The best free VPN for iPhone in 2024

An iPhone with a screen displaying the text 'VPN' with a green iOS switch turned on underneath it
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of software that keeps your internet activity private. It does this by creating an encrypted connection called a tunnel between your device and the VPN provider’s server. This additional layer of security stops nosy third-parties, like your government or Internet Service Provider (ISP), from tracking and logging what you do online.

With so many VPNs to choose from, a free VPN is a great way to get a taste of the service before you commit to a premium product. However, as the saying goes "nothing is ever truly free”. Some free VPNs may have annoying data caps, others may bombard you with ads, others may track and sell your data and others still may not even be real VPNs at all, and are instead malware-ridden apps masquerading as a free VPN.

To help you pick a free VPN that won’t let you down, we have provided this guide to the best free VPNs.

The 3 best paid-for iPhone VPNs in 2024

1. NordVPN: the best VPN for iPhone and iPad

1. NordVPN: the best VPN for iPhone and iPad
NordVPN is the best premium VPN around right now. It’s one of the fastest VPNs on the market, with over 950 Mbps download speeds and unrivaled unblocking ability for streaming platforms.

On top of that, it also offers ad-blocking, antivirus protection, a password manager, a data breach scanner to help you protect your personal information, and even secure cloud storage, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. ExpressVPN: the best beginner VPN30-day money–back-guarantee

2. ExpressVPN: the best beginner VPN
If you’re looking for a starter VPN and don’t mind paying for it, ExpressVPN is a great option. As with other paid VPN providers, you’re not just getting a VPN connection for up to 8 devices, you’re also getting other features such as an in-built password manager, the ability to automatically block malicious websites, an adblocker and more besides, all backed by a 30-day money–back-guarantee so you can try it and decide if it's right for you. 

3. Surfshark: a budget-friendly provider

3. Surfshark: a budget-friendly provider
Not only is Surfshark a low-cost VPN, it’s also the fastest VPN around. Not only does it max out our Wireguard testing lines, it also blows past NordVPN and ExpressVPN with its OpenVPN speeds, too at 640 Mbps versus 110 and 210 Mbps respectively. Not only this, but it offers unlimited simultaneous connections so you can use all your devices at once.

In addition, Surfshark offers a suite of additional features that you won’t see with any free VPN offering, including an all-in-one security offering, Sufshark One, and its Alternative ID feature protects you from spam and being the victim of data breaches by masking your email address and personal information. All this is backed by Surfshark’s 30-day money-back-guarantee.

The risks of using free VPNs

As mentioned at the start of the article, using a free VPN comes with a few inherent risks that you really need to consider before you trust them with your personal data.

Logging and selling of your private data

Always remember that your private data is worth a lot of money to, at best, marketing and advertising companies and, at worse, cybercriminals of all stripes. Many free VPNs actually state that they reserve the right to sell your data, but they hide it deep inside the Terms and Conditions because they know the average user will never see it. 

Limited security features

Many free VPN providers use outdated and insecure methods of encryption along with old and insecure VPN protocols, making them little better than useless when it comes to keeping your internet activities safe. They also often embed trackers in their service and cheerfully collect your user data, utterly defeating the point of having a VPN to begin with. 

The best free iPhone VPN overall

Privado VPN on a computer and phone

(Image credit: Future)
A free iPhone VPN that feels like premium


Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Simultaneous connections: 1
Data limit: 10 GB at full speed, then unlimited via a single 1 Mbps location
Servers: 9
Split tunneling: Yes
Kill switch: Yes
Supported protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
Support available via: Email, Knowledgebase

Reasons to buy

One of the fastest free VPNs around
User-friendly apps  
Unblocks most of the major streaming services
Generous 10GB data limit per month 

Reasons to avoid

Not all features available on free version  
Slow torrenting speeds
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a reliable free VPN: PrivadoVPN’s free option was the most reliable in all our testing. 

✔️ You don’t want to pay extra for premium features: PrivadoVPN is one of the only providers to offer advanced features like split-tunneling and a kill switch even in the free version. 

✔️ You feel the need for speed: PrivadoVPN’s free servers are every bit as fast as their paid one, and put some premium providers to shame.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need to use more than one device: Like most free services, PrivadoVPN’s free offering limits you to only a single connection so it’s not the best choice for those who need more.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 With free servers as fast as the paid ones, reliable unblocking of streaming services and easy to use apps, we think it’s the best free VPN on the market today. 

Not only does PrivadoVPN offer fast download speeds, with peak speeds at 900 Mbps in our testing, it offers secure connections as well with support for the latest VPN encryption standards, so you never need to worry that your online activities are being snooped on. It also has a no-logs promise, something that is rare in free VPN providers. Many claim to provide this, however may have invasive ad partners, meaning if you use their free version, you’re signing up for said partner’s dodgy privacy policy and tracking of your data.

As well as this, PrivadoVPN has a generous number of servers in 10 different countries available for free users, meaning that you won’t need to worry about servers becoming over-congested.

Try PrivadoVPN for 10GB of free data a month

Unlike many other free VPN services like Proton VPN Free, including which are easily and quickly blocked by streaming sites due to their limited range of servers, locations and IP addresses, PrivadoVPN sports a dedicated team, even for free users, which works to make sure that you will always be able to unblock the most popular services like Netflix, Disney+, Max and more—just another thing that some premium VPN services struggle with.

Its apps are easy to use and reliable, and it’s simple to set up and configure advanced features such as split-tunneling, and even change your VPN encryption protocol if you need to.

The best free iPhone VPN for data allowance

Proton VPN running on a smartphone and a laptop computer

(Image credit: Future)
An advocate for digital privacy with unlimited data allowance


Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Simultaneous connections: 1
Data limit: Unlimited
Servers: 152
Server locations: 3
Split tunneling: Only on Windows and Android
Kill switch: Yes
Supported protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPv6
Support available via: Email, Knowledgebase

Reasons to buy

Unlimited data allowance
Advanced features included free of charge 
Fast connections through WireGuard 
No ads

Reasons to avoid

Only one connection
No streaming support
Cannot choose server location
Subscribe if:

✔️ You don’t want to worry about data: Unlike most other free VPN providers, there’s no data limits with ProtonVPN. 

✔️ You’re concerned about privacy: The free version of ProtonVPN is confirmed to store no logs of any kind. 

Don't subscribe if:

You need browser extensions: These are only available on the paid plans. 

You want to torrent or stream: Support for these are also only available to paid users. 

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒  Proton VPN has consistently shown that both their free and premium services are trustworthy and reliable. It might not be our top pick, but it’s definitely worth your time.  

One of the main benefits of ProtonVPN Free is that it doesn’t come loaded with advertising and it doesn’t set any intrusive tracking cookies on your devices. It also comes with additional features to help protect you online, such as a kill-switch and the latest WireGuard encryption protocol.

There are some limits to this free version. You don’t get access to the streaming-specific servers, or any streaming at all, in fact. There’s no additional features like an adblocker or malware-blocking. Additionally, Proton recently removed the option to choose server locations, meaning you risk the server you connect to being overloaded.

Try ProtonVPN for a truly free VPN, forever.

Despite being a free offering, ProtonVPN has the security and privacy chops of any premium offering. As well as top of the line encryption to protect your online browsing, it’s got an independently verified no-logs policy so you don’t need to worry that it’s secretly tracking you or logging your IP address or what you do online.

ProtonVPN even offers speeds that are fast enough to shame some paid-for VPN offerings, with download speeds of up to 520 Mbps. Plus, an unlimited data cap means you can use the service to your heart’s content and never need to worry about data limits.

The best secure free iPhone VPN

Windscribe VPN app showing server locations

(Image credit: Future)
A free VPN that prioritizes security


Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Data limit: 10 GB
Servers: 177
Server locations: 14 locations in 11 countries
Split tunneling: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Kill switch: Yes
Supported protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Support available via: Email

Reasons to buy

Unlimited connections
Fast servers speeds
Generous 10GB data allowance
Supports torrenting 

Reasons to avoid

Cluttered apps
Not independently audited 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need to connect lots of devices: Windscribe is one of the few providers to offer unlimited simultaneous connections. 

✔️ You want more choice of locations: 14 locations in 11 countries is more choices than any other free VPN we recommend. 

✔️ You’re interested in torrenting: Unlike some other free providers, most of Windscribe’s free servers allow torrenting

Don't subscribe if:

You want a VPN for gaming: Windscribe offers low ping, but its connections aren’t the best for reliable online gaming. 

You need lots of data: 10GB a month is more generous than some, but with unlimited connections you’ll need to be careful you don’t chew through it all in a day or two.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 It might not be quite as great as our top offerings, but Windscribe is a solid, reliable option and those unlimited connections are hard to beat Windscribe offers something no other provider on this list can: unlimited devices on a single subscription.

Windscribe Free VPN’s biggest strength, compared to others on this list, is its ability for you to choose from 14 locations across 11 countries. Windscribe also lets you choose the specific server you want to connect to, allowing you to pick the fastest or closest one instead of being automatically connected to a server.

Like the other options on this list, Windscribe is no slouch when it comes to security and privacy. It sports the latest VPN protocols including OpenVPN and WireGuard, secured with military-grade AES-256 encryption which will keep you safe from any snooping at all. It even offers “stealth” technologies which hide the fact you’re using a VPN at all, useful in countries where VPNs are blocked.

Try Windscribe and choose from 14 different free locations

While Windscribe struggled to unblock Amazon Prime Video, it passed all our other tests with flying colors, giving access to UK channels such as BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4 as well as Netflix libraries around the world.

As with other free VPNs there are limits to what you can do with Windscribe Free. Simultaneous connections allow you to install the app on as many devices as you like, but you’re still limited to a monthly cap of 10GB of data.

The Windscribe app isn’t the best compared to some of our other choices, with an app that’s functional and easy enough to use, but just isn’t as slick or smooth as its competitors. 

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend VPN displayed on a computer and a laptop

(Image credit: Future)


Free VPN, expert-level protection


Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Simultaneous connections: 1
Data limit: Unlimited
Servers: 89
Server locations: 8
Support available via: Website, email, live chat
Visit Site

Reasons to buy

Choice of 8 locations
Advanced features included in free version
Good customer support
Unlimited data

Reasons to avoid

Apps aren’t the most user-friendly 
Connection speeds aren’t the best
Torrenting on free version no longer supported
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need to be anonymous: No payment information is needed when you sign up.

✔️ You need lots of data: is one of the only providers to offer unlimited data for free users  

Don't subscribe if:

You’re not confident with VPNs: comes with lots of features, but the app isn’t very user-friendly. 

You need fast connections: While its speeds are fine for regular web browsing, it’s a poor choice for anything more demanding.

Bottom line⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 While a better option than some with its unlimited data promise, the slow connection speeds make this my bottom pick.’s free offering closes out our list. As with other picks it offers a 10GB monthly data limit, but it also supports streaming and torrenting as well as coming with a full suite of additional features including browser extensions, split-tunneling, a kill switch and even auto-connect which start a VPN connection if you connect to an untrusted WiFi point.

It offers five server locations to choose from, with two in the USA and one in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands respectively. As with most free VPNs, if you’re looking for a VPN to access content in the Middle East or Asia, this isn’t a great choice.

Try for unlimited bandwidth.

 The app is simple enough to use, however its settings screen is a little cluttered, and might be intimidating for novice users. Also, once installed you are forced to accept a five day trial of’s premium version. There is no way to progress without accepting this trial and closing the offer takes you back to the initial start screen. It’s a very poor user experience and is likely to confuse more novice and inexperienced users.

How to pick a free VPN

While I, of course, recommend any of the free VPNs listed on this page, picking the right one for you comes down to what you want to use it for.

If you want a VPN for streaming you’d be better off with Privado or over Proton, whereas if you know you want a larger data limit, Proton or 

Any reliable VPN provider, even a free one, should come with a robust no-logs policy that’s clearly stated on their website and in their terms and conditions and has, ideally, been audited by an independent party.

Unblocks location-restricted content

One of the biggest use cases for a VPN is to unblock content that’s restricted in your country, such as streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ so if your free VPN can’t do that, we would suggest checking out one of our other recommended providers

Doesn’t bombard you with ads

Many free VPN providers will serve you adverts and put advertising cookies on your device as well. None of the providers we recommend in this list will do that, making them entirely safe for you to use.

Is from a safe, trusted provider

One of the best ways to work out if a VPN is safe is by its reputation. If you search the VPN’s name online, what comes up? A load of bad reviews and forum posts about how it is not to be trusted? Or guides like this one recommending it? This can help you find out from those who have actually used the VPN if it is safe.

Additionally, VPN audits are a great way to find out more about a VPN. By looking at audits you can see if they are actually delivering on their promises. Plus, since they are carried out by third parties, you are assured that those telling you the information don’t have an ulterior motive.

Doesn’t hijack your browser with malicious code

Some “free VPNs” are nothing more than malware disguised as a VPN app or a browser extension. Make sure you investigate the service provider thoroughly to make sure you’re not exposing your device to dangerous malware.

How we test free VPNs


Any VPN test starts with a look at the provider’s website, be that free or premium, to see what the experience is like for first time users. Is there aggressive advertising? Is the sign-up experience straightforward? Is everything available to download without having to jump through too many hoops? Have their apps and no-logs claims been audited?

After that it’s the testing of the app. How difficult is it to install and get running? What’s the first time user experience like? I take a look at the GUI features, the settings, additional features and, at the end of the day, if the VPN app actually functions properly. I do this by testing to see if it gives decent download speeds while also protecting your personal information, making sure there’s no WebRTC or DNS leaks.

First we put the free VPNs and their data limits  to the test to make sure you can use it for day-to-day browsing the net. Next, we check their streaming and/or torrenting to claims to see if they check out. If they do, this helps decide if a VPN deserves to go on any list we publish here.

To find out more, take a look at our VPN testing methodology page for full details.

Free iPhone VPN FAQs

Can you trust free VPNs?

As a general rule, no—the majority of ‘free’ VPNs are only free because you’re paying in something other than money, whether this is through your data or access to your device. Even the best free VPNs explored on this page come with restrictions, and this is because they want you to upgrade to their premium plans. Thankfully there are premium VPN providers like NordVPN and Surfshark that offer a premium VPN for a very low price, so you can get great protection without breaking the bank. That said, fi you still don’t want to pay for a premium VPN, the free VPNs on this list are as good as they get. 

How can I tell if my free VPN is safe?

There are a few ways you can check if your free VPN service is safe and offers you the service it claims. First check the terms and conditions to make sure that there’s nothing in there about tracking, logging, or sharing information with third parties. Check reputable websites for additional details, such as right here at TechRadar. You can also use a free VPN checking website which will be able to confirm if your VPN is protecting you and not leaking any of your personal data. 

Do free VPNs track you?

As long as you find a VPN you can trust, such as one of the ones we’ve recommended in this article, then it’s always better to use a free VPN than not have one at all. That said, very few free VPNs come anywhere close to offering the speed, choice and functionality of a paid offering. 

What is the safest VPN?

The safest VPN will always be a premium, paid for service, but the free VPNs we’ve listed here are safer than most. PrivadoVPN, ProtonVPN and Windscribe are all great choices that don’t take advantage of their customer base and abuse their privacy. If you’re looking for a safe premium service, then NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark and CyberGhost are all well known and reliable options. 


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Olivia Powell
Tech Software Commissioning Editor

Olivia is the Commissioning Editor for Tech Software at Future. With a background in cybersecurity, Olivia stays up-to-date with all things cyber and creates content across sites including TechRadar Pro, TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, iMore, PC Gamer and Games Radar. She is particularly interested in threat intelligence, detection and response, data security, fraud prevention and the ever-evolving threat landscape.

With contributions from