Configuring IPsec IKEv2 Remote Access VPN Clients on iOS

As of version 9, iOS has built-in support for configuring a basic IKEv2 connection without a VPN Profile.

Tip

The ipsec-profile-wizard package on pfSense® Plus software generates a set of files which can automatically import VPN settings into Apple OS X and iOS (VPN > IPsec Export: Apple Profile) as well as Windows clients (VPN > IPsec Export: Windows).

This feature allows much greater flexibility in settings as it will configure clients to match what is set on the server specifically rather than making the server accommodate the default settings on various operating systems.

This package is exclusive to pfSense® Plus software and is not available on the community edition.

If the package is not already installed, add it using the Package Manager.

Warning

The best practice is to use a VPN profile, such as from the Apple Configurator or IPsec Export Package. A profile requires less configuration on the client and can use more secure and faster performing options than the client will attempt by default. Additionally, without using a profile it may not be possible to create a mobile IPsec configuration which can natively support different client types.

Import the CA to the iOS Device

As with other clients, the CA certificate must be installed on the client. Importing the CA Certificate to the client device is a relatively easy process. The first step is to get the CA Certificate to the client device. The easiest way to accomplish this is via e-mail as shown in Figure iOS Mail Client Receiving CA Certificate

../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-01-certmail.png

iOS Mail Client Receiving CA Certificate

To install the certificate from e-mail:

  • Send the CA Certificate only (not the key) to an e-mail address reachable from the client device

  • Open the Mail app on the client device

  • Open the message containing the CA Certificate

  • Tap the attachment to install the CA Certificate and the Install Profile prompt will show as seen in iOS CA Certificate Install Profile Prompt

    ../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-02-certinstall.png

    iOS CA Certificate Install Profile Prompt

    Note

    Newer versions of iOS may copy the CA to an entry under the Settings app for review before it can be installed. The device will instruct the user how to proceed when this happens. Typically this involves opening the Settings app and tapping Profile Downloaded.

  • Tap Install in the upper right, and a warning screen is presented as shown in iOS CA Certificate Install Warning

    ../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-03-certwarning.png

    iOS CA Certificate Install Warning

  • Tap Install in the upper right once more to confirm and then one final prompt is presented as seen in iOS CA Certificate Confirmation Prompt

    ../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-04-certconfirm.png

    iOS CA Certificate Confirmation Prompt

  • Tap Install at the confirmation prompt and the CA Certificate is now stored as a trusted entry.

Setup the VPN Connection

Once the CA Certificate has been installed, a VPN entry must be configured:

  • Open Settings

  • Tap VPN

  • Tap Add VPN Configuration

  • Set Type to IKEv2 (default)

  • Fill in the settings as follows:

    Description

    A name for the VPN connection, ExampleCo VPN

    Server

    The hostname of the firewall in DNS

    Note

    This must match a SAN value in the server certificate.

    Remote ID

    The hostname of the firewall again

    Note

    This must match a SAN value in the server certificate.

    Local ID

    Leave blank

    User Authentication

    Username

    Username

    The username for this user.

    Note

    With EAP-MSCHAPv2 the Username is the Identifier configured for the user entry on the Pre-Shared Keys tab under VPN > IPsec. With EAP-RADIUS this would be the username set on the RADIUS server.

    Password

    The password for this user.

  • Tap Done to complete the VPN entry. When complete, it looks similar to iOS IKEv2 Client Settings

    ../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-05-vpnsettings.png

    iOS IKEv2 Client Settings

Connecting and Disconnecting

The VPN may be connected or disconnected by visiting the VPN entries under Settings. This varies a bit but typically shows in at least two places:

  • Settings > VPN

  • Settings > General > VPN

The entry directly under Settings appears near the top of the list with the other Network entries (Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth) once there is at least one VPN connection present.

Once in the VPN list, the VPN entry must be selected (shows a checkmark next to its entry) and then the slider may be moved to the “On” position to connect.

../_images/ipsec-mobile-ikev2-ios-06-vpnlist.png

iOS VPN List