For some time now, Apple has been a leading player in the market of smart phones. We use iPhones to send emails, chat with friends, surf Facebook and even pay our bills, but is this secure? Considering the latest news that Apple encryption engineers would leave the company if ordered to unlock iPhone, we are overwhelmed by the security level Apple tries to provide. High security level doesn’t mean you can’t be tracked in World Wide Web (it’s not a big deal to find out your IP and location). Unlike Android, iOS isn’t an open-source which means it’s more secure, but as iOS is quite popular among the hackers and spammers, they are constantly trying to invade personal security and extract private information.
Here is when best iPhone VPNs comes into play. VPN prevents the hackers and the tracking tools from accessing the real IP and location of the user. If iPhone owner has the habit of using public networks quite often then iPhone VPN client can help as well. Moreover, iPhone VPNs are extremely helpful for those who travel a lot, because a number of popular websites and services are blocked in certain countries and VPN helps to get around these restrictions. Not to forget that social networking giants such as Google plus and Facebook are always keeping a tab on the user’s browsing history. VPN applications can really come in handy to tackle the above problem too.
In this article we have compiled a comparative study of the best VPNs for iPhone that are currently available. Fast network and ease of use are just some of the primary features common to all of the below mentioned VPN clients.
Protocols: OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP Pros: No logs; Fast; Easy to use; P2P; Great support Cons: Price
ExpressVPN has been known to charge high rates but its service quality is worth every penny. ExpressVPN is for sure one of the best VPN for iPhone. Not only is it fast but also it is quite user friendly. The users can have easy access to numerous servers and IPs located at various regions. Torrent is also permitted on all the ExpressVPN servers. The app uses IPSec with 256-bit encryption so you don’t need to worry about security level. With ExpressVPN you can find servers in more than 78 countries including USA, India, UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Canada, France, Spain, Netherlands and Switzerland as the most popular ones. It works with all data carriers, 3G, Wi-Fi and LTE and guarantees 99.9% uptime. No bandwidth limitation is also a big plus. Express VPN is famous for its’ support and iPhone users won’t be disappointed. The customer support service can be easily availed through email (average response time is under 30 minutes) and live chat 24/7.
Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, Chameleon Pros: Strong security; Fast; Free trial Cons: Stores logs for 30 days; No P2P
VyprVPN with its 128-bit and 256-bit encryption ensures that the user has a secure and totally protected browsing while accessing the public networks. It’s quite fast and user friendly. Another attractive feature is that it provides the user with three day free trial. But it also has a disadvantage based on the fact that it stores logs for 30 days. With VyprVPN client you can use up to three devices connected simultaneously. VyprVPN takes security seriously offering their own Chameleon encryption (not available on iOS so far) along with standard protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP and IPSec. VyprVPN provides more than 50 worldwide servers which are located across 5 continents including 200000 IPs and 700 servers around the globe. The customer support assistance is available through email and live chat 24/7. Though prices are average, we don’t recommend using basic plan as it allows only PPTP protocol and no firewall. Installation process is quite easy and is you want to use OpenVPN on your iPhone, check this guide.
Protocols: Open VPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IPSec/IKEv2 Pros: Price; Features; No logs; 15-day money back guarantee Cons: 6-hour free trial; Keeps partial data; Sometimes slow
ibVPN also known as Invisible browsing VPN is the number 4 entry in our list of best VPNs for iPhone. With a detailed setup guide, ibVPN offers excellent iOS support for the iPhone users. Also it is quite cheap and enables the user to protect their identity by allowing Bitcoin payments. Invisible browsing VPN provides the user with a wide array of security settings to choose from. ibVPN provides the user with access to more than 100 servers spread across about 43 countries. ibVPN doesn’t keep logs and lets you easily unblock geographically restricted websites such as BBC, Hulu, Pandora or Netflix. Their iPhone VPN app is easy to use, supports IPSec, PTPP and L2TP VPN protocols, offers advanced features like VPN On-Demand & Auto-secure Connection and is compatible with iOS 9. Considering it’s low price, ibVPN is a good choice for any user.
Protocols: Open VPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec Pros: No logs; Fast; Bitcoin accepted; 7-day money back guarantee; Supports VOIP; P2P Cons: Can get slow sometimes
Another strong player in the VPN service domain is Private Internet Access. It provides super fast VPN connection with guaranteed high level data encryption. It is often regarded as the VPN app with the most value for money. Private Internet access ensures best possible user privacy keeping the user protected with a shared IP, “no logs” policy and killswitch. With servers in most of the major countries, Private Internet Access enables the user to access all the blocked sites and contents round the globe. PIA lets you use PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec on iPhone. It allows P2P, supports VOIP, includes SOCKS5 Proxy and allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. In general, PIA iPhone VPN app is one of the best on the market and as it offers 7-day money back you should give it a shot.
IPVanish with its high class network provides the user with fast connection and high stability. It also enables the user to access more than 500 servers and 40000 IPs in more than 60 countries. IPVanish provides great security level of user’s personal information and browsing data against potential hackers through its latest encryption technology (128- and 256-bit encryption). You can also access blocked sites like Netflix, CNN, YouTube, Hulu and BBC with their app. It allows P2P meaning that it can be used for torrenting as well. IPVanish offers lots of features and is developing all the time so you can be sure of getting only brand-new VPN staff. Pricing range is average: $6.49/mo for annual subscription, $8.99/mo for 3 month and $10/mo for one-month subscription. It’s needless to say that IPVanish service is definitely worth the money. IPVanish iPhone VPN app uses IKEv2, which means it’s fast, stable and secure (supports AES 128, AES 192, AES 256 and 3DES ciphers). Moreover, they offer 7-day free trial for iPhone app.
iOS is not open-source so it meant to be more secure than Android, and it actually is. But, thanks to Snowden we know that everyone is spied on and FBI is ready to sue everyone who refuses to collaborate. The truth is that privacy and freedom doesn’t exist anymore in a form we used to. We can be tracked and hacked while doing ordinary things like sending emails, chatting with friends and using public Wi-Fi. That’s why using VPNs is so important. In exchange for a fair monthly sum of money you regain control of your privacy and personal data.
Available iOS protocols
iPhones have built-in VPN supporting either L2TP or PPTP. Newer versions support OpenVPN as well. Navigate to Settings – General – Network – VPN to find your default client. If you’d like to use OpenVPN but it’s not built-in by default, use OpenVPN Connect app.
PPTP– easy to set up but the least secure protocol.
L2TP/IPsec– more secure than PPTP but has complicated setup process and you will need to use IPsec key.
IKEv2 – improved IPSec protocol.
OpenVPN– the most secure and fastest protocol (recommended).
3. Choose protocol and use settings provided by VPN service you use. For example, here is how PIA L2TP settings look like
4. Click “Save”
5. Slide VPN slider (at the top) to “On” to connect
How to set up VPN using OpenVPN for iPhone
Open VPN configuration differs from one VPN providers to another. In some cases, you need to use PC and iTunes or input configurations manually. We are going to guide you through a configuration process when you just need to download configuration file and open it with OpenVPN Connect.
1. Download OpenVPN Connect from iTunes.
2. Open Safari (or any other browser), navigate to VPN provider you are using and download configuration file.
3. After the file is downloaded, click “Open in OpenVPN” at the top right corner.
4. You will be asked to accept the profile available for import, tap green “+” sign
5. Enter your username and password. Slide “Save” to “On” if you want your password to be saved.
6. To connect, slide the bar below “Disconnected” to “On”. “Disconnected” should change to “Connected” with green check mark. Congratulations, you’re now connected to OpenVPN.
We began to use our phones more often than personal computers and with all functionality it offers (from updating Facebook status to paying rent), it’s important to secure all sensitive data. Compiling the list of best VPN services for iPhone, we evaluated such factors as Speed, Security, Compatibility level, Ease of use, Price and Customer service. Before you buy, we recommend trying each VPN we listed to find out which one works best for you (they all offer either free trial or money back guarantee).