ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for BlackBerry (November 2015 update)

Thanks to wider adoption of the IKEv2 VPN protocol, the situation for BlackBerry users who wish to improve their security and privacy by using VPN has improved markedly over this last year.

The problem has been that last generation (true) BlackBerry devices such as the BlackBerry Playbook and high-end BlackBerry 10 (Z10 and Q10) smartphones do not support almost any of the common VPN protocols used by commercial VPN services.

Fortunately, some do now support IKEv2, which is supported by BlackBerry phones, and allows them to use commercial VPN services.

Please note that this article is dedicated to these last generation Blackberry devices, as the new BlackBerry Priv uses Google’s Android operating system, and is in all ways an Android phone (complete with the Google Play store.)

I therefore encourage BlackBerry Priv users to instead check out our article on 5 Best VPNs for Android.

Best VPN for BlackBerry Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

Hide.Me Logo
Read Review >
$11.67/mo Visit Site >

2

PureVPN_Logo
Read Review >
$9.95/mo Visit Site >

3

Witopia Logo
Read Review >
$9.99/mo Visit Site >

4

VPNReactor_logo_160_40_2
Read Review >
$9.99/mo Visit Site >

5

AirVPN Logo
Read Review >
$7.74/mo Visit Site >

Winner

Hide.Me

4.6/5

Master

  • PROS
  • IKEv2 for BlackBerry
  • No usage logs
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • Based in Malaysia
  • iOS and Android apps
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Some connection logs
  • A little pricey

This Malaysia-based company allows BlackBerry devices to connect using IKEv2 (a guide is available here). Hide.me keeps usage no logs (but some connection logs), allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, and has apps for both iOS and Android (for you cutting-edge BlackBerry users that like to dabble with other platforms!) Speed results are also pretty good, and our main criticism of Hide.me comes down to its slightly high pricing. The bottom line is that Hide.me is a  “no logs” service that supports BlackBerry, and is not at all bad…

Get the best “no logs” BlackBerry VPN service!

Visit Hide.Me »

Money back or free trial comes here

2nd place

PureVPN

4.1/5

PureVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • IKv2 for BlackBerry
  • Based in Hong Kong
  • 2 simultaneous connections
  • iOS and Android app
  • No usage logs
  • 3-day money back guarantee
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Some connection logs
  • Many complaints

This high-profile VPN provider supports Blackberry via IKEv2. Yay! It also offers a good apps for iOS and Android, uses reasonable “up to” 265-bit OpenVPN encryption (for your other devices,) and permits P2P (on some servers.) To be honest, we are not huge fans of PureVPN thanks to the fact that it keeps logs, and because of the trail of complaints we get from users not getting a refund after trying its 3-day money-back trial. Still… it supports BlackBerries!

Visit PureVPN »


3rd place

Witopia

3.9/5

Witopia Logo

  • PROS
  • IPSec for BlackBerry
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 2 simultaneous connections
  • CONS
  • Keeps logs
  • Poor performance
  • Money back offer dubious
  • US based
  • P2P: no

This somewhat elusive US-based VPN company offers great desktop software and great 24/7 customer support. Most importantly, it offers BackBerry support via IPSec/ Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN (see below for a discussion about this.) WiTopia keeps logs, turned in poor performance during our tests, and we think its “30-day money-back guarantee” is somewhat disingenuous. However, it remains an option for BlackBerry users.

Visit Witopia »


4th place

VPNReactor

3.6/5

VPNReactor Logo

  • PROS
  • IKv2 for BlackBerry
  • CONS
  • Keeps logs
  • Limited support for simultaneous devices

We have yet to review VPNReactor (sorry!), so I cannot comment in much detail except to note that it keeps logs, and that only 1 device can connected at once (basic plan), or 1 desktop + 1 mobile device (Pro plan.) I include it here because it is one of that select few VPN providers who support Blackberry devices (via IKEv2) …

Visit VPNReactor »


5th place

AirVPN

2/5

AirVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • No BlackBerry support
  • Fantastic encryption
  • Top-notch security
  • Fast
  • Stable
  • 3 simultaneous connections
  • Port forwarding
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • A little nerdy/techy

Established by Italian net neutrality and internet privacy activists and hacktavists, AirVPN is a very different beast to ExpressVPN. It is somewhat rough around the edges, only supports OpenVPN (so setup has to performed manually using OpenVPN Connect, although instructions for doing this are provided), and is aimed squarely at techies and techno-geeks. For those who do not mind this, however, AirVPN excels when it comes to matters such as encryption and protecting users’ privacy (for example, it supports SSL and SSH tunneling, plus VPN through Tor.) It is also fast and stable. Please note that the score given to AirVPN in this article reflects the fact that it does not support BlackBerry, and that AirVPN is otherwise a 5-star service.

Visit AirVPN »


Update 19 February 2016: It has just come to my attention that TorGuard also supports BlackBerry via IKE2. TorGuard overall offers a very solid service, and will be included in this article when it is next updated.

BlackBerry VPN issues

The biggest issue for BlackBerry users is that while these devices do support a number of VPN protocols, these are mainly protocols used exclusively by businesses to run private corporate networks. Two protocols that we have seen used by VPN providers that can be used by BlackBerry users are IKEv2, and IPSec (using Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN)…

IKEv2

Internet Key Exchange (version 2) is an IPSec based tunneling protocol that was jointly developed by Microsoft and Cisco, and is a standard by used many Blackberry devices. Dubbed VPN Connect by Microsoft, IKEv2 is particularly good at automatically re-establishing a VPN connection when users temporarily lose their internet connections (such as when entering or leaving a train tunnel).

This makes it ideal for Blackberry users on the go, who can benefit from IKv2’s support for the Mobility and Multihoming (MOBIKE) protocol, also makes it highly resilient to changing networks. This is great news for cell phone users who, for example, connect their BlackBerries to a WiFi network while at home but switch to mobile data use when out and about, or who regularly switch between hotspots.

Stable and secure, IKv2 is generally is considered at least as good as, if not superior to, the more common L2TP/IPsec protocol in terms of security, performance (speed), and stability.

IPSec (using Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN)

IPSec is an encryption suite that is usually paired with the L2TP VPN protocol. BlackBerry devices do not support L2TP, however, but can use IPSec with a number of lesser used protocols, including Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN (a setup which is supported by Witopia.)

IPsec encryption has no major known vulnerabilities, and if properly implemented may still be secure. However, Edward Snowden’s revelations have strongly hinted at the standard being compromised by the NSA, and as John Gilmore (security specialist and founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) explains in this post, it is likely that it has been deliberately weakened during its design phase.

That said, IPSec is still considered very secure against most threats (and any weaknesses are entirely a matter of conjecture.)

Conclusion

As far as I am aware, the first 4 providers on this list are the only VPN services to fully support a protocol that BlackBerry users can actually use (IKEv2 and IPSec/ Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN), so go them! Unfortunately, none of them are amazing (Hide.me is ok), but the good news is that more providers support BlackBerry than they did a year ago, and hopefully this is a trend that will continue, despite Blackberry moving towards Android as the OS of choice for new devices.

Edit 21 January 2016: I have just discovered another VPN service, SuperVPN, that supports Blackberry. I know nothing else about it.

Update 19 February 2016: It has just come to my attention that TorGuard also supports BlackBerry via IKE2. TorGuard overall offers a very solid service, and will be included in this article when it is next updated.

Best VPN for BlackBerry Summary

Rank Provider Review Price Link

1

Hide.Me Logo
Read Review >
11.67/mo Visit Site >

2

PureVPN_Logo
Read Review >
$9.95/mo Visit Site >

3

Witopia Logo
Read Review >
$9.99/mo Visit Site >

4

VPNReactor_logo_160_40_2
Read Review >
$9.99/mo Visit Site >

5

AirVPN Logo
Read Review >
$7.74/mo Visit Site >

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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13 responses to “5 Best VPNs for BlackBerry (November 2015 update)

    1. Hi ,

      The BLackberry Touch (1) 9000 uses BlackBerry OS 7.0. I’m not sure that this supports VPN. This discussion looked promising, but concludes that the OP is a scammer…

  1. one question for you. Given the Patriot Act, which I understand means that any US-owned company is subject to search (doesnt’ have to be US-based) AND the Five Eyes, does it make sense for the privacy-interested individual to use any VPN provider based in the US or where the US has a controlling interest ? I ‘d be interested to know your view.

    1. Hi phil,

      Well… it all depends on your threat model, but I always list being based in the US (or any other Five Eyes country) as a Con. It is safe, in my view, to assume that all major US tech/privacy companies have been compromised in some way by the NSA (and quite possibly other alphabet soup agencies).

  2. This is a super article. I’m grateful that there are folks like you out there providing such well-written content for BB enthusiasts. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi sodiq,

      I think the above services will work with a Blackberry 9720, but you should contact the providers before signing up to verify this.

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