Are you wondering whether you can use a VPN with your apps or are you having trouble getting them to connect?
Here’s everything you should know in order to get your apps working flawlessly with your VPN.
Do Apps Work with VPNs?
Generally, all the apps on your phone or tablet should work with VPNs. Some services block traffic from VPN servers to enforce a geographical restriction. However, you can normally bypass this by changing to another server location with your VPN provider.
Let’s get started
Table of Contents
Do VPNs Protect Me While Using Apps?
If you have your VPN activated on your mobile device you will be protected. The apps that access the internet will do so through the VPN server you are connected to. Just like when you open a browser to surf the web’s websites.
When the VPN app is installed on the Android or iPhone it will fix the settings on the phone. If you have been using several VPN services with your phone it might need to ask you whether the new VPN should be the default service to use with your apps and browsers. Once that is checked off you will see an icon at the top of the screen.
You can typically see at top of the screen when the VPN is connected on the iPhone or Android device. It will show a little “VPN” sign:
Now, ALL your mobile traffic (including apps) will be encrypted and tunneled through the VPN provider.
The symbol will disappear again as soon as an app or your mobile browser is accessing the Internet outside the VPN servers.
There might be some apps that will not work with your VPN, but let’s make sure you know how to fix that. It’s typically just a question of changing a server or a protocol. Either way, you can do it with a few simple steps.
Guide to Getting 4 Popular Apps to Work with VPNs
I can’t Get INSTAGRAM to Work with VPN
If you cannot get Instagram to work you should just try to connect to another server.
Facebook owns Instagram and they have no reason whatsoever to block anyone out. That’s not the case here. They’re making money off of their users so they better let you in. Once you’re logged into your account they will have all your data and whereabouts logged anyway(!). So, there’s no point in shutting you out.
Start by connecting from another American server. Or just any server that’s close to you geographically. That will make sure your ping is not too high.
(Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, it’s just the time it takes from you hit enter till the phone starts to look for the site).
I can’t Get SNAPCHAT to Work with VPN
If Snapchat will not load you might be sharing an IP (from your VPN provider) with someone who’s trying to trick Snapchat and therefore tipped their algorithm of suspicious activity. That’s the case if you read something like this on your screen:
“The network you are connected to has been temporarily blocked because of suspicious activity”
…And if it was you, shame on you 😉
The trick here is the same.
Try to connect to another server and you’ll probably be up and running again in no time.
You can also try to change the “Protocol” on the VPN service. That’s a little more tricky, but hang on here for a second as we run you through the steps:
- Click settings
- Click “App settings”
- Select another protocol form the list.
This is how you do it on PureVPN. The steps might vary a bit from provider to provider, but you should find the setting inside the apps. Change it from “Automatic” to something like “OpenVPN -TCP” or “IKEv2”, etc.
I can’t Get NETFLIX to Work with VPN
Netflix will always do what they can to block traffic from VPNs. Why? because they try to limit the use of their content geographically. This is because they will have you watch the content that is presented within the country you reside in.
But that can get super annoying when the show you really like air on American TV several weeks before it comes out in your country. Or maybe it will never be shown in your location at all!
So, what can you do?
The first thing you should do is to change the server location on your device. This is how you do it on XpressVPN. On this screendump I’m changing my location to Denmark to see a Danish TV show that’s not available here in the U.S:
It’s as simple as clicking the button with the flag. Once you do that you can choose any location you want.
(There are typically around 40-100 countries available with the bigger VPN providers.)
If that doesn’t do the job you need another VPN.
Netflix is notoriously trying to block as many VPN servers as they can and it’s the VPN provider’s duty to jump through hoops and loops to let you stay unblocked. Once a server is getting blocked they will change the IP or location and make sure you can access the content through another server of theirs.
BUT, not all VPN services will do just that for you!
Windscribe and Tunnelbear will not let you access Netflix servers. So you are better off changing them out for another provider if you’re with them and you like to binge-watch on the streaming services!
We can recommend XpressVPN and CyberGhost as two VERY good VPNs for Netflix! They work flawlessly on mobiles, tablets, as well as laptops and SmartTVs. I’ve used them both and we’re currently testing them alongside a ton of other VPNs to see which ones are working with what.
I can’t Get POKEMON GO To Work with VPN
Many people like to use Pokemon Go with a VPN to make sure they can get all the things they want. Pretty smart. But sometimes it doesn’t work.
You can “soft banned”. This means that you will not be able to access for 12 hours. When that happens any Pokemon will turn away from you as soon as you approach it. Besides that, you cannot loot PokeStops when soft banned.
This is to prevent people from cheating by using cars, VPNs, etc.
Why Do Some Apps Not Work with VPN?
Some apps will try to limit your access from specific locations. This can be due to suspicious activity, or other things the people behind the app want to stop.
They may block access from specific VPN servers.
But normally they cannot follow up with the VPN providers, and you can just change to another server, or you can ask the VPN provider how to get around it.
They will typically be very quick to help you get access to any app as that’s what they’re there to do. Sometimes it can be a setting on your phone on inside the app that prevents the VPN server from connecting properly. Either way, you should definitely make use of the support.
If you have a good VPN provider you will have 24/7 support and you can ask them how to get around the issue. This is not the case with Windscribe and Tunnelbear – they only have a ticket system based on emails. So you cannot ask them on an instant chat. But all the bigger players have chats that are available all the time (in English).