How to Fix VPN Connection Issues in iPhone?

When you want to connect to the internet, you need to approach the internet service provider nearer to your place. It could be the WLAN connection for your computers in house or mobile data for your smartphone. Your internet service provider (ISP) configure the connection and allow you to access the internet through their servers. Unfortunately, not all ISPs offer free internet and block some websites as per the local government regulations.

You can use VPN (stands for Virtual Private Network) to bypass the ISP configuration and access internet anonymously. However, you may face multiple issues when connecting VPN in iPhone. In this article, we will explain how to fix VPN connection issues in iPhone.

Related: How to fix VPN connection issues in Google Chrome?

Connecting VPN in iPhone

In our earlier article, we have explained how to connect VPN in iPhone. In summary, there are two ways to connect VPN in iOS.

  • Automatically adding VPN profile using VPN app from App Store
  • Manually adding VPN configuration

You need to confirm and agree the installation of configuration files as the VPN servers can record your entire network activities. In addition, you can also add the proxy servers to bypass the ISP connection which works similar to VPN.

VPN Connection in iPhone

Why Your VPN is not Connecting?

VPN helps to unblock and access the internet anonymously. However, there are many reasons why VPN is not working in your location.

  • You are living in an internet censored country. Countries like China also permanently removed VPN apps from their app store making it difficult for accessing outside world. You can install apps from other country App Store to unblock the websites. However, it will be always slow and unstable connection.   
  • Unfortunately, people also use VPN for doing illegal and unwanted activities to hide their identity. Therefore, many countries block VPN services to know the real identity of the person browsing online.
  • Education institutions have restrictions on accessing social and pornography sites. They will monitor the internal network connections and actively block the unknown connections.

At any case, follow the below tips to fix VPN connection issues in iPhone.

Fix VPN Connection Issues in iPhone

1. Change in Network Connections

WLAN and cellular data are two different networks offered by two different service providers. Your iPhone automatically switch to known Wi-Fi connection when available and disconnects the cellular data. This makes all the network activities to stop and resume on the Wi-Fi network. During this time VPN will disconnects and try to connect through Wi-Fi network. You will notice the connection lost if the VPN does not work with Wi-Fi and takes long time to connect.

Network Changing When VPN Connects
Network Changing When VPN Connects

Therefore, if you are doing important work connected to VPN, ensure not to switch the network connection.

  • Disable Wi-Fi or Cellular data for the VPN app to continue on the same network.
  • Disable the “Auto Lock” screen time, so that your iPhone will not automatically go to sleep mode and disconnects the network.

Remember, enable these settings when you don’t use VPN.

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2. Turn Off WLAN Assist or Wi-Fi Assist

The earlier versions of iOS was also offering a function called “Wi-Fi Assist”. Apple changed the name of this feature to “WLAN Assist” in the subsequent iOS version. It helps the iPhone automatically switch to cellular data when Wi-Fi network has a poor connection. We recommend to turn off the WLAN Assist from settings.

  • Tap on “Settings” app and go to “Cellular” settings page.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and turn off “WLAN Assist” option.
Disable WLAN Assist
Disable WLAN Assist

2. Corrupted DNS

DNS helps to find the correct server’s IP address of the website or app you open on your phone. The problems in DNS can cause delay in accessing the websites. Even your VPN connects on iPhone, you may have difficulties in connecting certain websites.

  • Check whether you VPN service is offering a dedicated VPN. If yes, you can disable the option trying to use the iPhone’s setting.
  • On your iPhone, you can change the default DNS settings from ISP to public DNS servers from Google. Follow the instructions in this article to change the DNS in iOS devices.

3. Change VPN Protocol

VPN connects through different protocols. When adding manual VPN configuration, you need to select the type as IKEv2, IPsec or L2TP. Some VPN apps also provide additional protocols like TCP or UDP. If you notice the connection is not stable, try to change the VPN protocol and try again. Some protocols are permanently blocked in some protocols, changing the protocol may help to connect in such situations.

Choose VPN Protocol
Choose VPN Protocol

4. Clear Browser History in Safari

If you find difficulties only in Safari app, then the accumulated browser cache could be the reason. Follow the below instructions to clear the browser cache in Safari on your iPhone:

  • Tap on “Settings” app and go to “Safari” settings page.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Clear History and Website Data” option.
Clear Browsing History in iPhone Safari
Clear Browsing History in iPhone Safari

Remember, you may need to disable Screen Time restrictions in order to clear browsing history in Safari.

5. Change VPN Server

VPN companies offer multiple server locations to choose from. This will help you to choose the nearest location of the website’s server you want to access. However, VPN will not work if you choose the blocked server. Unfortunately, many people use VPN for doing illegal activities and spamming. This will lead many DNS servers identify the VPN server’s IP as spam and block by default.

If you are not able to connect to specific server, change to another server in different country and try again. It is also a good idea to choose less popular VPN services so that the IP addresses are not blocked.

6. Turn Off Auto Connection

Some VPN apps will automatically connect when the network connection is available or lost in-between. This is a useful feature to always use the internet anonymously. Some services call it as “Automatically Reconnect” while others refer it as “Kill Switch”. However, it will block your normal internet connection if the connection is unsuccessful. Though it is inconvenient, ensure to turn the VPN on or off manually to know what is going on with the connection.  

7. Update to Latest VPN App

Many ISPs actively block protocols from VPN services. In response, VPN companies update their apps to bypass the ISP effectively. Using outdated VPN app may cause unstable or no connection. Check whether any updates available from the App Store and update your VPN app to the latest version.

Final Words

We hope this article gives you an idea of why your VPN connection is not working, helps to identify the root cause and fix VPN connection issues in iPhone. However, it completely depends on the location you are living, and VPN services can’t connect if the local network administration or ISP blocks their connection.  

Editorial Staff at WebNots are team members who love to build websites and share the learning with webmasters community. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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