The Best VPNs for iPhone and iPad 2024

Using a virtual private network app or VPN app when away from your home network is the best way to secure your iOS device from hackers and cybercriminals. Here are three of the best.
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Best Overall

4.9
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On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
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Best for Powerful Extras

4.9
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On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
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Best for Streaming

4.6
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On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN
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Our choices for the three best VPNs for your iPhone or iPad are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark, with our top pick being NordVPN.

While NordVPN came in as our front-runner, Surfshark and ExpressVPN had impressive speeds and features that landed them a spot in our top three. All of these VPNs will allow you to watch regional streaming content, including Netflix. Additionally, they all have strong, secure VPN connections and no activity logging.

Let’s look through these top three and see what features and services are the most important to you. We think you’ll like what you find.

In this article
The best VPNs for iOS 2024
NordVPN: Best overall
Surfshark: Best for additional features
ExpressVPN: Best for streaming
Honorable mentionst
Best VPNs for iOS FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs for iPhone and iPad
How we tested the best VPNs for iOS
How to choose the best IOS VPN for you
How to set up a VPN on your iPhone

The best VPNs for iOS 2024

Top 3 VPN services for iPhone and iPad compared

VPN
Best Overall

NordVPN

Surfshark

ExpressVPN
Starting price Starts at $3.39/mo Starts at $2.49/mo Starts at $6.67/mo
Free version
Streaming support Yes — Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, DAZN, and more Yes — Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, DAZN, HBO Max, Hotstar, YLE Areena, AbemaTV, and more Yes — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Learn more Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get ExpressVPN

It’s worth noting that all three of these VPNs use AES 256-bit encryption, have an expansive server network, offer unlimited bandwidth, are user friendly, and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN: Best overall

4.9
Limited-time offer: Up to 67% off
Learn More
On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
  • High-quality VPN offering safety and speed
  • Loads of servers for multiple connection options
  • Works with popular streaming services, including Netflix
  • Too many confusing plans

Who it’s best for

Nord is widely considered the top VPN in the business and for good reason. This service provider allows you to not only watch streaming services on your iPhone but also keeps you secure while doing it. Its strict no-logs policy means the data on your iPhone won’t be shared or recorded. While this is important on a computer, it’s even more important on a mobile device.

While NordVPN does have one of the highest price points in the industry, it’s well worth it. Located in Panama, this VPN service is outside of the 14 Eyes alliance.

The NordVPN iOS app also gives you access to other NordVPN services like safe passwords and cloud storage. Paired with its connection speeds, this makes NordVPN the least invasive and most secure VPN for iPhone.

What we liked

We liked all the features you get on the NordVPN iPhone app. You’re given the option to save your favorite servers as well as auto-connect to the fastest server available. NordVPN gives you a security score with options to optimize your security features in the app. There are also shortcuts for Siri to turn your VPN off and on with voice commands, which is a nice addition.

We like that NordVPN's specialty servers are easy to access from the iPhone app dashboard.

The specialty servers section is especially impressive, as you can activate a double VPN, Onion over VPN, and P2P. The double VPN will route your data through two separate VPNs for extra security. Onion over VPN allows you to connect to your VPN then open a Tor browser on your phone. The P2P specialty server is your torrenting support. All of these are easily accessible through your NordVPN iPhone app.

What we didn’t like

The app makes you hunt around a little, and there’s no tutorial when you’re first starting.

NordVPN gives its Meshnet feature an icon on the main navigation bar, but we think other features would be better to include there.

There’s an icon at the bottom dedicated to Meshnet, which is NordVPN’s feature allowing you to create a network of devices you can connect to no matter where in the world they’re located. This seems like something we’d use far less frequently than dark web monitoring or Threat Protection, so it was strange it has an entire icon dedicated to it on the main toggle bar.

This iOS VPN is not the fastest VPN, and the least expensive price comes only with an annual plan, which has to be paid all at once. If NordVPN really wants to jump ahead of the pack, lowering the monthly price as well as adding a few more features might go a long way.

NordVPN specs

Price range $3.39–$14.99/mo
Free version No
Number of servers 5,000+ servers in 60 countries
Number of connected devices 6
VPN protocol IKEv2, IPsec, OpenVPN, NordLynx built on WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
Learn more Read Our NordVPN Review

Surfshark: Best for additional features

4.9
Limited-time offer: 82% off + 4 months free
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
  • VPN technology offering stability and speed
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix and other streaming services
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance

Who it’s best for

If your main reason for getting a VPN is all the extra security features, then Surfshark may be the best choice for you. Not only does it allow for saving favorite servers, there are also options for multiple other privacy services that come included with your subscription. They include the following:

  • Auto-connect (for unrecognized Wi-Fi connections)
  • CleanWeb ad blocker
  • Kill switch
  • Rotating IP
  • NoBorders (allowing you to use the internet in restricted areas)
  • App customization
  • Surfshark One with alert and an in-app incognito search option
  • Static IP
  • Multi-hop (also known as double VPN)

We're impressed by Surfshark's numerous extra features ranging from CleanWeb ad and tracker blocker to a VPN kill switch.

What we liked

We were impressed with Surfshark’s server labels that tell you whether or not the server you’re accessing is virtual or not. Virtual servers can be slower than their physical counterparts, so knowing what option you’re choosing is nice.

We also liked the Surfshark One incognito browser located in the app. This allows you a truly private internet search experience. Additionally, while VPNs are legal in most countries, Surfshark has a NoBorders option that grants you access even in restricted areas.

The MultiHop option is also nice because it’s pre-configured. That means you can simply choose one of their pre-made double VPN options or you can create your own. Considering Surfshark has 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, there are nearly endless options. There’s also an in-app referral program with a personalized link that allows you to earn free months of Surfshark if your friends sign up.

What we didn’t like

While Surfshark has a ton of pros, we aren’t fans of it being headquartered in The Netherlands — a 14 Eyes country. While it claims no logging, Surfshark does save your email address (fair) and billing information (dicey). Since billing information can easily be traced back to you, we weren’t thrilled about this option.

Surfshark's dashboard offers easy ways to connect to regular VPN servers, Static IP servers, and MultiHop, but no specialty servers for torrenting or streaming.

Also, Surfshark supports torrenting, but there isn’t an option in the app to easily connect to a torrenting-optimized server. Considering the easy connection to Surfshark One, CleanWeb, and choice of protocol, it’s strange this isn’t included.

Surfshark specs

Price range $2.49–$19.99/mo
Free version No, but a 7-day free trial is available
Number of servers 3,200+
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP), OpenVPN (TCP)
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
Learn more Read Our Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN: Best for streaming

4.6
Save 49% on 12 months + 3 months free
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN
  • Premium VPN offering strong security and ultra-fast speeds
  • Strict no-logs policy with independent audit
  • In-house Lightway protocol for more speed and security
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Who it’s best for

ExpressVPN is the streamer’s best friend. It supports more streaming platforms than its competitors and it has 24/7 customer support as well as detailed guides if you need help for any of its supported platforms.

  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime
  • Netflix
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Disney+
  • iTV player
  • Discovery+
  • HBO
  • ESPN
  • YouTube

In addition to the streaming services, ExpressVPN has more server locations than most of its competitors (105 countries), so you’re likely to find the region you’re looking for when choosing content.

What we liked

ExpressVPN is secure and has tools embedded to help you feel more protected. You can check leak protection and see if your IP address is hidden right from the app.

ExpressVPN sped up our slow coffee shop Wi-Fi internet speed

Speed on ExpressVPN was great! There was no slowdown (it actually sped up the coffee shop Wi-Fi) and no noticeable lag. There’s also an included password generator. This might not be necessary considering iPhone’s proprietary password generator, but an extra cybersecurity feature is nice.

The Threat Manager is also a useful feature. Even though Apple put proprietary code into the latest iOS updates that allows you to “Ask App Not To Track,” that doesn’t necessarily cover all third-party trackers. ExpressVPN builds tracker blocking into the app to help you avoid trackers and malicious sites that may be able to install malware onto your phone.

What we didn’t like

There aren’t as many features as the other VPNs on this list. ExpressVPN is pretty cut and dry with the protection it provides. Considering its limited on features and has a pricey starting cost ($6.67/mo), some may be more inclined to opt for Nord or Surfshark and save some money.

ExpressVPN does log some information, and considering its headquarters is in a country with ties to the 14 Eyes Alliance, that makes us wary.

While the service supports torrenting and split tunneling, there wasn’t an easy-to-use option on the app. 

ExpressVPN specs

Price range $6.67–$12.95/mo
Free version No
Number of servers Servers in 105 countries
Number of connected devices 8
VPN protocol Lightway (UDP and TCP), IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
Learn more Read Our ExpressVPN Review

Honorable mentions

If you're not sold on the VPN providers we've selected, that's alright! There are plenty of options to choose from. Here are three additional VPNs for iPhone users to consider: 

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost has a vast server network, with over 10,000 VPN servers in 100 countries. It even has streaming-optimized servers, so you can bypass geo-restrictions around the world while maintaining fast speeds. 

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost Review

  • Private Internet Access: We've dubbed PIA as the best VPN for affordable privacy, considering its plans start at just under $2.00/mo and it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. 

    Get Private Internet Access | Read Our Private Internet Access Review

  • Proton VPN: There are plenty of great features offered by ProtonVPN including its VPN accelerator and a true no-logs policy confirmed by a third-party auditor. It’s one of the fastest and most secure VPNs on the market.

    Read Our Proton VPN Review

Best VPNs for iOS FAQs


+

What’s the best VPN to use on iPhone?

The best iPhone VPN is NordVPN. It unblocks regional Netflix content, doesn’t log your data, is headquartered outside a 14 Eyes Alliance country, and has extra features like dark web monitoring.


+

What’s the best free VPN for iPhone?

Proton VPN has a free tier that doesn’t log your data and allows you secure and fast browsing. It also gives you unlimited data and even comes with features like Proton Mail, calendar, and drive. It may not unblock Netflix, but there has been success with other streaming services. If you’re looking for a VPN for free, this may be the one for you.


+

What VPN should I use for iPad?

NordVPN is a great choice for iPad users. It unblocks regional Netflix content so you can watch U.K. Netflix on your tablet, doesn’t log your data, and is headquartered in Panama outside the 14 Eyes Alliance. It also comes with extra features like dark web monitoring and even malware protection.


+

Do VPNs really work on iPhone?

Yes, VPNs really work on iPhones. Apple products have great security, but they aren’t infallible. Having a VPN installed can keep you safe on public Wi-Fi and from potential hackers.


+

Do Apple devices need a VPN?

Yes, Apple devices do need a VPN. While Apple’s security features are difficult to penetrate, it’s still possible to hack into an Apple device. Installing a VPN gives you an extra layer of protection.

Bottom line: The best VPNs for iPhone and iPad

We believe the three best VPNs for iOS devices are NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN. Each of these VPNs had plenty of security features that made us feel like we were getting the most for our money. They also provided the ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming service catalogs while maintaining speed.

While there is no perfect product, choosing the right VPN can be a painless process. It comes down to what’s important to you and your family. These three offer enough protection and features to make them worth your while.

3 best VPNs for iPhone and iPad 2024


Starting price Best for Learn more

NordVPN
Starts at $3.39/mo Best overall Get NordVPN
Read NordVPN Review

Surfshark
Starts at $2.49/mo Best for powerful features Get Surfshark
Read Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN
Starts at $6.67/mo Best for streaming Get ExpressVPN
Read ExpressVPN Review

How we tested the best VPNs for iOS

We tested all VPNs on a slower, coffee shop-style Wi-Fi network similar to what you’d find on most public Wi-Fi. Each VPN was tested on an iPhone 12 Pro Max running the latest version of iOS 16. VPNs were chosen for excelling in speed tests and the ability to unblock streaming services, logs policies, headquarters, price, and additional features including:

  • Server count
  • Simultaneous connections
  • Speed
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Torrenting
  • Extra security options
  • Streaming ability

How to choose the best iOS VPN for you

With so many VPN options on the market, it can become overwhelming deciding which one to purpose. Here are some factors you should consider when picking the best VPN for your iPhone:

  • Determine your VPN budget. Are you looking for a cheap VPN or are you willing to splurge for a premium product? You should also decide if you're willing to pay for a long-term commitment or if you prefer to pay month-to-month. 
  • Are you a VPN beginner or are you tech-savvy? You can use free trials or money-back guarantees to test out a VPN's interface and get a feel for its ease of use.
  • Decide which VPN features are important to you. Do you want a VPN with all the bells and whistles, like ad blockers and antivirus, or are you just looking to enhance your online privacy?
  • Check the VPN's compatibility list. All the VPNs on the list are compatible with iPhones, but do you also need a VPN for your computers, routers, and smart TVs?

How to set up a VPN on your iPhone

VPN setup on your iPhone is easy. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Download the app you wish to use from the app store.
  2. Either create an account or log in to your existing account. 
  3. Once you're logged in, choose the server you wish to connect to or select the quick-connect button.
  4. When the app asks for your permission to enable the VPN, tap Allow. 

And that's it! It should take less than five minutes to download, install, set up, and run your new VPN. For a more detailed explanation, you can view our guide on how to use a VPN on iOS.

4.9
Limited-time offer: Up to 67% off
Learn More
On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
  • High-quality VPN offering safety and speed
  • Loads of servers for multiple connection options
  • Works with popular streaming services, including Netflix
  • Too many confusing plans
Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.