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Configuring iPhone for VPN

For the last few days I’ve been scratching my head on a particularly knotty problem — configuring iPhone 3G to access our corporate VPN over 3G wireless.  Rogers, bless their hearts, hasn’t made this easy.  By reading the marvelous Howard Forums, visiting the Apple store in Toronto for help, and checking Apple’s support boards, I’ve managed to make it work with these three steps:

1. You will need the VPN option attached to your data account.  Phone Rogers, speak to a CSR, and ask them to add this option.  This allows you to access the Rogers vpn.com APN.  You need this because internet.com, the standard iPhone APN, is behind a NAT.

2. Next you need to change the APN from internet.com to vpn.com.  There is no option to do this on iPhone, because Rogers has disabled it.  Nevertheless, you can visit http://www.unlockit.co.nz which is a web site that will send you a new profile that you can install on your device.  Use APN vpn.com, username wapuser1 and password wap.

3. set up your VPN.  You will need user names and passwords from whomever manages this stuff at your organization. AND you will need to set the “send all data” setting to off.

Now for the bad news.  Having done this, you may find (as I have) that you’re no longer able to set up a VPN connection over WiFi.

Zemanta Pixie

{ 33 comments… add one }

  • Taz August 13, 2008, 6:20 am

    Thank you so much for this!! our company has been banging heads with Rogers to explain the level of security is much higher when using VPNs than IMAP or ActiveSync… atleast this way, if the device is lost, no one can get in to the email accounts and mess around without being able to get in the VPN !

    Once again a big thank you!

  • Alec August 13, 2008, 6:22 am

    You're welcome Taz. Let me know if you figure out a fix that lets you use the VPN on WiFi AND on 3G, because I still haven't.

    • BeboGordo June 4, 2011, 1:25 pm

      This my be a silly question, but who is Rogers? I'm in Puerto Rico having my issues of my VPN locking out my WIFI. I can get VPN to work but it only works through my 3G. After which My WIFI won't work unless I reset my Network settings. Any suggestions? I've been told it could have to do with my WIFI modem. I'm using a NETGEAR RangeMax WPN824 v3.

      • asaunders June 6, 2011, 8:31 am

        Rogers is the carrier up here in Canada that I use. I honestly gave up on VPN use. Wish I could help!

  • Taz August 13, 2008, 7:04 am

    Alec, I just tested the WiFi, i am able to connect to my VPN. I did nothing. Unless the iPhone is actually connected to the VPN over 3G, even though I am hooked up to a WiFi…. I'll see if I can try to find out…. but from the looks of it, it is connected over WiFi….

    • BeboGordo June 4, 2011, 1:11 pm

      My WIFI gets locked out when I connect through VPN which makes my 3G active and allows me to connect but it uses up my data plan. And the only way I can get my WIFI back is by resetting my Network setting on my iphone. Which deletes my VPN set up, and is very annoying. Are you sure you are connect through WIFI when you use VPN. And if so, what model of WIFI modem are you using, because I was told it might be my WIFI modem that causes the lock out.

  • Alec August 13, 2008, 7:25 pm

    Hmmm… wonder what I am doing wrong. What carrier are you on, Taz?

  • Taz August 14, 2008, 12:53 pm

    Iam on Rogers and it is confirmed, WiFi VPN is working… iphone ver 2.0.1

  • Jason August 17, 2008, 4:46 pm

    Now, if someone could tell me how to keep the VPN connected after it goes into sleep mode and I would be very elated.

  • DaveB August 28, 2008, 7:49 pm

    Just called Rogers and they tell me it will cost me $10.00 a month for them to add the vpn apn to my account. I want it, but not that much. Did they charge you?


  • Alec August 28, 2008, 7:51 pm

    Yup – they charged me the same, Dave.

  • DaveB August 28, 2008, 9:27 pm

    Ya I am around WiFi enough that I think I will live with the way it is. I also have a USB modem from Bell which works real well and I can vpn with that for work if needed. iPhone would have been a little easier for short things but.. Oh well. Rogers! Gotta love them.


  • Ruz September 3, 2008, 8:23 am


    I'm with Rogers as well, and I tried above the procedure. In the status it says "Starting", buth then I get the response. "The VPN Server did not respond". I'm following the same VPN settings as my laptop.

    Please help.



    • BeboGordo June 7, 2011, 12:11 am

      Make sure your WIFI router supports PPTP and VPN passthrough. That is what threw me for a loop. I could connect with my laptop, but not my iphone or itouch.

  • h September 4, 2008, 8:32 am

    is it the same situation for fido??? my vpn works over wifi but cannot send receive data once establishing the vpn connection on 3g.

  • nate September 22, 2008, 6:17 am

    How did Apple let Rogers get away with this? This is absurd. I am not going to pay $10/month and jailbreak(?) my phone just so I can get functionality that should already be in place. Same with laptop tethering… if my data plan covers the data, tethering should be included! I'm really getting sick of Canadian telcos.

  • Drommels September 28, 2008, 12:35 pm

    I don’t know if this will work for you guys but I was searching around on how to create an vpn server myself and ended up here. So I wrote an guide an post it back.

    It is a guide on howto install an PPTP VPN server under linux and how to connect your iphone to it:


  • jjd October 15, 2008, 7:47 pm

    wow i hate rogers!!!!
    is there a workaround for a jailbroken phone or did they just block port 1723 and then charge you $10 a month to unblock it?

  • Taz October 22, 2008, 10:13 am
  • Jason Belec November 26, 2008, 6:02 pm

    Well I just ran iVPN on one of my Mac Mini's, then logged into it from my iPhone. Got a connection but couldn't use Safari or Mail until I turned off the 'Send All Data' switch. Everything seems to work fine now, will continue testing and yell back if I uncover another issue.

  • Jason Belec November 26, 2008, 6:03 pm

    Note: I didn't contact Rogers for nadda. I'm sure the community is smarter than they are on any given day.

  • Jason Belec November 27, 2008, 1:39 pm

    Got it working with 'send all data' on now, seems to be ok after that initial working moment. Tried over Edge as well, works a treat. 😉

  • Richard January 6, 2009, 10:28 pm

    Jason how did you get it working without contacting rogers to add anything to your plan? I can only get it to work over wifi. And I dont want to mess with the APN. Did you change the profile?

  • Rob January 9, 2009, 12:53 pm

    I would just like to confirm that the instructions are perfect and that once the changes are made I can access VPN via both 3G and Wi-Fi. The majority of Rogers support is incredibly poor, but if you do find the right person then you are good to go.

    @Richard: I too felt a but of trepidation changing the APN, but that is the way to go and it worked without a hitch. The site sends you a new profile which you have to install. You can always uninstall it if for some reason it does not work.

  • Steve January 9, 2009, 9:54 pm

    I'm on Rogers. Same prob, VPN only on wi-fi. Created a new apn for VPN.com Correct user login installed apn then I can't send mail or surf. Rogers says I'm set up right. ??? Very frustrating.

  • Rodger June 19, 2009, 4:17 pm

    Hi, great work! Got the VPN connecting over 3G on the iPhone, but it doesn't "pass through" to my computer when tethering… any ideas?

  • Faizan June 23, 2009, 2:29 pm

    Hi I work for IBM and use an AT&T net dialer to connect to VPN, when I tether my iphone 3G (Fido) it won't let me connect getting stuck at authenticating

  • qyo001 June 26, 2009, 7:39 am

    Hi , got the same problem with PPTP VPN and tethering – could not pass auth (actually stuck on PPP LCP Configuration REQ/RESP) .
    I tried to use both APN (for Rogers) – vpn.com and internet.com – but I don't see the difference. In either APN if I check which IP address gave me (http://www.whatismyip.com/) it shows the very same IP public address … So , is it Rogers limitation or Apple ????

  • Tango August 27, 2009, 7:25 am

    Hi all,

    For accessing VPN from Iphone over 3g , you do need the Vpn.com access to get public IP. You can simply use the iPhone Configuration Utility to create new profile with apn info ad install it on the Iphone .

  • bioh September 21, 2009, 4:55 am

    very frustrating and disappointing approach that rogers has taken to this feature (imho).

    you can change the APN using 'unlockit' site, but it will be for naught: you will still be unable to use anything from vpn.com until you pay rogers additional $10/month.

    tried both PPTP and L2TP :(

  • madlogik June 19, 2010, 8:30 pm

    I have done it too.

    1: call rogers sales dept to add the 10$/month vpn option
    2: setup the apn for vpn.com
    3: get a vpn package of some sort (I use secure-tunnel.com)
    4: setup pptp for it, and I do put send all data !
    5: at this point (vpn still not connected) whatismyip.org should display something like 74.x.x.x instead of 10.x.x.x =) bingo you are ready to connect
    6: connect the vpn
    7: whatismyip.org should now show your vpn's proxy's ip.
    8: try to get something done that requires vpn (I use it to stream pandora).

    9 and 10 = experiment and enjoy =)
    (I posted that on madlogik.com my personal website a little while back)

  • Rohit September 6, 2010, 6:12 am

    What is this crap ?

    Can you just cut out Rogers from the pos and attach step by step screen shot of the VPN configuration screen on iphone


  • juschilin October 19, 2010, 6:42 am

    it's actually $5.00 per month. spoke to them today…

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