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How To Set Up the Hostwinds VPN on iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod)

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Getting started with the Hostwinds VPN on your iOS device is a relatively simple process. For this process, you will need the Username and Password from your welcome email when you signed up for this service, the Hostwinds OpenVPN files, the iOS OpenVPN Client, and access to a computer with iTunes that is synced to your device.

Preparing the VPN Files

To utilize the VPN on your iOS device, you must copy the 4 files we include with the VPN files zip archive in the Support Section of your Client Area. You can also download the files here. Once downloaded, extract the files and notate where they are. You’ll need these files later. The 4 files that should be included are ca.crt, cert.crt, HostWinds.ovpn, and key.key. These files allow the OpenVPN client to connect and authenticate with our VPN service, so you will need all 4 of them for the VPN to work on your device.

Preparing Your iOS Device for the VPN

To utilize the Hostwinds VPN on iOS devices, you must copy 4 files to your phone through iTunes into the File Sharing section for OpenVPN.

Step One: Plug in your iPhone and open iTunes

Step Two: Open the device page for the device. This is usually a small phone icon at the top left above your library.

open device on top left side of itunes

Step Three: Navigate to the File Sharing screen and you can find the button for it on the left side of the iTunes window.

itunes file sharing

Step Four: From there, click OpenVPN and then Add on the right side

open vpn in itunes

Step Five: In the window that appears navigate to the location of the 4 files to select all of them and click Open in the File Explorer window

add four files to openvpn file manager

Step Six: Click Sync to sync the files to your device

sync itunes

Step Seven: Click the Eject button at the top next to the name of your device.

eject device from itunes

Connecting to the VPN the First Time

Now that the appropriate files have been added to your device, you can connect to the VPN. After you open the OpenVPN app, follow the steps shown in the screenshots below.

Step One: OpenVPN Profile

openvpn profile


Step Two: Add Hostwinds VPN Profile to your device

Add VPN Profile Hostwinds


Step Three: On the Imported Profile screen, fill in the Username and Password from the VPN Service Information e-mail that we sent you

Connection Information Fields

Step Four: After you do this, it will prompt you to add VPN configurations. You will need to authenticate with your unlock pin or Touch ID (if set) and allow OpenVPN to add the VPN connection.

Step Five: After this is done switch back to the OpenVPN software, and it should show you a toggle switch to be able to turn on and off the VPN.

Please note, if you do not have an Unlock PIN set or Touch ID enabled, you will not want to check the save password box as this will allow anyone who has access to your phone the ability to connect and modify the VPN connection.

toggle openvpn on and off

That’s it! You’re connected, and you can see the connection status below the Profile indicated as displayed below.

OpenVPN connected

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