Mobile Or Not – The Technical Differences Between Mobile And Stay At Home Security

Over the last few years there has been an increase in the presences of the “Mobile” offerings of websites. Many have “Mobile versions now, and there are even many “Mobile versions of games, and the “Mobile” revolution has increased the popularity of the “App.” But aside from the way a page or game displays on the mobile device, many people don’t realize the other technological differences in these programs, and this is never more apparent than when mobile users question the experts. On these websites there is a much more detailed version of this explanation of the differences, but in a nutshell, here is why many standard programs and apps may not work very well on a mobile device.

Identifying The Target Computer

Security expert, Michael Maxstead, explains that PPTP, IPSec, and SSL all use the IP address of the computer on the other end of the tunnel to identify that the computer it is communicating with is the correct device. And this is perfect for a device that is stationary… an at home PC, hotel LANs, and even the occasional WiFi hot-spot. But, when this connection point changes often, for example, many mobile devices will have 3 and 4G connections using the cell towers along with these “Hot-spots” and wireless AP’s. And will “hop” from connection point to connection point quickly. A standard VPN client isn’t designed with these constant changes in mind, so many disconnects and AP changes causes crashes, time-outs and tunnel breaks.

The Mobile VPN Client

According to Mr. Maxstead, a mobile VPN solution from a provider like IPVanish, or Hide-My-Ass, wouldn’t rely on the connection point, (AP,) IP address. But instead assigns a logical IP address to the mobile device that will stay with the device, rather than the AP which changes so often. It is in this way that a VPN becomes transparent in its communications. Otherwise there would be a lot of disconnects, reconnection, and re-authentications. With a logical IP address the mobile unit can seamlessly move from one wireless AP to another: Change from 4G to 3G, or even the slower 2G connection, change from wireless coverage to a WiFi hot-spot, and even change from any of the above to a docked port.

Mobility A Little More Complicated Internally

But the seamless way in which a mobile device handles the changing AP’s really makes the clients worth the extra expense often incurred when purchasing a VPN service that has mobile technology clients, claims the security CEO. “I have personally seen a few people who tried to use the same client as they use on their desktop to no avail. It invariably takes hours fixing the device removing the client,” during which he takes the opportunity to explain why it didn’t work…

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