Create Your Own VPN Server with DD-WRT - Page 2

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

May 31, 2010

Test It Out

Now you should have a working VPN server, so let's test it out on the local network first:

In Windows XP, click Start > Connect to > Show all connections. Then on the window, double-click New Connection Wizard. On the wizard, click Next. Click Connect to the network at my workplace and hit Next. Select Virtual Private Network connection and click Next. Type in some name for the Company Name and click Next. Enter the router's local IP (192.168.1.1), click Next, and then click Finish. The login dialog should appear where you can enter a username and password you created on the server. Then click Connect and it should work.

In Windows 7, bring up the Network and Sharing Center and click Set up a new connection or network. On the Wizard, select Connect to a workplace and click Next. Click Use my Internet connection (VPN). On the next page, enter the router's local IP (192.168.1.1) for the Internet address, type in a destination name, and then click Next. You should be prompted for your username and password. Enter one that you defined earlier when configuring the server and click Connect. Give it a minute, and if all is successful, it should say You are connected.

Create a Hostname for Your Dynamic IP

If the DD-WRT router is connected to an Internet connection that has a dynamic or changing IP address, you'll probably want to setup a hostname (sub-domain). This gives you an Internet address (for instance, myhomenet.getmyip.com) that always points to your router's current Internet IP. This lets you connect to your VPN server when away without worrying about the IP changing. Otherwise, if it did change, someone would have to physically check the router and give you the new IP.

No-IP and Afraid.org are two free dynamic DNS services that you may consider. Once you sign up for a service, you'll have a host name, account name, and password. Bring up the DD-WRT control panel, click Setup > DDNS and input these pieces of information. Then your router will keep the service and hostname up-to-date with your current IP.

Now don't forget to use your hostname instead of your Internet IP when configuring your VPN client settings.

Configure It for Remote Access

To connect to your VPN server from the Internet when away, Windows must be configured with your Internet IP address (or hostname, if you created one), not the local IP (192.168.1.1). If you followed the directions earlier and already created a connection from within the local network, you can simply change the IP:

In Windows XP, click Start > Connect to > Show all connections. Then right-click the VPN connection and select Properties.

In Windows 7, click the network icon, right-click the VPN connection from the list, and select Properties.

Start Connecting

Now you should have everything ready to go. Next time you need to access your network when away or secure your traffic on a public network, you can use your own VPN server. Just remember that the remote router and network must also allow VPN connections. However usually isn't a problem.


Eric Geier is the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi with enterprise-level encryption by offering an outsourced RADIUS/802.1X authentication service. He is also the author of many networking and computing books, for brands such as For Dummies and Cisco Press.

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