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Question: Establish a sonicwall vpn connection using an iOS device and an Apple Time Capsule connected to a cable modem

I am having difficulty establishing a Sonicwall VPN connection to my office using either my iPad or iMac connected wirelessly to an Apple Airport Time Capsule which is connected to a cable modem (non-router). I had been able to establish the connection 9 mos ago. I can establish the VPN connection using a non-iOS device using the same connection above. In addition I can place the iPad and iMac on a different network an establish the VPN connection without any issues. It seems my Apple Airport has an issue with VPN connections with iOS devices. I have no other internet issues using this connection and have made sure all devices are using the most recent firmware.

iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iOS 11.2.6

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Feb 27, 2018 11:09 AM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

All Apple base stations are VPN-passthrough devices. I assume that you are using the SonicWall Mobile Connect VPN client on your iPad ... correct? If so, this would be a SSL VPN type connection, which again, should just pass-through your Time Capsule. The fact that your Mac is able to establish a connection would verify this, so there must be something amiss with the VPN client on the iPad.


Have you tried any of the following:

  1. Power-cycled your home network hardware?
  2. Restarted your iPad?
  3. Removed, and then, re-installed the VPN client app on your iPad?
  4. Performed a "Reset Network" settings on the iPad?
  5. Performed a "Reset All Settings" on the iPad?
  6. Contacted your work's IT department for further assistance on this matter?

Feb 27, 2018 11:09 AM

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Feb 27, 2018 11:19 AM in response to Tesserax In response to Tesserax

Both the iMac and iPad can establish a VPN when on a different network.


A non-iOS device (Windows Laptop) can succssfull establish the Sonicwall VPN connection using the Apple Airport.


I have tried all 6 of your suggestions to no success.


Our IT Department as well as Sonicwall Help desk have been unable to find a solution.

Feb 27, 2018 11:19 AM

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Feb 27, 2018 11:27 AM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

Sorry, none of those suggestions helped. Unfortunately, I don't use SonicWall, but use another SSL VPN client on my network with iOS, Windows and macOS clients. None of them have any issues establishing and maintaining a VPN connection through my 802.11ac Time Capsule, which is also connected to a simple modem. What is the make & model of your modem?


Which exact model is your Time Capsule? The latest firmware would be 7.6.9 for the 802.11n models and 7.7.9 for the ac ones. What was your TC running 9 months ago?

Feb 27, 2018 11:27 AM

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Feb 27, 2018 11:33 AM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

Interesting! When Wi-Fi is enabled on your iPad, does it have any issues establishing any connections to sites over the Internet outside the VPN tunnel?


When you attempt to connect with VPN, at what point does it fail?

  1. The app fails to start?
  2. The app cannot "see" the Internet connection?
  3. The app fails to log into the company's VPN server?
  4. The app does connect to the server, but any communication over the VPN fails?


Are you seeing any error messages?

Feb 27, 2018 11:33 AM

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Feb 27, 2018 12:09 PM in response to Tesserax In response to Tesserax

The AirPort Time Capsule is a 2 TB unit. I believe it was put in service in 2015. Not sure how to find a model number.


it is currently running 7.7.9. Do do not recall the version when it was connecting correctly.


as far as when it fails it would be number 3 above. Rarely it will connect for a few moments but then quickly disconnects.

Feb 27, 2018 12:09 PM

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Feb 27, 2018 12:49 PM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

The AirPort Time Capsule is a 2 TB unit. I believe it was put in service in 2015. Not sure how to find a model number.


it is currently running 7.7.9. Do do not recall the version when it was connecting correctly.

No problem. The fact that it is running 7.7.9 would indicate that it is an 802.11ac model. There is only one ac model that Apple offers. They haven't been upgraded since 2013, so they are quickly "falling behind" with current networking technology. It may be possible that yours is failing, but that doesn't explain why your other devices are not having any issues using VPN.

as far as when it fails it would be number 3 above. Rarely it will connect for a few moments but then quickly disconnects.

Without having a data dump of what is going on during this step, it would be difficult to pin-point what has failed during the security negotiation between the VPN client and server. Most likely, the initial "handshake" to create a TCP connection worked, but something went south exchanging the security credentials. Again, the Time Capsule should just be allowing this communication to pass-through.


Sorry, at this point, and without a data dump, I don't have anything useful to offer you.

Feb 27, 2018 12:49 PM

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Feb 27, 2018 1:09 PM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

Since things did work 9 months ago and the firmware was 7.7.8 at that time.. let me suggest you do a firmware downgrade.


We see a fair number of people do have issues with 7.7.9 but it is inconsistent.. I don't seem to have any.. neither does Tesserax.. but enough people do that a downgrade is worth a try.


I would in fact after the downgrade.. do a factory reset.

Make sure all your names are short <16 characters.. but less is better, no spaces and pure alphanumerics.

Passwords also the same rules. But can be longer.


Delete all the old wireless networks retained in your idevices. Rediscover the new wireless name and put in the password.


You will need to reconfigure your Time Machine from the Mac if you are using it.. but it should be able to pickup the renamed TC ok and continue the backup. (After saying it will do a new backup.. it will discover the existing one on the disk). Ask if you need more help with this.


To downgrade.. hold down the option key while you click the current version number. My screenshot should make it clear.

A list of previous firmware that are still valid will appear.. Select the previous firmware 7.7.8 and the firmware will downgrade.


User uploaded file

Feb 27, 2018 1:09 PM

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Feb 27, 2018 2:15 PM in response to Gator83 In response to Gator83

Yes.. that was the next suggestion.


Although getting the TC to work reliably at least for Time Machine backup bridged to another router can be painful.


I run Asus router due to problems with Apple routers.. but do still run TC for wireless and backup.


The built in VPN (server and client) in the asus are second to none. Not that it would suit in your case as the sonic wall implementation is different.

Feb 27, 2018 2:15 PM

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Question: Establish a sonicwall vpn connection using an iOS device and an Apple Time Capsule connected to a cable modem