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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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Configuring the router

You are going to need to make some changes to the settings for the router that is running on the home network and that is attached to your OpenVPN server. The particular router I used for testing is a Linksys WRT54G version 1.1 running Sveasoft’s Alchemy firmware. You will need a router that is capable of updating itself to DynDNS.org or some other service if you have a dynamic IP address.

You'll also need to make sure that the port you configured OpenVPN to listen on is forwarded on the router to the IP address of your server. On the WRT54G, port-forwarding is configured in the "Applications & Gaming" section. Enter 1194 for the port, UDP for the protocol, and for the IP address. Make sure the entry is enabled and then save the setting.

Next, you need to add an entry to the router’s Routing Table. This will enable the router to properly route requests from the clients to the TAP interface of the server.

On the WRT54G, you would go to the "Setup page and then the "Advanced Routing" section.

Enter the following info to make the entry:

Enter Route Name: openVPN
Destination LAN IP:
Subnet Mask:
Default Gateway:
Interface: LAN & Wireless

Once the info has been typed in make sure you save the setting.

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