© 2023 CoolTechZone - Latest tech news,
product reviews, and analyses.

If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

Best Free VPNs for iOS: iPhone & iPad (2023)

With over 1.2 billion people using VPN networks, there's no denying this service has become a common software among internet users. However, not all VPNs are built equally – there are more than 900 paid and free iOS VPN providers to choose from, and with such a wide range of choices, it's natural that you may feel a little lost.

Are paid VPNs better than their free counterparts? What is the best free VPN for iOS and other devices? By the end of this article, you will have answers to all and then some of these questions.

Top 5 best free iOS VPNs

  1. NordVPN – best free VPN for iOS
  2. Surfshark – best free iOS VPN without device limit
  3. Atlas VPN – top free VPN for iPhone & iPad
  4. ExpressVPN – solid free VPN for iOS
  5. CyberGhost VPN – free iOS VPN with most servers

Is free VPN good for iOS?

Using VPNs is not very complex – those who elect to configure their VPN networks put in more effort than those who elect to use pre-configured counterparts, and those who don’t – learn. Still, some people will undoubtedly be put off by the fact that the applications are free. Thus, you might have a question – are free VPNs good for my iPhone or iPad? How can I make sure I’m not downloading malware?

To answer that question, consider the following:

  • Are you concerned about ads? Some free VPN providers will show you ads to sustain their services. That’s the price you have to pay – if you’re not paying, your eyes are the product.
  • Is slow connection speed a problem? If so, you might want to re-evaluate your decision of using free VPNs. Many such VPNs cap speed for their users using the free plan so that paying users will enjoy faster Internet speed. For some, it may not be an issue – for others, though, it may be a deal breaker.
  • Are there any specific countries that you need to be connecting to? If so, evaluate the free VPN offering beforehand – there is a high probability that free VPN services will only let you choose from 2-3 countries while paying customers can connect to servers in many more countries. If you need to connect to servers in Amsterdam, for example, choosing a VPN that only routes your internet through servers in London is not the best of ideas.

However, don’t blindly trust answers to these questions and also evaluate the VPN provider itself – remember that free stuff is free for a reason. If the free VPN doesn’t have any reputation or any reviews online, appears to imitate a popular and reputable VPN service provider, or sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

If you’ve decided that free VPNs are for you – follow along! Now we will provide you with a list of the best free VPNs, then move on to aspects relevant to Apple devices.

Best free VPNs iPhone & iPad

Now that you know whether a free VPN is a suitable choice, you might start searching for a free VPN provider. Below, you will find a list of VPNs with all of their upsides and downsides: before using one or more of them, make sure to evaluate all of your requirements and weigh the capabilities of every VPN.

1. NordVPN – top free iOS VPN

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Independently-audited
💵 Price:From $3.19/month
🖥️ Servers:5800+ servers in 60 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:NordVPN coupon 68% OFF

NordVPN is based in Panama – a country without data retention laws. Their no-logs policy has been audited thrice, and according to NordVPN, the only customer-related information they keep are email addresses and billing information.

This VPN provider is known for remarkable speeds, thanks to the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol. Users can choose from 5800+ RAM-only servers in over 60 countries. NordVPN is also great for unblocking Netflix and other streaming sites, including region-restricted gambling and betting sites.

While NordVPN is a premium service, it has a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you over a month of top VPN experience.

2. Surfshark – top iOS VPN wit no device limit

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Unaudited
💵 Price:From $2.30/month
🖥️ Servers:3200+ servers in 100 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:Surfshark VPN coupon 83% OFF + 3 months FREE

Surfshark is an excellent free VPN for iOS. It offers reliable data encryption (AES 256-bit) and uses a strict no-logs policy. Surfshark supports not only iOS but also Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows, among other platforms. The apps themselves are regularly audited and easy to use.

Surfshark users report that they have no problems with unblocking Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming websites. The same applies to betting, gambling, and gaming geo-restrictions.

The speed of Surfshark is very good, primarily because of the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol. Moreover, this VPN has truly global coverage with 3200+ RAM-only servers in 100+ countries.

You can try Surfshark with its 7-day free trial and later exercise a 30-day free money-back guarantee.

3. Atlas VPN – best iOS VPN with a free version

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#3 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Unaudited
💵 Price:from $1.82/month
🖥️ Servers:1000+ servers in 42 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:Atlas VPN coupon 85% OFF

AtlasVPN is the top VPN for iPhone & iPad with a free version. It has 3 locations in Singapore, the Netherlands, and the United States. Moreover, it allows P2P traffic, though unblocking streaming platforms is impossible.

The free version of Atlas VPN has the high-performing WireGuard protocol, but the speeds will be slower compared to the premium version. The monthly data limit is set at 5 GB. Also, you can have two simultaneous connections with one account.

AtlasVPN has the so-called SafeSwap servers that allow us to access the internet from several IPs at a time. Additionlly, the VPN automatically blocks access to websites known to host malware further strengthening your security online.

However, you can try the premium version risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee. This will give you Netflix full speed and 1000+ servers in 42+ countries.

4. ExpressVPN – solid VPN for iPhone & iPad

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#7 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Court-proven, independently-audited
💵 Price:from $8.32/month
🖥️ Servers:3000+ servers in 91 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:ExpressVPN coupon 35% OFF

ExpressVPN is one of the most well-known VPN providers. It's a solid product with excellent security and privacy, fast speeds, and a global fleet in 91+ countries.

This VPN is capable of unblocking most streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Furthermore, it allows safe P2P connections on all servers.

The ExpressVPN iOS app has a clear interface and is easy to use even for the first-time users. You can also install the client on all major platforms, including routers.

ExpressVPN is a premium service but it has a 7-day free trial plus a 30-day money back guarantee.

5. CyberGhost – iOS VPN with huge server list

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#15 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Unaudited
💵 Price:from $2.03/month
🖥️ Servers:9299+ servers in 91 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:CyberGhost VPN now 84% OFF

CyberGhost is mainly known for its large server base. You can select from 9299+ servers in 91+ countries. The speeds are fast, thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol.

This VPN fo iOS easily unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and other streaming services. Torrenting is allowed on select servers and your IP will always stay hidden because of robust leak protection.

CyberGhost allows up to seven connections at once. This means you can secure not only your iPhone or iPad but other devices as well. If needed, you can configure CyberGhost on your router as well.

There's free 7-day trial for iOS available. Plus, each subscription is covererd by an elongated 45-day money-back guarantee.

6. TunnelBear – user-friendly free iPhone VPN

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#28 out of #32
📖 No logs policy:Unaudited
💵 Price:from $3.33/month
🖥️ Servers:1800+ servers in 26 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, DAZN, YouTube
🔥 Coupons:-

TunnelBear is known to be one of the most popular free iOS VPNs. Users dig the friendly app design, animations, and, of course, the mascot itself. There are 1800+ servers in 26+ countries to select from.

This provider has a no-logs policy and has been doing technical audits for more than three years. It also uses AES 256-bit encryption but hasn't implemented WireGuard tunneling protocol yet.

TunnelBear works not only on iPhones and iPads – you can install it on macOS, Windows, or Android. On top of that, there are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

The free iOS version of TunnelBear slows down the regular speeds and gives 500 MB/month and one connection per account. You can get an extra 1 GB by Tweeting about the product. With this strict data cap, neither streaming nor torrenting is an option, especially since the free version doesn't support them.

If you want an iPhone VPN without limits, there's a premium version of TunnelBear at your service. However, you cannot try it for free due to the lack of money-back guarantee.

How to set up a VPN on iPhone & iPad?

Some iOS users might also want to set up their VPN networks themselves. There are two ways of going around doing this – we can either select to define VPN settings ourselves or use pre-built settings (in other words, the zero-config way.) We’re going to walk you through both of those.

Automatic configuration

The easies way to set up a VPN on your iPhoneo or iPad is by letting the VPN app do the job. Here are the steps you need to take to install NordVPN, the best provider for iOS devices:

  1. Go to Apple App Store and download NordVPN
  2. Sign up for a 30-day money-back guarantee
  3. Launch the NordVPN app
  4. Connect to any server and that's it!

Manual configuration

To set up a VPN connection ourselves, all we need is the configuration details of the VPN. Once we have those, we can proceed to add the VPN to our iPhone and iPad devices. Follow these steps to set everything up:

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone or iPad iOS settings
  2. Head over to the General part of the settings below.
    iOS Settings General
  3. Head over into the VPN & Device Management section underneath the Dictionary setting VPN Device Management on iOS
  4. Click on VPN – if you’re not connected to any VPN networks, it should say Not Connected. VPN not connected on iOS
  5. Finally, click on Add VPN Configuration… and follow the steps outlined in the next section. add VPN configuration on iOS

Define these settings – they will help you set up a VPN. Do note that both iPhone and iPad require a description of the VPN network, and you must provide a valid VPN server to connect to. You will also need to provide a remote ID, and iOS will also ask you to provide some authentication details (you will also be able to define a proxy if you wish.) Here’s what that means for you:

  • Three configuration types* are available. These are as follows:
    • IKEv2
    • IPsec
    • L2TP

In most cases, your VPN provider will inform you what configuration type you need to use.
* If you need to configure your VPN manually, you will know which one you will use (in most cases, it will be the IKEv2 protocol.)

  • Description – put something that describes the VPN configuration and something that would let you distinguish it from other VPN networks you may be using
  • Server – provide your VPN server
  • Remote ID – provide the same information as in the Server field
  • Local ID – can be left empty
  • Authentication – provide the username and password you’re using to log into your VPN provider (alternatively, you can also leave the Password field empty and let iPhone ask you every time you’re connecting to the VPN.
  • Proxy – in most cases, you won’t need to configure one. Leave the Proxy setting set to Off.

If you need this information, search for it on the documentation part of the website of your VPN provider. If such information is necessary, you should be able to find it very quickly. In many cases, though, your VPN provider will have everything pre-configured for you, and you will be able to connect to the VPN after a couple of simple clicks.

4 reasons why free VPNs might be risky

Once you select a VPN to use though, don’t think you’re all safe and sound either – make sure to evaluate the VPN thoroughly because free stuff – especially free VPNs – are often risky. Here’s why:

  • Encryption. Certain VPNs can use outdated encryption methods, such as AES 128-bit. Do not settle for anything less than AES 256-bit.
  • Malware. For many VPN users, malware and viruses are still a threat. Yes, we told you that some VPNs come with additional capabilities, such as anti-malware, but what’s the point for a VPN vendor to provide all of those capabilities to a freemium user? There must be something users are paying for. In many cases, protection against malware is that “something.”
  • Auditing. Certain free VPNs might not be properly audited – or, worse yet, might not be audited at all. Do you want to use such a VPN provider? Chances are, you don’t.
  • Trust. Last but not least, when using a VPN, you route all of your internet traffic through the provider, meaning you must research the provider thoroughly. Especially if it’s a free product - ask yourself: why is it free? Does the provider leak your information? Is it a no-name company or a company building products used by millions of people? Does the company force you to upgrade after a month? Before trusting any provider, research the company, the product, and the people using it to make the right decision.

So please think if paying a few dollars for a top premium iOS service like NordVPN that will take your iOS protection to the next level is not an option. After all, do you really want to risk your personal details for a cup of coffee every month?

Free iOS VPNs you should avoid

We’re going to name not recommended free iOS VPNs that are nevertheless popular. We're also giving some tips how to spot a bad free VPN, including examples you may have already heard about.

  • Privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction. Some advice to avoid using a VPN primarily located in any of the Fourteen Eyes countries, including the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, among others. For example, Betternet is registered in the US.
  • Unclear logging policy. If the VPN is logging your IP, location, or other personal data, better stay away. VPN Unlimited, which has a 7-day free trial, logs more than required.
  • Bad reviews. That's probably the most important criteria to look at. Hola VPN and alike are very popular but shady as well.

To sum up, don't even try downloading Betternet, Hola VPN, VPNBook, or Hoxx VPN – even if some dubious website ranks among the top providers.

Best Free VPNs for iOS video review

To ensure you haven't missed anything important, we recommend watching the detailed video provided below. It will tell you all about free iOS VPNs, the main reasons such options should be avoided, and what other alternatives exist.


The best free VPN for iOS users is NordVPN. It’s based in Panama with no data retention law. You can use it for gaming, torrenting, surfing the web, and unblocking all streaming services, and on top of that, it consistently receives great reviews from top tech experts for being the best VPN provider in the market. Give it a try today!

Even though many of the free VPNs are only free for 30 days, 30-day free trials might reveal more details under the cloak, and they might be just what’s needed to decide whether to switch to a paid VPN service either now or in the future: after all, we all have so much data to consume. Do your research, evaluate the capabilities, and choose the top free VPN for iPhone and iPad.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked