How to VPN for iOS?

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Has anyone posted a 'how to' on how to setup a VPN at home to use the iOS SmartSDR app away from home? I searched but didn't find anything.
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Dave KD5FX

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Posted 2 years ago

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Reg

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Dave:

Here is a recent thread that should give you plenty of information to get going.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/vpn-apps-for-ios-and-the-pc

Reg
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Dave KD5FX

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So, in the setup info it says:
On this screen, you have to specify either hostname or IP address of the destination SoftEther VPN Server. You also have to enter the user-name, password and secret (pre-shared key) on the iOS screen.

The 'hostname or IP address of the destination SoftEther VPN server' would be a device on my home network? I have a cable modem from Arris/Motorola, I don't see an option like this anywhere on it's setup pages. I need to buy another device? If so, what?


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Paul

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Hi Dave, some routers can be configured as a VPN server. If your's doesn't you can either buy one that does or download and install a suitable server on your computer. Some are free, some are not. I (and many others) are using Softether, which is free.

https://www.softether.org/

Downloading and installation are straightforward. Although, depending on your current knowledge, you may find configuring the server arguably less transparent. Fortunately there's a lot of helpful information on here and elsewhere on the web. The softether site has tutorials as well as many pages describing the principles.

https://www.softether.org/4-docs

Once you have the server and an ios client set up you may need to forward (in your router) ports TCP443 plus UDP500 and UDP4500 to the ip of the computer where the server is installed.

If all goes well you should then be able to connect your ios device to the VPN server and then to your radio using the app.
(Edited)
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Dave KD5FX

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Thanks, Paul. When using the iOS SmartSDR I don't want to have my PC running (it's a hugh energy hog, over 500watts!) so I'm looking for a 'box' to run the VPN server. This one says it supports L2TP and is only $36, would it work? I'd just need to open up the correct ports on my cable modem? 

Would it be best to continue letting the cable modem be the DHCP? Or should I turn it off there and let this new router be the DHCP? 

Sorry for all the questions, I just don't want to buy something that won't work.
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Paul

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Sorry Dave, you don't say which make and model you are asking about so it's hard to comment on how suitable it would be. If it claims to support an L2TP then it may be ok.

It's worth checking specifically that VPN can be used when your preferred router is in "access point" mode with your existing modem. Some can't - I have a Netgear R7000 which is excellent but the Open VPN Server is only available in "router mode". This doesn't matter in my case as I use my shack pc as the VPN server.

I favoured letting the modem handle the DHCP as this saved me having to reconfigure my other network devices, all of which have reserved IP's. I guess this wouldn't otherwise matter though.

Good luck with it.
(Edited)
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spopiela

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Paul,
I use the R7000 router also and have found it easy to set up the OpenVPN within the router . I have over 20 devices in the house that use the router including Flex 6500, cameras, NAS, computers, printers and IOS devices. I use OpenVPN when I use my windows laptop or IPAD remotely when connecting to the radio at home. I can also tunnel into my NAS ( storage memory on the LAN) at home to grab pictures or documents remotely and securely. Netgear provides all the set up tables and instructions for the router to incorporate OpenVPN for various operating systems. . The router is AC1900, which is high performance, and a couple of years old, but the firmware has "firmed" up and the device works well. The GUI interface to set up static IPs and port forwarding is very intuitive and simple.

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Nighth...

Stan
N1THL
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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It may depend upon how you plan to connect the modem and router.
Many VPN routers will not work effective unless you set the modem to "Bridge-mode" or "Passthrough" mode and feed the output of the modem into the WAN port of the router.  Then the router can be set to do all of the firewall, DHCP, port forwarding, etc, and the modem just does the "modem" work.  

Other systems will allow you to feed one of the outputs from the original modem/router into one of the LAN ports of the new router and use it to provide VPN services only to the devices connected to the new router.  (serving as an access point)

I ran into the first problem with my new ASUS RT-66AC router several months ago.  I kept getting an DDNS error that said that the VPN wouldn't work with a "private IP address."  My DDNS server (used to link my non-static IP provided by ATT UVerse) would not link to the private IP address provided to the ASUS Router by the ATT Modem.  I finally got it running by re-configuring the modem and router parameters so that the modem was in "IP Passthrough" mode and let the Router get the IP address from the Internet Provider.  

I never tried the new router as a simple Access Point, connected to the router by one of its LAN ports instead of the WAN port.  I didn't want the confusion of dealing with two different routers functioning at the same time, or other delay/relaying  issues that I thought it may produce.  
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Paul

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Dave, the link below shows the TEW731BR to be a discontinued model, so (personally) I'd look for a more recent model.

https://www.trendnet.com/products/wif...

Stan, I agree the R7000 is an excellent router, mine typically runs for weeks/months without a problem where others have dropped connections daily and sometimes hourly. I may be wrong but I believe Dave is hoping to use his existing modem, in which case he may need to use the R7000 in access point mode - if so, the VPN will be greyed out and not useable.