iPhone and iPad

2 Free VPN Services for Secure Browsing on Your iOS Device

Nancy Messieh 12-02-2011

Update: Have a look at our more recent article highlighting the best iPhone VPNs The Best VPN for iPhone Users Looking for the best VPN for iPhone? Here are some great VPN choices to protect your iPhone's browsing. Read More .


We recently published an article explaining what a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is What Is The Definition Of A Virtual Private Network Virtual private networks are more important now than ever before. But do you know what they are? Here's what you need to know. Read More , along with a list of free VPN services 8 Totally Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy Free unlimited data VPNs don't exist unless they're scams. Here are the best actually free VPNs around that you can try safely. Read More that allow you to anonymize the Internet browsing experience on your computers. If you want to do the same on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touches, there are a couple of free options that are worth looking into.

The reason for using a free VPN service on your phone is exactly the same as using them on your computer. For example, you may want to access websites or apps that have been blocked by your ISP or are not available in your country, or you may want to encrypt all inbound and outbound data. It has to be said that, as with any free service, there are certain concessions you may have to accept such as limited bandwidth, while also bearing in mind the risk involved in using a free service when accessing sensitive information.

VPN Express

VPN Express [iTunes link] is a free iPhone/iPad app that gives you 100MB of free, encrypted browsing on your iOS device.

After installing the app on your device, the first thing you will need to do is register for a free account within the app, which requires only your email address and a password. If a VPN Express member referred you, you can also enter their email address, resulting in each of you earning additional free bandwidth.

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After confirming your email address you can then manually configure your iOS device’s VPN setting. To do so, go to Settings > General > Network > VPN > Add New VPN Configuration.

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From there you can enter the settings by selecting the L2TP or PPTP tab and filling in the fields as follows:

Description: VPNVIP
Server: us.vpnvip.com OR vpn.vpnvip.com
Account: Enter the email address you used when registering with VPN Express
RSA SecurID: Off
Password: Enter your password
Encryption Level: Auto
Secret: vpnvip
Send all Traffic: On
Proxy: Off

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Once you’re settings are all in place, a new VPN selection will appear in the settings menu, where you can easily toggle the VPN service on and off.

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When turned on, a small VPN icon will appear in the status bar.

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The advantage of using an app like VPN Express on your iOS device is that the app displays all of your usage statistics, as well as displaying your remaining bandwidth on the account tab, so that you can keep track of it while you’re on the go.

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If 100MB isn’t enough, VPN Express offers extremely competitive subscriptions and quotas, starting at $0.99 for 30 days and a quota of 2GB data transfer, or $.0.99 for a 1GB data plan.

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Hotspot Shield

It is also possible to use Hotspot Shield (our review Hotspot VPN Review: Is It the Right Choice to Protect Your Privacy? Looking for a VPN tool for your mobile device? Find out if Hotspot VPN is the right service for you. Read More ) on your iOS device.

Unlike VPN Express, you don’t have to install anything on your iPhone or iPad. First, in order to generate an account ID and password, go to the HotSpot Shield website and click on Get Account ID.


Make sure that your WiFi connection is turned off, and once again, navigate to Settings > General > Network > VPN > Add New VPN Configuration.

Select the IPSec tab and fill in the fields as follows:

Description: Hotspot Shield
Account: Enter the account ID generated in the previous step
Password: Enter the password generated in the previous step
Use Certificate: Off
Group Name: hss
Password: hss
Proxy: Off

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Turn your WiFi connection back on, and as with VPN Express, turn on the VPN and when the icon appears in the status bar, you can browse the Internet safely and securely.

If you have more than one VPN configuration on your iOS device, the VPN button in the settings menu will navigate to the VPN settings page allowing you to choose which configuration you wish to use.

If you want to be absolutely sure that everything is working as it should be, look up your IP address in Safari and make sure that your location has been changed.

For more, we’ve looked at the ways to set up a VPN on your iPhone How to Set Up a VPN on Your iPhone or iPad We explain how to set up a VPN on iPhone using both a provider app and the manual method so you can protect your mobile browsing. Read More .

Image credit: Shutterstock

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  1. L8R
    October 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I tried using hotspot Shield elite (its free version) and whenever I tried connecting I got this message:
    Negotiation with the vpn server failed
    Help plz

  2. Sally Croft
    May 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I tried hotspotshield free version, at first I think it was good, after a while I see pages redirecting me to another. I had a bad experience with this free VPN

    PureVPN, although a good option.

  3. Rachel Farland
    April 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Never ever buy a free VPN. It sells your browsing history, habits, passwords and all personal info to advertising companies and even the government! Get smart people. Get a trusted VPN service like PureVPN and give value to your privacy. Jesus!

  4. James Vang
    March 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I never use free vpn services, because i use vpn for my job purpose. What you suggest me to use free one or premium one.

  5. Ken Graham
    February 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I've used Hotspot Shield successfully, but it slows down connection speed significantly. For example, without VPN I just go D/L speed of 5.38 Mbps; turning on VPN slows D/L speed to 0.08 Mbps for same server! Almost unusable for iPhone :(.

    • Aibek
      February 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

      thanks for the feedback. I also noticed considerable slow down in my internet connection when tried this on my PC, I could still stream videos though. I haven't tried this on my iPhone yet.