The Best Way To Connect To VPNs From Your iOS Device

The Best Way To Connect To VPNs From Your iOS Device
The Best Way To Connect To VPNs From Your iOS Device

You will not need to struggle to look for a good VPN these days – there are plenty of good ones out there, and have excellent levels of support (especially when considering the price points you will find them in). There are also increasing opportunities to connect to OpenVPN networks, in addition to the integration of Cisco IPSec and L2/IPSec protocol integrations through third-party apps. 

There are many things to look at when using and considering a VPN for your device, such as remembering the speed of the servers when you are selecting a VPN provider. Choosing good iPhone VPNs requires that you take some time to do your research, but their availability is a good thing because it means that you can find something that does work for you. all iOS devices, at least from the iOS 8 and anything after that, are able to continue using the VPN even when the screen goes to sleep, and you will not need to constantly reconnect (unlike previous iOS devices that forced you to constantly do so). There are some easy ways to connect to VPNs from your device, and we will discuss them in this article.

Using a dedicated app

Using a dedicated app

The good thing is that the best VPN services will offer you standalone apps that will save you the hassle of searching for a good VPN. There are some that are simpler than others, while some cater to users that are advanced in their use and knowledge of cyber security

In the case of these apps, you will not need to mess around with the VPN settings that are inherent in your device. All you need to do is opening the app, logging into the system, and connect to the country you want, while the app does the rest for you. It will not get much simpler compared to that.

Connecting through Cisco IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2

If the VPN you want does not have an app specifically for iOS, and you are struggling to find a reputable app, you can always use the built-in VPN settings in your iPhone device.

First, you open the settings menu on the iOS device, select the ‘General’ category, and then scroll to the bottom of the list and click on VPN. The resulting menu has an ‘Add VPN configuration’ option, which you can use to add your first VPN settings to the device. It will also allow you to add multiple VPNs as well.

Depending on the type of VPN you want to connect to, you can always select the L2TP, IPSec, or IKEv2 options. Enter the connection details of the VPN on the screen, and then connect to the network. If your workplace is providing the details of your VPN, it will give you these details.

The difference here is when you have OpenVPN servers that you want to use, as they are handled in a different way. In addition to this, make sure to avoid PPTP connection protocols, as they are insecure and old, so always opt for a better VPN protocol.

Connecting through Cisco IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2

If you require certificate files in order to connect to the VPN, you will need to import them before you set the network up. You can either access them through a website in the Safari browser, or access them in the Mail app and import them. If you need the certificate files in order to connect, the organization that owns the VPN server should provide them to you and mention the certificates in the instructions of setting up the network. 

Disconnecting and connecting to the VPN

After setting up a VPN, you can always disconnect from it through opening the Settings window and toggling the VPN slider at the upper part of the screen. When the device is connected to the VPN, an icon indicating ‘VPN’ will appear at the top of your device’s screen in its status bar.

If your iOS device has multiple VPN networks, you can also switch between them. You do this through going to the Settings menu, the clicking on ‘General’ and then ‘VPN’ – which is the same screen you used when you were adding the VPNs.

Connecting to OpenVPN

Connecting to OpenVPN

Even though OpenVPN support on Apple devices is not active, it is still okay. Similar to the Android platform, there are ways for you to use third-party VPN apps in your iOS device. That also means that you can always connect to any kind of VPN from your iPad or iPhone (assuming that there is a third-party app in the store that can connect to it).

You can always use an OpenVPN connection app in the case for OpenVPN. You will only need to install the app, launching it, and using it to connect to the VPN servers you want.

In order to configure the server you use to the OpenVPN connect app, you will need to import the .ovpn file, which is the profile you will use in this case. If you want to do it manually, you connect the iOS device to your computer, open the iTunes menu and choose the connected device. Copy the .ovpn file and all the key files, which you can then use to connect to the VPN from the app itself.

The OpenVPN apps are not just ‘apps’ in the sense of normal apps. Instead, they will give you a VPN connection at the level of the system, all you can connect to the internet through the apps on your device and the VPN itself.

 

Final thoughts

For iOS users, you will note that large organizations that are managing iPad or iPhone deployments centrally will want to avoid setting up VPN protocols for every device they make, and will prefer the mobile device management server or configuration profiles to do much of the job. All you need is have a configuration profile file with the VPN settings in it, and then install the profile to get the appropriate VPN settings on your device.