11 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2014 3:41 AM by 234432234245
Reado Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
When my iPhone 3GS is connected on VPN it works great. When I lock the device and immediately unlock it, it's still connected. However if I lock it and leave it 10 minutes or so and unlock it again, the VPN has disconnected. When I go into General > Networking, VPN is set to OFF. Wi-Fi doesn't do this, which makes me wonder if this is a bug in iOS 4.2?

Can anyone else confirm this or suggest what I can do to stop VPN turning off all the time please?

Dell Optiplex 960, Windows XP Pro, Intel Dual Core 3.0GHz, 4GB RAM, 60GB SSD (200Mbit up/down)
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (33,360 points)
    Most likely your VPN server times out your connection after a preset idle time.
  • tofinosurfer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    A problem that has been driving me nuts for months, and I can't seem to get a straight answer from anybody. Is there, or is there not, a way to maintain a persistent VPN connection on the iPhone when the phone goes to sleep? Your post mentions 10 minutes, but in my case, when the phone goes to sleep, there goes the VPN connection. I want an always on VPN connection. How is this done, or is this something that only Blackberry users get?


  • timespinner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This same problem happens with the iPad. Any way to keep this from happening? Also, if it does timeout on sleep, why doesn't the iPad simply re-authenticate when it wakes up?
  • Tim Harbison1 Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Doubtful. This is by design. If the VPN host allowed it to automagically re-authenticate after dropping the connection, it wouldn't provide much in the way of security. As an administrator, if I found out a device could do this, I'd blacklist it. What's to keep someone else from picking up your device and accessing secure data or systems?

    As for maintaining a continuous connection, you can set the device not to sleep, which should allow you to maintain the connection, but you can kiss battery life goodbye, not to mention your data allowance if you're on 3G.
  • Marc Surette Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I understand the security concern, but like many laptops this concern could be handled with a password-required screen lock. For example, when I connect to the VPN (via WiFi) with my employer-mandated PC laptop, inactivity or manual intervention results in a locked screen. Once I unlock the screen the VPN is still connected. Different companies may view this weak security, others do not (like mine).

    It would be great if the iPad could do the same thing. It would save the short but annoying trip through the General Settings to turn the VPN back on and, finally, enter a password.
  • Tim Harbison1 Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    The big difference is your PC or laptop maintains its network connection when the screen saver kicks in and the system locks. Your iPhone or iPad do not. When they go to 'sleep' they drop any active WiFi connections unless there is a background process running that keeps them alive (Pandora, etc). VPN connection by itself can't do this unless there is traffic on the connection.

    If it did keep it alive, or attempt to, it would result in either drastically reduced battery life in the case of WiFi or ridiculous data usage in the case of 3G.

    I understand where you're coming from. It would be nice if there was a quicker way to toggle the connection on/off.
  • fps-tech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    (Same complaint here)

    I don't buy the argument that it's a security issue. If you are worried about someone else picking up your device, they can likely VPN in anyway since you have your password saved and they just need to turn it on. Like Marc said, security-conscious applications should use a screen-lock anyway.

    The main issue I have with this is when on unsecured networks. And keep in mind when you have Push enabled, your device does not drop all the connections, hence being able to receive new Mail instantly. So now the issue on unsecured networks is you start off VPN'd, but as soon as your device goes off, you are back on the unsecured network, and your sleep-traffic (such as push mail) may go over that connection.

    Also, and perhaps more importantly, when you wake up your device, VPN is off, and all the backgrounded apps such as Mail will try to fetch their new data, which it will now do over unsecured networks unless you beat them to the punch and enable your VPN.

    This seems like a pretty serious issue to me, unless I'm missing a way to work around this.

    This thread already has been over this: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2333948&start=15&tstart=0
  • LichUK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same complaint here too.  I am new to iPad but have been in the technology industry for 20+ years. 


    I run my own exchange server and at home I can pick up my mails via my local WI-FI network without problem.  when I am travelling, I want to be able to use that same exchange server, and I don't want to have to mess about with firewalls etc.


    The ideal option for me is the VPN, which works fine on a good network, but drops off regularly on a poor network.  I dont use RSA tokens or anything like that, just good complex passwords and encryption. It would be really handy if the IPad VPN had an option to reconnect automatically.


    To get around the issue of secured vs unsecured networks, what is needed is an additional option to only reconnect over an encrypted connection would be useful too.


    Does anyone from Apple actually look at these forums - if so, could this go on the wish list ?

  • Mike2501 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    LichUK; If Apple it actually looks hear they probably don't say anything if I'm not going to fix it :-). Today is July of the year 2013 so it's been a couple of years since the last post.  I love my iPad but until the latest update VPN would not even work. It functions fairly well now but it randomly closes without even bothering to tell me. I'll lay the iPad down to take a phone call or do something and pick it up and it has mysteriously turned itself off!


    Security, for me, is really a nonissue since I'm using it here at the house just Wi-Fi to my router. The passwords in there and it auto logs on when I push the button.  I can understand if it wants to disconnect when the iPad goes to sleep where I turn it off but when I turn it back on it should automatically reconnect, that would make sense since I haven't physically turned it (vpn) back off.


    At least it puts the icon up in the corner next to the Wi-Fi signal bars :-)


    ... Off-topic but since I am talking about Apple products I might as well throw out cudos because I think that the voice recognition on Apple products is definitely better than any other product that I've used it has voice recognition!


  • zongamin Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Wrong. Your ipad does not disconnect from wifi when asleep - how would any push notifications work if that were the case!

  • 234432234245 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)