Best iPhone VPN of 2024

With so many iPhone VPN apps available, it can be difficult to choose the right solution. Based on our extensive research and hands-on testing of VPNs over the years, these are the factors to look out for when choosing a VPN for your iPhone:

Privacy

The primary consideration for any VPN should be privacy. If your iPhone VPN is unable to deliver a sufficient level of privacy, then your VPN is practically useless. Your VPN should offer industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption along with basic privacy protections like a kill switch, DNS leak protection and a no-logs policy. If your privacy needs are critical, you’ll need a VPN provider that is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, offers obfuscation and has a RAM-only server architecture. Additional privacy features to look out for include Tor-over-VPN functionality, ad and tracker blockers and multi-hop connections. It’s also important to choose a VPN that’s trustworthy, transparent and undergoes regular third-party security audits, which can help bolster trust in the VPN’s ability to protect your privacy.

Speed

Your VPN’s connection speeds can have a major influence on the quality of your streaming, downloading, video conferencing, gaming and general web-browsing activities. To keep things running as smoothly as possible, you’ll want a VPN that will have as minimal an impact on your regular internet speeds as possible. 

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Provider Avg. VPN speed (Mbps) Avg. non-VPN speed (Mbps) Speed loss
ExpressVPN 173 231 25%
Surfshark 153 193 17%
NordVPN 206 230 11%
Proton VPN 157 180 21%
IPVanish 205 367 44%
PIA 98 211 49%

Usability

A good iPhone VPN should run smoothly and be easy to use regardless of your technical expertise. It should have all of the features you need easily accessible with a tap of your finger. Many iPhone VPN apps also include an easy way to get in touch with support directly from the device, which can be helpful if you need assistance on the go. Basically, your iPhone VPN app should be as easy for you to use as your iPhone itself. It should have a large network of servers around the world so you can connect easily and reliably from wherever you may be traveling, and it should be able to help you access geo-restricted content from various regions. 

Cost

Depending on your budget, you may want to take into account the cost and overall value of your iPhone VPN before making a purchase. VPN pricing can vary greatly from provider to provider, but you can typically expect to spend about $5 to $13 per month for a monthly VPN subscription plan. If you want to save some money, you can opt for an annual subscription, where prices can range from roughly $30 to $100 per year. You’ll want to be careful with free VPNs because you may end up risking your privacy instead of protecting it with a free VPN. Proton VPN is currently the only free VPN that CNET recommends.

Most premium VPNs offer a money-back guarantee anywhere from a week to 45 days. You can also get a seven-day free trial with many VPNs when you sign up through Apple’s App Store, so you have options to try various iPhone VPNs risk-free before you decide whether to fully invest in one.   

Best VPNs for mobile protection

James Martin/CNET

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