VPN Hell

Working remotely has allowed me to continue doing what I do best while recovering from back surgery. In these past few months of working a part-time job while living in Ohio, I have experienced VPN Hell, where the VPN randomly cuts out, or even worse, disables my computers internet connection completely.

Looking at you Juniper Networks. I stay up at night in fear that my computer might have gone to sleep while the VPN connection was still active, thus preventing my computer from accessing the internet (with or without VPN) when it wakes up. I have become all too familiar with the restart shortcut.

But working at home has its drawbacks, especially when I’m on the move and trying to get VPN on my Droid Maxx. I tried downloading the Juniper Pulse app, but I have encounter all kinds of errors. Pre KitKat: the app would “pretend” to connect to my VPN. The status would say “Connected”, and even give me a time indicator. But whenever I tried to access the internet on my phone, I would get a connection error, and Juniper Pulse would change to “Disconnected”. Stop getting my hopes up you stupid app!

I thought perhaps my now KitKat Droid Maxx might fare better. I entered my username and password correctly, and then proceeded to the 2-Step Authentication (which only occurs if the user/pass are correct, remember that! Its important). Once I successfully entered my 2-Factor Auth, the application said, “Invalid primary username or password”. Huh.. I know the username and password I gave you was right, since I got as far as the 2-Factor Auth!

But my friends, fear not, for I have found a way to get around this annoying problem. I’m not sure what is wrong with their app and authentication (for a VPN company, that does not give me much hope), but you can still use it. In order to get it to work, I accessed the VPN server url in my Android’s Chrome Browser. Using Chrome, I entered my username and password into the authentication box, and proceeded through the login process, completing the 2-Factor Auth successfully. Once that was done. I was take to a page that offered to launch Juniper Pulse from Chrome. I clicked on the Juniper Pulse option, and was asked which app should handle the request (Juniper Pulse duh!). The Juniper Pulse app opened at which point I had to select “I trust this application” to make VPN connections. Do I? I guess I have no choice, but hey, at least I have a VPN connection on my KitKat Droid Maxx, maybe now I can get some work done.

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