How to Setup VPN on iPhone via Inbuilt & 3rd Party Apps?

The Newer versions of an iPhone and iPad have built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) support. This makes it easy for you to setup a VPN connection on your iPhone without much hassle. The L2TP and IPSec protocol are already in sync with this built-in VPN tool on your iPhone. Moreover, you can also create a connection with the OpenVPN networks as well as other VPN networks by installing third-party applications. Apart from that, you can install standalone apps of VPN providers such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, TunnelBear, etc. Here, as soon as you login into the app, VPN is enabled on your iPhone.

Before the launch of iOS8, iPhone used to disconnect a VPN connection whenever the phone went into sleep mode. But now, the VPN connection remains active even if the iOS device goes into sleep or screens turns off.

This improvement in iOS software eliminates the need for you to reconnect with the VPN server constantly. Moving further in this article, you will see how to setup VPN on iPhone in different ways.


How does a VPN help?

A VPN helps secure your iPhone’s internet traffic. It creates a VPN tunnel through which your iPhone’s internet traffic passes through. Also, the VPN will encrypt this internet traffic.

As a result, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and anyone snooping around your network wouldn’t be able to see your internet activity.

Additionally, the server which hosts your targeted website would see the IP address of the VPN server and not your iPhone. In short, your iPhone IP address will be hidden from a website.

Your online identity will remain anonymous and you will be able to access any restricted website. Also, your confidential data will remain protected from prying eyes.

How to setup VPN on iPhone via a 3rd party application?

You can create a VPN connection by merely installing a VPN app on your iPhone. This app is typically provided by the VPN service provider. Follow below steps –

  • Tap the App Store icon on your iPhone’s screen.
  • In the App store search box, write the name of the VPN providing service such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, etc.
  • Tap on Get. Then click on Download.
  • Once the app is installed on your phone, tap on its icon from the home screen.
  • Log in with the email address and the password through which you registered yourself for the VPN service.
  • After signing in, tap on Install. This will set up your VPN connection on the iPhone.
  • Before installation, however, you need to enter your passcode.
  • After entering your passcode, tap on Install. On completion of the installation, tap on Done. Your VPN connection is all set to go.
  • To connect with the VPN server, you only have to tap on the ON button. The VPN provider will by default select the most optimal server location for you. This feature is known as the Smart Location.
  • Once this connection is ON, you can browse the internet safely with the VPN connection to back you up.

Information required before you set up a VPN on iPhone

You need a few details with you before you proceed to set up a VPN connection on your iPhone. These details are:

  • The name of the VPN server with which you want to connect along with its IP address.
  • The VPN service provider will provide username and password to you which you will require when establishing the connection.
  • Check if the VPN connection is in need of encryption or not.

How to setup VPN on iPhone via the inbuilt option?

In case that the VPN service provider doesn’t offer an iOS application, you can use its built-in tool for setting up a VPN connection. You need to follow the following steps for setting up a VPN connection:

  • Tap on the Settings icon from your Home Screen.
  • In the Settings drawer, click on General. After that, tap on VPN.
  • Tap on Add a VPN Configuration. The following window will demand some details from you.
  • Tap on the option Type. It will ask you to select the type of VPN connection. The protocols can be IKEv2, IPSec or L2TP depending on your preference.
  • Following that, tap on the Add Configuration option present in the upper left corner of your screen. This will open the previous screen.
  • In the VPN settings information, you have to enter the name and IP address of the server with which you wish to connect. In case that your workplace provides the VPN connection, then they will give you the necessary details.
  • In the authentication login option, you have to enter the username and password. This information will also be given to you by your VPN service provider.
  • Tap on Done. Then, under the VPN configurations Screen, turn the Status switch On.
  • This will turn on the VPN connection. In future, whenever you want to disconnect, you merely have to go to Settings > VPN and turn it off.

In case you want to connect to an OpenVPN network

Apple is yet to add OpenVPN support directly to iOS. However, to communicate with an OpenVPN network, there is an OpenVPN Connect application which you can install on your iPhone.

For configuration of VPN in an OpenVPN app, however, you will need to import .opvn file. To do this manually, you have to connect your iPhone with your computer. After opening iTunes in your computer, you need to select the connected device.


In the Apps section, you have to copy the .opvn file. This will also copy the relevant certificate and files related to the OpenVPN app. Then, you will be able to connect to the OpenVPN network from your app.


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