VPN with iOS Devices (2)

13 06 2013

My first article about this topic explained the basics of a VPN connection between a device outside your local area network and a computer inside of it. All necessary settings for firewall and iOS device are explained in this article.

Step 1 Configuring the firewall

Many of the VPN tunnel configuration settings in the VPN client on iOS devices or Mac OS X are not configurable by the user.
So it is very important to exactly configure the settings on the firewall to match the settings required by the VPN client on the iOS device or MAC OS X.

In web-interface of the Watchguard XTM firewall go to VPN – Mobile VPN with ipSec and click Add.

After finishing the configuration of the Mobile User VPN Group users have to be configured in a next step. If you define a user don’t forget to assign him to the group (here ‘Apple’) at the bottom of the dialog.

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If you want to use a configuration file (.wgm) for mobile devices which can be generated via Watchguard UI, send this file via E-Mail to your mobile device. On the mobile device tap on the attachment and select ‘Watchguard’ from the apps menu of the ‘Open in’ command. This will open the Watchguard configuration app. This app is solely for creating a profile containing the right settings.

I recommend to configure the device manually because it’s easy and a download of Watchguard’s app from Apple’s App Store is not needed.

Step 2 Configuring an iPad or iPhone

Configure the profile directly on the device …

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App controlled installation …

Tapping on the WGM file attachment opens Watchguard’s iOS app and you can install the configuration as an unsigned profile.

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Step 3 Testing the connection via WiFi or 3G

To access a resource from outside the LAN via VPN go to Settings on your mobile device and activate VPN. After a successful connection a VPN icon is displayed in the status bar.

When connected your device will behave as if it is part of the LAN. So any app on your mobile device you use inside the LAN can also be used when connected via VPN.

But keep in mind: That’s only valid for accessing files.
What you cannot use are apps which require the device located in the same network.

Example:
Consider the app Printer Pro. You can print documents saved on the mobile device using a printer connected to a computer in your LAN. This won’t work when connected via VPN because apps on your computer do not send information about available printers to your mobile device. This happens only if you are a real, not a virtual member of the LAN.
The option ‘Open on my PC’ provided by the app ‘Fingerprint’ is available if the device is a real member and disabled if there is a virtual connection to the LAN.

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I myself use the app FileBrowser to access files on remote computers.

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Summary …

Using a VPN connection provides security.
The participating devices have to authenticate before a secure connection can be established.
All data will be strongly encrypted before transfer over the unsafe internet starts.
To connect you just have to set the VPN slider to ON.

Thanks for flying with http://iNotes4You.com.


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