If you are looking for a VPN solution for your home networked environment, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss how to configure the Linksys VPN router as a secure and private way to access the internet, both at home and at work.
Setting Up The Router
Now that you have arrived at this point in the article, you will want to make sure that you have the correct Linksys VPN router. Before we begin setting up the VPN, let’s take a moment to do the basics. The first step is to connect the router to the internet. To do this, you will need to plug one of the router’s Ethernet ports into one of the router’s Ethernet ports (as pictured below).
After you have the internet connection established, you can move on to the next step. From here, you will want to login to your router’s management webpage and set a decent password for the admin account (this will be the account which you use to login to the router whenever you need to make changes).
PPTP vs L2TP
There are two main types of VPNs that you can use to connect to a network. One is PPTP, which is the original VPN protocol and has been around for a very long time. It is a fairly simple and easy to use protocol, which makes it popular for less tech-savvy users and individuals who are just getting started with VPNs. One of the main advantages of using PPTP is that the security is managed by the server, which you connect to, so you don’t need to worry about securing your own network connection or device.
The other type of VPN is L2TP. L2TP is a more modern and versatile version of VPNs, which was originally developed as a part of the IPsec standard. It was developed to allow for faster VPN connections (often referred to as IP Tunnels), additional security features, and to make use of NAT (Network Address Translation) to allow for more IP addresses to be available on a single network connection. One of the main advantages of using L2TP is that it natively supports authentication via a username and password (plus some security protocols like EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) that allow for even more flexible and customizable user authentication), it is highly compatible with modern operating systems and has a massive base of open-source support available. Overall, L2TP is the preferred VPN protocol for most users and admins because of its compatibility, versatility, and security.
Configuring The Router For Access
Once you have set a password for the admin account on your Linksys VPN router, it is time to move on to the next step. From here, you will want to navigate to the menu found in the upper right-hand corner of the page and select the Access Settings option. This brings up the interface shown below. On this page, you can select which users can access the router and set a security password for these users. If you’d like to restrict access to certain devices or computers, you can use the “Allow/Block” tab to do so. Once you have set these permissions, click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.
PPTP vs L2TP For File Sharing
If you are a music fan and have a large collection of MP3s or other audio files which you want to share with friends and family, you can use a VPN to securely share these files with anyone, anywhere in the world. One of the great features of the Linksys VPN router is that it includes a SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server which helps make this process very easy. You can set up Gmail accounts on multiple devices (like your phone and tablet) and use VPN to encrypt (or secure the contents of) your emails as you send them (note: this feature only works when sending emails from Gmail or other supported email services).
To set up file sharing, you will need to perform the following steps:
- From your router’s management page, select the Sharing option from the menu found in the upper right-hand corner.
- If you haven’t set up file sharing on your device already, you will be brought to the main Sharing screen, as pictured below. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you have already set this up on one of your devices. If you are using more than one device, you can either use the “Add Shared Folder” option to create a shared folder on a storage device (like a hard drive, flash drive, or CD), or you can use the “Sharing Options” section of the management page and follow the on-screen instructions to set up direct link sharing between your devices.
- Now that you have file sharing setup on one of your devices, it is time to enable this feature on the VPN router. From your router’s management page, select the Sharing option again and click the Enable button next to File Sharing. This will give you the option to either allow or disallow file sharing on your network. If you click “Allow” in the drop-down menu, you will see the device (like a computer or mobile phone) that is connected to the VPN router’s network will have full access to shared folders on other devices, as pictured below.
- If you decide that you do not want file sharing setup on your VPN router (and you have not already allowed access to this feature on one of your devices), you can either disable this option completely or use the “Sharing Options” section of the management page and follow the on-screen instructions to set up mail validation (this requires you to verify email addresses via an automated reply message).
- The last step is to verify the email addresses of the people who you want to give access to your router. Simply send them a verification email via the SMTP server which you have set up on your router and they will be able to log in to their email accounts and click the link in the email to verify their email address. Once verified, they will be able to use the SMTP server to send emails to your inbox as usual. However, all these emails will be encrypted as they are transmitted over the internet so that no one, including the receiver, can read them. If you decide to implement this feature, make sure you do not set up any shared folders on your VPN router as this process will overwrite any existing file sharing arrangement.
To set up VPN on one of your devices, you will need to visit the manufacturer’s website for that device and download and install their VPN client. Many devices make using the internet more convenient by connecting to VPN servers which are always available to provide a quick and secure connection to the internet. You can find detailed instructions on how to install and use a VPN on your Mac here, on your Windows PC or Laptop here, and on your mobile phone here. If you have any trouble at all, Google is your friend!
OpenVPN Or Hotspot Shield
The last step before you go live with your VPN is to make sure that you are using one of the reputable and popular VPN services. If you have decided to use the VPN router, you will want to consider one of the following solutions: