How to Set Up a VPN on Your iPhone

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to required to configure and use a VPN service on your iPhone (or iPad).

the VPN symbol for the iPhone

Here are the things you’ll need before you get started:

  1. The VPN server address in addition to your username and password. Depending on how your VPN service is set up, you may also need to know your Secret key.
  2. The iPhone supports the L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and Cisco IPSec protocols without any additional Apps installed. Don’t worry if none of that makes any sense, just make sure your VPN server/service supports one of those 3 protocols. Simplehelp strongly recommends and endorses the VPN service provided by Private Internet Access, which works perfectly with the iPhone.

Let’s get started!

  1. Tap the Settings button on your iPhone (or iPad).
  2. the iphone and ipad settings button

  3. Select General
  4. the list of settings on an iphone

  5. Scroll down to the section titled VPN and tap it.
  6. the vpn section of the settings on an iphone

  7. Tap Add VPN Configuration…
  8. the add a new vpn link on an iphone

  9. For the sake of this tutorial we’re going to set up an L2TP connection, but the steps for PPTP and IPSec are similar enough that you should be able to follow along.
  10. the blank settings for a VPN on an iphone

  11. Start entering in the required information – give your VPN connection a Description (anything will do, but something descriptive is best), then enter your Server Name and your Account (which is your user name).

    The password can be saved, but if you leave it blank you’ll be prompted to enter it each time you connect to your VPN. Based on your personal preference (or in the case of time-changing passwords) you can either enter it, or leave it blank.

  12. a VPN properly configured without the password entered

  13. If your VPN Provider uses a Secret, enter it in the appropriate field. The Secret is not used by every service, so if yours doesn’t seem to have one listed (where you located your username, password and server address) – it’s likely yours doesn’t use that feature.
  14. a configured VPN on the iphone

  15. Make sure that Send All Traffic is enabled (it is by default) and then tap Save.
  16. saving a VPN on the iphone

  17. Now your VPN connection will be listed in the VPN section. Toggle the ON/OFF button to ON (green).
  18. turning on a VPN on the iphone

  19. After you see the Connected confirmation, tap on the “i” next to your newly created VPN configuration.
  20. the information icon for a vpn on the iphone

  21. It’s from here that you can always check to see how long you’ve been connected.
  22. the duration of time your iphone has been connected to a vpn

  23. Back in your Settings you’ll also see a new toggle for your VPN, so you can easily turn it on and off from here.
  24. the toggle VPN on and off button on the iphone

  25. The other visible update to your iPhone is that it will have a “VPN” symbol (see screenshot below) on the top menu when you’re connected to your VPN.
  26. the VPN symbol for the iPhone

  27. You can test out your service by visiting a “what’s my IP” website (like this one) if you’re using a VPN to hide your identity/location. As illustrated in the screenshot below, it appears as though my iPhone was being used in Texas, when in fact I was in a different state.
  28. a screenshot of the iPhone browser connected to a VPN

  29. That’s it! Congratulations on setting up your VPN.
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