Help Center


Why does Opal need a VPN? (iOS 15 and prior)

This article only applies to the old version of Opal (on iOS 15 or prior). Here’s why you should upgrade to iOS 16 and experience the new Opal.

The core functionality of Opal's app is to disconnect distracting apps. In order to do this, Opal uses Apple's Local VPN technology, which you need to give permissions for. There is no other way to do this on iPhone (Apple limitations).

Please note:

  • Because this VPN is local, this means that all of your browsing data stays on your device.
  • Also, it doesn't affect connection speed.
  • You can enable / disable Opal's VPN at any time from the app's settings screen.


We take privacy very seriously. Unlike most apps, we make sure private browsing data never leaves your device. Whenever possible, we will keep your data on your phone (client) and never store your data on our servers.

Read more: What do you do with my data?

For details, please read our Privacy Policy carefully.

What is a VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is essentially a middle man between your personal device and the internet. The best way to understand a VPN is to look at the flow of internet traffic.

Typically, requests made by your device are routed directly to the internet by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). With a VPN however, the traffic comes from the VPN, rather than your personal device and so your true IP address remains hidden to the public internet.

Implementing the middleman has several potential advantages, and so VPNs can offer a multitude of applications like security and privacy. For Opal it's Digital Wellbeing: The goal of Opal's VPN, is to block internet traffic that is considered "Distracting" while an Opal session is active.

Real Focus in
Make the most out of every day with our privacy-first Focus Score® technology. Measure focus, block apps and get more done.
Start To Focus Better