Given the number of untrustworthy free iOS VPNs available, choosing a solid one takes a lot of work. Many free VPNs collect your data and sell it to third parties. Furthermore, some need more security protections, slow down your smartphone, or deplete your iPhone’s battery. The worst thing is that many of these untrustworthy free VPNs have 4+ star ratings in customer reviews.
These VPNs are compatible with iOS 16 (and previous versions) and keep you safe at home or on the move. Keep in mind, however, that all free VPNs have limitations, such as smaller server networks, slower speeds, and data quotas.
I strongly recommend a premium service such as ExpressVPN. It’s not completely free, but it deserves to be ranked first since it doesn’t limit you like free VPNs do. It boasts world-class security, it’s incredibly fast with limitless bandwidth, and it unblocks hundreds of streaming sites. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I verified that this policy is reliable, and I received my money returned in three days with no complications.
Free VPNs for iPhone and iOS (Updated in 2023)
I have collected the list of free VPNs for iPhone and iOS devices. The list below contains all the details you should know before you install a free VPN.
Avira Phantom VPN
The free iOS app for Avira Phantom is simple to use, making it an excellent alternative for those new to VPNs. You may connect to a server with a single tap by hitting the large connect button. In addition, throughout my tests, I preferred to use the “Nearest Location” function, which links you to the quickest server nearby. iOS 11 and later are required to run the app. Furthermore, it supports an infinite number of simultaneous connections, allowing me to safeguard all of my iOS devices.
The VPN provides military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection for your iPhone. Furthermore, the “Auto-connect” feature, which automatically connects the VPN when it detects an unsecured WiFi network.
It incorporates enough security precautions to defend your digital identity. Because of AES 256-bit encryption, your iPhone is effectively protected from cyber assaults and tracking. I also detected no IP, DNS, or WebRTC breaches on my iPad. I was disappointed to learn that it lacked a kill button, leaving you vulnerable if your VPN connection breaks or disappears.
On the other hand, the free version only includes 500 MB of data per month, which is insufficient for streaming (enough to view Netflix in HD for roughly 30 minutes). When you join up with an email address, you will receive an additional 500 MB of data. However, if you’re content with the 500 MB data cap, you don’t need to input any information or join up. Keep your personal data safe.
When connecting to long-distance servers, Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol maintains your speeds blazing fast. This indicates that even though the VPN only has one free server (in the United States), The free version of the app claims that your speeds are limited, however, on my iPhone 13, my speeds averaged approximately 34.4 Mbps.
The VPN safeguards your iPhone with AES 256-bit encryption and Perfect Forward Secrecy. Furthermore, its leak prevention safeguards your data from prying eyes. I found no leaks when I ran the server through an ipleak.net test. On the other hand, the free edition of Hotspot Shield does not provide a kill switch.
Hotspot Shield provides 15GB of data per month, but you are limited to only 500MB per day, which is plenty to read your email, update your social media, or download small files. However, more is needed for HD streaming, as around 2-3 GB are required for 1 hour of HD streaming. The data restriction and inability to unblock any streaming services make Hotspot Shield’s free plan unsuitable for streaming.
TunnelBear secures the data on your iPhone. It uses AES 256-bit encryption, has a no-logs policy, and provides automatic WIFI protection. The latter identifies unsecured networks and provides you a warning, prompting you to connect to the VPN. TunnelBear is also equipped with leak detection. I performed testing on ten of its servers and discovered no leaks. I was unhappy that there is no kill switch and that IPSec is the sole protocol accessible on iOS.
It features fast local server speeds, so you can browse and watch without lag. When I tested its servers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, I had an average speed of 30 Mbps.
Its iOS app is simple to use and ideal for those who are new to VPNs. It has a one-click connect button that links you to the nearest quickest server. Furthermore, I found the TunnelBear program to be entertaining – it displays a globe map and, each time you connect, a cartoon bear travels down a tunnel from your current position to the server location. It’s a little unfortunate that you don’t have access to live help if you need it. iOS 12 and later are required to run the app.
Unfortunately, it has a monthly data cap of 500MB, making it only suitable for casual surfing and a bad choice for streaming or torrenting.
It only offers one server and that you cannot pick where it is hosted. This means you won’t be able to access overseas material using it. However, it is still a viable choice if you wish to avoid having your internet activities recorded.
It offers 5 free servers and up to 10 GB of data, which is quite good for a free VPN for iOS devices. Hide.me headquartered in Malaysia, is the best part, a privacy-friendly country located outside the authority of the 5/9/14-Eyes. This eliminates the possibility of third-party interference with your data. Furthermore, it has a strong no-logs policy, which means that hide.me will never retain any of your data.
The app allows you to move between servers in four countries: Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. It was compatible with Crackle and Funimation but not with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix US, Hulu, or any other prominent streaming service. The hide.me app is compatible with iOS 12 and later. It offers an easy-to-use UI and supports iOS’s dark and light modes. I really enjoyed the ability to choose servers by ping, which allowed me to choose a responsive connection while playing games on my iPhone. To connect to a server, you must touch “Enable VPN” on the menu.
The VPN even provides free users with 24/7 live chat as well as a comprehensive knowledge base. I could send a support request directly from the app, which was quite easy because I didn’t have to exit the app to contact support via the browser.
Proton VPN’s free iOS software provides limitless bandwidth, allowing you to browse the web on your iPhone without being disconnected. Most free VPNs typically provide a few GBs per month (often as little as 500MB), thus limitless bandwidth is uncommon. Furthermore, it offers rapid speeds. When I tested three free servers on my iPhone 14, I had an average speed of 43.5 Mbps.
Its iOS app has various security safeguards to protect your personal information. It includes AES 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and a variety of security measures (WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2). The kill switch further secures your connection – you won’t have to worry about exposing your data if the VPN abruptly disconnects.
To secure your data, Proton VPN has a rigorous no-logging policy. Furthermore, its iOS app is independently inspected and open-source, adding an added degree of transparency. Furthermore, because its headquarters are in Switzerland (outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance), it cannot be obliged to share your internet data with member nations of this agreement.
The software is compatible with iOS 12 and above, the setup is straightforward, and no payment information is required. Using the “rapid connect” button, I was able to connect to the quickest server in seconds. However, I was unhappy that Proton VPN’s extra security measures are only available if you supply your contact information. Furthermore, the free VPN only allows for one device connection. Therefore I wasn’t able to connect to multiple devices at once.
Warning: Risks of Free VPNs
Many free VPNs for the iPhone might jeopardies your online security. When considering downloading a free VPN, be aware of the following risks:
Free VPNs have the ability to record and sell your info. Free VPNs frequently sell your internet information to advertising and other third parties to make a profit. Use a VPN with a rigorous zero-logs policy to secure your online privacy.
Due to insufficient security measures, free VPNs may leak your data. Data breaches occur because free VPNs generally lack the resources to maintain their security measures up to date. To secure your online data, utilise a VPN with AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak prevention.
Free VPNs have the potential to infect your device with viruses and malware. Although this isn’t a major problem because Apple is quite rigorous about which programs may be found in the App Store, it is something that has happened in the past with free VPNs. Furthermore, because most free VPNs rely on adverts to generate revenue, they frequently bombard you with ads that might increase the likelihood of malware entering your computer.
Does the iPhone have a free VPN built-in?
No. iCloud Private Relay (which debuted with iOS 15) is sometimes confused with a VPN. This service functions more like a proxy, changing your IP address, but it does not provide the same level of security as a complete VPN program. Private Relay, for example, only works in the Safari browser, so your entire iPhone is not secured. You also cannot select a virtual location; the speeds could be better because your communication is routed via two servers.
Why do I need a VPN for iPhone and iPad?
A VPN secures your internet data (on iOS or any other device) from hackers and other third parties such as advertising. The latter will develop targeted adverts using your data. Although this is not hazardous, it is a violation of your privacy. All of the VPNs on our list provide critical security features to protect your personal information. And because none of them track your data, they can’t sell it to ads.
A trustworthy iPhone VPN also conceals your browser history from your ISP or phone provider, encrypts your data, protects you on public WIFI networks, and grants you access to geo-restricted material.