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How to Install and Setup a VPN on iPhone and iPad in 2022

Stephen Wright
Last Updated by Stephen Wright on August 01, 2022

Hackers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and governmental agencies consistently try to access the private data on my iPhone. No matter the iOS device you use, security should always be your #1 priority as your data is susceptible to cyber attacks — due to vulnerabilities within iOS.

If you’re like me and care about your privacy, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your iOS devices. A VPN is a tool that redirects your internet connection through intermediary servers, providing security features that hide your IP address and location.

I thoroughly tested dozens of VPNs for iPhone and iPad users, identifying 3 of the best VPNs in terms of the protection they provide and the simplicity of the setup process. ExpressVPNs dedicated iOS app is easy to install and provides great protection. You can download ExpressVPN risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a refund in less than 5 days.

Browse safely and anonymously with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: 3 Easy Steps To Install a VPN on Your iPhone and iPad

  1. Get a VPN. An excellent choice is ExpressVPN, which protected my iPhone and made me feel secure with AES 256-bit military-grade encryption. Download ExpressVPN’s dedicated iOS app.
  2. Connect to a server in the country of your choice. Once connected, you’ll receive a dedicated IP address to access the internet safely.
  3. Start browsing securely. Travel internationally and use public WiFi without sacrificing your security or privacy.

Install ExpressVPN easily on your iPhone and iPad

What Is a VPN and Why Do You Need One on Your iOS Devices

A VPN is an app that allows you to reroute your internet connection through intermediary servers and acquire a new IP address — which is specific to your devices and identifies you while connected to the internet. VPNs add an extra layer of protection to your iOS devices, hiding your activity and data from third parties while enabling you to watch Netflix US from abroad.

Not all VPNs provide privacy and security measures, leaving your iOS devices vulnerable and identifiable to hackers and ISPs — who track your activity through IP leaks, inadequate encryption, and ineffective no-logs policies. However, ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider for the protection and privacy of your iOS devices — leveraging military-grade encryption, ultra-fast speeds, and a strict no-logs policy to ensure your safety and anonymity while using the internet.

Protect your iPad with ExpressVPN

How To Choose the Best VPN for Your iPhone and iPad in 2022

There are a plethora of VPNs with a dedicated iOS app to protect your iPhone and iPad, allowing you to consider which one is the best in terms of your privacy and security. To protect your iPhone and iPad while using the internet, you should consider:

  • AES 256-bit Encryption — AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption is almost unhackable, ensuring your security by providing military-grade protection that the US government uses to hide and protect confidential information.
  • Advanced VPN protocols — Choose between the best security protocols to protect your iPhone and iPad, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and ExpressVPNs own Lightway protocol.
  • Kill switch — Automatically disconnect from the internet when your VPN connection drops, enhancing your security when unprotected until your connection is reestablished.
  • No-logs policy — Browse the internet freely without logs and bypass data retention laws including the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
  • Multiple simultaneous connections — Connect your iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices simultaneously, ensuring optimal protection and privacy while reducing overcrowded servers that cause buffering and lag.
  • 24/7 customer support — Fix your problems with thorough feedback that you can receive in less than 5 minutes.

Leverage AES 256-bit encryption using ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs for Your iPhone and iPad in August 2022

1. ExpressVPN — TrustedServer Technology on Every Server to Protect Your iPhone and iPad From Hacks

  • AES 256-bit military-grade encryption to protect your iPhone or iPad from third parties, hackers, and ISPs
  • Over 3000 RAM servers in 94+ countries to stay safe and protected regardless of the websites you visit
  • Protect up to 5 devices simultaneously including your iPhone, iPad, and any other iOS device that runs iOS 12 or above
  • 24/7 live chat feature, customer support, and email helpdesk to solve your problems instantly
  • 30-day money-back guarantee to make you feel safe and secure

TrustedServer technology on over 3000 RAM servers in 94+ countries ensures your iPhones data is automatically deleted — allowing you to safely access local websites while using any iOS device. While traveling for work with my iPhone and iPad, I could safely access Netflix US without interception. ExpressVPN was the most secure VPN throughout the testing process due to its RAM servers — which other VPNs don’t provide.

ExpressVPN’s DNS leak protection feature is integrated into each of its servers, allowing you to remain anonymous and overcome privacy threats while using an iPhone or iPad. Without its own private DNS, ExpressVPN would be unable to protect your DNS requests from being intercepted. While thoroughly testing ExpressVPN, my internet activity on my iPhone 8 was hidden and protected at all times — ensuring I felt highly secure while browsing the internet.

Screenshot of secure DNS servers and DNS Leak Test using ExpressVPN
I connected to one of ExpressVPN’s secure DNS servers — New York

ExpressVPN offers AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, IKEv2, and Lightway protocols on any iOS device, which are the best security features available to VPN users. Offering its own Lightway protocol to provide an outstanding balance of speed and security, I felt safe while connected to ExpressVPN without sacrificing my internet connections’ super-fast speeds.

Screenshot of ultra-fast speeds while using ExpressVPN
Connecting to ExpressVPN’s servers barely affected my internet speeds

ExpressVPN allows you to connect up to 5 iOS devices simultaneously, including your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and iMac. While testing ExpressVPN, I successfully connected 5 iOS devices — which is much more than I needed and made me feel highly secure while using iCloud. Despite ExpressVPN being more expensive than other VPNs, you can save a large amount of money and get 49% off when purchasing an annual subscription.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-install, premium VPN with advanced security features that protect your iPhone and iPad simultaneously, ExpressVPN is the best choice due to its TrustedServer technology. However, before you commit to an annual subscription, I recommend that you download ExpressVPN using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied, you can get a full refund in less than 5 working days.

ExpressVPN works with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, routers, Chrome, Kindle, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TVs.

ExpressVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, and more.

Maximize your security with ExpressVPN

August 2022 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Automatically Connect to the Fastest Server and Protect Your iOS Devices Without Sacrificing Performance

  • Integrated ad and malware blockers to protect your iOS devices from malware, viruses, trojans, spyware, and more.
  • Over 8200 servers in 91+ countries to maximize your iPhone and iPad’s protection from anywhere
  • Protect up to 7 iOS devices simultaneously and keep your iCloud data safe from prying eyes
  • 24/7 customer support to answer questions and rectify issues you may have
  • 45-day money-back guarantee to make you feel secure

CyberGhost’s Best Server Location feature allows iPhone users to instantly connect to the fastest servers available. For example, during my thorough tests of CyberGhost, I connected to its fastest server without configuration — New York. I appreciated being able to protect my iPhone 8 in seconds without sacrificing my internet speed or having to search for the fastest server.

The vast network of international servers provided by CyberGhost are organized by location and latency — fastest to slowest and closest to furthest. CyberGhost is an excellent choice if you care about usability and convenience, allowing you to connect to over 8200 servers in 91 countries. For example, while testing CyberGhost, I bypassed overcrowded servers despite connecting to a server over 250 miles away.

Screenshot of US servers ordered by latency and location using CyberGhost
CyberGhost has 11 US servers including New York, Los Angeles, and Miami

CyberGhost allows you to choose between 3 security protocols to protect your iPhone or iPad, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard — considered the most secure protocols that don’t compromise security over speed. I appreciated choosing between protocols, enabling me to tailor my experience to my personal needs.

The only minor con I identified throughout the testing process of CyberGhost was that the latency of its servers increases the further away the server is. However, you’ll still be able to stream Netflix US in HD with limited interruptions — even when traveling abroad for work.

If you’re looking for a VPN with premium security features to ensure your protection while using iOS devices, CyberGhost’s Best Server Location feature and integrated ad and malware blockers are excellent. However, before committing to an annual subscription, download CyberGhost to maximize your security using its 45-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund just like me in less than 7 working days.

CyberGhost works with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV.

CyberGhost unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, Crunchyroll, and Yie.

Block ads and malware with CyberGhost

August 2022 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.29 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 3-year plan (save up to 82%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Customize the Level of Encryption Used to Protect Your iPhone or iPad

  • Choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols or manually configure PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and SOCKS5.
  • Over 35000 servers in 80 + countries to ensure you can find a server close by and maximize your connection
  • Protect up to 10 iOS devices simultaneously including the iPhone 13 — the most out of any VPN on this list
  • 24/7 live chat and customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA gives you the opportunity to customize the level of encryption used to protect your iOS devices, allowing you to increase its performance on older iPhones and iPads. Throughout the testing process of PIA, I could choose between AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit encryption — enabling me to encrypt my older iPhone 8 without using too much power.

While testing PIA, I could choose between OpenVPN, WireGuard, PPTP, L2TP/ IPSec, and SOCKS5 on my iPhone — more than any other top VPN. Additionally, I discovered PIA has a “use small packets” feature, which increases your connection speeds when using OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols on your iOS devices.

Screenshot of IPSec (IKEv2), WireGuard, and OpenVPN options on PIA
I could choose between IPSec (IKEv2), WireGuard, and OpenVPN using PIA

PIA has the largest network of servers out of every VPN on this list, providing over 35000 servers in 80+ countries. During my tests, I was able to connect to servers within the US and had many options if issues arose. For example, I could instantly connect to its New York, Washington DC, and Miami servers on my iPhone 8 and iPad Pro.

The only minor con I identified throughout the testing process was that PIA is located within the US, at the heart of the data-sharing network 5/9/19 Eyes Alliance. However, due to its strict no-logs policies, no connection data is stored and cannot be shared with governmental organizations.

If you’re looking for a premium VPN that protects multiple iOS devices simultaneously, PIA is a great choice. PIA protects up to 10 iOS devices simultaneously — the most on this list. However, before committing to an annual subscription, download PIA using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund in less than 7 working days.

Private Internet Access works with: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Amazon Fire Stick

Private Internet Access unblocks: Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video.

Protect up to 10 iOS devices with PIA

August 2022 Update! For a limited time only, save 82% with the 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!

How to Install and Setup a VPN on your iOS Devices (Step-by-Step Guide)

Setting Up a VPN App on Your iPhone or iPad

Setting up a VPN on your iPhone and iPad is extremely easy with a dedicated iOS app, which all three of the top VPNs provide. If you’re looking for the best monthly VPN plan for your iOS devices, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the Apple Store and search for a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because of its military-grade encryption and private DNS RAM servers. Download ExpressVPN to protect your iPhone and iPad from hackers.
  2. Click “Get” and wait for the installation to complete. Once installed, open the app.
  3. Sign in to an existing account or start a 7-Day Free Trial. You will be required to insert your email address and password to sign in. However, to sign up, you will need to input a valid email address to start the registration process and complete the requirements for the free trial.
    Screenshot of 7-Day Free Trial or sign up page on the ExpressVPN iOS app
  4. Click “Agree and Continue” to accept the VPNs conditions. For example, the VPN will only hold information used to maintain your subscription, including your name, email address, and payment details.
  5. Click “Continue” to add VPN configurations. You will be required to click “Allow” and use your Touch ID to add VPN configurations to your iOS devices — you will be automatically redirected to your iOS settings and will not be required to do anything else to configure your iPhone or iPad.
    Screenshot of touch ID to add VPN configurations to an iPhone or iPad using the ExpressVPN iOS app
  6. Select “Ok” and “Allow” to receive VPN notifications. Notifications will inform you when your VPN connects and disconnects, ensuring your security at all times.
  7. Tap to connect to its fastest server. Alternatively, you can select the server or location of your choice based on your individual needs.
    Screenshot of tap to connect button on the ExpressVPN iOS app

Setting Up a VPN on Your iPhone or iPad Without Using the Apple Store

  1. Visit your iPhone or iPad settings. You can do this by simply clicking the settings icon on your home screen.
  2. Click “General” and scroll down to “VPN”. You will be able to find the VPN section below common settings like Date & Time, Keyboard, and Language & Region.
  3. Within the VPN section, click “Add VPN Configuration”. You will then be required to input your VPNs information, including your chosen security protocol, the VPNs description, server, remote ID, and local ID. In addition to this, you must input the username and password associated with your VPN account and can choose between “Off”, “Manual”, and “Auto” for your proxy. However, depending on the VPN, you may be required to insert your certificate. If unsure how to do this, you can find all of this information on the VPNs website when you’ve logged in or created an account. 
    Screenshot of iOS settings to add VPN configurations
  4. Press “Done”. You will then be returned to the VPN section of your iOS settings.
  5. Turn the VPN on. You can do this by clicking the “Not Connected” toggle, which will then automatically connect you to the VPN and create a small VPN icon in the top left-hand corner of your iPhone and iPad.
    Screenshot of how to turn on CyberGhost within iOS settings

Setup ExpressVPN easily using its dedicated iOS app

How to Manually Configure a VPN on an iPhone or iPad

When manually configuring a VPN onto your iPhone or iPad, you will follow the same procedure as the “Setting up a VPN on your iPhone or iPad without using the Apple Store” section. However, please note that you are required to choose a VPN protocol and will have three options: IKEv2, IPSec, and L2TP. I suggest IKEv2 due to its good balance between security and speed — make sure your VPN provider supports your chosen protocol.

To configure a VPN on to your iOS device, go to: Settings > General > VPN > Add VPN Configuration > Type (Select a protocol) > Fill in information (Description, Server, Remote ID, Local ID) > Authentication (username, password) > Proxy > Done > Connect.

Manually configure ExpressVPN on your iPhone or iPad

FAQs on Setting Up a VPN on Your iPhone and iPad in 2022

Do iOS devices have a built-in VPN?

No, but iOS devices will be introducing built-in VPN features when iOS 15 is released — iCloud Private Relay. Despite the military-grade encryption and future developments within iOS, your iPhone and iPad will be vulnerable to cyber attacks due to unused encryption measures unless you can find a premium VPN to protect you.

Is it safe to install a VPN on my iOS devices?

Yes, each of the top VPNs are exceptionally safe to install on your iPhone and iPad. But not only that, installing a VPN on your iOS device will significantly enhance your security and privacy — keeping your data from prying eyes, hackers, ISPs, and other third parties. To ensure maximum security and anonymity, download ExpressVPN and take advantage of its TrustedServer technology and military-grade encryption.

What else can a VPN on my iPhone and iPad do?

The top VPNs with a dedicated iOS app allow you to access your favorite streaming platforms from abroad safely, avoid slow upload and download speeds, split-tunnel your connection to simultaneously use your VPN while accessing your usual apps, remain anonymous with strict no-logs policies and even use smart DNS to use a VPN on incompatible devices.

Can I use a free VPN on my iPhone and iPad?

Yes, but I would not recommend using a free VPN over a premium VPN on your iPhone or iPad — as their ability to ensure your privacy and security are extremely limited. For example, while testing a plethora of free VPNs, I found that they don’t provide no-logs policies or AES 256-bit encryption — leaving your data at risk of being intercepted by hackers and ISPs. Additionally, your iOS devices become the likely targets of ransomware and phishing schemes as free VPNs don’t have the resources to protect you.

Secure your iPhone from hackers with ExpressVPN

Easily Install and Setup a VPN on your iPhone and iPad in 2022

If you’re looking to protect your iPhone and iPad from the prying eyes of hackers and ISPs, you need a premium VPN that instantly deletes stored data and leverages military-grade encryption. A VPN redirects your internet connection through encrypted intermediary servers, protecting the data your iOS devices send and receive while providing advanced security features.

After testing over 30 top VPNs, I found that ExpressVPNs AES 256-bit military-grade encryption and dedicated Lightway protocol can protect your iOS devices. If you value your security and privacy when browsing the internet through your iPhone or iPad, download ExpressVPN using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied, you can get a full refund as I did in less than 5 working days.

Download ExpressVPN risk-free

Summary — The Best VPNs for Your iOS Devices (Updated August 2022)

Top Choice
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.29 / month Save 82%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
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