A virtual private network, commonly known as a VPN, is the best tool for protecting a user’s personal information while communicating online. It can be configured on any mobile device, including the iPhone. By using a VPN, users can browse the Internet safely over unsecured wireless networks. The VPN will prevent their data transmissions from being accessed by third-party snoops. VPNs create secure tunnels through which information is transmitted to and from the user’s device. Prior to transmission, all data is encrypted for further protection.

Choosing a Protocol

Most VPN services will allow users to choose a data encryption protocol. The two best protocol choices for the iPhone are PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IP security).

PPTP will provide the user with 128-bit data encryption and fast connection speeds. L2TP/IPsec, on the other hand, will provide 256-bit data encryption and better security as the data is encrypted twice. However, this protocol uses more system resources and results in a slightly slower connection speed. The L2TP/IPsec protocol is a wise choice for users who transmit extremely sensitive data. Otherwise, the encryption provided by PPTP is sufficient for protecting a user’s data.

Configuring the VPN service on an iPhone

When a user purchases a VPN service for their iPhone, they will have to do a little initial setup. Configuring the VPN service is easy and takes only a couple minutes.

Prior to beginning the set-up, the user should have the configuration email provided by the VPN service at the time of purchase. Information they will need can be found in this email. This will include the server address and the assigned username and password. If the user wishes to use the L2TP/IPsec protocol, they will also need the security key or “shared secret” code.

To set up the service, the user should follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to the settings and then select “General.”
  2. To access network settings for the phone, press “Network” and then select the “VPN” option.
  3. Users will automatically be redirected to a connection and configuration screen. Select “Add VPN Configuration”.
  4. Select the protocol choice (PPTP or L2TP/IPsec).
  5. On the following screen, enter the required data, including server address, user-name and password. If the L2TP/IPsec protocol was chosen, the security key will be entered here as well.

Now the iPhone is configured for VPN service. When the user wishes to utilize the VPN service, they should visit their “Settings” page and move the slider to the “On” position under the “VPN” option. When they are done, they can move it back to the “Off” position. Users will now be ready to secure their iPhone Internet connections.