Method 1: VPN App
The simplest and safest way to install a VPN on your iPhone or iPad is to download a custom app from the Apple App Store.
That’s not always possible, though. As some VPN services don’t provide apps for iPhone or iPad. If that’s the case, you’ll need to go to methods 2, 3, or 4.
You should also skip ahead if you’re in a country that has removed VPN apps from the App Store (like China).
It’s really quick and easy to install a custom VPN app on your device, and these apps are generally very intuitive once downloaded, too.
Here’s some simple steps to help you install a custom VPN app on your iPhone or iPad in just a few minutes:
- Search for the name of your VPN provider in the Apple App Store and tap Get to download the app. We’ll use PrivateVPN as an example. To be safe and avoid potentially dangerous copycat software, you can follow a link through from your VPN provider’s website to the App Store listing.
- Once the VPN software has finished downloading, tap Open and log into the app with your VPN subscription credentials (the username and password you chose when you signed up or, in some cases, had sent to your email address by the provider).
- Your device requires you to authorize all new VPN configurations. Tap Allow at the bottom of the pop up that says [The Name of Your VPN] Would Like to Add VPN Configurations. This step may come later depending on the VPN service you are using.
- Enter your iPhone or iPad passcode to add the configuration.
- Tap through the rest of the installation prompts and permissions – some VPN services include more than others. Just be sure to read the terms before you agree to them.
- Now it’s time to take a look at the settings menu and configure the VPN to meet your needs. You can usually find the settings menu by tapping the burger menu (three horizontal lines) or cog symbol.
- We recommend that you enable the VPN kill switch feature (if there is one) and any leak protection that comes with the app to prevent your personal data from being exposed. You should also select the VPN protocol that you want to connect through – OpenVPN is a safe choice, but IKEv2 may be more stable for mobile connections.
- Once you’ve configured the security settings and profile you’re free to choose a VPN server and tap the Connect button. It’s usually a central, circular button.
- Check for any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks using a leak test tool. You can find out how to do that in our comprehensive VPN leak guide.
This is the safest and easiest way to use a VPN on your iOS device, but if your VPN provider doesn’t come with a custom app for iPhones and iPads, keep reading to find out the next best way to install the software.