VPN Guide Overview Updated March 26, 2020

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34 'VPN' stories

April 2013 - March 2020


A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a method of protecting your privacy and security when using the Internet.

Normally, when you connect to the Internet, whichever service provides that connection will be able to see which sites you are visiting and – if the website is not using https – what you are doing there. This means that your Internet activity could be viewed and logged by your broadband provider, mobile carrier or wifi hotspot service. The same is true of anyone spoofing a wifi hotspot, which is a common way for hackers to steal login credentials.

Early in 2017, both the Senate and the House overturned privacy rules created by the FCC, allowing ISPs to sell your Internet browsing history and location data to advertisers. The government is also planning to do the same to net neutrality rules, effectively creating a two-speed Internet – something mobile carriers already do.

An additional issue is that some companies may limit access to content based on your geographical location. You may not be able to watch your favorite TV shows on Netflix while travelling, for example.

A VPN solves all three problems as it makes it impossible for an ISP or carrier to see which sites you are visiting or what you are doing there. Instead of connecting directly to a website or other Internet service, you connect to a VPN server which creates an encrypted ‘tunnel’ to your destination. All any intermediate company can see is that you are connecting to the VPN service.

Not all VPNs are created equal. Some can’t be trusted, while others may be blocked by Netflix and other services. Check out our review of NordVPN for an example of a service which keeps no user logs and works with Netflix.

VPN Stories March 26, 2020

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A bug in Apple’s recent iOS releases, including this week’s iOS 13.4 is keeping VPNs from being able to fully encrypt user traffic and data. Apple is aware of the issue and is currently working on a fix. In the meantime, there’s an easy workaround you can use to keep your VPN connection working as intended.

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VPN Stories September 25, 2019

Cloudflare’s free Warp VPN now available for all users

Previously launched to a limited group of users starting back in April, Cloudflare’s free Warp VPN is now available to the public. Along with the general release today, 1.1.1.1/Warp has been updated for iOS 13 and also gets a few performance improvements.

VPN Stories June 6, 2019

VPN service Encrypt.me acquired, promises new iOS 13 features and more

The popular VPN service Encrypt.me announced today that it has been acquired by J2 Global. The announcement was made in an email to Encrypt.me users, with J2 Global promising that there won’t be any changes to Encrypt.me as a service.

VPN Stories April 1, 2019

CloudFlare Warp VPN
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Following their tradition of introducing new services on April 1st, Cloudflare is today announcing Warp: a new mobile VPN that promises to protect the users’ internet traffic while improving speed at the same time. This is the company’s second service that’s direct to customers, after the introduction of its DNS, 1.1.1.1, last year.

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VPN Stories February 17, 2019

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Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about personal privacy. I don’t have anything to hide, but I don’t like the fact that so much of my personal information can be used by various companies. The thought of Netflix and Spotify being able to scan Facebook Messenger accounts to make better recommendations is a prime example of what I don’t like about the current state of technology. One of the changes I’ve made to help protect my privacy is always using a VPN when I’m on a Wi-Fi network I don’t manage. iOS has robust support for it, and I recommend you consider it as well. If you search for VPN on the App Store, a long list shows up. How do you determine the best VPN service for iOS? expand full story

VPN Stories December 12, 2018

‘Confirmed VPN’ iOS/macOS update makes it the first open service with third-party audits, open source code, more

Confirmed VPN launched last year for iOS, macOS and more, but it has been working on something bigger than just another VPN service. Today, the company has made its apps openly operated with third-party audits, open source code, audit logs, and much more. It is also inviting other VPN services to join the platform called Openly Operated.

VPN Stories July 27, 2018

Verizon
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Verizon has today announced it will be offering a VPN service available to its customers for use on mobile devices.

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VPN Stories May 25, 2018

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There’s been some amusement as a certain well-known ‘adult entertainment’ site announced the launch of its own VPN service.

Smutty jokes aside, there’s never been a more important time to use a VPN. Less than $100 will now buy a bad guy the equipment they need to carry out a man-in-the-middle attack – where they spoof a public WiFi hotspot and intercept the traffic. Some of these devices are even small enough to be disguised as a power plug, meaning they could be left in a coffee shop happily collecting data to be later used at leisure.

And the loss of net neutrality raises the prospect of ISPs offering a two-speed Internet, or even blocking sites altogether. Most are adamant that they’d never do so, but then they were equally vocal about wanting to end net neutrality, which makes no sense unless they planned to take advantage of the change …

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VPN Stories December 15, 2017

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The FCC may have voted to repeal net neutrality rules – opening the way for Internet service providers to speed up, slow down or even block services depending on who pays them to do so – but some are determined that the war isn’t over.

After a trade group representing companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google vowed to fight the decision in court, a number of states plan to join the battle …

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VPN Stories October 6, 2017

Protect your internet activity with a two-year VPN subscription for $54 ($166 value)

In 2017, it’s more important than ever to have a strong game plan when it comes to cyber security. A part of that puzzle is using a trusted VPN service that adds an extra layer of protection to your data, along with a host of other benefits. All of this, combined with recent legislative action makes it all the more important to find a service that fits your needs.

VPN Stories September 4, 2017

Almost 2/3rds of tech workers now use a VPN, leading supplier reports 300% growth

An international cybersecurity awareness survey found that 65% of U.S. tech sector workers now use a virtual private network (VPN) on either work devices, personal ones or both …

(want to try a VPN? Specials.9to5Toys.com has a wide selection starting from Free Trials to lifetime plans.)

VPN Stories August 23, 2017

NordVPN confirms that using a VPN will bypass Verizon’s throttling of all video streams

NordVPN has confirmed that Verizon’s plan to throttle all video streams on its unlimited data plans can be bypassed by using a VPN connection …

VPN Stories August 9, 2017

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Apple has come under considerable criticism following its decision to agree to a Chinese government request to remove VPN apps from its local App Store. Virtual private networks allow people in China to access sites blocked by the government, and to ensure that authorities cannot track the sites they visit.

App-tracking site ASO100.com says that the company has so far removed more than 400 VPN apps. But while Apple is trying to maintain good relationships with China by complying with such requests, analysts and tech commentators believe that its troubles with the country ‘have just started’ …

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VPN Stories August 7, 2017

Hotspot Shield accused of snooping on its users’ VPN usage

A new filing against the company HotSpot Shield, that makes a VPN app exemplifies the user privacy difficulties with VPN services and apps. Even when downloaded from Apple’s own App Store, VPN providers can often present as much a benefit as they do risk.

VPN Stories July 31, 2017

Russia to follow China’s example in clamping down on VPN use, from November

A couple of days after Apple started pulling VPN apps from the App Store in China to comply with government restrictions on their use, Russia looks to be next in line to clamp down on the use of virtual private networks …

VPN Stories July 21, 2017

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Unlimited data plans have to be one of the most blatant examples of false advertising. Whether you’re grandfathered into an old plan, or buy one today, deep in the small-print will be a note that the carrier reserves the right to throttle your speeds once you hit a certain usage level.

But Verizon Wireless has been accused of taking this one stage further, and throttling Netflix and YouTube usage for unlimited plan users even before they hit the 22GB level at which the company says it may reduce bandwidth …

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VPN Stories April 13, 2017

TigerVPN protects your data and more w/ a $25 lifetime subscription

From 9to5Toys Specials:

VPN access has been in the news lately, given President Trump’s decision to overturn the highly controversial internet privacy law late last month that allows ISPs to sell your browsing history if they see fit.

There are a number of reasons to consider using a VPN for your personal devices at home and now is the time to make the jump if you haven’t already. Aside from encrypting your movements on the internet, it can also provide flexibility and the benefit of bypassing geography-based restrictions from popular services like Netflix or YouTube.

VPN Stories April 4, 2017

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iOS App Store VPN apps

In light of the latest news that President Trump has overturned the FCC Internet privacy rules, discussions for and against virtual private networks (VPNs) have resurfaced. One of the biggest complaints with the repeal is that internet service providers are now legally allowed to sell your browsing data, if they’d like. While some ISPs have said that they won’t sell your browsing history for now, that doesn’t bar them from doing so in the future.

Proponents of VPNs believe that by utilizing such a service, you can obfuscate your browsing history so that your ISP won’t be able to build a “catalog” of your browsing habits. Opponents to VPNs dutifully note that by using a VPN service all you’re doing is migrating your browsing history from one ISP’s eyes to another. Browsing history data collection aside, benefits still exist by using VPNs, especially on your iPhone or iPad.

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Trump signs bill to roll back privacy rules, we’re offering lowest-ever price on lifetime VPN

In light of this week’s passing of the controversial legislation by Trump/Republican Congress to overturn FCC privacy rules, specials.9to5Toys.com is offering a special today-only discount on a VPNSecure lifetime subscription. Applying coupon code PRIVACY6 at checkout drops the final price down to $33, which is one of the best lifetime VPN deals that we’ve ever seen.

VPN Stories March 30, 2017

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Well, it’s official. Both the Senate and the House voted to overturn privacy rules created by the FCC, and your ISP will now be free to sell your Internet browsing history and location data to advertisers.

Internet service providers will have a few expenses to set off against this revenue stream – like the cost of donations to the politicians who voted to allow it.

But if you want to opt out, there’s still one way you can do so: use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) …

(note: specials.9to5toys.com has a variety of VPN offers starting at $10/year)

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VPN Stories February 2, 2017

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iOS App Store VPN apps

When Apple released iOS 10 last September, they pushed in a small change when connecting to wireless networks. Tucked away under the Wi-Fi settings, iOS now warns users when connecting to insecure networks that it exposes a user’s network traffic. The easy answer to this is to simply not connect to public wireless networks, but that’s something that most people will just ignore. If users won’t stop connecting to insecure public networks, they could at least start using VPNs and Apple could make it easy to do that.

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VPN Stories October 7, 2016

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There are many reasons you might want to use a VPN service, from protecting your web access on a public hotspot to blocking trackers, but let’s be honest: probably the number one reason is to bypass geo-restrictions by pretending to be located in another country.

This can apply to YouTube and news websites, where you will sometimes see a message stating that the content you’re trying to access is not available in your country, but top of most people’s lists is Netflix

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VPN Stories September 20, 2016

Opera for Mac has built-in VPN, but don’t expect to use it for Netflix

Opera’s browser for Mac is finally out of beta, its headline feature being built-in unlimited VPN. The company first added it to the developer version back in April.

VPN Stories August 1, 2016

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FaceTime

Back in February an East Texas court ruled that Apple must pay more than $625 million in damages to VirnetX over patent infringement related to iMessage and FaceTime. The patent case was especially notable for being one of the highest amounts rewarded in history, but the plaintiff in the case wasn’t satisfied and asked for $190 million more in damages four months later. But for now it’s back to the step one for Apple and VirnetX in this case as a federal judge has decided the case must be revisited…

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VPN Stories June 1, 2016

9to5Toys Last Call: iPad Pro 128GB LTE $800, VPN Unlimited Lifetime $29, Brother Color Laser Printer $143, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Bring HomeKit control to your lights w/ Philips’ 2nd Gen Hue LED Starter Kit: $170 + varied shipping (Reg. $200)

Apple’s 12.9″ 128GB iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular is all the way down to $800 (Reg. $1,079)

VPN Unlimited: Lifetime Subscription for $29 ($500 value)

The World Class Mac Bundle brings together 8 outstanding apps: $25 w/coupon (Orig. $401)

Pay what you want for 26.5 hours of photography tutorials and 100 stock images

Get 83 hours of coding tutorials with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle: $40 (Orig. $727)

Leave InkJet behind and switch to Brother’s Color Laser Printer w/ AirPrint for $143 shipped (Reg. $180)

Apple 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (latest version) 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB $1,200 shipped (Reg. $1,499)

App Store $1 Amazing Apps & Games Sale: Halo, Runtastic, Lifeline, djay 2, Runstastic, more

App Store Free App of the Week: Octagon arcade-runner free for the first time in over a year ($2 value)

KAMI paper puzzle game goes free on iOS for the very first time today (Reg. $2)

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Games/Apps: Guitar Hero Live iOS (Prime only) $22, AC Syndicate & Rainbow Six Siege $45, iOS freebies, more

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

AmazonBasics Felt Sleeves for MacBooks up to 15-inches are on sale from $8 Prime shipped

Review: Pelican’s impressive Elite Luggage is built like a tank, but is it worth the price tag?

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

This gorgeous $1,100 SmartBike cannot be stolen according to its creators

VPN Stories April 21, 2016

Developer version of Opera for Mac now has a free, integrated VPN for privacy and region-hopping [Video]

Virtual Private Networks are becoming increasingly handy things to have, offering greater security on public Wi-Fi networks, making it harder for websites to track you and accessing content only available in particular countries. Usually you have to pay for these, but the latest developer version of the Opera for Mac has one built right into the browser, and it’s completely free to use.

Until now, most VPN services and proxy servers have been limited and based on a paid subscription. With a free, unlimited, native VPN that just works out-of-the-box and doesn’t require any subscription, Opera wants to make VPNs available to everyone.

If accessing content from other regions is your primary interest, the browser currently allows you to virtually travel to the USA, Canada and Germany, but more regions will follow once the feature makes it into the stable version.

Opera’s developer browser is a free download. Once installed, follow the instructions below to activate the feature.

Mac users just need to click the Opera menu, select “Preferences” and toggle the feature VPN on. A button will appear in the browser address field, from which the user can see and change location (more locations will appear later), check whether their IP is exposed and review statistics for their data used.

VPN Stories February 3, 2016

iMessage iPhone 6 21

Last month, it was reported that patent troll VirnetX is seeking $532 million in damages from Apple, claiming that the company has taken its intellectual property without permission. The suit focused on a variety of VirnetX patents relating to technology used in creating Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. VirnetX said that Apple’s own VPN technology, as well as its iMessage and FaceTime services, infringe on its patents. After another week of hearing, the East Texas Federal District Court has now unanimously ruled that Apple owes VirnetX $625 million in damages.

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VPN Stories October 22, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: 64GB iPad mini 4 $460, proXPN VPN Lifetime Subscription $39, Bluetooth earbuds $17, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

App Store Free App of the Week: Dr. Panda’s Mailman ($4 value)

iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi 64GB in Silver, Gold, or Space Gray: $460 shipped (Reg. $499)

iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 16GB in Silver or Space Gray: $230 shipped (Reg. $269)

Get a 64GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2 for less than Apple charges for 16GB: $490 shipped (Reg. $599)

proXPN VPN: Premium Lifetime Subscription for $39 ($375 value)

Bluetooth Sport Earbuds w/ Prime shipping: Aukey Around-Neck $17 (Reg. $30), more

Amazon thinks leaving your house is over-rated, expands Prime free same-day delivery service

Dell Black Friday Ad Leak: Gears of War Xbox One w/ Fallout 4 + controller $300, VIZIO 60-Inch 4K HDTV $800, more

Amazon and Toys R Us give a peek at this year’s must-have holiday gifts

More new gear from today:

Get ready for Halloween with Best Buy’s $5 horror Blu-ray sale: The Silence of the Lambs, Mad Max, more

More deals still alive:

Seagate 4TB Portable USB 3 Hard Drive w/ 200GB Cloud: $150 shipped

New products & more:

Garmin drops the bulk and adds color with its new Forerunner wearables

D-Link’s latest surveillance cameras go wide-angle with “less distortion” than the competition

VPN Stories September 14, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: 12-inch MacBook $1,150, Super Hexagon for iOS goes free, 20000mAh battery pack $22, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Save $100 on Apple’s all-new 12-inch MacBook + extra $50 for students/faculty: 256GB model $1,150 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,299)

Amazon Gold Box – Cut the cord w/ Mohu’s Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV amplified Antenna for $38 shipped (Reg. $70)

proXPN VPN: Premium Lifetime Subscription $39 ($375 value)

Pandora One: 6-Month Subscription $24 (Reg. $30)

Belkin WeMo iOS connected LED Lighting Starter Kit + extra bulb: $40 shipped ($75 value)

Giveaway: Schoolhouse Electric makes the clock cool again, $290 value

More new gear from today:

GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition Action Cam $315 shipped (Reg. $400)

More deals still alive:

App Store Free App of the Week: Infinity Blade III goes free for the very first time (Reg. $7)

Aukey Magnetic Air Vent Mount for iPhone and Android devices: $4 Prime shipped (Reg. $8)

New products & more:

Review: Monoprice’s new action camera is loaded with value for a fraction of GoPro’s price tag

The new Westinghouse Nucli combines a deadbolt, door bell and FaceTime

 

VPN Stories July 20, 2015

iTunes Connect experiencing multi-day outage for many users, here’s a fix

A noticeably large number of users are reporting issues logging into iTunes Connect, Apple’s developer portal for managing and distributing apps and other content to the App Store and iTunes. The outage appears to only be affecting a subset of users (we’ve had success logging in, for instance), but a growing number of developers have publicly voiced complaints online. Some users report not being able to access the service for going on four days:

Apple currently has yet to report any issues for iTunes Connect on its System Status page that tracks and reports downtime for its developer services.

Some users have reported success logging in after tweaking VPN settings, while another user posted the following workaround fix that others have used to patch what appears to be a Javascript issue at least temporarily until Apple officially addresses it:

We’ve reached out to Apple about the downtime, and we’ll update here if we hear back.

VPN Stories April 29, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: 13″ MacBook Pro w/ Force Touch $1,300, iPad Air 2 64GB Wi-Fi $500, iPhone 6 cases from $2, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Spigen iPhone 6/Plus cases in multiple styles & colors from $4 Prime shipped (up to 80% off)

9to5Toys Specials currently has a VPN Unlimited Lifetime Subscription for $39 and ibVPN Total Plan 4 year subscription for $59. Either way you won’t have to worry about hackers for a long time.

Get into Network Attached Storage today with these deals on QNAP and WD Red products

Hulu just paid $180 million for Seinfeld, but this deal on the entire series for $65 is real and it’s spectacular

Patriot’s USB-C Flash Drives are primed for new MacBook and Chromebook Pixel owners

$50 iTunes gift card for $40 shipped: save 20% on apps, music, movies and more

Small States Review: Grovemade’s Laptop Stand combines quality craftsmanship & thoughtful design, giveaway

More new gear from today:

Skiva iPhone/iPad charging bundle: 3.2-ft MFi Lightning cable + 2.4A Car Charger for $9 Prime shipped (Reg. $17)

Spigen unveils new Apple Watch stand and protective solutions, get 15% off + 70-80% off iPhone cases

More deals still alive:

Add AirPlay music streaming to your house w/ JBL’s SoundFly Air Wi-Fi Speaker for $39 shipped (Orig. $200)

Harman Kardon AE in-ears w/mic & remote $49 shipped (Reg. $125+), more

New products & more:

The ON magnetic portable charging station from RUBIX takes inductive charging on the road

Review: Omaker M4 Splashproof/droppable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with NFC: $25 Prime shipped (Orig. $70)

Rock out with this scaled down Bluetooth-connected Iron Man Mark XLIII mask

VPN Stories September 23, 2014

iOS 8.0.1 will reportedly bring fixes for phone & keyboard bugs, Safari video, & more

Apple’s next iOS 8 update following the public release of the operating system earlier this month will reportedly bring various fixes for phone and keyboard related bugs, problems with video in Safari and more. MacRumors claims to have details on the upcoming iOS 8.0.1 release from a source. In addition to fixing bugs with the phone, keyboard, and Safari, the fix will reportedly also include a fix for AirDrop support with Passbook and a problem with installing VPN profiles.

Here’s the full list of changes according to the report:

– Phone: Addresses bugs with call forwarding and freezing when accessing visual voicemail – Keyboard: Fixes an issue with keypad not appearing to enter iCloud Keychain verification codes – Safari: Fixes a problem with videos occasionally not playing – Sharing: Fixes AirDrop support for Passbook passes – VPN: Addresses an issue with installing VPN profiles

Apple released iOS 8 to the public earlier this month on September 17th two days ahead of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models going on sale in initial launch countries. Adoption of the new operating system is lagging behind last year’s iOS 7 release, while Apple for the first time used its own CDN to deliver the update this year. A release date for the next iOS 8 update has not yet been confirmed, but Apple has said they are working on a fix for the HealthKit bug that delayed the feature expected later this month.

VPN Stories May 2, 2013

Onavo Protect helps secure your data while on open and public Wi-Fi networks

Released today in the App Store, Onavo Protect promises to protect you while browsing the web on your iPhone. The app allows you to set up an always-on VPN connection, adding an extra layer of security to your browsing experience when you’re on public Wi-Fi networks. Unsecured wireless networks open up the possibility of your personal data being intercepted, and Onavo Protect is intended to keep you safe from those with malicious intent. Additionally, the app warns users when the site they are using is attempting to send a password in an insecure manner, and automatically blocks known phishing sites.

VPN Stories April 26, 2013

Apple reverses decision to change VPN on Demand in VirnetX lawsuit, but only for devices that already shipped

Due to a loss in a patent lawsuit that awarded patent holder VirnetX $368.2 million, we reported earlier this month that Apple would be changing the behaviour of its VPN on Demand features for devices running iOS 6.1 and up. The changes would mean a downgrade in functionality for users effectively forcing them to start the VPN client before they run an app, or before they open mobile Safari to access an intranet site.

Now, in a recently updated knowledge base article (via MacRumors), Apple appears to be backtracking on that decision informing customers it “no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped.”

Apple continues by stating “The ‘Always’ option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices.” It seems as if Apple and VirnetX have reached some type of settlement, but what this means for future devices that have yet to ship is unclear.

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