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How to use the VPN?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by insane_ai, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. insane_ai
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    insane_ai New Member

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    First: Do not post links to the generic "How to set up your VPN" post from Motorola. I read it already. I am a firm believer in RTFM.

    Now that I have a VPN connection set up on my DROID, I am wonder why they even bothered to implement it. There is no apparent way to tether the phone to a computer for use in browsing the network once connected nor is there any support for UNC paths using the built in or downloadable file managers.

    I have PDANet (paid version) it fails on authentication when trying to use a native VPN client.

    Can someone please tell me how to take advantage of the DROID VPN connection? The VPN seems as pointless as being able to connect two telephones without ever having a conversation.
  2. chudilo
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    chudilo New Member

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    There is a VNC client and an RDP client.for droid. In other word you can use your desktop remotely from the phone.
  3. justbob
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    justbob New Member

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    First off, VPN operates at layer 3 and below. It's just plumbing. The problem you seem to have is that you have the VPN established but you can't do anything once you do. If you can ping something on the remote network, then you most likely have a problem with name resolution. The Droid is a Linux-based device and as such does not do NetBIOS name resolution natively. You will either need to find an app that is NetBIOS aware or add the hosts you are trying to contact to DNS.
  4. insane_ai
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    insane_ai New Member

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    @Chudilo: Thank you for your suggestion, I am using PDANet with my laptop and Remote Desktop through secure channels.

    @justbob: You understand my dilemma. Unfortunately, I am not even able to ping a host on the metwork once connected. I have tried using the IP address assigned to my phone as a gateway while connected to the VPN through my phone with and without a live connection with PDANet.

    PDANet' website (junefabrics.com) says that I should be able to use my network once connected to the VPN through my phone and connected to PDANet. I have sent them a request for help but have not received a response yet. I was hoping that paying for the software would afford some help but so far, no love after two weeks.

    Thank you to all who assist on this.
  5. justbob
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    justbob New Member

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    What I would do if I were you would be to grab a terminal emulator like ConnectDroid and try pinging something from your phone before you try from a tethered device. I'm not sure how a tethering app will behave with VPN running, so try something simple first.
  6. insane_ai
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    insane_ai New Member

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    Using a generic terminal emulator, I have been able to ping both the VPN server and other internal devices on my network. If I find a solution using a laptop tethered to the DROID, I will post it.
  7. justbob
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    justbob New Member

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    OK, so you can ping by IP address through your VPN connection from your Droid but not from your tethered PC, right? If that's the case then I fear you may be out of luck for the time being because I fear that the tethering software may not be playing nice with the VPN software. VPN software typically sticks a "shim" in the IP stack of whatever it's running on and compares every packet going by to determine if it needs to be encrypted and sent down the tunnel. In your case it looks like traffic from your tethered PC is not being picked up by the shim and therefore never being encrypted. You can probably verify this by running a packet sniffer on the far end of the tunnel and and running a a couple of pings. My guess is that you will not see any traffic coming from your tethered PC coming out of the tunnel. If this is indeed what's happening, then I believe your only course of action is to reach out to the application's developer and ask them to make it play nicely with the VPN software.

    If you DO see traffic coming out then the problem becomes much simpler, because at that point the plumbing is working so you will have either a name resolution issue which can be easily fixed with appropriate entries in either your 'hosts' or 'lmhosts' files, or you have a routing issue.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
  8. insane_ai
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    insane_ai New Member

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    UPDATE:

    I have updated the version of PDANet to 2.41 (most recent). With this update I am able to browse the network but not perfectly. Here is what I have so far:

    1. Connect the Droid to the VPN using the native client from Settings | Wireless & Networks | VPN Connections.
    I am using an encryped PPTP connection that goes through a Cisco ASA 5505 then through to Windows SBS 2003 R2 Premium with ISA 2004 fully in place.

    2. Connect the droid to the computer and tether via cable using PDANet. Bluetooth may work, I haven't tested it yet. I am using the paid version of PDANet.

    3. Navigate the network via "My computer" using the the internal IP address of the host you want to reach. ex: \\192.168.1.150\Share\directory

    Note: I am not able to use normal UNC paths yet due to DNS problems (\\servername\share\directory). The DNS I am assigned are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. These servers know nothing about my internal network (as it should be). I think I will be able to use the VPN as I would from home once I fix the DNS assignments. I don't know how to do this yet. If anyone has an idea of how to assign the DNS servers on the DROID please point me in the right direction. If not, I will probobly figure it out eventually.

    Thanks again to all of you who have helped.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  9. justbob
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    justbob New Member

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    edit \windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

    Add the names of your servers there (examples are provided) and save this file. You should now be able to connect by name rather than IP address.

    Note: the name of this file is just "hosts" It has no extension. If you use notepad or a similar editor it may try to save the file as "hosts.txt" If it does, make sure to rename it to just "hosts" or the system will not recognize it.
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