Everyone has been there. You're at a coffee shop or in an airport, and you desperately need to use public Wi-Fi and save your phone's data plan, but you're concerned about connecting securely and protecting your private data.
No need to worry. VPNs are easier to use on your phone than you think, and most are less expensive than you might've heard. Here's how to get a VPN, or virtual private network, set up the best VPN for iPhone -- and get back to browsing safely on your mobile device -- in under 10 minutes.
Why do you need to use a VPN on my phone, anyway?
Are all of the internet-connected apps on your phone up to date? How about your operating system -- is it the latest version from iOS? If the answer to any of those questions is, "I don't know," you should use a phone VPN. It may be hard for malicious actors to take advantage of everyday users on public Wi-Fi, but outdated software can give them the opening they need to steal the passwords to your most sensitive accounts.
If you're concerned about the risks of using public Wi-Fi to check sensitive work email accounts, bank account balances, or airline ticket and passport information, some of the best VPN for iPhone can offer some peace of mind.
How to choose the best mobile VPN?
If you're using an iPhone, your first step is to find the best VPN for iPhone that you like that's compatible with your mobile device. Here's how:
Browse the best VPNs for iPhone. If you aim to browse on public Wi-Fi securely, look for a VPN service with servers located in your current country. The general rule of thumb is the closer the hardware, the quicker the VPN connection.
Avoid free VPNs. You will love 30-day guarantees and seven-day trial periods (and you'll find many of those), but completely free VPNs are rarely safe and are often just a way for unseemly companies to get your data.
How to set up a VPN on an iPhone?
Here's how to get a VPN running on your Apple iPhone:
On your iPhone, go to your home screen and tap to open the App Store.
Tap the Search tab in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, then tap the Search box near the top of the screen.
Type in the name of the VPN you've chosen, and select it from the list that pops up. Then tap the Get button to the right of the app's name. Like any other app, you'll need to confirm the app installation with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.
Once your install has finished, close the App Store and return to your Home screen.
Just as using a VPN on iPhone for the first time means you'll be prompted to create a new account and select your preferred subscription level. Check your email inbox for any confirmation links your VPN company sends you if you've signed up using an email address.
Nearly all the best VPN for iPhone apps will prompt you to connect to an automatically selected VPN server to enable the fastest browsing based on your location. So from here on out, any time you'd like to use your VPN, all you'll need to do is tap the VPN icon on your Home screen before you start browsing the internet, click the app's button to connect, then go back to the VPN app and turn it off once you're finished.