Apple to Update iOS VPN On Demand This Month Due to VirnetX Patent Lawsuit
Apple is facing tons of patent infringement issues, but the one with VirnetX has captured the media’s attention: The judge awarded $368.2 million for the suit, as it found Apple’s VPN (virtual private networking) and FaceTime video feature infringing VirnetX’s patents.
While the two companies are having settlement discussion – with the deadline for an out-of-court agreement on April 12 – Apple has informed its customers (via The Loop) that it will be changing the behaviour of VPN On Demand for iOS devices running iOS 6.1 or later due to the aforementioned litigation.
The changes will arrive as a software update this month.
After the update, Apple’s previous “Always” option will behave as though it was configured with an “Establish if needed” option. This practically means Apple will disable the feature allowing corporate users to automatically make a VPN connection as they visit a website or corporate address.
If the name of a host can be resolved without a VPN connection, you may see one of the following behaviors:
If the host is a web server that presents different content to internal and external users, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will see the external content.
If the host is a web or mail server that has a name that can be resolved externally but cannot be contacted externally, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will not be able to connect to the server.
If you are using a public DNS service that provides an alternative IP address for hosts that it cannot resolve, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will not be able to connect to the server.
If you are using a VPN configuration that includes wildcard entries (such as *.com) that match top-level domains that are publicly accessible, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established when you contact hosts in those domains.