How to get an Iphone or G1 to work with my work
December 18, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I want to know what phone I should get to be able to use vpns and ssh to linux machines

I'd be interested in using my phone to connect to my work vpns, then connect to some machines with an ssh client. I can't really figure out if either the iphone or the g1 can do this. One vpn is normal windows PPTP VPN to work network. The other appears to be the Firepass SSL VPN, where I go to some web page and login, then it opens a network connection on my PC. I don't know much about how this stuff works, but I'm happy to try to figure out any technical details.
posted by alkupe to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I regularly use the iTerm ssh client on my iPhone. It works well enough for my purposes. I don't have a VPN to connect to so I can't say if there are any good VPN tools on the iPhone yet.
posted by valadil at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2008

ConnectBot on the G1 is pretty darn awesome for SSH, much better than anything I used in the past on Palm or WinMo. I can't speak to the experience on the iPhone, but my friends with iPhone's who've seen ConnectBot seem impressed.

I'm not aware of any great VPN solutions on the G1 yet, but ConnectBot does support tunnelling.
posted by jrishel at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2008

alkupe - I just sent you some mefi-mail.
posted by jquinby at 9:54 AM on December 18, 2008

The iPhone will support PPTP, L2TP and IPSec right out of the box, but there's no listing for SSL VPN that firepass uses.

I use TouchTerm Pro on the iPhone, which makes use of gestures and transparencies to maximize the amount of terminal data on the screen. The gesture library is quite extensive, so it requires some memorization to learn all the possibilities, but they're quite useful once you know them.

So yes, you could definitely do the PPTP VPN/ SSH thing with an iPhone.
posted by Steve3 at 11:20 AM on December 18, 2008

Even my tiny Nokia 6220 Classic runs PuTTY,, astonishingly, so any Series 60 phone with a bigger screen would be OK, too.
posted by alloneword at 12:17 PM on December 18, 2008

I can do this from my Nokia E61i very easily. It's a Series 60 phone and it has a good-size screen and real (actual switches not a touchscreen) QWERTY. I like it, and you can get them unlocked for use with any GSM carrier quite easily and legally.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:16 PM on December 18, 2008

Any Windows Mobile phone will do all this. While the iPhone does support L2TP, it doesn't support the use of certificates, so if you're using those with your Windows VPN that won't work. Windows Mobile does support the use of certificates with L2TP, but if you don't have a web enrollment interface it's a little bit of a pain to set up.

There are various VPN clients available for Windows Mobile (Aventail for SSL VPNs like the one you mention, BlueFire for Cisco), but these tend to not be free.

There's a version of PuTTY for Windows Mobile also.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:44 PM on December 18, 2008

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