While it may not be susceptible to malware as much as Android phones are, the iPhone’s security is not impeccable and comes with its fair share of threats that you definitely need to protect against.
Among these, the biggest arsenal of threats come in the form of attacks perpetrated via insecure internet connections. That’s why iPhone VPNs are fast becoming indispensable in today’s day and age to protect user privacy at all times.
The iTunes store is filled with VPNs, but many of them don’t fulfill the criteria required to grant you unbreakable security and anonymity online.
After a thorough round of testing, we picked these 5 best providers and recommend them as the best VPN for iOS devices in 2019.
All of these providers meet our 8-factor criteria on which we judge VPNs upon.
Be rest assured, these providers have years of reputable standing in protecting user internet connections with the best-in-line security tools and never once have they faltered.
5 Best Recommended iPhone VPN Apps
If you only want the best VPN for iPhone to secure your device, then go through these 5 providers that we’ve shortlisted after a thorough round of security and device relevancy testing:
1. ExpressVPN ($8.32/month – 1 Year Plan)
2. NordVPN ($2.99/month – 3 Year Plan)
3. Surfshark ($1.99/month – 2 Year Plan)
4. CyberGhost VPN ($2.75/Month – 3 Years Plan)
5. PureVPN ($3.33/month – 1 Year Plan)
These VPNs bring a lot more than just security to your iPhone. They are perfectly optimized to offer modern-day experience enhancing functionalities like Netflix unblocking and Torrenting support as well. Most of them work in China and can pass any VPN security test.
Here we present a more detailed overview of all these Top iPhone VPNs:
1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for iOS
- $8.32/month (1-Year Plan)
- 30-Day Refund Guarantee
- 3000 Servers in 94 Countries
- Works with Wi-Fi, LTE/4G, 3G
- Size: 58.1MB (4.6 Ratings)
- Built for iOS 12, 11, 10, 9 & 8
- Pricing Plans are not Cheap
Despite offering a high subscription price of $8.32/month, ExpressVPN is our top recommended VPN for iPhone and for good reason.
Firstly, its iOS app works only on iOS versions 8 and above making it incredibly well suited or more recent iPhone generations as compared to the rest of the providers.
Furthermore, the app can be determined to have the best UI and UX suited to the OS as users have the options of selecting the fastest server via filter right on their app home screen.
Users will also benefit from smart features like automatic reconnection when Wifi connection goes down. In the meantime, they will be protected by the robust kill switch that protects your IP from getting exposed by restricting your internet connectivity almost instantaneously after the connection gets cut off.
Users of ExpressVPN on iPhone will be better able to bypass geo-restrictions in regions where censorship is rampant like China through the app’s traffic obfuscation features.
On the security front, you get military-grade encryption along with OpenVPN protocol, both of them being best-in-class security products to protect your internet connection in transit.
Located in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN doesn’t have to worry about any kind of data retention and the region is relatively safer as far as data laws are concerned.
It’s undoubtedly expensive to subscribe to, but if you really don’t to compromise your iOS experience by getting a VPN, there is no better choice for you than ExpressVPN.
Read this Express VPN Review for more information!
2. NordVPN – Holistic Service for iOS
- $2.99/month (3-Year Plan)
- 30 Day Refund Guarantee
- 5700 Servers in 60 Countries
- Size: 37.3MB (4.4 Ratings)
- Keeps Zero Logs
- Browse Truly Privately
- Live Chat is a Bit Clunky
NordVPN offers a well-built app for iPhone devices and with reliable performance levels and a host of niche security features, it’s one of the best catches at a relatively low cost of $2.99/month.
You get a “Quick Connect” feature on the NordVPN app as well which though not as correct as ExpressVPN in selecting the fastest server on the network, does redirect you towards the closest server available.
The provider has the largest server park in the industry at 5700 servers, allowing its user network to be well distributed. This allows network speeds to remain at good levels enabling a perfect and acceptable experience.
iOS VPN app users of NordVPN will also be able to access unique features like Multi-hop and Double VPN, so whenever you need that extra-security, you know you have your back covered impeccably well.
Encryption levels are industry standard at AES-256 and with a reputable zero logging policy, the provider is as secure a VPN as they get.
It has a dedicated site for Chinese users as well and it works brilliantly well towards bypassing the Great Firewall as well, so if you have an iPhone and you are traveling to China soon, there are not much better options as compared to NordVPN for this task.
NordVPN is located in Panama, a country that is part of no data sharing alliance and has friendly data laws, so no data of yours passing through NordVPN will ever be demanded by the Panama authorities giving you an extra level of security cover.
Read this comprehensive Nord VPN Review to learn more.
3. Surfshark – Most Affordable VPN for iOS Devices
- $1.99/month (2-Year Plan)
- 30-Day Refund Guarantee
- 800 Servers in 50 Countries
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later
- Size: 97.2MB (3.5 Ratings)
- Doesn’t Keep any user Logs
- Didn’t Work in China
At a cost of $1.99/month, Surfshark is the cheapest buy as an iPhone VPN without compromising on any important security or performance features.
And while its app is not as optimized for iPhones as ExpressVPN’s, it still brings high utility and remains easy to use, so you won’t have many problems in getting used to it even if you are a newbie.
Surfshark affords faster speeds on iOS devices than it does on other devices, which is a great plus and when you couple that with the custom ad-blocker and subscribing to it becomes an even easier decision to make.
It shares its jurisdiction with ExpressVPN by being located in the BVI, so its as secure as our top recommended provider as far as its jurisdiction is concerned. No one will be knocking at Surfshark’s headquarters with a gag order any time soon.
Surfshark’s app doesn’t get distorted whether you use it on iPad, a functionality that might seem trivial to you but a majority of providers are not capable of matching it in such stunning cross-device compatibility.
Most VPNs that can unblock Netflix US, cannot perform the feat on iOS devices. Surfshark is thankful, not prone to this issue and it can bypass the geo-restrictions on the site as easily on iPhones as it does on any device.
The logging policy is clear and there are no signs that it logs any kind of personally identifiable information from any activity that you might be doing on your iPhone.
Read this comprehensive Surfshark VPN Review to learn more.
4. CyberGhost VPN – Optimized VPN App for iOS Devices
- $2.75/month (3-Year Plan)
- 45 Day Refund Guarantee
- 3824 Servers in 59 Countries
- Runs on iOS 9.3 or Later
- Firm no logs policy
- Live Chat is a Bit Clunky
A top VPN by all metrics, CyberGhost has fast grown in the industry to cement its reputation as a best iPhone VPN. And despite adding some great features, it’s still maintaining its old affordable price of $2.75/month on its best deal.
The iOS VPN app by CyberGhost is excellently designed with each browsing function getting its own dedicated option on the interface. The only problem here is its high file size at 87 Mb which makes the app a bit slow to load initially but after that, it performs exceptionally.
The Romanian jurisdiction allows it to be extra secure with user data since there are no major data retention laws in the country to pose any danger of a data gag order anytime soon.
CyberGhost’s server count is now touching the 4000 marks and is now placed at 3787 servers in 61 countries, it’s up there in terms of offering geographic diversity and optimized server performance as a dedicated iOS VPN.
It keeps zero logs and has military-grade encryption along with impeccable protection for DNS and WebRTC leaks. Any user of its iOS VPN app will never be threatened through MITM attacks or attempts at IP maneuverability by copyright trolls ever due to the best-in-class security arsenal put in place by CyberGhost.
Read this comprehensive CyberGhost VPN Review to learn more.
5. PureVPN – A Balanced Service for iPhone
- $3.33/month (1-Year Plan)
- 30-Day Refund Guarantee
- 2K Servers in 140 Countries
- Size: 46.3MB (3.8 Ratings)
- Requires iOS 10.0 or Later
- Unbreakable Encryption
- Sketchy Netflix Performance
At the no.5 spot on the list of top iPhone VPNs, we’ve got PureVPN, a leading industry provider that has recently re-launched its iOS app. Its best deal is its yearly plan that will cost you $3.33/month on the two-year deal.
Its price might appear a bit high to you if you compare it with the prices of providers like Surfshark, but PureVPN’s plan is short term, therefore the cumulative cost of the VPN subscription will be considerably low overall as compared to providers like Surfshark.
PureVPN’s iOS app has retained all of the best features that the provider has on offer. The clean interface with bold features and easy to access server list is good enough to pass off a reasonably good app considering the woefully low standards for such apps in the industry.
The provider offers servers in a whopping 180+ countries, far more than any other provider, so its great option for those living in places like Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The server count is now exceeding over 2000, making it a provider that’s less prone to traffic bottlenecks than the rest.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, a safe jurisdiction considering that its neither located in any data sharing alliances like the 5 Eyes nor is it subjected to invasive data laws pertaining to the Chinese mainland.
The controversial logging policies by PureVPN and its refund policy problems now stand reasonably resolved and user complaints related to such issues have seen a marked improvement in the last year, making us give it a clean sheet on these factors.
The live chat, however, is the weakest part of the service but it has also seen betterment in the preceding 12 months, but still needs to go a long way before it can match the standards of providers like ExpressVPN.
Read this comprehensive PureVPN Review to learn more.
8 Factors We Considered Before Selecting Top iPhone VPNs
Our selection process for coming up with the best iPhone VPNs was based on finding that the provider met all of our critical security and performance criteria.
During this process, we identified 8 critical factors that allowed us to judge VPNs upon and come up with 5 best VPN for iPhones in 2019:
- VPNs that can afford fast speeds on iPhones despite a load of encryption and protocols
- Optimized and compatible iOS VPN app that users face no difficulty in getting accustomed to
- Providers that can perform the feat of unblocking sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime & BBC iPlayer on iOS devices
- Providers which offer Military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption to protect internet traffic emanating from iPhones
- Incredibly adept at protecting iPhone security while they are using public Wi-Fi connections on mobile.
- VPNs that are not based in locations that are part of invasive 5-9-14 Eyes Alliances,
- Doesn’t offer anything less than a zero logging policy so that your iPhone activity logs and user data remains secure and private
- Powerful kill switch to cut off internet connectivity on iPhone when your Wifi goes down intermittently in order to save your IP from being exposed.
A Study on iPhone VPN Permissions
Informing users about the complexities concerning VPNs also involves spreading knowledge about the “Permissions” they require. Lucky for iPhone users that Apple takes customer privacy very seriously.
In comparison to their Android counterparts that have an entire manifest of permissions, which include plenty “dangerous” requests too, Apple has only a few permissions for toggling on/off.
They give complete liberty to the user to allow how and when apps utilize their information. Android, on the other hand, requires that you accept all permissions for the app to install and work smoothly.
You are probably wondering now: What kind of permissions do iPhone apps require in particular? Well, it is quite selective and you can find all of them in the “Privacy” menu in settings:
- Location Services
- Bluetooth sharing
- Speech recognition
- Motion activity and fitness
- Media & Apple Music
- Social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook
Any app could access any/all of the above, but only if the end user agrees to it. The best part of all: you have the option of disabling access, which cannot be done on Android devices.
The programming of iOS prevents applications from accessing users’ personal information without permissions, hence why users are given the ability to revoke access to different facets.
For instance, if the user signs in to iCloud, some apps may get access by default to iCloud Drive. Users can control each app’s access under iCloud in Settings.
iPhones are much better security wise than their Android counterparts but that security is just relegated to the OS itself. Your connection on any device that uses the internet needs a VPN to offer it protection from unwarranted threats. For a device-specific choice as an iPhone VPN, our list above is perfectly suited to meet all of your requirements.
ExpressVPN remains our top recommendation as an iPhone VPN because of the incredible compatibility and fast speeds it brings with a customized VPN app for iOS. The price might be an issue for most at $8.32/month, but we recommend that you don’t downgrade your standards just to save some money.
But still, if you are looking for something cheaper, NordVPN is our second best option as a VPN for iPhone. Its got everything, from a big server park to niche security features. The app is good enough to not give you any major hiccups and at $2.99/month, it’s the next best alternative to ExpressVPN.
The rest of three iPhone VPNs all fulfill our 8-factor criteria and they just fall behind the top two providers on minor performance discrepancies. But they can also offer a wholesome experience but it won’t just be as good as subscribing to ExpressVPN or NordVPN.