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How to Configure OpenVPN

Article Description

OpenVPN may seem a little daunting at first, but once you get your feet wet this can be an incredibly useful (and free!) tool. In this article, Michael Riley shows you how to use OpenVPN for secure internet surfing on your client PCs. He’ll also help you set up the configuration that will allow you access to your home network while you’re traveling. From installation to troubleshooting, and using helpful OS-specific tips, this tutorial demystifies OpenVPN for the beginning user.

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Creating the config Files

Now it’s time to create configuration files for the server and your clients. There should be sample config files in the config directory, but I recommend using the following ones if you have a network similar to the one defined in this tutorial.

Create a config file for each client. The config file can be exactly the same for each client except for the two lines that contain the file path of the .key and .crt files:

Server config file: 
server.ovpn (right-click, save, and open in txt editor)

You will only need to change the IP addresses of the DNS servers in the server.ovpn file, as long as everything else on your network is the same as described in the following:

Clients config file:

client1.ovpn (right-click, save, and open in txt editor)
client2.ovpn
client3.ovpn
client4.ovpn

You'll need to edit the client config files in order to enter the address of your DynDNS.org account (or other similar service), unless you have a static IP address from your ISP.

These configuration files are going to be placed in the config directory (C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config) of each corresponding computer. Each PC is only going to need one config file.

The example config files I’ve provided will route all traffic from the client computers through the server’s internet connection. This will enable secure web browsing from anywhere, as well as access to any network resource on the home network. Examine the sample config files that come installed with the OpenVPN software to see other options and more detailed comments.

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