Is Apple dropping support for IKEv2 VPN?

By GabrielleAugust 8, 2023No Comments

Back in 2016, Apple scrapped their integrated PPTP VPN support on macOS; leaving network admins scrambling to find an alternative solution in order to continue connecting to PPTP VPN on the Mac.

Fast forward seven years and the rumor mill is churning again, following announcements from the WWDC in 2023. Is IKEv2 the next VPN protocol to get the axe?

Will we see IKEv2 VPN support in macOS Sonoma?

Mac admins and consultants checking out all the news from WWDC 2023 in the run up to the macOS 14 release this fall may have had a shock after noticing that Apple has announced deprecations for certain algorithms in the IKEv2 stack in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.

What does this mean?

While deprecated doesn’t mean they’re going away just yet, in "Apple terms", it’s usually a good indicator that they’ll be retired in the next release – something to be aware of if your business relies on an IKEv2 VPN.

Which IKEv2 connections is Apple dropping support for?

As things stand, Apple has already marked the following algorithms as deprecated for IKEv2 VPNs going forward:

  • DES
  • 3DES
  • SHA1-96
  • SHA1-160
  • Diffie-Hellman (DH) groups less than 14

Will other IKEv2 connections still work?

In short: yes. Apple have announced no plans to completely retire IKEv2 support so for the moment, it looks like it's here to stay. However, if you are using any of the algorithms listed above, it may be time to start thinking about a new IKEv2 solution.

Peace of mind: Independent IKEv2 VPN client for Mac, iPhone, iPad

Already fretting about having to reconfigure your team's VPN connection ahead of this announcement? Before you hit the panic button, give VPN Tracker a try.

With support for all 10 major VPN protocols, including a custom built IKEv2 VPN engine, VPN Tracker is the leading VPN client for Mac and iOS.

IKEv2 benefits in VPN Tracker

VPN Tracker provides long-term support for IKEv2 connections based on a wide range of encryption options (e.g. DES, 3DES, DH-Groups lower than 14 and SHA1 96/160), as well as bonus productivity features:

  • Ready-made VPN profiles for popular IKEv2 gateways from Cisco, Fortinet, Draytek, and more
  • Set up once, use everywhere — with secure cloud sync across Mac, iPhone & iPad
  • Authentication via username and password or Pre-Shared Key
  • Auto-Config: Automatically receive remote networks and topology settings
  • Manual control over specific encryption settings for power users
  • High-performance connection speeds with Apple M1 and M2 chips
  • Easy enterprise rollout for teams

Continue connecting to IKEv2 VPN on Mac and iOS

VPN Tracker works with most common IKEv2 setups. Use the custom IKEv2 VPN profile to copy over your settings, so you can stay connected to your IKEv2 VPN on Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Get connected

Simply open the VPN Tracker IKEv2 connection creator and enter your gateway's public IP address or hostname and your connection authentication information:

You can now save your connection in your VPN Tracker account and connect to IKEv2 VPN on Mac and iOS.

Pro tip: Custom encryption settings for IKEv2 VPN

Using custom encryption algorithms? Switch to the Advanced tab during VPN Tracker setup to adjust your connection's encryption settings (make sure they exactly match what's set up on your VPN gateway.)

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