iPhone and Mac users all around the world have been holding their breath in anticipation of Apple’s annual round of software updates. A couple of days ago, iOS 10 became available to the public, and its desktop counterpart (macOS Sierra) is set to follow later this month.
Although many users are delighted to find dozens of new features within the new OS, others – specifically network admins, and geeks – are scratching their heads. As of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple has officially dropped support for the point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP).
Over the past decade or so, Apple has established itself as a very security conscious company. The move away from PPTP is very much in line with the corporation’s core beliefs, and the change didn’t come as much of a surprise, either.
For years, the tech giant has been presenting PPTP users with a warning message that read: “VPN using PPTP may not be secure. Are you sure you want to add this configuration?” And if that wasn’t enough, the company also published a support article foreshadowing the update back in July – giving users and admins time to implement some changes.
PPTP is unsafe and outdated
If you’re still not sure what this update means, let’s review. For starters, PPTP is a very outdated protocol, and since its inception, many fundamental vulnerabilities have been found. Researchers (as well as hackers) have been able to easily break PPTP with brute-force attacks, exposing the user’s data. There is a slew of other issues with the protocol, but that’s not the focus of this article.
The takeaway here is – the Cupertino tech giant is taking away PPTP for good. Although many sysadmins might be loaded up with some extra work, this change is actually good news for consumers.
By ditching insecure and outdated VPN protocols, Apple is pushing their customers towards safer and more reliable alternatives. That said, many commercial and private institutions still use PPTP in their daily operations, and this change will prevent updated macOS and iOS users from connecting to these systems.
Like with any instance of change, two camps of people emerge – those that are happy, and those that aren’t. Same holds true here, although not everyone is raving about leaving PPTP behind, it’s hard to blame Apple for implementing this security measure.
If you’re a consumer, this news shouldn’t have too much impact on you. While it’s strongly recommended that you use a safer protocol, you may still be able to access PPTP VPN’s via a third-party client.
That said, Apple (along with countless security experts) strongly recommends that you ditch PPTP altogether in favour of a more modern protocol. In their July statement, the tech giant suggests switching to L2TP, IKEv2, Cisco IPSec, or various SSL VPN clients.
For those not well versed in VPN-speak, Apple is essentially suggesting that you use a safer VPN. If you don’t know where to start, you can take a look at our comprehensive review of several top providers for both macOS and iOS. Any of the providers we’ve listed there will support the more trusted protocols like L2TP and OpenVPN.
If you don’t have time to read any of the reviews, you’ll be safe by sticking to either IPVanish or ExpressVPN – both of which include mac and iOS applications, and support modern protocols. Additionally, both options are risk-free, affordable, and offer either a free trial of the service or a money-back guarantee. So, just pick one and get browsing!