If you use a Chromebook for business, chances are you'll need to connect to the company's VPN. Here's how.
Chromebook users, you don't want to find yourself out in the wild without the means to connect to your company resources. This tutorial covers how to connect to a VPN through Chrome OS.
Supported VPN types
Chrome OS supports the following types of VPN:
- L2TP/IPsec + pre-share key
- L2TP/IPsec + user certificate
If you must connect to a VPN that requires a certificate, that certificate will have to be installed first. If your VPN uses a pre-shared key, you won't have to manually install a Certificate Authority (CA).
Installing the CA
If you need to install a CA, follow these steps.
- Obtain the certificate authority from your company.
- Open a new tab in Chrome.
- Go to chrome://settings/certificates.
- Click the Authorities tab.
- Click Import (Figure A).
- Locate the downloaded CA.
- Fill out all necessary information for the CA.
The CA should now install on your machine.
Importing a downloaded CA.
Setting up the VPN connection
- Open Settings.
- Under the Internet Connections section, click Add Connection.
- Select OpenVPN/L2TP from the drop-down.
- Fill out the necessary information -- this will vary, depending upon the VPN type you're connecting to (Figure B).
- Click Connect.
Setting up the VPN connection on a Chromebook Pixel.
Your VPN connection should authenticate, and your company resources should be available.
If your company doesn't have a VPN but you want to use one for the sake of security, you could sign up with a VPN service. I highly recommend Golden Frog's VyprVPN. VyprVPN costs $14.99 a year, but if you need the added security, it's worth every penny. You can sign up for a free account (which offers a limited amount of data) and, if it suits your needs, upgrade your plan.
The information necessary to create the VyprVPN connection is as follows.
- Server hostname: Locate the nearest host to you from this list
- Provider type: Select L2TP/IPsec + Pre-shared key
- Pre-shared key: thisisourkey
- Server CA certificate: Select Default
- User certificate: Select None Installed
- Username: Enter your Golden Frog username
- Password: Enter your Golden Frog password
After setting up and successfully connecting to your VPN, you can enable/disable the connection from the notification area pop-up window (Figure C).
Your VPN connection is now ready to connect.
That's all there is to connect Chrome OS to a VPN.
If you need to access company resources outside the company network, or you're just looking for a more secure means of using a less-than-secure internet, VPNs are the way to go.
- CloudReady has a Chrome OS platform ready for your non-chromebook hardware (TechRepublic)
- How to use secure shell from your Chromebook (TechRepublic)
- How to access local shares on a Chromebook (TechRepublic)
- Change Chromebook sync options for a better cross-device experience (TechRepublic)
- Turn an old PC or Mac into a 'Chromebook' (ZDNet)