How to set up a VPN on iPhone [August 2020]
If you use coffee shop Wi-Fi regularly or other public Wi-Fi networks, it is necessary to use a VPN on your devices. A VPN provides a layer of security that can prevent your traffic from prying eyes and help prevent you from falling prey to the many threats found in wireless networks in our cities. And while many think VPNs are apps designed for your laptop, your iPhone originally supports most VPN technologies, including L2TP, PPTP, and ISec. In fact, most VPNs have apps available directly on the App Store, which means you can either set things up manually or use an automatic switch with the app. Let’s take a look at how VPNs work on your phone.
Do I need a VPN on my iPhone?
As free Wi-Fi has become popular in bars, cafes, malls, and other public places, we’ve all benefited from free access to the web on the go. Most Wi-Fi networks are not secure and open, which means you don’t have to log into them to access the internet. Unfortunately, this presents a great opportunity for hackers.
A common hacking method is referred to as “man in the middle”. This is where a hacker sits somewhere in the network with a laptop and pretends to be the wireless node. So when you go into the network and connect to Wi-Fi, what you’re actually doing is connecting to the hacker’s laptop and then to Wi-Fi. You can access the internet as normal but all your traffic flows through your laptop.
If you log into your email, check your bank account, or search anything that includes personal data, a hacker can capture it and use it for their own gain. Some Wi-Fi hacks have also introduced malware or set a popup pretending to be the network asking you to confirm access and then download a virus.
Obviously, not every Wi-Fi network is hacked or contains any threat – in fact, oftentimes, it is secure. The problem is that you don’t know which network is secure or not until it’s too late. This is why a VPN is so important. In the above scenario, if you are using a VPN on your iPhone, all the traffic that is sent through their laptop will be encrypted. So they will see that you are using the network but will not be able to understand what you are doing. This is a basic layer of protection and should become automatic when you connect to any network that is not yours.
How do I create a VPN connection?
To use a VPN, you need a VPN provider. You can then use their app or manually configure the VPN. I’ll show you how to do both.
Use a VPN app
The easiest way to set up a VPN on iPhone is to use the provider’s app. Most of the quality VPN vendors provide Android and iOS apps for you to use.
- Download and install the app from your provider.
- Open the app and use the login details provided by the VPN provider.
- Select an option similar to “Set up VPN”
- Allow the app to use Touch ID or a PIN if requested.
- Allow the app to add VPN configurations if requested.
- Tap the Play icon or Start within the app to connect to the VPN.
- Tap it again to disconnect from the VPN.
As you can imagine, there are dozens of VPN service providers that all do things a little differently. The above is a rough outline of how two of the most popular providers can set up their apps and connect to a VPN.
Manually set up VPN on iPhone
Setting up a manual connection is also very easy.
- Select Settings from the iPhone home screen.
- Choose general.
- Choose VPN And Add VPN Configuration.
- Choose Type. Add the type of connection your VPN vendor provides.
- Enter the server details.
- Add your login and password and select Done.
- Toggle the status on the VPN page to On to use the VPN.
- Toggle it off to stop using it.
Once set up, you can quickly turn the VPN on and off by accessing the first VPN screen and using the status toggle.
What is the best VPN app for iPhone?
With unlimited options for using a VPN on your iPhone, it can actually be difficult to choose the right one for you. Fortunately, if you’re trying to figure out which VPN to start using on your device, we’ve got you covered.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs you can buy today, with a number of amazing features that make it worth choosing from anyone new to VPNs. ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that makes it easy to connect to Netflix through other countries, which can expand your streaming library endlessly. It also features multiple servers, lots of security, and an easy-to-use app for all your devices.
ExpressVPN typically runs users $9.99 per month, but TechJunkie readers can save 49 percent when they sign up today.
PureVPN is another popular provider that has an iOS app. It also has a good number of destination servers, a set of security protocol options, good encryption, and reliable service. PureVPN also offers VoIP compatibility, so you can use Skype or another voice app over a VPN for an extra layer of security.
There are a range of plans starting at $5 per month so you can adjust your service to exactly what you need. Download the app from iTunes.
Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access VPN is another provider that has a slightly smaller impact than the previous two. The company, which operates in the US, offers fast, no-logging throughput and a range of destination servers across the globe. It also provides a set of protocols, up to 256-bit encryption and iHow to set up a VPN on iPhone
Plans start at around $7 per month which include up to five connections at a time. Download the app from iTunes.
What about free VPNs?
In general, we advise anyone looking to use a VPN to make their connection secure to make sure they are using a paid VPN, not a free option. While some VPNs – most notably TunnelBear – have a free tier, any VPN that promises full VPN capabilities without a backed payment plan will likely sell your data to recover costs. For some people, this may not be important, since some VPNs are only used in the country and nothing else. Others will want to think about the ramifications of selling their data, especially if you forgot to turn off the VPN to begin with.
These are just three of the many VPN services that will work on your iPhone. All of them offer a reliable level of service and good security. If you regularly use open Wi-Fi networks, then using a VPN is not an option, it is a necessity. For as little as a cup of coffee, you can provide strong security for your devices that keep you safe online. why not?