Should You Always Use A VPN It Depends On These 7 Things
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a powerful tool that prevents corporations and cybercriminals from accessing your personal information. When you use a VPN, your data travels to a remote server via a secure connection. The remote server masks your IP address, so it looks like you are accessing the internet from another location, which also allows you to .
Because of this, VPNs have grown in popularity over the past few years, particularly in countries like China, where online censorship is rampant and sometimes dangerous. However, people all over the globe use VPNs to protect their privacy, anonymity, and unrestricted access to the internet. But is it necessary to have your VPN switched on and connected at all times?
Well, it depends on why youre using a VPN. To help you decide if a constant connection is necessary, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
When Should I Use A VPN On My Iphone
Unless you know for sure that your WiFi connection is secure, then you should always use a VPN on your iPhone for your security. And even if you’re connection is secure, your ISP definitely tracks everything you do on the internet, including browsing history and download history. They can easily sell that data to a third party or the government.
Also, if you’re wanting to stream an overseas show or watch US Netflix with a VPN, then you’ll need to make sure you have a good one installed and active.
Securing Your Iphone: What To Remember
So, what’s important when choosing the best VPN for iPhone? You’ll want a no-fuss, no-logs VPN app that secures your every online move, simply by switching it on.
The NordVPN iOS app does exactly that and more. Here’s a checklist of what to consider:
- Lots of servers.NordVPN for iPhone lets you choose from more than 5200 servers in 59 countries. A vast network of servers guarantees better speeds and a stable connection.
- No logs policy. You have to be able to trust your VPN provider. NOrdVPN is committed to guarding your privacy, so we never log any of your data.
- 24/7 customer service. Our award-winning customer support agents are there for you anytime you need help. Just drop us a line!
- Bulletproof security. NordVPN uses the AES encryption protocol with 256-bit keys so that no one can decrypt your data.
- User-friendly interface. Our iOS app is nice to look at, but more importantly, its incredibly easy to use. Download, log in, click the Quick connect button and youre done!
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Should I Use A VPN On My Iphone
Yes, you should. Were hearing lots of discussions about VPNs and their benefits for both individuals and businesses. People are getting more concerned about their privacy and data security, and already have a VPN app installed on their desktops or Android phones. However, the same couldnt be said about iPhone users many of them still have what may be called the Apple syndrome, and believe they are safe because they use iOS.
Its true that hackers target Android or Windows more often because of their popularity. But recently, a number of vulnerabilities in macOS and iOS have finally busted the myth of Apples unbreakable security.
So if you own an iPhone, its about time you take some steps to protect your online traffic.
What Does VPN Mean At The Top Corner Of My Screen
When you see this VPN logo at the top corner screen of your mobile phone it means that you have an active VPN connection running.
A VPN program can be set to automatically start when you turn on your phone or you may have activated it yourself.
The VPN logo is typically shown in a little squared box like the example above. When you see the logo you can do into your phone setting to see where the VPN comes from and which program it is run by.
Heres how you check that on an iPhone:
Here you can see whether it says Connected or not. If you see the squared VPN icon at the top of the screen it means that the VPN is active. It will say on this screen which VPN you are using. Heres how it currently looks on my iPhone as Im using a VPN called ExpressVPN:
You can also see the logo at the top of my screen above.
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How Does VPN On Iphone Work
When you download and set up a VPN app for iPhone such as Documents by Readdle with its new VPN feature, it creates a special VPN configuration profile that is installed in your iPhones settings. Once installed, you will be able to enable/disable the VPN session directly from the app and also manually select the VPN server country to which you want to connect to. With a single tap, you can enable VPN on your iPhone using the Documents app. Even if you leave the app, the VPN connection stays active and protects & secures all your data.
When the VPN feature is turned ON, all the network traffic to and from your iPhone will be relayed through the VPN server through a secure & encrypted connection. The iPhone & the server will behave as if theyre on the same local network.
Effectively, instead of the communication happening as iPhone Internet over an insecure channel, it happens as iPhone VPN Server Internet where the ‘iPhone VPN Server’ communication is safeguarded as follows:
To fully understand how VPN works on your iPhone, lets take a look at a couple of real-world examples:
Usually VPN Can Be Turned Off Easily On Iphones
If youve been using a VPN on your iPhone and are trying to find a way to turn it off, just try the steps above. Chances are that one of our suggested fixes will sort things out nicely for you.
Its worth mentioning that using a trusted, renowned VPN such as Private Internet Access on your iPhone might decrease the odds of such issues ever occurring.
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VPNs Help Secure You On Insecure Networks
A VPN helps protect you from hackers and snoopers who want to know what kind of information youre sending back and forth between yourself and another internet server.
Often times when youre using free and unsecured Wi-Fi at McDonalds or a hotel, youre leaving your information wide open for someone with good packet-sniffing software to tap into your login credentials for websites, and even to snoop on what you may be saying to people or doing while you use the internet.
Even Wi-Fi networks with weak WEP encryption keys, or other weaker forms of encryption can be broken by a good hacker, so you really need to be careful what kinds of Wi-Fi networks youre logging onto without using at least a VPN to help protect yourself and your information.
Does Using A VPN Slow Down Your Internet Connection
The short answer is that yes, a VPN will almost certainly increase the latency of your internet connection and decrease your upload and download speeds. Anecdotally, the already limited mobile speeds seem to be especially adversely affected by VPNs. We also have noticed, but have not confirmed with testing, that VPNs seem to disconnect and reconnect more frequently with mobile devices than desktop machines.
To get a sense of the impact a VPN may have on your internet connection, we compare the results from a series of Ookla speed tests with and without the VPN active. Network speeds can vary greatly depending on time of day, network conditions, and where you happen to be at the time, so we consider our results to be a snapshot for comparison rather than the final judgement on a service’s performance.
We measure speeds on the PCMag Labs network using a Windows desktop. Prior to 2021, we tested VPN products back to back, but COVID-19 restrictions have limited our ability to test VPNs in the PCMag Labs. We now use a rolling model and will release new results throughout the year. The latest data is in the chart below.
We rely on a Windows desktop and wired connection for our testing because we’ve found it to be more reliable than testing on individual mobile devices. But as we said above, there at least appear to be some unique issues with VPNs on mobile. Also, not all VPN providers use the same protocol on every platform, which can impact performance.
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How To Use A VPN On Mac
VPNs for your Mac can get a little bit more complicated. Most VPN apps require you to toggle the VPN on from the app itself, and the only way you toggle them from your System Preferences app is if you added them there yourself to begin with. They can be had from the Mac App Store, as well as all around the internet on the webpages of VPN companies.
Once again, well just use TunnelBear for our example, which is a free VPN you can use on your Mac with a limited data cap each month. Once installed by following the on-screen instructions, all you do is click on the TunnelBear app icon in your Menu Bar to open the VPNs toggle interface, and you turn the VPN to the on position.
Just like in iOS, youll see it attempt to connect for several seconds, and then itll let you know when its connected. Unfortunately, unlike iOS, macOS doesnt show a VPN icon in the Menu Bar to let you know when youre protected, but you can always check the status of your VPN from the VPN interface itself, depending on the app you use for TunnelBear, it does.
Use An Iphone VPN To Bypass Geo Restrictions
Whether you fancy catching up on your favourite show from your holiday sun lounger, or are trying to while away the time on a work trip abroad, a VPN can ensure you can get access to everything you would from home.
That’s because when you’re outside of your home country, services like Netflix will offer up regional libraries based on your location, and some services might not work at all.
This is known as geo-blocking, and it’s a pain for seasoned travellers who rely on their iPhones for entertainment when they’re away from home. Thankfully if you have an iPhone VPN installed, you can mask your location and have the service you’re trying to access think you’re sat on your sofa at home. In fact, pick your iPhone VPN carefully and you can have a service think you’re anywhere in the world.
Of course, you should only ever access the content from the country you have the right to. It’s people that don’t follow that advice that have caused services to get clever to VPNs, and you’ll find some will be blocked. Still, dig around and you can usually find one that’ll work to get your fix just don’t rely on it to still be in place for your next trip.
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What Is A VPN Exactly
A VPN or virtual private network creates what’s known as a VPN tunnel. This acts as a kind of encrypted shield, rerouting the encrypted data through one of the VPN servers. So, for example, if you use NordVPN when browsing via your iPhone, it’s nearly impossible for a hacker or anyone to see your internet activity and data. Even your ISP will not be able to track your downloads or sell your browsing data.
Your IP address will become masked and with a service like NordVPN, you’ll be given a dedicated IP address so you don’t get bogged down by Captcha authentication.
Turn Your VPN Off And Back On
Well begin by troubleshooting a potential software problem. There may be a minor connectivity glitch with your VPN. Turning it off and back on can fix the problem by resetting the connection between your iPhone and the VPN service provider.
Open Settings and tap VPN. Tap the Status switch to turn it off. Youll know your VPN is off when it says Not Connected. Tap the switch again to turn your VPN on again.
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Which Is The Best VPN For Iphone
Theres no shortage of VPN services in the market today. There are numerous free & paid VPN websites and services that offer a wide range of features and claim to protect your digital privacy and secure your data. Unfortunately, many of these VPN services are fly-by-night and there have been several instances where VPN providers have leaked critical data belonging to users. Thats why it is very important to choose a good VPN app that respects your privacy and values your data. Running a VPN server isnt cheap, so if any VPN app claims to offer access to multiple VPN servers for a nominal monthly fee, its best to stay away from them. You need a VPN app that offers a great set of features, easy-to-use interface and a choice of VPN servers spread across the globe.
Thats why Documents is the Best VPN app for iPhone. Documents is the super app for file actions on your iOS devices and now comes with a powerful VPN feature that makes your internet life easier, faster, and safer. You can choose from VPN servers in 27 countries, and get ultra-fast speeds. The VPN feature works even when youre not using the app, so youll always stay safe. The Documents app is now much more than just a file manager for iOS and comes with an outstanding set of features to help you work with all kinds of files on your device.
Get Documents for Free and start enjoying the benefits of VPN on your iPhone.
Stay Invisible My Friends
VPNs are a fantastic tool for improving your Internet security, and are something of a Swiss Army knife for protecting your privacy by allowing you to geo-spoof your location. OpenVPN is by far the most secure VPN protocol commonly used, and although setting it up can be a bit more laborious than simply using a providers custom software or manually configuring L2TP or PPTP, its use is strongly recommended .
Bottom line: Use a VPN to stay much more invisible online!
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Access Stuff From Back Home On Vacation
When you go abroad, many websites and services from your home country become unavailable. This is because of geo-restrictions set up by those websites. With a VPN, you can pretend to be back home by connecting to a server in your country. This lets you access websites and services youre your home country, even while you are away on vacation. For more information, check out our VPNs to use while on holiday guide.
But Leaving It On All The Time
However, youll need to make a few compromises when constantly using a VPN. First of all, theres often a problem with speed. Because VPNs reroute your internet traffic to another server, this can result in time delays. So if you intend on gaming, downloading a long film or transferring large files, its probably best to turn your VPN off – as long as you’re on a secured source of Wi-Fi, of course.
Keeping your VPN switched on may also affect battery life, especially if you spend a lot of time surfing the web, streaming and playing games on your iPhone. Itll constantly be working in the background, which means youll likely see your battery percentage drop throughout the day.
For any iPhone user who spends a lot of time on their device, leaving a VPN app on at all times makes a lot of sense. Itll allow you to protect your personal data and ensure hackers cant compromise your device around the clock while allowing you to do even more with your iPhone VPN. But just be wary that this may affect battery life and overall internet speed.
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Configure The VPN In The Iphones Settings
After youve done this, well need to configure your VPN in your iPhones Settings.
Now, you can activate your VPN in the Settings. You can also select the location of the server youd like to use.
What VPN Should I Use On Iphone
If you are looking for a VPN, then we recommend one of the following services:
- ExpressVPN – Fantastic speeds, servers around the world, unblocks just about everything.
- CyberGhost – A good looking iPhone app, very secure, some really cool features.
- PrivateInternetAccess – Great for privacy, easy to use, has a kill switch.
If you want more information and some alternatives, then check out our best VPNs for iPhone guide. The VPNs we have recommended have been thoroughly tested by our VPN experts, and they are all world-class services that provide the best levels of security and privacy. They are also services that offer the very best value for money.
Alternatively, there are some free VPN services that we recommend to iPhone users. These services won’t be able to unblock any streaming services, but they will help you to improve your online security. Check out our free VPNs for iPhone page for a list of services.
If you have any questions, please dont hesitate to drop us a message below. We are always happy to help.
Written by:Ray Walsh
Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He’s been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more.
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