Convenient VPN App

  • @PhoenixLandPirat
    This looks like a dirty hack IMHO.

    It means an app installed from the store might be able to overwrite the system to replace the current VPN settings.
    This looks a lot like a security issue: an invisible app modifying the rootf.

    I agree with @CiberSheep it's better to improve the system settings.

  • I have doubts, that the system settings could fulfill the requirements for VPN.

    • Dynamic server list
    • Country selection
    • Kill switch
    • App specific VPN settings

    VPN apps needn't be a hack. It’s a standard for Android, iOS, iPadOS or macOS. So UT could learn from this operation systems.

    For sure a VPN app usually asks to related permissions. Afterwards the VPN would occur in the network settings.

    Anyway, the improved system VPN settings could be a short term solution like in Sailfish OS. Is someone interested to work on it? Or does someone know anyone else?

    Does someone know, wether it’s technically possible to develop a VPN app for UT and publish it n the store? We would like to promote it with our partner.

  • @AppLee the “app” shouldn't have that kinda power, ideally the app would just point the system settings direction.

    idk how it would look in code but something like

    name: PIA
    acount type: vpn
    VPN list:
    authenticaion type: username + password

    then system settings/VPN thing should search for the lists and apply all the needed settings, obviously it should point at more things the more complex it is, and have true false statements.

    but the settings should be asking what specific questions to apply the VPN, and applying them through the VPN itself, rather than the VPN “app” messing about in your files.

    the reason I suggest it be an “app” rather than added to system settings by default, is because no one wants to scroll through a list of 20+ VPN solutions to add there nextcloud instance for the calendar sync.

    its also more use friendly than looking through the websites to try and find the right scripts or to try and find out how to set them up correctly.

  • @marc_aurel theres a VPN editor app in the store, so it should be possible to make an application that sets up something in in thebVPN section of system settings.

    I don't know how that works, but Id assume you could make a convenient app with that, if you can make add all them extra features you wish to using that system, I don't know.

  • @PhoenixLandPirat That app is ok but still a bit of a faff. You need to download the configuration file use a text editor to create two files upload those and so on.
    What would be ideal would be a vpn set up from file similar to desktop. Just download file, import and add passwords. Sounds sooo easy when you type it out 🙂

  • Agree with the need for an indicator too
    When the connection drops, there is an on screen notification, but it doesn't persist in the notification tray so it's easy to miss

    Being unaware your vpn connection has dropped could be potentially dangerous to some users

    Also, auto reconnect would be a good feature to have (e.g. when moving between access points)

  • @theare27 the VPN indicator menu is the same as networks, it just needs to have the VPN icon show up in the menu when active, this has been shown in design documents, but I don't think its ever worked in code, there are bug reports about that though!

  • @PhoenixLandPirat I'm talking about an indication on the bar at the top of the screen, either next to the wifi icon or incorporated into it somehow

    Android has the key icon. On UT you have to go digging through the dropdowns to see if it's connected or not.

    Yeah I have commented on some of the open bugs, just saw this thread & thought worth raising here too

  • If you want to make VPN connection easier, then the first thing to do would be to get .ovpn file import support working in System Settings VPN config, so that one can simply import the necessary settings.

    Concentrating on partnership marketing will not bring a better user experience to VPN setup.

  • Sailfish OS offers the approach with a VPN script. The disadvantage is, that it doesn't cover the requirement to change the server or - as mentioned in the discussion - a kill switch. A kill switch might be implemented by the system itself.

    One more thing. We should be aware, that many consumers doesn't know anything about openVPN scripts or similar technology, but they are able to install the app of the VPN provider, they have chosen from an app store.

    Companies would need an MDM solution for UT. But this is another topic.

  • getting ovpn files to import would be massive, that is by far the most painful bit atm lol i could live without an app, if i could quickly import the 200 odd connections i use easily

  • @dobey exactly

  • There is something I think I am not understanding here.

    I understand that Volla has partnered with to offer VPN services.
    I have looked on their site and they offer a download after payment. If it is an app or simply an .ovpn file I do not know.

    But if it is an app, I assume they could make one for UTouch too, no?

    If it is an .ovpn file, I have seen on their site they have step by step instructions and video tutorials to get their service configured on different platforms. In that case it would be a huge step in the right direction to, as @dobey and others have mentioned, implement .ovpn file support in the VPN settings plugin.

    Or am I missing something obvious?

  • @arubislander Yes offers a script for OpenVPN. This works fine for experienced users. However this script doesn't cover the following requirements:

    1. Considering changing servers
    2. Optimizing bandwidth by choosing the currently fastest server for a location
    3. Switching countries
    4. Supporting kill switch
    5. Supporting newer protocol WireGuard
    6. Convenient installation for consumers

    UT has the potential to become an alternative to Apple and Google for consumers. Therefore I'm looking for a convenient and best solution.

    If someone is interested to work on a convenient solution, let me know. We can offer a Volla Phone as a Thank you.

  • @marc_aurel said in Convenient VPN App:

    Supporting kill switch

    You keep saying kill switch but it's not at all clear what you mean by that. The indicator has a toggle to turn VPN on and off already.

    @marc_aurel said in Convenient VPN App:

    Supporting newer protocol WireGuard

    This is not currently supported in UT at all, so perhaps you could start with getting the basic support of that into a PR, as well.

    @marc_aurel said in Convenient VPN App:

    Convenient installation for consumers

    If provides an OVPN file, how would simply loading this into the System Settings page, not be convenient? Marketing != convenience.

  • @dobey
    Kill switch, in my knowledge of VPN, is the ability for a VPN solution to prevent apps from using "normal" network when encrypted link fails between device and VPN server.

    This, is in order to prevent user from sending datas over non secured network if anything goes wrong in VPN connection, it's a privacy safeguard.

    It's an automated task.

    In VPN settings, that would be an option like "turn off data if VPN connection fails".

    When kill switch is active, only VPN software is allowed to send data to its server in order to try reconnect VPN.

    Some kill switch solutions offer a whitelist for allowing user chosen apps to connect outside VPN protocole when kill switch is active.

  • @Keneda OK. This already exists in NetworkManager sort of, but there is no UI for it on UT I guess. That is apparently another specific thing that Volla could work on and help improve VPN for everyone.

  • @Keneda Exactly. We may develop that our selves. But community developers are invited to help us. We would spend a developer device.

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