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PPTP VPN on Android!

One of my ongoing complaints with Android has been that from very early on, it has included PPTP in the OS, but it never worked.  Every time I got a new version of the OS, I would again try to connect to my DD-WRT router, and every time it would fail.  I would search the internet for an answer, and from all of search results it appeared that PPTP VPN was just broken in Android.  Worse yet, it looked like it was something that was never going to be fixed.

Yesterday I got a shiny new Nexus 7.  Yes, it is an awesome little tablet.  I wish it had removable memory and a back facing camera, but those are small complaints given the price point, and not the point of this post anyway.  What is the point is that with the new Nexus 7, I got the shiny new version of Android.  Jelly Bean ( version 4.1.1 ).  So, as usual, I tried to use PPTP VPN.  As usual, it kept failing to connect.  I again searched the net and came up with the suggestion that Encryption must be forced in both the Android client, and the DD-WRT router.  Other than that, there were various suggestions concerning dropping the the Linux shell of the router and fiddling with configuration files.  That just wasn't worth bothering with given that all of those threads reported mixed and results.  Failing more often than succeeding.

Just as I was prepared to give up and accept that another generation of Android had broken PPTP VPN, I decided to try giving the tablet a hard coded IP address instead of relying on DNS to resolve my URL.  Surprise! Surprise!  As soon as I did that, the tablet could connect.  It stayed connect.  It did everything just like it should!  PPTP VPN works using a Nexus 7 tablet connecting to a DD-WRT router!

There was an even bigger surprise for me though.  Seeing that the solution was so simple, I figured that I ought to try it on my phone.  To my amazement, PPTP VPN works on my HTC G2 running Gingerbread ( v2.3.4 ) as well!

As it turns out, there is good news and there is bad news.  The good news is that if you have a static IP, to get PPTP VPN working, all you have to do is use the IP address in your VPN connection and make sure that encryption is forced in both the client and router.  The bad news is that if you have a dynamic IP address, you have to look up and enter your routers current public IP address every time you want to with VPN.
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Update:  I have now tested the Nexus 7, HTC G2 and a Nexus One.  All of them work with an IP for the destination and fail with a url.
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