How to set up PPTP VPN on iPhone or iPad (iOS 10 and above, iOS 9 and below)

How to set up PPTP VPN on iPhone or iPad (iOS 10 and above, iOS 9 and below)

This short tutorial helps you set up a PPTP VPN connection on an iPhone or iPad.

It also explains why PPTP is no longer supported starting from iOS 10 and what are the alternative solutions to set up the iPhone PPTP VPN.

iPhone PPTP VPN setup [Summary]

  • For iOS 10, iOS 11, iOS 12, iOS 13: The PPTP protocol is no longer supported. Consequently, you need to select another VPN protocol. However, for jailbroken devices, there is an iOS 10 PPTP workaround.
  • For iOS 9, iOS 8, iOS 7, and below:
    • Open the Settings app.
    • Go to General > VPN.
    • Tap on Add VPN configuration.
    • Select PPTP.
    • Fill in the Description (a name for your VPN connection).
    • Enter the Server (VPN server name or IP), Account (VPN username), and Password (VPN password).
    • Tap Save.
    • Flick the VPN switch to ON to turn on the PPTP connection on your iPhone or iPad.

PPTP is not the only option to get connected to a VPN on iOS. Here is a complete guide on how to use a VPN on an iPhone and iPad.

What is PPTP, and why is it not available for iOS 10 and above?

The PPTP protocol (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol) is a popular VPN protocol that was adopted on all major operating systems, including iOS and Android, due to its speed and simplicity.

However, several years ago, major vulnerabilities were discovered (related to the PPP authentication and the design of the MPPE protocol).

Taking into account the security analyses, Apple decided to remove support for the PPTP protocol on both iOS and macOS. Thus, starting with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, PPTP is no longer an option for the built-in VPN client.

Nevertheless, PPTP can still be used for creating VPN connections on Windows and setting up VPN tunnels on Android.

PPTP VPN alternatives for iOS 10 and above

While PPTP is not supported on iOS 10, other VPN protocols that are more secure can be selected: IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP.

If you decide to proceed with an alternative protocol, here are the required steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to the Settings app.
  2. Select VPN.
  3. Tap on Add VPN Configuration.
  4. Select Type.
  5. Choose the desired VPN protocol (IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP).PPTP VPN alternatives on iOS 10 and above
  6. Tap on the Back link in the top left corner.
  7. Enter the required VPN settings.
  8. Type your authentication login, i.e., your username and password.
  9. Select Done.
  10. Under VPN Configurations, flick the Status switch to the ON position.
  11. To turn the VPN off, go to Home > Settings > VPN > Status > OFF.
  12. To remove the VPN from your iPhone or iPad, you need to select the VPN configuration and tap the Delete button.

Another option to replace the PPTP is to switch to the OpenVPN protocol by installing the OpenVPN app or a third-party VPN app (e.g., NordVPN, ibVPN, ExpressVPN).

iOS 10 PPTP workaround

For jailbroken iOS devices, there is a workaround, a tweak called PPTPFix (free download). It consists of repurposing the user interface for an L2TP connection and entering the PPTP text to the Secret field.

iOS 10 PPTP workaround - PPTPfix

How to set up PPTP VPN on iOS 9 and below?

For Apple devices running iOS 9, iOS 8, iOS 7, and below, creating a PPTP connection is still possible. However, you may notice a warning message “VPN using PPTP may not be secure.”

The setup of an iPhone PPTP VPN connection consists of the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to General > VPN.
  3. Tap on Add VPN configuration.
  4. Select PPTP.
    iPhone PPTP VPN - How to set up a PPTP VPN connection on iOS 9
  5. Fill in the Description (a name for your VPN connection).
  6. Enter the Server (VPN server name or IP), Account (VPN username), and Password (VPN password).
  7. Tap Save.
  8. Flick the VPN switch to ON to turn on the PPTP connection on your iPhone or iPad.
  9. To turn the VPN off, go to Settings > General > VPN > flick the VPN switch to OFF.

Can I use a PPTP VPN on iOS 13?

No, you can’t. As the PPTP library is no longer included in the iOS kernel and the App Store does not accept apps that install third-party PPTP libraries, there is no way to connect on a PPTP VPN server from an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.

What can I do if I (really) need to connect to a legacy PPTP VPN server from a mobile device?

In case you have no control over the VPN protocol you can use to connect to a VPN server and PPTP is a must, you may:

  • Get an older iPhone (iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6S, SE) that runs iOS 9 and that is able to use the PPTP protocol, or
  • Get an Android-based phone and set up an Android VPN connection. Android OS still supports PPTP connections.

Summary

The latest versions of iOS do not support the PPTP, and you need to choose an alternative VPN protocol. You can either go for those available with the built-in iOS VPN client (L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2) or install a third-party VPN client that runs with the OpenVPN protocol.

For jailbroken iPhones and iPads, a workaround that works on iOS 10 exists, called PPTPFix.

For iOS 9 and below, the iPhone PPTP VPN can still be set up without issues.

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