Seamless switching between VPN and Web Protection

The VPN app has an option to auto-connect to VPN when connected to an open WiFi-network. Great feature. But it doesn’t switch automatically back to the Web Protection connection (on iOS). This leads to a constant connection to the VPN. Not bad for your security and / or privacy, but:

  • It could be annoying to manually switch back
  • Bitdefender Mobile Security / Central raises alert because Web Protection is disabled (Possible other idea / problem to solve?)
  • Kinda unnecessary to be connected all the time?

This could create a better balance between security and privacy without letting you down (unsecured).

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5 votes

In Review · Last Updated

Comments

  • Hello @Giryoku and thank you for posting your suggestions here 🙂

    This has to do with how the two features are designed, as the Web Protection & VPN features from Bitdefender Mobile Security for iOS cannot be used at the same time, but alternatively. This means that turning on Web Protection in the app will disconnect the VPN and vice versa. Once a VPN session is ended, you can turn on Web Protection.

    Web Protection automatically blocks malicious websites. When a URL points to a known phishing or fraudulent website, or to malicious content such as spyware or viruses, the webpage is blocked, and an alert is shown. The same thing happens when installed apps try to access malicious domains. With Web Protection, you are protected from accessing dangerous, phishing, and fraudulent pages.

    On the other hand, VPN encrypts the data that leaves your iOS device, giving you the benefit of a private network even while you’re on a public Wi-Fi from the airport, mall, café, or hotel. When connected to VPN, you can access websites that are restricted to certain countries and you hide your own IP address, offering your online search more anonymity. VPN only does so much to anonymize your online activities. It won’t protect you online.

    Therefore, this behavior is not a dysfunction. Web Protection and VPN are two features designed for separate purposes: the first keeps you safe while browsing while the latter aims to provide internet anonymity.

    Apart from this configuration, I think that an automatic switch was not implemented so far, because the developers wanted to give the end users more control over the functions and allow them to manage these features individually, according to their needs and preferences.

    Nevertheless, I have noted your recommendation and will forward your feedback to our product teams for analysis.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Giryoku
    Giryoku ✭✭✭

    Thanks @Alexandru_BD ,

    I think that a complement is on its place here. I just wanted to say that I really like your involvement! 😉

    Great to have an active community. And also one where you are heard. 😊

    Enjoy your day! 😁

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited May 2022

    You are most welcome and I am grateful for your appreciation.

    This community is a place of true value, that encourages ideation and contribution and helps our users to make the best out of their Bitdefender antivirus 🙂

    You have and excellent day as well!

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Piggy backing this, is there a way for bitdefender to automatically turn web protection back on on iOS after a VPN session instead of having to remember to re-turn on web protection every time? Seems like a huge oversight if that is not possible

  • Hello @jumpingthegreen,

    When it comes to usage, VPN and Web Protection have different purposes and you should turn them on depending on your needs. For example, if you want to do some online transactions on your banking site while being connected to an airport or a mall WI-FI, you should turn on the VPN, to encrypt & anonymise all your traffic. If you are especially browsing on all kind of new sites that could look suspicious, then Web Protection would be of greater help, making sure that the domains you are accessing are not exposed to online threats (like malware, phishing, miner) by blocking access to dangerous pages.

    Currently, an option to enable web protection automatically after a VPN session is not available, however, the iOS app can be set to remind you to turn on web protection whenever the VPN session is closed. You can find it in Settings -> Enable web protection notification.

    Nevertheless, I think this makes a good feature request for the development teams to analyze and I'll send your feedback to them.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Why would someone want Web Protection off while using a VPN? It seems to me that it would be best to have Web Protection remain on while using a VPN. You still need protection from malicious websites when using a VPN.

  • Why Bitdefender is depriving us from Web Protection Services and VPN at the same time? Isn’t it better to be protected both ways? Or else there’s no thechnology for ios to use both services at the same time? If so is there any solution to use both in ios.

  • Hi @Seyyid-Haroun and thanks for joining the conversation here.

    The antivirus is not depriving users from using Web Protection Services and VPN at the same time willingly, it's just that these features cannot be used simultaneously on iOS due to certain limitations and the scope of each feature. If simultaneous usage was possible, surely it would have been already implemented.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Regarding using VPN and webprotection at the same time I’m currently using both simultaneously downloading Bitdefender’s Mobilesecurity and VPN App separately.It works when you make the VPN protocol on IPSEC and you can turn on the web protection from the antivirus mobile security app next.I’m currently using iphone 13ProMax.Is this secure and appropriate? Does this have drawbacks?

  • Hi @Seyyid-Haroun,

    It's actually working. Our devs are doing a few more tests before they reach a final conclusion, stay tuned as I'll be updating this thread as soon as I have news.

    Thank you for posting this workaround here! 👍️

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Further tests revealed that Web Protection is not reliable in this setup. It seems that under certain situations, it no longer blocks suspicious pages, for example on 'http' it does not behave as expected. Therefore, I can't really recommend this workaround, having the security standards and safety in mind.

    It would have been quite the discovery and for sure it would be nice to have both running at the same time, but it appears that this is not possible for now, at least not in a secure way.

    Regardless of the outcome, thank you once again for sharing your findings with us. The development teams will continue to investigate this scenario, since they found it very interesting.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Funkwillow
    Funkwillow Doctoral Student

    Alexandru, You have the patience of a saint. Thank you for presenting this in layperson terms and for answering the same question over-and-over.

  • Funkwillow
    Funkwillow Doctoral Student

    Is there a way to set up a geofence reminder to manually switch to VPN/Web Protection when I arrive or leave a specific location? I know this isn’t specifically Bitdefender related but it does relate to the continuity of Bitdefender services since there’s not an automatic switch. Or a reminder that if my iPhone connects to an insecure/secure network to switch between VPN/Web Protection?

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod


    There is no way to set up a geofence reminder to manually switch to VPN/Web Protection when you arrive or leave a specific location. However, there are a few workarounds you can use.

    One option is to use a third-party app like IFTTT or Zapier. These apps allow you to create custom automations that can be triggered by a variety of events, including location changes. For example, you could create an automation that sends you a notification when you arrive at work, which would remind you to turn on your VPN.

    Another option is to use the built-in Reminders app on your iPhone. You can create a reminder that triggers when you arrive or leave a specific location. For example, you could create a reminder that says "Turn on VPN when I arrive at work". This reminder will then appear on your lock screen or in the Reminders app when you arrive at work.

    Finally, you could also use a physical device like a Tile or AirTag to track your location. When you arrive or leave a specific location, the Tile or AirTag will send you a notification. You can then use this notification to remind yourself to turn on your VPN.

    As for a reminder that your iPhone connects to an insecure/secure network to switch between VPN/Web Protection, there is no built-in way to do this. However, you can use a third-party app like Network Monitor to track your network connections. This app will show you the security of the network you are connected to, and you can then manually turn on your VPN if you are connected to an insecure network.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Thank you! 😁

    Flexx is right, there is no built-in way to do this. But the workarounds suggested above might do the job 😉

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user