How to Renew Your PFSense Certificate for OpenVPN

The problem with consumer software and devices is that they usually come with a one-year trial. After the trial period you have to pay for the software or device, or go through an annoying re-registration process. For example, if you want to continue using Plex or PFSense you have to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of using their services. This article will tell you how to avoid such issues by creating and using your own private certificates.

What Is A Private Key?

First things first, let’s talk about private keys. A private key is a piece of information that allows a user to digitally sign documents, as well as encrypt data and communications using public key cryptography. To put it simply, if you have a private key, you can use it to unlock the security of your data and communications, as well as create various types of digital signatures. In order to use a private key, you need a compatible private key management application, such as Keepass2.

Creating Your Own Private Key

Now that you understand what a private key is and why you need one, let’s get down to business. First, you need to create a new private key. On Windows, you can do this by going to the Security page of the Control Panel and then clicking “Create a Private Key”. This will launch the Keys page of the Windows Certificate Manager. From here, you can generate RSA keys, and if you want you can use a passphrase to protect your data. The nice thing about this page is that it will generate all the necessary files and configures the key store for you. Once you’re done, you can export the key to a file and then close the Certificate Manager.

Configuring Your OpenVPN Router

Having a private key means that you can generate digital signatures as well as encrypt your data and communications. To do this you need to set up your openVPN router, or client, first. With your router open, go to Settings → Security and select “No Authentication” under Type. Now, click “Connect” and a dialog box should appear where you can enter your Certificate Authority (CA) information. Make sure that the “Auto-save” checkbox is checked and then click “OK”. You can now use your router as a VPN server and access all your home networks and devices through the Internet. No more logins and passwords whenever you want to use a service!

Protecting Your Private Key

Now that you have a private key you can use to encrypt your data and communications it is important to protect it. The first thing you should do is change the password of your private key immediately. As mentioned earlier, a private key is a piece of information that can be used to encrypt and decrypt data and communications. If you forget the password, you will no longer be able to access your data when you need to. Be careful when selecting a password for your private key, because if you use the same password for other accounts, like your email or social media accounts, it could be easily discovered by hackers. Another tip is to use numbers and symbols instead of words when creating your passwords, this will make them more secure.

Renewing Your PFSense Certificate

Once you have changed the password of your private key, you need to renew its expiry so that it stays active. To do this, go to My Account → Order History and click on the “Renew” button next to the PFSense certificate that you just created. This will launch the Certificate Manager, where you can renew your certificate for another year. You can also purchase additional certificates from here as well.

This article discussed how to create and use your own private key to avoid being forced to renew your PFSense certificate every year. If you found this information valuable, please consider sharing it with your contacts to help them avoid similar issues.

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