Best VPNs for iPhone

iPhoneThe iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus were big upgrades in both screen size and capabilities. The large, water-resistant screens with retina display help make viewing videos a pleasure. The 5.5 inch iPhone 8 Plus and 5.8 inch iPhone X provide a great opportunity to view online videos. Whether you have the latest iPhone or an older version, you should use a VPN anytime you connect to a public Wi-Fi network or when you want to enjoy content in other regions. Protect your privacy and unblock geo-restrictions with an iPhone VPN.

Best VPN for iPhone – Summary

Here’s a quick look at our list of the top 5 VPN services to use with iPhone.

  1. IPVanish
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. CyberGhost
  4. Private Internet Access
  5. StrongVPN

There are a number of reasons to enable VPN on your iPhone.  The first is online privacy.  We all travel with our phones.  Whether it’s to another country or the coffee shop down the street, an open Wi-Fi network will leave you at risk.  You can rely on a VPN to help protect your privacy by encrypting your iPhone connection anytime it’s enabled.  When it comes to securing your iPhone, some VPN companies are well ahead of others.  In a moment we will recommend VPNs that have developed custom iOS apps with advanced features to help protect your privacy and keep your iPhone data safe.  If you watched the 60 Minutes phone hacking segment, then you have some idea of just how bad the situation is now.  While a VPN isn’t the whole solution to the problem, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.  If you plan to use your phone on Wi-Fi networks then an iPhone VPN is a necessity.

A second reason to use a VPN on your iPhone is to avoid geographic restrictions.  Let’s say you live in the United States and plan to travel in Europe.  Did you know that you won’t be able to watch US Netflix content while abroad?  The same is true for those in the UK who travel outside the country and lose access to BBC iPlayer.  A VPN will help you gain access regardless of where you travel.  How does it work?  When you connect to a VPN server in another country it will assign you a local IP address.  This will help you access streaming services and channels in other countries while traveling or living abroad.  In this case you may not be as concerned with the security and encryption levels offered by your VPN.  Fortunately you don’t have to make the trade off.  The VPN’s listed below will help you stream HD videos in other countries while also protecting your privacy.

1. IPVanish

IPVanishBased in: USA | Number of servers: 1,100+ | Server locations: 89 | Simultaneous connections: 10

We chose IPVanish as the “Best iPhone VPN” based on the work they’ve done in developing advanced features for iOS users. It’s one thing to have a nice looking iPhone app, but most of them lack the extra privacy features to help ensure your protected. IPVanish starts by giving you the ability to choose between IKEv2 and IPSec protocols. Without getting too technical, IKEv2 is the best protocol for iPhone. It’s support for MOBIKE helps reconnect to the VPN quickly when you move between hotspots or switch from your home Wi-Fi to mobile data. The IPVanish iOS app also includes features to automatically activate when you connect to Wi-Fi networks or when you visit specific websites. You have full control over the app as we’ll demonstrate in a moment. Best of all, you can enjoy VPN access on all your devices from just $4.87 a month with our exclusive discount.

IPVanish iOS app

The image above includes three screenshots to give you a full picture of the iOS VPN app. You will notice the first image shows that we’re disconnected. You can easily connect by moving the slider to the right. This will connect you to the server of your choosing and result in the image to the right. The screen in the middle shows the server location list. You can select any of their 85+ server locations across 60+ countries in the app to connect. You can easily switch between VPN servers anytime with just a few taps.

IPVanish iOS settings

As you can see in the image above, the IPVanish iOS app gives you full control over how their VPN service interacts with your iPhone. You can start be selecting between IKEv2 and IPSec protocols. Tapping “On Demand” will bring up the screen displayed on the right. From here you can set a few advanced features:

  • Always On – stay connected to IPVanish anytime you use your iPhone.
  • Network SSIDs – connect automatically to specific networks based on the SSIDs
  • Domains – connect automatically for selected websites

We should note that you don’t need to change any of these settings. The app is ready to connect the first time you launch it. These are just additional options to help protect your privacy. We really appreciate them as most other VPN apps lack the advanced privacy options.

Helping you find the best iPhone VPN is the focus of our post but IPVanish ranks high in just about every category. They put the same level of effort into their Android app. Windows and Mac users will find advanced features like VPN kill switch and the ability to rotate IPs. Their “zero log” policy is just another sign that they take your privacy seriously. We use IPVanish on a daily basis and recommend you give them a try.

Read our in-depth review of IPVanish to learn more.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPNBased in: British Virgin Islands | Number of servers: 2,000+ | Server locations: 148 | Simultaneous connections: 3

Whether we’re talking about iOS or another operating system, ExpressVPN has some of the best software in the industry. Those who prefer a map view will appreciate the latest ExpressVPN iOS app. By default you can move around the world map and connect to any server location. The app also has a list view for selecting servers. You can switch between OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, and IPSec protocols. We’re hoping they add support for IKEv2 in the future. In the meantime you can also set the app to auto-reconnect if the VPN connection drops. ExpressVPN is confident you’ll be happy with their service once you have a chance to test it out. They offer all new members a 30 day money back guarantee which is plenty of time to test the service on all your devices.

ExpressVPN for iPhone

The ExpressVPN service is equally impressive across a wide range of devices. They have custom clients for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android and make our “top 5” list in every category. Their software has always been impressive, but 2016 has brought several improvements. For starters the apps are much easier to set up and use. You can simply tap on a server location to connect. Their desktop apps include speed tests to help you find the fastest server. The Windows client also includes a VPN kill switch feature. As for the iOS app, you can set favorite server locations to connect quickly from iPhone to any ExpressVPN server in 94 countries.

Read our hands-on review of ExpressVPN for more details.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhostBased in: Romania | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 80 | Simultaneous connections: 7

With the launch of CyberGhost 7 in the Fall of 2018 the VPN arguably has the best software in the industry. Once of the first things you will notice using CyberGhost 7 the interface. It is the same across Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. That means you can expect the same experience regardless of device. That’s great as you can use the VPN on up to 7 devices at a time. This is very helpful in protecting your privacy at home or on the go. Back to the iOS app. You can connect to any VPN server location and filter the servers that support HD streaming. You can even set favorites for quick access to specific server locations. The iOS app will also protect you on WiFi hotspots. You can tell the app how to react to secure and unsecure networks. This gives you more control.

CyberGhost iPhone app

Take a close look at the user interface. It’s simple yet effective. You can simply tap the lider to connect to the best server or choose any location. The new app allows you to select a specific server location and even an individual server. This gives you full control over which server you connect to at any given time. You will also notice tabs for “Streaming” and “Favorites”. The streaming includes servers in key locations (US, UK, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark) to enjoy your favorite streaming services while outside the region. Best of all CyberGhost is a no-log VPN so you have an extra layer of privacy when using the service.

Read our full review of CyberGhost VPN.

4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet AccessBased in: USA | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 52 | Simultaneous connections: 5

Private Internet Access (PIA) gives iPhone users a clean iOS app.  Unlike in the past, you no longer have to set up a profile for each VPN server.  With the new PIA app you can connect to any of their server locations in 28 countries.  As you can see below, the PIA team has organized their servers by region for iPhone users.  The server location are listed in alphabetical order by country.  Once you select a location the app will connect.  You can easily connect and disconnect with a single tap of the slider.  Version 2.5 introduced a new Safari Content Blocker feature to block ads for those who choose to enable it. The latest iOS app supports both OpenVPN and IPSec connections.

PIA iOS app

The iOS app from Private Internet Access is pretty straight forward.  All of their software is simple to use.  If you plan to connect from Mac or Windows, we recommend using the VPN kill switch feature offered by PIA.  They also have DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, and port forwarding features in the desktop client.  While the mobile apps don’t include the advance features, you can easily connect to any server and encrypt your connection.  Remember to connect to PIA anytime you use a Wi-Fi network to help protect against data theft.  They do not limit usage so you can leave the VPN on anytime you want for privacy protection.

Read our full review of Private Internet Access.

5. StrongVPN

StrongVPNBased in: USA | Number of servers: 650+ | Server locations: 47 | Simultaneous connections: 5

The StrongVPN team has been together since 1995.  They started in the web hosting space and have grown to a company of over 60 employees which is very large for a VPN service.  We’ve known the StrongVPN service since 2010 and they have continued to innovate over the years.  Up until 2016 they offered several VPN plans that were a bit confusing to understand.  That’s all changed as StrongVPN now has a single plan with unlimited access to their network of 400+ server in 44 cities around the world.  The service is complimented by custom apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.  They also have setup guides for Chromium, DD-WRT, and Tomato routers.  Regardless of what device you use to connect, you can expect a fast, reliable connection when using StrongVPN.

StrongVPN iOS app

The StrongVPN iPhone VPN app is one of the best for those who want to simply tap and connect.  As you can see above the iOS app gives you the option to “Tap to connect”.  That’s all you have to do to connect and encrypt your data.  The app uses IKEv2 protocol by default which we really appreciate.  You can also select L2TP or PPTP but we highly recommend you stick with IKEv2.  Using IKEv2 will help you automatically reconnect quickly when you move between networks.  This can be especially useful for those who travel a lot.  If you click on the server location listed in the bottom of the app it will bring up the server list shown in the center image.  From here you can select any server location and the protocol you want to use to connect.

Read our full review of StrongVPN.

6. VyprVPN

VyprVPNBased in: Switzerland | Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 73 | Simultaneous connections: 5

VyprVPN was one of the first companies to enter the personal VPN space.  Their team has a strong networking background and their leadership often speaks out in favor of online privacy.  The latest example being their support for Apple in their encryption battle with the FBI.  Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN, hosts a “Take Back the Internet” event each year at SXSW in Austin.  They had a panel on the subject of backdoor encryption at the 2016 event.  If you attend SXSW in the future I definitely recommend you attend the event.

VyprVPN iOS App

VyprVPN has custom software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.  Let’s jump into their iOS app.  It is frequently updated with new features.  We’ll begin by highlighting the basic usage.  As you can see from the images above the app makes it easy for you to connect.  The first image shows the default screen.  You can simply click “Connect” to encrypt your data.  You can also click on the icon beside the connect button to bring up the server selection screen in the center image.  You will notice that each server location gives a ping value.  This will help you find the fastest server.  The final image shows the app connected to the VyprVPN network.  It’s easy to see the difference since the background of the app turns black once connected.

VyprVPN iOS setup

While the VyprVPN iOS app is ready to connect the first time you launch it, there are also a number of advanced features that you can set up to help protect your privacy.  They recently added a feature to automatically connect to the VyprVPN network anytime you use an untrusted Wi-Fi network.  Enabling the feature gives you the ability to add trusted Wi-Fi networks.  That way the VPN doesn’t auto connect when you are on a trusted network.  The feature is a great way to ensure your data remains safe while traveling.  It’s way too easy to forget to connect to a VPN when you’re out and about.  You can also set the app to automatically reconnect.  There is one more setup area I would like to cover and that is the reporting screen.  We’re happy to see VyprVPN give users full control over whether or not you want to keep a local connection log and crash reports.  You can always turn these on if you have problems.  Otherwise I suggest you disable logging within the app.

Read our full review of VyprVPN.