Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Connecting to a VPN, part of Mobile for Business: Setting Up Your Android Phone or Tablet.
- If your business or employer has a secured network that you need to connect to on your Android phone or tablet, from an offsite location, you may need to connect through a Virtual Private Network, also known as VPN. A VPN is used when you have a tightly controlled, secured network at your office. Generally, you cannot access resources on that network over the internet, because that would open a hole in security. An offsite internet connection is not considered to be very secure. But using a very specific login process, a VPN can extend the security of your private network to your computer, or tablet, or smartphone, over the internet.
In this movie I'll show you how you can setup a VPN connection on an Android phone or tablet. So of course, we are going to go into the Settings on this device, and I'm looking for the section labeled Wireless & Networks, and this is the section where you would find the WiFi settings, but in this case I wanna tap on More, to get to more options. Remember, the settings do look a little different on different devices. On a Samsung device, there's a section labelled Network Connections, and in there you're looking for More Networks.
But once I get here, I see an option for VPN. And I want you to notice that VPN settings are not under the WiFi settings, and they're not under the Cellular Data settings. That means that you can set it up to work whether you're connected over WiFi or cellular. It really doesn't matter which internet connection you use, if you have a VPN active. So I'm going to tap on VPN to get into my settings. Before you can continue, you will need to have some sort of screen lock set up on your device, that means you use a PIN code or a password to unlock your Android device.
There's a movie with more information about screen locks later in this course, if you don't know how to set that up, but if you don't have a screen lock set up at this point, you will see a message telling you that you can't proceed until you set up that screen lock. But since I do have a screen lock set up, I'm in here, I'm ready to go, and what I wanna do is add a new VPN connection. To do that I press the plus button up in the top right, and on some devices you may see two options listed, one for Basic VPN, and one for Advanced IPsec VPN.
Now my tablet only has the one option, but the settings I get when I create a new connection are the same as what you would get by choosing Basic VPN on one of those other devices. Either way, at this point, you're gonna need some specific information from your IT department about your VPN. I'm not able to give you this information, it depends on your network, so your IT team will need to give you this information. Now I'll just walk you through the process by filling in the information from my VPN, just so you can see how it works, but clearly the information that you'll fill in here will be different.
First, I need to give a name to this VPN connection, and this can be whatever you want. In my case, I'm gonna call this Office VPN, and then I can go through the rest of this information, starting with the server address. Now that I've filled in my server address, I'll hit Save, and now this connection has been created. But it's not active, I still need to login when I'm ready to use it. So whenever I wanna login, I'm gonna come back to this page, and then I'll tap on the VPN connection.
Now here I'm gonna need to put in my username and password. Once you've put in your username and password, you can decide whether you want it to save that information. If you want it to remember your username and password so you don't have to type it in every time, you can just check that off here. Then, I'll hit Connect. After a moment, the VPN is connected. As long as I'm connected to the VPN, there will be a key symbol up at the top right corner of the screen. On your device it might be the top left corner.
From here, there's not much more for me to show. You should now have access to whatever secure services your company is providing. Maybe you need to enable the VPN before you can access your email. Or maybe there's a specialized app that will only work when you're running the VPN. Either way, you should now have access to those services. When you're finished with the secure services, it's a good idea to come back here and turn the VPN off, just in case somebody else might get access to your device. To turn it off, I just need to tap on my VPN connection here, and hit Disconnect.
Now the key icon is no longer up at the top of the screen. And if you ever need to just remove the VPN connection settings entirely, just do a long tap on your VPN connection. So I'm gonna tap and hold, until this menu pops up, from here I can Edit information about my VPN, or I can just Delete the profile, and it's just like it was before I set up the VPN connection. Most people never touch the VPN settings, but if you need to connect through a VPN for your job, this could be very valuable.
- Getting connected to Wi-Fi and VPN
- Printing from Android
- Synchronizing contacts and calendars
- Connecting to displays for presentations
- Using an external keyboard
- Securing your Android device