How to Set Up a VPN for Android and iPhone

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A large part of your digital life now takes place on your smartphone, whether an Android or an iPhone – online shopping, mobile banking, Skype chats with colleagues, and posting life memories on Instagram are a few examples. We might not yet be on the same level as Black Mirror, but there is no disputing that we are virtually always linked. Although it’s easy, life online exposes you to privacy risks. Without sufficient security, data about you and your online activities could end up in the hands of 3rd parties such as your businesses, Internet Service providers (ISP), or even hackers. Utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) on your smartphone protects your digital privacy, whether at the office, at home, or on public Wi-Fi. In this article, we will discuss how to set up a VPN to secure your phone.

How to Set Up a VPN on Android?

1. OpenVPN

The process of setting up OpenVPN on Android is quite simple. To begin, visit the website of your VPN provider to see if they offer the OpenVPN connection (which is very likely). The essential OpenVPN config files (settings that describe how each link will function) should also be available on your VPN provider’s website. Remember that these items deliver as ZIP files, which will require a file manager tool to open.

You’ll also require to install OpenVPN Connection for Android from Play Store to set up the OpenVPN protocol with Android. Once you’ve installed the configuration files and client software, you are ready to proceed. Most VPN providers have helpful guides on configuring a VPN on Android devices on their websites; if they are accessible, use them as a reference. Others, on the other hand, may give the files required. In this instance, look for references to OVPN or OpenVPN files on their assistance web pages, or use Option 4 to explain how to configure OpenVPN on Android.

2. L2TP/IPSec

Although OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec is already enabled by Android, no extra VPN application software is required. Instead, you’ll need to find a list of VPN server IP addresses and your VPN company’s VPN IPSec pre-shared key from your VPN company. As previously indicated, it may be openly accessible through your VPN company’s website; if not, you will be able to access it after registering into your VPN account. You will have L2TP/IPSec set up if you follow the Android configuration manual or your provider’s guidelines.

3. IKEv2

You’ll require to install 3rd party client application to configure this VPN protocol unless you have a Windows or Blackberry mobile phone, both of which allow IKEv2 naturally. Install and download the strongSwan Vpn Connection for Android from the Play Store. You’ll require your VPN company’s server list, much like with L2TP/IPSec; some companies additionally include a connection license file that you may download.

StrongSwan’s website outlines the file format, general setup, and credentials you will need, although the overall layout is comparable to L2TP/IPSec. You’ll require to supply the server address you want to utilize from your supplier’s server list once more. Then you may either “Import certificate” using the earlier obtained certificate file or utilize your VPN account login details for verification (with the CA Certificate box set to “Select Automatically”).

How to Set Up a VPN on iPhone?

1. OpenVPN

A VPN client program is required because OpenVPN is not set up directly for iOS. The sole client for OpenVPN setup is OpenVPN Connect for iOS, which can be downloaded and installed simply from the Apple Application Store.

Luckily, setting up an iPhone VPN is simple. After you’ve installed the software, you’ll require to find and install the OpenVPN setup files from your VPN provider’s portal. Most VPN companies also have informative configuration tutorials on their websites; if they are accessible, consider them as a reference. Some, on the other hand, may give the files required. In this instance, look for references to OVPN or OpenVPN files on the support websites.

Open each item in your OpenVPN application and hit the green “+” icon to add the server. Repeat unless you have added all of the servers you’d like. It’s worth noting that, while the application can remember several servers, you can only join one at a time. Afterward, all you have to do is connect by entering your VPN details.

2. L2TP/IPSec

While OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec is naturally accessible on iOS, no other VPN client program is required. However, you’ll need to find a list of VPN server IP addresses and your VPN supplier’s VPN IPSec pre-shared code from your VPN provider. As previously indicated, this might be publically available through your VPN provider’s portal; if not, you will be able to obtain it after registering into your VPN service.

Goto General -> VPN -> Add VPN Settings on your iPad or iPhone Settings icon. Then select the protocol you want to set up under “Type” (on iOS, it displays as “L2TP,” but do not stress, it encrypts with IPSec). You will have L2TP/IPSec set up if you follow the iOS configuration manual or your supplier’s guidelines.

3. IKEv2

Usually, VPNs support iOS. It includes IKEv2, which does not support many devices – the only ones for smartphones are Blackberry, iOS, and Windows. You merely have to go to your iPad’s or Phone Settings icon and hit General -> VPN -> Add VPN Setup, just like with L2TP/IPSec. Then select the protocol you want to set up under “Type” (in this case, IKEv2).

Find the VPN server’s IP addresses provided by your VPN operator, select the one you want to use, and enter it in the “Server” section on the setup page. Connect using the rest of your VPN supplier’s connecting information, including your account password and username. Few VPN providers may employ certificate verification rather than your password and username; if this is the situation, you must download these files before configuring your VPN connection. 

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David's versatile blogging expertise spans across multiple domains, including fashion, finance, and education. With 5 years of experience, he curates engaging content that resonates with his audience, offering practical advice and inspiration in equal measure.