Configuring a PPTP-VPN on iOS and Android

About a year ago, I wrote a blog posting about how to setup a PPTP VPN service on a Amazon EC2 node. This is a follow up to that posting which describes how to setup the VPN on an iOS or Android device.

Please note that some carriers might block PPTP traffic. I experienced problems with using the VPN connection via 3G, while connecting through Wifi works for me. On 3G I can connect to the server, but no data is being transferred. On the server I see a lot of messages of the type “Protocol-Reject”. So if your device seems to be connected to the VPN but you get no traffic, it might be blocked by your carrier. You then need to find a Wifi Hotspot to use the VPN.

iOS Devices

Setting up the VPN is pretty straight forward:

  1. Go to Settings and open the “General” settings
  2. Select “Network”
  3. Select “VPN”
  4. Choose “Add VPN Configuration…”
  5. On this screen make sure you activate “PPTP”. Now you can name your VPN connection and enter the address of the server, your login and your password. Ensure that “Send All Traffic” is “ON”. Now save your settings.
  6. Now you can turn on the VPN connection. An active connection is indicated by a blue “VPN” icon in the status bar.

Android Devices

On Android, the steps are quite similar:

  1. Go to “Settings” and open “Wireless & networks”
  2. Select “VPN settings”
  3. Select “Add VPN”
  4. Choose “Add PPTP VPN”
  5. Enter the “VPN name” and the server address in “Set VPN server”. Encryption should be enabled and DNS search domains not set. Now pull up the menu and save your changes.
  6. Click on connect and enter your login and password.
  7. An active VPN connection is indicated by a key icon in the status bar.

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