NordVPN is a highly recommended VPN service that provides very good security and privacy when used with IKEv2 certificates. Since this combination is so powerful, it’s important to understand how to set it up correctly. In this article, you’ll learn how to configure NordVPN and IKEv2 to get the most out of them together.
NordVPN and IKEv2 Together
When it comes to security and privacy, many people think about the encryption protocols used by the service they’re considering using. Some also consider the server locations when choosing a VPN provider. While these things are important, it’s better to consider all the features together because they can enhance each other.
NordVPN supports several encryption protocols, including PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. Additionally, you’ll find multiple server locations around the world, so you can always choose a server that’s nearby. This will improve your speeds and ensure your traffic is always encrypted.
IKEv2 is an authentication protocol that’s been around for quite some time. Originally developed by Netscape back in the 90s, IKEv2 is an abbreviation for Internet Key Exchange, which provides two essential functions: key establishment and authentication. In other words, IKEv2 allows two parties to have a conversation about security without having to expose huge amounts of private information. This conversation is then digitally signed to provide integrity to the contents of the conversation.
IKEv2 is considered a “split handshake” protocol, which means two messages are exchanged before reaching the final decision about the validity of the communication. This exchange of information provides more security than a single-step process where a key is freely given to the receiver. For example, in the case of a man-in-the-middle attack, the malicious party cannot easily intercept and read the key exchanges that occur between the legitimate parties.
Setting Up NordVPN For IKEv2
To fully take advantage of the power of NordVPN and IKEv2, you need to set up the service the right way. To do this, you’ll need to navigate to Settings > Chrome > Networking > VPN > Add New VPN Connection. Once you’re there, you can click Next to continue to the next step.
In the next step, you’ll need to enter a name for your new connection (it can be anything you want), and then click Create. A popup window will then appear with a URL where you can find more information about the VPN service you just entered. Click Next to continue to the Type of connection step. Your connection will then be listed along with other available VPNs.
In the next step, you’ll need to choose one of the supported protocols for your connection. Since we’re using NordVPN, we’ll select OpenVPN. In the next step, you’ll need to enter a Connection name, which is typically similar to what you entered in the previous step. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be directed to a new page where you can select a Location for your VPN. You can choose from a list of available locations, or you can enter your own country, state, or city to set up a VPN from that specific location. If you choose that last option, remember to Enterprise–Outlook.com/Hotmail.com at the bottom of the screen.
In the next step, you’ll be asked to enter your Organization’s domain. This is the domain (e.g., ns1.yourdomain.com, ns2.yourdomain.com, etc.) for the organizational unit that will use the VPN connection. For instance, if you set this up for your university, then this will be the domain used for *.yourdomain.edu. Finally, you’ll need to enter a Password to secure your network.
Once you’ve entered all of this information, you’ll need to click Save. Then, you can click Close to return to the previous screen.
Now that your VPN is set up with IKEv2, you can connect to it by clicking VPN Settings from the other tabs in Chrome. Doing this will bring up a screen with four options:
- Auto-connect (to connect to the VPN whenever you launch Chrome)
- Allow Chrome apps to connect (allowing apps you install through the Chrome Store to connect to the VPN)
- Disconnect at startup (disconnecting from the VPN when Chrome starts)
- Never disconnect (ensuring your connection is always secure)
Select Auto-connect or Allow Chrome apps to connect if you want Chrome to automatically connect to the VPN when it’s launched. Otherwise, you can select Never disconnect or Disconnect at startup to ensure your connection is always secure. If you choose to Disconnect at startup, you’ll be required to enter your VPN information every time you launch Chrome. This can be a pain so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
Enable Google Authenticator And Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Google Authenticator is a security app that generates one-time passwords (OTPs) for websites and services that support this feature. Google Authenticator is a great way to provide extra security when using services that require you to type in a username and password. Since Google Authenticator is open source, you can check its code to see how it works. The best part about Google Authenticator is that it’s extremely easy to use; just install the app and generate a 6-digit passphrase. Then, click Settings > Saved Passwords > Add New Login and enter the 6-digit passphrase you just created. Now, whenever you login to websites and services that support two-factor authentication, you’ll be asked to verify your identity with a code that appears on a device (e.g., a phone) you’ve previously set up with Google Authenticator. This is a quick and easy way to provide extra security to your personal and business devices.
To set up two-factor authentication with your Google account, click Settings > Security > Two-factor Authentication > Add new factor. A popup window will then appear with a code that you can use to authenticate your account with a text message whenever you login to a new device or browser.
If you want to fully take advantage of the security provided by NordVPN and IKEv2, then you can enable Two-factor authentication and set up Google Authenticator on the same device. Doing this will provide extra security because if someone gets access to your account, they’ll also have access to your device. This could include laptops, tablets, and smartphones if you’re using them all for business purposes.
How to Set Up IKEv2 On Your Router (Recommended)
Since we already have a VPN set up with IKEv2, let’s continue configuring it on our router. To do this, we’ll use the IP address of the VPN that we just set up (e.g., 192.168.1.1) and visit http://www.ikev2.com in a web browser.
Once you’ve opened up a new web browser window, you can log in with your credentials. If you’ve already configured a user with administrative privileges on your router (e.g., if this is your PC), then you’ll need to log in with that information. Once you’ve done that, click the IKEv2 Settings button on the toolbar to bring up the IKEv2 settings screen. If you’re not already there, click the Help button for more information.