I’ve been looking at a solution for this for quite some time. Until recently, the only way to make this work was to jailbreak your phone and use GuizmOVPN or some other type of app, which of course voids your warranty. But then along came OpenVPN Connect, an app for the iPhone and the iPad that is extremely simplistic to use (well, relatively speaking for OpenVPN). It works just like any other client side setup for OpenVPN, only you move the certs and config files over through iTunes File Sharing (which is probably the more secure way to do this transaction). This is an absolutely amazing way to secure your traffic to and from an OpenVPN server, from wherever you are, using 3g/4g or Wi-Fi.
- Download the OpenVPN Connect app from iTunes on to your iPhone or iPad.
- Take a sample client.ovpn file and modify it with your particular settings to connect to your OpenVPN server. Make sure and set the cert and key names to exactly what you’ll be copying over, otherwise it won’t reference the proper files from within the config.
- Get your client.crt, client.key, ca.crt, ta.key, and client.ovpn files ready for moving over to your phone. (these file names are just examples)
- Open iTunes with your phone or device connected.
- Select the device on the left-hand side.
- Click the Apps tab at the top.
- Scroll down to the File Sharing section, select OpenVPN and drag n’ drop your five files (should be five at least) into the OpenVPN Documents window. Once they are moved over, go ahead and do a sync just to make sure everything is good.
As long as everything was setup correctly in the client.ovpn file and your certs are all good, you should be able to open your app and add it as a new profile. Once the the new profile is added in the app, you should be able to connect.
Note: As an aside, if you want to secure all your traffic to and from the OpenVPN server, make sure and set this parameter before you upload the client.ovpn file: redirect-gateway def1
The downside? It eats battery life like crazy. That all may depend on your encryption level and key size though. 😉 In addition, each time you want to edit the client.ovpn, you have to edit it locally on your computer and re-upload it. But considering the alternative (no VPN, PPTP, or jailbreaking your phone), this is an excellent app.
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