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Can I setup VPN through a Flash Drive?

Posted on 2008-06-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I want to setup a flash drive with the ability to plug it in and allow the client to simply double click a link on the card and have it open up the VPN tunnel to our server on any computer without having to go onto that computer and pre-setup a VPN shortcut.

I.E. it would need to have the VPN settings and not just be a shortcut to a VPN already setup on the computer.

Is this possible?
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Question by:s-mitchell
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 21865695
I suppose it depends on the VPN client..  I (we) use Cisco for all of our tunnels, and this client requires that a service be running on the system for hte client to work..  in other words, with Cisco, you need to install the client directly on the connecting system, and it will not work with a Flash Drive..

FE
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by:BillDL
ID: 21865750
I would have thought that if any forum was likely to have the answer to this it would be one entirely dedicated to "portable" applications, and there are a lot of excellent ones offered there.  However, a similar question has been asked without a workable solution:

http://portableapps.com/node/2664

Perhaps you may be able to follow up on these discussions to get what you need:

http://portableapps.com/node/7954
http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28
http://www.vpnforum.de/openvpn-forum/viewtopic.php?t=2233

This one SEEMS to have worked for the user, but isn't very specific:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,14456763

I don't think you will be able to get a truly portable VPN client running off a flash drive without having the required vpn adapters installed on the PC into which it is plugged, but it's an interesting proposition.

A possible workaround MAY be found with this, but I've never tested it:
http://www.mojopac.com/portal/content/what/
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Fatal_Exception earned 375 total points
ID: 21865806
One thought that crossed my mind as I submitted the above comment was the possiblity of booting to a Flash Drive with the client installed..  that way the correct services / processes would be enabled on boot..  just a thought..

FE
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by:BillDL
ID: 21866001
By the way, is this the type of thing you would very much prefer not to distribute to clients?:
http://www.isaserver.org/img/upl/vpnkitbeta2/cmak.htm
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by:BillDL
ID: 21866306
Interesting unbiassed report of an alternative that may be considered, and is certainly "portable":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamachi
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Author Closing Comment

by:s-mitchell
ID: 31470186
This actually works, I placed a bootup system onto the flash drive, with all the settings I wanted, and booted from it and the vpn connection was pre-configured. A bit messy since the difficulty level is about the same to get a client to boot through a flash drive, and just to give them instructions on how to set up a vpn, but it is definitely a good start.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 21866556
Very good, and thanks for closing..  have a great day!

FE
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by:Gns
ID: 21873312
This thread needs the mention of SSL-Explorer (http://3sp.com). It fives you SSL VPN (comparable with OpenVPN) but without the need for any installation whatsoever. All you need is a browser with Java support (the "client", called the "SSL Explorer Agent", is a java app that is pushed to the client machine every time).
Not exactly what is asked for, but a very manageable, slick and affordable solution (the GPL'd Community version got pulled recently due to copyleft infringements... But the is a free licensed version, if cost is an issue. Very reasonable pricing too. No, I don't work for them, I'm just a happy customer;-).
If one combines SSL-Explorer with a hardware token, like SecurID, one has a very secure and functional solution (Ona would access the ACE server through RADIUS).

If some of the links above lead to SSL-X, my pardons... Being late to the party, I didn't go through them all:-).

Cheers
-- Glenn
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