Things To Consider Before Choosing VPN For Your iPhone
In a world filled with new technology and digital platforms, online security has become more of a priority over time. With hackers and government censorship hitting the headlines, more and more people are looking for a way to protect their data and ensure that their searches are not tracked. More and more of us are accessing the internet via portable devices rather than on traditional PCs, and this means that our connections are more likely to be on public networks, making them more insecure. One way to do this is to add a VPN onto your iPhone – let’s take a closer look at what a VPN is and what you should look for when selecting the right one for you.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a virtual private network that can be added to your iPhone to ensure that your internet connection and activity is kept private. The communication between your phone and the websites that you are visiting is private and cannot be monitored. This ensures that any data you input is truly secure. A VPN also allows you to access websites that may be blocked by WiFi networks that are public or provided by a workplace or institution.
Why is a VPN a Good Idea?
Ensures That Your Data Is Secure
One of the biggest advantages of VPN software is that it ensures that your data is secure and kept confidential. VPN software encrypts the data and keeps the IP address of your iPhone secret. Instead, your connection is linked through the VPN provider’s servers, allowing it to be an anonymous connection. This means that your data is far less likely to be hacked and tracked online. This means that your data is secure, giving you peace of mind to browse online.
Many countries around the world have censorship laws or policies that prevent their citizens from accessing certain websites or particular web pages that have content on them that they do not want you to see. Countries such as Egypt, Russia, China and South Korea block certain websites such as social media pages, local news stations or certain search engines – this can even apply to the iPhone app store.
This means that if you live in the country, or if you are visiting the country and looking to access the sites that are blocked. VPNs access these sites by bypassing the censorship software, allowing you to browse freely. The VPN allows your iPhone to hide its location so that it cannot be determined that you are accessing these sites from your phone from the country in question. It is important to ensure that the VPN you are choosing is effective in the country you want it to work in.
Get Better Deals
It is common for people to shop around when thinking of purchasing a product or service in order to find the best price. Some brands try and combat this by trying to track your searches and behaviour, upping the prices on their website if you visit it multiple times. The aim of this is to try and rush you into purchasing products by making you think that the price is increasing. This is particularly common for those selling flights and holidays, which can lead to you overpaying compared to others buying the same deal.
A VPN means that your visits are not tracked, meaning that you can be confident that you are getting the best price available.
Bypass Workplace Firewalls
When using a public WiFi network, or one provided by your place of work or educational institute, there may be some restrictions and firewalls in place that stop you from accessing certain websites. This can be very frustrating. Many restrictions are there to protect users and should therefore not be bypassed, however, other policies are perhaps unnecessarily strict – blocking social media pages or website content due to a few words on the site. Some servers can even limit the amount of time that you can spend on certain websites, which can impact your progress.
A VPN can use its servers to bypass this blocking tool or firewall, allowing you to access the blocked content. An iPhone VPN works by hiding the IP address of your connection, allowing you to access the internet as much as you like.
Why Do the Public Use VPNs?
As you can see from the list above, there are many reasons why using a VPN server is a good idea, especially on your iPhone, as this is where the majority of us search the web for information and access our important information. Many people use VPNs for a variety of different reasons. In a survey by Cloudwards, the top reason given by people was that they use VPNs for security purposes. The full results of the survey are listed below:
How Does a VPN work on an iPhone?
VPNs are available on the iPhone app store and can be easily purchased and downloaded through this. When the app is fully downloaded, generally, set up occurs when the app is first open and configured. The configuration process links the app to your iPhone’s settings.
VPN apps generally allow you to turn on and turn off the VPN through the app directly, and you can select the VPN server country that you would like to use to connect to the internet. Once the VPN is turned on, it will stay active, even when you exit the app and use your iPhone for other features. This means that any browsing, other online app use, and online communications are protected and secure.
Once you activate the VPN, you will see no difference in how you use your iPhone – all the work is occurring in the background. The VPN server and the iPhone work as if they are on one network. When you decide to search for something using your browser, for example, instead of the request occurring straight away, it is sent to the VPN server, which then requests the search results or webpage you are looking for. Any response from your searches or the websites that you are visiting are delivered to your iPhone back via the VPN server.
As per VPNBrains, this extra step takes slightly longer, however, if you select a high-quality server with good speeds, the change will not be noticeable – more on this later.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right VPN for your iPhone
One of the main ways that a VPN works is by encrypting your data and your internet connection in order to keep your information secure. By encrypting the information, it makes it far more difficult for hackers, private companies or the government to access your data and track what you are doing online. This gives you more freedom and peace of mind when using the internet.
When choosing a VPN, look at the level of security that it offers, as this is arguably the most important aspect of the product. Generally, most VPNs on the market use a 256-bit encryption, with some even higher with over 1000 bit encryption. The higher the encryption, the safer your data is, so this is an important factor to research when choosing the correct VPN for your needs.
Additionally, to ensure that your data is even more secure, look at the VPN provider’s logging policy as this determines whether they store any of your data or browsing history, meaning that it cannot be accessed in the future.
Working through a VPN will make your connection slightly slower than using a browser directly, as it is adding an extra step into each connection online. This slightly slower pace, however, is worth it due to the many benefits of VPN services. It is still important to look at the VPN providers average speeds as some will be quicker than others, making your life easier when searching online.
In order to gain top speeds however, some smaller VPN companies outsource their servers to larger firms. It is important to check, therefore, that your VPN of choice uses its own servers and has a high processing speed so you can access data quickly.
Price and Deals
While good VPN servers do charge a fee, it should not cost the earth, and there are plenty of VPN providers out there that are affordable. Many providers offer payment options – giving you the choice of paying monthly or for an annual subscription. If you can afford to pay all at once, an annual subscription will often be discounted compared to the total of paying it monthly for 12 months. Additionally, many VPN providers often have discount codes or special offers that will reduce this price even further.
While price should not be the only driving factor when deciding on which VPN to choose, it should be taken into consideration alongside other factors such as reviews, the security level and server details. Many VPN providers offer a ‘try before you buy’ option, which allows you to access a free trial before committing to a purchase. There are also free VPN options, however, generally, VPNs with a fee offer a better service overall.
As you are looking for VPN for an iPhone, consider using a provider that specialises in software for iPhones, rather than trying a ‘one size fits all’ company that may be more difficult to use. Software designed uniquely for the iPhone will ensure ease of use and can be easily downloaded and updated.
Number and Location of Servers
The number of servers that a VPN provider has, and the locations of these servers is also of great importance, so it is vital to find this information out. This can often be found on their website or by contacting the VPN provider.
Think about what you are mainly going to be using your VPN for – if it is to access specific media sources from a certain country, then ensuring that the VPN has servers in these locations is a good idea. For example, if you live outside of the USA, but are looking to access American media content, ensure that the VPN provider has servers within the States, rather than the majority being based in Europe.
If you are using a VPN to bypass strict internet guidelines put in place by a particular country, choose a VPN service that is not linked to the country in question.
When it comes to the number of servers, the more, the better. Most high-quality VPN service providers have over 1000 servers located in a number of different places around the world.
Kill Switch Systems
A kill switch system is a tool that many VPNs have that ensure you are kept safe, even if the VPN connection is faulty. Instead of your phone defaulting to using an unprotected internet connection, a kill switch will shut down any connection until the VPN is back up and running, keeping your data and browsing safe.
Conclusion There are many different VPNs on the market, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Choosing the best one to suit your individual needs can be made easier by looking at the factors that we have discussed above. Decide on what your priorities are for a VPN and use this to decide on the final software. Before selecting, look at real user reviews to get an idea of whether they are happy with their service in order to see if it lives up to its claims.