Adventures with VPN and AT&T service

I normally only use cellular on my iphone 8, so in most cases VPN isn't critical -- only when I need wifi access for things like IOS updates and -- in this case -- setting up cellular on my Apple Watch.  And then, ironically, VPN becomes an impediment instead of a protection.

AT&T eSIM activation must be done over wifi.  However, their instructions don't tell you that you have to disable VPN before connecting to wifi to complete the activation.  Surprise.  The folks at the AT&T store won't even talk to you about using their store wifi to connect if you have VPN on your phone.  I found out the hard way.

I went home to try the activation on my own.  I was forced to go on a public wifi thru Xfinity (why? long story, won't bore you here).  Simply turning VPN OFF on my iPhone didn't work.   VPN kept turning itself back on every time I left the Settings page on the iPhone.  I wound up having to uninstall both the Norton 360 mobile and Secure VPN apps. 

And after all that, the activation failed, I still have no cellular capability on my Watch, and now I have to reinstall Norton 360 Mobile and Secure VPN on the phone--after I trek back to the AT&T Store to try and use their store wifi.

(because I uninstalled the Norton apps, I cannot give you the version number until I reinstall)



Re: Adventures with VPN and AT&T service

That's quite the saga. 

First. Do not install both 360 and the standalone Norton Secure VPN apps. Just use the VPN from the 360 app.

As you found, trying to turn the VPN off using the iOS settings will get Norton's product protection turning it on again. You can only control the VPN from within the 360 app.

So, with this new information, you should be able to regain control over your VPN and get the help you need from AT&T. 

Feel free to update us on how you get on setting up your Apple Watch.


Re: Adventures with VPN and AT&T service

Peterweb, your reply was very interesting, because I was advised via Kate at Chat with Norton Support to reinstall both 360 and Secure VPN!  Go figure!

Update:  (1) I visited a second ATT store today and they got the cellular capability set up on the Apple Watch lickety-split.  In yet another irony, the fellow in the store said "you don't need to connect to wifi to do this" -- never mind that their website says yes, you need wifi, and also that I spent over an hour on the phone with Advanced ATT Support who told me that yes, I really did need a stable wifi connection to do this.  <face planted squarely in palm>

(2) I reinstalled Norton 360 (but not Secure VPN) and got VPN set up again for use in the event I need it for future wifi connections.

So I'm relatively happy tonight.  Bonus:  I finally got the Watch to talk to My Fitness Pal to record steps--it only took a week of futile screwing around followed by the tried and true uninstall-reinstall for MFP.


Re: Adventures with VPN and AT&T service

Thanks for posting back. 

Another example of one tech working the same problem from a different perspective and getting the job done.

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