How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone 2021

Have you ever had intrusive ads on your iPhone that just happened to pop up as and when you were having a conversation regarding that product? Scary right? Now, In a world where we are increasingly social on the internet, our privacy is more or less compromised. However, there are ways to protect yourself. For example, VPN’s. Check out our guide on How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone.

For better or worse, the internet is the current method of communication and we can;r do anything about it. This was evident last year when the Virus was wreaking havoc and we had to stay home. All this raises the concern of if we are safe on the internet, if our information is only ours and if we are spied by big companies.

And the answer is we are not and even if we were it is better to be safe than sorry. And to be safe on the internet, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are an important and excellent tool to use. A VPN directly connects your device to a network. Here’s our guide on How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone.

After going through various official documents from Apple and reffering to various industry sources; My team and I found out that:

There are essentially two ways to access VPN on an iPhone. The user can either download a third-party VPN from the App Store and install it or they can avail the in-built VPN by manually following the various protocols.

How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone

VPNs can change the location of your IP address and make it seem as though you are in a different place. This is helpful when you are using public WIFI. You can use a VPN to look as though you are browsing from a different location so that you won’t be seen using the public network.  

  • You can access a business’ network if they have an internal intranet set up. This helps you to work when away from the site. It’s useful if the business has many travelling employees. You can work when you are on a business trip by letting you access your company’s intranet.
  • You can also use VPN to access geo-restricted content. For example, if a show is not available to stream in your country, VPN can help you here. It can make you look like you are browsing from a different country where the show can be streamed. This allows you to watch the show from your home. 

VPN hides the IP address of your iPhone so that you can browse the internet anonymously. This helps with privacy. It also hides or relocates where you are accessing the internet from. This helps in not being able to trace you or your network.   

VPN on iPhone 

iPhone offers some of the finest VPN services that connect using L2TP, PPTP AND IPsec connection protocols. Using a VPN on your iPhone provides advantages like 

  • You can browse the internet safe, secure and privately without prying eyes on you.  
  • It can mask your current location so that you are safe from trackers.
  • It will keep your information safe when on an insecure public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • You can access restricted videos/websites that are blocked in your region.

How to use VPN on your iPhone 

You can set up VPN by two methods, using a VPN provider app or you can manually configure the server details on your iPhone in the settings app. 

Using a VPN app 

This is the easier and more straight forward way of using a VPN. You can choose a reputable VPN service provider and download their app on your iPhone. Most apps are straight forward, you can just toggle on the VPN as soon as you open the app for instant safe and secure internet access.  

Apps like TunnelBear, ExpressVPN, NordVPN all are great services with paid and free plans. I would recommend using the paid services because of the lack of advanced controls, ads, data caps and slower speeds.

Good VPN apps also allow you to select the region you want to connect to allow you to access restricted content. VPN Apps also allow you to use their service multiple devices, like you iPhone, iPad, Mac and etc., helping with convenience and ease of use. 

  • Search and install the VPN service app you want to use from the App Store. 
  • Open the VPN service app you installed. 
  • It will request you to sign up if you are a new user or you could just log in. 
  • There will be a passcode or Touch ID or Face ID prompt to give permission for the app to configure your VPN settings. 
  • You can select the servers you want to connect or connect to the default or fastest server the app offers. You are now safe to browse the internet through your own Virtual Private Network. 
  • To know that you are connected, a VPN icon will appear on the notification bar.  

VPN apps provide some extra nifty features too, a kill switch is one, which lets you disconnect your apps from the if VPN gets disconnected. This ensures that your IP address or location is never exposed, even for a second.

There are other features like auto-connect which lets you connect to through a VPN whenever you are on the internet. Free VPNs won’t have these features and they will always have a performance penalty, which is why a paid service is recommended.  

Remember to turn off the VPN whenever you are not connected to the internet or don’t want to use it. This helps to save some of your device battery life. Also, a poor VPN connection can increase internet latency and usage. It is also better to turn off when not needed or if you are on a limited, free VPN plan. 

Manually configuring VPN for iPhone

Manually configuring VPN on your iPhone can give you control to more settings and servers than using an app. You can tweak the servers and connection protocol to your needs and requirements.

I recommend this if you are ae more tech-savvy and need fin control over your VPN connection. You can set a personal VPN on your iPhone by configuring the server details and setting to your liking. You need technical details for the VPN server.

These include VPN connection protocol type, server details, proxy settings and certificates. I will go through the step-by-step process of configuring a VPN in an iPhone. Read on:

  • You need to open the Settings app on your iPhone first and select the ‘General’ option in it. 
  • Once inside ‘General’, tap on the VPN option. 
  • Now, Tap on Add VPN configuration… 
  • Now you have to choose the type of VPN protocol you want to use. These include IKEv2, IPsec, or L2TP. After choosing the one you want to use, tap back to go to the previous screen. 
  • You need to fill in the server details now. This depends on the tunnel protocol you choose before. You will have to enter Description, Server, Remote ID, Local ID, Account, Password and Secret depending on the protocol you chose. The Description box is the name of the VPN service you are using; Server is either the domain name or the IP address. The remote ID is a hostname and Local ID is mostly left empty. 
  • If you need, you can configure proxy details at the bottom. You can specify the server, port and authentication settings. To enter a URL, use Auto. 
  • Tap Done when you have configured the settings to your needs.
  • To use this VPN, open the Settings App, got to General and then into VPN, here you see a Status toggle switch. Turn this on to use the VPN you configured. 
  • If you have multiple configurations set up, you’ll have to choose the open you want to use. But if you have set up only one VPN, it will be chosen by default. 

You can use this VPN whenever you want by opening the Settings app and navigating to VPN which is under other network connections types. You can change to different configurations depending on your need, using the above steps. If the connection is secure, a VPN indicator appears on your notification bar near icons like Wi-Fi, mobile carrier.

How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone – Final thoughts

VPN is a useful tool for your iPhone if you are always on the internet. It makes your connection safe and secure by hiding your information off the internet.

It helps with accessing restricted content on your iPhone. This is because your government or some big company decides what you can and cannot watch and you don’t have to put up with it.

And these benefits come at a small cost or in some cases free. Manually configuring VPN on you iPhone can give you greater control over servers. If you are not tech-savvy, VPN apps provide excellent service and great features to keep your privacy private and not public. Check out our guide on How to Configure VPN Access on Your iPhone for all the details.

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