skip to content

IT Help and Support

University Information Services
 

Configuring the UIS VPN on Android using the strongSwan client.

The strongSwan VPN client, available from the Google Play Store, offers a safe and easy-to-configure VPN option for Android users. You may be able to configure other VPN clients to work, using our generic technical instructions, but we do not recommend the built-in Android VPN client.

Before you start, you will need to know:

  • your Network Access Token username and password
    – create your token on the UIS Network Access Tokens site and keep the window or tab open – perhaps in an adjacent screen on a separate device – in readiness for when you'll need to copy the username and password.
     
  • If you have been advised to use a Managed VPN, rather than the general University VPN service, you will need the VPN server hostname.  Available VPNs and their server hostnames are listed on the Managed VPN page.
     

To set up the VPN service using the strongSwan client:

  1. Install the strongSwan VPN Client application from the Google Play Store using the link.
     
  2. From the home screen go to the Apps Menu:

    home menu
     

  3. Find the new strongSwan application and start it:

    strongSwan app
     

  4. You will be presented with the strongSwan status screen, listing the configured VPN profiles (which will initially be empty). Press the Add VPN Profile button at the top:

    add VPN profile
     

  5. You will be prompted to give details of the profile (connection). Enter the details as follows and then tap SAVE:
    • Server: vpn.uis.cam.ac.uk or, if you are using a Managed VPN, use the VPN server hostname instead
    • VPN type: IKEv2 EAP (Username/Password) (this should be the default option)
    • Username: The username for the Network Access Token you created for this device, in the format CRSid+device@cam.ac.uk – for example, abc123+myphone@cam.ac.uk.
    • Password (optional): The password for the Network Access Token you created for this device.
    • CA certificate: Select automatically (the default)
    • Profile name (optional): Cambridge VPN

    profile
     

  6. You will be returned to the strongSwan status screen and the new profile will be displayed. Tap on the profile (Cambridge VPN) to connect:

    configured
     

  7. You will receive a warning that the strongSwan VPN Client wishes to set up a VPN connection that allows it to monitor network traffic. This warning is normal and just Android advising you that your network connection will be redirected over the VPN. Tap OK to continue with the connection:

    warning
     

  8. You'll see a notification that you need to confirm the next dialogue to add swanSong to your device's power whitelist so that, when you're using a VPN connection, it can keep running in the background. Tap OK...

    warning

    ... and then tap ALLOW to confirm the app can run in the background:

    warning

     

  9. The connection should now be established and this displayed on the status screen. A key symbol will also be displayed in the status bar at the top of the screen to remind you:

    connected
     

To disconnect

To disconnect, run the strongSwan application and select Disconnect in the status area:

 

To reconnect

Whenever you wish to reconnect to the VPN, start the strongSwan application and select the Cambridge VPN profile.

UIS Service Desk

Phone padded  Service status line: (01223 7)67999
Website  Sign up for SMS/email status alerts
Website  Read major IT incident reports

UIS bITe-size bulletin

A regular newsletter aimed at the University's IT community, highlighting service and project news from UIS.

Sign up >

Latest news

Change to Raven login screen from Tuesday 14 February

26 January 2023

New login screen for current University members The login screen for Raven-protected websites and applications will change from Tuesday 14 February for current members of the University. It will become the same screen most of you are already familiar with from logging in to your University Microsoft account to access, for...

Changes to Microsoft Stream video sharing from Tues 07 Feb

26 January 2023

26 January 2023 What’s happening UIS is disabling uploads to Microsoft Stream (Classic), the old version of the video sharing app, on Tuesday 07 February. The new version is called Stream (on SharePoint). Teams meeting recordings are already being automatically saved to Stream (on SharePoint). More information: Stream (on...

Institutional File Storage (IFS) service release new features to Self-Service Gateway

18 January 2023

18 January 2023 Several new features are now live on the Self-Service Gateway run by the Institutional File Storage (IFS) service. IFS is a service for institutions to store and share everyday documents with colleagues. IFS Data Owners and Data Managers can use the Self-Service Gateway  portal to buy and administer storage...