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The 5 Best VPN Apps for iOS

There are many reasons to consider a ( private network) service for your iPhone or iPad. If you use public Wi-Fi, then you could be targeted easily by cyber criminals. You may also want to access region-specific streaming catalogs — like those belonging to Netflix, for instance — even if you’re technically located outside the coverage area. Or perhaps, you simply want to stop your ISP from throttling your connection without your consent.

More: So how dangerous is public Wi-Fi at our disposal? We ask an expert

Thankfully, a enables you to protect your data from snoopers and mask your true location. It hides your online forays in a secure tunnel that outsiders can’t penetrate, but you must choose wisely, since you’re trusting your provider with all your online activities. If the service is free, you have to wonder how it’s staying afloat. Do some research to make sure the company behind the isn’t selling your data or bandwidth to third parties. If you can’t, check out the five app below.

VPN by NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs for Windows and MacOS, and, conveniently, it’s also available for . NordVPN uses the IKEv2 security protocol, which is 30-percent faster than the last generation. The app allows you to browse servers using a map, or a curated list of countries. There are currently more than 600 available servers spread across 50 countries.

You can connect up to six devices with a single account, and bypass blocked websites and regional restrictions with zero lag. NordVPN does not store any user information either, so your privacy is protected at all times. The app also supports a host of security protocols — including OpenVPN, IKEV2, and L2TP — and your real IP address will show as the NordVPN server IP address, thus securing your browsing experience on the go. Subscriptions vary from $8 a month to $48 annually.

NordVPN even offers a unique, double encryption system that applies military-grade AES-256-CBC encryption to inbound and outbound data twice. A hit with reviewers and users alike, NordVPN should make anyone’s shortlist when looking for a robust VPN solution.

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Private Internet Access VPN

The Private Internet Access (PIA) Anonymous VPN service remains a popular option on . It offers a wide selection of locations across the world — 27 in all — including some regional options for popular destinations. Speeds are generally fast, and the service supports 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN, though, it recommends 128-bit encryption for speed. It’s also based in the United States and promises not to log traffic and VPN usage.

While the desktop clients offer all sorts of configuration options, the iOS app is very straightforward. You log in, pick a destination from a list, and away you go. Speed information is an obvious omission, and it does sometimes disconnect you, too.

There’s no free trial for PIA, but the service does offer a seven-day, money-back guarantee. You can pay $7 a month, $36 for six months, or $40 for the year. That includes support for five simultaneous connections, which makes it good value for the money.

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With ExpressVPN you can connect to servers in 78 countries worldwide. You’ll also find support for 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN. There’s no logging policy, so you can rest assured the service won’t log your online activities. It’s generally fast and reliable, with good customer support should you need it.

The iOS app shows locations in a list or on a map, too, and you can tap to connect. There are nearly 100 regions to choose from, with the option to set your favorite for later.

You can try ExpressVPN for free for one day. After that, subscriptions run $13 a month, $60 for six months, or $100 for the year. There is also a 30-day, money-back guarantee. However, you can only connect to one mobile device and one computer or laptop simultaneously.

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IPVanish VPN

With more than 180 servers in more than 60 countries, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting connected with IPVanish. It promises zero logging, while still managing to offer support for OpenVPN and 256-bit encryption. It also allows P2P traffic, which some services block.

You’ll find the iOS app pretty easy to use. You can browse using location and popular countries. Moreover, regions such as the United States list servers by individual cities. There’s little else to it.

IPVanish is free to try for a day. It has a wide range of subscription plans starting at $2 for seven days. You can also opt for $10 a month, $27 for three months, or $75 annually. It provides unlimited bandwidth, but you can only have two simultaneous connections — one OpenVPN connection and one other protocol (L2TP or PPTP) connection.

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Tunnel Bear VPN

Simple to use and packed with cute bear graphics and puns, Tunnel Bear is quickly becoming a popular iOS VPN app. It offers 256-bit encryption and supports minimal logging, though, it doesn’t allow P2P. It offers servers in 15 major countries, and the speeds are generally pretty good.

The iOS app runs on the IPSec protocol, but the company’s other clients use OpenVPN. The app is designed to be simple, requiring you to do little more than tap on a location on the map and wait, as your bear tunnels its way to the new region.

The service allows for 500MB a month of free data if you want to try it out before you buy, but premium subscriptions will run you $4 a month or $30 annually for one iOS device. Opting for the more expensive packages will allow up to five simultaneous connections spanning multiple computers and mobile devices, but it will cost you $7 a month or $50 annually.

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Keep in mind that you may need to install the OpenVPN Connect client and follow a guide in order to take advantage of the OpenVPN protocol on iOS. All the will work with IPSec or another protocol by default. You’ll find guides on most of the service provider’s websites to do this. Also, isn’t a complete list. There are a ton of other excellent VPN designed for iOS — these are just your best options.

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