Do you use VPN when connecting to WiFi networks on iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by biosci, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Chicagoland, IL
    #1
    I was just wondering if you guys used VPN services for your personal phones such as your iPhone, iPad, macbook etc when connected to networks outside of your home. Whether it be a coffee shop WiFi network or the WiFi provided to you at your place of work.

    The key thing here is that it's your personal device. Your email, chats/texts, photos etc. With VPN, is everything really secure?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    No, I don't. When out in public, I stick to my LTE network and avoid the free wifi hotspots. Otherwise, when at work I use the wifi, since, I'm the guy who controls it!
     
  3. SpyderBite macrumors 65816

    SpyderBite

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    Xanadu
    #3
    I will use a VPN on my notebook computer while on unfamiliar wifi networks. But only if I'm going to be using it for longer than 5 or 10 mins.

    I use any wifi network carefree on my iPhone or iPad as I have yet to hear about any iOS hacking scandal. XD
     
  4. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #4
    Same. I've got a large enough bandwidth cap that I don't really find myself having to troll for free wifi hotspots. Besides, LTE is usually faster. That said, I do have a paid VPN account (mostly to get around geographic restrictions) and I can also VPN to my home router so I have that option if ever I need it. ;)

    VPN encrypts your internet traffic. As most things, it's not completely secure but it's still a whole lot better than leaving your traffic unencrypted for anyone with a wifi device to see.
     
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #5
    I do agree, however, that if one was going to use free WiFi often, a VPN would be highly recommended.
     
  6. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #6
    I use a VPN on public WiFi when I remember to turn it on. ;) But I don't use it very often. It's more of a hassle and easier to just use LTE.
     
  7. pure-rockstar macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2014
    #7
    I connect to any wifi it doesn't matter if I'm desperate
     
  8. Samanosuke macrumors 6502

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    Mar 21, 2013
    #8
    I always use VPN's on public wifi's. Otherwise I use LTE.
     
  9. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #9
    I've got an unlimited data allowance, so I don't feel the need to use Starbucks (or whoever's) wifi, but if I have a weak 3G (no 4G yet) signal inside and I need to use their wifi, I use Spotflux (I think that's what it's called).
     
  10. biosci thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Chicagoland, IL
    #10
    When you join a WiFi network, what do the network admins see when you connect? Can they see the specific information sent or just the device type connected? I heard/read that they can see the apps and device name on the mobile devices as well used to send/receive data.

    If you use a VPN service, does this change? Can they still see your device as 'John Smith's iPhone' along with all the information that is sent and received from the device?
     
  11. cosus macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2014
    #11
    I use tor/VPN for public wifi. Sure I have unlimited data, but the battery is my main concern.
     
  12. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #12
    If the wifi's unencrypted and the website you're visiting doesn't use SSL? Anything from the operating system, browser and version used, website you're visiting and even user names and passwords. If the site uses SSL, at the very least the network admins can still log what websites you're visiting.

    They can still see your device as John Smith's iPhone. The difference is your traffic is encrypted and everything goes through the VPN so the network admins wouldn't know if you're checking the news or downloading porn. :p
     
  13. biosci thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Chicagoland, IL
    #13

    Does this include iMessage/mail or just websites. Too bad it still can read john smiths iPhone...

    To summarize, with VPN, all they can see is the device name and that there was data sent/received. But the specifics of the data is unknown?
     
  14. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #14
    That should be for all internet traffic (including email, instant messages, torrents, ftp, etc).

    That's the whole point of it. They know the data is going to/coming from an address (the VPN) but they don't know what happens to the data once it reaches the VPN. Nor can they easily read what the data contains. They can probably brute force decrypt it but unless you're a spy or something, I doubt anyone will go through that much hassle for your data.
     
  15. Menel Suspended

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #15
    Depends on what I'm doing. Have a VPN sitting behind an Airport Extreme on father's 1000/1000 fiber internet.

    Coffee shop.
    Reeder RSS, web forums, google news? No
    Facebook? No
    Banking? Yes

    Work.
    Web forums, RSS? Yes
    Facebook? Yes
    Banking? Yes

    Friend/parent's home? No
     

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