What Is VPN on iPhone?

vpn on iphone

What Is VPN on iPhone?

A Virtual Private Network is an online privacy tool that conceals your geolocation by establishing an encrypted tunnel from your local network to a VPN provider server. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns an Internet Protocol (IP) address to your modem or router when you purchase an internet plan. That IP address facilitates communication with the rest of the internet. 

Online businesses keep IP addresses for data analysis. Scammers, on the other hand, can use these IP addresses to follow your online activities, steal your details and single you out for scams. A VPN safeguards your personal information by encrypting your data.

Additionally, a VPN reroutes your internet traffic using a server with a different IP address from your own. This way, nobody can link your internet activities to you.

Using a VPN on your iPhone to protect your data is a good idea, especially if you manage your finances or conduct business online using your mobile device. Although the closed development operating system on Apple devices makes it more difficult for hackers to access systems and create exploits, getting a reliable VPN for your iPhone is still advisable.

VPN Settings for Apple Devices

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max
On your Apple device, you can use the VPN payload to enter the VPN settings for connecting to your network.

©Ben Harding/Shutterstock.com

You can set up VPN settings for an iPhone and other Apple devices registered with an MDM (mobile device management) program. Enter the VPN configurations for linking to your network using the VPN payload

Users cannot change the settings you give in the configuration profile. A configuration profile is the only way to configure some VPN settings, such as 802.1X parameters. Some VPN configurations also require a certificate and the matching private key, known as the identity.

Benefits of Having a VPN on your iPhone

Let’s look at some of the benefits of using a VPN on an iPhone.

1. VPNs Protect your Online Activities

A VPN employs bank-grade encryption to conceal your personal information from advertisers, cybercriminals, and scammers. This allows you to conduct business online without fear of identity theft, even when using public Wi-Fi networks.

2. VPNs Ensure you Browse Privately

A VPN keeps your browsing anonymous. It also safeguards your physical location, credit card, and banking information while you browse the internet, thanks to the IP address masking feature.

3. You Can Use VPN to Remotely Access Company Intranet Securely

An intranet is an internal network that is part of an organization and is used to distribute data and computing resources among staff members. Using VPNs, businesses utilize intranets to give employees easy and secure access to company tools and enhance communication. Intranets can also store essential internal-only materials. 

Setting up a VPN on your iPhone

Now that you know the benefits of having a VPN even on your iPhone, follow these steps to set up one:

Step 1: Install VPN Provider App

Open the Apple app store on your iPhone and locate your preferred VPN App. Tap Get and Install to install the App. 

Step 2: Create a Profile

After installing the App, launch the VPN app and sign up with the VPN provider.

Step 3: Connect your iPhone to the VPN

After creating your account, you’ll need to enter your passcode to customize the VPN settings on your phone and enable the VPN. The VPN settings are on the settings of your iPhone.

Manually Setting VPN on your iPhone

You might have noticed the VPN option on your iPhone’s settings. It’s not a built-in VPN but a feature you can use to configure a VPN manually. Here’s how you manually set up a VPN. 

  1. Go to “settings” on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Tap “VPN and Device Management.”
  4. Select “VPN.”
  5. Tap “Add VPN Configuration.”
  6. Select Type and pick the VPN protocol you intend to use, either IPSec, IKEv2, or L2TP.
  7. Enter your login information.
  8. Enable your proxy server by selecting “Manual” or “Auto.”
  9. Tap “Done.”

Using the VPN on your iPhone

After enabling the VPN on your iPhone settings, you can activate and deactivate the VPN at will. To activate your VPN, do the following.

  1. Go to “Settings” on your iPhone.”
  2. Select “General.”
  3. Select “VPN.”
  4. Tap Status, then turn the VPN on.

Factors to Consider when Picking a VPN Provider for your iPhone

Most VPNs are compatible with iOS, so you should not worry about that. Other factors worth considering when choosing a VPN provider include the following;

How Often You Travel

A VPN will enable you to surf with a local IP address while you travel, study, or work overseas. This is particularly helpful if you’re visiting a nation with strict censorship and limitations. Some VPNs have features that enable you to access your devices remotely, for example, your home computer. Consider getting a VPN with servers in the countries you intend to visit.

Whether You Use Public Networks

Free Wi-Fi hotspots are practically everywhere; in libraries, shopping centers, coffee shops, and even airports. When you use a public Wi-Fi network, you compromise the security of your iPhone. 

These networks typically have no encryption and are entirely unprotected. Anyone who connects to them without a reliable VPN is vulnerable to hacking. Your credit card information, passwords, and other confidential information could get into the hands of fraudsters if you are not careful. 

Intended Use of the VPN

If, for instance, you want to use the VPN for streaming movies and playing games on your iPhone, you need a VPN with a lot of bandwidth and good speed. VPN protocols also matter. The most widely used protocol is the open VPN. Some VPN vendors allow you to use more than one protocol.

Ease of Use

Some VPNs include practical features such as virtual setup and user-friendly interfaces. Some vendors will even offer free trials, so you can try the VPN before you buy it. Also, consider a VPN provider with dependable support staff to assist you whenever you encounter issues.

To prevent your VPN from draining your battery, turn it off anytime you’re not using it. This is crucial specifically to those using limited plans from their providers.

How to Check if the VPN on your iPhone is Working

Before engaging in your internet activities after installing a VPN, it’s advisable to test it. Let’s look at the best way to test your iPhone’s VPN.

Step 1

Turn off the VPN on your iPhone.

Step 2

Go to your browser and type “What is my IP address” and note down your address.

Step 3

Navigate to settings on your iPhone and turn on your VPN.

Step 4

Check the IP address on your VPN and compare it with the previous one. If it’s the same, then your VPN is not working. You can proceed with your internet activities in the encrypted Chanel if it shows a different IP address. 

Best Free VPNs for iPhone

There are many free VPNs on the Apple App Store. However, not all have good features. Let’s look at the top three in terms of features and safety.


vpn on iphone
NordVPN has a large and diverse collection of servers.


Nord VPN stands out as the best free VPN for iPhones. Its IOS app is simple and user-friendly. It has over 5,500 servers spread across 60 locations from a list on your iPhone. 

Nord VPN is relatively easy to use. The primary window allows you to connect and access additional features and dedicated tabs. The new version has a widget that lets you connect and disconnect.

Atlas VPN

vpn on iphone
Atlas VPN has essential features like a no-logs policy and AES encryption.


Atlas is another reliable free VPN personalized for iOS. The VPN employs AES 256-bit encryption, which ensures data privacy. The downside is you have to navigate through locales to see which ones are free, which is a little unsettling. A free package includes 5 GB of data as well.


vpn on iphone
Surfshark offers a data leak detection system and a private search tool.

©David Esser/Shutterstock.com

Surfshark is also another free top VPN for iPhones. The user-friendly App lets you choose from more than 3200 servers spread in over 60 locations. It also comes with unlimited concurrent connections, allowing your family to use it on their iPhones.

Surfshark has a tonne of functionality. For instance, it has a kill switch that blocks all internet traffic when your VPN connection fails. Additionally, it has WireGuard support, allowing you to benefit from swift speeds and a solid connection.


Some privacy skeptics assert that they aren’t concerned about being watched online because they don’t engage in illegal or embarrassing online escapades. Such people need to be made aware that ISPs can keep track of the websites they visit. 

These skeptics also need to remember that online platforms gather information about people and sell it to businesses, so they can use it to display relevant adverts to them. Not to mention fraudsters, who can target you and your loved ones with personalized phishing attacks using your data.

Choosing the right VPN service provider for your iPhone ensures nobody tracks your online activity. You can download a VPN to your iPhone and set up a safe link between your iPhone and the internet without prior technical knowledge. Get a VPN that suits your needs and install it on your iPhone for peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need to use a VPN on an iPhone?

It’s imperative to use a VPN when connecting to the internet. iPhones only have built-in encryption for the data your device transmits to Apple’s servers.

Do iPhones have pre-installed VPNs?

No, VPNs are not pre-installed on iPhones. The built-in VPN software for iPhones only enables you to link to a VPN server, but you must know the specifics.

How reliable are free VPNs for iPhones?

It depends on your needs. Most free VPNs only have basic features, and some can’t bypass geo-restrictions. Free VPNs should serve as short-term solutions.

How can I check if my iPhone has a VPN?

You can check by scrolling through installed apps or checking your configuration profiles in settings.

What extra features do premium VPNs offer?

Premium VPNs offer you unlimited features, browsing safety, and reassurance that your identity is protected.

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