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Setting up a real VPN with your every day consumer router and DD-WRT
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
I have been using DD-WRT for over a year now and have loved every minute of it. DD-WRT is just a replacement firmware for your router's default firmware, in my case Linksys. It is based on top of a linux distribution and allows the "true nerd" to take their router to the next level, with a number of previously enterprise-only router features.
I have always been a remote desktop guy, and used to just RDP into my "server" computer in my house, forwarded from DD-WRT and then RDP to whatever other computer internally I needed. Upon getting sick of how slow it is when you are using RDP within RDP, I decided to step the game up a bit and configure a "real" VPN.
DD-WRT came to the rescue on this one. DD-WRT, with very little configuration, will allow you to create a true PPTP WAN VPN.
Without further ado, I'll jump into how I did this. I am using v24 DD-WRT firmware on a WRT300N Linksys/Cisco router.
Login to DD-WRT, the default IP for most routers is 192.168.1.1. Enter your username and password.
Click the services tab, and then click PPTP.
Enable the PPTP server, and save the settings.
Set the Server IP to whatever your router IP address is internally. By default, the same IP as above.
Under client IP(s), enter a range of IP addresses that you would like VPN clients to be assigned. I always set up my router by starting DHCP address to 100, so I set my range to between 50 and 99. In my case, I entered this: 192.168.1.50-99. You generally want to make sure that your VPN IP addresses do not overlap with your local network IP addresses, or you can get some very "odd" results.
The last setting is your CHAP-secrets, which is your username and password that is used to login to your VPN. They are entered in the following format: username[space]*[space]password[space]* The star and spaces are very important.
After you have set all of this up, save and apply all the settings and your server is ready to go.
On the client side, depending on what version of windows you have, establish a work connection. Enter the WAN IP of your router, and the username and password you setup on the server, and you are good to go with connecting to your VPN.
Hopefully that'll help some of you fellow nerds out to get yourself connected to your own personal "enterprise" network.
VPNin' Tom Out.
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