These VPN apps are ideal for iPhone users (or any iOS device).
Best VPNs for iPhone and iOS 2023
Apple tends to head the charge when it comes to protecting your data. Whether it's Apple's own iCloud Private Relay or another brand like NordVPN, you can expect any iOS VPN app to meet high expectations.
With that said, we tested several VPNs on our iPhones, and we found that four of our five picks for the best VPNs overall are excellent choices if you have an iPhone too.
That means NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, and CyberGhost all made the cut. Here's why.
- : Best security
- : Best features
- : Best for YouTube and Netflix
- : Cheapest monthly price
Minimum monthly price
App Store rating
|$3.99/mo. for 2 yrs. + 3 mos.||4.9 out of 5||Yes||View Plans|
|$6.67/mo. for 12 mos.||4.3 out of 5||Yes||View Plans|
|$7.99/mo. for 1 yr.||4.5 out of 5||Yes||View Plans|
|$2.19/mo. for 2 yrs + 2 mos.||4.5 out of 5||Yes||View Plans|
Data effective 04/12/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Why use a VPN on your iPhone?
If you're like us, your cell phone is your lifeline. Between Zoom, Twitter, YouTube, and even text messages, your phone connects you to the rest of the world.
It makes sense that you'd want to keep all that data private—even if all you do is Google cute cat videos and share recipes with your sister-in-law.
A virtual private network (VPN) app offers data protection for anything you do on your iPhone or iOS device. That means all your online activity is more secure and private.
How to install a VPN on your iPhone or iPad
There are two ways you can go about installing a VPN on your iPhone or iPad: Search the App Store for a VPN service, or visit a VPN provider's website to download the app there.
Either way, you might be faced with a ton of choices. If you're feeling overwhelmed and unsure, you're not alone.
Our top four iOS VPN apps are highly rated not just by us but by many others, so narrowing down your search to the following VPNs ensures you'll get a quality app and not an ad-stuffed freebie.
These VPN apps are listed as "Free" in the app store, but you'll still need to fork over some cash for a plan in order to use them.
Some VPNs offer free trials, and we've found the best deals tend to require longer contracts of two or three years.
Once you've downloaded your VPN app, open it up and create an account or sign in if you already have one. The app should walk you through setting up your new iOS VPN. Now data protection is only a click away.
What about Apple iCloud Private Relay?
The iCloud Private Relay: Is it a VPN? Is it not?
Either way, Apple's newest release is causing a stir. Here's what to know about how Private Relay can help protect your data.
Want to learn more?
NordVPN: Best security
NordVPN is a favorite among VPN users, and it's easy to see why. It has a giant number of servers to choose from, plus it owns and maintains its own diskless RAM servers.
A no-logs policy
NordVPN commits to a no-logs policy, meaning your internet traffic data won't be collected and potentially shared with anyone else.
That's a big deal in today's world when numerous sites and apps—and potentially even your internet provider—is known for collecting and sharing your data.
RAM servers for extra data privacy
We also mentioned RAM servers as a reason to give NordVPN a look. These servers can't permanently store data, so that's another checkmark when it comes to preserving your online privacy.
Randomly blocked websites
One downside we found while testing NordVPN is that some servers block a handful of additional websites. This could be a not-so-great surprise if you need to get to a certain site but all of a sudden can't reach it due to Nord's restrictions.
ExpressVPN: Best features
ExpressVPN is another top-notch VPN app. It offers a friendly interface and numerous servers to choose from that are located in 94 different countries.
On top of that, ExpressVPN stands by a. no-logs policy—though it does collect some data like your account info and app diagnostics.
Split tunneling gives you more control
Split tunneling allows you to decide, right then and there, whether you want to use ExpressVPN's private network for a specific app or website. All without having to turn your VPN on or off.
Not all VPN apps have a split tunneling feature, which is too bad. Split tunneling gives you more control over when to use your VPN.
All the apps you could want
Do you live in an Apple-powered home? Then we've got good news: ExpressVPN offers dozens of apps for various devices, including the following Apple devices:
- Mac and iOS
- Apple TV
- Chrome, Firefox, and Edge web browsers
- Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles
Prices that make your wallet cry
If you pay for just one month, ExpressVPN runs about the same as any other VPN. But because ExpressVPN's contract lengths are much shorter than other VPN's, you never end up with a rock-bottom price.
Here's what its monthly prices look like based on your contract length:
- $12.95 a month for 1 month
- $9.99 a month for 6 months
- $6.67 a month for 12 months
By comparison, our budget pick, CyberGhost, offers a two-year plan that costs $2.19 a month.
Hotspot Shield: Best for Netflix, YouTube, and more
If you enjoy streaming Netflix on your iPhone, Hotspot Shield is worth a serious look.
It's earned top marks for serving up some excellent network speeds, despite VPNs being notorious for slowing down your Wi-Fi.
On the downside, Hotspot Shield is one of the more expensive options if you only want a month of service. And the fact that its parent company, Aura, collects data, is alarming.
No more buffering
When we tested Hotspot Shield, our download speeds only slowed down by a minimal amount.
That's great news if you're tuning into YouTube or Disney+ on your phone. No one wants to watch more of the buffering icon than their favorite show, and you shouldn't need to sacrifice your online security while you stream.
If you're using a VPN like Hotspot Shield to watch another country's Netflix library, you should know that's technically against Netflix's Terms of Service (section 4.6). If you're caught, your account might get locked.
Along with zippy speeds, Hotspot Shield doesn't skimp on encryption. It blocks millions of malware and phishing scam sites, plus it offers a 1Password password management app subscription and spam call blocking with the Premium plan.
Hotspot Shield's parent company, Aura, collects certain pieces of personal data. This includes domains (not full web addresses), device IDs, and how long you keep your VPN connected.
And since Hotspot Shield is based in the US, your data could be collected and shared with third parties.
Hotspot Shield's free VPN plan offers a pretty robust service for zero dollars. You'll get unlimited data and access to over 800 VPN servers on one device.
CyberGhost: Lowest prices
If you're thinking you'll need an iPhone VPN for the foreseeable future, CyberGhost is one of the best deals out there. If you go with its three-year plan, you'll pay about $2 a month. Not to mention that CyberGhost sometimes offers great deals like three months of free service.
CyberGhost also boasts a mountain of servers to choose from, and you can protect up to seven devices all at the same time.
Cheap prices for long-term plans
CyberGhost offers one of the cheapest monthly prices for a VPN plan if you go with its three-year and three-month contract. That makes it an exceptional deal if you plan to keep a VPN on your iPhone or iPad for a long time.
If you only want a VPN for a month or so, though, CyberGhost costs just as much as any other VPN we've reviewed here.
So many servers, so many devices
You've got almost 8,000 servers to choose from with CyberGhost. That means its more likely you'll find a protected network that offers faster speeds and a better connection.
Plus, CyberGhost lets you connect the most devices to its servers—up to seven. So your whole family can stay protected—whether it's a family of tech or a family of people.
Way-too-short free trial
If you're not convinced CyberGhost is right for you, you can take its VPN app for a test drive. CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee if you decide it's you're not interested.
Recap: What's the best VPN app for iPhones and iOS devices?
You can keep your data private and your iPhone secure with a VPN. We recommend NordVPN as the best VPN app for iPhones, but ExpressVPN is a close, albeit more expensive, second.
Hotspot Shield also offers excellent streaming speeds, and CyberGhost charges the lowest price for its three-year plan.
Minimum monthly price
Max number of devices
|$3.99/mo. for 2 yrs. + 3 mos.||6 devices||Yes||View Plans|
|$6.67/mo. for 12 mos.||5 devices||Yes||View Plans|
|$7.99/mo. for 1 yr.||10 devices||Yes||View Plans|
|$2.19/mo. for 2 yrs + 2 mos.||7 devices||Yes||View Plans|