Develop A Dedicated VPN Router

VPN router

VPNs are one of the best independent privacy networks that extend a private network across a public network. It enables the users to send and receive data across shared or public networks like their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Therefore, the applications running on the VPN router may benefit from the management, security, and the functionality of the network.

It’s not that every device should have a VPN client. The VPN service provider might only accept a single connection at a time. Even if you connect several devices to it, it will only a single connection from the provider. Setting up a dedicated VPN router may give you a solution for this problem. A VPN router connects a device to it which will automatically be routed through the VPN.

Connection Plan:

It would be best for most of the people when a secondary router is connected. Then you can leave off the existing router in place and connect the second router to the primary router which is dedicated to providing VPN services. When this is connected either through wire or Wi-Fi, then it will have regular internet service. You can even jumble the devices between them. This can be achieved by connecting them to different Wi-Fi networks. Any device connected to the VPN router will be routed through the VPN.

Requirements to configure a VPN client:

To achieve this, you will need a second broadband router that has an Ethernet WAN port. To set this as a VPN client, it is essential to install a special firmware on this router. The router needs to be supported by DD-WRT firmware. To make sure that the router supports DD-WRT firmware, perform a search for the router model name on the router database on the website. Then it will let you know if the router supports the firmware. It would be good if the router supports DD-WRT.

Before getting started:

Go through the following before you get started.

  • Note the primary router’s LAN IP address which is the one you use in a browser to access the router admin console.
  • Search the model of the router you want to turn into the VPN router. Each router model has its own unique setup instructions and a recommended DD-WRT build to download.
  • You will see a link to the DD-WRT page for that router on the router page. Click on the link to see the instructions to set up the router.
  • The page should have a link to a recommended DD-WRT build. This will be in a .bin file that you should download to your PC. At times, it’s necessary to download additional tools like TFTP app.

Physical configuration:

  • To plug in your VPN router, get hold of the Ethernet cable and connect the WAN port on the VPN router to any of the LAN ports on the primary router.
  • Connect your PC to the LAN port on the VPN router using the Ethernet cable. This will start your flash.

Install DD-WRT:

The router page from DD-WRT has the instructions to flash your router. These are the instructions.

  • Perform a 30/30/30 hard reset on the router. This means when the router is switched ON, press and hold on the reset button for 30 seconds. Again hold the button for another 30 second to switch OFF and hold again for another 30 seconds to switch it ON.
  • Login to the router’s admin page and run the firmware upgrade section. Go to File menu and select the .bin file that you have downloaded from the DD-WRT. Then click on “Start”.
  • Wait for a few minutes while it’s updating and then, proceed to perform another hard reset.

Sometimes, it happens that you need to switch the router to debug mode, if necessary.

Setup:

  • Open your browser and enter the IP address of DD-WRT into the address bar. The DD-WRT has an IP address 192.168.1.1, by default. Also, the default username is “root” and the password is “admin”. Then you will see the DD-WRT interface.

Setup wireless:

To setup wireless, click on the “Wireless” tab. Then setup the wireless access point using its unique SSIDs. This wireless setup allows you to switch between primary router and VPN router simply by changing the Wi-Fi networks.

Setup LAN settings:

We don’t need the LAN address of the VPN router to conflict with that of the primary router. So it may need to be changed. Go to Setup and under it, click on Basic setup, then find the Network Setup/Router IP section. Change the IP address of the VPN router. Now it doesn’t conflict with the primary router. Setting this will result in a good way so that the third of the four numbers in the IP address is different.

For instance, if your primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1, you can set the VPN router to 192.168.2.1. If the primary router is 10.1.1.5, you could set the VPN router to 10.1.2.5. Then click “Save”.

Setup Router as VPN client:

Follow the below steps to setup the router as VPN client.

  • Plug in the VPN router into the port of the primary router.
  • Set the default WAN (DHCP) connection on the basic setup page. You can even switch to the static IP address.
  • Note the WAN IP address of the VPN router continuously whether is connected to the DHCP or static.
  • Try connecting to the Internet while connecting the router to make sure if everything is working properly.

Setup the VPN on the router:

  • Access the home page of your VPN provider. This will provide you with the detail and guides required to configure the VPN router.
  • You can set up the VPN by using OpenVPN or PPTP. OpenVPN is difficult to configure of the two but is more secure.
  • To configure PPTP, you will need a server address from the VPN provider; in addition to a VPN username and password.
  • Enable the PPTP client in DD-WRT under Services > VPN, then insert into the box the details provided to you by the VPN provider.
  • For OpenVPN, you will have access the provider’s support page and search for the DD-WRT/OpenVPN setup guide and follow it to the very end.

Get the networks to communicate:

To make sure that you will not come across any problems, connect the devices that are linked to other routers. You should then carry out upstream connections. Ensure that you connect devices from VPN router to primary router to avoid problems.

Forwarding the VPN router:

Setting up forwarding on both the primary and VPN routers is the most recommended solution. This will ensure the progress of the routers data transfer. Follow the steps below.

  • Connect to the VPN router and enter the admin interface.
  • You should enter “iptables -I FORWARD -s 192.168.1.0/24 -j ACCEPT” in the command shell box and click save. (assuming your primary router has the following IP: 192.168.1.x)
  • Enable the radio button for Web GUI Management in the Management section under Administration.

Forwarding the primary router:

  • Connect to the primary router and then log into the admin interface and access the Static Routes section under Advanced Routing.
  • Create a newfangled rule and give it a name.
  • Configure the destination IP as 192.168.2.0 (assume that your VPN router IP is 192.168.2.x)
  • Configure the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0
  • Set up the gateway IP to the WAN IP of the VPN router.
  • And then save the route.

Now you are done with building a dedicated VPN router through these steps.


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