Vpn iPhone setup. How Do I Install a VPN on an iPhone? iPhone VPN settings configuration

How Do I Install a VPN on an iPhone? iPhone VPN settings configuration

Some methods of setting up a VPN on iOS can be incredibly easy, while others require a bit of know-how. The best iPhone VPN services have applications that can be downloaded and installed just like any other app. However, providers that don’t offer an all-in-one app must be set up manually using OpenVPN Connect or instructions outlined by your service. This guide will walk you through all three methods so that you can install your chosen VPN onto your iPhone without trouble.

How to set up a VPN on iPhone using a VPN app?

Installing the official app for your VPN provider from the App Store is the easiest (and best) way to install a VPN. All the iPhone VPNs we recommend have a custom app, which means that you can follow this part of the guide and be done within a matter of minutes.

  • Choose a VPN from our best VPN for iPhones article.
  • Click through to the VPN’s website and subscribe. In this example, we used ExpressVPN.
  • Sign in to your VPNs website using the email and password you chose during sign up.
  • Download the iPhone VPN software by selecting it in the menu. ExpressVPN lets you install it via the App Store or via an email. Select the App Store (unless you can’t access the store for some reason.
  • Download the VPN from App Store and install it.
  • Run the software and log in using your email address and password.
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • Allow the VPN app to install VPN configurations onto your iPhone by clicking Allow. You will need to use your Touch ID to confirm.
  • Finally, head into the VPN’s settings and choose your preferred VPN encryption protocol. At ProPrivacy we recommend OpenVPN. On the ExpressVPN app, users can opt between OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP. We recommend UDP for faster speeds. However, if you experience problems you have the option to leave it on Automatic.
  • Your iOS VPN is now set up and all you need to do is select a server and click ‘Connect.’ Remember that while your VPN app may look slightly different, the steps will be identical, and this guide will help you no matter which VPN you need to install.

How to configure an iPhone VPN manually?

If you happen to have subscribed to a VPN provider that does not have its own iOS software, you will need to install the VPN manually. Below we have provided details for installing a VPN using L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2. These are the two most common manual setups that consumers require on iPhones and iPads. The guide to setting up OpenVPN is further down.

How to set up an L2TP connection on iPhone manually?

To set up your VPN manually, you will first need to obtain a few things from your VPN provider. To set up a VPN using L2TP, you will require your login credentials and password, the server address for the VPN server you want to connect to, and a secret password. You can get these from your VPN provider, so ask!

Now that you have what you need, you are ready to set up the manual connection:

  • Open your iOS device and navigate to: Settings General VPN Add VPN configuration Setup VPN configuration
  • Select L2TP in the top of the menu and then enter the following settings:
  • Description: Enter any description (for example: My VPN).
  • Server: Type the desired VPN server address.
  • Account: Type your username.
  • RSA SecurID: Make sure this is toggled to off.
  • Password: Type your password.
  • Secret: You must obtain this from your VPN provider.
  • Send All Traffic: Make sure this is toggled on.
  • Now, click Save to complete the manual setup.
  • Finally, connect to your manual connection by tapping the VPN button in the top right.

How to set up an IKEv2 connection on iPhone manually?

Setting up an IKEv2 connection in iOS requires only a few details that you can get from your VPN. You will require your login credentials, password, and the VPN server address.

Now that you have what you need, you are ready to set up the manual connection:

  • Open your iOS device and navigate to: Settings General VPN Add VPN configuration Setup VPN configuration
  • Select IKEv2 in the top of the menu and then enter the following settings:
  • Description: Give your VPN connection a name
  • Server: Enter the VPN server address provided to you by your VPN
  • Remote ID: Enter the same hostname provided by your VPN
  • Username: This is the username you entered when you subscribed to the VPN
  • Password: This is the password you created when you joined the VPN
  • Now, click Save to complete the manual setup.

How to set up OpenVPN on iOS?

OpenVPN is the most recommended VPN encryption protocol for privacy and security. Unfortunately, Apple makes it quite tricky for app developers to add this type of encryption to their VPN clients. As a result, it is sometimes necessary to set up the VPN manually using the third part OpenVPN Connect app.

OpenVPN Connect is a reliable VPN client that can be used to connect to practically any VPN service. So, if you prefer to connect using OpenVPN encryption, please use the guide below to set it up. You can find out more about OpenVPN Connect in our review.

  • Download the OpenVPN Connect app from the App Store.
  • Install the software on your device.
  • Navigate to your VPN’s website and download the OpenVPN config files (.OVPN files). Please note: You will usually need to do this on a PC because they are zipped up. These files will be in the download area where you got the VPN software. If you have any trouble at all finding these files on your VPN’s website, simply ask their support team. Download the config files for the servers you want to use.
  • If the files come in a zip file, you will need to open them in the iOS Files app and unzip them before importing them to Connect. ExpressVPN lets you download a single ovpn config file (non-zipped) so that you can import it directly to Connect, although this will naturally take longer to download.
  • When the file finishes downloading, click on the words Open in and then click
  • Scroll down until you find the OpenVPN Connect logo and tap on Copy to OpenVPN.
  • The file will now appear in OpenVPN Connect. Click on ADD to import it.
  • You will now need to enter your username and password. Check with your VPN provider to find out what these are. ExpressVPN provides both in the members’ area of its website. Your VPN may require you to use your email address and the password you selected when you signed up.
  • Once you have entered your credentials, check the box Connect after import and tap Add in the top right.
  • Your device will now ask you to confirm that you want to Add VPN Configurations to your device. Click Allow.
  • The app will now automatically ask you if you want to connect. Click Yes.
  • In the future, all you need to do is start up the Connect app and connect to the server that you have imported. The password will be saved in the Connect app so that you don’t need to re-enter it each time.


Your VPN will have its own guide for this. If you want to use it, ask their customer support to link you to that guide or look in the website’s FAQ section. That guide will be specific to the VPN you subscribed to. However, it will have the same steps that have been listed above.

How to set up a VPN on an iPhone or iPad

While Apple’s Private Relay is on the way, not everyone may want to sign up for iCloud to get its benefits, or even to wait for it to arrive. Here’s how to set your iPhone or iPad to use a VPN right now.

Apple introduced its Private Relay service as part of its iCloud bundle, which will include other items such as Hide My Email, with the ultimate goal of making web browsing safer and more private for iPhone and iPad users.

However, while Private Relay is an important element, it could be argued that many users could already be enjoying enhanced online privacy and security by using a VPN service. Since Apple has included the ability to add a VPN connection to iOS and iPadOS for quite a while, it may be worth exploring adding a VPN separately, ahead of Apple’s rollout of the service.

What is a VPN, and why should I use one?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection is basically a way to funnel your Internet connection through a specific online gateway. As the data from your device is encrypted before being sent to the VPN service, and vice versa, the encrypted data is kept private and secure from prying by anyone trying to listen in to the connection.

Read from AppleInsider

This may seem to be excessive for home network users, but it could be extremely useful in public places.

For example, say you are connecting to a Wi-Fi network at a cafe that’s offered free to customers, but the Wi-Fi access point is actually malicious. The access point could be used for a man-in-the-middle attack, listening in to unencrypted or openly transmitted data, all without the customer’s knowledge.

By using a VPN, once the encrypted connection is established, such MITM attacks simply won’t work, as everything passing through the access point remains encrypted and out of reach.

There’s also the security and utility of having your connection appear to stem from another city or another country, with a VPN able to mask your real location.

This has a byproduct of also allowing users to access websites as if they are based in different countries, changing the experience and potentially allowing access to content that could be blocked in specific territories.

VPN vs Private Relay

Apple’s Private Relay service is, effectively, a VPN but with a further enhanced level of privacy. Like a normal VPN, Private Relay encrypts the user’s web traffic and funnels it through a gateway, giving all of the security and privacy benefits a VPN can offer.

However, Apple adds in the use of multiple secure proxies run by as-yet-unnamed third party firms. The system encrypts data in such a way that Apple can know the identity of the user but not the servers or content they are viewing online.

This data is then passed to the third-party service Apple has partnered with, which can decrypt enough to determine the data the user has requested, albeit without knowing the identity of the user.

Apple’s illustration showing how iCloud Private Relay keeps user data private.

By Apple knowing the customer’s identity but not what they want, and the third-party service knowing what the user wants but not the user’s identity, this in theory means there’s less data for tracking services to use for fingerprinting connections, as well as making it more secure for end users.

Though Apple has explained how secure its service will be, there is the problem of users needing to trust the system functions as described, and that there isn’t any collusion with the unknown third-party service to combine the datapoints for a complete picture of the user’s surfing habits.

For those who don’t necessarily trust the new system, there’s always other third-party services they can use. However, the same questions about trust can be raised over VPN providers, as again there’s no guarantee that the VPN is being operated honestly and with good intentions.

iphone, setup, install, settings, configuration

Ultimately, it all comes down to user trust.

Selecting a VPN

The first thing you need to do is to have details of a VPN service you want to use. A quick check in a search engine will reveal there are many different services on the market that offer VPNs, including some that are free.

While a free VPN may seem like a good thing for a one-off trial or infrequent usage, be extremely wary of them, as it’s plausible that the service isn’t providing important elements like secure encryption, or may be limited in some way. There’s also a chance that the free VPN you’re using is actually a bad actor, monitoring your data passing through the connection, or worse.

Remember that even a free service has to earn money somehow, and while advertising is the obvious method, it can easily be your data that’s being sold on to third parties.

As for paid VPN services, there’s also quite a few things to look out for.

First, check out the privacy and security of the service. Make sure it’s using at least 256-bit encryption, and look out for assurances that there’s no logging of your activity. You may also want to check the privacy policies of the services you want to use for any tracking-based language.

Other things to look out for are quality-of-life elements, such as if there are data caps, if the data allowance is sufficiently large enough, the number of locations you could pass your traffic through, the number of devices you can have on a plan, and the connection speed.

Popular VPN options include:

Consumer VPN setup

The easiest way to get started with a VPN is to use the service’s app. Once you have set up the account with them, including payments if required, you will then have to open the app up, authenticate, and then follow the app’s procedure to set up the VPN on your iPhone or iPad.

While the initial setup will vary depending on the app and the service, the process of telling iOS and iPadOS to enable the VPN is the same across the board. Typically after you select to connect to a location, you will be warned that the app will need to install a new VPN profile on the device.

The process of adding a VPN is quite straightforward via a service’s app.

This will bring up a new notification stating the VPN Would like to add VPN Configurations, and advising the network activity could be filtered or monitored when using the VPN. Click Allow.

You will then be prompted to enter your passcode to add the VPN configurations. Once authenticated, the VPN will complete the setup and your connection will be passing through your chosen service.

Screens for switching between multiple VPNs, and to manually add a profile.

You can tell that you’re connected through a VPN by seeing the VPN icon briefly appearing in the top-right corner of the display. You can also bring down Control Center and see the icon there, next to other connectivity icons.

Manual VPN configuration

If you have to use a company-supplied VPN for work, you can set it up within the iPhone and iPad’s Settings menu.

How to manually set up a VPN in iOS and iPadOS

  • Open Settings
  • Tap General, then VPN
  • Tap Add VPN Configurations
  • Tap Type and select the type of VPN you are going to configure, then Add Configurations
  • Enter the rest of the information that you will need for the connection, such as the server address, account name and password details, Remote and Local IDs, and whether there’s a proxy in use.
  • Once the details have been added, click Done.

Managing your VPNs.

If you’re using a service’s app, there’s usually options to enable and disable the VPN inside, but Apple also includes the option to enable and disable a VPN within the Settings app. The same section can also be used to manage if you have multiple VPNs operating, and to delete the VPN.

How to turn VPNs on and off within iOS and iPadOS

There is also a chance that the installed VPN may prevent you from turning it off via the toggle. This may be because the VPN’s profile is set to automatically enable itself when a data connection is required.

The same screen showing details about the VPN connection can also be used to delete the profile from your device.

To disable this, tap the information circle icon next to the VPN to bring up more information about the VPN’s settings. If the toggle next to Connect On Demand is green, tap it to turn it off.

How to delete the VPN configuration from iOS and iPadOS

  • Open Settings
  • Tap General, then VPN.
  • Tap the information circle icon next to the VPN you want to remove.
  • Tap Delete VPN.
  • On the notification box, tap Delete.

Bear in mind this will delete the installed VPN profile, but any VPN apps will remain installed on your device.

How To Set Up A VPN On iPhone 7 And iPhone 7 Plus

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

If you want to know how to set up a VPN for your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, we’ll explain how you can do this very easily. The main reason you would want to set up a VPN or Virtual Private Network on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is to allow for a secure and private connection when you communicate instead of using a public network that puts data and information at risk when using the public network.

Another reason you may want to set up a VPN on the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is that you might need to configure VPN to access or send out work emails on your iPhone for security reasons. You would need to set up a Virtual Private Network, so all content and data going in and out of your iOS device is secure. VPN works over Wi-Fi and cellular data network connections.

Things to Know

Before we dive into our tutorial, there are a few things you should know about VPNs and the iPhone 7 series first. If you’re already familiar with this information, skip ahead.

First, in this article, we’re using ExpressVPN. Here at Alphr, it’s one of our favorite VPNs to use because it’s widely available, easy-to-use, and incredibly reliable. You can use any VPN you like, but the instructions may vary slightly. If you need more help with getting started with a VPN, check out this article.

Second, we’ve included the instructions for both iOS 14 and iOS 11. Depending on the version of the software that your iPhone is running, the instructions may vary.

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How to Set Up a VPN on an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus – Post iOS 11

Assuming your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is running the newer software, follow the instructions in this section.

Download the VPN App

  • After downloading the app; sign in. Then, allow the app permission to create a profile on your iPhone.
  • Next, open the Settings on your iPhone and tap on General. Then, tap on VPN. Here, you’ll see your VPN.
  • Lastly, toggle the switch next to Connect to enable your VPN.

You can now use the VPN’s dedicated application to change your location, turn the service off and on, and manage your account.

How to Set Up an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus iOS 11 or Lower

If you’d like to manually set up your VPN, follow these steps:

  • Open Safari and visit the ExpressVPN website. Complete any verification steps to get signed in.
  • Under the Account options, select iPhone iPad. This will take you to a page with the configuration link. Click on the hyperlink.
  • Tap Allow in the pop-up window.
  • Next, you’ll see a verification pop-up letting you know that the ExpressVPN profile is now available on your iPhone.

Configure the VPN in the iPhone’s Settings

After you’ve done this, we’ll need to configure your VPN in your iPhone’s Settings.

  • Turn on your iPhone and open the Settings app.
  • Tap on General.
  • Scroll down and tap on VPN.
  • Select GeneralProfileExpressVPN
  • Next, tap Install in the upper right-hand corner. Then, tap Install again.

Now, you can activate your VPN in the Settings. You can also select the location of the server you’d like to use.

Turn VPN “On” or “Off”

After you have set up a Virtual Private Network, you have the option of turning VPN on or off from the settings page on your Apple device. When you connect using VPN, the VPN icon appears in the status bar.

If you have set up a VPN with multiple configurations, you can easily switch configurations on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch by going to Settings General VPN and change between VPN configurations.

Get help on how to set up a VPN on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus:

If you have issues setting up a Virtual Private Network on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus or can’t connect to your VPN, or if you see an alert that says “Shared Secret is missing,” your VPN settings might be incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions about what your VPN settings are or what your Shared Secret key is, you should contact your network administrator or IT Department.

How to Setup and Use VPN on iPhone or iPad

If you have signed up for a VPN Service, you can find below the information and the steps required to Setup VPN on iPhone and iPad.

Setup Use VPN on iPhone

The most common reason for using VPN is security, especially while using public Wi-Fi Networks at a Coffee shop, Airport, Library and other public places.

You can get more information about VPN and how it can protect your privacy by referring to this guide: What is VPN and How Does it Work.

If your preferred VPN Service is available in the form of an App, the procedure to Setup VPN on iPhone can be as simple as installing the VPN App on your device and logging into VPN Service.

If an App for your favorite VPN Service is not available, you will have to manually Setup VPN Service on your device.

Setup VPN On iPhone Using Apps

As mentioned above, VPN services that are available in the form of an App are basically designed to automatically setup and configure VPN Network on iPhone.

You will find below the steps to Setup VPN on iPhone using TunnelBear App. Most other popular VPN services will also have similar steps.

Open the App Store on your iPhone and search for your preferred VPN App. In this case we are looking for TunnelBear Free VPN.

Download and Install the VPN App on your iPhone or iPad.

Once the App is installed, open the VPN App by tapping on OPEN button.

Next, you will be prompted to create Account. Enter your Email Address and type a Password that you want to use to login to your VPN Account and tap on Create a Free Account.

On the next screens, tap on I Agree option to accept TunnelBear VPN Terms of Service tap on Allow to let the TunnelBear App Add VPN configurations to iPhone.

Next, login to your Email Account and look for an email from TunnelBear open the Email and verify your Email Account by tapping on Verify Account Link.

iphone, setup, install, settings, configuration

After verifying Email Address, tap on Continue to complete the process of VPN Setup.

This completes the process of VPN Setup on iPhone and you are all setup to browse internet on your device using a secure VPN Network.

By default, most VPN Services are designed to automatically connect to internet, whenever you open Safari or any other web browser on your iPhone.

You can confirm whether or not you are browsing the internet using a Secure VPN connection by looking for VPN sign at the top left corner of your screen.

Manually Setup VPN on iPhone

You can manually Setup VPN on iPhone, if your preferred VPN service is not available in the form of an App or If you want to setup VPN with custom configurations.

Go to Settings General VPN tap on Add VPN Configuration.

On Add Configuration screen, tap on the Type option.

On the next screen, select the Type of VPN connection that you would like to setup.

IKEv2: Internet Key Exchange version 2 has strong encryption capabilities and is also known for its ability to reconnect very quickly, in case the VPN connection on your iPhone gets disputed.

L2TP/IPsec: These VPN types are provided as alternatives to OpenVPN on iOS devices. iOS has API restrictions that prevents the use of OpenVPN on iOS devices.

OpenVPN secures data at Transport level by making use of SSL/TLS security protocols, while IKEv2/IPSec secures data at the IP level. Both of these VPN Types can be considered as being more or less equally secure.

After selecting VPN type, go back to Add Configuration screen type Description for VPN (say MY VPN), enter VPN Server Address. VPN Account Number and other details as required and tap on Done.

Note: You should be able to get most of these details by logging into your VPN Account or you can get them from your VPN service provider.

Activate VPN Service On iPhone

Once VPN is setup on iPhone, you will have to activate the VPN Network on your iPhone by going to Settings and moving the toggle next to VPN to ON position.

After this you are all setup to browse internet on your iPhone using a secure VPN Network.

How to setup VPN on iPhone and iPad

We use the internet to find quick answers (like you did), upload images to social media, make banking transactions, and much more All of these activities endanger privacy. Since data breaches are common, you can use a VPN to keep your data hidden from your Network Provider, Internet Service Provider, Government, etc.

Read along to learn what a VPN is and how you can connect to a VPN service through an app or manually through your iPhone.

What is a VPN on iPhone?

VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. It helps transmit sensitive data in an encrypted format. Masking your Internet Protocol (IP), hiding your IP address even from your ISP. Several restrictions set by services and governments on what content can be accessed on the internet can be bypassed with the help of a VPN.

Many people use a VPN on their iPhone to bypass/fake their location to access content with a geo-location lock. Also, it is recommended to steer away from free internet access points as they raise security concerns. Hackers can intercept these Wi-Fi networks and will steal whatever data they have access to.

Connecting to a VPN will guard your data and ensure that you are not a victim of such attacks. If the topic of VPN interests you and you’d like to delve into the subject more, we have the perfect guide.

How to choose a VPN service?

I can assure you there is no shortage of VPN providers. Most of these services also offer applications for the iPhone, iPad, etc. We have a list of the best VPN apps for iPhone and iPad, and you should check it out. But how do you decide which service is good for you?

Well, certain aspects qualify a VPN service provider as a good VPN. It would be best if you looked at these criteria before subscribing to the service:

  • Encryption level: Good VPN services offer 256-bit key encryption and pair it with a strong encryption protocol like OpenVPN.
  • Activity log: For many users, the main aim of using a VPN service is to increase their privacy. But what if the VPN service you’re using keeps your data log? Well, that eliminates the primary reason for using a VPN. So, head to the service provider’s website and check if they keep data logs in their servers.
  • Speed and Servers: Always buy the trial version of a VPN service, use it for the trial period and check the speed it provides. Apart from speed, the number of servers also makes a difference. Limited servers will result in the bandwidth being shared with several users on the same network, ultimately resulting in lower streaming speeds.

How to connect VPN on iPhone (with apps)

Connecting your iPhone to a VPN through an application is the easiest method. In this day and age, most VPN providers also offer their own iPhone applications. Once you’ve selected a VPN service or you decide to use a free service, follow these steps to connect to the VPN (we’ve used Windscribe as an example),

  • Install your desired VPN app.
  • Open the VPN app.
  • Tap Allow on the dialogue box that reads “Name VPN” would like to Add VPN Configurations.
  • Select the region you want to connect to or select the Best Location option.
  • You are now connected to the selected region.

How to manually configure VPN on iPhone

There’s no denying that connecting to a VPN through a mobile application is the easiest method. However, some VPN providers do not offer a mobile app. Or there are several other reasons one would like to manually connect to a VPN service. Whatever your reasons are, you will need to configure these iPhone VPN settings before you proceed,

iphone, setup, install, settings, configuration

You can gather all these details from your VPN service provider’s web page or the System Administrator. Please ask your manager for login details if you use a company-provided VPN. Note that the username and password will likely differ from your login email ID and password.

Once you have these details, here’s how to configure and connect your iPhone to a VPN manually,

  • Open Settings on iPhone/iPad.
  • Tap General.
  • Navigate to VPN Device Management.
  • On the next page, tap VPN.
  • Select Add VPN Configuration
  • Tap Type and Select the VPN Protocol. You can select from IKEv2, IPsec, and L2TP.
  • Fill in the Description, Server, Remote ID, and Local ID.
  • Now tap User Authentication and select None, Username, and Certificate.
  • Depending on the choice made in the previous step, you’ll need to fill in the Username and Password, Certificate, or enable the Use Certificate toggle.
  • You can set the Proxy to Off, Manual, or Auto in the next step.
  • Tap Done.
  • Toggle on the Status button to turn on the VPN connection.
  • How to turn off VPN

    iOS no longer automatically disconnects from a VPN service. You can connect to a VPN and never worry about being disconnected from the service unless there are network connectivity issues. But how do you disconnect your iPhone from a VPN service?

    Well, since there are two ways to connect your iPhone to a VPN service, there are two ways to disconnect your iPhone from a VPN service. For those that want to disconnect their iPhone connected to a VPN app,

    • Open the VPN app you are connected to.
    • Tap the disconnect button.
    • You have now disconnected from the VPN network.

    If you’ve manually connected to a VPN network or even if you are connected through an application, this method works for both:

    Ensure you do not use a VPN to pirate content or indulge in any other illegal activities. We do not promote VPN use; this article is only for educational purposes. If you have any other queries, leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you with a solution as soon as possible.