A virtual private network (VPN) is a tool that hides your geolocation and protects your privacy while you’re online. It does this by creating an encrypted tunnel from your home network to a VPN provider’s server.
When you buy an internet plan, your internet service provider (ISP) gives your equipment (like your router and modem) an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your IP address helps you communicate with the broader internet by letting a website you’re on know where data is coming from and where to send it.
In other words, your IP address lets online companies know where you are. Most online businesses store IP addresses for data analysis, but cybercriminals can use your IP to track your activity online, steal your personal information, and target you for scams.
A VPN reroutes your internet through a server address with a different IP than your own. That way, no one online can trace your internet activity back to you. A VPN also encrypts your internet data to protect your personal information.
VPNs aren’t just for desktop computers, though. All sorts of devices — from iPads to smart TVs — can benefit from a VPN connection. If you’re the type of person who handles your finances or does business online using a mobile device, it’s wise to get a VPN to protect yourself.
This article will show you how to choose and install a VPN on your iPhone.
Why use a VPN?
Here are a few of the main ways getting a VPN like McAfee Safe Connect VPN can benefit you:
- A VPN can help you remotely access your work intranet. An intranet is a small subsection of the internet that doesn’t connect to the larger internet. Businesses use intranets — where companies may store important internal-only files — to give their employees quick access to company work tools and improve communication.
- A VPN uses bank-grade encryption to hide your personal information and actions from cybercriminals and advertisers. This lets you shop, bank, and do everything else online without worrying about someone stealing your information, even if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network.
- A VPN can keep your browsing private. It does this by hiding your IP address, so your physical location, banking information, and credit card information are protected while you surf online.
How to choose a VPN provider
The best VPN for you depends on your situation and what you plan to do online.
You’ll need a VPN that’s compatible with all of your devices. Many VPNs work with Windows, Android, macOS, Linux, and iOS. However, not all VPNs are compatible with every operating system. For instance, if you have an iPhone but someone else in your home has an Android, it’s important to choose a provider with an app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Consider which features you’ll need:
- Will you be traveling? If so, get a VPN with server locations where you’re going.
- Do you have a large family with a lot of devices? Then, a router-based VPN can be a good choice.
- Will you use your VPN for things like streaming movies on Netflix and gaming? You’ll want a VPN with a lot of speed and bandwidth.
Be careful when choosing a VPN service, though. Some free VPN services will still pass along your information to ad agencies. If online privacy is your main goal, you’ll want to find a VPN that doesn’t store logs of your internet activity or pass along your data.
VPN protocols also matter, and they vary in speed and security. For example, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a fast protocol, but it’s not as secure as other protocols like OpenVPN or Wireguard. Some VPN providers will let you use multiple protocols.
Finally, look for a VPN that’s easy to use. Some VPNs have convenient features like virtual setup and intuitive interfaces that make using them easier. Some providers will even give you a free trial to test out the VPN before committing to it. Be sure your VPN network also has a reliable support team to help you if you ever have problems.
How to set up a VPN on an iPhone
We’ll show you how to complete VPN setup on your iPhone in the next few sections.
Install the iOS app of a VPN provider
Go to the Apple App store on your iPhone and find an app for the VPN provider you’ve chosen. Tap “Get” and “Install” or double-check to install the app on your phone.
Create an account on the VPN app
Open the VPN app. Create an account with the VPN provider. Sign up for the service.
Open iPhone settings and connect to the VPN
You’ll have to enter your passcode after creating your account to allow a change in your phone’s VPN settings and enable the VPN.
You might have to manually configure your VPN if you need access to a private network at a business or school. Here’s how to manually enable a VPN to work on your iPhone:
- Tap on your “Settings” app on the Home Screen of your iPhone.
- Choose “General.”
- Press “VPN.”
- Tap “Add VPN Configuration.”
- Press “Type” and pick the type of VPN protocol you’re using. It could be IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP.
- Type in a description, remote ID, and a server for the VPN.
- Type in your username and password.
- Click “Manual” or “Auto” to enable your proxy server (if using one).
- Press “Done.”
Use the VPN on your iPhone
After you’ve enabled the VPN on your iPhone settings, you’ll have to activate it when you want to use it. Here’s how you can make your VPN active:
- Go to the “Settings” app on your phone.
- Go to “General.”
- Choose “VPN.”
- Tap the status switch on your VPN to turn it on.
Be sure to turn off your VPN whenever you’re not using it so it doesn’t use up your battery. It’s especially important to turn off your VPN if you’re on a limited plan from your provider.
Keep your device safe with McAfee Security for Mobile
A VPN is a great tool for keeping your internet connection private. When you install a VPN on your iPhone, you can enjoy the internet from anywhere knowing that your personal information has an extra layer of protection against advertisers and hackers.
Whether you use an Android or an iOS device, though, McAfee can help you stay safe online. With McAfee Security for Mobile, you can access quality security tools like a VPN and safe browsing.
Our award-winning app allows you to connect safely and seamlessly to the digital world while keeping unwanted visitors from entering your digital space. Enjoy one of our most comprehensive security technologies while living your best life online.