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Are iPhone VPNs Safe? | Tom’s guide

Are iPhone VPNs Safe?

In the App Store, you will find hundreds of VPN apps that promise to improve your online browsing experience. A VPN is a virtual private network, and when you use a VPN service on an iPhone, you connect to the Internet through a relay server. The app will encrypt your internet browsing, so you can stay private and anonymous no matter what you do online.

But are VPNs really safe to use on your iPhone? In this article, we explain why you should choose among the best VPN services for iPhone if you want your browsing to be truly secure and private.

Are iPhone VPNs Safe?

VPN clients that work on iPhone are as secure as the VPN protocols used, and how well these protocols are put into practice. VPNs can use anything from the insecure Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) to the ultra-secure open source OpenVPN, with 256-bit AES key encryption and 2048-bit RSA authentication.

On iPhones with iOS 8 or earlier, VPNs will likely use the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), which is secure but slower than PPTP. Newer VPNs on iPhone often use Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), which is fast and secure. One of the strengths of IKEv2 is the speed of reconnection if the 3G/4G/LTE signal is temporarily lost, making it ideal for use on the road.

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Are all iPhone VPNs the same?

VPN clients that work on iPhone are as secure as the VPN protocols used, and how well these protocols are put into practice. VPNs can use anything from the insecure Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) to the ultra-secure open source OpenVPN, with 256-bit AES key encryption and 2048-bit RSA authentication.

On iPhones with iOS 8 or earlier, VPNs will likely use the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), which is secure but slower than PPTP. Newer VPNs on iPhone often use Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), which is fast and secure. One of the strengths of IKEv2 is the speed of reconnection if the 3G/4G/LTE signal is temporarily lost, making it ideal for use on the road.

What security features should I look for?

Every VPN claims to provide privacy, but not all of them go into any detail. Find the encryption your VPN is using. For example, ExpressVPN is a service that is transparent about the technologies it is working on. The company uses 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificates with AES-256-CBC and HMAC. You can check the VPN configuration files to confirm this.

ExpressVPN has DNS leak protection and runs its own 256-bit encrypted DNS servers. These servers are devoid of knowledge, which means that even the company itself can’t see what you’re accessing — plus the servers only run on RAM, which means weak hard drives are eliminated from the data chain.

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You should also check the logging policy of the VPN service. Choose a VPN that does not keep a log of your connections, traffic or IP addresses, so once you disconnect, there will be no trace of it being used before.

What is the best VPN on iPhone?

In terms of security, privacy, and auditing, a number of popular VPNs stand out. For example, NordVPN recently underwent a second independent audit, and primary VPN provider TunnelBear prides itself on conducting regular audits. However, they both lack the configurability and versatility of our winner, ExpressVPN, which has been audited and has also passed every test we put in front of it.

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