Best VPN for iPhone and iPad in 2023 so far to browse the web securely

An iPhone or iPad VPN gives you another layer of privacy while you browse online. A virtual private network (VPN) works by bouncing your signal through another server. This encrypts your information and reassigned the IP address of the device you're using. Together, this makes you appear to be someone else and somewhere else, plus it makes it impossible to record your online movements or track online activity back to you.

Security is the most important feature of a VPN, but when using a service on an iOS device, you must also get a good number of security tools, an easy-to-use mobile interface, and good speeds to support your overall VPN activities. All of these are points we test and evaluate multiple times throughout the year to ensure we recommend the absolute best iPad and iPhone VPNs.

Though it might seem daunting at first, setting up a VPN on iPhone or iPad is not as tricky as you might think. That being said, you probably want to make sure you're using a top-tier VPN service if you're already rocking an iPhone or iPad – and that doesn't necessarily mean just hunting down an app based on overall App Store ratings. Which is the best iPhone and iPad VPN? We've narrowed the list down to help you find the best one for you. Here are the top three iPhone and iPad VPNs to get you started.

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1. ExpressVPN: best VPN for both iPhone and iPad in 2023
ExpressVPN is our top pick for good reason. Not only is it the best for your iPhone and iPad, but for all your other devices as well. With great speeds, superb security, and amazing customer support, it's a hard one to beat. 

This VPN has servers in 94 countries, though its actual server count is lower than NordVPN or PIA. It's also one of the most expensive VPNs. Still, it's worth the cost with the level of security you get. For new users, you get the benefit of 2 additional months free and a full year of free online cloud storage.

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2. NordVPN: added security for online browsing
NordVPN is well known, and the service is better than most. With clean apps, great unblocking, and extensive support options, your Apple devices will be in good hands.

This VPN is every bit as secure as ExpressVPN and comes with additional protections like antivirus and ad blockers. When considering how much you get with this service and the price, NordVPN is an excellent overall value.

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3. Surfshark: the best value and simple for new VPN users
Surfshark is the fastest VPN, one of the easiest apps to use, and also one of the best values. With a price that's consistently lower than competitors, you get everything you need here.

For new VPN users, Surfshark is the VPN we recommend because of its simple interface, plus it has good support options if you need help. There isn't a free trial available, but Surfshark does give you a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best VPN for securing your iPhone and iPad in 2023

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

When it comes to software, sometimes mobile apps aren't as feature-rich as their desktop counterparts. This isn't the case when it comes to the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad. Here are our top choices for these devices based on our own in-house evaluations.

Best iPhone and iPad VPN overall

ExpressVPN running on an iPhone

(Image credit: Source: ExpressVPN)
The best iPhone and iPad VPN, and for other devices, too

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube
Servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
Refund period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar security
+
No-log policy
+
Allows audits

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Has trouble unblocking Netflix US and UK
-
Slower speeds than Surfshark or NordVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want security you can count on: ExpressVPN has consistently proven how secure it is in our independent tests, and allows third-party audits to help validate its claims.

✔️ You need to tap into international servers: there are over 3,200 servers located in 94 different countries to help you access geo-blocked content.

✔️ You want an easily customizable VPN: ExpressVPN has a lot of configurations to choose from, plus lets you set and save them for future sessions.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You want the fast VPN speeds available: speeds are impressive and fast enough to support most tasks but aren't nearly as fast as either NordVPN or Surfshark.

❌ You want more than just a VPN gives: unlike NordVPN, ExpressVPN doesn't double-encrypt data.

❌ You're on a budget: it's no secret that this is one of the most expensive VPN services out there. Surfshark is cheaper if cost is an issue.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN is our pick for the best VPN for iPhone and iPad because of its solid, stable, and secure server connections, and its strong kill switch if your VPN connection is somehow lost. In short, you're always protected.

Want to learn more?

This ExpressVPN review goes in-depth on how we evaluated its security, speeds, and details about its privacy claims.

ExpressVPN is the most secure service we've tested throughout the years. Some services are getting close, with one or two on par, but they haven't been that secure for as long as ExpressVPN. This is why ExpressVPN gets the top spot. But there's more to this VPN that impresses us.

During our testing, we tried to get ExpressVPN to drop its connections. No matter what we threw at it, and we put a lot of pressure on it, ExpressVPN wouldn't budge. When we finally forced the connection to drop, ExpressVPN quickly turned on its kill switch. This stayed solidly in place until the VPN connection was re-established. At no time during this entire process did ExpressVPN show a hint of a DNS leak.

Try ExpressVPN and get a 30-day money-back guarantee

In addition to using it as an iPhone or iPad VPN, you can also use ExpressVPN on Mac, Android, Windows, web browsers, and so much more. In fact, the only real downside of ExpressVPN is that you can only use it simultaneously on only eight devices which is on the lower end, though you can set it up on your Wi-Fi router, which only counts as one connection even if all of your tech is hooked up to Wi-Fi at home.

This VPN has widespread server availability with over 3,200 of them in 160 locations, including 94 different countries. It isn't hard to find a server in a country or city you need. This makes it easier to tap into geo-restricted sites, like tv streaming services. Speaking of tv streaming, ExpressVPN easily unblocks Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and even HBO Max. During past testing, it struggled to consistently unblock Netflix in both the US and the UK but didn't have the same issues with Netflix in Japan or Australia. Our most recent tests showed improvement in this area with ExpressVPN unblocking every region we attempted.

ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than some of the other services out there, but it breaks down to just $6.67 a month – which really isn't a lot of cash for something you'll use daily. Sign up today to make the most of that discount and, if you don't absolutely love the service, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund.

ExpressVPN may not be the most affordable option, but it still tops our list of the best iPhone VPNs thanks to its reliability. Its iPhone VPN app is well-rated and easy to use for getting service set up and switching locations., too. If you do encounter any issues, 24/7 live support can help you out.

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ExpresasVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignClean and simple, with no clutter⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive, easy-to-learn, features, like auto-connect, make it evern easier⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceSpeeds are fast enough to support all activities but aren't nearly as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks every major streaming service and then some⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyMilitary-grade protection and a no-nonsense privacy policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 live chat is available and online support documents are easy to find and understand⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceMore expensive than most leading competitors⭐⭐⭐

Best iPhone and iPad VPN with antivirus

NordVPN running on an iPhone and iPad

Double encryption, antivirus, and ad blocking all included

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube
Servers: 5,670
Server locations: 80+ in 60 countries
Trial period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Double encryption for outgoing data
+
Includes malware protections
+
Fast speeds
+
Meshnet is available on mobile apps

Reasons to avoid

-
Apps are a bit busy
-
Fewer server countries than either ExpressVPN or Surfshark
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want extra protection: NordVPN double-encrypts your data, plus includes antivirus and ad blockers.

✔️ You want fast speed: it's in the highest bracket for VPN speeds reaching over 950 Mbps in our latest testing.

✔️ You need a VPN for streaming: NordVPN unblocks every Netflix region and most other tv streaming sites, too.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You're new to VPN: the app is fun and interactive but also may be too busy for a beginner to figure out.

❌ You want server options in more countries: this service has servers in 60 countries, but Surfshark has them in 100.

❌ You need a VPN for torrenting: while it supports P2P transfers, we've seen some dip in speeds during torrenting tests.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 NordVPN is double secure and includes extra protections with built-in antivirus and ad blockers. It also gives you the option of double-encrypting your data and reassigning your device's IP address twice.

Read the in-depth NordVPN review to see how it did in our security tests and why, though it's as secure as ExpressVPN, it hasn't been able to dethrone the VPN king.

NordVPN is one of the most high-profile VPN services and has been a popular choice for a long time – and for good reason. It offers top-notch security, and tons of features, and brings everything together in a rather affordable package.

This VPN service has 5,670 servers available to use that are spread across 60 different countries. These are fewer countries than both ExpressVPN and Surfshark, but there are more servers in popular cities to cut down on speed issues during popular connection times. Speaking of speeds, NordVPN is one of the fastest. It clocked a top speed of over 950 Mbps, matching Surfshark, but definitely beats ExpressVPN and most other VPN services.

Try NordVPN and get antivirus and ad blocking included for free

 NordVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to keep things as secure as possible, and that's on top of the standard features like DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and more. To ensure even more security, NordVPN allows you to send your data through two servers to double encrypt it. This also reassigns your device's IP address twice. NordVPN takes security up a notch by adding antivirus and ad blocking free. Both of these help reduce the risk of visiting a dangerous site known to hide malware, or accidentally clicking on a malicious file disguised as a legitimate navigation link or ad.

Its iOS app is well-reviewed and simple to use. It also has a Mac App Store app for your desktop and laptop needs. Other devices NordVPN works well with include routers, tv streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire, and gaming consoles.

NordVPN is the best for Netflix streaming. It unblocks every region with ease. It also easily gives you access to Amazon Prime and Dinsey, and BBC iPlayer. Plus, since it works on so many other devices, you don't have to watch your favorite shows on a small iPad or iPhone screen.

One thing that puts a ding in NordVPN's reputation was a compromised server back in 2018. After investigating it, and the confirmation from Nord, it was understood that it was a single server with limited information being obtained. TechRadar has a great breakdown as to how it happened, so be sure to check that out if it's a concern.

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NordVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFun and interactive, but also busy⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEverything you need is there, but the busy app is off-putting and harder to navigate⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest VPNs on our list⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and so much more⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyJust as secure as ExpressVPN, plus includes malware protection⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLive chat is always available and agents are helpful⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceA great overall value⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best cheap iPhone and iPad VPN

Surfshark VPN on an iPhone

(Image credit: Source: Surfshark)
A budget VPN that includes more than the basics

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon
Servers: 3,200
Server locations: 100+ in 65 countries
Trial period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Fastest speeds of all VPNs on our list
+
Unlimited connections
+
Cheap

Reasons to avoid

-
Fewer servers compared to NordVPN and PIA
-
Some kill-switch issues
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a fast VPN: Surfshark's speeds reach over 950 Mbps, a speed unmatched by most other VPNs.

✔️ You're new to VPNs: the apps are simple and easy to figure out.

✔️ You're on a budget: Surfshark has made using a VPN affordable with prices and an overall value that are hard for other services to match.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You want a VPN with lots of servers: Surfshark's 3,200 servers are certainly a good network, but NordVPN has nearly twice as many and PIA has over 20,000.

You want a VPN with a solid kill switch: we've seen issues with Surfshark's kill switch that we haven't witnessed with other VPNs on our list. These seem to be limited to the Windows app for now.

You need a VPN for torrenting: PIA is the best torrenting VPN with dedicated servers and lots of customization specifically for torrents. Surfshark doesn't have these.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark is impressively fast, unblocks most tv streaming services, and is easy to use. It's also one of the cheapest.

Want to learn more?

Read this Surfshark review to learn about the security tests we conducted that exposed its kill switch issue, and about the impressive speed tests where it left other VPNs in the dust.

Though Surfshark is one of the most affordable iPhone and iPad VPNs, it is still one of the best in terms of features and ease of use. It's got a straightforward iOS and iPadOS app that is well-reviewed, too.

Surfshark used to be somewhat held back by the fact it had fewer servers than a lot of the competition, but that recently changed as its server count has gone up to over 3,200. They are spread across 100 different countries, one of the highest number of t country locations, so you have a ton of choices. Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices to it simultaneously. That's a huge benefit of an iPhone and iPad VPN since you won't need to disconnect one of your gadgets to connect to another one. Other devices Surfshark is compatible with include Xbox, AppleTV, and routers.

Try Surfshark, the cheapest and fastest VPN

Overall security is pretty impressive with this app. We watched as its connections held fast and didn't allow any data leaks no matter what we pushed against it. When we let the VPN connection drop, its kill switch kicked in quickly and also held firm against DNS leaks. However, every so often we did notice the kill switch would engage without alerting us that the VPN had dropped. We still didn't see any evidence of leaks, but it is concerning to have an issue with a kill switch no matter how minor. The issue was only seen while testing the Windows app. It wasn't found on iPhones or iPads when we tested Surfhsark with these devices.

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which does not require data storage or reporting. Surfshark also states clearly in its privacy policy that it does not collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, network traffic, or other similar data that could lead them to know who you are or what you're up to online. Having this level of privacy just added to the overall security of this VPN.

If you need a VPN for torrenting or streaming tv services, Surfshark is definitely fast enough to support both of these. When it comes to tv streaming, Surfshark unblocked  Netflix, Amazon, and Disney. We recommend it as a reliable streaming VPN. We were able to send P2P transfers, but there isn't a lot of configuration or extra protections for this function. For example, it was hard to know if a server was configured to support torrenting, unlike Private Internet Access which formats all its servers for torrents.

Surfshark has some of the lowest prices in the VPN industry, especially if you commit to its 2-year subscription. Every so often it has a VPN deal that makes it even cheaper. Regardless of how cheap it is, Surfshark comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you enough time to try it out and see if it's the iPhone and iPad VPN service for you or not.

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Surfshark test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignSimple with signs designers paid attention to details⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useVery simple and a good VPN for beginners⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the few to reach over 950 Mbps⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingMisses a few services, but most are unblocked without a problem⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyThere's a kill switch issue, and some additional security tools, like antivirus, aren't that good⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportHard to navigate support documents, especially when you're in a hurry⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceThe best value and best cheap VPN on the market⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Row 7 - Cell 0 Row 7 - Cell 1 Row 7 - Cell 2

Best of the rest

CyberGhost VPN runing on several iOS devices including iPads and iPhones

Best streaming VPN for iPhone and iPad

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube, HBO Max
Servers: 9,260+
Server locations: 116 in 91 countries
Trial period: 45 days

Reasons to buy

+
Fast speeds
+
Unblocks most streaming sites
+
45-day money-back guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
Device limit
-
Hard to find audit information
-
Support is sub-par
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a streaming VPN: CyberGhost unblocks the big players, including HBO Max.

✔️ You want a good refund policy: this VPN gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee whereas other services limit this to 30 days.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You have lots of devices to protect: this service puts a cap on the number of devices it can be installed on rather than limiting simultaneous connections.

❌ You need good support options: agents are friendly and helpful when you get a hold of them. Its support site isn't on the same help level as PIA or ExpressVPN.

Bottom line⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 CyberGhost unblocks popular streaming services, including HBO Max, and has impressive speeds to support up to 7 devices simultaneously watching.

Want to learn more?

Read this CyberGhost VPN review to see the long list of tv streaming services it unblocks and why we recommend it for new VPN users.

CyberGhost is a VPN service based out of Romania and Germany, offering over 9,200 different servers that span more than 116 locations around the globe, which is pretty impressive. It also works on a long list of devices including, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and other smart TVs.

It's one of the best for tv streaming and has a smart connect feature that matches you with a streaming server when you're connecting for this purpose. Just choose the Streaming tab and the service you want to watch and CyberGhost will do the rest. During our tests, we were able to unblock Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and US Netflix. We couldn't access Netflix in the UK or Disney Plus.

Try CyberGhost and see how simple a VPN can be

When it comes to speed, CybcerGhost is well above average at 730 Mbps. To put this into perspective, you need 24 Mbps to stream in 4K. Experts recommend a minimum of 45 Mbps if you use a VPN for streaming so you don't experience buffering or lag. CyberGhost is fast enough to support multiple devices connected and streaming at once.

This VPN is one of the most secure. It uses the highest level of encryption, the same level used by militaries and banks. It also has a solid kill switch in case your VPN connection suddenly drops. CyberGhost has a no-logs privacy policy that promised never to record your online activity or hand over your personal information to anyone. To prove its loyalty, CyberGhost has allowed Deloitte to conduct third-party audits of its security claims and has passed. It's hard to find details of this audit, however, on both the CyberGhost and Deloitte websites.

The CyberGhost app itself is very simple and clean. This makes it easy to navigate, even for new users. It offers some customization, too, and doesn't make the process of changing settings difficult to figure out.

Thanks to the ease of use, speed, and reliability it offers, CyberGhost has been able to bring over 10 million users to its service. The pricing is quite competitive, and by signing up for longer-term plans, you can also help reduce the per-month cost of the service.

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CyberGhost test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignIntuitive and easy to customize⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEasy and simple for beginners⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceGood, fast speeds that support streaming and torrenting⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingStruggles to unblock some Netflix regions and Disney+⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyReliable, secure connections, plus audits from Deloitte⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportOn-site support isn't the best, but agents are helpful when you connect with them⭐⭐⭐
PriceCompetitive pricing and overall a good value⭐⭐⭐⭐

Private Internet Access interface on an iPhone

(Image credit: Source: PIA)
An iPhone and iPad VPN with tons of server choice

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube
Servers: 20,000+
Server locations: 100 in 84 countries
Refund period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Good torrenting VPN
+
Proven no-log privacy policy
+
Highly customizable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a good choice for beginners
-
Speeds are nowhere near the fastest VPNs
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want to configure a VPN yourself: PIA is the most customizable VPN on our list.

✔️ You want a torrenting VPN: this service optimizes every one of its servers to support torrenting, has port forwarding, and several customizations specific to this function.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You want an easy VPN to use: with as much configuration as PIA has, it isn't easy to use and not one we'd recommend for beginners.

❌ You want the fastest VPN: it's fast enough, but Surfshark beats it by a lot.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Private Internet Access secures all the servers in its network for torrenting and adds other customization tools for this specific purpose. It also impresses with how well it works around geo-restricted content.

Want to learn more?

The Private Internet Access review gives more detail about the privacy cases, how PIA won those, plus facts about its independent audits.

Private Internet Access, or PIA, has apps for iPhone and iPad that are some of the most customizable out there. It also has an incredible server network with over 20,000 servers in 84 different countries. The service is solid security-wise, with support for L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols and using AES 256-bit encryption.

PIA is a United States-based VPN, which is not preferable when it comes to picking a VPN provider since the U.S. is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which has potential implications for security and privacy. However, Private Internet Access has a clear no-traffic logging policy that it has proven in court twice.

Try Private Internet Access, the best iOS app for torrenting

If you want to run your VPN on more than just one iOS device (or across various platforms), PIA is perfect for that as it allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is more than many other providers. In addition to iPhones and iPads, Private Internet Access also works with routers, Xbox, Playstation, and some tv streaming devices.

The connection speeds of this VPN are below average for a VPN. It's still plenty fast enough to support tv streaming. PIA easily unblocks geo-restricted streaming services like Disney Plus, Hulu, and Amazon Plus. It also unblocked US Netflix but does struggle with other regions.

We highly recommend Private Internet Access for torrenting. Every single one of its servers is formatted to support P2P transfers, plus port-forwarding is supported on all devices, including iPhones and iPads. There are other customizable settings for torrenting and other online activity that PIA gives you so you have the overall VPN experience you want. Since there is a lot of customization, the PIA is complicated and not our first choice for new VPN users. We recommend, instead, either Surfshark or CyberGhost for beginners.

PIA is a good choice in terms of price, as you can get it for as little as $2.19 per month when you go for one of its longer-term plans. Don't be put off by the fact that you have to commit to a long-term deal, though, as there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find it doesn't work right for you.

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Private Internet Access test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignIt's beautiful, but there's a lot to configure before you can really use it⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useNot the best for beginners, but it's awesome if you're a VPN pro⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceBelow-average speeds, but good enough for simple browsing⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingDedicated streaming servers and able to unblock just about everything, some Netflix regions are missed⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyIts privacy claims have been challenged in court, twice, and proven by PIA, twice⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportExperts are always available to chat with you, and online support documents are easy to find and understand⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceYou get a lot for your money, definitely a good overall value⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

IPVanish iOS app on a tablet and phone

(Image credit: Source: IPVanish)
iPhone and iPad VPN with cloud storage included

Specifications

Compatible with: iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: US Netflix, YouTube, Hulu
Servers: 2,200+
Server locations: 75 in 50 countries
Refund period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive speeds
+
Independently audited
+
Allows unlimited connections

Reasons to avoid

-
Struggles to unblock Netflix in multiple regions
-
Some usability issues on desktop
-
Renewal pricing is steep
Subscribe if:

✔️ You have a lot of devices to protect: there are no device limits or connection limits. Use this VPN on every device at the same time.

✔️ You want a VPN that's been audited: IPVanish recently passed a no-logs audit, so you're information will remain private.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You want to stream Netflix: it struggles to unblock most regions. Use NordVPN to keep up on Netflix shows.

❌ You want to keep using a VPN beyond the first year: IPVanish starts out cheap, but its renewal pricing is very high.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 IPVanish has lots of tools to customize, and for new users is a great bargain. But overall Surfshark is a better deal for long-term use.

Want to learn more?

Check out this IPVanish VPN review to find out more about this popular VPN service and the security features that come with it.

There's a lot to like about IPVanish including excellent speeds, user-friendly apps, and plenty of server options for streaming content. It doesn't put a limit on the number of devices you can have connected at the same time, and it's compatible with routers which in turn protect most devices that are connected to them.

For security, IPVanish offers 256-bit encryption and supports the WireGuard, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols. While IPVanish does offer the OpenVPN protocol, this is not available on iOS. This is also the only protocol the IPVanish includes a kill switch. That means if you use this on your iPhone or iPad you may experience a few leaks if the VPN connection drops.

Try IPVanish risk-free for 30 days

A zero-logs policy assures you that you have total privacy without any sort of tracking of your activities. IPVanish is also based in the U.S., so it could be forced to hand over any data it does have if compelled to. However, it does allow third-party audits of its privacy policy and recently passed, verifying that it does indeed keep your personal information private and doesn't record online activity.

IPVanish proved to offer excellent speeds in our testing, so much so that it actually improved our download speeds over long distances compared to our normal rates, and even more so on shorter hops. Its top speed reached 720 Mbps, which is well over the industry average of 550 Mbps, and certainly fast enough to support tv streaming.

For unblocking geo-restricted content, we didn't have too much trouble with most tv streaming services. Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer were easy to access. In fact, so were popular UK and Australian channels like C4 and ITV. IPvanish unblocked US Netflix, but it did struggle with Canada and Australia regions. If this is a big reason for getting a VPN, we recommend NordVPN for Netflix streaming.

If you're a new user, IPVanish is decently priced. In fact, its 24-month deal is on par with most other VPN services. However, this is only for the first year. When it is time to renew, expect a pretty steep hike.

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IPVanish test results:
AttributesNotesRanking
DesignLooks cool, it's just hard to navigate⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIt's a complex app⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast speeds, especially using WireGuard⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingMisses some Netflix regions, but other streaming sites are easily unblocked⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyStrong encryption and an audited privacy policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportSupport articles tend to repeat themselves rather than be useful⭐⭐⭐
PriceThe price of renewal is high, and not worth it⭐⭐⭐

What to look for in an iPhone or iPad VPN

The majority of VPN services work across various platforms, with most having dedicated iOS and iPad apps. That means finding the best VPN for your iPhone, and iPad essentially boils down to finding the best service for your needs since they pretty much all support Apple gear.

A well-designed and functional app is preferable for most people, especially discerning Apple users, though you won't actually spend too long in the VPN's app itself once you've got it up and running. Instead, your focus should probably be on the privacy and security features your VPN service enables (since, you know, that's one of the main reasons to use one) as well as its speed, server count and locations, customer support, and, of course, price.

As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to VPN services, but even the top-tier options aren't super expensive. Most cost just a few dollars a month if you're willing to subscribe for the long term and free trials or money-back guarantees mean you don't have to risk any money to find out if a service is right for you.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of VPN providers out there, with most claiming to be the best iPhone VPN or best iPad VPN on the market. We do our best to check out all the most popular options, and we will continue to update this list with more providers as they pass our testing. We've rounded up all the best VPN picks, along with the best free VPNs and the best cheap VPNs. Not all of those picks have been vetted to work great on iPhone and iPad, which is why you'll want to refer to the list above first before looking elsewhere.

How we test iPhone and iPad VPNs

Every VPN claims to be safe and secure, but we physically test each one to see which ones really are. To start with, we look at the encryption protocols VPN clients have available and the encryption level they offer. We want to see VPNs use the highest security level, AES-256. This is the same level used by militaries, government agencies, and banks to secure their data. It's also important that a VPN uses the WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IKE2v protocols. There are other encryption protocols out there, but these three are currently the most secure and the ones we recommend using.

[It's] important that a VPN uses the WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IKE2v protocols. There are other encryption protocols out there, but these three are currently the most secure and the ones we recommend using.

We download and use the VPN as recommended. But we also try really hard to break it. We put a lot of pressure on a VPN to see if we can cause it to leak any information. Those that make our best lists are the ones we've seen that stay securely connected. Security doesn't stop there, though. We force a VPN to drop (this is harder to do with some VPNs than others) in order to test the kill switch. We want to see how quickly the kill switch turns on when something happens to the VPN, and how solid it continued to shield your information. You don't want your information to be leaked while the VPN connection is down, so this test is important.

Our final security evaluation includes looking at each VPN company's no-log privacy policy. This gives us an idea of how well your personal information is protected from law enforcement and online trackers, or from being sold to partners. Some countries are part of the Five Eyes Alliance, a contract of sorts between countries that promise online companies based in that country will keep logs on their users and share the information in criminal investigations.

Finally, while the VPN is installed, we check out all the tools and features included. If there is an important tool, like split tunneling or port forwarding, we check it out. We also attempt to connect to geo-restricted content like tv streaming sites to see how well the VPN works around the blocks. While we're in there, we count the number of servers, countries, and locations then compare them to the claims made by the VPN company to make sure it's accurate.

iPhone and iPad VPN FAQs

What is the best Mac VPN?

Our testing shows that ExpressVPN is the most secure for any device. Though there are currently other VPNs as secure, ExpressVPN has been consistently solid for longer. Other clients have had moments when there have been breaks or leaks, or even sketchy server issues they've had to work through. In all our years of testing, ExpressVPN has never had an issue.

ExpressVPN is expensive and one of the biggest reasons consumers tend to shy away from it. NordVPN is a great, secure option that is cheaper and currently just as secure as ExpressVPN. It even has a few advantages because it sends your data through two servers to double encrypt it, and gives you both antivirus and ad blockers with its VPN.

Should I use a free VPN for Mac?

Free VPNs for Macs do exist, and some are even good, but they aren't always the best solution. Most have some limits or sacrifices when it comes to user experience, and some straight-up defeat the purpose of using one with the data they gather.

Like basically all free things in life, especially internet services, the company dishing it out needs to recoup its costs somehow to stay in business.

The most common practice for free VPN services is to offer a super stripped-back experience to tempt you into upgrading to one of its paid plans. This is probably the fairest way to do it since you get to try before you buy, but using a VPN with a data cap or limited server availability can make it really difficult for many of the most popular VPN use cases. A paid VPN is a better long-term solution for most people because of this.

Other ways free VPNs can try to claw back some profits include gathering user data and selling to third parties, or cramming their apps full of targeted ads. Since one of the main benefits of a VPN is added privacy, this is not ideal, and you probably want to avoid any service that doesn't unequivocally state that they keep no logs of the data flowing through their servers.

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Nicole Johnston

Nicole writes for multiple Future Publishing brands covering topics from antivirus to kitchen appliances to SAS. She has over 15 years of research and writing experience, including eight years of testing and reviewing consumer products. Nicole earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Political Science with a focus on empirical research. In her spare time, Nicole serves on several school councils and volunteers for a local arts board.

With contributions from