Though it might seem daunting at first, setting up a VPN on iPhone or iPad is not as tricky as you might think. That being said, you probably want to make sure you're using a top-tier VPN service if you're already rocking an iPhone or iPad – and that doesn't necessarily mean just hunting down an app based on overall App Store ratings.
For the unaware, a VPN (short for virtual private network) works by bouncing your signal through another server, using an assigned IP address. All that means you appear to be someone else, somewhere else, with encryption being added to any data sent or received. While that's great for anonymity and security, it also means you can appear to be anywhere in the world you need.
Which is the best iPhone and iPad VPN? We've tested a lot of them and narrowed the list down to help you find the best one for you.
1. ExpressVPN - best VPN service in 2023 (opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN is our top pick for good reason! Not only is it the best for your iPhone and iPad, but for all your other devices as well. With great speeds, superb security, and amazing customer support, it's a hard one to beat.
2. NordVPN - the biggest name in the business (opens in new tab)
If you know anything about VPN, you've certainly heard of NordVPN. The name is well known, and the service is better than most. With clean apps, great unblocking, and extensive support options, your Apple devices will be in good hands.
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The best iPhone and iPad VPN
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 in 94 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
ExpressVPN may not be the most affordable option, but it still tops our list of the best iPhone VPNs thanks to its reliability, fast speeds, and the ability to use it on various platforms with ease. Its iPhone VPN app is well-rated and easy to use for getting service set up and switching locations., too. If you do encounter any issues, 24/7 live support can help you out.
Our pals at TechRadar praised ExpressVPN's widespread server availability, super speeds, and ease of setup in their ExpressVPN review. You can use ExpressVPN to add security to your browsing sessions, spoof your location to access geo-restricted media, and more.
In addition to using it as an iPhone or iPad VPN, you can also use ExpressVPN on Mac, Android, Windows, web browsers, and so much more. In fact, the only real downside of ExpressVPN is that you can only use it simultaneously on five devices which is on the lower end, though you can set it up on your Wi-Fi router, which only counts as one connection even if all of your tech is hooked up to Wi-Fi at home.
ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than some of the other services out there, but it breaks down to just $6.67 a month – which really isn't a lot of cash for something you'll use daily. Sign up today to make the most of that discount and, if you don't absolutely love the service, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund.
Best server options of any popular iPhone and iPad VPN
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer, Amazon | Servers: 5,500+ | Server Locations: 80+ in 60 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
NordVPN is one of the most high-profile VPN services and has been a popular choice for a long time – and for good reason. It offers top-notch security, and tons of features, and brings everything together in a rather affordable package.
NordVPN has almost 5,500 servers available to use that are spread across close to 60 different countries. Unlike many others, NordVPN opts to use 2048-bit encryption to keep things as secure as possible, and that's on top of the standard features like DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and more. Its iOS app is well-reviewed and simple to use. It also has a Mac App Store app for your desktop and laptop needs.
One thing that puts a ding in NordVPN's reputation was a compromised server back in 2018. After investigating it, and the confirmation from Nord, it was understood that it was a single server with limited information being obtained. TechRadar has a great breakdown as to how it happened, so be sure to check that out if it's a concern.
The company offers plans a bunch of different plans ranging from one month to three years. You can opt to pay for just a single month of access, or go with a one-year or two-year plan and drop the per-month cost down as low as $3. Better yet, the two-year plan includes 3 additional months of access for free right now.
Best budget iPhone and iPad VPN option
Compatible with:iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon | Servers: 3,200+ | Server Locations: 100+ in 65 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
Though Surfshark is one of the most affordable iPhone and iPad VPNs, it is still one of the best in terms of features and ease of use. It's got a straightforward iOS and iPadOS app that is well-reviewed, too.
Surfshark used to be somewhat held back by the fact it had fewer servers than a lot of the competition, but that recently changed as its server count has gone up to over 3,000, which is above average. They are spread across 65 different countries, so you have a ton of choices, and Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices to it simultaneously. That's a huge benefit of an iPhone and iPad VPN since you won't need to disconnect one of your gadgets to connect to another one.
It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you enough time to try it out and see if it's the iPhone and iPad VPN service for you or not. Be sure to check out our Surfshark review as well. The company recently changed its pricing structure, giving you 24 months of access for just $59.76 total, which breaks down to about 8 cents per day. After the first two years, it renews annually at this price.
Best streaming VPN for iPhone and iPad
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 7,100+ | Server Locations: 110+ in 91 countries | Trial Period: 45 days
CyberGhost is a VPN service based out of Romania and Germany, offering over 7,000 different servers that span more than 110 locations around the globe, which is pretty impressive.
It's not just about the number of servers, though, but how easy it is to get the right one for your needs. If streaming media is your priority, CyberGhost really excels in this area. Its app makes it effortless to get access to region-restricted content from several different services. Simply select the geo-blocked service you want from a list, like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc., and then it will show you the best servers to connect to view the content. Once connected to the server, the app will even open a browser window for you to start streaming. Super simple.
The service can block ads, trackers, and malicious sites and even offers data compression to help save you some MBs while on the go.
Thanks to the ease of use, speed, and reliability it offers, CyberGhost has been able to bring over 10 million users to its service. The pricing is quite competitive, and by signing up for longer-term plans, you can also help reduce the per-month cost of the service. Will you be the company's next subscriber? Check out our full CyberGhost VPN review for all the details.
5. Private Internet Access
iPhone and iPad VPN with tons of server choice
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube | Servers: 28,000+ | Server Locations: 104 in 78 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
Private Internet Access, or PIA, has apps for iPhone and iPad that are easy enough to use if a little stripped-back. The service is solid security-wise, though, with support for L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols.
PIA is a United States-based VPN, which is not preferable when it comes to picking a VPN provider since the U.S. is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which has potential implications for security and privacy. That being said, PIA uses AES 256-bit encryption and has a clear no-traffic logging policy.
If you want to run your VPN on more than just one iOS device (or across various platforms), PIA is perfect for that as it allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is more than many other providers.
PIA is a good choice in terms of price, as you can get it for as little as $2 per month when you go for one of its longer-term plans. Don't be put off by the fact that you have to commit to a long-term deal, though, as there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find it doesn't work right for you.
iPhone and iPad VPN with cloud storage included
Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu | Servers: 1,600+ | Server Locations: 75+ in 50 countries | Trial Period: 30 days
There's a lot to like about IPVanish including excellent speeds, user-friendly apps, and plenty of server options for streaming content.
For security, IPVanish offers 256-bit encryption and supports the IKEv2, IPSec, and PPTP protocols. A zero-logs policy assures you that you have total privacy without any sort of tracking of your activities. However, IPVanish is also based in the U.S., so it could be forced to hand over any data it does have if compelled to. That being said, the iOS app has no kill switch, so bear that in mind if iPhone and iPad will be the devices you use it on mostly.
IPVanish proved to offer excellent speeds in our testing, so much so that it actually improved our download speeds over long distances compared to our normal rates, and even more so on shorter hops.
What about the others?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of VPN providers out there, with most claiming to be the best iPhone VPN or best iPad VPN on the market. We do our best to check out all the most popular options, and we will continue to update this list with more providers as they pass our testing. We've rounded up all the best VPN picks, along with the best free VPNs and the best cheap VPNs. Not all of those picks have been vetted to work great on iPhone and iPad, which is why you'll want to refer to the list above first before looking elsewhere.
How do you pick the best iPhone and iPad VPN?
The majority of VPN services work across various platforms, with most having dedicated iOS and iPad apps. That means finding the best VPN for your iPhone, and iPad essentially boils down to finding the best service for your needs since they pretty much all support Apple gear.
A well-designed and functional app is preferable for most people, especially discerning Apple users, though you won't actually spend too long in the VPN's app itself once you've got it up and running. Instead, your focus should probably be on the privacy and security features your VPN service enables (since, you know, that's one of the main reasons to use one) as well as its speed, server count and locations, customer support, and, of course, price.
As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to VPN services, but even the top-tier options aren't super expensive. Most cost just a few dollars a month if you're willing to subscribe for the long term and free trials or money-back guarantees mean you don't have to risk any money to find out if a service is right for you.
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Getting his start writing about BlackBerry in 2008, Adam is the Editorial Director of High-Yield content at Future. Leading an outstanding team, he oversees many of the articles the publisher produces about subscriptions and services – VPN, TV streaming, and antivirus software. From buying guides and how to watch content, to deal news and in-depth reviews. Adam's work can be seen on numerous Future brands including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, TTR, Android Central, iMore, and Real Homes.
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