Safe Public Browsing On The iPad With DD-WRT And VPN

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Surfing the web on any public WiFi networks is┬áinherently┬áinsecure, someone can be watching everything you do and it’s even possible to gain access to websites your accessing. What’s an iPad user to do when 3G is not usable? If you have DD-WRT installed on your home router, you can setup an encrypted VPN connection to your home from any public Wi-Fi network and route all your traffic through your home Internet connection. Away from the prying eyes of any snoops.

If your not sure what is DD-WRT, it is an open source firmware for consumer routers with lot of advanced features. Check the DD-WRT router database to see if your router is supported. If not, you should consider getting one the next time your in the market, supported routers do not normally cost any more than one that doesn’t.

Requirements
– Broadband Internet Connection at Home
– Router With DD-WRT v24 SP2 or Above
– Access to Public Wi-Fi
– iPad

Step 1
Setup VPN on your DD-WRT enabled router. Login to your DD-WRT administration screen, then go to the Services section, and finally to the VPN tab. From the VPN tab, enable the PPTP Server, Broadcast support, and Force MPPE Encryption. Set a Server IP, this should be something different than your router IP. Next, set the Client IP, this should be a range of IP addresses that your DHCP server allows. And finally, set the username and password in the CHAP-Secrets box. The format for the username and password is a follows:

username * password *

The format for the username and password must be exactly as it appears, but replace username and password with your own.

DD-WRT VPN Screen

Step 2
Enable the MPPE encryption. From the DD-WRT administration screen, go to the Administration section and select the Commands tab. Put the follow code in the Commands text box:

sed -i -e 's/mppe .*/mppe required,stateless/' /tmp/pptpd/options.pptpd

Now click Save Startup. The line above should now appear in the Startup panel on the same screen. You should now restart your router.

Step 3
Setup your iPad. On your iPad, go to Settings, General, Network, then VPN. Add a new VPN Configuration from this screen, select PPTP from the top and complete the required fields. All other options should be left as is. After that is complete, save your settings.

iPad VPN Screen

Step 4
Test your VPN connection. From the same VPN screen, slide the VPN slider to the ON position. You’ll also find that a VPN item has been added to the selection on the left side, you can use the slider there as well. If all goes well, the status on the right side panel will show that you are connected. You’ll also see a VPN icon at the top left corner where it shows your signal strength. See screenshot below.

iPad VPN Screen

Your done! Now whenever you need a secure connection, pretty much whenever your on a public Wi-Fi network, you can just connect to your personal VPN and forget about it.

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