Legacy VPN Troubleshooting
Important note - please read
If you are using Freedom for iOS version 1.0-1.15, please upgrade to Freedom for iOS version 2+ from the app store. It is a free upgrade and no longer requires a VPN. We'll be phasing out our VPN Service on April 1, 2016. This page will be decommissioned at this point.
Legacy VPN instructions - Freedom for iOS version 1.0
Freedom uses a VPN to implement its blocks for mobile devices (both iOS and android). When you start a Freedom session, the distracting content from sites like Facebook gets blocked by our VPN, instead of distracting you. Unfortunately, VPN's on mobile phones can be a little fickle. We'd love to explain and help you troubleshoot Freedom.
Our two most important troubleshooting tips:
1) It can take a few minutes for blocks to kick in.
Unfortunately, it can take your phone a few minutes to pick up and implement VPN rulesets. We recommend you give Freedom five minutes to kick in the first time.
We realize the first time you run Freedom you'd love it to snap to action right away and start blocking immediately - and we would to. However, we're limited by the iPhone and it's responsiveness. An internal analysis of block timings showed that the average block gets put in within 70 seconds - and after you've been using Freedom for a little bit, or on a schedule, you won't notice the difference. Rest assured, however, we're always looking for ways to improve the responsiveness.
2) Apps and browsers cache content - which makes it appear as if you're online.
If you're still seeing content loading in Facebook, Twitter, etc., after a block session has started, you are most likely seeing cached content. Apps will often "pre-cache" content so they continue to stay responsive during short times you're offline (such as when your cell signal drops quality). Generally, these caches will only stay around for a few minutes, and after they exhaust, you'll see that the apps no longer block content.
How do I know Freedom is working?
Once you download the Freedom app and install the VPN certificate, your device should automatically connect to the VPN. Once your device successfully connects you should see a VPN icon in the top bar on your mobile device. If you're seeing the VPN icon in the top bar, you've connected to the VPN.
Freedom still isn't working!
If you've tried step 1 and 2 above, and Freedom still isn't working, we can help! Here are some common issues and fixes:
- Freedom isn't blocking every app I've put on my blocklist. Apps connect to unique servers that are often different from the app's website. To block the app, you've got to block these servers. We've created a list of common Apps and the server addresses necessary for blocking. We're constantly improving this - getting better mobile blocking is our company's number one priority for Q1 2016!
- Freedom isn't blocking remote iOS Notifications. At present, Freedom can only block remote iOS notifications in "Block Everything" mode. This is a limitation imposed by Apple, and we're working on ways to get around it!
If your device isn't connecting to the VPN after you have run three sessions of at least 5 minutes, log out of the app and try these troubleshooting options:
Reinstall the VPN certificate
Try reinstalling the VPN certificate on your device:
- Please go to https://freedom.to
- Find your device in the "Devices" section, and click on it. Then press the "DEL" button.
- For iOS device, go to Settings -> General -> Profiles and delete the Freedom profile. For android go to Settings -> "More" under Wireless & Networks tab -> VPN and delete the Freedom profile.
- On your mobile device, make sure you're updated to the most recent Freedom app. Then sign in to the software.
This should prompt you to install the profile - please make sure you follow all the steps!
Check your Anti-virus and Firewall settings
Some Anti-virus and Firewall programs will not allow you to connect to our VPN. This most often happens when you have set your security level higher than normal. Try disabling your Anti-virus and Firewall and logging back in to the app. If it resolves your issue, adjust your Anti-virus/Firewall settings to allow IPSec connections.
Check your WIFI router settings
If you are connected through WIFI then you may need to adjust your router settings to connect to our VPN. Go into your router settings and under the Router Firewall/Security tab look for IPSec pass through options. If you don't have IPSec pass through options then disable the router Firewall and try again.
Known and Unknown limitations
We've posted our known limitations of the mobile apps here. If you've made it this far and are still experiencing difficulty, we're afraid to say that you may be running in to unknown limitations of our mobile apps. If things still aren't working, we're afraid that there may not be a resolution right now. That said, we're constantly improving Freedom (we just launched!) - and you can check back in a month or two as we push out new releases. Thank you so much for giving us a try.