Brave VPN for iOS goes offline with no automatic reconnect

I’m testing out the trial version of the Brave iOS VPN. It mostly works but am disappointed to report that it periodically disconnects without warning and never reconnects, thereby leaving my raw IP address exposed.

When in this disconnected state, reconnection involves nothing more than manually flipping the “Brave VPN” switch back on in the main menu. Not terribly difficult to do, but it is a repetitive manual process that I’d just as soon avoid.

I guess I was hoping the Brave VPN would function similarly to AirVPN on my computer; When a disconnect occurs, it warns me, blocks all outbound connections, and continually attempts to reconnect to the VPN server in the background until such time as it either succeeds or I turn the VPN off entirely. Is there a way to make the Brave VPN behave in a similar manner?

As it stands, I have to continually check whether or not the VPN is actually functioning as advertised, making it rather useless to me. That said, if there’s a way to address the issue, I’d definitely become a paid subscriber.

Hello!

Thank you for the detailed feedback regarding our Brave Firewall + VPN. Unfortunately, one of the biggest hurdles for these functionalities is what the iOS system VPN APIs even allow. There are very tight restrictions in place with what is possible when operating within iOS.

The best option that we utilize is the “On Demand” functionality built into iOS. Please be sure to make sure this is toggled on within device settings.

Settings > General > VPN > next to Brave Firewall + VPN, tap on the (i) to check and make sure On-Demand is toggled on.

The shortcoming of this functionality is that when there is a disconnection, and should there be any issue with the network where it is unable to re-establish the connection automatically, it will only attempt to reconnect for a time, and then eventually gives up. However, this should be minimal as long as you have internet connection with your device.

The iOS system will close the “Security Association” used to create an IKEv2 VPN tunnel after a set amount of time with no network activity occurring. This happens automatically while the device screen is locked and not in use. However, this system behavior will not cause a privacy problem, because Brave Firewall is designed to instruct the system to not allow any outbound network connections to complete without first establishing a fresh “Security Association” with our Brave Firewall node when on-demand is functioning. This ensures that no network traffic is sent “outside” of the protected tunnel, although may have a side effect of inhibiting network-based activity and page loads if the system is taking more time than expected to establish the new connection.