VPN for iPhone or iPad, is that really necessary? Apple devices have long been known for their relative safety and ‘lack’ of viruses. The iPhone especially: have you ever heard anyone say that they had a virus on their iPhone? You haven’t, have you? Then why should you still consider using a VPN on your iPhone?

There are several reasons for that. First of all, when it comes to cyber safety, you shouldn’t just be concerned about viruses. The array of techniques that cybercriminals use is becoming bigger and bigger. It ranges from the classic phishing scams via email to intercepting passwords during someone’s online sessions. Think about, for example, the enormous security holes in wifi? Especially public wifi networks are a source of cyber attacks. Criminals take advantage of security holes in public wifi networks by taking over the router. Some criminals even install one themselves and give it a name that’s similar to the popular café you just walked into. If you use that public wifi network to go online without a VPN the cybercriminal will be able to read along while you’re opening your banking app.

What is the best VPN for iPhone?

A VPN is therefore highly advisable in all cases for iPhone and iPad users. A VPN protects your internet signal by means of encryption and masks your IP address. This way your signal is even unreadable for seasoned cybercriminals – even when you accidentally connect to a hacked public wifi network. But what kind of VPN should you consider? That is different for every iPhone user. One will feel more comfortable using an OpenVPN because it typically allows you to tweak ‘regular’ VPNs. A downside to OpenVPN is that you usually need to be pretty tech-savvy to use it properly. Because of Apple’s closed store ecosystem and the fact that iOS does not natively support OpenVPN, you are required to download the official OpenVPN app from the Appstore. This has a few downsides on the customization front, but also adds some much needed convenience options for users. This version of OpenVPN is therefore not as hard to install and manage as other versions.

Free VPN for iPhone

Other people will consider a free VPN for iPhone. When you do this you should be warned that some free VPN providers play it fast and loose with user data. The internet is full of free VPN providers who offer their services for free because they earn money by selling your data to third parties behind your back. The data that they sell varies from passing on the VPN subscribers’ online behavior (for how long they are online, what they search for, etc.) to sensitive information about the identities of the subscribers. Think about this before you subscribe to a free VPN. You particularly want to check which log policy the company uses. Only if they guarantee that they keep no logs (and you trust the provider), they can be called a safe and anonymous VPN.

Paid VPN services usually don’t have this problem. They earn money from the subscription fees. Therefore, they don’t need to sell data behind the users’ backs. This makes choosing which paid VPN you want to use easier than choosing which free VPN you want to use. If the price suits you and the provider gets good reviews, it’s usually a good choice. Still, it’s always good to make the effort of doing a little research on the provider. Which log policy do they use? Does the service contain technical safeguards such as a kill switch or DNS leak protection? And in which countries do they have servers? If they’re somewhere in the US it’s usually fine. But what happens to your online privacy and safety when you choose a server in North Korea, a country in which the government surveils all internet traffic?

To find out which VPN suits you best you can check out our top 10 VPN providers. We also have detailed reviews on each of our top ten picks, which include speed tests. For further reading, you can take a look at our Best VPN article.

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