FaceTime is Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s Skype and Google Hangouts. With FaceTime you can take part in video calls between various Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads, provided they have a front-facing camera. In addition to that, FaceTime also works on computers running Mac OS X 10.6.6 and onwards. Because these are apps developed by Apple itself they are pretty safe on their own, especially since FaceTime has strong safety measures such as end-to-end encryption and more. However, some of the recent updates were full of bugs, creating opportunities for skillful attackers and forcing users to pay extra attention to where and when they use FaceTime. Fortunately, VPNs are still trustworthy and they can greatly help you enjoy your FaceTime by providing not only an extra layer of solid encryption, but a stable connection too.
Security & Encryption
Apple and security are two terms that will always bring up the infamous case where the FBI wanted to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone but was halted by Apple. If there’s something we can learn from that experience it is that Apple takes the privacy and security of its customers so seriously that not even they can look into their users’ data. Moreover, thanks to the fact that users are the ones holding the key in the form of a unique password, the company has no control over your device and data.
Apps having the blessing of Apple, including FaceTime, are not much different. By checking some of FaceTime’s security features it actually seems pretty safe: it sports a solid AES-256 end-to-end encryption, unbreakable to this day, and a two-step authentication requiring an SMS authentication code which prevents any attacker from breaking into your account. In other words, FaceTime is 100% safe from both the NSA and your ISP, as it is impossible to intercept and decrypt your FaceTime calls. Also, you’re invisible from the eyes of hackers and even those of Apple with the latter assuring that it will not sell any of your data to third-parties.
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Regardless of the overall secure nature of FaceTime, even Apple admitted that some of the updates released over time have caused security issues due to a bug that could lead to man-in-the-middle attacks. It could even allow hackers to continue listening in on you even after the call ended. Interestingly, the buggy update was released right after the addition of the two-step authentication feature, which is still far from the more sophisticated secondary authentication tools, like fingerprint scanners. The latter factor is crucial, since the issue with the bug was solved by Apple shortly after its detection, but the company still hasn’t updated its two-step verification process.
In addition to the above problems, we also have to count the issue with the iCloud services. Although this flaw only affects iMessages, some of your messages might be compromised if you enable iCloud backups and your device chooses to send an update to the backup service while you’re connected to an unsafe public Wi-Fi network. This is especially dangerous, since the attacker can guess your AppleID password, and do whatever he wants with the snatched data.
Although FaceTime is quite a global app, there are still some countries where you can’t access this VoIP service, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and, quite unsurprisingly, China, where even FaceTime Audio is blocked. This is why applying VPNs, the true masters at unblocking content, apps and the like is a must, since they allow visiting other countries’ stores in search of the best apps. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server located in a country where FaceTime is not blocked, and you’ll be able to enjoy the VoIP service at its fullest while also being protected by military-grade encryptions.
Recommended VPNs for FaceTime
Now that you know the biggest weaknesses of FaceTime, it’s time to see some of the best VPN providers that can provide access to this VoIP service via the strongest encryptions.
IPVanish is our number one VPN provider for very good reasons, including outstanding customer service. Among the many features it offers we’d like to highlight the vast server network it holds with more than 750 VPN servers spread across 60+ countries, granting unlimited FaceTime access. To assure you stay protected from all prying eyes the company also features 256-bit AES encryption with all major VPN protocols to provide greater protection and/or faster connections. IPVanish also delivers a SOCKS5 web proxy, thus ensuring an uninterrupted, safe VoIP experience. And best of all, these features are included in both the client for computers as well as the app for mobile devices
VyprVPN is a decent competitor to IPVanish, since it delivers more than 700 servers worldwide, apps for every device (including iPhones and iPads), a NAT firewall, top-notch military-grade encryption and several VPN protocols, such as the company’s exclusive, Chameleon. Furthermore, VyprVPN is a trustworthy no-log company which means that not only your FaceTime calls but all your VPN usage remains anonymous, even to the company. And to add a couple more extras to the mix, you can also count on the exclusive VyprDNS and VyprVPN Cloud services.
Although CactusVPN doesn’t have the same resources as the other two contestants, it is still a solid choice for FaceTime users, particularly if we take into consideration its apps and clients, including those developed for macOS and iOS. With a CactusVPN subscription you’ll also make use of such features as DNS Leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption and 5 VPN protocols including the rarely seen SoftEther. The server network counts 19 VPN servers in 7 countries between the U.S. and Europe, while you can also enjoy a no-log policy, meaning the company doesn’t keep track of your online footsteps or video calls.
How to Use a VPN With FaceTime
If you are not familiar with VPNs, let us tell you that it’s really easy and useful to combine the powers of this kind of service not only with FaceTime but with many other apps too. And all you need to do is to launch the VPN app on your iPhone/iPad before you use FaceTime. After launching the app, you need to choose what country you want to connect to and, if necessary, the protocol you want to use on your connection. Then just keep the VPN app running in the background, launch FaceTime or any other app, and voilà: not only will your devices appear to be in a different country (and therefore free to access the desired content) but you’re protected by the VPN’s encryption too. And since using the VPN impacts your entire device, you will remain protected even if the encryption from the service fails you.