Finding a VPN solution that works for the iPhone or iPad is not a difficult task. Most of the VPN providers offer PPTP or L2TP connections and they can be easily configured on any iOS device. Of course, there are dedicated applications specially designed for iPad or iPhone and you can quickly find them with a simple search in the App Store. The advantage of such an app is that it can be easily set up and no manual settings, such as entering the VPN server address or choosing the VPN protocol, have to be performed.
As one of the goals of this blog is to review different VPN applications, I will start presenting the most popular and nicest iPhone and iPad apps. The first one that I tested was VPNFire. Here are a short description and a step-by-step tutorial.
VPNFire in AppStore
Let’s start with the AppStore and find the VPNFire app. (The screenshots are taken from an iPad, but the install and usage are similar on an iPhone.)
Choose the version for iPad or iPhone depending on your device and click Install as for any other iOS app. After the installation starts the application. You will be shown the main dashboard of VPNFire:
Next, you need to Register a New Account:
Enter your name, first name, email address, and password. Press Submit.
After the account creation, go to My Account tab and enter your email address and password set up earlier. Press Sign In.
VPNFire connection setup
The next step is to set up a VPN connection. VPNFire allows manual and automatic setup. If you prefer manual setup you need to create the VPN connection and enter the server credentials manually, but I recommend the automatic setup as it is faster and straightforward. Click on the Setup VPN on the iPad and then Start Auto Setup. As you are on the free/trial account, only VPN connections for the free VPN server will be created. Later, if you purchase a paid plan you will be to re-run the auto setup.
Make sure you read the warning message, especially China users. Click Launch Auto Setup.
You will be redirected to the Settings section of your iOS device and required to accept the installation of VPNfire configuration files. As you can see the VPNFire application is verified, so you can press Install with confidence.
The setup creates VPN connections for the active VPN servers, both for PPTP and L2TP.
After the installation is completed, you can connect to the servers: go to Settings, VPN tab, select the desired configuration (PPTP or L2TP) and then switch on the VPN.
You should be now connected. Check the new IP address by browsing to xmyip.com or any other IP check site.
When you need to disconnect, just go to Settings, VPN tab and switch off the VPN.
Plans and Pricing
VPNFire offers a trial account with 200MB traffic. After that, you need to purchase a plan: either a period subscription or a data plan. You can find all the plans here. The paid plans offer the US and UK based servers.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and the easy installation of this iPhone/iPad app. It does not require any tech skills and it takes only several minutes to get the VPN working and be able to unlock any restricted website. I’m not able to say much about the speed of the servers, but, as far as I tested, it was quite decent. The conclusion is that, if you are not willing to manually configure your VPN connection, VPNFire app and service may be a good choice. Enjoy!
P.S. Other VPN iOS apps you may check: