Updated on: October 28, 2021
Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for iOS in 2021:
🥇 ExpressVPN: Intuitive iOS app with high-end security features, a strict, independently audited no-logs policy, and blazing-fast speeds. Unblocks top streaming sites, allows 5 simultaneous connections, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans. Get the best VPN for iOS in 2021 here.
I researched and tested the top VPNs in the App Store to find the best ones for iOS.
I quickly learned that many popular iOS VPNs are pretty bad — some were unable to unblock streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu during my tests, and some were so slow that I couldn’t even browse the internet, let alone stream content, download files, or play games. I was also disappointed that a lot of VPNs for iOS don’t provide good enough security, lack important features, or are too difficult to use.
But there are a handful of good VPNs for iOS out there. The VPNs I recommend on this list are all very secure, maintain fast speeds for all online activities, unblock major streaming apps, are easy to use on iOS, and cost only a couple of bucks per month.
Quick Summary of the Best VPNs for iOS:
- 1.🥇 ExpressVPN — Best VPN for iOS users in 2021.
- 2.🥈 Private Internet Access — Secure and fast with good streaming capabilities.
- 3.🥉 ProtonVPN — High-end security features and great free plan.
- 4. CyberGhost VPN — User-friendly VPN with dedicated streaming servers.
- 5. PrivateVPN — Good VPN for beginners.
- Frequently Asked Questions about VPNs for iOS
How I Rated the Best VPNs for iOS in 2021:
- Ease of use. I only recommend VPNs that have easy-to-use iOS apps with an intuitive interface, a quick-connect tool, and features that are easy to find and understand.
- Great security. All the VPNs on this list have industry-standard VPN security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy (to prevent the VPN provider from logging your online traffic, IP addresses, and the files that you download), and secure protocols (like WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN). Private Internet Access and CyberGhost VPN’s iOS apps also include a kill switch (which disables internet access when the VPN disconnects).
- Fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your speeds due to the encryption process, but the VPNs here maintain really fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and gaming on your iOS device — the VPNs on this list decreased my speed by no more than 35%, which is above average.
- Good for streaming. All of the VPNs here are able to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.
- Extra features. Many VPN iOS apps lack extra features that are included on other platforms. But all of my top choices have some extra features, including obfuscation to bypass government censorship, password managers, and ad blockers.
- Good value. I only recommend VPNs that have flexible payment plans, accept multiple payment methods, and offer a money-back guarantee.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:
- IPVanish. IPVanish has good speeds and is easy to use, but IPVanish’s iOS app is missing DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and it isn’t good for unblocking the top streaming services.
- Hola VPN. Hola VPN is a free VPN with fast speeds, but it keeps user logs, doesn’t use encryption, and has a history of leaking user IP addresses. Also, Hola VPN is a P2P VPN — this means you’re assigned another Hola VPN user’s IP address and your IP address is assigned to another user, allowing someone else to possibly use your IP address for suspicious or even criminal activities.
- BolehVPN. BolehVPN is fast and secure, but it doesn’t have an iOS app — instead you have to download and install a third-party OpenVPN client, which isn’t easy for most users. Plus, the third-party client doesn’t have an intuitive interface.
🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for iOS in 2021
ExpressVPN has an intuitive iOS app, includes excellent security features, and provides the fastest speeds on this list — I only experienced an average speed decrease of 18% using Lightway, ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that is faster than both IKEv2 and OpenVPN.
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy that was independently audited and verified in 2018 and 2019, secure protocols, and in-app IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests. ExpressVPN’s iOS app doesn’t have a kill switch, but it has an auto-reconnect option that connects you to the VPN if your connection drops. It also has:
- TrustedServer Network — ExpressVPN’s servers only save data to the RAM memory, rather than to the hard drive. So, all of the data is wiped clean every time the server gets rebooted.
- Perfect forward secrecy — This feature changes your encryption key each time you connect to a server, preventing a hacker from getting access to your data using past or future encryption keys.
- Password generator — ExpressVPN’s iOS app has a built-in password generator that creates secure passwords in under 10 seconds.
- Obfuscation — My colleagues in restrictive countries like Iran, China, and Indonesia tested and confirmed that ExpressVPN is able to bypass government restrictions.
ExpressVPN’s iOS app is excellent for streaming. In my tests, ExpressVPN unblocked all of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax, Amazon Prime, and many more. And thanks to ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast speeds, HD videos loaded nearly instantly and didn’t buffer at all — even on distant servers.
I also love how user-friendly ExpressVPN’s iOS app is. Its Smart Location feature connects you to the fastest server with just one tap. Manually connecting to a server also is simple — the app groups the servers by region (Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and there’s also a search option.
And if you run into any troubleshooting issues, ExpressVPN has top-notch support platforms like 24/7 live chat, email support, and tons of support guides (and even video tutorials).
ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections with 1 account and has 3 flexible payment plans, which are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is my favorite iOS VPN in 2021 — it’s very easy to use, maintains very fast speeds, has industry-standard VPN security features like 256-AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy, and also offers advanced security features, including RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. ExpressVPN unblocks popular streaming services, works in restrictive countries like China, allows 5 simultaneous connections, and backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥈 2. Private Internet Access — iOS App with Kill Switch & Excellent Streaming Capabilities
Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the few VPNs that include a kill switch for iOS — I really like that the kill switch only disconnects you from the internet when the VPN connection accidentally drops, and not when you manually disconnect from a server.
Another thing I like about PIA is how good it is for streaming — it consistently unblocks Netflix (including Netflix US, UK, Japan, and Germany) and other top sites like Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. I also like that it works with smaller sites like Crunchyroll, VRV, and Sony Crackle.
Plus, PIA’s iOS app comes with the very fast WireGuard protocol. On average, my speeds only slowed down by about 24%, which isn’t as fast as ExpressVPN, but I was still able to browse the internet, watch TV shows and movies on all of the popular streaming services and play video games at very fast speeds.
While an independent third-party hasn’t audited PIA’s logging practices, PIA’s no-logs policy has been proven multiple times in court documents. In addition to 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy, PIA also has other security features, such as:
- Open-source iOS app — This allows anyone to inspect the app for security flaws.
- Shadowsocks proxy protocol — Obfuscates your VPN traffic and is able to bypass government firewalls.
- Ad blocker — Blocks ads, trackers, and malware.
PIA makes it easy to connect to a server. In addition to using the quick-connect feature, you can sort the servers by name, latency (how fast data travels from your device to the VPN server), and favorite servers. I also really like how PIA’s iOS app has more customization options than other VPN iOS apps — one of my favorite options is that you can record a personalized phrase that allows Siri to tell PIA to connect to a server.
Private Internet Access allows 10 simultaneous connections, has multiple subscription plans, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access is one of the rare VPNs out there that has a kill switch for its iOS app, and it also unblocks all top streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. PIA only reduced my speeds by an average of 24% — fast enough to watch video and play games with no interruptions. PIA is very secure, very user-friendly, works in China, and has a lot of customization options. PIA allows 10 simultaneous connections and all of its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉 3. ProtonVPN — Excellent Security Features & Best Free Plan for iOS
ProtonVPN has high-end security features and the best free plan on the market. ProtonVPN’s iOS app comes with 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and also great extra features like perfect forward secrecy, Secure Core servers (which route your data through 2 VPN servers), and an ad and malware blocker (NetShield).
ProtonVPN’s iOS app is open-source — but unlike Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN’s open-source iOS app has also been independently audited for holes in security. ProtonVPN’s servers are also protected by full-disk encryption, which means all of the data on the server is unreadable.
I like how easy it is to navigate ProtonVPN’s iOS app and connect to a fast server — the iOS app displays the server load percentage (how many active users are connected to a server), and the server load uses a color-coded system (a green dot for good, yellow for medium and red for bad) to help you quickly identify the best servers.
ProtonVPN’s free plan is really good — it includes unlimited data (very rare for a free VPN), allows access to 3 server locations (Japan, the Netherlands, and the US), allows 1 connection, and has “medium” speeds. However, the free plan doesn’t support streaming.
ProtonVPN also has 3 tier-based paid plans. The Basic plan comes with 2 connections, access to servers in 40+ countries, “high” speeds, and NetShield. The Plus plan gets you 10 connections, access to all 50+ countries, the “fastest” speeds, and extras like Secure Core and streaming support (unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and more). And the Visionary plan adds a ProtonMail account. All plans are covered by a 30-day prorated refund.
ProtonVPN’s iOS app has high-end security features and offers a great free plan. ProtonVPN’s iOS app is open source, and it comes with extra security features like perfect forward secrecy, full-disk encryption, an ad blocker, and Secure Core servers. In addition to the free plan, ProtonVPN has 3-tier-based paid plans, which are all covered by a 30-day prorated refund.
4. CyberGhost VPN — Good for Streaming & Easy to Use
CyberGhost VPN unblocks streaming services with dedicated servers, is secure, and has a user-friendly iOS app. CyberGhost VPN unblocks streaming content with servers that are optimized for specific streaming services and countries. For example, there is a dedicated streaming server for Netflix US, France TV, and Disney+ in Italy. While I like how easy it is to find a dedicated streaming server, ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access may be more convenient for streaming because they unblock all streaming services on all of their servers.
During my tests, CyberGhost only slowed down my speed by 25%, so I was able to stream content without any interruptions and play video games without any lag.
I love CyberGhost’s iOS app’s sleek dashboard — it’s simple to find all the settings and understand the function for each setting. In addition to the quick-connect feature and easy steps to manually connect to a server, CyberGhost VPN also has a home screen widget that lets you connect to a server without opening the iOS app. But I wish there was a search tool to quickly find a specific server like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access provide.
When it comes to security, CyberGhost has a kill switch (like Private Internet Access), 256-bit AES encryption, and a strict no-logs policy.
CyberGhost allows 7 simultaneous connections, has flexible and low-cost payment plans, and it covers all of the yearly plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN’s iOS app has dedicated servers that unblock the most popular streaming services, an intuitive interface, and fast speeds — my speeds were reduced by only an average of 25%. CyberGhost VPN comes with all of the industry-standard VPN security features, including a kill switch, allows 7 simultaneous connections, offers flexible payment plans, and has a 45-day money-back guarantee for the yearly plans.
5. PrivateVPN — Intuitive iOS App with Fast Speeds
PrivateVPN has an easy-to-use iOS app, fast speeds, good security, and it unblocks all of the top streaming services. PrivateVPN is very quick and simple to download and install on your iOS device. And it has a minimalistic interface that makes it easy to connect to a server and navigate the app.
PrivateVPN has a smaller server network (100+ servers in 60+ countries) than all of the other VPNs on this list, but PrivateVPN is still able to provide fast speeds. In fact, PrivateVPN only decreased my speeds by an average of 33%, which is similar to ProtonVPN. Also, in my tests, PrivateVPN was able to access content on popular streaming apps like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
In addition to the standard security features, PrivateVPN also has built-in DNS and IPv6 leak protection (but it doesn’t have WebRTC leak protection) and perfect forward secrecy.
PrivateVPN allows 6 simultaneous connections and has 3 payment plans, which are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN’s iOS app is easy to use, has fast speeds, is secure, and unblocks popular streaming services. Alongside industry-standard security features, PrivateVPN also includes strong leak protection and perfect forward secrecy. PrivateVPN allows 6 connections and backs all of its plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions about VPNs for iOS
What’s the Best VPN for iOS?
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for iOS devices in 2021 — it’s easy to use, has top-notch security features, maintains extremely fast speeds, unblocks all of the top streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for iOS, but there are other good options out there. Private Internet Access is one of the few VPNs that has a kill switch for iOS, and ProtonVPN offers high-end security and a really good free plan. CyberGhost VPN has dedicated servers for accessing streaming services, and PrivateVPN is great for beginners.
Do You Need a VPN on iOS?
Yes, I strongly recommend that you purchase an affordable VPN for your iOS device. All iOS devices have built-in security features and are good for protecting you against malware, but a VPN provides extra layers of security that aren’t included on iOS devices.
A VPN protects your browsing data with 256-bit AES encryption, and it protects your privacy by replacing your actual IP address with an IP address from a new location — masking your internet activities from your internet service provider (ISP) and the government.
And the top iOS VPNs come with a strict no-logs policy, preventing the VPN provider from storing any of your online traffic (websites that you visit and files that you download). Plus, good VPNs are also able to unblock geo-restricted content like streaming sites, and they come with extra features like an ad blocker and a password generator.
How to Download and Use a VPN for iOSIt takes just 3 fast and easy steps to install a VPN on your iOS device:
- Pick a good iOS VPN. Choose a reputable VPN that has a user-friendly, fast, and secure iOS app (I recommend ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access).
- Download and install the VPN app. It takes only a few minutes to complete the installation process.
- Connect to a VPN server. Open the VPN app on your device and either use the quick-connect feature, which connects you to the fastest server based on your location, or scroll through the list of server locations to manually connect to a server. That’s it — now you’re able to securely and privately browse the internet, watch TV shows and movies, play video games, and download files.
Is there a free VPN for iOS?
Yes, there are free VPNs available, but I normally don’t recommend that you use one. Free VPNs usually lack essential security features, have slow speeds, set a limit on your data, expose you to ads, and may log your online traffic.
But if you want a good free iOS VPN, I recommend ProtonVPN’s free plan — it comes with robust security features, unlimited bandwidth, access to servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan, and pretty fast speeds. However, ProtonVPN’s free plan only allows you to connect 1 device, and it doesn’t support streaming.
That said, I strongly recommend buying a reasonably-priced premium VPN like ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or one of ProtonVPN’s paid plans. They all have user-friendly iOS apps, fast speeds, excellent security features, unblock popular streaming services, and are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What is the fastest VPN for iOS?
In my speed tests, ExpressVPN had the fastest speeds (I only experienced an 18% slowdown) — websites instantly loaded, HD videos were crisp and clear, and I didn’t experience any lag while playing video games. But I also had fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and gaming with all of the VPNs on this list.