iPhone Using NordVPN (or other IKEv2 VPN)? Try this workaround

VHHess

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 30, 2019
5
0
Pastel Park, Lincoln
I've encountered cases where using the iOS app does not let me connect to select services, protocols or apps (such as banking, software update check and downloading App Store updates hangs or takes repeated attempt to connect to the profile. I may delete the stock NordVPN app and use this method instead since I really favor their Double VPN feature. This is what I've done on my devices to get VPN working on all my apps, with no hangup for App Store updates or Software Update checks:

  1. Download OpenVPN Connect from the App Store
  2. Get iTunes (or Finder sidebar > Locations in macOS Catalina) to access your USB-connected iPhone to prepare dropping OpenVPN profiles into the OpenVPN Connect app once downloaded.
  3. Go to https://nordvpn.com/ovpn and download the profiles of the servers you wish to use. (In my case I'm using all the double VPN servers for United States, which have the prefix "ca-us" in that long-as-hell list
  4. Download the profiles to your computer or email them to yourself ("sharing from iOS Files app causes an error as OpenVPN tries to access the profile from some /private/var temp directory which I'm not familiar with)
  5. The loaded files will show in the Import File section of OpenVPN once launched on your iOS device.
  6. Repeat the following steps for each OpenVPN Profile you sideloaded to your device
  • Tap the Add button for the sideloaded OpenVPN profile you wish to configure
  • Tap the "show password" checkmark to reveal the password field (password autofill compatible; I use 1Password and iCloud Keychain)
  • Fill in your credentials
  • Add the profile. You'll be taken back to the main screen
  • Hit the hamburger icon in the upper corner of the screen and choose Settings
  • you might first want to able: Reconnect On Wakeup, Seamless Tunnel, VPn Protocol = Adaptive, Connection Timeout = Continuously Retry, Connect Via = Any Network, Theme = DARK MODE! (because why not? haha)
  • Go back to the previous screen and test your profiles! It took about 10 seconds with my Internet connection before the status showed connected. Now I have Double VPN on my iPhone again, and I can access all my apps!
In conclusion, this could either be a NordVPN intermittent issue that needs updated, or realted to IKEv2 VPN protocol. But OpenVPN saved the day for me in this case. For reference I'm using a 12" 2015 MacBook running Catalina (current public beta as of this posting timestamp) and iPhone X 64GB (iOS 13 beta 2, public)

Hope this helps, peeps!
 

RamGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
903
983
Norway
The issue with VPN on iOS/iPadOS 13 BETA's are related to IKEv2, I filed a bug report and I encourage other people to do the same. It's not a NordVPN specific bug, the issue is there with all VPN tunnels using the IKEv2 protocol which is the default in iOS/iPadOS and the protocol almost every provider use on mobile devices.

If you are using providers like PrivateInternetAccess you can simply change the protocol within the settings. If you change from IKEv2 (default) to IPSec (IKEv1) why Apple calls it IPSec and not IKEv1 as both IKEv1 and IKEv2 establishes a IPSec VPN tunnel I don't known..)) and everything will be working.

OpenVPN is a workaround as well as you avoid the IKEv2 bugs, but OpenVPN will drain much more battery as it's not native in the OS and encrpytion is not accelerated in the same way as IPSec tunnels (IKEv1 and IKEv2).
 

VHHess

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 30, 2019
5
0
Pastel Park, Lincoln
The issue with VPN on iOS/iPadOS 13 BETA's are related to IKEv2, I filed a bug report and I encourage other people to do the same. It's not a NordVPN specific bug, the issue is there with all VPN tunnels using the IKEv2 protocol which is the default in iOS/iPadOS and the protocol almost every provider use on mobile devices.

If you are using providers like PrivateInternetAccess you can simply change the protocol within the settings. If you change from IKEv2 (default) to IPSec (IKEv1) why Apple calls it IPSec and not IKEv1 as both IKEv1 and IKEv2 establishes a IPSec VPN tunnel I don't known..)) and everything will be working.

OpenVPN is a workaround as well as you avoid the IKEv2 bugs, but OpenVPN will drain much more battery as it's not native in the OS and encrpytion is not accelerated in the same way as IPSec tunnels (IKEv1 and IKEv2).
A battery drain? That’s totally not good. I’ll keep an eye on it. I’m just really happy that all of my apps especially banking apps are working for now. So I will probably revert back once it’s done.
 

AppleMythos

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2017
41
25
San Francisco
If you contact support, they will give you a list of servers that, for whatever reason, do not interfere with banking services such as BofA. For example, 3062. But they are well aware their app is sputtering in an out at the moment on iOS 13... should be resolved soon.
 

upintheclouds

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2011
106
9
If you contact support, they will give you a list of servers that, for whatever reason, do not interfere with banking services such as BofA. For example, 3062. But they are well aware their app is sputtering in an out at the moment on iOS 13... should be resolved soon.
Are you referring to Nord? Soon meaning during beta or public release in the fall?
 

RamGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
903
983
Norway
The issue still there with Dev BETA'4. I have submitted a bug report, if anyone else is interested in doing so in order to get better attention to this bug you can use my reference; FB466154
[doublepost=1563390005][/doublepost]
I do not know, they only told me their connection issues with iOS 13 are a known issue and they are working to resolve it.
The issue is with iOS, not the app. It's the same for every VPN using IKEv2.