help with vpn

iOS and iPadOS
How do you set up vpn on an iPhone 4s running iOS 6.0.3? I am having a heck of a time. My phone and the computer I want to vpn to are on the same wifi network. I went on the phone into settings general vpn and tried to set it up. Complete fail! It is asking me for a password and I never made a password. It is also asking me for an account and a server. I don't know what they mean by account, I thought it might be the name of the account on the computer that I want to access on the phone. So for the account I put the name of the account on the computer, ie, the username I use to log in. By server I thought they meant computer name so in the server name field I typed the name of the computer. Also before all thoes settings there were 3 connection types or something like that and I did not know what they were so I left it on the default one. Should I have changed it? There is also a secret text field which is secure. What is that for? Is there anything else I may have missed setting up or set up incorrectly? It keeps saying the server is unreachable. Did I set it up correct and if not, What is all that about? Thanks.



Submitted by AnonyMouse on Sunday, November 17, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hello Jessica, Well, that is a really good question. It can also be quite complicated to explain. The question I need to know is what exactly are you wanting to access from your desktop? If you are wanting to access files and things from your computer to your phone and vice versa. This approach will require some sort of program to be running on your computer that will alow access from and to a device. Those would be like the BitTorrent Sync or WireShared for the iOS. You will need to set up a program on your desktop from these developers to make this work. A VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. This would be something you want to access on another network. For example, if I want to access the network at school or at work. I would use the VPN on my device and set it up in what the Network Administrator has given you to make this work. So if I am away from work or from school. I can connect from another network to that network. At this point it would depend on what app you want to use to access certain things. Like say at school they have a Intranet that host a web page that I can only access if I am at school. If I VPN to the school network from home. I can then access that web page even when I am at home. To find out more what a VPN is and what it does. You can read more about it here: If you are wanting to access the desktop of the computer. This would be called Remote Desktop. Unfortunetly, at this time. I have yet found an accessible app that will allow me to do this effectively. HTH

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hi. I want to set up the vpn to work with this app.

Submitted by Hadi on Sunday, November 17, 2013

In reply to by Jessica Brown

Hello Jessica Unfortunetly connecting to a home VPN is abit tricky. i'm going to explain some stuff that may help you. First of all, by connecting your phone to your computer at home, your phone will enter your home network, and it's as the same as connecting to your wireless router. For a successful VPN connection, first, your computer should have a software to accept incoming VPN connection. that software will create the VPN server, and will allow your phone, (VPN client), to connect securely to your computer, then that software will connect your device to your network, if you have a router. I'll talk about vpn server softwares later. let's just keep on explainin how it is going to work. So, If people could enter your network so easily your data would be at risk. that is why the server software, has some settings which you should first set up, then apply those settings to your client (your phone) So, you will run the server software on your computer and ajust these settings first your computer VPN software settings: 1: VPn type L2TP, PPTP, IPsec. I'm not a network expert, thus I can't explain what is the differences of the types, but i'm sure one of them is going to work better on an iPhone. 2: create username and passwords. You cannot just straightly enter a network (VPN) in this case; thus, on the server side, you will create an account for yourself, so that your iPhone could enter. for example: username: My_iPhone password: MyPassword. 3: Allow proxy server? (yes/no) this will let you to brows the internet through your network. (with safari in this case) These were the simple settings of a VPN server software. after you have set them up, you will run the software on your computer, and keep it turned on. now let's go to iPhone VPN settings. type: you'll set the type here, as the same as you set your VPN server settings. if you have selected PPTP on your server software, you'll select this one. otherwise the server will reject the connection. describtion: you're free to enter whatever you want here. my home network, for example. Server: Your computer's IP address. you should enter your computer IP address here, or a domain name that is pointing to your IP address. (Let's write about IP addresses later on.) account: your username which you created on your server software. (My_iPhone in this case) RSA securID: I think you require this one if you select the IPsec type on your server, then you can provide extra security by setting up an ID, so not very important. Password: your account password which you set up for My_iPhone. your Username, that is. secret ID: That's another extra security mesure which you can set up on your server, so it would require clients to provide that to connect. With all that said, I think you have a basic Idea of VPN connection and how to set them up. As for the server software, I think OpenVpn can be the only choice, because it's free and OpenSource. there are many commercial VPN servers, though. Now here's the questions for you: 1: is your computer a mac or PC? 2: Do you know about IP addresses? do you know that if your ISP gave you dynamic IP addresses, or a static one? Let me know. Cheers Hadi

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Sunday, November 17, 2013

I do not know much about ip addresses and do not know what kind of ip address my isp, telus, gave me. I have a windows xp pc. Is there anything else you need to know from me? Thanks for your help!

Submitted by Hadi on Sunday, November 17, 2013

In reply to by Jessica Brown

Hello Jessica Let's go step by step then. an IP address is a number that your ISP assigns you, and that number is unique through the internet. it will point directly to your computer. every computer that is connected to the internet has a unique IP address. knowing the IP Address, you can make direct contact to a computer (server). Go to this site: It will show your IP address, (please do not put your IP address here on the forums) Now, we need to figure out that if your IP is dynamic or static. there is two ways of knowing this, either calling your ISP, or simply turning your router off, wait 1 minute, turn it back on, and going to and check that if your IP is still the same. (By the way, if you do not turn off your router every day or something, it will make this process easier.) having a dynamic IP means that you have to enter your new IP address into your phone settings each time you restart your router. (Then there is a way to go around this, but that's just for later, if you feel it'll be hard)

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Monday, November 18, 2013

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Hi. Well I whent to on 2 devices, my iPhone and my Apex. I took note of both ip addresses, which were both the same, then unplugged my router for about 5 minutes and then plugged it back in and whent back on both devices again to and the ip addresses were still both the same. This would make me think my ip address is static. also had a link I could click to learn more about my ip address, so I clicked it and there was lots of things and one of them was that it said my ip address was static. However, when I go into settings-wi-fi on my phone and click more info for the network I am connected to, the ip address in there is different then the one displayed on Not sure why this happened. Can you explain it? Ok, now you know my ip address situation, where do we go from here? Thanks.

Alright. That is awesome. Well, first of all, the IP that you saw in your wi-fi settings is something else. it's your internal IP. the one that we will need, is the external IP, which you saw through The internal IP is an IP which your router assigns your devices to. it's only for your own network. if you've got three devices connected to your router, your router will assign three IPs to them in a row, so they could communicate with each other easily, if they wanted to. Since you asked me to explain, Here's an example of my network, and my internal IP: my PC: my laptop: my iPhone: my Keyboard workstation: So, if i want to transfer files between my iPhone and my laptop, i just need to put my laptop's internal IP, and it will instantly make a direct contact. But if you, (who live miles away from me), for example want to access my laptop for any reason, you need the external IP which my ISP gave me, and which points to my network. So, you know your IP address now. You just need to download the OpenVPN server to your PC, configure it, (make VPN accounts and such), run it, and finally connect your iPhone to your VPN. then use the app that you wanted to. Unfortunetly it's been a while since i've configured a VPN server. Do a quick google search and see if you can find guides for configuring and running OpenVPN for windows XP. If you couldn't find a good one, Please let me know, so once i'm back at home, i'll do a quick search and will give you instructions if needed. By configuring the server, i mean setting up the settings that i wrote on post #3. Cheers.

Submitted by Hadi on Monday, November 18, 2013

In reply to by Hadi

Also, the reason that you should use external IP instead of internal is because you want to access your computer with iPhone, from the internet, while you're not home. if you were home, you'd just use the internal IP.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Monday, November 18, 2013

In reply to by AnonyMouse

I downloaded and installed open vpn. Someone on this site told me it was accessible, but when I found it on my desktop and pressed enter to open it, nothing happened. However, I think this is getting off topic for this form. Can you please contact me off the form so we can continue working on this. You seem to know a lot about this and I think we can figure it out together. My email address is and you can also face time or iMessage me with that address. If you want you can also add me on skype. My skype name is jessica.brown5311. Thank you.

Submitted by raaj on Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hello there,

I was trying to configure vpn on my iPhone and I was searching with a hope that I can get a good guidance from here. I found some basic stuff and at the end, you guys gone private to discuss about it.

So I feel like I'm left in the middle. Lol.

So could anyone guide me for the rest? I know few things on network like IP and even I configure my modem on my own. I got 3 routers configured at my home for extending the wifi.

Hope for a good guidance.


Submitted by Luke on Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hi Jessica,

Correct me if I missed something, but it sounds like your main goal is to be able to access some of the files on your computer from your iPhone. Is that correct? I also saw that you are using Windows XP. I wanted to caution you that Microsoft no longer provides security updates for Windows XP and it is known to be a vulnerable operating system. That fact, combined with running a VPN server from that machine, seems like a very risky situation to me.

If you just need access to some files from your computer, why not use a service like dropbox or similar cloud storage system? When you install dropbox on your Windows PC, it behaves just like a physical disk Drive, making it really easy to save files to it. Both the PC dropbox application and the iOS dropbox app are very accessible and easy to use. You would just need to place the files you wanted access to in your dropbox folder on your PC. They will be automatically synced to any other devices running dropbox. It just seems like a much easier and more secure solution if file access is your main objective. If you need access to other network resources besides just files, this may not be the best solution, but I just thought I would throw it out there

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