Protect your data from prying eyes while browsing the Internet on your iPhone or iPad.
Arguably the best feature of having an iPhone is Apple's strict security measures that thwart the lion's share of malware that's wriggling about on the Internet. That said, when it comes to your protection, there's almost nothing stopping your data from being snooped on from hackers. If you're after true privacy (and an app that isn't confusing or crash-happy), then you need one of the VPNs in our list to encrypt your data and keep you off the grid.
All that said, here's an important note: while most of these are paid services, many of them offer free trials to let you test the waters before committing fully.
How does finder rank the best VPNs for iOS?
Apple's iOS for iPhone and iPad is a market-leading smartphone operating system for two reasons: 1) Apple's mammoth marketing budget and 2) its clean, user-friendly interface.
So we've ranked these VPNs accordingly by listing the smoothest iOS experiences on the VPNs we've reviewed. Our top picks include apps that are clean, intuitive and user-friendly (with considerations for security and privacy as well). We also took the App Store's user reviews into consideration when creating this list.
- iTunes rating: 4.4 stars
Anybody looking to bulk up the personal security of their iPhone really ought to consider NordVPN. Features like VPN into Tor and Double VPN encryption make your data nigh on impossible to sift through, plus the company has staunchly upheld its no logging policy in the past. Couple that with a sizeable network of over a thousand servers in 50+ countries, all of them offering reasonable speeds, and NordVPN is more or less an essential application to be running on up to six of your devices.
The negatives are very few with this service, although the completely optional Double VPN encryption will slow all but the beefiest connections down to a crawl (a big minus for Aussie users stuck with their 1990s era network).
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- App Store rating: 4.7 stars
As far as VPN apps go, ExpressVPN offer one of the best experiences out there. There's no free option (which is a bit of a bummer), but those of you who do sign up will be getting an intuitive interface that allows one to easily hide their IP through one of 1000+ servers in 94 countries. That's an impressive network that's bolstered by 256-bit AES encryption and fast performance that's BitTorrent and peer-to-peer (P2P) friendly.
ExpressVPN also offers top-notch 24/7 customer service, a killswitch function to keep you off the radar no matter what and unmetered bandwidth. The only major drawback working against it is that the price is pretty steep. US$12.99 per month for a year's worth of ExpressVPN won't be for everybody's budget.
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- App Store rating: 3.9 stars
This Hong Kong-based entity is a great choice for those hoping to go anonymous. PureVPN allows monthly payments through a series of virtually untraceable cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, etc). While it's a perfectly approachable option for newbies, the advanced options in this app make it one of the better options on this list for a veteran who knows what they want. PureVPN also offers its own custom Stealth protocol alongside the usual suspects.
The main positives here are an app that is incredibly user-friendly, reasonable pricing and split tunnelling to individually select which programs and services you want to use privately. That's tempered by some cons, like a server network that's noticeably smaller than the other competitors on this list and we couldn't for the life of us get it to work with overseas Netflix services.
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4. Private Internet Access
- App Store rating: 4.6 stars
If you're looking for an app to just work and to make sense straight out of the download, Private Internet Access (PIA) isn't for you. It's geared to slightly more advanced users who want some extra options at the expense of taking an extra step to install OpenVPN on their device. Do that (admittedly easy) step, and you'll get access to fast speeds, unmetered bandwidth and 3200+ servers in 25 countries – all of which are P2P and BitTorrent friendly.
It's great that PIA offers cryptocurrency payments; however, you should note that this is a US-based company. This service boasts a zero-log policy, but history tells us that America is the least attractive prospect for a VPN if you don't want to run afoul of law enforcement. Mind you, you'd have to be doing some especially heinous stuff to run afoul of the Feds. Still, it's food for thought.
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- App Store rating: 4.6 stars
In terms of network size, when compared to the other services on this list, TunnelBear would be more aptly named TunnelCub. With only 20 servers, this VPN is more prone to lower speeds and has fewer locations with which to mask your location. In addition, advanced users don't have access to protocol selection and the Bears don't dig on P2P or BitTorrent traffic.
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