Best iPhone VPN 2023

NordVPN loaded up on a black iPhone laying on a grey surface.
Credit: Petter Lagson

NordVPN loaded up on a black iPhone laying on a grey surface.
Credit: Petter Lagson

The best iPhone VPN can help you stay safe online while also enjoying the benefits of streaming services wherever you are in the world. There are a lot of VPNs on the market now though, so finding the right one for you can be tough. In fact, finding a good one in the first place can be tough.

You need to think about what kind of security you want, what countries you'd like servers in, the level of encryption you're after, and, of course, the price package. There's just a lot to take into account, and a lot of us don't really want to have to worry about all of that.

Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you by rounding up some of the best VPNs for your mobile device. From amazing free options to great VPN services for streaming, our list of top picks can help take the guesswork out of the equation.

So, without further delay, here are the best iPhone VPNs on the market...

Best iPhone VPNs

  1. NordVPN
  2. Express VPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. CyberGhost
  5. TunnelBear
NordVPN logo in black below a blue circle with a reverse mountain image in it.
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Credit: NordVPN

1. NordVPN

Best iPhone VPN overall

Servers: 5,500 - Locations: 60 Countries
Protocol:
OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, NordLynx (WireGuard) - Encryption: AES 256 Other Features: Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, Quick Connect, Malware Protection, Phishing Protection, DNS Leak Blocking, IPv6 Leak Blocking

Nord is one of the most popular VPNs out there for iPhones, Android smartphones, PCs, Macs, and pretty much every device in between. You can download it directly from the App Store for free, but you'll need to log into a paid subscription in order for it to work. The good news is that you can sign up right here and it'll be ready the second the app is installed.

Now, let’s look at the specs. To start with, Nord offers over 5,500 servers in about 60 countries, which is a good spread. You should be able to access your regional streaming content from anywhere in the world without a hitch.

Getting into technicalities, Nord is secured with industry-standard AES-256 encryption, along with ChaCha20. Plus, you get DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection, which ensures that no data leaks out or your device gets tracked. Meanwhile, the VPN has OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols, as well as the faster NordLynx, Nord’s version of WireGuard.

In addition to this, you get add-ons like a kill switch, split tunneling, an ad blocker, a tracker blocker, and a double VPN, which further safeguards your iPhone and give you a smooth user experience.

If you’re looking for a standard, popular VPN protection, then you cannot go wrong with Nord VPN.

Read More: Best WiFi routers

ExpressVPN logo in white on a red background.
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Credit: ExpressVPN

2. ExpressVPN

Best iPhone VPN for streaming

Servers: 3000 - Locations: 94 Countries
Protocol:
OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, Open source Lightway
Encryption: AES-256, AES-192, AES-128, ChaCha20 - Other Features: Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, Quick ON/OFF, Independent Audits

ExpressVPN is another popular name on the list, which has servers spread across the globe - 94 countries to be precise. You get access to over 3000 servers, which is sufficient for most VPN users.

The VPN runs on OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec protocols, and you also get Lightway, Express VPN’s own protocol with an AES-256 cipher. It doesn't feature WireGuard, which is something that other entries on this list have, but Lightway makes this a moot point.

Coming to the encryption, you get AES-256, AES-192, AES-128, and ChaCha20 - this should ensure that your data is strongly encrypted.

To further maintain privacy, ExpressVPN has Smart DNS - a feature that reroutes your DNS requests without disclosing your location. Then, you get a tracker blocker, which prevents third parties from collecting data about you.

You also have split tunneling, so you can decide which apps can use VPN at any given time - fancy protecting your Safari session but don't want it to get in the way of your FaceTime? This is the feature for you. However, there’s no adblocker or double VPN, which is something to note if you are planning to use these features.

Express VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the VPN for a few weeks before committing to it.

Read More: Best Disney Plus VPNs

The Surfshark blue logo loaded up on multiple devices.
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Credit: Surfshark

3. Surfshark

Best iPhone VPN for multiple devices

Servers: 3,200 - Locations: 100 Countries
Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard - Encryption: AES-256
Other Features:
Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, Unlimited Connections, DNS Leak Blocking, Double VPN, Ad Blocker, Track Blocker

Surfshark is the star provider responsible for setting the trend of unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can pop this on your iPhone, PC, and any other device you want without any restrictions. It's also loaded with advanced features, so if you’re someone who uses features like NoBorders Mode, Camouflage Mode, and Multi-Hop, you need to check out Surfshark.

But let’s start off with the basics - you get 3,200 servers in more than a hundred countries, which is quite a number of servers across a lot of regions. So if you’re looking to unblock geo-restricted content, Surfshark is the way to go.

You can run the VPN on OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and the WireGuard protocols, which are commonly listed in most of the best VPNs out there. Depending on the features you want to use and some other factors, you might have to switch the protocols.

Then, we have the standard AES-256 encryption, which provides robust security. Along with this, you get other security features like DNS leak blocking, which further safeguards your data. To make sure that you don’t lose protection when the VPN drops, you get a kill switch.

As add-on perks, Surfshark gives you an ad-blocker, Smart DNS, split tunneling, double VPN, and track blocker - so you have a lot of tools to work with and customize your experience on your iPhone.

Surfshark also gives you a 30-day money-back offer - so you get to use and experience the VPN before you actually subscribe to it.

Read More: Best Hulu VPNs

A yellow character holding a grey shield next to some white and yellow text.
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Credit: CyberGhost

4. CyberGhost

Best iPhone VPN to try before you buy

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Servers: 9,700+ - Locations: 90 Countries
Protocol:
OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard - Encryption: AES-256
Other Features: Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, IPv6 Leak Blocking, DNS Leak Blocking, Ad Blocker, Smart DNS, Tracker Blocker

CyberGhost boasts a whopping 9,700+ servers in about 90 countries, which is a very widespread network. So if you’re someone who keeps trotting across the globe, you might find CyberGhost quite useful. Plus, CyberGhost has ‘NoSpy’ servers, which have faster speeds, P2P support, and no access to third parties.

Let’s look into the technical nitty-gritty - CyberGhost features OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, as well as WireGuard protocols - so you get greater flexibility.

Coming to security, CyberGhost has the industry standard AES-256 encryption - which ensures that the connection between your iPhone and the internet is private and encrypted. And thanks to the kill switch and the leak protection, you can transfer your data safely.

In addition, you get features like split tunneling, smart DNS, and a tracker blocker. And with the ad blocker, you won’t see any annoying ads and no advertisers will track your internet activity.

If you want to try out CyberGhost, the VPN offers quite a few free trial options - 24-hour, 3-day, and 7-day, alongside a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read More: Best Android VPNs

A brown bear popping out of a yellow tube below dark blue TunnelBear branding.
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Credit: TunnelBear

5. TunnelBear

Best iPhone VPN for beginners

Servers: N/A - Server Locations: 47 Countries
Protocol:
OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec - Encryption: AES-256
Other Features:
Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, DNS Leak Protection, Ad Blocker, Stealth Mode

If you’re a beginner at VPNs or if you don’t use VPNs very frequently, then TunnelBear has a simple solution for your iPhone. And if you don’t like complicated configurations, then you should definitely check out TunnelBear.

To begin with, you get access to servers from over 47 countries, which is a decent spread. However, the VPN hasn’t revealed the exact number of servers available.

For your iPhone, you can choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols, however, the VPN has skipped out on WireGuard. Just like the desktop and the Android version, the iOS app has AES-256 encryption.

Now, don’t let the simplistic interface fool you into thinking that there are no advanced features. You get a stealth mode that lets you access regions where VPNs are restricted. The VPN also blocks ads, so you have a better browsing experience.

Users get handy features like a kill switch (VigilantBear), which alerts you when the VPN drops. Then there’s split tunneling (SplitBear), which lets you customise apps with VPN.

TunnelBear may not be big on technical details but it emphasizes regular audits. The VPN gets independent in-depth audits done every year to back up all the claims made in their privacy policy.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs about the best iPhone VPNs (and VPNs in general)...

Is a free VPN safe for iPhone?

A lot of VPN services claim to be truly free, but everything comes at a price, so those VPNs are not exactly free. These VPNs generally cap have a lot of ads or they may not provide adequate privacy. In the worst cases, your data might be sold to third parties.

With that being said, there are a few genuine VPNs that provide free services like Proton VPN or Privado VPN. However, they have limited access to their services - the data is limited and there are limited servers in a few regions.

The best way to go about it is to claim a free trial for a premium VPN service or get the VPNs that come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What is IKEv2/IPSec protocol?

Just like OpenVPN and WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec is a commonly used protocol. Based on IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a tunneling protocol that securely links your device to the VPN. So IKEv2 secures a connection with the server, transfers the data to IPSec, and in turn, IPSec encrypts it.

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