Monday, July 2, 2007

iPhone VPN issues

One of the really great features of the iPhone is its ability to connect to a VPN network.  It can use either PPTP (with MSCHAP2) or L2TP (using ipsec and shared secret).

HOWEVER...  There's an implementation problem.  When you put in the VPN information it loses the password and prompt you to re-enter it when you click on the icon to turn the VPN On. This wouldn't be a big deal if a normal keyboard came up BUT instead a numeric only keypad (like what you use in the phone app) comes up.  So... unless your 'password' for your VPN is numeric only (not likely) then you can't connect.  This is an obvious programmatic screw-up that I hope Apple addresses in the next update.

There is a work around, sort of...  You can connect to a VPN that has a non-numeric password by re-setting your password in Settings > General > Network > VPN > VPN Settings and then turning on the VPN from Settings > General > Network > VPN > VPN 'on/off'.  After re-entering your password this way you bypass the prompt for a password.  However, it will lose your password again and you'll have to go through the whole tedious procedure when you need to VPN again... *sigh*  On the bright side the iPhone's VPN seems pretty robust and I haven't had many disconnects or speed issues with it.

I'm hopeful that Apple will correct this obvious oversight in bringing up the WRONG keypad to allow you to enter a non-numeric password.  Come on, Steve!

The 'glitch' in it losing your password still needs to be fixed since that's a bug but the other part would make this bug at least tolerable and should be a very quick fix to the code.


El-Visitador said...

My VPN experience on iPhone has been anything but stable.

Sometimes it logs in quickly; most of the time, it just stays on "connecting..." forever. Both behaviors both on Edge and on Airport.

By way of contrast, my Powerbook logs into the VPN quickly and consistently on the same Airport.

On top of that, the keyboard bug on the iPhone... said...

Hello I have the Apple Itouch with their latest update and it has built in VPN support. It works fine with my VPN account from If you have any problems their support can help.

I went into my ITouch into
Settings - General - Network - VPN -

My settings were as followed, I choose
Account (username from
Pass (again from
Encryption Level - Auto
Proxy - Off
Send All Traffic - On
RSA SecuriID - Off

Tim said...

I wrote a guide on howto setup a vpn-server (pptp) under linux and howto connect to it using the Iphone.

might help some people here

alex smith said...

The privacy is a strong that you need when you visit many sites. I have no problems when I use my vpn service

alex7xl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
administrator said...

I think apple are a couple of upgrades away from getting it to all run smoothly

(Buy VPN)

Anna howart said...

I have "Hotspot Shield" free proxy VPN on my iPhone. It is working fine and although it is always advisable to use a VPN as it is secure and safe.

Setting up this VPN is so easy and moreover convenient to use. You just need to install the .dmg file on your phone and all of the basic settings will get automatically configured. Make sure your VPN status under the settings is ON. I am using it because it also encrypts my network traffic and secures my sensitive data.