Who is Pushing Whom ? Facebook Vs Onavo VPN

This statement itself sounds most controversial as we are yet to assimilate as to who is pushing whom. However, we might as well define the roles played by each of the players and then get back into the details.

What Does Onavo Stand For?

So let’s begin with Onavo, an Israel based, mobile analytical company, that was instrumental in developing Onavo Insights and Onavo Mobility apps that provided information for users about data usage, compression of data as also data protection. As a matter of fact, Onavo Protect helps keeping users and their data safe when they browse or share information on the World Wide Web. It also keeps them safe against malicious phishing as well as unsecure mobile sites that have grown up now as mushrooms. It also help secure details when users login to websites or enter personal information in regard to bank accounts and credit card numbers.

In addition, Onavo Protect warns users when they visit potentially malicious and harmful sites, and if necessary, block access to such sites. In order to provide this top coat of protection, Onavo institutes a secure connection filtered by its own network as well as methods created through its own algorithm.

What is VPN, By The Way?

VPN or Virtual Private Network redirects an user’s connection to the Internet through an encrypted VPN tunnel. As a result, the VPN sever works as a secure launching pad for users in regard to accessing sundry websites. What is more, the device appears to have the IP address of olf the VPN server, camouflaging  its true identity, while the user would be browsing (when accessing websites) from the server’s demographic location and not that of the computer.

Incidentally, most of the network traffic between the device and the VPN server is channeled through an encrypted VPN tunnel. What is more, the user’s device appears to have the IP address of the VPN server, while camouflaging its true identity. As a result, the user would be browsing (when accessing websites) from the server’s demographic location and not the computer.

On account of this bizarre setup, VPN is often used for the following purposes.

  • Fortification from cyber criminals when using public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Better privacy gained by concealing user’s online activities from their ISPs
  • Protected, uninterrupted streaming experience having zero bandwidth throttling
  • Use of P2P sharing services.

Enter The Dragon

Facebook bought Onavo in October 2013 for an undisclosed sum (around $120 million) and as a result it is now headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. However, it also operates from Israel’s first Facebook office in Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, it has popped up in the Facebook iOS under the poster ‘Protect’ in its navigation menu. Consequently, clicking through on ‘Protect’ will promptly redirect Facebook users to the ‘Onavo Protect – VPN Security app’s listing on the App Store.

Even though marketing Onavo within Facebook itself could probably help lead to a boost among users for the VPN app which pledges to alert uses against malicious websites, it slowly becomes apparent that Facebook did not acquire Onavo solely for its security protection feature.

On the other hand, Onavo appears to be of interest to Facebook on  account of what it will offer in terms of mobile analytics. One of the biggest benefits of its app is that it gathers traffic data on millions of mobile apps across similar amount of devices. Over and above, Onavo has developed tools that can distinguish between users who have found app store and downloaded it, as also the other one who click on a mobile app for an app and download it that way. On the other hand, Onavo tries to act smart by comparing and contrasting a vast array of activities and results across various networks that include s Facebook as well.

So, it is difficult judge, at this stage who is going to push whom.