StrongVPN on Ubuntu: Simple VPN Solution That Works

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Mar 09, 2010 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Ask any knowledgeable mobile user, and they will tell you that the best way to securely access the Internet in public places is through a VPN (virtual private network) connection. So if you enjoy sipping coffee at a local cafe while checking email and browsing the Web, a secure VPN connection is a good solution to protect the data traveling to and from your machine. Although you can go the DIY way and set up your own VPN server, using a dedicated VPN service provider would save you a lot of work and time. There are a few reputable VPN service providers out there, but for my money, StrongVPN is the best of the bunch. It offers reliable service and excellent support at competitive prices. I'm not affiliated with StrongVPN in any way, but I've been using their VPN solution for almost a year, and it has been a smooth ride so far.

To make your Ubuntu machine play nicely with StrongVPN, you have to configure a VPN connection using Gnome Network Manager. But before you can do that, you have to install the network-manager-pptp package which enables support for the PPTP protocol used by StrongVPN. To do this, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp

Now click on the Network Manager icon in the top panel (this will display a list of available network interfaces and wireless networks) and choose VPN Connections -> Configure VPN. Press the Add button, select the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) from the Connection Type drop-down list and press Create. Give the new VPN connection a name and fill out the Gateway, Username, and Password fields. Press the Advanced button and tick the Use Point-to-point encryption (MPPE) check box. Press OK and then Apply to save the settings and close the configuration window.

Before you can use the created connection, there is one more thing you have to do. In the terminal, run the gconf-editor command to launch the Gnome configuration editor. Navigate to system -> networking -> connections and select the vpn item. Right-click somewhere in the right pane and select New Key. Configure the new key as follows:

Name: refuse-eap
Type: String
Value: yes

Press OK and close the editor. Reboot the machine and your VPN connection is ready to go. By the way, the described technique works not only with StrongVPN, but also with any PPTP-based VPN providers.

Comments

  • VPN

    I use this OpenVPN service from my Ubuntu box and my Mac:
    http://www.sunvpn.com/
  • AplusVPN on Internet

    I have tried Strongvpn but was not satisfied with their speed and quality. I ended up switching to SolVPN instead and have been satisfied ever since. Solvpn has fast speed and even p2p and bittorrent is allowed. Their supoprt is quiet efficient too, adn they are chaper in price for the OpenVPN.
    I heard that they are also going to offer PPTP VPN service for iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Android VPN connections.
    Would highly recommend trying www.aplusvpn.com
  • comment

    Thanks for posting! Your job won't be left unnoticed and unappreciated. It helps me understand much in this sphere. I like the intelligible way you present information so that it became comprehensible, transparent and accessible for ordinary people as I am. Well done! <a href=http://www.google.com> http://www.google.com </a>
  • VPN Providers List

    Hi,

    Nice artcile !!!

    To complet the article, I can say just that you can Find a VPN Providers List and Consumers Reviews on
    http://www.start-vpn.com/
  • Appreciate the StrongVPN review

    Thanks for this quick, if abbreviated, review. This company seems to be hard to get good reviews on that aren't just SEO junk setup to draw traffic. Working more and more over wi-fi and need to get something setup, but don't want to overpay, or over configure/setup/troubleshoot every time I sit down.

    Definitely put this on my short list of top VPN providers to try. http://besthubris.com/entre...ecurity-vpn-internet-services/

    Thanks again for the info.

    WG Hubris
    besthubris.com



  • VPN

    thank you nice article , currently using SwitchVPN.com , fast speed , unblock youtube , great vpn service.
  • Thanks

    Thanks for advice. I've never used VPN but I need access to Internet quite often and sometimes it was a problem to me. I'm very glad I've found this article. Now I'll read your posts. I hope I'll find here something of the same importance.
    Viola from http://www.mp3hounddog.com
  • Mad

    The best way to make the strongvpn (in the modality of openvpn) is to write this at shell as root:

    cp /root/resolv.conf_B /etc/resolv.conf # _B has the vpn's own dns servers...
    cd /etc/openvpn # where the .ovpn file and its stuff reside.
    openvpn --config myconf.ovpn # launch old and reliable openvpn blunk

    And thats all.. it works (Just dont kill it and it will be... working nicely)

    Again shell beats 'icons'...

    Enjoy happy
  • PPTP is FAIL

    The PPTP is the worst VPN protocol to use, it is insecure and has had known vulnerabilities for years
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...nt-to-Point_Tunneling_Protocol
  • Why its not a good product

    Any application that uses gconf (or Gconf) has failed in the same way that MS registry fails. GNOME, unfortunately, has taken the worst feature of Microsoft and is trying to sell it to users based purely on looks (again, just like Microsoft!)

    What is most unfortunate is that almost all of the open-source related journalism is oblivious of this fact and is promoting GNOME as the face of the linux desktop. In a mad rush to get to joe-average's desktop, a lot has been compromised, IMHO. The fear is, if and when it does reach its target audience, there will be nothing to differentiate it from the incumbents, with the exception of a 'brown' theme .....
  • She -> They

    The problem -- if there was one -- has now been solved.
  • Cerebral-palsy-school-of-cinematography comes to blogging

    Just as those nouveau-wannabee directors and cameramen are *wrong* because they believe it's somehow required that we constantly be reminded of their presence as they wobble the camera around drunkenly rather than simply allowing us to absorb a scene on its own merits, it is stupidly jarring for you to engage in the fatuous use of "she" because it wrenches the reader's mind off the subject by being annoyingly, distractingly *wrong*.

    You should probably try to find some more substantial way of increasing our awareness and raising our consciousness; this way just makes it easy to ignore the very real and hurtful consequences of gender-bias by presenting the matter as an easy target for (fully justified) mockery.
  • He? She? There's already a perfectly acceptable word for gender-based neutrality:

    They.

    I *hate* Grammar Nazi discussion over whether he/she. If it's wrong (2+2=5), fine, gripe. If it's a confusing or misleading mistake ("We're at war!" vs "We're NOT at war!"blunk, gripe. Otherwise spend your time on something truly useful. Save nit-picking for laws and contracts, where things need to be exactly right and unambiguous.

    If you're going to debate lexicon, at least provide some references, then we can debate over whether their authority.

    Sheesh!



    they: often used with an indefinite third person singular antecedent
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they

    he: used in a generic sense or when the sex of the person is unspecified
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/he%5B1%5D

    Grammar Nazi: Someone who believes it's their duty to attempt to correct any grammar and/or spelling mistakes they observe.
    http://www.urbandictionary....define.php?term=Grammar%20Nazi

    PS -- you want a gender neutral word: Mailman, Chairman, Flagman? Try IT, let's "generalize" everything and BE DONE with it. "Watch out! Don't run over the flag-it!"

    Gender-neutral language: linguistic prescriptivism that aims at minimizing assumptions regarding the gender of human referents.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_language
  • Gender and pronouns

    Actually, I think it is now preferred to use the pronoun she, until the gender is known. Using he is so 1950's happy

    P.S. about the actual content of the article, is pptp + mpe encryption really that secure? I was always under the impression that it isn't that secure, hence the reason things like ipsec were preferred? Can anyone comment about just how secure pptp + mpe really is?
  • English

    Nice article thanks!
    little typo at the top where you have put 'she' not 'he'.
    In English 'he' is used until the gender of the person(s) is known.
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