Verified and Tested 10/25/17
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are a method of employing encryption to allow users to access a private network securely and share data remotely through public networks. Though VPNs connect over public interfaces, it’s secure and appears as a private network. Because VPNs offer an inherent increase in security, they are often used by enterprise corporations as a way of connecting to remote data centers. If you’d like to read up about VPNs further, head over to our What Is a VPN series.
This article will guide you through connecting to your Managed Atlantic.Net VPN.
Note: This article is for Atlantic.Net customers with Managed Hosting Services. If you are interested in Managed Hosting Services, please contact our Sales team by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-618-DATA (3282).
Following completion of your VPN by our Network Operations Center, you will receive an e-mail with the information necessary to setup your VPN connection. The information you need before configuring your connection is below. If you do not have this information, contact our Support team by emailing [email protected] or calling 888-618-DATA (3282).
Choose Your VPN Type: OpenVPN | Mobile IPSec
- OpenVPN Configuration file – This file will be provided to you either by your company or by the Atlantic.Net Network Operations Center. Place this on your computer in a place that is easy to find, like the Desktop. (the file ends in .ovpn)
- VPN Username – This is your user.
- VPN Password – This is your password.
Setup OpenVPN for Windows
Download the latest version of OpenVPN here. Click on the OpenVPN installer for Windows Vista and later.
In most web browser, once the file has finished downloading, it will appear at the bottom. Click on this to run the OpenVPN installation program. Note: If you do not see it at the bottom of your web browser, the program that was downloaded can be found in whatever folder your downloads normally go to.
On most versions of Windows, you will get a popup box asking if you want to allow this program to make changes to your device. Should you get this popup box, answer Yes.
The OpenVPN installer should now be loaded. Click Next on the Welcome screen.
Next, click I Agree if you agree to the terms of the license.
On the Choose Component screen, keep everything default, and click Next.
Then, choose the installation location. In most instances, you will want to keep the default. Click Install.
Once the installation has completed, click Next, and then click Finish.
Logging in to OpenVPN
Now that OpenVPN is installed, you should see an icon on your desktop called OpenVPN GUI. Double click this to open OpenVPN. You should now see the OpenVPN icon in the system tray.
Now, right-click the OpenVPN icon in the system tray, and select Import File.
Select your OpenVPN configuration file (the .ovpn file that was provided by Atlantic.Net), and then click Open.
If successful, you will be notified that the configuration important successfully. Click OK.
Right-click the OpenVPN icon that’s in the system tray again, and then click Connect.
Finally, enter your VPN username and password, and click OK.
If you connected successfully, the OpenVPN Connection window will disappear, and the OpenVPN icon in your system tray will be green.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully connected to your Atlantic.Net VPN with OpenVPN.
Accessing Your Server
Now that you’re connected to the VPN, it’s very easy to access your server(s). You will connect to your server(s) how you would normally (be it via Remote Desktop or SSH, depending on the system), except you will use the provided private IP address.
- VPN IP Address – This is the public IP address of your Managed Firewall.
- FQDN String – This is the Peer Identifier, or Group, that has been configured for your connection.
- Pre-Shared Key – This is used to allow your remote connection to authenticate to the VPN services on your Managed Firewall. Atlantic.Net uses a minimum 56-character key for all newly generated VPN tunnels.
- VPN Username – This is your user.
- VPN Password – This is your password.
Whether you’re connecting from a Windows, OSX or Linux desktop, there are many software applications available that can be used to connect to a Mobile IPSec VPN. Some systems are already designed to support connection to Mobile IPSec while other systems require additional software to be installed.
When available, it’s recommended to use the vendor-supplied default VPN clients. Most modern phones, especially the newest Android and Apple devices, support Mobile VPN connections natively. Apple’s OSX desktop and laptop systems also natively support Mobile VPN connections.
For Windows systems, Atlantic.Net recommends using the Shrew Soft VPN Client.
Set up ShrewSoft VPN for Windows
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the latest version of the Shrew Soft VPN client on your Windows workstation. Go to https://www.shrew.net/download/vpn; about half-way down the page is a listing of all available Stable Releases.
Once you have the installer downloaded, double-click (execute) the installation package.
Select “Standard Edition” and press [Next].
Select [I Agree] to accept the terms of the License Agreement.
Leave the default installation options and press the [Next] button.
Leave the default destination folder and press the [Next] button.
The installation should start at this point.
Once the installation has completed, press the [Finish] button to close the installer.
You will now have a new icon on your desktop called “VPN Access Manager.” Double-click this icon to open the VPN Management software application to begin configuration of your client settings.
Upon opening the VPN Access Manager, you will see the application with no default connections. Click the [Add] button to create a new VPN connection.
You will now see the “VPN Site Configuration” screen. Enter the VPN IP Address provided by our NOC in the “Host Name or IP Address” field.
Next, click the [Client] tab at the top and change the “NAT Traversal” setting to “force-rfc”.
Go to the [Phase 1] tab at the top and change “Exchange Type” to “main”. After that, save your configuration.
You can now enter a name for your VPN connection, or you can leave it as default.
Now select the new VPN connection and press the “Connect” button to start the VPN session.
Once you press [Connect] you will be asked to enter your username and password to authenticate to the network. Once you have entered your authentication account, press the [Connect] button.
Once you are connected to the network, you should see the log statement “tunnel enabled” and you should be able to communicate with the remote site IP subnet. To disconnect from the network, press the [Disconnect] button. You can minimize this screen to remove it from your desktop as well.
That’s it for setting up an Atlantic.Net Mobile IPSec VPN Connection on a Windows Hosted system. You will now be able to connect to any of your web servers by using their configured private IP.
Set up VPN for Mac OSX
In order to setup the Mobile IPSec VPN Connection for an OSX system, we will be using the built-in VPN functionality.
To start, open System Preference and then select Network.
From the Network screen, click on the + symbol in the lower left.
On the following pop-up screen, click on the Interface drop-down and chose VPN.
Click on the VPN Type menu and chose Cisco IPSec.
Provide a name for the VPN connection in the [Service Name] text field and then click [Create]. Note: this can be any name you chose.
This should return you to the Network screen. Once there, click on the new VPN in the list on the left side. Enter your VPN IP Address, as well as your Account Name (username) and Password.
Note: If you leave the checkbox marked "Show VPN status in menu bar" checked, a new menubar icon will appear. This will allow you to quickly turn the VPN connection on and off.
Click on the Authentication Settings button and enter the Pre Shared Key in to the [Shared Secret] field. Then select [OK].
Once everything is set, click the [Connect] button and you will be connected to the Atlantic.Net VPN and have full access to your account servers using the private LAN side IP addresses.