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Aventail Connect Mobile (Smartphone)
Providing secure e-mail and Intranet access for mobile devices is a challenge. The Aventail Connect Mobile client makes the job a little easier by providing SSL VPN access for Windows Mobile and Windows Mobile devices.
The Aventail Connect Mobile client for Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices has been available for several months, but in May 2007, Aventail announced a Connect Mobile client for smartphones running Window Mobile. The final release is scheduled for August 2007, but I got my hands on a beta copy to test drive. Follow along as I install, configure, and use the Aventail Connect Mobile (Smartphone) client.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, CNET Networks currently uses Aventail’s SSL VPN devices. This situation allowed me to test the Aventail Connect Mobile client in a real-world environment.
Samsung BlackJack (SGH-i607)
Aventail provided this Samsung BlackJack (SGH-i607) from AT&T to test the Aventail Connect Mobile client. The client came preloaded on the phone and configured for use with Aventail’s demo environment. As CNET uses Aventail’s SSL VPN, I erased the default settings and reconfigured the client to work with CNET’s VPN.
Aventail Connect Mobile icon
Configuring and connecting with the Aventail Connect Mobile client is should be painless for most users. Selecting the Aventail Connect Mobile icon from the Programs window, Start menu, or Quick Launch bar will load the application and display the main screen.
Aventail Connect Mobile Main screen
From the Aventail Connect Mobile main screen you can log in or access the application’s menu.
Aventail Connect Mobile Menu
The Aventail Connect Mobile menu allows you to check the status of the current connection, change the connection settings, configure the application’s options, view the About information, and get help.
Aventail Connect Mobile Status screen
When not connected, the Aventail Connect Mobile client will show “Disabled” on the status screen.
Aventail Connect Mobile Settings: VPN server address
To configure the Aventail Connect Mobile connection settings, click Settings from the Menu. Next, enter your VPN server address and click Next.
Aventail Connect Mobile Settings: Login group
If you phone is connected to the Internet or your network via ActiveSync and it can access your VPN server, the Aventail Connect Mobile client will automatically populate the login group drop down list. You should select the appropriate login group from the list or enter it manually in the text box. Click Done once you selected/entered the appropriate group.
Aventail Connect Mobile Options screen
From the Option menu, you can specify whether the Aventail Connect Mobile client should run when the device is powered on, establish a connect as needed, and enable logging.
Aventail Connect Mobile About screen
The About option provides copyright information about the client.
Aventail Connect Mobile Help screen
The Help screen contains links to online support resources for the Aventail Connect Mobile client.
Aventail Connect Mobile Log in screen
Once you’ve properly configured the Aventail Connect Mobile client’s settings and options, you’re ready to begin using the program. From the main screen, select “Log in” to display the log in screen. Enter your VPN username and password and click Log in.
Logging in to the VPN
Once you enter your credentials and click Log in, The Aventail Connect Mobile client will attempt to connect.
Aventail Connect Mobile connected
Once connected, the Aventail Connect Mobile client will display “State: Enabled” on the main screen.
If the client isn’t able to connect, there are several possible problems–the phone’s Internet connection is down, the Internet connection settings are improperly configured, the Aventail Connection Mobile connection settings are incorrect, the user improperly entered the login credentials.
On connected, click the phone’s OK button to return to the phone’s main screen with the client running. If properly configured, you should now be able to receive push updates through Outlook Mobile Access and access your company’s Intranet.
For a complete account of my experience with the Samsung BlackJack and Aventail Connect Mobile (Smartphone) client, check out my TechRepublic Mobile and Wireless blog post, “Aventail Connect Mobile (Smartphone) provides secure, “push” e-mail and intranet access”.