Connect a mobile to a L2TP-SoftEther VPN server
Connecting a mobile device to a VPN server using either the L2TP or the SoftEther protocol is quite easy. Due to the fact that SoftEther does not have a mobile client, it enables you to connect to your dedicate server by implementing the L2TP protocol, which in itself makes use of the pre-installed VPN software on your phone’s operating system, regardless of whether you are using Android or iOS.
However, if you want to connect to a SoftEther server, you would need to first allow mobile device connections. This in itself is done through the SoftEther server manager. In order to enable this feature please visit our tutorial about how to add a user first and navigate to ‘Step 5: Enabling mobile connections.’
Setting up a VPN connection on Android
Open up your phone’s settings and search for a menu that specifically lists ‘Network(s)’ in its name. If you cannot find it, try searching for ‘Network’ or ‘VPN’ using your device’s search options. Our testing device’s VPN settings were located under ‘Wireless & networks’.
Next, you should look out for a button that reads ‘VPN’, ‘VPN Connections’ or ‘VPN Services’. If you are not able to identify such an option, try searching for it using the search icon on the top of your settings.
Once you have found it, simply tap it and the VPN menu screen will appear, which should look like so:
This is where all of your VPN connections will be stored, allowing you to connect or disconnect your device whenever you need to do so. This is also the page, from which you can establish new connections and remove those that you do not use any longer.
To add a new connection, simply click on the ‘Add VPN Network’ button at the bottom of the page.
This will take you to the VPN connection configuration page, which by default will look like so:
From here, simply tap the ‘Type’ button and a list of different connection options will appear, allowing you to choose the one you want to utilize.
Go ahead and select ‘L2TP/IPSec PSK’. This will ensure that the protocol will be able to establish a secure connection with the given VPN server.
Once you have successfully chosen the option, all that is left to do is to just fill in the other fields. Your provider will have given you the required credentials via email or another communication channel.
The following image highlights the fields that you should complete:
- ‘Name’ - the text in this field is entirely up to you. It refers to the name that you want to give to your connection.
- ‘Server’ - this is where you need to input your server’s IP address.
- ‘IPSec preshared key’ - a long sequence of characters, numbers and symbols that is used to establish the secure connection between your device and the VPN server.
Once done, all you need to do is to just click on ‘Save’ and you will be connected to the dedicated VPN server. Furthermore, a key icon should appear in the status bar of your mobile device that will signal that you are using a VPN. It should look like so:
Establishing a VPN connection on iOS
The process of setting up a connection on iOS is identical to that of establishing a VPN connection when using an Android device. First, go to your settings and locate the ‘VPN’ option or alternatively - search for it using the search feature (which can be faster in some instances).
Following that you need to simply select ‘VPN’.
This will take you to the VPN settings for your device. From here select the ‘Add VPN Configuration’ button as illustrated by the following image:
This will bring up another window, where you would need to input your VPN server information. It will look like this:
You will be provided with all of this information. Just copy and paste it into the corresponding fields. Before you start entering information, however, you need to first change the ‘Type’ setting, located on the top of the page to ‘L2TP’. Here is a brief explanation of the information that you need to input:
- Description - you input this field manually, giving your connection a name.
- Server - you need to paste in your VPN server’s IP address.
- Account - refers to your username.
- Password - the password which was also provided to you by your provider.
- Secret - the special sequence of characters, numbers and symbols that you will have also received.
Once you have finished entering the required information, click on ‘Done’ in the top right section of the screen and you will successfully complete the connection setup!
You should now be able to see your VPN connection inside of the VPN window. The status will read ‘Connected’ and the slider button will be coloured in green.
If you wish to disable the connection, simply tap the slider and it will switch off.
You can also have a look at our tutorial on how to connect your desktop to a L2TP or SoftEther VPN server. If you wish to create additional user profiles, we also have some entries in our documentation that can help you to establish both L2TP users and SofthEther user profiles.
That’s it! You are all good to go. If you want to check that everything is working correctly, regardless of your phone’s operating system, simply search for ‘What is my IP?’ inside of your preferred web browser and compare the results with and without the VPN connection. If the IP address is different that means that the VPN is working as intended.