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OpenVPN for Android

These instructions cover installing and configuring the OpenVPN Connect app (version 3.2.4) for Android 9 (Pie). Other versions of Android or the app will be similar.

Probably the trickiest part is getting the OpenVPN config file(s) pointed at by our openvpn-config-files page onto your device. This guide doesn't cover that in detail, but generally just following the instructions on that page to download Android/Informatics-InfNets-Forum.ovpn via your device's web browser, and making a note of where the downloaded file is stored so that you can find it later on is all that is needed.

Install the app

Once you have managed to get the .ovpn file(s) that you wish onto your device, download the "OpenVPN Connect" app from the Android Play Store.

You will need to change the application's settings. Please tap on the three bars in the top left corner, tap on Settings and look for "Allow Compression", and choose "DOWNLINK ONLY". Go back to the main menu.

Import Config

Open the OpenVPN Connect app and tap the "OVPN Profile" button at the bottom of the home screen.

If this is the first time you've run the application, then you'll be taken to the "Import Profile" screen. However, the first time you do this you will have to grant permission for the OpenVPN Connect app to access your media and files.

Browse to the location you saved your .ovpn file, tap on it so it has a tick mark beside it, and then tap "IMPORT".

Setup

You should then be taken to a screen saying that the profile has been imported, it will have been given a long default profile name. You change it to something more manageable.

You will need to change the application's settings. Please tap on the three bars in the top left corner, tap on Settings and look for "Allow Compression", and choose "DOWNLINK ONLY". Go back to the main menu.

Enter your DICE username. You shouldn't tick the Save check box unless your device is encrypted and protected with a password or pin of some sort. If you do tick the Save password box, then you'll be prompted to enter your DICE password.

Tap the "Add" button when you are done, this will bring up a warning screen that you have to accept if you wish to continue. You'll also be prompted to enter your DICE password (unless you chose to save it earlier).

Next you will get a warning that the profile doesn't include a client certificate, just tap Continue to proceed without one.

Connected

If it's all gone well, you will now be connected to the VPN, and the screen will show you some connection statistics, along with a button to disconnect and close the VPN.

This will be the screen which, if you switch away to another app and then back the OpenVPN app, you will see.

While you are connected you'll see the key and OpenVPN icons in the notification bar, and depending on which profile you chose, some or all network traffic will pass through the VPN and your device will appear to be on the Informatics network.

Future invocations of the app will take you straight to the screen where you can select the profile you which to use (if you've imported more than one), and your user details. And each time you connect, you will have to acknowledge that you trust the application.

Remember to disconnect when you are not using the VPN, as it will eat through your battery.

References

Configuration files
Authentication
OpenVPN FAQ
Last reviewed: 
06/04/2021

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