As you will most doubtfully already know there are plenty of third-party providers that allow you to install software on your iPhone to take advantage of VPN connectivity, helping keep your connection private. If you would like to learn more about what is VPN on iPhone this guide will take you through how to configure VPN settings for an iPhone iPad and Mac enrolled in a mobile device management MDM solution. It is worth mentioning that every MDM vendor implements these settings differently so to learn how VPN settings apply to your devices and users you may need to consult your MDM vendor’s documentation as well as learn a little more about what can and cannot be set up in the notes below.
You will be pleased to know that Apple provide secure access to private corporate networks in all its operating systems whether it be iOS, iPadOS and macOS using best industry standards virtually private network or VPN protocols. It is also worth mentioning that if your organization supports IKEv, L2TP over IPsec or Cisco IPsec no further network configuration or third-party applications will be required to connect your Apple device to your VPN. The Apple operating systems also support technology such as IPv6, proxy servers and split tunneling providing flexible VPN connectivity to your business or organization network. The following protocols and authentication methods are supported across the range of Apple devices.
Supported VPN authentication and protocols
– IKEv2: Support for both IPv4 and IPv6 and the following:
– – Authentication methods: Shared secret, certificates, EAP-TLS and EAP-MSCHAPv2
– – Suite B cryptography: ECDSA certificates, ESP encryption with GCM and ECP Groups for the Diffie-Hellman Group
– – Additional features: MOBIKE, IKE fragmentation, server redirect, split tunnel
– L2TP over IPsec: User authentication by MS-CHAP v2 password, two-factor token, certificate, machine authentication by shared secret or certificate. macOS can also use Kerberos machine authentication by shared secret or certificate with L2TP over IPsec.
– SSL VPN: User authentication by password, two-factor token, and certificates using the provider’s companion app
– Cisco IPsec: User authentication by password, two-factor token and machine authentication by shared secret and certificates
It is also worth mentioning that settings added to the configuration profile for mobile device management cannot be modified by users and that some VPN and Wi-Fi settings such as 802.1X parameters, can be set only by a configuration profile explains Apple.
To answer your question what is VPN iPhone it is available in three main different ways either on demand, per application always on each of which will be discussed below.
What is VPN on iPhone
This is when Apple devices automatically establish a connection when it is needed and requires an authentication method that does not involve user interaction such as a certificate based system. VPN OnDemand is configured using the OnDemandRules key in a VPN payload of a configuration profile and rules are applied in two stages. The first is a network detection stage which defines the VPN requirements, and replied when the device is primary network connection changes. The second stage is the connection evaluation during which the VPN requirements are defined for connection requests to domain names on a as-needed basis. The rules can also be modified to recognize when Apple devices are connected to an internal network for instance or when an unknown wireless network is being used and requires a VPN for added security. Similarly when a DNS request for a specific domain name fails and your device would require a VPN connection to the organization.
Per application VPN
This method let us each application on your iPhone that is managed by a mobile device management (MDM) solution communicate with the private network using a secure tunnel. To use Per App VPN in iOS and iPadOS, an app must be managed by MDM and use standard networking APIs. For example Per App VPN can be configured to work with the built-in VPN client in iOS and iPadOS, which support IKEv2 VPN clients and IKEv2 is supported by the IPsec client.
Always on VPN
Always on VPN of ides your organization or business with full control over iOS and iPad OS traffic by tunneling all IP traffic back to the organization. The default tunneling protocol used for this is IKEv2. Securing traffic transmissions with data encryption and allowing your business to monitor and filter traffic to and from devices. As well as secure data within your network and restrict device access to the Internet if needed. Apple explained that “always On VPN activation requires device supervision. After the Always On VPN profile is installed on a device, Always On VPN automatically activates with no user interaction, and it stays activated (including across reboots) until the Always On VPN profile is uninstalled.”
If you require more information on what is a VPN on iPhone Mac or other Apple hardware it might be worth your while jumping over to the deployment guide on the Apple support website.
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