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What does a VPN do on an iPhone?

What does a VPN do on an iPhone?


Most iOS users mistakenly believe that their Apple devices are immune to cyberattacks, malware, and viruses. But this is far from the truth.

While iPhones are among the most secure of the devices, no device is 100% protected from hackers. If you use your iPhone to connect to public Wi-Fi networks, you are exposing yourself to cyber attacks.

A VPN is an extra layer of security, protecting your iPhone from cyber threats. In addition, it can help you access a wide range of streaming options that are not available in your country.

Let’s take a look at what exactly a VPN is and how it can protect your iPhone.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) gives you safety and security while connected to the Internet. It makes what you do online untraceable and invisible to your ISP.

Your VPN service can hide your IP address, which ISPs use as an identifier. It does this by forwarding all of your internet traffic through VPN servers. You will receive an IP address owned by the VPN shared by other users, so it is almost impossible for someone to trace it back to you.

Your VPN also encrypts your traffic. This prevents your ISP and online hackers from seeing what you’re doing online, including the websites you visit and what you download.

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, but not all of them work as well as you would hope. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN come with security features like Dual VPN. They also have no-logs policies, which keep everything you do online private.

On the contrary, free VPNs do almost nothing to keep you safe on the Internet. Instead, they tend to slow down internet speeds and are incompatible with IP masking.

Why do I need a VPN on my iPhone?

While VPNs are most commonly associated with computers, most VPNs also have native apps for iOS and Android.

Let’s take a look at why you might want to use a VPN for your iPhone.

1. Hide your browsing activity on public Wi-Fi

The Federal Trade Commission recommends using a VPN when connected to public Wi-Fi. This includes when you use your mobile device.

These Wi-Fi hotspots — typically found in coffee shops, schools, hotels, libraries, and airports — are convenient, but not secure. It’s easy for hackers to see everything you’re doing when you connect with one of them.

It is easy for hackers to get into your iPhone and steal your photos, contacts, and even your passwords. Hacking tools are freely available online. Unfortunately, it is very easy to obtain, so it is best to take every possible precaution.

Connecting to public Wi-Fi also requires signing a digital certificate that companies use to ensure your traffic isn’t infected with malware. However, this requires you to provide them with your traffic information.

When you connect to public Wi-Fi with a VPN, your traffic is routed through an encrypted VPN tunnel. This prevents prying eyes from accessing your device and personal files.

If your VPN has a kill switch, it will automatically disconnect from your Wi-Fi if your VPN connection drops.

2. Access to geo-restricted content

The number one reason why people use a VPN on their iPhone is to access geo-restricted content. 57% of mobile users use VPNs to access better TV shows, movies, and games, compared to 54% of PC or laptop users.

Many streaming services only operate in a specific country. Hulu, for example, is only available in the United States. So if you want to access their content, you either have to be in the US or make the service think you are.

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It’s easy to make your IP address appear as if it’s from another country when using a VPN.

Simply connect to one of the VPN servers in the country of your choice, and an IP address will be assigned from that country. You should then be able to unblock whatever you want to watch, depending on which VPN you choose.

Make sure to use a quality VPN provider for streaming. Unfortunately, some VPNs can’t unblock Netflix, HBO Max, and other streaming services, while others are too slow to stream at all. The streaming services don’t want to fool them, so they have rolled out VPN discovery software to block access to anyone connected to the VPN server. However, some VPN providers have found ways around this.

A VPN like NordVPN (or any of our best VPNs) will have no problem bypassing any geo-blocking you throw at it. In addition, it slightly affects your internet speeds, so you should not suffer from excessive buffering.

3. Remotely connect to your home or office network

Many companies use VPNs to give employees access to files on the office network while they are at home on both mobile devices and computers. This is more prevalent today, with more people working from home than ever before.

You’ll need to install VPN Gateway in your office for this to work, so little investment is needed. However, once you set it up, it requires very little maintenance, and your employees can easily do their jobs from home.

For a similar setup at home, you can use a mobile application that allows you to remotely access your home computer while on the go. This allows you to use the full functionality of your computer from your phone.

How do I install a VPN on my iPhone?

Installing a VPN like ExpressVPN on your iPhone is easy.

First, make sure you have an ExpressVPN subscription. There are many different plans available, including monthly and yearly subscriptions. You also get access to a 30-day money-back guarantee when you sign up for an annual plan.

After choosing your plan, head over to the App Store on your iPhone and search for the ExpressVPN app.

Install it on your iPhone, and you will be asked to sign in. Once inside, you will be taken to a screen with a large power button. For a fast connection to the fastest VPN server available, simply click on this button, and you will be protected.

To choose a specific server, just find the country you want in the list and connect.

ExpressVPN and other service providers make it very easy to use.

What are the best VPNs for iPhone?

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our top choice for iPhone VPN. It has an excellent iOS app that also works on iPad and Mac computers.

It is one of the fastest VPN out there, it hardly affects the speed of your internet connection and sometimes makes it faster. This is because it uses more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries.

For streaming, there is no better option, as it can unblock almost every streaming service. It can even give users access to multiple Netflix libraries.

There is a strict no-logs policy, which means ExpressVPN does not log any data related to your browsing history and traffic. The provider is also located in the British Virgin Islands, a place subject to strict privacy laws. As such, ExpressVPN makes it impossible for governments or third parties to access your data.

For more information, check out our full ExpressVPN review.

ExpressVPN is a highly recommended premium VPN with super fast speeds and some of the best security features on the market. It’s also capable of unblocking every streaming service and is packed with features like MediaStreamer, allowing you to watch streaming services on any device.

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2. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access has more than 35,000 servers in 74 countries. It also gives users 10 simultaneous device connections, making it ideal for large households that require multiple connections.

In our tests, PIA was able to unblock content in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. However, countries in Europe and Asia have been hit or miss, giving us consistent unblocking and varying speeds.

PIA is an excellent VPN for iOS. It connected instantly to the servers, and we experienced no connections during our tests.

One caveat is that the app does not support PIA’s MACE feature, which is a built-in ad blocker.

But when it comes to privacy, PIA shines through. Its strict no-logs policy is on par with competitors, and it has passed every DNS leak test we ran.

For more information, check out our full PIA review.

PIA has a huge number of servers, which means that you will never deal with crowded servers as there are always other options. It’s as secure as other VPNs, and the iOS app is fast and easy to navigate.

3. NordVPN

Although NordVPN is a premium VPN, it can be quite expensive, especially for the renewal prices.

However, its powerful security features make it worth the cost. For example, its iOS app uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which is nearly impossible to decrypt.

CyberSec, which blocks ads, malware, spyware, and trackers, is available on iOS devices across the board.

There are more than 5,000 servers in 58 countries around the world, and every server we tested was able to bypass regional geoblocks. But we found that switching between servers on the iPhone app, especially remote servers, took a while to connect.

Two additional security features supported by NordVPN are DoubleVPN and Perfect Forward Secrecy.

DoubleVPN routes your traffic twice, which means you get double protection. Perfect Forward Secrecy assigns a unique secret key to your device that changes regularly. If someone somehow gains access to your device, they will be blocked once the key is changed.

For more information, check out our full NordVPN review.

NordVPN is a premium VPN that has a higher price than some of the others on this list. However, the iOS app is secure, with military-grade encryption. It also has a CyberSec feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware, keeping your phone safe.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN that has managed to become one of the most popular, and for good reason.

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It offers some great discounts for new subscribers, primarily for long-term plans. It’s currently available at an 81% discount when you purchase a 24-month subscription, at the low price of $2.49 per month.

Surfshark’s industry-leading unlimited simultaneous device connections make it one of the best.

And when it comes to speed, Surfshark does not disappoint. In our tests, we only lost 10Mbps when connected to the VPN. However, speeds varied based on the server.

Surfshark has unblocked almost every streaming service we’ve tried. I had some problems unblocking European streaming services, but apart from that, it performed well.

For more information, check out our full Surfshark review.

SurfShark has an unlimited device simultaneous connections policy. If you have a large family or are just a premium user, this combined with the low price makes it a great deal.

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another highly rated VPN client that supports your iOS device.

It has an industry-leading 45-day money-back guarantee when you sign up for an annual plan. If you sign up for a three-year plan, you can get a VPN for $2.25 per month.

Aside from that, most of their offerings are comparable to other VPNs on this list, including military-grade encryption.

When we tested the iOS app, we found that it worked fine but it lost a lot of features available for the desktop. Split tunneling and ad blocking are two things that have been stripped from the iOS app.

However, it does have an automatic kill switch, which is useful when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

For more information, check out our full CyberGhost review.

CyberGhost is an excellent VPN, with an industry-leading 45-day money-back guarantee. It’s another affordable option with a great iOS app, although it misses some features like ad blocking. However, it is a great option for streaming.

Choosing the Best VPN for iPhone

Most people can benefit from having a VPN on their iPhone. Even if you don’t need to unblock streaming services, you probably connect to public Wi-Fi networks at least occasionally. And when you do, you need protection.

We recommend ExpressVPN, as it is extremely fast, secure, and easy to use. However, we’ve reviewed quite a few of the leading VPNs in the field, and any of them…

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