Revision of SonicWALL VPN from November 30, 2010 - 11:43pm

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SonicWALL is a manufacturer of firewalls, VPN concentrators, SSLVPN devices, and the like. The following was created on my NSA 3500 running SonicOS Enhanced

The built-in SonicWALL GroupVPN policy may be set up to allow connections from iOS devices. Unlike Cisco VPN and Juniper VPN devices, however, these cannot be configured to use certificate authentication, and cannot be configured for on-demand VPN access. However, for customers with existing SonicWALL infrastructure, this can be useful information.

To configure, we need to do the following steps:

  1. Set up the L2TP server
  2. Create a group with VPN access
  3. Assign users to this group
  4. Modify the built-in GroupVPN policy for iOS


Under VPN > L2TP Server, enable the L2TP Server.

Then configure it with your DNS settings, and a new subnet for the address pool. Note that the SonicWALL will take care of routing this subnet to the VPN users. You should make sure this range does NOT overlap with any subnet currently in use on your network.


In Users > Local Groups, create a new group for the VPN users.

The "VPN Access" tab is where you define local networks that GroupVPN clients may reach. By default these are blank. You must assign something here for VPN clients to reach something. "Firewalled Subnets" is a good choice, but you can be more specific if you like.


In Users > Local Users, create one or more Local Users that will connect. If your SonicWALL is connected to a directory system you may duplicate usernames here in order to assign group memberships. Note that your authentication server must support CHAP authentication, and some don't.

Assign these users to the group you created above.


In the VPN menu, choose "Settings". Enable and edit the "WAN GroupVPN" policy.

Create a relatively secure Shared Secret for your users. As the name implies, all devices will use the same secret as a preliminary password.

In the "Proposals" tab, configure the VPN with the following settings. This is required by the relatively non-configurable iOS VPN client.

In the "Advanced" tab, tick "Require authentication of VPN clients by XAUTH."

Finally, in the "Client" tab, set up your settings as follows:

iOS Configuration

Create a VPN configuration like the following:

Share your ideas

mattz's picture

This is super helpful -

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This is super helpful - thanks aaron!

Scott.Morabito's picture


Joined: Nov 19, 2010


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Some older devices may need the 11/10/2010 update

Products Affected
-SonicWALL TZ 180
-SonicWALL TZ 180 Wireless
-SonicWALL TZ 190
-SonicWALL TZ 190 Wireless
-SonicWALL PRO 2040
-SonicWALL PRO 3060
-SonicWALL PRO 4060
-SonicWALL PRO 4100
-SonicWALL PRO 5060

Apple Mac iOS4 devices fail to create phase 2 Security Association (SA) and the VPN tunnel negotiation is unsuccessful.

The following SonicOS log event message may also display:
Warning – VPN IKE – IKE Responder: ESP encryption algorithm does not match
Occurs when the default WAN group policy is modified for phase 2 proposal from ESP/SHA1/3DES to ESP/SHA1/AES 256. This is a specific Apple interoperability issue.

Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010

Thanks, Scott. Perhaps you

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Thanks, Scott. Perhaps you can add this to the wiki article in the appropriate place?

Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO



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