SSL VPN on Windows on ARM?

Sooooo... today I installed -- successfully it said -- the Watchguard SSL VPN connector via my gateway on my Surface Pro X (which, you may recall, uses an ARM-based processor).

However, no matter how many times I tried, I was unsuccessful at connecting to my VPN. Using the same network, and the same username/password, my (AMD64-based system sitting right next to it connects perfectly. Like it always does.

Is Windows On Arm supposed to be supported? Is there something I need to do to enable this?

If this doesn't currently work, that seems to be me to be a pretty big problem. The Surface Pro X and other Windows On Arm based laptops are being positioned a premier machines for "executive" type knowledge workers (that's code for folks who read a lot of email and edit lot of documents).

Help?

Peter

Comments

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson WatchGuard Representative

    Hi, @PeterGV

    The ARM based processors won't work with the WatchGuard SSLVPN. You can use the L2TP VPN which is supported by Windows 10's built in VPN client. This is more of a limitation of the WindowsRT platform rather than a limitation of the SSLVPN software.

    (Configure and Use L2TP on Windows 10)
    https://www.watchguard.com/help/docs/help-center/en-US/Content/en-US/Fireware/mvpn/l2tp/l2tp_vpn_client_win10_c.html

    Thank you,

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • Thanks for that reply.

    First, Windows On ARM is most emphatically not WindowsRT (which was a Windows 8 operating system for the long discontinued Surface RT).

    Second, as a professional driver developer with some experience, I don’t understand why you would say that support for SSL VPN is “a limitation of” the Windows platform.

    Isn’t it just a matter of not having a driver that’s built for ARM? What is it, technically, that prevents you guys from supporting SSLVON on Windows On ARM?

    Sorry to post such a negative reply, but it frustrates me when I get a reply from an official representative that doesn’t add-up in my experience.

    Peter

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson WatchGuard Representative

    Hi @PeterGV

    I'm referring to WindowsRT as the ARM platform, which the surface you mentioned was part of.

    As far as I'm aware, no VPN apps work with the ARM based variants (I may be incorrect here) -- however, WatchGuard's SSLVPN is based on OpenVPN. This should work with most OpenVPN based clients, if you choose to use that. Doing a cursory search of the windows 10 store for ARM products, I don't see any VPNs that meet that criteria in the WIndows store at this time.

    As I mentioned, there is a supported solution, which is to use the L2TP VPN, which will work on that type of processor.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • Thank you again for your quick reply.

    OK. All your devs need to do is rebuild the driver to target ARM64, just like they build it to target 32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64. And alter the installer to install the right version. It’s not like it’s a lot of work. It will take one dev an afternoon. Including testing.

    I absolutely love my WatchGuard Firebox. Not even having a plan to support Windows On ARM seems like a bad idea, when doing so is so simple. But, what do I know, right?

    Thank you again for the quick reply. I do appreciate your assistance, even if I’m disappointed with the ultimate resolution.

  • And it seems there IS a version of the OpenVPN TAP driver built for Windows On Arm: https://github.com/OpenVPN/tap-windows6/issues/75!

    So... there is hope.

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson WatchGuard Representative

    Hi @PeterGV
    If you'd like to create a support case, we can certainly get a feature request set up to support this and attach it to this case, which will keep you notified of progress on that.

    If you'd like to use the OpenVPN variant, you can get the OVPN file from the firebox's SSLVPN login page (https://IP of firewall:port SSLVPN runs on if it's not 443) -- so like https://1.2.3.4/sslvpn_logon.shtml:444

    Thank you,

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • Just to close the loop, I've finally had the time (and requirement) to try this: Using the TAP driver from OpenVPN works like a charm.

    I installed the Watchguard SSL VPN package. THEN I installed the OpenVPN package from here. Fired-up the Watchguard SSL VPN GUI...and presto! everything works.

    It really would be very easy for the Watchguard team to support Windows on Arm. And I hope they do, soon. However, in the meantime... I've got a work around.

    Thanks,

    Peter

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