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How to Connect Your Xoom to the VPN

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Posted Jul 26 2011 12:45 AM

A virtual private network (VPN) is a kind of virtual tunnel that lets authorized people into the network, while blocking everyone else. This excerpt from the O'Reilly publication Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual will show you how to connect your Xoom to one.

If your company has a VPN, then you need to connect to it to do things like check your email while you’re away from the office. Check with the IT staff. If your company has a VPN, and if you’re permitted to use it, they’ll give you the information that lets your Xoom connect to the corporate network over the VPN. They’ll also set up an account for you.

Here’s what you need to set up your Xoom to access the VPN:

  • The type of technology it uses. Your Xoom can work with pretty much any kind of VPN technology out there. Ask whether yours uses PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), L2TP/IPSec PSK (pre-shared, key-based Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol over the IP Security Protocol), or L2TP/IPSec CRT (certificate-based Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol over the IP Security Protocol). (You don’t have to memorize these terms. There’s no quiz later.)

  • Address of the VPN server. The Internet address of the server to which you need to connect, such as vpn.bigsecurehoncho.com (http://vpn.bigsecurehoncho.com).

  • Name of the VPN server. The name isn’t always necessary, but check, just in case.

  • Account name and password. The IT folks can supply you with this.

  • Secret. When it comes to VPNs, there are secrets within secrets. If you use a L2TP connection, then you need a password called a Shared Secret in addition to your own password in order to connect.

  • Other special keys. Depending on which VPN protocol you use, you may require additional keys, which are essentially passwords. Again, the IT folks know this.

  • DNS search domains. These servers essentially do the magic of letting you browse the Internet and do searches.

Once you’ve got all that, you’re ready to set up the VPN. Tap Settings in the App Menu, or else from the Home screen, tap the Notifications panel, tap it again to expand it, and then tap Settings. Then choose “Wireless & networks”→VPN Settings→Add VPN. A screen appears asking you which of the VPN protocols you’ll use for the VPN. Choose the one your IT folks told you to use.

After that, you come to a screen that asks for all the information you’ve gotten from your IT folks. When you’ve entered all that, press the Menu key, and then tap Save. Your VPN connection and its settings are saved.

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From now on, when you want to connect to the VPN, go to the Home screen or a pane, press the Menu key, and then choose Wireless & networks→VPN Settings. Tap the VPN to which you want to connect. You may need to enter a user name and password or passwords (these are the ones you’ve been given by the IT folks). When you do that, tap Connect, and you make the connection. The Notifications panel shows you that you’ve got a VPN connection and displays a notification if you’ve been disconnected, so that you can make the connection again. At any point, to disconnect, open the Notifications panel, touch the notification for the VPN, and touch it again to disconnect.

Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual

Learn more about this topic from Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual.

Motorola Xoom is the first tablet to rival the iPad, and no wonder with all of the great features packed into this device. But learning how to use everything can be tricky—and Xoom doesn't come with a printed guide. That's where this Missing Manual comes in. Gadget expert Preston Gralla helps you master your Xoom with step-by-step instructions and clear explanations.

See what you'll learn

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 : Jul 28 2011 02:27 AM
Not all VPN solutions are supported. Currently even the latest Android release does not support ipsec only or SSL VPN's. Its the second most requested feature http://goo.gl/rO9hL . OpenVPN and a few other solutions are not directly supported http://goo.gl/1jPwM . Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is another example http://goo.gl/5c1bq