A VPN Server is a specialized server that provides VPN functions to a client device. A VPN Server can be configured on a Linksys Router to provide VPN services for both wired and wireless clients. The primary function of a VPN server is to provide encrypted tunneling between two or more devices (e.g., a computer and a mobile phone) so that they can exchange data in a secure manner. The data transmitted across the encrypted connection remains secure as it traverses several networks (e.g., the Internet, a corporate network, etc.). By default, a Linksys Router is set up to act as a VPN server; however, this can be modified to create a dedicated firewall, DSL or cable modem router, or a combination of the two. This blog post will give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up a VPN server on aLinksys Router so that you can begin providing VPN services to your clients.
Find a VPN Service To Use
The first step in creating a VPN server is to find a VPN service that you can use. There are many reputable VPN services out there, but it’s important to do your research before making a decision. Some services are better suited for certain types of usage scenarios (e.g., mobile hotspots), while others are better suited for desktop/laptop use or corporate environments. To find the best VPN service for your needs, try using a search engine (e.g., Google or Bing) to search for reviews of the service. You can also check out online forums for VPN users to get unbiased reviews of the services.
When selecting a VPN service, make sure that they support the devices that you will be utilizing (e.g., Windows, Mac OS, and Linux). If you’re using a wired device to connect to the Internet, ensure that the VPN service offers either a wired or wireless encryption option. If you’re using wireless devices, make sure that the VPN service offers up to date OpenVPN Server software (e.g., the latest version of OpenVPN 2.4 or 3.0).
Obtain A Supported VPN Client
Once you have found a suitable VPN service, it’s time to move on to the next step and obtain a supported VPN client for your device(s). The best VPN client for your needs will depend on the type of usage scenario you will be having. For example, if you’re a home user who mostly uses your laptop to connect to the Internet, you may want to consider purchasing a VPN client for your Windows or Mac laptop. If you’re a mobile user who mostly connects to WiFi hotspots, you may want to purchase a VPN client for your mobile phone (e.g., Android, iOS, or WinPhone).
It is important to note that in order to use a VPN client, you will first need to configure it to connect to the VPN server that you have set up on your network. This process is often called “tunneling” and it’s done through the use of either VPN client software or through the command line if you’re using a hardware-based VPN client. Typically, VPN clients offer a graphical user interface (GUI) for simplified setup and management of the connection.
Create A VPN Sub-Interface
Once you have your VPN client and have successfully connected to the VPN server, it’s time to create a VPN sub-interface. A VPN sub-interface is used to define the particular VPN connection that will be utilized when a network device (e.g., a computer or a mobile phone) attempts to connect to the VPN server. In order to do this, open up a web browser and navigate to the VPN interface that you have just set up on your network (e.g., 192.168.1.1 or 10.8.0.1/24 for an OpenVPN server).
Once you’re at the VPN interface, select the “Add” button to create a new VPN sub-interface. This will bring up the VPN sub-interface configuration screen where you can define the gateway (i.e., the IP address at which the VPN client will connect) and the DNS servers (i.e., the DNS servers that will be used when resolving DNS queries).
Configure The Gateway
The next step is to configure the VPN gateway (i.e., the IP address at which the VPN client will connect to the Internet). To do this, open up a web browser and navigate to the VPN interface that you have just set up on your network (e.g., 192.168.1.1 or 10.8.0.1/24 for an OpenVPN server).
Once you’re at the VPN interface, select the “Gateway” option and then enter the IP address of your gateway (e.g., 192.168.1.1 or 10.8.0.1 for an OpenVPN server).
One of the most important things to consider when configuring your VPN gateway is the DNS configuration. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose either forward or reverse DNS. If you’re not sure what these terms mean, read on.
Choose The Right DNS Servers
The DNS servers define how DNS queries (e.g., queries for web sites) will be handled by the DNS server. For instance, if you are utilizing the OpenVPN server to access the Internet, you may want to choose an IP address that is associated with a DNS server that is known to have fast speed and good stability. There are a few recommended DNS servers that can be used for this purpose, including OpenDNS or Google DNS.
It is important to note that the DNS servers that you choose will determine the speed at which your VPN client can access the Internet when connected to the VPN server. If you are having problems with speed, consider choosing alternative DNS servers.
Create A Domain For Your VPN
A domain is a subdivision of the Internet which is used to organize and identify websites. In cases where a single IP address is used for multiple websites, the websites often share the same domain. The process of creating a domain for your VPN is fairly straightforward. For example, if you are utilizing the OpenVPN server to connect to the Internet, simply enter the domain name (e.g., yourVPN.com) and click the “Create” button.
Depending on your needs, you may want to create sub-domains for different purposes. For example, you may want to create a sub-domain for customer support (e.g., support.yourVPNcom) and another sub-domain for billing (e.g., billing.yourVPN.com).
Secure Your Network Against Attacks
The final step in configuring your VPN server is to create and configure a firewall rule to secure your network against attacks. To do this, open up a web browser and navigate to the VPN interface that you have just set up on your network (e.g., 192.168.1.1 or 10.8.0.1/24 for an OpenVPN server).
Once you’re at the VPN interface, select the “Firewall” option (in case you’re using a hardware firewall) and then click the “+” sign to add a new firewall rule. From here, you can configure the rule’s name and description, as well as choose the protocols (e.g., TCP, UDP, or ICMP) and destinations (i.e., the IP address ranges) for which the firewall will block incoming connections.
Once you’ve added the rule, click the “Apply” button to save it. Depending on your needs, you may wish to make additional firewall rules to further restrict access to certain network resources (e.g., intranet sites) or to allow only specific ports to be used by applications (e.g., telnet, FTP, and SSH for port 22).
If you’d like to learn more, check out these informative blog posts from the team at Nava: