How to use a VPN on iPhone and iPad: NordVPN & more

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Here’s how to use a VPN on your iPhone, giving you additional protections and able to browse the web as if you were from any country.

A VPN on your PC is almost imperative to your day-to-day these days. Especially if you’re trying to access various sites that are geoblocked, or just don’t want your internet service provider (ISP) to know what you’re looking at.

The additional security and freedom to access any kind of content you like, without fear of it being blocked or properly tracked, is a blessing. It’s also all available on mobile, including the iPhone. Your subscriptions will carry over, and there are even methods of getting free VPNs to work too, for those inclined to the free side of things.

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While our recommendation is probably something like NordVPN, there are plenty of others out there, all with apps on iPhones.

Most VPN apps will handle the set up side of things for you, without any real need to input information. Those who want to use a free VPN, or connect to a service not yet supported via an app, will have to use iOS‘ own server settings.

After you’ve settled on a specific VPN, you can simply turn it on and follow any prompts that crop up. These are usually just asking if you’d like your VPN to alter the settings for you.

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Choose a paid service

VPNPrice
NordVPN$13.99
SurfShark$12.99
ProtonVPN$9.99
ExpressVPN$9.99
Prices are set to non-sale, but usually, these brands will have hefty discounts

How to set up a free VPN on iPhone

If you want to set up a VPN service that doesn’t have an app, or you have a specific set up that requires it, follow these steps.

First, drag down the home screen and search for VPN. There should be a settings page that pops up that’ll take you straight there.

Next, press the VPN button and you’ll be taken to the page where we can begin configuration. Press ‘Add VPN Configuration’ and you’ll be presented with a bunch of options.

The main things we need are:

  • The protocol you plan to use
  • A description (doesn’t have to match, it’s for the iPhone’s edification)
  • Your server
  • Usernames and passwords

Much like with OpenVPN, you want to be careful about which free VPNs you use. However, this configuration can also be used to log you into work or school services that require access to an Intranet.

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Using the site VPNGate, you can find a bounty of free, international VPNs to use. For example, we’ve used from Japan. As they’re free and hosted by other users, they might be down at certain times.

All passwords and usernames for VPNGate are just ‘vpn’.

You’ll need to find one with the right protocol, for iPhone and iPad, this is L2TP or IPsec and in the case of the one we used, it was L2TP. If you set it up and it doesn’t work, you’ll need to delete the configuration and start again, as there’s no way to swap between protocols once set.

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Yours should look like this, but you might need to use either an IP address or the server’s URL.

ios vpn

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