How To Use a VPN on iPhone & iPad

Many VPN users are confused when they buy a VPN but don’t know how to configure it. Some reliable and popular VPNs allow connecting multiple devices with one account. And if you don’t know the correct way to set up a VPN, it could be really hassling to do the process.

Your devices, especially your phone, have highly sensitive data for which a security implementation is necessary. If you are an iPhone user, then it’s very easy to use a VPN on iPhone.

Moreover, the latest models of iPhone and iPad are easily configurable with a VPN. They have great VPN support and hassles such as VPN disconnection on sleep mode are also resolved in models after iPhone 8. Therefore, once a VPN is set up, you don’t need to reconnect every time you open your iPhone.

Why Do You Need a VPN for iPhone?

Your phone, be it an iPhone or Android, contains most personal and sensitive data. And in present most of us are too lazy for opening a PC or laptop even for working purposes, except when it’s work that couldn’t be done on a phone. From email to shopping, most of us are doing it from our phones and it’s really handy plus time-saving.

But, have you ever thought about how insecure it is?

To save your personal data from being compromised, you should use a VPN for your iPhone. It’s not necessary that you invest a hefty amount on it, instead, most good VPNs cost an average of $ 3 per month with their savings plans. Therefore, you must opt for a VPN for your iPhone which has a lightweight app (such as SurfShark VPN, ExpressVPN, or NordVPN) that maintains your device’s security as well as take care of your privacy.

How to Setup a VPN on iPhone – With Apps and With Built-in Settings

There are two ways to set up a VPN on iPhone.

  • Through using a VPN app you can easily manage VPN on your iPhone. Most of the popular VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer easy-to-use apps on App Store. In this method, you can set up a VPN in minutes.
  • You can manually add a VPN to your iPhone settings. You can go for this option if your VPN provider doesn’t offer a dedicated app.

Setup iPhone VPN – VPN App Download (within minutes)

Almost all the popular VPNs (with millions of users) have their own dedicated app. They offer an easy setup for almost all devices including iPhone and iPad. Such easy configuration helps them to get more users from all around the world.

Few minutes, you are good to go!

You can use this method for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. (I am using the example of the ExpressVPN app, however, the method for any VPN app will almost be the same)

  • First, go to the App Store and download the ExpressVPN app (make sure that the developer name, under the app name, should be ExpressVPN).
  • Once installed, open the app, and tap sign in.
  • Now enter your account credentials, and tap “agree and continue” on the shown disclaimer.
  • To set up a VPN, tap continue. A message will appear requesting permission to set up a VPN connection (this message appears before installing any VPN), click “Allow”.
  • Now enter your iPhone password or fingerprint (whichever method you have set). After that, you will be asked about VPN notifications and obtaining anonymize analytics, which you can allow or pass according to your preference.
  • Finally, your VPN is connected. By default, your VPN will connect you to the optimal server location (the feature known as a smart location). If you want to use this feature, tap “On” If you want to change the server, then tap the location picker and select your preferred server location from the server list.

Manual VPN setup – Built-in Settings

If your iOS VPN doesn’t have an app or you are setting up a workplace VPN then you should follow this procedure to set up a VPN on iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

There are two methods, one is for users who want IKEv2, L2TP, or IPSec and the other method is for OpenVPN. However, PPTP support was removed in iOS 10 and later because of its inadequate security.

IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, Cisco IPSec

Before starting the setup, make sure to have some information such as the server address to which you want to connect, log in details and password, and a secret password. These details are provided by your VPN provider or in case you are connecting to a workplace VPN then your employer will provide these to you.

  • Open your iOS device and then go to settings > General > VPN > add VPN configuration > setup VPN configuration.
  • Now select any option from IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP, depending on your preference and the type of connection you want.
  • Enter the detail list on the screen.
  • Finally, click Save.

Now, enable the toggle switch of the VPN button in the General tab of settings and enjoy anonymity.


OpenVPN is the most efficient VPN protocol as it provides the best security and privacy. VPN speed with this protocol is also pretty decent. However, to add an OpenVPN server, you need to download a third-party app, OpenVPN Connect (this is an official app).

  • Go to the app store and install the OpenVPN Connect app.
  • Now, go to your VPN’s official website and download open VPN configuration files (.ovpn files).

In many VPNs, these files are zipped up and you need to unzip them before downloading. For this, you can connect the iOS device to your computer,

  • Now, open iTunes and select the device you have connected.
  • When the file download finishes, open the file and copy it to the OpenVPN Connect app in the App Section of your phone.
  • You may need to enter your login credentials and password (provided by your VPN). Then complete the process by enabling the VPN (some VPNs like ExpressVPN will automatically ask you if you want to connect and in some, you may need to connect from the OpenVPN app).
  • Finally, you are now connected to your VPN.

Next time, when you need to connect your VPN, all you need to do is open the OpenVPN Connect app and select the server you have imported. You will not need to enter login details and password again.