How to setup a VPN on your iPhone or iPad
Are you looking for a way to stay protected on the Internet? Or maybe you want to access content that has been blocked? You’ve probably heard about the benefits of owning a Virtual Private Network by now. A VPN has become a popular solution for all sorts of problems concerning your online experience. However, for beginners, mastering this software requires time. And each device has its own way of connecting to a VPN.
So, if you happen to be an iPhone or iPad owner who has difficulties in configuring a VPN connection on these devices, you’ve come to the right place.
With an estimated number of around 700 million users worldwide, Apple is the main growth driver for the smartphone market. The company is pushing the boundaries of this technology, which resulted in Apple becoming the second highest smartphone vendor in the World. And the fuss behind these gadgets is completely justified. They have many great features, even when it comes to security. The more modern versions of iPhones and iPads have excellent VPN support. Even if you are a beginner, adjusting to this private network won’t take much time, nor effort.
But before going into the more technical stuff, let me first explain what a Virtual Private Network really stands for.
A Short Summary of Virtual Private Networks
The simplest explanation when it comes to a VPN is that this network serves as a thick layer of protection on the Internet. However, the technology behind it is very advanced and complex.
A VPN works in a way where it encrypts your Internet traffic. It creates a safe tunnel between you and the VPN’s servers. These providers offer servers in locations all around the world. Some offer less, others more. The bottom line, no matter the number, these servers play a crucial role in the overall performance of the network. You connect to one of them and they make the requests in your name, allowing you to bypass even the strongest Geo-restrictions on the Internet.
For example, if you want to download Spotify outside the US, you connect to a US server. The request to access Spotify goes to the server, and from there to the app that you want to use. Then, Spotify sees your request as if it was coming from within the US, while your IP address is successfully masked by the VPN provider. And not just this, but all of your traffic will be encrypted, keeping you safe from any kind of surveillance, especially from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Configuring a VPN on your iPhone or iPad device
Apple makes it easy for users to setup a VPN. Their excellent VPN support simplifies the process of configuring a VPN client that offers PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and Cisco IPSec protocols because they are already integrated into the software. However, if you want to connect to a more secure server, such as the OpenVPN protocol, you will have to use third-party apps.
Before we start, you need to know that there are two ways of configuring a VPN – manually and by downloading a third-party app.
Not all providers offer these apps. However, even if you find one that does, the best thing is to rethink whether you really want to use it. Downloading a third-party client weakens the benefits of owning a Virtual Private Network, as it can store additional information about you and your online activity. However, if you decide to use an app, you just have to install it on your iOS device and open it. It will require your account details, or a username and password. After signing up, you will have to give permission to add a VPN configuration on your phone and after clicking “allow”, which the VPN will do automatically. After finishing up, you will have to enter your passcode or Touch ID to give permission to change the VPN settings.
The second way is more complicated, but by doing this you will avoid unnecessary third-party apps.
First of all, you will need all of your setup information. This includes the server, remote ID, username, and password. After subscribing to a VPN you will have all of this information, however, if you are having problems, simply ask the VPN tech support for help.
- The first thing you need to do is launch Settings on your home screen and tap General then VPN > Add VPN Configuration.
- After doing this, click on the Type section. It will give you the option to choose between IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP protocols.
- When you’ve finished choosing your VPN type, the next thing you have to do is to tap Add Configuration in the upper left corner.
- It will bring you back to the previous screen where you now have to enter your VPN information (description, servers, and remote ID). If you are having problems regarding this information, contact your VPN’s service provider.
- Before finishing up, the most important part is to enter your authentication credentials, including your username (or certificate) and password.
- Tap "done", and you are almost ready to go. The VPN connection will appear in your Settings, and you can see whether it’s on or off.
When disabling it, just go to Settings > VPN, and simply switch it off.
Before iOS 8, iPhones and iPads automatically disabled the VPN connections when the device was in sleep mode. Now, even if your screen is turned off, your device will be connected to the VPN, which is a great improvement.
If this helped you in successfully setting up a VPN on your iOS device, it means that you are now protected on the device you probably use the most. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, the VPN will keep your information safe from prying eyes. And, above all, all of the content that was unavailable before will now be within your reach.