Cloudflare debuts free 'Warp' VPN for iPhone and iPad

Posted:
in iOS
Content delivery network provider Cloudflare plans to make its 1.1.1.1 free DNS service more useful to iPhone and iPad users, with the "Warp" addition to the mobile app providing users with a free VPN that is claimed to make going online faster, reliable, and more secure.




Following the launch of 1.1.1.1, Cloudflare's high-performance DNS, as well as the creation of a mobile app that enables iOS users to more easily make their mobile devices work through the service across both cellular and Wi-Fi connections, the firm believes it can improve connections through the service even more, especially for mobile users.

While the current version of 1.1.1.1 does act as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the purposes of using Cloudflare for DNS purposes, the app does not actually function as a fully-fledged VPN, as only DNS queries are secured and optimized. Under Warp, the app does work as a VPN completely, affecting all of the device's traffic by encrypting all unencrypted connections.

As well as providing end-to-end encryption, the app will also offer faster browsing, by caching and compressing content automatically. The VPN is also said to be more resilient to changes in connectivity, namely from cellular to Wi-Fi or between Wi-Fi networks, or handling captive portals that typically exist in public Wi-Fi hotspots.

The confirmation page for the 1.1.1.1+Warp waitlist within the iOS app
The confirmation page for the 1.1.1.1+Warp waitlist within the iOS app


While free VPNs are a sensitive topic for some people, such as those worried of ending up in a similar situation to Facebook or Google's data-harvesting VPN apps, Cloudflare insists the free service is different. The company claims it doesn't write user-identifiable log data to disk, never sells browsing data or allows advertising data to target users, does not require any user information to use the basic version of the service, and that it regularly hires outside auditors to check privacy is being upheld.

Along with the free version, a paid tier called Warp+ will also be made available for a "low monthly fee." The premium version will take advantage of Cloudflare's virtual private backbone to offer even faster connections.

Cloudflare is slowly rolling out Warp to potential users via the existing 1.1.1.1 app starting within weeks, where those interested have to sign up to the waitlist to gain access. It is forecast that all those on the waitlist will be able to use Warp by the end of July.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    HeliBumHeliBum Posts: 68member
    I decided that using a commercial VPN kinda defeats the purpose. I set up my own on a Mac mini at home. Combine that with a dynamic DNS service and you have a VPN that *you* control.
    apple_badgercyberzombie
  • Reply 2 of 8
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,009member
    HeliBum said:
    I decided that using a commercial VPN kinda defeats the purpose. I set up my own on a Mac mini at home. Combine that with a dynamic DNS service and you have a VPN that *you* control.
    That protects you from open WiFi attacks, but “you” are still “you” to everyone (websites) that are collecting browsing trends etc.

    Most people would be satisfied with a commercial VPN service located in a country that enforces better privacy laws (like Germany).
    repressthismacguijbdragonchasm
  • Reply 3 of 8
    "...As well as providing end-to-end encryption..."

    Unless I'm missing something or the meaning of end-to-end has changed very recently, this service does not (and cannot) provide end-to-end encryption. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    prokipprokip Posts: 150member
    1.1.1.1  and the backup 1.0.0.1 are 'owned' by research group in Australia.  Is that safe when you realise what the Australian government have recently passed into law in that country?
    apple_badger
  • Reply 5 of 8
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member
    HeliBum said:
    I decided that using a commercial VPN kinda defeats the purpose. I set up my own on a Mac mini at home. Combine that with a dynamic DNS service and you have a VPN that *you* control.
    Either you left out a lot of information or you don’t know what a VPN is. 
  • Reply 6 of 8
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member

    "...As well as providing end-to-end encryption..."

    Unless I'm missing something or the meaning of end-to-end has changed very recently, this service does not (and cannot) provide end-to-end encryption. 
    DNS queries are generally not encrypted.  When you navigate to a secure website, the first step is to query a DNS server for the IP.  If the query is not secure, someone could intercept that query and redirect the user to a malicious website instead of the website they intended to visit. 
    edited April 1
  • Reply 7 of 8
    flydog said:

    "...As well as providing end-to-end encryption..."

    Unless I'm missing something or the meaning of end-to-end has changed very recently, this service does not (and cannot) provide end-to-end encryption. 
    DNS queries are generally not encrypted.  When you navigate to a secure website, the first step is to query a DNS server for the IP.  If the query is not secure, someone could intercept that query and redirect the user to a malicious website instead of the website they intended to visit. 
    That's not really what the section I quoted seems to be referring to. The preceding sentence, "Under Warp, the app does work as a VPN completely, affecting all of the device's traffic by encrypting all unencrypted connections" seems to imply that the following sentence (the one I originally quoted) is about the full-fledged VPN service. That is not something Cloudflare can provide end-to-end. 

    (Also, intercepting DNS and sending someone to an unintended website isn't really an problem for a "secure website", as TLS (the security in a secure website) is designed to warn you that the site you're accessing isn't able to securely identify itself as the legitimate site. That's the same mechanism that keeps Cloudflare's encrypted DNS service from being subverted in just that way itself.) 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    I'm not sure I can trust a business that doesn't bother to proof its own ads for typos (see last line)
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