Using one of the best VPN services on your iPhone or iPad is streamlined to make it relatively simple. If your company has a private intranet that you need access to while on the road, if you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks, or if you travel the globe and want your iPhone to think it's still in your home country (or a different country), a VPN will help you out. Here's how to configure a VPN on iPhone.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a service that creates a direct connection from your computer to another network. Some businesses have an internal intranet that can only be accessed while you are on-location. A VPN can create a secure connection by rerouting the connection to that location.
For personal usage, a VPN helps protect your identity and data and keep you safe from other online threats. If you want to stop advertisers profiling you across the web, regularly bank or shop online, or want to protect yourself when on public Wi-Fi networks, a VPN is for you.
Another common use for a VPN is to make your iPhone or iPad appear to be in a different geographical location. This is useful if you want to access regional services away from home or content that isn't available in your current country.
Before you start
You can use a VPN service on your iPhone or iPad with ease. First, you'll need to pick a provider and install its app. We recommend ExpressVPN as the best iPhone & iPad VPN as well as the best Mac VPN because it's easy to use, offers a fast, reliable connection, has great customer service, and it's affordable. With our special deal, you can save 49% on a one-year subscription and get three months of extra service for free.
You can also configure your VPN client manually. To set up your VPN client manually, you will need the setup information before you start, like the server, remote ID, username, and password. If you don't have this information, ask your system administrator or tech support for your company, or contact your VPN service for help.
How to configure a VPN on iPhone or iPad
The easiest way to set up a VPN client on your iPhone or iPad is through a provider like those listed above. Check out some of the best VPN deals, sign up for one of those great services, and install the relevant app on your iOS device. Please open it and sign in to your account.
After signing in, you'll be prompted to permit the app to add a VPN configuration to your iPhone. Tap Allow to have the VPN configured on your iPhone automatically.
You'll then be prompted to enter your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID to permit a change in your VPN settings. Enter your passcode, or activate Touch ID.
Once the VPN is enabled, you can select and connect it at any time without having to open the app again (use the app to change your location and adjust other settings).
- Launch Settings from your Home screen.
- Select VPN. If you have more than one, select the VPN client you want to use.
Toggle the Status switch on.
When you're done using the VPN, follow the instructions above to turn it off. Don't forget to turn it off, especially if you're on a free, limited plan.
How to manually configure a VPN on your iPhone or iPad
With your login information on-hand, you can manually configure a VPN client on your iPhone or iPad.
- Launch Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap VPN.
Choose Add VPN Configuration.
- Tap Type.
- Select your VPN type from IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP.
- If you change your mind, you can tap on Cancel in the upper left corner to go back.
- Enter the VPN settings information including description, server, and remote ID.
- Enter your authentication login, including your username (or certificate) and password.
- If you use a proxy, enable it by tapping Manual or Auto, depending on your preferences.
- Tap Done.
Under VPN Configurations, toggle the Status switch on.
Do you have any questions about how to configure a VPN on iPhone or iPad? Put them in the comments, and we'll help you out.
Updated March 2021: Includes current information.
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.
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