How to Use a VPN on Your iPhone and Why You Should

Easily protect your data while browsing over an unsecure connection.
Michael Michael (175)

When you're doing anything on your mobile device that uses the internet (and what doesn't involve using the internet nowadays?), then you're connecting to a WiFi router that may or may not be secure. should always use a VPN on your iPhone for your security.

Luckily, Apple's new iOS for the iPhone has a built-in option for third-party VPN developers, like NordVPN, to access the VPN settings of your iPhone. This makes it very easy to turn on and turn off the VPN in iOS. We'll show you the easy way to get this all set up and running!

Skip ahead if you're just looking to turn on and use a VPN on your iPhone.

When should I use a VPN on my iPhone?

Unless you know for sure that your WiFi connection is secure, then you should always use a VPN on your iPhone for your security. And even if you're connection is secure, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) definitely tracks everything you do on the internet, including browsing history and download history. They can easily sell that data to a third party or the government.

Also, if you're wanting to stream an overseas show or watch US Netflix with a VPN, then you'll need to make sure you have a good one installed and active.

What is a VPN exactly?

A VPN or virtual private network creates what's known as a VPN tunnel. This acts as a kind of encrypted shield, rerouting the encrypted data through one of the VPN servers. So, for example, if you use NordVPN when browsing via your iPhone, it's nearly impossible for a hacker or anyone to see your internet activity and data. Even your ISP (internet service provider) will not be able to track your downloads or sell your browsing data.

Your IP address will become masked and with a service like NordVPN, you'll be given a dedicated IP address so you don't get bogged down by Captcha authentication.

Will it block calls?

No. A VPN will not affect or block calls/callers. If you want to do that, then we have guides on blocking numbers on an iPhone and blocking callers.

Note: We have a separate guide for installing a VPN on Android.

iPhoneiPhone ×1
NordVPNNordVPN ×1

Howchoo is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no cost to you when you buy through our links.

VPN apps in App Store

In your Apple App Store:

  • Search for "vpn".
  • Choose a VPN provider that you want to use on your iPhone.

Be wary of the "free" VPN providers, as they often don't have as many servers available and will slow down your internet activity considerably. See why we recommend NordVPN by reading our comprehensive review of NordVPN.

  • Set up your account with the VPN.
Connect to VPN on iPhone

Open up your VPN app and use it to connect to a VPN server. Some VPN providers will give you options to connect to specialty servers like Wireguard or P2P.

If you're using the VPN for general security, then using the standard OpenVPN server will be just fine. NordVPN gives the option "quick connect" and "auto-connect" anytime I log in to my iPhone.

You may need to allow your new VPN permissions to access your iPhone before it can connect you.

VPN connect iPhone

Now that you've activated the VPN, go to your iPhone's Settings. You should see a new VPN option at the top of your screen, located under "Cellular."

This should say "Connected," whenever you are connected to a VPN server. You can turn off the VPN by clicking on VPN and toggling the VPN off.

Manually Add VPN Configuration

In this VPN settings screen, you can also manually configure a VPN if you have things like the "Remote ID," "Username," and "Password" for the VPN server. Simply click Add Configuration to set this up.

Another way to check if your VPN is active

The easiest way to check if your VPN is working is to head over to the NordVPN homepage. At the top of the screen, you'll see whether your browsing is protected.

We do it everyday! We'll show you how!
Michael Michael (175)

When you're doing anything over the internet or saving data to the Cloud while on your Mac, your data and internet usage are being tracked.