Internet Stops Working After Update to iOS 8.4.1 (Fixed)

I was asked to update an iPhone 5 to iOS 8 and after I did so the device could not connect to the internet for more than a few minutes. Connecting the phone to Wifi would IMMEDIATELY break the phone’s data connections and they could not be recovered until rebooting the phone. Upon doing so the internet connection would last only 2 more minutes or so. I almost resorted to resetting the phone to factory settings but right when I was going to I glanced and noticed the phone was trying to use an unknown and unwelcome VPN….

Symptoms:

  • After updating iPhone, may not be able to enter iCloud password (can’t connect)
  • Safari and other apps may be able to connect to internet for only about 2 minutes after device reboot
  • Turning on Wi-Fi immediately breaks all data connections
  • Rebooting fixes the problem for 2 minutes only
  • VPN related settings and connect attempts are appearing in the Settings app just below Personal Hotspot

Solution:

  • Delete MobileSafeguard VPN that may be on your phone
    Settings -> General -> Profiles -> [Delete MobileSafeguard Profile]
  • Reboot the phone to cure residual Wi-Fi sluggishness

Conclusion:

  • In this case, the phone appeared to be using an unknown and unwelcome VPN solution called MobileSafeguard. I’ve never personally heard of this VPN and a Google search doesn’t yield much. Someone on Reddit says they went out of business.  Whatever the case, their VPN solution (or Malware more like it) stops working after you update your phone to a newer version of iOS such as iOS 8 or iOS 9.

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