has risen to the top of our rankings by being the (nearly) perfect VPN.

NordVPN iPhone App
NordVPN iPhone App

NordVPN offers your choice between over 5200 servers in 60+ different countries. Despite their huge network and server availability, they have consistently scored very highly on our speedtests. This allows you to use your favorite apps without any noticeable performance impact.

Further, they are committed to providing you access to geo-blocked Youtube content as well as full access to the entire Netflix/Hulu libraries, no matter your actual location. Nord are one of the few VPNs still able to circumvent Netflix blocking.

They are located in Panama, one of the most privacy-conscious countries with no legal requirements to retain user data. This deliberate effort puts them outside the reach of the 14 eyes, the biggest international surveillance alliance consisting of 14 governments, known to spy on their citizens.

NordVPN have developed their standalone iOS iOS VPN app that allows up to 6 simultaneous connections. This way you can install and use their VPN on all of your other devices at the same time; router, gaming consoles, your mac or windows desktop and so on.

NordVPN Itunes Ranking

Their iOS software uses IKEv2/IPsec & OpenVPN protocols (safest & best VPN protocols) in conjunction with military grade 256-AES encryption. The software runs with a built-in kill switch which disconnects your data in case your VPN connection drops for a second or two.

The app itself is very well designed and simple to use, allowing you to connect to a server in mere seconds. All options and the server lists are easily accessible.

If you go for their most economic plan, NordVPN will run you only $2.99/month. All of their plans come with a no-questions 30-day money back guarantee. You can always pay via one of several cryptocurrencies, to ensure full anonymity.

  • Speed: 74% of benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 4.6/5.0
  • Cost: $2.99/mo
  • Logging Policy: Strict No Logging
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Allowed
  • Usability: 5/5

Read our in-depth NordVPN review here
Visit NordVPN.com for their iOS app

2. ExpressVPN – Great, Fast VPN for iOS

ExpressVPN iPhone App
ExpressVPN iPhone App

ExpressVPN has always been one of our most often recommended VPNs. They know exactly what’s their users require and never disappoint.

Clocking an impressive 83 Mbps download speed on our 100 Mbps connection, ExpressVPN remain the fastest VPN of this caliber we have tested.

Choose one of their 3000+ servers in 93 countries and connect safely, knowing their no-logging policy has your back and your data is secure.

Netflix fanatic? Have your fill and watch any show in their library. ExpressVPN not only allows you access to country-restricted content accross the web, they are one of the best VPNs for Netflix too!

They are located in the privacy friendly British Virgin Islands, outside the reach of any not so privacy friendly governments.

ExpressVPN’s own iOS app allows you 3 simultaneous connections at a time, so you can even Netflix via your Smart TV.

Similar to NordVPN, ExpressVPN use OpenVPN & IPsec as their primary protocols, but also offer you to switch to either PPTP or L2TP. The app comes with a built in kill-switch as well.

ExpressVPN iTunes Reviews

ExpressVPN have probably the simplest and quickest VPN app on the market. Sleek and as straightforward as it gets; a big button to connect and menu items for all the settings you’ll ever need.

ExpressVPN’s only downside and the reason they are ranked behind NordVPN, is that they tend to run quite a bit more expensive. Even for their longest plan, the 18-month one, the monthly cost comes in at $6.67. More than twice as expensive as NordVPN.

  • Speed: 83% of benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 4.7/5.0
  • Cost: $6.67/mo
  • Logging Policy: Strict No Logging
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Allowed
  • Usability: 5/5

Read our in-depth ExpressVPN review here
Visit ExpressVPN.com for their iOS app

3. Surfshark – Cheapest “Legitimate” iOS VPN App

SurfShark VPN iPhone App
SurfShark VPN iPhone App

The new contender has been disrupting the VPN market with amazing features and unbelievable pricing

Surfshark has impressed us by adopting the best features of our favorite VPN providers, all while undercutting their prices.

If you subscribe to Surfshark for 2 years, you’ll end up paying a mere $1.99/mo.

Just unbelievable. But what are they actually offering?

Have your pick from any of their 800+ servers and 50 countries. Not as much as others, but enough for the majority of us!

Further, they unblock Netflix effortlessly, allowing you to indulge in any binge watching you’ll ever want. Peer-to-peer and torrenting? You got it!

Similar to ExpressVPN, Surfshark are situated in the beautiful, but more importantly, privacy conscious British Virgin Islands. Another 10/10 choice!

SurfShark VPN iTunes Reviews

Surfshark’s standalone iOS app secures your traffic via IKEv2/IPsec & OpenVPN protocols; industry standard high encryption

As for the app itself, they have yet again modeled the big boys and created a truly minimalist iPhone app that will have connected and on your way in seconds. One big button, just how we love it!

Their only downside is the fact that they are currently experiencing explosive growth. Sometimes this means their support takes a bit longer to answer your questions, if you have any.

  • Speed: 69% of benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 3.6/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • Cost: $1.99/mo
  • Logging Policy: Strict No Logging
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Torrenting Allowed
  • Usability: 5/5

Read our in-depth Surfshark review here
Visit Surfshark.com for their iOS app

4. Private Internet Access

Pia VPN iPhone App
Pia VPN iPhone App

The old cat of VPN, Private Internet Access still holds up as one of the best providers out there.

PIA used to be one of the cheapest VPNs available while still providing all features you could want.

As times went on, however, their prices increased and innovation stagnated.

That said, PIA has over 3.2k servers and 33 countries for you to choose from. Less than the top contenders, but mostly enough.

Unlike our top 3 iPhone VPN picks, PIA’s is headquartered within the 14 eyes jurisdiction. Specifically, the United States. This does not bode well for their users.

When it comes to speed, PIA has never disappointed, often ranking at the forefront of our speed tests.

PIA offers you a choice of OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, PPTP, Socks5 proxy.

PIA VPN iTunes Reviews

While their desktop app leaves much to be desired, they appear to have learned their lesson when it comes to mobiles apps; adopting the virtues of minimalism and speed. Easy to use and simple; all we ever ask for.

PIA currently asks for $3.49/mo if you signup for two years. Not expensive, not as cheap as others. They used to offer the same price for yearly subscriptions (which since have doubled in price).

A solid old-timer, but seemingly on the way out.

  • Speed: 81% of benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 4.0/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Cost: $3.49/mo
  • Logging Policy: Strict No Logging
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Allowed
  • Usability: 4/5

Read our in-depth PIA review here

5. Windscribe

Windscribe VPN iPhone App
Windscribe VPN iPhone App

What used to be a free VPN provider turned paid, Windscribe are the exception of the rule.

Windscribe will provide you with a humble but honest access to 480+ servers in 50 countries.

Unfortunately, they are located in Canada, a 14 eyes jurisdiction.

In terms of speed, Windscribe can do better, achieving a 43Mbps speed when tested with a 100Mpbs raw connection. Their upload speeds were especially bad.

Windscribe manage to win back some points with their security directives; offering you a choice between OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SOCKS5 protocols.

Windscribe VPN iTunes Reviews

The app itself is very well designed, mimicking the iOS apps of the VPN providers above. Very simple to use & straightforward; one big “connect” button dead center with options visibly accessible.

In terms of price, Windscribe don’t offer anything impressive, unfortunately. Were you to go for their yearly plan, you are looking at right about $4.08/mo.

Expensive? No. The best you can do? No. Luckily they have a free trial with a 5GB bandwidth so you can test out their iOS app.

  • Speed: 43% of benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 3.9/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: Canada
  • Cost: $4.08/mo (+ free trial)
  • Logging Policy: Strict No Logging
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Allowed
  • Usability: 4/5

Read our in-depth Windscribe review here

6. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN iPhone App
ProtonVPN iPhone App

ProtonVPN, the CERN Scientist & Harvard PhD brainchild VPN Provider.

ProtonVPN offers you “hundreds” of servers across 32 or so different countries. Their actual number of servers remain undisclosed.

While CERN is impressive as it gets, we’d rather not have our VPN provider headquartered in Switzerland. A country well known for their bank secrecy in the past, that has been under continued pressure by the EU to align their privacy & secrecy laws their neighbours.

Hopping over to the topic of speed, ProtonVPN can do much better than their 44Mbps, tested with our 100Mbps connections. Our tests, done in western EU, are especially poor when connected to US servers.

ProtonVPN is a fan of the OpenVPN protocol and military standards AES-256 encryption. No issues here, although we would have liked to see some more choice & variety.

ProtonVPN iTunes Reviews

When it comes to Proton’s iOS app, we are content. A server list, an option’s menu and that’s all. Could they have done better? Yes. As we always say, we’re a fan of speed and simplicity; a big, hard to miss, “connect” button is always welcome.

Price is where ProtonVPN really falls behind. Were you to go with their 12 month option, you’re still going to pay a whooping $8/mo. For what they lack in features and offering their prices are not exactly humble.

  • Speed: 54% from the benchmark
  • Users Rating (iTunes): 4.5/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: Switzerland
  • Logging Policy: No logs
  • Cost: $4.00/mo
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Allowed
  • Usability: 3/5

Read our in-depth ProtonVPN review here

3 Tips for Choosing the Best iPhone VPN

Whether you go with one of the six choices above or decide to venture off into the deep end of VPN providers on your own, here are the five tips you need to know to choose the best iPhone VPN!

1. Avoid Free VPNs

Ever heard the expression “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”? Take Google for example. Do you pay Google anything at all? Yet they are one of the biggest companies in the world.

Guess what they sell? You!

Companies aren’t philanthropically inclined. If you use an app for free, they are making money somehow.

In best case scenarios, like with Google, the way they earn is transparent – ads.

With VPN providers however? Let’s just say very few of them make their millions with ads. Even fewer are, at all, transparent with their ways.

Stay as far away from anyone, VPN or others, who have access to your personal data and are not asking for anything in return. Here’s a list of VPNs that may sell/share your data.

2. Choose “No Logging” Policy

This is non-negotiable. Now that we have entered the realm of paid VPNs, one of the benefits we gain is the ability to hold them accountable.

If you’re paying for a VPN, the last thing you should have to demand is their unwavering commitment to your privacy.

It needs to be a given.

That’s what you’re paying for after all!

If you’re already paying for a VPN, make sure they are not sharing/selling your data or logging your browsing habits by checking our research on over 100 logging policies.

If you’re still searching for a VPN for your iPhone or other devices; you’re best served by one of our 6 recommendations above.

3. Avoid VPNs that Ask Sketchy Permissions

We analyzed 111 iOS VPNs and found out that many of them ask permissions that they shouldn’t. Take a look at the graph below:

iOS VPN permissions

For example, many free iOS VPNs, such as HoxxVPN, Free VPN org, TigerVPN and TouchVPN may get access to your sensitive data.

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