Vodacom: internetvpn APN

Update This is no longer available, the internet APN has public IPs.

A quick tip for Vodacom 3G / GPRS / EDGE users in South Africa.

There is a special APN called “internetvpn” for laptop users who connect to corporate VPNs. While this probably doesn’t interest most readers, it is a useful APN to use because:

  • You get a real Public IP address, not a private NATted one.
  • You get lower latency.
  • The cost is the same. (i.e. regular data bundles work fine)

If you use a VPN, this will probably make it more reliable, and if you don’t it will at least make your ssh use more comfortable.

Unfortunately, the following vodacom issues will still be present:

  • No incoming TCP connections (i.e. you can’t serve web pages from or ssh into your laptop)
  • Often you get “martian” DNS servers ( and Either reconnect, or manually set your DNS servers to (SAIX) and (Vodacom).
  • TCP connections are regularly reset. (Overloaded NAT/Firewall hardware?)

How to get it:

  1. Call vodacom customer care (111).
  2. Follow the IVR menu options in the directions of data cards.
  3. Ask them to enable the “internetvpn APN” (you might have to explain it to them)
  4. Reconfigure your phone / chat script / “data card driver” to use “internetvpn” instead of “internet”
  5. Profit! :-)


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It appears that the martian DNS IPs are a combination of carriers handing out WINS settings, and a pppd bug triggered by that.


How much lower is the latency? My sister uses vodacom to connect at home (or will, if she ever gets her phone unstolen), but I would be the one to implement this for her, and I’m sure the latency is the only advantage she’d be interested in (as she doesn’t know how to use ssh).


Re: Latency

a couple of hundred ms at the most.

Have a look at the

Have a look at the ‘unrestricted’ APN from Vodacom if you need open incoming ports.

It’s been available for quite some time and allows hosting or remote login / support.

Just to let people who visit

Just to let people who visit this site nowadays... this has been discontinued by Vodacom, they now have online the internet APN and the Unrestricted APN.

unrestricted internet.


Just spoken to Vodacom and they said the unrestricted opens all ports but you need to fill in the aplication form so that they can approve it, most used for online gaming and web hosting and stuff like that.

here is the link for those who is interested.


Finallly..I have searced everywhere

This makes sense in getting my RDP port 3389 open on my laptop via 3G on Vodacom


How to get a "fixed address" with unrestricted APN

Hi I have Embedded DVR recorder and it is directly conected via 3g on a netgear mbr624gu router. I have a unrestricted APN in place. I would like to know how to create a name or IP for this router for remote view purposes. I had a look dyndns and they want $$$$ is there an easy way that is free ?? Please help.


Dyndns.com provide free dynamic DNS. They also provide other, less free services.

There are also other free services. There's a list here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DynamicDNS

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