Virtual private networks (VPNs for short) have become very popular among internet users. Matched with these services, a user can access more internet content than is usually available to their location. But VPNs are more important to web surfers because they help users encrypt their internet connections whether to hide them away from nosy websites or to ensure the security of confidential information.
iPhone users operate in a different ecosystem from Android users. However, even they are not exempt from the troubles that occasionally drive owners of Android phones to use VPNs. But to what extent can iPhone users benefit from VPNs? That is what this article is all about.
In this article, we explain the concept behind VPNs, what is the use of VPN on iPhone, what is VPN configuration on iPhone, and more. At the end of the article, you should be able to use manual and third-party VPNs on your iPhone.
Let us start with VPNs in general.
What is a VPN?
VPN is a service that is available on internet-enabled devices and can encrypt or route internet activity for the user’s convenience. VPN services work on IPs (internet protocols) to ensure that your internet activity, especially the traffic, is hidden away from your internet service provider or third parties.
The result of using a VPN service on your phone is that the service encrypts and redirects your traffic using remote servers. This encryption and transmission process results in the cloaking of your location, as well as the protection of your data. By doing so, VPNs ensure that you have an additional layer of defense and privacy.
Ultimately, when you use a VPN, everything you do online is screened through the VPN service so that any third party is prevented from peeking. And if said third party intends to steal away confidential information from you, they would have to break the defense of the VPN service provider.
What is VPN on iPhone?
There is not much difference between the operation of VPN on iPhone and VPN on Android or Windows. Generally speaking, because iPhone users rely on the Apple ecosystem which powers Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch, there is a level of privacy and security that these users get simply because their devices run on the ecosystem.
However, VPNs still offer additional privacy, security, and access options, especially when it is Apple that is doing the snooping. Thus, when an iPhone user subscribes to a VPN service and installs the app on their phone, they are also protected from intrusions from the Apple ecosystem.
Nevertheless, iPhone users can cash in on every other benefit of VPNs that other ecosystems enjoy. These include general internet privacy, data security, unlimited access to online content, and more. Furthermore, iPhones also have a native VPN configuration that enables users to set up manual VPNs.
What is VPN on iPhone Settings?
VPN on iPhone settings is the native VPN configuration that comes with iPhones. These configurations allow any iPhone user to be able to configure their network and internet connections however they see fit. Because Apple understands that some of its users would be interested in creating private networks, the VPN settings you find on iPhones is Apple’s provision for such users.
To navigate to the VPN option on your iPhone, follow the subsequent steps:
- Tap the Settings icon from your iPhone menu.
- Navigate to the General page.
- Scroll down until you see VPN.
From the VPN tab, you can use the Add VPN Configuration option to manually create a virtual private network to protect you from public networks.
Why You Need VPN on Your iPhone
As we have mentioned earlier, VPNs are incredibly valuable. In the present day, the internet is a nearly independent space with all kinds of users, programs, and protocols. The more exposed a user is to the internet, the more vulnerable they are to intrusive users and websites, cybercrime, malicious programs lurking behind public Wi-Fi networks, and much more. Thus, you need a VPN on your iPhone to shield you away from these concerns.
Specifically, you can use VPN services on your iPhone for the following reasons.
1. For Privacy Concerns
Privacy is the first and most fundamental service offered by VPNs. For the average user, the idea that one has nothing to hide is not enough reason to expose your virtual life to everything.
The confidentiality of a user’s data and online activity is still a trending issue. This is why many big online companies are doing whatever it takes to get their users to trust them. After all, user data can be sold to other companies who would then happily advertise their products and services to you.
So, to save yourself from these troubles, you can use a VPN on your iPhone. This choice will ensure that your data and online activity are cloaked from third parties. In other words, you will have full control of your online activities while ensuring that no online agency or program can track them.
2. For Secure Connections
Other than helping you solve your privacy concerns on your iPhone, using a reliable VPN service like Outbyte VPN would also enable you to boost the security of your internet connections. As we explained earlier, VPNs encrypt your traffic so that parties interested in breaking into your virtual space would have to first decrypt the connection before they can trace it back to you.
Although this works the same way as cloaking your internet connection, VPN services let you borrow the security of their servers. For every attempt to breach your network, the integrity of the VPN service provider is at stake. Furthermore, VPNs use an encapsulation method to hide your data packets inside other data packets, and then tunneling to further secure the connection. This way, it is virtually impossible for third parties to breach your connection since they first have to find the tunnel and then intercept the encapsulated data packets.
3. To Have Unhindered Access to Content
Another common reason VPN users are on the increase globally is that there is a large volume of content on the internet that is kept behind institutional or regional restrictions. In other words, there are websites and website content (such as Netflix, YouTube videos, etc.) that you may never be able to access with your iPhone or any other internet-enabled device simply because of the location you are browsing from. This is where VPNs jump into the picture to help you dissolve such locational restrictions.
VPN services typically run from remote servers. These servers are often located all over the civilized world. Thus, you can be browsing from somewhere as remote as Seychelles and the internet will recognize your location as New York in the US. This is because whatever VPN you are using ensures that your true location is cloaked from the internet, making it seem as if you are browsing from some other place.
4. When You Use Public Wi-Fi Networks
Using your iPhone in a cafe, hotel, airport, or any other public place might require you to use the public Wi-Fi in that place. Even though such networks might be free of charge or faster than your usual connection, they might also prove dangerous in the long run. After all, only a handful of such networks are encrypted or protected in any significant way. Thus, your iPhone stands a high chance of catching malware when you connect to public Wi-Fi.
VPNs are one of the ways you can protect yourself and still use public Wi-Fi networks. With your VPN activated, your iPhone gains an additional layer of security that hackers operating on the Wi-Fi network will not be able to breach. Furthermore, if the administration of the public place that sponsors the Wi-Fi network intends to use your connection to track your online activities, they would be unable to since your VPN would have cloaked your traffic or blocked them altogether.
5. When You Travel
Although VPNs do not operate as independent services on their own, you can still use them confidently when you travel to new places. For one, you can use them on your iPhone to ensure that your browsing location is permanently locked to whatever place you prefer whenever you use your internet browser.
Secondly, you can use VPNs to prevent your online activities from being exposed to government virtual supervision which are available in some developed countries. Also, wherever you travel to in this world, as long as you are able to connect to the internet, you can access whatever online content you want to as long as you use a VPN.
Ultimately, VPNs serve as auxiliary services to help you protect your iPhone internet connection from other people and online parties.
What to Consider When Choosing Third-Party VPN for Your iPhone
Even though the VPN configuration on your iPhone allows you to create VPNs of your own, it is much easier to use third-party provisions. This way, you will be able to use the full range of VPN services, including privacy, protection, access to location-blocked content, and more.
However, choosing a suitable VPN can be a burden. To relieve you of this burden, here are 4 factors you should consider before choosing a VPN for your iPhone.
Considering that the Apple ecosystem to which your iPhone belongs is a closely guarded system, there are likely VPN developers hoping to breach it. These ones will likely write intrusive code into their VPN offerings or use other means like attaching malware to old Windows drivers. This means that they will be able to keep tabs on the way your iPhone interacts with the internet. Thus, they might be able to obtain what they want by passing through your iPhone. At the end of the day, your iPhone might be riddled with different kinds of bugs all of which put your iPhone at a great risk.
2. Privacy Guarantees
There are different VPN options from third-party developers. However, since VPNs were fundamentally designed to ensure privacy, the second thing you should look out for after security is the privacy guarantee from the developer. Here, you can look through online reviews from reputable tech websites and other iPhone users.
The amount of trust that a VPN developer is able to get through user reviews often indicates how willing they are to allow users maintain privacy even from them. It would be a joke if a VPN service meant to provide you with privacy ends up keeping tabs on your online activities. So, make sure that the VPN you decide on is one that prioritizes user privacy.
3. Subscription Availability
VPN developers are not supreme beings that live on nothing but user review and appreciation. They also require money to run their lives and measure their efforts and work. Thus, it is generally advisable that you use VPNs that have options for subscription rather than VPNs that you can get and use for free.
Unless it is the VPN configuration that comes with your phone, you will likely never get one that runs free of charge. This is why some users prefer to pay a lot of money for VPNs since they know that they are getting value in return.
4. Browsing Speed
VPNs rely on internet connections. This means that they work like insulatory nodes on recline cables. As a result, some of them tend to slow down browsing speed, while you are worrying that you need to speed up your device. So, before you install or subscribe to a VPN service, make sure that it does not affect your browsing speed.
How to Set Up VPN Manually on iPhone
If you want to configure the VPN on your iPhone, all you need to do is the following:
- Tap the Settings icon from your iPhone menu.
- Navigate to the General page.
- Scroll down until you see VPN.
- Select Add VPN Configuration.
- Choose Type and select between the VPN payloads: IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP.
- Next, enter a description, ID, and the VPN server information.
- Enter your username and password and select Manual or Auto to initiate your proxy server.
And that’s all.
With a VPN active on your iPhone, you can connect your mobile device to the internet without privacy concerns, fear of website trackers, or cybercriminals looking to breach your network.
John is a tech enthusiast who has always been fascinated by the latest gadgets and devices. Growing up, he was always the one who volunteered to test out the new software or phone update. He loved finding ways to make technology work better for him and his friends.
John is a self-proclaimed techie and he loves nothing more than writing about the latest gadgets, apps, software, and games on Software Tested. He’s always up-to-date on the latest trends and he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. If you’re looking for insights and opinions on the latest tech products, John is your go-to source.
John has been writing about technology for years and he has a wealth of knowledge to share. He has a keen eye for spotting new products and services that are worth writing about. If you’re looking for an in-depth, opinionated take on the latest tech products, ask John is your go-to source. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just trying to keep up with the latest trends, Ivan’s articles are sure to give you something to think about.