Should Apple Build their Own iPhone VPN?

Andrew Orr From our Perspective

Recently, Apple website 9To5Mac published a feature request article; the author suggested that Apple should build an iOS VPN network and VPN app for iPhone. However, is this a good idea?

Apple’s VPN on iPhone is Very Bad for Privacy

Last year Google released an Android feature called Wi-Fi Assistant. It lets Android customers use Google’s free VPN service when they connect to insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. However, on iOS, Apple users do not have this option. Instead, they have to buy VPN service from a third-party. 9To5Mac author Greg Barbosa makes the case that Apple should do the same thing Google did and provide built-in VPNs for iPhone.

He argues:

“With data centers spanning all over the globe…Apple could enable a simple VPN as another one of their services. Then instead of just letting users know they are connected to an insecure wireless network, Apple could also offer the option to use their VPN service…”

While the idea sounds nice at first, I’m not sure this would be a wise move. Apple already has access to our SMS messages, pictures, emails, GPS waypoints and billing information. Do we trust Apple enough not to mine their VPN network for the websites we visit, clicked links and what terms we Google? Remember, just because you use a VPN on iPhone it doesn’t mean you’re anonymous. It means that you’re entrusting your web presence to a privacy-based company instead of the Wi-Fi hotspot you’re using.

Additionally, OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which is arguably safer when it comes to security. Apple has made very few of its services open-source, and my opinion is that a hypothesized iPhone VPN service wouldn’t be open-source.

Trusted Privacy Companies Should create iPhone VPNs

Apple should let VPN developers use their internal TUN Adapter API. It would give privacy companies like LiquidVPN the ability to create the best iOS VPN apps possible using the open-source OpenVPN protocol. Apple has let the OpenVPN developers use the internal iPhone VPN API. The OpenVPN developers were forced to sign an NDA blocking them from sharing the iOS OpenVPN API source code. Because of that NDA, VPNs for iPhone are based on less popular and sometimes less secure protocols like L2TP and iKEv2.

If you are an iOS user and are looking for an iPhone VPN that will protect your privacy and encrypt all of your internet traffic we have a solution for you. LiquidVPN works with iOS and is ready to protect your privacy.