Amazon Cloud VPN

Ubuntu 12.04 + PPTP VPN For OSX, Windows, iPad, and iPhone clients

For some time now I’ve been needing a VPN for multiple reasons including security, watching netflix (or hulu) while overseas, etc.

Amazon EC2 offers a free virtual machine ‘instance’ for new AWS members for a year, so I decided to go ahead and use this instance to host the VPN server. I prefer to use FreeBSD, but FreeBSD has some issues/difficulties running on EC2, so I ended up going with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

First we need to install pptpd.

sudo apt-get install pptpd

Now we need to uncomment the local and remote ip lines at the bottom of /etc/pptpd.conf

This is what mine now looks like after uncommenting 2 lines.

# (Recommended)

In /etc/sysctl.conf we need to enable ip forwarding so i’ve uncommented the following line:

# Uncomment the next line to enable packet forwarding for IPv4

Now in /etc/rc.local we need to enable IP Forwarding so I insert this line above the exit 0:

# PPTP IP Forwarding
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE


Now edit /etc/ppp/chap-secrets and insert a user and password (in plain text):

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client server secret IP addresses
spike pptpd password *


That’s all that should need to be done, now pptpd should be automatically starting with your ubuntu server, accepting incoming connections, and forwarding traffic to the internet.

I have tested this pptp VPN on Windows, Mac OS X, and iPad/iPhone and it functions  on all.

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