iPad 3G VPN won't connect every time but WIFI 100% ?

Posted on 2012-04-02
Last Modified: 2012-04-17
Hi everyone,

This is really frustrating as my VPN over 3G does work, but only VERY intermittently. It works 100% over WIFI. So I know it's not the server, I know that T Mobile does allow VPN but cannot figure out why it only works once or twice out of 50/60 attempts?
I have a iPad 2 with latest OS 5.1
Apple kit certainly not what it's cracked up to be.


Question by:Zomb1
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 37816011
Sounds to me like T-Mobile's 3G is at fault here. Have you ran speed tests?

Author Comment

ID: 37826942
Hi yes I've ran speed tests & they seem good, I've also spoke to T Mobile & they can't see any issues on their side. I wonder if there's an alternative 'VPN app' I can try other than iPads built in one as I feel this has the issue.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 37827416
There are a few in the App Store you can try.
By "good" speed tests you mean exactly what? What is the ping time, download and upload speeds? Have you used a utility like Speed Test? Have you ran it multiple times?
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Author Comment

ID: 37827504
Thanks, well the speak is around 2MB down & over 256K up, it's extremely acceptable when browsing or any ANY connection intensive tasks, the only issue is when connecting to VPN via 3G/mobile data network (T Mob), I've just confirmed it again I can connect to servers etc no problem via 3G (T Mob) going via other methods i.e. I've just switched off WIFI turned on 3G connected to a server at very acceptable speeds NOT using VPN, but then if I DO try connecting to any VPN sometimes (usually the first attempt) it connects & all is good but should I disconnect & try again from the same location seconds later it will NOT connect again!? May be if I try 50 or 60 times it may connect again, but my point is I use VPN's all the time at work & they work 99.9% of the time & I would expect the same from this useless iPad. I'm certain it's an issue with iPad's VPN & not the carrier, although I'm going to try a different SIM tonight to prove it to myself. I'll update you tonight.
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

maximus5328 earned 500 total points
ID: 37828211
Certainly try with another SIM.
There are a couple of things in this situation that do not make sense to me:
1. iPad 2 does not support 3G speeds on T-Mobile network. It is able to connect at 2G speeds which should be around 200 Kbps. I am not sure how you are getting the speed you are getting.
2. "I'm certain it's an issue with iPad's VPN & not the carrier" - but you said in your first post: "It works 100% over WIFI". Logic tells me the carrier is the culprit. Or a combination of the carrier and the device.

Have you tried to turn on and off the Airplane mode and attempt to connect again?

Author Comment

ID: 37855057
Dear Maximus,

I thought I had replied to this I had sat & typed a lengthy response, not sure why it didn't post?
Any way thank you, the Airplane mode is a work around which tells me that it is an issue with the iPad as it works everytime I turn on/off Airplane mode then try the VPN via 3G it connects but only if I turn Airplane on/off everytime I need to connect.
I'm happy with this as at least I can connect everytime when out on the road. Hopefully Apple will address this soon.

Thanks again,


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