Choosing the best VPN for iPhone in 2022 is quite the challenge. There are simply too many iPhone VPNs on the market, especially when you include all the shady “free” VPNs in the Apple Store. So how do you sort through all the noise to find a good iPhone VPN that works for your needs?
The good news: we've done all the hard work for you by testing the best iPhone VPNs in 2022 and posting the results below. Long story short, there are a few great options that performed well in real-world tests and meet all of the criteria below to be recommended on SecurityTech:
- Secure VPN apps with no data leaks.
- Fast speeds throughout the server network.
- Reputable VPN provider with a good track record.
- Reliable iPhone VPN apps that performed well in our tests.
- The VPN operates from a safe jurisdiction that respects privacy.
In this iPhone VPN guide, I will first examine the best VPNs for iPhone, and then some common iPhone VPN questions, setup tips, and more further below. So let's get started!
Here are the best VPNs for iPhone in 2022:
NordVPN – The best VPN for iPhone (fastest speeds and best features)
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 chat; email|
NordVPN currently tops our list as the best VPN for iPhone in 2022. Based on our tests for the NordVPN review, and also this guide, there's not a lot to complain about. This VPN is extremely fast, offers a great selection of features, a huge server, network, and all for a great price with the 68% discount coupon.
The NordVPN iOS app performed very well in our tests on an iPhone 11, particularly with fast speeds. NordVPN's iPhone VPN app utilizes the WireGuard VPN protocol. This protocol offers the fastest speeds combined with upgraded security and improved reliability. NordVPN's implementation of the WireGuard protocol is called NordLynx. Below is one of our speed tests, where we hit 445 Mbps with NordVPN servers in the US.
While I was very impressed with NordVPN's iPhone app, truth be told, all of the apps did well in testing. NordVPN offers secure VPN apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and of course iOS (below). Additionally, NordVPN supports routers, streaming devices, and even has a VPN app for FireStick. Below is NordVPN's iPhone VPN app.
NordVPN also stands out with security and privacy features. All of NordVPN's apps utilize strong AES-256 encryption and include a kill switch to block traffic if the VPN connection drops, thereby keeping your data secure. Additionally, they have a CyberSec feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware domains on your devices. NordVPN also offers specialty servers, for specific use cases:
- Double VPN servers that encrypt traffic over two hops (double encryption)
- Obfuscated servers that bypass VPN blocks and conceal your traffic as regular HTTPS encryption
- P2P servers that are optimized for torrenting (making NordVPN one of the best VPNs for torrenting)
Do you plan to do a lot of streaming on your iPhone with a VPN? NordVPN has you covered. It is one of the best VPNs for streaming access to a huge selection of Netflix regions, as well as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, and many more.
How to set up the NordVPN app on your iPhone
Getting NordVPN up and running on an iPhone will only take a minute. Here's what to do:
- Grab a discounted NordVPN subscription (see the coupon below).
- Download the NordVPN app onto your iPhone.
- After downloading, open the VPN app on your iPhone and then log in using your credentials.
- Allow the VPN to “Add VPN Configurations” to enable quick and easy VPN connections.
- Connect to a server of your choice, or just hit the Quick Connect button and the VPN app will select the fastest server automatically.
That's all there is to it. And if you want the fastest VPN speeds on your iPhone, I would also recommend enabling NordLynx (WireGuard) in the VPN app settings. Additionally, for enhanced privacy and security, you could also enable CyberSec. Here are those two settings:
+ NordVPN Pros
- Based in Panama, a leading pro-privacy jurisdiction
- Audited no-logs VPN with excellent privacy policies
- Support for most operating systems and devices
- Reliable and user-friendly VPN apps with DNS leak protection and kill switch
- Advanced security features like CyberSec, split tunneling, and multi-factor authentication
- Huge network of fast, 100% diskless servers with WireGuard support and private DNS
- Specialized servers including Double-VPN, Onion-over-VPN, Obfuscated, and P2P servers
- Colocated and 10Gbps servers being strategically deployed throughout the network
- Impressive support for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and most others
- Responsive 24/7 live chat support
– NordVPN Cons
- Cheapest rates only come with a long-term subscription
Check out our NordVPN review for additional information and test results.
Surfshark – A fast, secure, and affordable iPhone VPN
|Support||24/7 chat; email|
In second place on our list of the best iPhone VPNs is Surfshark. Surfshark is a VPN service based in The Netherlands. It offers many similar features to NordVPN, but it also gives you unlimited simultaneous connections with your VPN subscription. Surfshark is also one of the cheapest VPNs you will find, with prices under $3 per month.
The Surfshark iPhone app is reliable and also user-friendly. It is packed with features and offers quick and easy connection to any of Surfshark's 3,200+ servers in 63 countries. Aside from iPhone (iOS), Surfshark also offers apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android devices.
Here are some of the privacy and security feature's you'll find in the apps:
- CleanWeb – This blocks, ads, trackers, and malware domains (like the CyberSec feature with NordVPN).
- Multi-Hop – This is a double VPN server feature.
- Kill switch – All of Surfshark's VPN apps (including the iPhone VPN app) offer a kill switch to secure traffic and prevent any data leaks if the connection drops.
Surfshark is also a fast VPN that supports the WireGuard VPN protocol. We were able to hit speeds up to nearly 400 Mbps in our tests with Surfshark serves in the United States. Unfortunately, Surfshark does not support the WireGuard VPN protocol on Linux devices, but this is in development.
Surfshark also does well for streaming. It is a great VPN for Netflix, with easy access to 15+ Netflix regions. It also works well for other streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.
Surfshark has all the features we were looking for and is a close second in our search for the best VPN for iPhone in 2022.
How to set up Surfshark VPN on iPhone
Surfshark VPN is also quick and easy to set up on your iPhone. To do this, simply follow these steps:
- First get a discounted Surfshark VPN subscription (coupon below).
- Then download the Surfshark iPhone VPN app to your phone.
- Open the app, and log in using your credentials.
- Allow Surfshark to “Add VPN Configurations” to your iPhone.
- Connect to a VPN server.
+ Surfshark Pros
- Based in The Netherlands, another leading pro-privacy jurisdiction
- No-logs VPN with strong privacy policies
- Support for most operating systems and devices
- Security-audited, user-friendly apps with kill switch and DNS leak protection
- Advanced security features like CleanWeb, Whitelister, and multi-factor authentication
- Large network of fast 100% diskless servers with private DNS and WireGuard support
- Specialized servers including MultiHop, Camouflage mode, Static, and P2P servers
- Colocated and 10 Gbps servers being deployed
- Unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and most other streaming services
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- Fast and helpful 24/7 live chat support
– Surfshark Cons
- Limited VPN router support
- Big discount only with the two-year plan
See our Surfshark review for additional information and test results.
ExpressVPN – Secure VPN for iPhone (but pricey)
|Location||British Virgin Islands|
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
Rounding out our list of the best iPhone VPNs is ExpressVPN. This VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and has long been a big player in the VPN industry. While ExpressVPN is more expensive than our other recommendations, it also has a lot to offer.
First let's examine performance. ExpressVPN performed well in our speed tests and is a fast VPN for iPhone. One drawback, however, is that it does not support WireGuard. Instead, ExpressVPN has a self-developed protocol called Lightway. And while Lightway is fast, it's not as fast as WireGuard, as you can see in the Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison.
ExpressVPN offers a wide selection of apps. The iPhone VPN app from ExpressVPN performed well in our tests – as did all of the other ExpressVPN apps. Aside from desktop and mobile apps, ExpressVPN also offers the MediaStreamer app, which is ideal for certain devices that can't connect to a VPN. Below is ExpressVPN's iPhone app that we tested out.
ExpressVPN provides good security with the Lightway protocol, strong encryption, and a good kill switch in all VPN apps. However, it is also somewhat limited with features. There is no ad blocking VPN feature, as we see with Surfshark and NordVPN. There is also no option for double VPN servers, or any other specialty servers for that matter.
While ExpressVPN generally does well with streaming, it's a bit more limited than NordVPN and Surfshark, and it occasionally gets blocked by some services. Right now, however, ExpressVPN is working with numerous Netflix regions around the world, in addition to other big services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.
How to set up ExpressVPN on iPhone
As before, this is pretty simple.
- Grab an ExpressVPN subscription.
- Download the ExpressVPN app to your phone.
- Open the VPN app and log in with you credentials.
- Allow ExpressVPN to “Add VPN Configurations”
- Connect to a VPN server.
+ ExpressVPN Pros
- Strong security and privacy
- Secure apps for virtually any operating systems or devices
- Lightway VPN protocol added for better performance
- Large, secure server network
- Good streaming and torrenting performance
- Dedicated VPN router app
- Excellent support and refund policy
– ExpressVPN Cons
- Slow OpenVPN performance
- Relatively high price
- Limited feature set
Check out the ExpressVPN review for more info.
Now let's look at some frequently asked questions when it comes to iPhones and VPNs.
Do you need a VPN on your iPhone?
The short answer to this question is yes, you definitely need a VPN on your iPhone for basic digital privacy, especially when internet service providers are logging everything you do online. But let's take a closer look at every reason why you need a VPN for your iPhone.
- Privacy – A VPN on your iPhone will encrypt all traffic between your iPhone and the VPN server you are connected to. This means that your internet service provider, and other third parties, will not be able to spy on your online activities. A good VPN is crucial for basic digital privacy, especially when you combine it with a good ad blocker.
- Security – Do you use public wifi? If so, you will definitely want to use a VPN for additional security. Public Wifi can be dangerous and insecure, with hackers targeting people on these public networks. A VPN is crucial for adding an extra layer of security to your connection.
- Bypassing restrictions – Many countries around the world put restrictions in place to block certain websites. This is also the case for school and work networks that block all sorts of content. But there is an easy solution. A VPN will unblock websites and allow you to easily bypass these restrictions. Simply connect to a VPN server and enjoy unrestricted access.
Now let's move on to the next iPhone VPN question we often see.
What does a VPN do on an iPhone?
When you connect to a VPN server on your iPhone, all internet traffic between the iPhone and the VPN servers will be fully encrypted. Specifically, the VPN app on your phone will do the work of encrypting traffic and sending it to the VPN server you are connected to. In short, a VPN on your iPhone will establish a secure tunnel, as you can see in the illustration below.
As we noted above, a VPN on your iPhone will provide you with more privacy, a higher level of security, and also allow you to easily bypass restrictions. All you need to do is get a good VPN app on your iPhone and connect to a VPN server to start enjoying the benefits that a VPN provides.
Is a VPN safe to use on an iPhone?
Provided you are using a safe, reliable, and secure VPN service, then yes, a VPN is safe to use on your iPhone.
But herein lies the catch. You need to first find a safe VPN. Unfortunately, there are many dangerous VPNs out there on the market that fail when it comes to providing users with privacy and security. If you use one of these VPNs, you could be exposing your IP address, DNS requests, and location to third parties.
One of the biggest risks is using a free VPN app for your iPhone. So let's cover that in more depth below.
Should you use a FREE VPN on your iPhone?
No, you should not use a free VPN on your iPhone because the business model of most free VPNs is to collect your data and sell it to third parties. There have been numerous studies confirming this. In fact, we have also found that many free VPN apps contain tracking libraries, malware, and other data collection tools.
One in-depth study that examined over 200 free VPN apps found the following risks:
- 84% of free VPN apps suffer from data leaks (exposing your IP address, DNS requests, and/or location)
- 75% have hidden tracking libraries
- 38% contain malware
- 18% don't even encrypt your data
When considering whether or not to use a free VPN app on your iPhone, you need to remember the business model. Free VPNs make money by exploiting their users. In most cases, this is simply done by collecting your data (through the VPN servers) and then selling it to third parties.
You also need to remember that data is extremely valuable, and a shady free VPN app could easily be collecting all your data through the VPN. This means you need to choose your iPhone VPN carefully and avoid free VPNs entirely.
Do iPhones have a built-in VPN?
The short answer here is no, there is no built-in VPN for iPhones. However, iPhones do have built-in support for the IKEv2 VPN protocol. First, you should know that just like OpenVPN and WireGuard, IKEv2 is a VPN protocol that is supported by some operating systems, including iPhones.
What this means is that you can upload an IKEv2 certificate from your VPN service, and then connect to that VPN service through your iPhone using the built-in IKEv2 VPN support. To see this in action on your iPhone, simply go to Settings > General > VPN. There you will see this screen and an option for the VPN:
There are some big drawbacks, however, to using the built-in VPN support on your iPhone. In comparison to using a dedicated iOS VPN app, here are the drawbacks of using the IKEv2 option on your iPhone:
- You won't have access to all the VPN's features, which are only available in the app.
- You can only connect to a single VPN server, based on the IKEv2 certificate you import to your iPhone. To connect to other servers, you will need to import additional IKEv2 certificates.
- You won't have a functioning kill switch, but you will with the dedicated iPhone VPN app.
For these reasons and more, I recommend sticking with the main iPhone VPN app provided by your VPN service.
Conclusion: Use a good VPN for your iPhone in 2022
This concludes our guide on the best VPNs for iPhone in 2022. Right now is a good time to start using a good VPN on your iPhone, especially in a landscape of waning digital privacy, as well as growing security threats.
Many Apple users value privacy, and it seems that Apple tries to echo that mindset with pro-privacy actions and statements. They even went up against government requests to unlock an iPhone as part of a criminal investigation. Needless to say, if you want an even higher level of digital privacy, a good iPhone VPN should be in your future.
To recap, here are the top VPNs for iPhone in 2022:
This iPhone VPN guide was last updated on January 29, 2022.