How to Setup VPN on iPhone 2021

We know that installing a VPN isn’t something that most iPhone users usually do, much less use it. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of setup VPN on an iPhone.

You wouldn’t want to travel halfway around the world on vacation, eager to take beautiful photos only to realize that you’re unable to share them on Facebook. That’s right. As shocking as it is, internet connectivity is strictly limited in certain parts of the world.

But there are more reasons to use a VPN than circumventing internet censorship. We’ll help think through the reasons you’ll want to install a VPN on iPhone and how to do so in detail.

What is VPN on iPhone

As mentioned, a key reason for using VPN on iPhone is to bypass strict censoring of the internet. For instance, you’ll want to be prepared when you’re traveling to China. China is notoriously known for its firewall, nicknamed “The Great Firewall of China.”

When traveling to China, you’ll find that you have no access to apps or websites that you’re familiar with. You can’t access Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, and other sites that are not inline with China’s internet policy. We can assure you that getting blocked from using your regular apps makes having the latest iPhone seems pointless.

Bypassing firewalls aside, having a VPN is also useful if you can’t do without your Netflix stream during travel. Some countries are limiting access to content services while certain content sites are only accessible within its local vicinity. Without a VPN, your iPhone’s IP address will reflect the location that you’re in and restrict your access to the content.

The global workplace has also taken a new direction in recent years. Some industries, especially companies dealing with non-tangible products, no longer prioritize working in an office. It’s common for programmers, designers, and marketers to work in cafes and tap into public WiFi networks.

It’s undeniable that working at your local cafe with high-speed connectivity is convenient. But connecting to a public WiFi also leaves you at risk to hackers and malicious cyber attacks. Having a VPN activated helps to secure the internet connection as you deal with sensitive information on your iPhone.

Apple is a company that prides itself on secrecy, but it’s a mistake to assume that using an iPhone guarantees you total privacy. Concerns that the government is snooping on your online behavior is real. Besides, you’ll also be intruded upon by giant advertisers that are gathering information from consumers like you.

You can put an end to your fear of being spied on by installing a VPN on your iPhone. A VPN cloaks the IP address on your iPhone and allows you to surf the internet anonymously.

Why Use a VPN on an iPhone?

Having a VPN installed and activated on your iPhone provides enhanced privacy and security. A VPN on an iPhone uses secure protocols, such as L2TP, OpenVPN, or IPSec to encrypt the data transmission from the device. This prevents any malicious hackers from gaining intelligible data from your device.

A VPN can also alter the perceived location of your iPhone by changing the IP address of the device. This allows you to bypass censorship and access geo-sensitive content when you’re traveling.

There are various downloadable VPN apps that you can activate to ensure a secure, private connection on your iPhone.

  1. TorGuard
  2. NordVPN
  3. IPVanish
  4. Surfshark
  5. Private Internet Access

How to Set Up iPhone VPN Settings

Once you’ve downloaded a VPN app, you’ll be prompted to authorize the VPN client to modify the configuration settings on your iPhone. Select Allow and enter your credentials into the device.

To enable the VPN, you’ll have to follow these steps:

1. Access Settings.

2. Select General.

3. Select VPN.

4. Choose the VPN that you’ll be using.

5. Turn on the Status switch.

Now, you're securely connected and ready for using VPN on iPhone.

How to Set up a VPN Using iOS Apps

You can also set up your VPN by launching the VPN client app installed on the iPhone. While various VPN clients may have slightly varying interfaces, most follow the same setup procedure.

1. Launch the VPN app on iPhone.

2. Enter your login credentials for the VPN.

3. Tap “Connect” or similar options.

4. Allow VPN configurations to be added on the iPhone when prompted. You will have to insert your Apple credentials to do this.

The VPN app will indicate the connection status of your iPhone.

How Using a VPN on an iPhone Ensures Security

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to claim that using a VPN on your iPhone gives your device ninja-like stealth ability.

Superior Encryption Protocols

By using a VPN, every bit of data that is transmitted and received by your iPhone is encrypted by industrial-standard encryption protocols. You’ll come across names that include L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN, which are some of the most secure encryption protocols used by major IT companies.

Preventing Traffic Monitoring by Governments

It is an open secret that governments are monitoring the internet usage and behavior of people connected to the internet. A VPN provides the much-needed cloaking technology to block such unsolicited spying.

We knew how uncomfortable it is knowing that someone is continually checking each of your activities online, even if you’re not committing any offenses.

Fraud Protection when Travelling

You’ll want to be cautious when you’re connected directly to the internet, particularly when you’re traveling. You can fall victim to fraud if you don’t take precautions against potential hackers targeting the area.

Activating a VPN prevents your sensitive information, notably your banking or personal details, from being intercepted by malicious hackers.

Free vs. Paid VPNs on an iPhone

With cases of data breaches and cyber-frauds on the rise, there is an increasing number of VPN providers available. Some VPN services are free, while others require a paid subscription. The question is, which one will serve you best?

Free VPNs have Limits, are Not Secure, and Have DNS Leaks

In most cases, you get what you pay for when it comes to a VPN. Free VPN apps are known to have limitations that may compromise your security. For instance, you’re usually limited to the PPTP protocol, which is prone to attack and deemed unsafe by IT security experts.

Besides, certain free VPNs are known to be bugged with DNS leaks, a security flaw that exposes your IP address to the ISP even when the VPN is turned on. That’s not what you would expect when you’re using a VPN.

Paid VPNs Come with a Monthly or Yearly Subscription, Provide Data Encryption, and are Faster

For total protection and stealth, a paid VPN is the wiser choice. With a yearly or monthly subscription, you will be getting superior security and anonymity. A paid VPN allows users to choose from a few high-security encryption protocols, ensuring that their data are encrypted from end-to-end.

There is also no capped bandwidth with a paid VPN, which ensures a smooth and pleasant browsing experience. You’ll also be free from ad popups, which can be distracting at times.

How to Turn Off a VPN on an iPhone

When you’re done using the VPN, you can turn it off easily. To turn off iPhone VPN settings, follow these steps.

1. Go to Settings.

2. Select General.

3. Select VPN.

4. Toggle the switch to Off.

If you have activated the VPN from the app, you can turn it off by:

1. Launching the VPN App.

2. Selecting Disconnect.

Your iPhone VPN will be disconnected.

Is It Safe to Set up a VPN on iPhone?

It’s understandable to have doubts about installing a third-party app on your iPhone, particularly one that deals with encrypting your data. You may be worried about how the VPN provider handles your data and privacy.

We want to stress that it’s important to use VPN services from reputable and trustworthy providers. You’ll also want to read their policies on data privacy. Ensure that there are no shady practices involving the data from your iPhone.


A VPN is an increasingly vital service to have on your iPhone as the threats of cyber-attacks are more significant than ever. Besides, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of having unrestricted internet access when traveling to foreign countries.

In a nutshell, a VPN reroutes the data connection to a secure VPN server before connecting to the internet. It offers anonymity by hiding the IP address of your iPhone and provides secure point-to-point encryption for data protection.

There is no shortage of VPN providers to choose from. But you’ll want to be diligent in selecting trustworthy providers. You want the assurance that your data is safely protected not only from hackers and governments but also that it’s not being mishandled by VPN providers.

At times, it can be difficult to choose between paid or free VPN providers. The notion of not paying anything to enjoy stealth and security on the internet is tempting, but you’ll have to be aware of the limitations on the free version. We strongly recommend going for a paid VPN if you’re serious about ensuring maximum protection on your iPhone.

Installing and activating a VPN on your iPhone is relatively easy. You can do it either from the iPhone settings or the VPN app. It would be unwise to allow your data to be compromised, considering how easy it is to use a VPN on an iPhone.

Mark Coulman
About Mark Coulman

Cybersecurity expert with a keen interest in technology and digital privacy. Mark has more than 14 years of experience in creating and managing various reliable WEB applications for IT companies in the EU and the US. Loves 3-4 letter words like PHP, XML, HTML, CSS, DB2, ASP, CRM, ERP, SAP, etc.