Verified and Tested 10/28/15
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… section and go through our What Is a VPN series.
This article will guide you through connecting to your Managed Atlantic.Net Mobile IPSec VPN Tunnel.
-This article has been written for Atlantic.Net customers with a Managed Firewall on either dedicated hardware or our Public Cloud hosting. If you are interested in Managed Hosting services, please contact our Sales team by emailing [email protected] or by calling 800.521.5881.
-Following completion of your new order by our NOC, you will receive e-mail with the information necessary to setup your Mobile IPSec 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], calling 800.540.4686, or by chatting with us on our website.
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 tunnels 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. For Linux systems, Atlantic.Net recommends the vpnc package.
Set up 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. At the time of this article, the most recent release is July 01, 2013 (2.2.2-release).
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.