VPN Connections Not Working on T-Mobile? Here's how to fix that

Having issues using your favorite VPN application to protect yourself online, T-Mobile US customers? Here's how to fix it.

I have a long history of advocating for online privacy, and I support that by using a VPN service myself as well as encouraging others to do so. There's lots of great solutions out there -- some of my favorites are PIA (PrivateInternetAccess), VyprVPN, and Avast SecureLine.

All of these services work extremely well, reliably, and are configurable for use with a variety of servers worldwide. Each one provides desktop and mobile applications for use, and PIA/VyprVPN can be used with your NETGEAR open source router using DD-WRT or Tomato as well. Personally, I use one provider at home directly through my router and DD-WRT, for all of my home connections, and SecureLine when I'm on the go with my mobile phone.

VPN apps not working on T-Mobile...

Here's where the problem comes in: my VPN application, in this case SecureLine, simply will not work on my T-Mobile phone -- a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge running Android.

At first, my belief was that this problem either lay in my extensive and perhaps obsessive editing of app permissions in Android, or within the VPN application itself. I had the same problems using other VPN apps as well -- same across the board. The phone would connect to the VPN service successfully, but no Internet connections would work whatsoever.

Fix VPN on your T-Mobile Android device

Fortunately, after a bit of digging around, I found the answer -- and it's simpler than I thought. T-Mobile uses IPv6 by default, and this can interfere with VPN applications.

The solution is to create a new APN (Access Point Name) that uses IPv4 by default for your LTE connection, and the issue is resolved. Here's how:

  • Go to Settings -> Mobile networks -> Access Point Names
  • Create a new APN (you can use "IPv4" for the title)
  • Input the same settings from the existing T-Mobile APN
  • Change the "APN protocol" and "APN roaming protocol" settings to IPv4
  • Select the new APN you created as default.
  • Profit by protecting your security online while mobile.

Here's the settings you will need to set:

A working VPN while mobile is a beautiful thing

In weeks of testing, I have experienced no issues whatsoever with this setup. My LTE speeds and Internet access are unaffected. So go forth, US T-Mobile users, and protect yourselves online while mobile!