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Devices running Apple's iOS mobile operating system, such as the iPhone, can handle PPTP with shared secret, L2TP with IPSec and IPSec with XAUTH, a protocol that involves a user name, a password and either a certificate or a group name plus shared secret. For L2TP/IPsec and PPTP, it also supports RSA SecurID tokens instead of user passwords.

Zoom On iPhones, a VPN is ready to go with only a few clicks. Some providers offer comprehensive set-up instructions.
VPN connections can be configured in Settings / General / Network / VPN / Add VPN Configuration. The server name and access data are supplied by the service provider. The picture shows a sample configuration for a Hotspot Shield connection. Some VPN services offer special iPhone configuration instructions. Once a VPN is set up, a switch for enabling the VPN conveniently appears near the top of the main settings menu.


By default, Android supports PPTP with shared secret, L2TP and L2TP/IPsec – the latter either with certificates or with shared secrets. Various alternative ROMs such as CyanogenMod also offer certificate-based OpenVPN authentication. However, our Android OpenVPN didn't co-operate when tested with the Hotsplots OpenVPN provider. Most Android users are therefore restricted to PPTP.

Zoom Under Android, a VPN connection only takes a few clicks to setup and establish a connection
VPNs can be configured under Menu / Settings / Wireless & Networks / VPN Settings / Add VPN. Our example shows the details required for Sofanet. It's slightly inconvenient in that establishing a VPN connection under Android requires users to work their way down to the VPN menu every time. On Android, the system will also ask for the VPN user name and password every time a PPTP connection is to be established; only the user name can be stored in memory permanently.

However, help for VPN users is at hand in the Android Market. The free 5 VPN app offers password storage and a widget that allows a connection to be established with five clicks; the commercial 1 VPN variant only requires a single click. The free VPN Show app takes users to the VPN menu with one click.

Overview of VPN providers

*Prices checked as of 2-08-11
Provider Product Method Test Account Notes Price
AnchorFree Hotspot Shield IPSec (Cisco) No Ad-Supported Free
Golden Frog VyprVPN PPTP No OpenVPN Surcharge $14.99 / Month
Hotsplots Hotsploits VPN OpenVPN No Free
Monzoon SwissVPN PPTP, OpenVPN Yes CHF / Month
Relakks Safe Surf PPTP No OpenVPN in beta testing €15 / 3 Months, €45 / 12 Months
Sofanet Pure Sofalink PPTP Yes Volume Limits, German Language €1 / 3 Days, €10 / 90 Days, €15 / 360 Days
tigersWelt VPN Gateway OpenVPN No Volume Limits, German Language €3 to €10 / Month
PrivatVPN PrivatVPN OpenVPN Yes 39 SEK / Month, 99 SEK / 3 Months
Banana VPN Banana VPN PPTP, L2TP/IPSEC No P2P / File sharing ports, protocols, sites blocked $14.99 / Month, $60 / 6 Months
Black Logic Android VPN / iPhone VPN PPTP, IPSec, SSTP No $5 / Month
Hide My Ass HMA Pro VPN OpenVPN, PPTP, No $11.52 / Month, $50.66 / 6 Months, $76.66 / Year StrongVPN PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN No 7 day money back guarantee From $7 / Month
IAPS Security Store IAPS PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, No From $24.95 Overplay VPN OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP No 48 hour money back guarantee $9.95 / Month
From $5.99 / Month
ExpressVPN ExpressVPN OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec No
$12.95 / Month, $59.95 / 6 Months, $99.95 / Year
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