Best VPN for iPhone 2021
Known for its premium design, powerful performance, and industrial innovation, there’s no point in shorting your Apple iPhone with substandard apps. If your next download is going to be a VPN, you are in the right place to find out the best VPNs for iPhone right now.
In addition to providing an extra layer of encrypted privacy for your already well secured device, VPNs for iPhone are the perfect tool for unblocking apps that might be curtailed by your office, school, or the country you’re visiting. It also opens up a whole new world of potential streaming content, thanks to its ability to “spoof” a location and make your iPhone look completely different somewhere in the world.
Before you rush to dig around in the App Store, here we’ll explain the many (many) uses of iPhone VPN apps, how to get the best deals, and finally, the five best iPhone VPN services we consider the best in 2021.
How to choose the best VPN app for iPhone
There’s no shortage of iPhone VPN options with excellent iOS support, as most providers offer dedicated apps for iPhone and iPad — obviously a major consideration here. The app should be just as easy to use as it is on the desktop, yet provide enough options for more advanced users to be able to tweak things.
The 3 best iPhone VPNs today:
5 Best VPN Apps for iPhone in 2021:
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
A great iPhone app from the best VPN in the world
Dedicated iPhone app: yes | Also available for: Windows, Mac, Android. Linux | Max devices: 5 | Built-in lock switch: no | App Store Review: 4.5
Really easy to use iOS app
Great overall performance
Don’t want features
Reassure user rating
No lock key as such
Best VPN for iPhone 2021 – Get 3 months free with an annual plan
ExpressVPN is our top pick for the best all-round VPN, and we’d be glad to recommend it for iOS devices. The top-ranked provider has a large server network (with 160 server locations in over 90 countries) that was able to provide very good speeds during our tests. In fact, it’s great on every platform and browser we’ve tested on – Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox…a lot more!
Its iPhone VPN is very easy to set up and features a user friendly interface that focuses on smart server selection via various filters. Users can connect in one click and use the VPN seamlessly, plus it’s easy to switch servers without manually closing the current connection first.
There are some unusual additions as well, such as the ability to switch protocols. Its list of privacy and security tools adds some useful features to help you check your connection, with options to view your current IP address and location, check for DNS and WebRTC leaks and create secure passwords — so much is common for ExpressVPN’s great desktop clients.
ExpressVPN also has no problem with helping you access streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, which makes it perfect for streaming. Dedicated traffic jamming will allow you to achieve better connectivity in heavily censored regions such as China and the Middle East.
The main drawback is the lack of a kill switch, so this may be a problem for some (especially, frankly, those who use their iPhone for somewhat questionable means like torrenting) although it does include an auto-reconnect option that will attempt to recreate the tunnel if disconnected. And the prices aren’t the cheapest, but it might be worth the added cost for those who want the best experience on iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads – especially with the extra value you get with an annual plan…
(Image credit: NordVPN)
An app that adds real value to a truly excellent VPN
Dedicated iPhone app: yes | Also available for: Windows, Mac, Android. Linux | Max devices: 6 | Built-in lock switch: yes | App Store Review: 4.5
custom lock key
Highly rated by users
full of features
We’d love to see a little redesign
NordVPN iPhone app is among the best. It’s a well organized app, with quick info displayed by the Quick Connect tool which shows details of nearest server, availability, load percentage etc. It basically has everything you could ask for in an iPhone VPN.
On the security front, NordVPN supports industry-standard 256-bit encryption and offers an automatic kill switch (a real blessing), along with double data encryption, which passes your data through two separate VPN servers. This provider also has a “no logs” policy, which is good to see – in fact, it’s been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers for water.
The app includes an auto-connect feature that, you guessed it, automatically connects the VPN when it detects that you’re using an untrusted network or Wi-Fi. There’s an additional capability for Siri as well (if you’re interested in that kind of thing). And all the in-depth features you demand from even the best desktop clients: a full-featured protocol list, specialized server lists, the list goes on.
NordVPN delivers well above average performance as well – especially now with increased speeds via the WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol – and the network boasts a large number of servers over 5,000. Perhaps our only real annoyance is that the default map view when opening the app is a bit tricky to use. But you can see we’re really struggling to pick holes here.
Today’s NordVPN Best Deals
(Image credit: Surfshark)
Very Affordable iPhone VPN App – But High Quality
Dedicated iPhone app: yes | Also available for: Windows, Mac, Android. Linux | Max devices: unlimited | Built-in lock switch: yes | App Store Review: 4.4
Unlimited connections from one branch
Very reasonable prices
Kill switch included
Time for a full privacy audit
Surfshark has made waves (geddit?) in the VPN market lately. This is largely thanks to its low prices while also promising unlimited VPN connections on any number of devices you want.
Its iPhone VPN app is somewhat similar to what you get from the Surfshark desktop experience. There is the same site list, multi-store connections, ad and malware blocking, and split tunneling for apps and sites that let you connect your VPN only when you use specific other apps. There is also a dedicated kill switch, which may direct you towards that provider if this is a function that you think would be useful on your iPhone.
Recently, small changes to the iOS app have included the ability to change your preferred language within the app, and the ability to reset your VPN profile to resolve any connection issues. We also like that iOS 14 tools are now available as well.
Surfshark’s relative simplicity will either be a pro or a cheat, depending on what you want to get from your VPN and how many features you want. But you still don’t lack multiple protocols to choose from (WireGuard, OpenVPN/IKEv2, Shadowsocks) and 24/7 support with the company’s live chat clients in case you’re Act Face any problem when using or installing.
But if Surfshark really wants to start hanging out with the big boys at Nord and Express, we’d like to see him put his money where it is and bring in an independent auditor to fully verify the provider’s privacy claims.
Today’s Surfshark Best Deals
(Image credit: Private Internet Access)
4. Private Internet Access
Good balance between performance and price
Dedicated iPhone app: yes | Also available for: Windows, Mac, Android. Linux | Max devices: 10 | Built-in lock switch: yes | App Store Review: 4.6
Easy-to-use, streamlined app
Active lock switch
Not the best for banners
In our performance tests, Private Internet Access achieved some great results, which is a great start for any VPN. And if you are looking for a really usable option for your Apple device, PIA offers a very affordable iPhone VPN app. Moreover, it is loved by Apple users, and it has a rating of 4.6 on the App Store.
On the security front, the provider supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and the fast WireGuard protocol, with 256-AES encryption, with improvements to handshake authentication using SHA-4096, and data authentication on OpenVPN CBC using SHA-256. A lock switch is also available which works impressively and the provider states that it does not have any type of registration.
There are some attractive add-ons that add real value. The favorites system, for example, allows connection to commonly used servers, while the new automation rules system allows automatic connection when connected to certain networks. There is an additional ad and malware blocking feature as well.
For those fully integrated into the Apple ecosystem, you’ll appreciate the ability to add Siri Shortcuts. Then there’s PIA’s InBrowser, a private browser for iOS (and its own VPN app on Android) with tabs and video support.
If your main reason to get one of these apps is a streaming VPN, we think you’re better off with one of the other providers on this list. Well, you have managed to unblock Amazon Prime Video, iPlayer, and Disney Plus. Those who want to access US Netflix are out of luck, while our tests on other sites only allowed us to access the original Netflix titles.
Price-wise, the multi-year plan is the best option here if you don’t mind sticking with that long. But it just seems that PIA is thriving, having 10,000 or so servers on its network, making it the largest of any major VPNs.
Today’s Best Private Internet Access Deals
(Image credit: Hide.me)
The iOS app does more than many desktop clients
Dedicated iPhone app: yes | Also available for: Windows, Mac, Android. Linux | Max devices: 10 | Built-in lock switch: yes | App Store Review: 4.5
The app outperforms most of the competition
Easy to use but also customizable
Security check please
Hide.me’s high-performance iPhone app means it hits this list and gets stuck with some real heavyweight VPNs.
Overall, Hide.me has recently impressed us with its improvements in unblocking region-restricted streaming services (international libraries of US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, etc.) and with the higher average speeds it now offers thanks to the adoption of WireGuard protocol.
On the topic of protocols, there are plenty to choose from: OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, and SSTP are all available along with WireGuard.
When it comes to its iPhone VPN app specifically, we love Hide.me’s straightforward interface. Press ‘Enable’ and your traffic will be instantly encrypted via the nearest server location. Changing the server is also easy, and we always appreciate the favorites system that helps you quickly access the most used servers.
The Hide.me iPhone app has a Kill switch, and we applaud it. It’s worth knowing that when we actually rolled up our sleeves and fully tested it, it faltered a bit and didn’t play well with WireGuard. You could argue that this is a symptom of some poor coding, but in real life this is far from a huge problem. And given how much Hide.me has improved in recent tests, we wouldn’t be surprised if the providers fix the issues soon.
If you want to try Hide.me, it has a free version. This is in addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, if…