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The Freedom Profile (VPN) explained
The Freedom Profile (VPN) explained

This article explains the Freedom Profile (VPN) and how it will affect your block sessions

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Written by Freedom
Updated over a week ago

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The Freedom Profile (VPN) is an optional blocking tool that can be installed on iOS. The Freedom Profile will block websites in all browsers and will block apps from connecting to the Internet, thereby blocking their ability to update. The Freedom VPN is different from a traditional VPN in that it doesn’t send your traffic off the phone, it simply acts as a local VPN and blocks content directly on your phone.

It’s no longer necessary to install the Freedom Profile (VPN) to use Freedom (on iOS 16.0 and up), but it might be useful in some cases. Below, we explain the effects of the VPN Profile on your sessions, and how to use Freedom without it.

Do I need to use the Freedom Profile?

For users on iOS versions 15.0 and below, the Freedom Profile is needed to block content in apps. More information on how to block apps with this method can be found here: How to Block Apps with Older Versions of Freedom

On iOS versions 16.0 and above, Freedom blocks apps with our Screen Time app-blocking method. Instructions for that can be found here: How to Block Apps on iOS 16+

Because of this, the Profile is no longer necessary in iOS 16, except in a few cases we’ll describe in this document.

What does the Freedom Profile (VPN) do?

In addition to blocking websites in all browsers, the Freedom Profile (VPN) will also prevent apps from connecting to the Internet, depending on which domains and filters you’ve added to your blocklist. The Freedom Profile (VPN) is generally required to be installed on iOS if you want to block websites in mobile browsers, or if you are using Freedom’s suggested filters, such as “Social,” “News,” “Shopping," etc.

For example, having the Amazon filter toggled on on your blocklist will:

  1. Block in all browsers on your device

  2. Stop the Amazon app from connecting to the Internet or loading content, making it unusable. It will do the same for any other apps that load content from (e.g. the Kindle app).

The Freedom Profile (VPN) will show up as ‘Freedom Profile’ on the settings tab of your Freedom iOS app:

If you are running sessions that include blocklists with filters, you will see this notification on the ‘Today’ screen of your Freedom iOS app:

How to use Freedom without installing the Freedom Profile

There are situations where you might prefer not to install the Profile. For example, having on your blocklist will stop some content from loading into Facebook Messenger, and you might want to be able to access Messenger while still blocking

Or, you might be using another VPN on your device already, and Apple doesn’t allow more than one VPN to connect at a time on iOS.

To use Freedom without installing the VPN Profile, follow these guidelines:

  1. Follow the instructions linked here to select the apps you want to block: How to Block Apps on iOS 16+. You can also block domains with Screen Time — when selecting apps to block, Screen Time will also suggest frequently visited domains you can select to block.

  2. Make sure our Content Blocker is installed. This will ensure websites on your blocklist are blocked in Safari. Instructions for this are here: How to Install Freedom for iPhone or iPad

  3. If you are using any non-Safari browsers on your device (e.g. Chrome), be sure to add these browser apps to your list of blocked iOS apps if you want to prevent yourself from accessing those during your sessions.

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