Mobility

Use VPN security to protect iPads and iPhones from new security flaw

The newest security flaw striking iOS and OS X can be avoided with the Golden Frog VyprVPN 2.0. It's for a anyone using their iPad or iPhone to access the Internet via public Wi-Fi.

Recently, Golden Frog, an Internet and security solutions startup in Austin, Texas, provided me with a 6-month evaluation account on their Golden Frog VyprVPN 2.0. This Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution is ideal for enterprises wanting to add another level of security for their iPhone and iPad users in reaction to the recently announced Apple security flaw striking iOS and OS X.

Three VyprVPN 2.0 subscription plans are available at reasonable prices. It has client apps for:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • OS X
  • Windows

In this post, I’m focusing on their iOS app as a potential solution for enterprise mobile users.

Features

The Golden Frog VyprVPN encrypts your email, iOS app and web traffic from your iOS device. It includes some enterprise mobility friendly features:

  • Auto-reconnect option for always on protection
  • 256-bit encryption
  • OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and Chameleon VPN Protocol Support
  • Over 700+ VyprVPN server locations across the world
  • Unlimited VPN speed including downloads and server switching
  • Access more than 200,000 IP addresses

Golden Frog also mentions that they write their own code and manage their entire network and servers. In a day, when companies are outsourcing so much programming and network infrastructure you have to admire Golden Frog for making the effort to keep this work in-house.

There is also up to 50GB of 256-bit encrypted “Dump Truck” cloud storage depending on your subscription plan. Consider the lack of security in consumer cloud offerings, this could be a competitive differentiator for Golden Frog if they position it correctly.

Setting up Golden Frog VyprVPN

Setting up the Golden Frog VyprVPN was simple enough I can recommend it even for those who want users to self-provision their own devices provided you set them up with accounts before sending to download the app at the app store

I downloaded the free Golden Frog VyprVPN client app from the App Store to both my iPad Air and iPhone 5. After logging in with my evaluation account credentials, the client app walked me through setting up a VPN profile on each of my iOS devices. The below image shows the Install VyprVPN Profile screen:

 

Figure-A-VyprVPN.png
 

Install VyprVPN Profile

After tapping Install VyprVPN Profile, the Install Profile dialog box appears:

 

Figure-B-VyprVPN.png
 

Install Profile

Using the Golden Frog VyprVPN

I’ve used some obscure and even sometimes flaky VPN clients in my time. It was only recently that I had to start using a VPN on my Mac because of the requirements for a corporate client project so that experience was still fresh in my mind. This was the first time I installed and used a VPN client on an IOS device, and I find the free Golden Frog VyprVPN iOS app to be friendly, easy to use, and unobtrusive.

The app is simple enough to use, all it should require is perhaps a “little pre-flight training” before a user goes mobile (if even that). This is in contrast to my previous experience with other VPN clients in the past that required a job aid (and one that I swear required a master’s level college course it seemed).

First, I used the app in manual mode. I was able to connect with the nearest VPN server using just a single tap.  The Disconnect option is easy to read and requires just a tap to disconnect from the VPN when my testing was complete. The app also includes:

  • Easy to read IP address
  • Time Connected clock
  • NAT Firewall status

The below image shows the VyprVPN app’s main screen:

 

Figure-C-VyprVPN.png
 

VyprVPN 2.0 main screen

The app’s on demand mode is a nice option because it lets you connect to VyprVPN whenever your iPhone or iPad attempts to connect to the Internet. VyprVPN connects automatically when it detects an Internet connection and disconnects when the device is no longer online. This option should be attractive with organizations that may not want to rely on their end users for opening a VPN connection whey the access the Internet or send email over open Wi-Fi.

The VPN client connected with an access point in my local geographic area during my testing without a fuss. You also have the option to run a server ping test to find the fastest VPN server near you. This is a great option for frequent travelers who are in areas that may not have the connectivity they enjoy at home.

Managing VPN Settings

The Golden Frog VyprVPN client apps do include some  simple connection settings available when you tap on the Gear icon. The settings let you set Automatic Reconnect (on by default), Connection Logging (on by default). You can also access a log file capturing your VPN connections.

Final recommendation

I highly recommend the Golden Frog VyprVPN for its ease of setup, simplicity of use, infrastructure, and pricing options. Organizations with a high number of iOS users could be live on VyprVPN 2.0 rather quickly to protect against the Man in the Middle (MiTM) attacks resulting from the Apple security issue. Even with the recent iOS 7 patch that is supposed to fix the issue is still a prudent move for protecting mobile users.

Have you tried Golden Frog VyprVPN 2.0? Share your experience in the comments.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

2 comments
dave
dave

Once connected does this use split tunnelling or is all traffic routed to their server / gateway? If the former then you are still venerable over WiFi. If the latter then this is secure.

goldap
goldap

I prefer to use mysecuremail android app. the most important that the company made it, works far away from US 

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