VPNs provide important privacy benefits such as preventing your ISP from being able to monitor your browsing activity. They also provide extra security when using unencrypted Wi-Fi connections such as some public hotspots. This extra protection is especially important for mobile devices such as phones as you’re more likely to connect them to public Wi-Fi networks. A lot of VPN providers offer iOS VPN clients, but it can be difficult to know which VPN is the best.
The Apple App Store has many free and paid “VPN” apps, but it’s recommended that you avoid VPNs that are not provided by otherwise mainstream VPN providers with good track records. These free VPN apps generally don’t provide you the privacy or security they claim, run slowly, and monitor and sell your browsing activity to make money. If you’re not sure if a VPN is trustworthy, you should look for in-depth reviews online, if you can’t find one, it’s safest to assume that the app is too good to be true.
The best VPNs you can get on iOS are generally paid and will have been reviewed positively by multiple reviewers. Below are a few of the best VPNs for iOS.
Surfshark is one of the cheapest options available but it still comes with many important features. As with all good VPN, Surfshark offers the best available 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data and all of your browsing data remains private thanks to the no-logs policy.
A VPN kill switch ensures that even if your VPN drops out, none of your browsing data will leak. Instead, the kill switch will block all network traffic until you reconnect to the VPN.
Tip: A VPN kill switch can be especially useful on mobile devices that may move between networks. The switch over between networks can cause VPN connections to fail.
The “CleanWeb” feature is an ad-blocker that protects your whole phone from ads, malware, and phishing attempts. “MultiHop” is a server selection feature that allows you to route your traffic through multiple VPN servers, each with its own layer of encryption. This will slow down your connection more than normal but makes it even harder to deanonymise your browsing activity.
Prices start from $1.94 a month for a three-year plan, that covers an unlimited number of devices. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also offered if you purchase online rather than through the App Store.
Tip: Money back guarantees often aren’t available for in-app purchases as the decision is down to Apple rather than the app provider.
NordVPN is a very well-respected VPN provider that provides a wide range of top-quality features. As with any good VPN, NordVPN offers the top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption cipher and a no-log policy so you can be confident in your security and privacy.
NordVPN offers a “Split Tunnelling” feature which allows you to define apps that you want to bypass the VPN. Other features include a VPN kill switch, double VPN, and the option to use a dedicated IP address.
A dedicated IP address is an IP address that is set aside only for your use, it makes it much more likely that you can access services that blacklist VPNs, but also makes it easier for your online activity to be tracked.
Prices start from $3.49 a month for a three-year plan covering 6 devices and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee if you purchase online.
ExpressVPN is another well respected VPN provider, known for the speed of its servers. Top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption and a no-logs policy are standard features. One key feature missing from the iOS app is a VPN kill switch, ExpressVPN offers it on other platforms but not on iOS.
One feature that some users may appreciate is that the app is available in 16 languages, making it an ideal option for non-English speakers.
Prices start from $6.67 a month for a 12-month plan, covering up to five devices. A thirty-day money-back policy is also available if you purchase a licence online.