If you use public Wi-Fi often while traveling, you probably know how dangerous that can be. Your personal information could be vulnerable to hackers, and even if you use strong passwords, people can still easily access your account details if they know what you are doing or where you are going.
The solution is a virtual private network (VPN) which creates a secure connection between your device and a remote server, keeping all your personal data encrypted and private. Setting up a VPN on your device is easy peasy, but integrating it into your existing network can be a challenge, which is why we’ve partnered with NordVPN to help you with that. In this article, we will tell you exactly how to set up a VPN on a Synology Router so you can use the Internet confident in its safety and security.
Step one: Install and Configure NordVPN on the Router
NordVPN is a popular choice for VPNs because, as the name suggests, it is designed to be user-friendly. This VPN connects you to a dedicated IP address within four hours of requesting one. Moreover, you can connect to any of its more than 400 servers located in 90 countries globally. What’s not to love?
NordVPN is also compatible with a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. So, if you have one of these devices, you can use the NordVPN app to connect to a server location that is closest to you. You can use the search bar to find the nearest open VPN server or click on the button to browse a list of available servers.
Installing and configuring NordVPN on your Synology Router is dead simple. You just need to enter your email address and create a password to log in. After that, you will be presented with the login screen shown above. Simply enter your username and password, and you will be connected to a server location that is closest to you.
Step two: Install and Configure PPTP on the Router
Another great feature of NordVPN is that it is very much open source-based, which enables developers to add new functionalities and make tweaks to it whenever they want. One of these developers is Richard van Noort, the creator of Pi-hole, a DNS server that blocks ads, malware, and trackers from invading your device. For those who know what Pi-hole is, you will know how essential a tool it is for any tech-savvy individual. Richard van Noort has also added VPN support to his Pi-hole DNS server, enabling users to connect to a remote server whenever they visit a website that is vulnerable to Man-in-the-Middle attacks. (If you don’t know what these are, don’t worry, we’ll explain them further below.)
Pi-hole is only available for Linux and macOS, which is why we have to install and configure PPTP on our Synology Router so that it functions on all our devices. Even though PPTP is a legacy option from the days when VPNs were created, they still work just fine. (You could also choose L2TP, which is our favorite because it is very much forward-looking and incorporates all the new functionalities offered by VPNs today.)
To install and configure PPTP on your Synology Router, you will need to enter your email address and create a password to log in. After that, you will be presented with the login screen shown above. Simply enter your username and password, and you will be connected to a server location that is closest to you.
When you visit a website that is vulnerable to a Man-in-the-Middle attack, you will see a notice that the website is not secure because, in this case, the owner of the site has chosen to establish a secure connection using a technology called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). What happens next depends on the browser you are using. In Firefox, you will see a padlock symbol next to the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) bar at the top of the browser window. In other browsers, you will see a similar but different indicator.
If you click on the padlock to take you to the website’s SSL certificate, you will see a screen similar to the one below. In this case, the website in question is letsencrypt.org, a free certificate authority that was set up by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) to replace Verisign and StartCom. What you are looking at here is a Public Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS) 10 certification signed by Let’s Encrypt. Simply add letsencrypt.org to your list of trusted issuers in your Web browser.
Now that you have your NordVPN and PPTP servers setup and the basics of VPN use down, it’s time to move onto the more advanced topics. If you want to learn how to properly use VPNs, you can start by reading our beginner’s guide to VPNs.
Step three: Configure DNS on the Router
DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it is the address directory of the Internet. It enables us to connect a domain name to a specific IP address. For example, if you want to go to Google.com, you would type https://google.com into your browser’s address bar. Once you are on the Google site, all the resources (webpages, images, etc.) that you see will be loaded from Google’s servers, not from your device’s IP address.
Since we’ve configured our DNS servers, we can now connect to any website or service that we want, without worrying about IP addresses or location-based restrictions. This is especially useful if we want to access content that is only available in specific countries or regions. For example, if we want to watch a Netflix show that is only available in the UK, we can type https://netflix.com directly into our browser’s address bar and be immediately connected to the UK Netflix server, and all the content will be delivered to us as if we were physically present in the UK.
Step four: Test your configuration
Once you have completed the setup process and logged into your NordVPN account, you can test your network connection by browsing to http://www.speedtest.net. This should return a stable and fast connection without any issues.
Now that you have a working VPN connection, it’s time to start protecting your privacy. One great thing about NordVPN is that it offers apps for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, enabling you to easily connect from anywhere at any time.
If you want to be extra-secure when using public Wi-Fi, you can enable a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) setup on your account. This type of authentication requires that you enter a code that is sent to your phone when you log in. In addition, you can enable an optional feature that requires that you enter a second code whenever you make a transaction (such as paying for something online or ordering food).
As we mentioned above, setting up a VPN on your Synology Router is easy, but integrating it into your existing network can be a challenge. The truth is, most people don’t use VPNs on a daily basis, so it’s not like they are already set up and ready to use. That’s why we’ve partnered with NordVPN to make your life easier. They have thousands of servers located in over 90 countries, enabling them to offer excellent connection speeds that are reliable and secure. In addition, setting up and using a VPN is very straightforward. Just follow our four steps and you will be able to use the Internet privately, securely, and privately, even when you are on the move.