Secure Remote Work on MacOS & iOS Devices with a VPN - AppleMagazine (2024)

The popularity of Apple products has transcended personal use and entered enterprise years back. Today, millions of employees rely on macOS and iOS devices to work, network, and collaborate with teams. While Apple products have earned a reputation as safe devices on their own, enterprises still welcome cybersecurity tools to solidify protection against cyber threats at work further.

One of the most robust cybersecurity tools is a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which businesses and users like to implement in their daily activities. While VPNs are known for their geo-block circumvention capabilities, they also serve as protective stalwarts in the online landscape of workplaces. Read onward to learn more about VPNs for macOS and iOS devices in the remote setting.

What is a VPN and how does it work?

In brief, a VPN serves as a bridge between your Apple device and the internet. Thanks to the AES-256 encryption (used by any reputable service), it creates a protective tunnel and routes your web traffic. That way, your activities remain concealed from any third parties, including your ISP (Internet Service Provider), mobile services like AT&T, Verizon, and nefarious hackers. Basically, snoopers only see intangible numbers if they attempt to see what you’re up to.

It’s essential to note that quite a lot of differences in service come down to the free vs. paid question. The appeal of free VPNs for iPhones and macOS is undeniable. The point is the best free services are only enough for casual browsing due to data caps and not enough security for remote work. On the flip side, premium VPNs are the way to go for maximum online protection, both in work and casual contexts.

Secure Remote Work on MacOS & iOS Devices with a VPN - AppleMagazine (1)

Advantages of using a VPN

In the remote setting, there are several benefits to employing a VPN service. Since companies usually involve revenue, numerous hackers are interested in acquiring sensitive information. Or some might want to infect your device with malware for tracking and data harvesting purposes. In either case, the top priority is adding an extra layer of security, which a VPN achieves through encryption and protective measures.

Premium services typically offer extra features like specialty servers. Those include obfuscated servers, which conceal VPN usage and help out those working in countries of strict censorship or surveillance, like China or Iran. Some other tools allow you to route your web traffic through two servers simultaneously for extra encryption. Basically, you can browse the catalog of providers to pick the one that suits your needs best.

Here are the major advantages of using a Mac VPN for your home office.

Access to more content for research

It’s true that a VPN grants access to exclusive, regionally locked content like streaming services, online games, websites, and whatnot. But how can this be relevant in a remote work setting? Depending on your job, you might need to perform periods of deep research as a part of your role.

Numerous websites might be disabled in your area due to local laws and distribution rights in respective jurisdictions. In cases where you need to gather knowledge, intel, or simply confirm certain things, this could hinder your work acutely. Since a VPN service typically nets servers in various countries, you can connect to a desired service to bypass geographical restrictions.

Protection while using a public Wi-Fi

Remote work grants us the freedom to work where we please, be it in our comfortable home, a cozy cafe, or a hotel room. Granted, if you work outside your office or home, you’re bound to connect to a public Wi-Fi or other hotspot. In this case, your Mac or iOS device is instantly exposed through the public network since anyone can access it. Unencrypted data accessible through public networks no doubt attracts nefarious third parties.

In some cases, hackers use public networks to create fake websites or Wi-Fi hotspots for unsuspecting people to sign into. Once you do, they can access your device and all data on it quite easily. A VPN encrypts all your web traffic through impenetrable code, which prevents anyone from accessing your information, even through a public network.

Safe access to the company network & files

Sabotaging company data may occur completely accidentally, unbeknownst to you. However, using a VPN over an unsecured connection could prevent that. After all, one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel—if one employee accesses local servers, IP addresses, or shared folders via an unprotected network or device, that’s it. Once in, a hacker can harvest data to their heart’s content before the IT realizes there’s an intruder.

For this reason, more enterprises are implementing VPNs into their workflow, making their use mandatory among employees. So, if your workplace doesn’t use a business-dedicated VPN service, we advise taking matters into your own hands and fetching yourself a reliable app.

How to choose a VPN for macOS and iOS?

Now that we painted the complete picture of how VPNs assist in the home office, time to talk about the selection process. Choosing a VPN for macOS or iOS might be a hard nut to crack, considering that the VPN space is full of cheap imitations of noteworthy brands. There are several aspects to consider in a dependable VPN service:

  • Advanced security features. Protective tools are the most important. Apart from standard ones like kill switch and leaks protection, you might want specialty servers, Stealth VPN, ad & malware blockers, or the ability to route your web connection through more than one server at a time
  • Audited privacy policy. Ensure that a VPN has an independently-audited no-logs policy since it signifies the provider’s respect for your data and only logs minimal information for marketing purposes
  • Fast tunneling protocols. Industry-leading protocols like WireGuard, or alternatives built around it like NordLynx or Lightway, are a must-have. They facilitate optimal speeds, so your work and meetings aren’t hindered by sluggish VPN performance
  • Substantial server fleets. A broad global coverage grants many options for users. You can access more content and websites for research and connect to some local servers to avoid slower connections
  • Reputation. After checking all the specifications of the service and its pricing, the last thing to do is to go through user reviews. Places like Reddit and TrustPilot are brimming with first-hand experiences of users, which give an entirely different perspective
Secure Remote Work on MacOS & iOS Devices with a VPN - AppleMagazine (2)

Remote work has become part of corporate culture worldwide, permitting people the flexibility to work the way it suits them best. Unfortunately, home offices come with points of vulnerabilities that raise concerns between cybersecurity researchers and companies.

On a bright note, there’s a solution within reach. VPN services operate as the middleman between your Apple device and the web, routing everything through a secure and encrypted tunnel. Thanks to that, public Wi-Fi hotspots and the privacy-invading eyes of ISPs or other third parties are less likely to endanger your device or work-related files.

It’s essential to note that while a VPN adds a layer of security, it doesn’t really provide 100% protection from cyber threats.

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However, as a complementary cybersecurity tool, it can help you navigate the online workspace without worrying about sabotaging your workplace network.

Secure Remote Work on MacOS & iOS Devices with a VPN - AppleMagazine (2024)
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