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Cisco Meraki

Client VPN OS Configuration

This article outlines instructions to configure a client VPN connection on commonly-used operating systems. For more information about client VPN, please refer to our Client VPN Overview documentation.

For troubleshooting, please refer to our Troubleshooting Client VPN documentation.

Android

To configure an Android device to connect to the Client VPN, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> VPN
  • Click the Plus Icon to add an additional VPN profile

  • Name: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."

  • Type: select L2TP/IPSEC PSK

  • Server address: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.

  • IPSec pre-shared key: Enter the pre-shared key that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.

  • Press save

 

 

You will be prompted for user credentials when you connect.

 

 

Chrome OS

Chrome OS based devices can be configured to connect to the Client VPN feature on MX Security Appliances. This allows remote users to securely connect to the LAN. This article will cover how to configure the VPN connection on a Chrome OS device. For more information on how to setup the Client VPN feature of the MX or how to connect from other operating systems, please visit the MX documentation.
 

  1. If you haven't already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area at the bottom of your screen, where your account picture is located.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. In the "Internet connection" section, click Add connection.
  5. Select Add private network.
  6. In the box that appears, fill in the information below:
    1. Server hostname: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
    2. Service name: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."
    3. Provider type: Select L2TP/IPsec + Pre-shared key.
    4. Pre-shared key: Enter shared secret that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
    5. Username credentials for connecting to VPN. If using Meraki authentication, this will be an e-mail address.
    6. Password credentials for connecting to VPN.
  7. Click Connect.

For more information regarding the configuration of VPN connections in Chrome OS, visit the Google Support page.

 

 

iOS

To configure an iOS device to connect to the Client VPN, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings -> General-> VPN -> Add VPN Configuration...
  2. Type: set to L2TP.
  3. Description: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."
  4. Server: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
  5. Account: Enter the username
  6. Password: Enter if desired. If the password is left blank, it will need to be entered each time the device attempts to connect to the Client VPN.
  7. Secret: Enter shared secret that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
  8. Ensure that Send All Traffic is set to On.
  9. Save the configuration.

 

 

 

macOS

Currently only the following authentication mechanisms are supported:

  • User authentication: Active Directory (AD), RADIUS, or Meraki hosted authentication.
  • Machine authentication: Preshared keys (a.k.a., shared secret).

When using Meraki hosted authentication, VPN account/user name setting on client devices (e.g., PC or Mac) is the user email address entered in the Dashboard.

The instructions below are tested on Mac OS 10.7.3 (Lion).

Open System Preferences > Network from Mac applications menu. Click the "+" button to create a new service, then select VPN as the interface type, and choose L2TP over IPsec from the pull-down menu.

  • Server Address: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
  • Account Name: Enter the account name of the user (based on AD, RADIUS or Meraki Cloud authentication).
 
 
Click Authentication Settings and provide the following information:
  • User Authentication > Password: User password (based on AD, RADIUS or Meraki Cloud authentication).
  • Machine Authentication > Shared Secret: Enter shared secret that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
 
 
Click OK to go back to the main VPN settings page, then click Advanced and enable the Send all traffic over VPN connection option.

The VPN connectivity will not be established if you don't enable the Send all traffic over VPN connection option!

 

 

 

 

Windows 7

Currently only the following authentication mechanisms are supported:

  • User authentication: Active Directory (AD), RADIUS, or Meraki hosted authentication.
  • Machine authentication: Preshared keys (a.k.a., shared secret).

When using Meraki hosted authentication, VPN account/user name setting on client devices (e.g., PC or Mac) is the user email address entered in the Dashboard.

 

Open Start Menu > Control Panel, click on Network and Internet, click on View network status and tasks.

 

 

In the Set up a connection or network pop-up window, choose Connect to a workplace (Set up a dial-up or VPN connection to your workplace).

 

 

Choose Use my Internet connection (VPN), in the Connect to a workspace dialog window.

 

 

In the Connect to a Workplace dialog box, enter:

  • Internet address: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
  • Destination name: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."

 

Choose "Don't connect now; just set it up so that I can connect later" option.

 

 

Click Next. In the next dialog window, enter the user credentials, and click Create.

 
 
Close the VPN connection wizard.
 
 
Go to Networking and Sharing Center and click Change Adapter Settings
 
 
In Network Connections window, right-click on the new VPN connection settings and choose Properties
 
 
In the General tab, verify the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
 
 
In the Options tab, uncheck "Include Windows logon domain"
 
 
In the "Security" tab, choose "Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPSec)".
Then, check "Unencrypted password (PAP)", and uncheck all other options.
Click on "Advanced settings".
 

Despite the name "Unencrypted PAP", the client's password is sent encrypted over an IPsec tunnel between the client device and the MX. The password is fully secure and never sent in clear text over either the WAN or the LAN.

 

In Advanced Properties dialog box, choose "Use preshared key for authentication" and enter the pre-shared key that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
Click OK.
 
 
Back at the Network Connections window, right-click on the VPN connection and click Connect

 
Verify your user name and click Connect.
 
 
 

Windows 8

Currently only the following authentication mechanisms are supported:

  • User authentication: Active Directory (AD), RADIUS, or Meraki hosted authentication.
  • Machine authentication: Preshared keys (a.k.a., shared secret).

When using Meraki hosted authentication, VPN account/user name setting on client devices (e.g., PC or Mac) is the user email address entered in the Dashboard.

 

Open Start Menu > Network and Sharing Center and click Settings.

 
 
In the Network and Sharing Center, click Set up a new connection or network.

 

 

In the Set Up a Connection or Network pop-up window, choose Connect to a workplace.
(Set up a dial-up or VPN connection to your workplace).

 

 

Choose Use my Internet connection (VPN), in the Connect to a Workspace dialog window.

 

 

In the Connect to a Workplace dialog box, enter:

  • Internet address: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
  • Destination name: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."
Click Create.

 

 

Go back to Network and Sharing Center and click Change Adapter Settings.

 
 
In the Networks Connections window, right click on the VPN connection icon and choose Properties.
 
 
In the General tab, verify the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
 
 
In the "Security" tab, choose "Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPSec)".
Then, check "Unencrypted password (PAP)", and uncheck all other options.
 
Click on "Advanced settings".

Despite the name "Unencrypted PAP", the client's password is sent encrypted over an IPsec tunnel between the client device and the MX. The password is fully secure and never sent in clear text over either the WAN or the LAN.

 

 

In Advanced Properties dialog box, choose "Use preshared key for authentication" and enter the pre-shared key that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
Click OK.
 
 
 
Back at the Network Connections window, right-click on the VPN connection and click Connect / Disconnect.
 
 
Find your VPN profile and click Connect.
 
 
Enter your user name and password.
Click OK.
 
 
 

Windows 10

Currently only the following authentication mechanisms are supported:

  • User authentication: Active Directory (AD), RADIUS, or Meraki hosted authentication.
  • Machine authentication: Preshared keys (a.k.a., shared secret).

When using Meraki hosted authentication, VPN account/user name setting on client devices (e.g., PC or Mac) is the user email address entered in the Dashboard.

 

Open Start Menu > Search "VPN" > Click Change virtual private networks (VPN)

 

From the VPN settings page, click Add a VPN connection.

 

In the Add a VPN connection dialog:

  • VPN provider: Set to Windows (built-in)
  • Connection name: This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."
  • Server name or address: Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.
  • VPN type: Select L2TP/IPsec with pre-shared key
  • User name and Password: optional

Press Save.

 

 

After the VPN connection has been created, click Change adapter options under Related settings.

 

 

Right-click on the VPN Connection from the list of adapters and click Properties.

 

 

In the Security tab, select "Require encryption (disconnect if sever declines)" under Data encryption.
Then, select "Allow these protocols" under Authentication. From the list of protocols, check "Unencrypted password (PAP)", and uncheck all other options.
 
Click on "Advanced settings"
 

Despite the name "Unencrypted PAP", the client's password is sent encrypted over an IPsec tunnel between the client device and the MX. The password is fully secure and never sent in clear text over either the WAN or the LAN.

 

 

In Advanced Properties dialog box, choose "Use preshared key for authentication" and enter the pre-shared key that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.

 

 

Back at the Network Connections window, right-click on the VPN connection and click Connect / Disconnect.

 

 

Find your VPN profile and click Connect.

 

 

Enter your user name and password.
Click OK.

 

 

 

Windows XP

Currently only the following authentication mechanisms are supported:

  • User authentication: Active Directory (AD), RADIUS, or Meraki hosted authentication.
  • Machine authentication: Preshared keys (a.k.a., shared secret).

When using Meraki hosted authentication, use the email address for VPN account / user name.

 

Open Start Menu > Control Panel, click on Network Connections.

 

 

In the Network Tasks section, click on Create a new connection.

 

 

Choose Connect to the network at my workplace, in the New Connection Wizard window.

 

 

Choose Virtual Private Network connection in the next section.

 

 

Then, give a name for this connection. This can be anything you want to name this connection, for example, "Work VPN."

 

 

Enter the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.

 

 

In the Connect <Connection Name> box, click on Properties

 

 

In the General tab, verify the hostname (e.g. .com) or the active WAN IP (e.g. XXX.XXX.XXX)Hostname is encouraged instead of active WAN IP  because it is more reliable in cases of WAN failover. Admin can find them in Dashboard, under Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.

 
 
In the Options tab, uncheck "Include Windows logon domain"
 
 
In the Security tab, choose Advanced (custom settings).
Click Settings
 
 
In Advanced Security Settings page, select Optional encryptionfrom the Data encryption pull-down menu.
Choose Unencrypted password (PAP) from the Allow these protocols options and uncheck everything else.

Despite the name "Unencrypted PAP", the client's password is sent encrypted over an IPsec tunnel between the client device and the MX. The password is fully secure and never sent in clear text over either the WAN or the LAN.

 

 
Back on the Security tab, click IPSec Settings...
 
 
Check "Use pre-shared key for authentication" and enter the pre-shared key that admin created in Security appliance > Configure > Client VPN settings.
Click OK.
 
 
In Networking tab, choose L2TP IPSec VPN from the Type of VPN options.
 
 
Back at the Network Connections window, right-click on the VPN connection and click Connect
 
 
Verify your user name and click Connect
 
 

Linux

Since Client VPN uses the L2TP over IPsec standard, any Linux client that properly supports this standard should suffice. Please note that newer versions of Ubuntu do not ship with a VPN client that supports L2TP/IP, and will therefore require a 3rd party VPN client that supports the protocol.

Note: The xl2tp package does not send user credentials properly to the MX when using Meraki Cloud Controller authentication, and this causes the authentication request to fail.  Active Directory or RADIUS authentication can be used instead for successful authentication.

 

 

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