NordVPN is a popular choice for VPN services, especially for those who need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest VPN trends. This is probably because NordVPN offers a unique feature for users: the Kill Switch. The Kill Switch allows you to remotely disable your VPN connection, so if your VPN connection is interrupted by accident or malicious activity, you can simply restore it by pressing a button on their website.
However, for some users, the Kill Switch may not be enough. If you’re looking for an extra layer of security beyond the standard VPN features, then you may need to look into installing a VPN server on your own computer.
Why a VPN Server?
A VPN server acts as a gateway between your computer and the rest of the network. This means that all of your network traffic, both incoming and outgoing, is secured by encryption. This makes it much harder for hackers or network authorities to intercept or see your network traffic.
Additionally, installing a VPN server is pretty easy, and you don’t need to have specialized skills to do it. This means that even if you’re not technically inclined, you may be able to set up a VPN server.
This is why many companies use VPN servers instead of directly connecting their employees’ computers to the internet. By using a VPN server, they know that all of their employees will be protected, even if a hacker manages to get inside their network.
How to Setup a NordVPN IKEv2 VPN Server
Once you’ve decided to setup a NordVPN server, the next step is to download and install the software on your computer. You can download the NordVPN software from their website directly, or from a trusted third party like Softpedia, which hosts a large number of popular software titles.
After installation, you will need to connect to the internet via a reliable and fast connection.
The next step is to visit the NordVPN server’s homepage and click on the Get Started button to start the 30-day free trial. During this time, you will be able to use their service without any limits or restrictions.
Once you’re on the trial version, you can click on the Get Pro button to continue to their pricing page. Here you can choose from a range of pricing plans, all of which include a free version of their software.
Since we’re on the pricing page, it’s a good idea to point out the difference between the various plans. The cheapest option is the Classic plan, which costs only $2.99 per month. This plan allows you to create up to five VPN connections, and it includes a 30-day free trial. You can compare this to the next cheapest plan, Pro, which costs $5.45 per month and offers you seven free connections with a 30-day free trial. This is pretty much the standard plan from NordVPN, and it’s a good choice for those who need a stable connection and don’t want to spend a lot of money on VPN services.
Alternatively, you can upgrade to the First plan, which costs $11.45 per month, and this gives you unlimited connections with a 120-day free trial. The only other plan that comes with unlimited connections is the Plus plan, which costs $13.95 per month and has a 90-day free trial.
Configuring the VPN Server
Once you’ve made the payment, you can access the NordVPN configuration tool on their website. Just click on the Configure button to bring up the configuration page. Here you will be able to configure the various settings for your VPN server, including what type of authentication method to use.
NordVPN supports a number of protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2. OpenVPN is the most popular choice when it comes to VPN protocols, so this is what most people will use. If you’re new to VPNs, then IKEv2 is a good choice because it is much more stable and has built-in security, as well as being open-source software. IKEv2 also allows you to create your own VPN network, which you can use to connect multiple computers and devices to share resources, such as the VPN connection itself.
On the left side of the page, you will see the list of devices that the VPN server will be able to access. Choose the device that you will use to access the internet, and then click on the Add button to begin adding it to the configuration page. If you’re using more than one device, then you can use the Private Networks feature to create group-based VPN networks (each network must have a different subnet address).
Once you’ve added the required devices, you can move to the General Settings page. Here you can choose the location of the VPN server, as well as its name and email address (these are public facing details that you will need to provide, so be careful what you enter).
The next step is to move back to the Connections page and click on the Create a new connection button. A new window will open up, where you can enter the name of the connection and the authentication method you will use. Remember, the name of the connection will be accessible from all devices that are connected to the VPN server (including mobile phones and other remote computers).
At the moment, the VPN server only supports two authentication methods: username and password or single factor (password is the default choice). Single factor authentication involves confirming your identity by providing one of the following: something you know (such as a password or passphrase), something you have (such as a token or smart card), or something you are (such as a PIN or fingerprint).
Once you’ve provided the required information, you can move back to the General Settings page and click on the Test Connection button. This will cause the VPN server to connect to the internet and test whether or not it is reachable. Depending on your network environment and the quality of your internet connection, this may take a while, so be patient.
If everything goes well, then click on the Save button to continue to the main configuration page. From here, you can click on the Status button to view the VPN server’s current status, or the Connections button to see all of your established connections. Finally, you can click on the Logs button to view all of the VPN server’s log files. These are the main sources of information on hackers or network authorities who might attempt to break into your computer or online account.
Security and Logging
One of the most important things to consider when setting up a VPN server is the security of the various devices and online accounts that you connect to it. As a general rule, the more security you have, the more privacy you will experience. This is because most VPN services keep logs of the activities of their users, and these logs can reveal a lot about your online activities, as well as those of the people you connect your server to.
As already stated, the NordVPN server only supports two authentication methods, and both of these methods have security issues. First, the username/password combination is highly insecure because anyone intercepting the data can easily get this information. A more secure option is the single factor method, which employs something you know (such as a password or PIN) and something you have (such as a token or smart card).
When using the single factor authentication method, the first step is to create a strong password. If you use the same password on several accounts (e.g. email, social media), then this may be insecure, as anyone who finds your password for one account can gain access to all of your accounts with no problems. Also, try and make your password different for each account. This will make it harder for someone to guess it, and it also adds another layer of security.
Next, you will need to setup a strong authentication method on the device that you use to connect to the internet. The most common type of authentication used for devices is something you know (such as a password or PIN) and something you have (such as a token or smart card). If you use a password to authenticate, then you should use a long and complex password that contains a mix of both lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters. Additionally, you should change this password regularly (at least once a month).
If you use a token, then you will need to create a free account on a site like My Token, generate a random number, and then enter this number as part of the authentication method. As with the password, you should change this number regularly (at least once a month).
For those who use a smart card, you will need to set up a pin number and choose a strong authentication algorithm (such as PIN or Password/PIN)