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When tethering a cellular-capable iOS 10 device, the traffic from the remote machine seems to bypass the connect-as-needed VPN and go directly to the cellular network. Local iOS device traffic starts and uses the VPN as usual, but web sites visited from the remote machine see the mobile IP address, not the VPN IP address (regardless of whether the VPN is on at the time of the visit or not).

One purpose of a VPN is to shield traffic from the prying eyes of the (mobile) ISP. Is there a way to force tethered traffic through the VPN (other than by putting the VPN on the remote machine)?

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  • Go to: settings -> general -> VPN -> info -> edit, and turn on the box labeled "Send all traffic". Does this work?
    – NoahL
    Dec 31, 2016 at 21:50
  • That's not an option for my iOS 10 VPN,al though it does automatically "connect on demand" and does send all traffic (e.g., including DNS) for local iOS-originated traffic. But tethered traffic from the remote device seems to bypass the VPN entirely and gets routed to the raw cellular connection.
    – pseudon
    Dec 31, 2016 at 23:48
  • Hmmm... if that's the case I think your best option is the VPN from the remote machine
    – NoahL
    Jan 1, 2017 at 0:33

1 Answer 1

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No, it seems that's not possible.

I have made several tests with different VPNs and VPN settings on my iPhone - some on demand, some not, but even when switched on manually, tethered traffic was never sent through the VPN.

I've also tried setting OverridePrimary to true as described here (it is false by default when creating the profile in the Apple Configurator), but that did not change the tethered traffic either.

The remaining solution is to install the VPN connection on your tethering client.

BTW, if that client is a Mac, you can simply import the same VPN profile by double-clicking on the mobileconfig file created for iOS.

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  • Maybe both Android and/or iOS do NOT allow routing hotspot traffic for security reasons, for example: 1. Firstly, we could share free internet Hotspot. 2. Then, many devices connect to it (maybe even automatically). 3. Finally, we just need a feature to capture, and later, decode their HTTPS traffic.
    – Top-Master
    Jul 1, 2021 at 7:05
  • @Top-Master I have no idea what Google might have to do with it. Are you aware this is about Apple iOS?
    – not2savvy
    Jul 1, 2021 at 7:09
  • Hmm... my experience shows that the same is true for Android OS as well; Anyway, the OP is asking about "mobile carrier", but I assume, it doesn't matter if I get my internet from Mobile-Data or Wi-Fi, the Hotspot never goes through VPN, is that right???
    – Top-Master
    Jul 1, 2021 at 7:17
  • @Top-Master It is probably a matter of the VPN implementation, however, with iOS it’s not possible to be connected to Internet via wifi and create a wifi hotspot at the same time anyway.
    – not2savvy
    Jul 1, 2021 at 8:16
  • Okay; I don't think it's really related to VPN implementation, because no existing VPN-App seems to support it, at least not without iOS jailbreak or rooting Android device. But I would Up-Vote again if I could, because sharing your experience saved me from a lot of testing and research (I wish did found something similar, when I was developing an Android VPN-App).
    – Top-Master
    Jul 1, 2021 at 8:27

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