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I am using 16.1.2 on Iphone SE 2.

I am using NordVPN on the device that was automatically configured by the app.

When I am on WIFI, the internet and VPN all function as expected. When I am on cellular, there is no internet connection. If I then disable the VPN using the NordVPN app, internet is restored.

If I use the NordVPN app to connect to a VPN, it always fails when on mobile.

If I navigate to the device setting VPN page...it continually shows the status "Connecting...".

How can I use NordVPN on my iOS device while on Cellular?

1 Answer 1

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Your carrier is blocking VPN traffic

If I navigate to the device setting VPN page...it continually shows the status "Connecting...".

This means your VPN hasn’t connected and the Internet traffic that is supposed to go through the VPN tunnel simply cannot because the tunnel hasn’t actually been established.

A VPN is a bandwidth intensive protocol. Even if you are doing nothing, it keeps sending packets to keep your tunnel active. When not using a VPN, your device and the server/firewall will remember the state of the connection even though there’s no traffic due to no activity. So, a VPN connection can be “costly” for the carrier.

Carriers typically don’t explicitly say “we block VPNs” however, in their contracts there is usually verbiage saying they have the right to block/manage traffic on their networks.

Besides, most large carriers have “business grade” VPN plans/services. They want you to use their product, not a competitor’s

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  • Which country is your answer referring to? It appears to me that this a country-specific thing. For example, mobile carriers in Germany do not block VPN as far as I know.
    – not2savvy
    Jan 4, 2023 at 11:15
  • @not2savvy, it’s not really country specific, carriers can implement policies how they want.
    – Allan
    Jan 4, 2023 at 11:34
  • Agreed, yet it may be more or less common in different countries.
    – not2savvy
    Jan 4, 2023 at 23:22
  • @not2savvy, to block VPN traffic, especially SSL VPN, it requires gear that can do deep packet inspection and traffic shaping. For the traffic a carrier nneds to handle at low latency, that’s expensive stuff. They may not be blocking it because it’s out if their financial reach at the moment
    – Allan
    Jan 5, 2023 at 0:16

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