How to Route All Traffic Through a VPN

With the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, the need for digital security has never been greater. Employees, partner- and customer-facing teams, and suppliers need to be able to securely access corporate networks and sensitive information from anywhere in the world. This necessity grew alongside the development of the internet, which in some ways made it easier for hackers to infiltrate systems and steal data. Nowadays, protecting data in transit is more important than ever before.

One way of securing sensitive data is by encrypting it before it is transmitted. However, before investing in expensive dedicated hardware appliances to handle all your security needs, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to perform all the encryption and decryption for you. This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up a VPN on your servers so that all your traffic is encrypted and routed through it, effectively securing your network and your data against cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Step one: Install the VPN software

The first step in setting up a VPN is to install the VPN software on one of your servers. There are a number of freely available VPNs for Linux and MacOS platforms. For detailed instructions on how to install the OpenVPN software, click here.

You can also use commercial products like VPN Gate, IPVanish, or NordVPN to get started. These products are often cheaper and simpler to use than open-source VPNs, and some of them offer useful features like kill-switches, DNS leak protection, and/or dedicated IPs for enhanced security. The choice is yours.

Step two: Generate server certificates

The next step is to generate server certificates for the VPN. You will need these certificates to be able to connect to the VPN. There are a variety of ways you can do this, but the most secure and the most common method is via the free Let’s Encrypt utility. You can get started with this utility by clicking here.

This step is critical because without it your VPN connection will not be secure. It is advisable to generate server certificates for each of your VPN servers. This ensures that no one else can use your VPN without being verified by Let’s Encrypt. As a best practice, it is also advisable to replace your existing server certificates with new ones whenever they expire.

Step three: Connect to the VPN

After you have your VPN server running and have generated the necessary certificates, you can connect to it and begin testing your setup. To connect to a VPN, you will need to enter the credentials for the VPN server (usually its IP address and a username). If you are using a password-protected VPN, you will additionally need to enter the corresponding password.

Once you have connected to the VPN, you can proceed to the next step to further configure it.

Step four: Configure your routing table

The last step in setting up a VPN is to configure your routing table. This is a procedure that involves editing a file that maps IP addresses to their respective destinations. The most common approach is to use the VPN server’s IP address as the gateway (default gateway or Gnome Advanced Settings route table) and to add a new entry for every VPN server you have connected to. Entry entries are generally made using the CIDR notation for IPv4 and IPv6 networks (e.g.,, ff02::1/128, etc.). To simplify things, you can use Google’s Route Ref tool to find the IP address of your default gateway and then use that as a starting point for your route table configuration (e.g., Google’s IP address is, so your route table would begin with and then continue to the next route in the list).

After you have configured your routing table, you can test your VPN by using a tool like PuTTY to connect to the server and then issue the following command:

telnet 80

This will connect you to Google’s servers and then display the welcome screen. If you are able to display this screen, then your VPN connection is working and all your routing is configured properly. You can now browse the web securely using any of the services supported by Google.

If you are unable to display the welcome screen, then there are a number of issues that could be causing the problem. First, check to make sure that your firewall has not blocked any traffic relating to the VPN (e.g., UDP port 1194 for OpenVPN, port 443 for TLS/SSL for PPVPN, etc.). You can also use a tool like WireShark or Wireshark to capture all traffic relating to the VPN and examine it for errors or unexpected packets. If you still do not have a working connection after you have done all this, then please contact [] for assistance.

In summary, setting up a VPN is a straightforward process, and it offers some great benefits for organizations and individuals who need secure connections to remote locations whether that be for business or pleasure. Before you begin, however, you should understand what you are getting into and consider all the possible implications. Make sure you have all the necessary credentials and then proceed with caution.

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