What’s The Best VPN for iPhone / Mac / iOS?
Choosing the best virtual private network (VPN) is a tough and often an all too confusing process. It’s tough especially because there is no such thing as an absolute “best VPN for iOS or MacOS” – there is only the VPN that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs.
Based on my experience exploring different VPN providers, there are a few that are a good fit for most people*.
* And by “most people” – I mean people who are looking for a modicum of extra security and versatility due to business, travel, and frequenting of public WiFi areas. I do a lot of work at coffee shops, libraries, and airports. I also like to check in on CBC, the BBC, and remove geolocation from several apps. I’m not doing anything illegal or visiting Silk Road or the Dark Web. I’m not sending super-sensitive highly classified information. I just don’t want rando’s snooping on my Internet traffic when I’m away from my home network.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer.
Best VPNs for iPhone / Mac / iOS User
|Name||Best if you want…||Plans!|
|ExpressVPN||…a well-known brand w/ great usability, performance & privacy.||Get Discount.|
|PureVPN||…full-featured, user-friendly w/ excellent pricing.||Get Discount.|
|NordVPN||…fast-growing brand w/ zero logging & user-friendly interface.||Get Discount.|
|Native VPN||…Apple’s built-in VPN. A bit complex, but free & excellent.||See Tutorial.|
Other Paid / Premium VPN Choices
There are a ton of paid VPNs on the market. Here’s a few other popular VPNs that I have personally used / reviewed.
What Does a VPN Do Anyway?
So what does a premium VPN do, anyway? A premium VPN will serve to increase your security and anonymity while using an internet connection. Your VPN provider acts like a middleman between you and the Internet. Every Internet request routes from your computer to the VPN before routing to the Internet. If anyone snoops or tracks your connection – all they can see is your VPN connection.
You can use a VPN with many types of devices, including Android, iPhone, PC and Mac computers.
A VPN will anonymize you and help to protect you against hackers on public wifi connections as well as any surveillance from internet service providers and governments**.
**Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor in addition to your VPN. This highlights this section of paid VPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive about your browsing habits.
Surveillance and the collection of personal data are getting much more common – even at the ISP level. Identity theft is also a big concern.
If you want to protect yourself and your privacy better, a VPN may be just what you need. A VPN can anonymize your connection and even make it seem as you are using your device in a different location.
In addition to the increased security and privacy that you can achieve through using a premium VPN, a VPN service can also allow you to access content that has been blocked in your geographic location.
A premium VPN will typically have a lot of advantages over a free VPN. While this won’t be true of all premium VPNs, you should only consider paying for a VPN if they have most of the qualities and features listed below. All VPNs will have differences, but when paying for a service, there are some things that a good premium VPN should have.
How to Choose The Best VPN for iPhone, Mac, and iOS
As the days go by, we are becoming more and more connected through mobile devices and the internet. The bigger the net grows, the more people are being left vulnerable to a variety of a cyber-attacks or at the least, an invasion of privacy.
Protecting yourself while on the go with a mobile device is just as important as arming your home computer from this kind of security issues.
Everywhere you look, people are using their phones, tablets and other devices while going about their day. Thanks to a host of various Wi-Fi spots, both public and private, people are connected to everything, including what could be your personal information.
Your home computer is equipped with internet security software, why not consider a VPN for your portable device. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, a method for adding privacy and safety to networks both private and public.
A lot of companies will use a VPN to protect sensitive information on their network, but you can also use one on your iPhone, Mac or iOS device. To enable a VPN on your device, you’ll need to go into the settings and toggle the switch for VPN on the main settings screen.
Then you are ready to find a provider that is not only compatible with your iOS but one that has a solid reputation and security features that fit your needs.
Why Use a VPN?
Using a VPN on your iPhone or other devices provides an extra layer of defense while using the internet. It can prevent hackers and others online that are trying to access your personal information, pictures and search histories. It protects you when using public Wi-Fi which can be an easy target for a cyber-attack.
Even if a public Wi-Fi network is protected by a password, that doesn’t ensure it’s safe from hackers or those looking to steal your information. A ‘man in the middle attack,’ one where an attacker can change the communications between two people that think they may be having a private conversation over a secure connection.
This type of cyber-attack, in addition to those who are looking to pilfer your passwords, personal information or more, can be initiated over public Wi-Fi connections made without the benefit of first setting up a VPN on your iOS.
Another perk of installing a VPN is being able to access region-specific content from streaming services. Certain videos are only available within certain regions, and same goes for streaming content like Netflix.
This is possible by geo-shifting your location. The VPN server will bounce your signal through the country of origin, so it looks like you are within the approved boundaries where the content is available.
If this is one of the features that appealed to you, just be aware that bigger streaming services, such as Netflix, are becoming more aware of this practice and have started blocking some connections made through a VPN.
Copyright laws with media distribution can get a little tricky, so keep that in mind if you think a VPN could be the solution to your streaming roadblocks.
For people who work remotely, having a VPN can also allow you to connect to a company’s internal network. That could prove useful to have set up on your iOS device when working on the go.
Some of the VPN providers allow file sharing and use of BitTorrents, where people can share a variety of files such as documents, music, and movies. However, be sure that the provider you are looking at allows it. The providers who don’t permit that on their servers will cancel your subscription if you are caught.
If you are going to choose one from the App Store, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to find the best VPN for your iOS, iPhone or Mac.
How to Choose the Best VPN for your iPhone, Mac, and iOS
Assess Your Security Needs
Whenever you plan on shopping for a new product, you take a moment to decide what it is you want to get out of it. What purpose will this item ultimately serve? It’s no different when choosing a VPN. Take a few minutes and examine what you want to accomplish with it.
Are you just looking to secure your information when casually browsing the internet through your phone or tablet while connected to public Wi-Fi? Do you plan on streaming a lot of content through a site that may require you to geo-shift your location?
Depending on the answers to those questions, you will want to look for one that has increased bandwidth, which measures the communication and connection speed to the internet. If you are looking for additional security features, such as being able to create plausible deniability, there are other features of a VPN you want to consider.
If you’re using BitTorrent or other file-sharing sites and want to be more elusive about exposing your computer’s address and information, there’s more to consider. You’ll want a provider that doesn’t keep traffic logs and one that has a larger service with a lot of comings and goings. Not keeping traffic logs makes it harder (but not impossible) to target an individual user from the traffic.
What to Look for in a VPN
When you get an idea of the level of security, there are a few other factors you will want to consider before deciding which VPN service is the right one.
- Ease of Use
- Encryption Used
- Support Services
- Additional Features
If this feels overwhelming, don’t worry. Out of these aspects, the ones you will want to understand is the cost breakdown, the servicer’s reputation, and transparency.
Look for a VPN provider that offers a free trial so that you can test it out for a week, as well as money back guarantees. The cost for these apps varies with subscriptions that break down to weekly or annually.
You can find a VPN that offers a free service, but you get what you pay for in this case. With a free service, chances are your basic security needs will be met, but you will be limited in regards to any additional features.
If you have ever bought a car, you know that finding the right insurance is a must. You want to pay a reasonable rate, but you also want to make this investment with a company that knows what they’re doing and has a proven track record when it comes to protecting your property.
Finding a good VPN provider with a strong reputation for their clients is just as important. Consider this an insurance plan for your online security. They should have a good reputation and favorable rating among customers.
Take the time to look into the company providing the service by reading customer feedback and online reviews. Get to know the place you are putting in charge of your personal information and if they live up to their promises.
When you are checking out possible providers, locate their private policies before purchasing any subscriptions. Do they collect and keep information? Does the company track the payment info used for subscriptions or any of the logging information?
A company may be upfront about collecting data, but what do they do with it? Find out where the company is located. The laws on keeping and collecting data vary by country, and it may enable them, or not, to maintain the security features offered.
When you use the internet through a VPN, there’s a good chance that you will experience some lag in your speed. This happens when your signal is being put through the layers of security offered by the provider, and your connection is being bounced from server to server.
Some providers have started to combat this issue by providing a higher bandwidth servers. This helps increase the speed of the available network.
Where Can I Get a VPN Provider for my iOS?
If you are using a Mac or iPhone, Apple has a support setting available for VPN that was built into the iOS. For more advanced users, there is an option to set-up a home-made VPN. This option requires you to already have a well of knowledge with servers and VPNs.
For those of us who want a simpler approach, there are many different VPN services to choose from in the Apple Store. A couple of providers even offer a subscription discount if you purchase the VPN through the store.
Certain VPN services like TunnelBear and Cloak offer easy set-up and discounted subscriptions when purchasing through an iOS app purchase. Both offer a free plan, but the amount of data your allotted is set.
If you are using this service solely to protect yourself while browsing the web, the free plan’s data may be enough to cover your needs. However, if you plan on streaming or searching for a service that allows the file-sharing, investing in a larger data plan might be beneficial.
Are You Ready to Pick Your VPN Provider?
Regardless of how many possibilities there are when shopping for a VPN, this doesn’t have to be an overwhelming decision. Adding a virtual private network to your iOS device can only be beneficial and work in your favor.
How to choose the best VPN for your iPhone, Mac and iOS can be broken down into a few easy questions. What level of security do you need? How much do you want to spend on this extra layer of online protection? Is the company reputable and transparent in their practices?
Once you have these answers, finding the right VPN provider for your mobile device should be relatively easy, with the installation being even easier. You can protect your online identity and have peace of mind that browsing the internet won’t cost you unnecessary headaches because of hackers.