VPN Options for Mobile Devices | Page 3

If you run a PPTP server on a Windows machine, you can connect to it from Symbian S60-powered phones, such as the Nokia E51, using a VPN client called SymVPN, available from Telexy Networks for about $32. SymVPN only works with Windows servers and does not support open-source Linux- or UNIX-based servers used by most VPN service providers.

You can also install and run your own OpenVPN VPN server allowing Nokia N770, N800 and N810s, plus some Windows mobile devices, to connect. Instructions for doing this are available on my blog at http://mfresh-n800.blogspot.com/2007/07/installing-and-running-openvpn-on-nokia.html.

Are there any drawbacks to using a VPN? Aside from the possible financial cost, it's certainly true that VPN connections tend to be slow. And PPTP connections are occasionally blocked, making them unusable from some locations.

Additionally, there are some instances when you don't need a VPN. For instance, your data will typically be protected when you visit secure Web sites (with Web addresses that usually start with https:// instead of http://) and display a padlock symbol in most browsers. These use SSL technology to create what is effectively a VPN connection between your browser and the Internet, making it safe for most phone browsers to carry out activities such as online banking.

You also don't need a VPN if you connect to secure e-mail servers, because all traffic, including your username and password, are encrypted automatically by your e-mail client.

But apart from these scenarios, if you want to use a Wi-Fi enabled mobile device from a public Internet hotspot, it's a very good idea to make sure you take advantage of the security offered by a VPN.

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