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Wednesday, 05 October 2016 14:24

iOS and macOS updates can kill a VPN


The Twittersphere has been buzzing with complaints from users unable to use VPNs after an upgrade to iOS 10.x or macOS Sierra.

The issue relates to these new OS not supporting a PPTP (point to point tunneling protocol) – an older, weaker authentication method sometimes still used for virtual private networks (VPNs). Apple is following best practice in removing PPTP from iOS 10 or later – it says that the following VPNs are safer:

  • L2TP/IPSec
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • Cisco IPSec
  • SSL VPN clients on the App Store such as those from AirWatch, Aruba, Check Point, Cisco, F5 Networks, MobileIron, NetMotion, Open VPN, Palo Alto Networks, Pulse Secure, and SonicWall

NordVPN advises that it is also keeping up with the latest encryption technolog, and has added a next generation security protocol — IKEv2/IPsec — to its security protocol roster. IKEv2/IPsec is an advanced protocol that works with the new iOS and macOS operating systems.

IKEv2/IPsec employs very strong cryptographic algorithms and keys. NordVPN uses NGE (Next Generation Encryption) in IKEv2/IPsec. The ciphers used to generate Phase1 keys are AES-256-GCM for encryption, coupled with SHA2-384 to ensure integrity, combined with PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) using 3072-bit Diffie-Hellmann keys.

IPsec then secures the tunnel between the client and server using AES256. This is the protocol, which provides the user with peace of mind security, stability and speed.

Why use a VPN?

It is getting to the stage where no Wi-Fi connection is secure, especially guest or public Wi-Fi. Using a VPN encrypts data between the device and the host computer meaning it is not easy to snoop on it.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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