How does authentication work with the BrowZine app? (iOS & Android)

Proxy Servers & OpenAthens

BrowZine works like a very advanced and smart web browser where the links to content are presented by the BrowZine cloud service to the app and then presented to the user as a table of contents.  When a user clicks on the article they want, this is then fetched from the publisher's server directly, thus enabling accurate COUNTER statistics for that publisher (full text downloads).

On the iPad, Apple's iOS Keychain is used to store user credentials, the same mechanism used for the iPad's built-in Safari web browser if a user decides to let the browser "remember my password" for a website.

The encryption used is AES 128, according to the details about the keychain starting on page 12 of this document:

For Android devices, there is no exact equivalent to the iOS keychain.  However, the Android OS includes its own security measures at the device level which is then compounded by AES-128 encryption of credentials in BrowZine built by Third Iron creating a double layer of protection.

If your library uses a proxy server or OpenAthens to enable off-campus access, BrowZine initiates a session with the proxy server to authenticate you as an authorized user.  BrowZine passes the username and password data, which is encrypted and stored securely on your device, directly to the proxy server. The username and password are never passed to Third Iron servers.

VPN & On-Site Only

BrowZine also works great with VPN or on-site only configurations whereby BrowZine is made aware by the library of the IP ranges of your institution and/or VPN system.  BrowZine can detect at any time if the user is operating within this IP range and permit them access or remind them that they need to turn the VPN system on.  As VPN configurations vary greatly from institution to institution, we provide an opportunity to link users to a custom page on your website to instruct them on how to setup the VPN.  VPN setup is done externally to BrowZine, so BrowZine does not make any attempt to request credentials for a VPN system.


Shibboleth that authenticates a proxy server also works great with BrowZine, but BrowZine does not support "pure" Shibboleth authentication mechanisms that do not also involve a proxy server within the mobile apps.  If this is the only authentication available at your institution, on the web is the only solution that will be available for your users.

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