It appears that Google is yet to fix a bug that prevents users of Android devices from connecting to their VPN services using the L2TP/IPSec protocol.
A spot check indicates that a good number of individuals who use Android devices are still experiencing the problem that was first reported back in 2015. Although the company has released several new versions of its operating system (Android Nougat 7 is the current version), it seems that users are still unable to access the L2TP/IPSec protocol when attempting to connect to the internet via a VPN service.
Back in December 2015, a user pointed out on Google Code, a platform for Android users that he was unable to connect to L2TP/IPSec after upgrading to a then newer version of Android.
‘Unable to connect to L2TP/IPSec following the upgrade to 6.0.1,’ the post read in part.
From the comments that followed the initial post, it was clear that many other users were experiencing difficulties when they tried to connect to their VPN services using L2TP/IPSec. Interestingly, it was reported that the users had not been experiencing any problems when they were using an older version of the Android operating system.
And to prove that the bug could squarely be blamed on the newer version of the Android operating system, one user detailed how he had laboriously tested other devices and protocols to see if the problem was affecting other protocols of operating systems.
‘No issues with certain other VPN technologies like Cisco as well as other devices that I am testing,’ the post read in part.
What is raising concern among users of Android devices is that Google had not fixed the bug yet the company indicated that it had prioritised the issue when it was first reported in December 2015. Interestingly, Google has been recommending that Android users stick to PPTP, an old protocol that many people consider insecure and no longer useful in the current times.
On the contrary, Apple took the radical step of removing PPTP from its list of protocols that users of its devices can access when connecting to the internet via their VPN services. This has created a stark difference between iOS10 and Android Nougat in that whereas users of iOS10 can easily use L2TP/IPSec to connect to their VPN services; those using Android Nougat are still experiencing problems.
For now, many Android clients are looking for alternative methods to bypass the bug and use L2TP/IPSec to connect to their VPN services. In extreme cases, it has been reported that some clients are abandoning Android devices altogether in favour of iOS10 devices.