How to Set Up and Use a VPN on Your iPhone

How to Set Up and Use a VPN on Your iPhone

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These days, cybersecurity is something everyone needs to think about, not just governments and big corporations.

The good news is that you can use a few basic tools to defend yourself and become a less desirable target for hackers. Antivirus software can protect you against viruses and other types of malware. But antivirus programs usually only secure your physical devices. To create a secure connection and protect your internet activity, you’ll need a VPN to protect the information you send to and from your device.

Even Apple devices, which generally have fewer problems with malware, are not 100% safe. It is therefore important to set up a VPN on your iPhone if you want to prevent your personal information from being stolen.

A VPN is an important tool used to encrypt your internet connection and maintain your online privacy.

But VPNs are also useful for other tasks aside from protecting your internet traffic and data from prying eyes. You can use a VPN to unblock geo-restricted sites and streaming services, or use it to upload or download files securely.

Let’s see what a VPN is, how to find the VPN service that’s right for you, and how to set up a VPN on your iPhone.

Also: Which VPN Should You Use on iPhone and iPad, and Is There a Free Option?

What is a VPN and how does it work?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a tool that can be used to improve your security and privacy on the Internet. It works by creating an encrypted tunnel for your internet traffic and hiding information that could identify you, such as your IP address. This makes it harder for others to track your browsing habits or see your personal information.

A VPN service encrypts your data and routes it securely through a VPN server to its final destination. This gives you a level of security and anonymity because your ISP and the sites you access won’t be able to track you or determine your location.

Why do you need a VPN for your iPhone

A VPN can be used primarily to protect your sensitive data, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. If you regularly work in cafes or need to connect to free Wi-Fi networks at airports, you’ll need a good VPN to protect you while on the go.

Besides providing an extra level of security, VPNs are also essential tools for accessing geo-restricted content. In the most extreme cases, VPNs can be used to circumvent censorship imposed by authoritarian governments and maintain the free flow of information.

However, you’re more likely to want a VPN to unblock location-restricted streaming services or sporting events. VPNs are also popular for P2P file sharing or torrenting as they can hide your activity from your internet service provider.

Also: Using a VPN for torrenting is an obvious and legal gray area, so which is the best?

How to Choose a VPN Service

Not all VPNs are created equal. The level of features, usefulness, security and service varies widely from company to company. A good place to start is to understand why you want a VPN for your iPhone and test our services to see which best suits your needs and fits your budget. Most of the best VPNs have money back guarantee periods of 30 days or more.

There are free VPNs out there, but in most cases you’ll want to avoid these services. A free VPN will often have severe data or performance restrictions and fewer features than a paid service. And that’s the best case scenario. Free VPNs might make money by selling your data or bombarding you with ads. And even free services with good intentions may not have the resources to maintain high levels of security and service.

It’s a good idea to shop around, read reviews, and test out the features. To make sure you find a VPN that works for you, here are some factors to consider:

  • The rapidity: VPNs can slow down your connection a bit. You want to make sure you choose a VPN that offers good speed.

  • Waiter network: The more servers a VPN has, the more choices you have for routing your traffic.

  • User-friendly apps: Some VPN apps are feature-rich, while others are simple. Make sure you get an app that is easy to use and comes with all the options you want.

  • Security and trust: Some VPNs make money by selling ads or your data. It is important to trust your VPN provider. Read the terms of service and look for independent company audits that verify that the VPN provides the level of security it claims to have.

  • Device compatibility: If you have more than one device, you will need a VPN that can be installed on each of them.

  • Money back guarantee: Make sure you have a VPN that offers a money back guarantee. If you don’t like the service, you can easily cancel your subscription within the given time.

Also: Best VPN Comparison: Plus, Should You Try a Free VPN?

How to Set Up and Use a VPN on Your iPhone

Setting up and using a VPN on an iPhone or other iOS device is usually a quick and easy process. The following steps show how to set up a VPN with the NordVPN app, but you’ll follow very similar steps to set up just about any VPN on your iPhone.

Open the App Store and find the VPN you want to use, then select Install.

Download NordVPN from the iOS App Store


Open the VPN app and log in to your account.

If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one.

I suggest finding the best deal for the VPN service you want before creating your account. Sometimes prices or subscription plan options change depending on whether you sign up via mobile or desktop. I’ve found that the cheapest long-term plans aren’t always available when you sign up through the mobile app.

Also: VPN deals that actually save you money

NordVPN iPhone Account Login Page


Whether or not to allow app notifications. Your VPN should now be ready to connect and protect your iPhone connection.

NordVPN iPhone App Notifications Page


Finalize your setup by allowing the app to add VPN configurations.

Setting Up NordVPN VPN Setup for iPhone


You can search through a list of NordVPN server locations or choose a location from a map view. Once you find the location of the server you want to connect to, just tap on the location or press the Quick Connect button.

NordVPN iOS app showing server locations


Once connected, you will see Pause and Disconnect buttons for location. If you want to change your VPN protocol or other VPN settings, you may need to disable the VPN connection. Then you can establish a new encrypted connection with one of the other VPN protocols available to you.

NordVPN connected to a service in France on the iPhone application


Also: What are the cheapest VPNs that still work and protect your data?

How to Manually Set Up a VPN and iOS Devices

Installing a VPN provider’s native iOS app is the easiest way to get a VPN working without having to go into iPhone settings. However, in rare cases you may need to manually configure a VPN, such as when you are running an older version of an operating system that is not supported by your VPN’s native application.

A manual setup is more complicated and once set up you won’t usually have access to the features available with a VPN app – even changing the server you’re connected to isn’t easy. So unless you’re tech-savvy, you’re better off using a VPN with native app support for your operating system.

If you need to manually configure your VPN, you should be able to find detailed guides for the specific VPN and operating system you are working with. Here are some VPN setup guides for multiple protocols with a handful of the best VPN providers:

Also: The Fastest VPNs: We Found Shocking Results

At the end of the line

If you are looking to secure your iPhone internet data and keep your information private, you should consider installing a VPN on your iPhone. A VPN can also hide your location and unblock geo-restricted content, which also makes them useful tools for streaming and P2P file sharing.

Most VPNs give you a month or more to try out the service and receive a full refund if you’re not satisfied. So it’s easy to try out a VPN and see if it’s right for you. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of the best VPNs for iOS devices.

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