Remote Android App w/ SSH on G1 Phone by Mike Whatley

As an employee of a small business, it’s very useful to be able to remotely log on to the company network and remote desktop (XP machines) securely through a VPN tunnel.   

That’s fine for remote desktops and laptops but, unfortunately, there are no VPN clients available for the Android platform to date.  (Cisco’s tech support informed me last week that they have no plans to develop a VPN client for Android and I’ve heard nothing for Juniper firewall users either.) 

The admin for our lone Linux server suggested I try SSH through the Linux server and I’ve found it works out quite well for getting on the network securely and then on to my desktop using Walter’s “Remote” app.  I thought I’d share the setup for anyone interested. 

Keep in mind this walk through is for an existing SSH setup preconfigured through a firewall.  If you need help setting up an SSH server or routing a firewall, you’ll need to contact your system admin.  

1. For the SSH connection, I use ConnectBot.  Setup is as follows: 

      Initial setup involves simply typing in the username followed by @ and hostname.

      Example:  user@ or user@yourdomain.com 

    The default port is 22.  If you need to use a different port add a colon and the port number to the line above. 

    The IP address is, of course, the IP outside your firewall. 

    Press and hold the new entry in ConnectBot and you’ll see “edit host”.  Select this if you want to change any of the info above. 

2. Set Up Port Forwards In ConnectBot 

    Press and hold the new entry in ConnectBot and select “Edit Port Forward”.  This is what will route your SSH session to your desktop. 

    Enter a name for the forward (can be whatever you want), then for the type select “local”, for the source port select “3389” and for destination enter the internal IP of your machine. 

    Once connected, enter your network SSH login credentials and hit the “home” key on your G1. 

3. Set up Remote App 

    Now open “Remote” and set up your desktop info.   For Host enter, port 3389, and your desktop computer’s user name. 

    I leave the password blank and enter it upon connection.  Each time you want to get on your desktop, you’ll need to connect via SSH first, then open Remote to get to your desktop through the secure connection. 

    That’s it.  You may tinker around with some of the settings to suit your needs but the above steps got me on our company private network and then onto my desktop. 

    Hope this is helpful. 

    Mike Whatley