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How to add a VPN to an iPhone

Using a virtual private network, or VPN, on your iPhone is a useful way to protect your privacy online and can help you access blocked websites in certain less-than-open territories.

Which is why we recommend any web user, or phone owner have one installed on their handset. Here’s how to add a VPN to an iPhone in six easy steps.

NOTE: We used Surfshark for this guide, as it’s our current pick for the best VPN. However, other similarly solid (not to mention cheaper) VPN services are available, and the method for using them is much the same.

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What we used

  • We used the iPhone 13 Pro, but these methods will work on any iPhone.
  • We used the Surfshark VPN app, as it’s our pick for the best VPN and it has a free trial.

The Short Version

  • Open the App Store
  • Download Surfshark VPN
  • Create account
  • Choose your plan
  • Connect and Allow
  • Select your region
  1. Step

    Open the App Store

    The exact position of the App Store will depend on how you’ve setup your home screen, but the icon looks like the one circled in the above screen shot.iOS App Store shortcut

  2. Step

    Download Surfshark VPN

    Download the Surfshark app from the App Store, then open the app. Tap OK to enable it to find and connect to devices on your local network.Surfshark VPN iPhone download

  3. Step

    Create account

    Tap the Create account button, enter your email address and create an 8-character password.Surfshark account VPN

  4. Step

    Choose your plan

    Select which payment plan you want. The 12 month plan has a free trial and works out to be by far the best value, but it is possible to pay monthly. Hit Subscribe and authenticate your card.Surfshark VPN plan iOS

  5. Step

    Connect and Allow

    Tap Quick-connect, followed by Continue. Now press Allow to enable Surfshark to add a VPN configuration to your iPhone. Enter your iPhone passcode when asked.Surfshark quick connect VPN

  6. Step

    Select your region

    You are now connected via a VPN, meaning your online activity is encrypted and your location hidden. If you want to make it appear like you’re in a specific country for streaming access purposes, go back into Surfshark, hit the Locations tab at the bottom, and select your desired location.Surfshark VPN locations iOS


How do I revert to a ‘normal’ connection?

Simply head into the Surfshark app and hit the Disconnect button.

Should I trust free VPN services?

Free VPN services range wildly in quality and security, and often give your data to marketers. If you’re going free, stick to reputable VPN companies.

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