How to Create a VPN Server on Your Windows Computer Without Installing Any Software

how to setup a vpn server

Step 2 – Find and note down your IP address

Only thecafile is universal across the OpenVPN server and all clients. The OpenVPN server can push DHCP options such as DNS and WINS server addresses to clients (somecaveatsto be aware of).

That’s important, because IP addresses are distributed geographically and can be used to find your rough location. If someone checks your IP address, they’ll see the IP address of the VPN server. By connecting to a VPN server in London, you can make it appear as if you were accessing the internet from the UK. To test if OpenVPN works as expected, connect the VPN client and check your IP address. Forward port 1723 to your computer’s (the one where the Windows 10 VPN server was set up) IP address.

Floppy disks can be used to move key files back and forth, as necessary. Such measures make it extremely difficult for an attacker to steal the root key, short of physical theft of the key signing machine. In the OpenVPN connection, the home network can act as a server, and the remote device can access the server through the router which acts as an OpenVPN Server gateway. To use the VPN feature, you should enable OpenVPN Server on your router, and install and run VPN client software on the remote device. Please follow the steps below to set up an OpenVPN connection.

You can do all this by logging into your router’s setup page. To amp up your security, consider adding a port forwarding rule to the router. One which forwards a random external port to the internal port on your computer. Depending on which type of router you buy, you need to do a Google search on how to use it as a VPN server.

How to set up a VPN server on Windows 10

For example, here’s how to set up ASUS routers to act as VPN servers. As you’ll see, this process requires you to access your router and then edit the required OpenVPN files on your computer (as explained in the previous segment of this article).

In that sense, VPN Gate is not the best option for people concerned about their privacy. If your router doesn’t support third-party firmware, or you don’t want to take the chance of wrecking it, you can install a VPN Server on one of your own computers. Doing this will allow you to have access to files on the computer that hosts the VPN Server, as well as resources on your network that are accessible from the computer. To connect to the VPN server, you will needyour computer’s public IP address(your network’s IP address on the Internet) or its dynamic DNS address, if you set up a dynamic DNS service. In this tutorial, you learned how to set up a Linux VPN server running OpenVPN and how to connect it using various clients like Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone or iPad, and MacOS.

How to set up port forwarding on router

Windows clients can accept pushed DHCP options natively, while non-Windows clients can accept them by using a client-sideupscript which parses theforeign_option_nenvironmental variable list. See theman pagefor non-Windowsforeign_option_ndocumentation and script examples.

To implement this setup, you need to set up a script to be run by your DHCP client software every time an IP address change occurs. This script should (a) runddclientto notify your dynamic DNS provider of your new IP address and (b) restart the OpenVPN server daemon. Pushing theredirect-gatewayoption to clients will cause all IP network traffic originating on client machines to pass through the OpenVPN server. The server will need to be configured to deal with this traffic somehow, such as by NATing it to the internet, or routing it through the server site’s HTTP proxy.

For the purpose of this example, we will assume that the server-side LAN uses a subnet of10.66.0.0/24and the VPN IP address pool uses10.8.0.0/24as cited in theserverdirective in the OpenVPN server configuration file. The server will only accept clients whose certificates were signed by the master CA certificate (which we will generate below).

how to setup a vpn server

  • If the OpenVPN server machine is a single-NIC box inside a protected LAN, make sure you are using a correct port forward rule on the server’s gateway firewall.
  • The NAT gateway servicing the 192.168.4.x subnet should have a port forward rule that saysforward UDP port 1194 from my public IP address to

While OpenVPN clients can easily access the server via a dynamic IP address without any special configuration, things get more interesting when the server itself is on a dynamic address. While OpenVPN has no trouble handling the situation of a dynamic server, some extra configuration is required. Many OpenVPN client machines connecting to the internet will periodically interact with a DHCP server to renew their IP address leases. Theredirect-gatewayoption might prevent the client from reaching the local DHCP server (because DHCP messages would be routed over the VPN), causing it to lose its IP address lease. By default, when an OpenVPN client is active, only network traffic to and from the OpenVPN server site will pass over the VPN.

Clients don’t need to know about other client certificates which have been revoked becauseclients shouldn’t be accepting direct connections from other clientsin the first place. When thecrl-verifyoption is used in OpenVPN, the CRL file will be re-read any time a new client connects or an existing client renegotiates the SSL/TLS connection (by default once per hour). This means that you can update the CRL file while the OpenVPN server daemon is running, and have the new CRL take effect immediately for newly connecting clients. Use a dynamic DNS client application such asddclientto update the dynamic DNS address whenever the server IP address changes. This setup is ideal when the machine running OpenVPN has multiple NICs and is acting as a site-wide firewall/gateway.

How to set up a VPN in Windows

how to setup a vpn server

This will open a Web UI where you can create your VPN server. There’s also an option to use a commercial VPN and supply the corresponding OpenVPN files, which are then uploaded to your router’s UI. While thecrl-verifydirective can be used on both the OpenVPN server and clients, it is generally unnecessary to distribute a CRL file to clients unless a server certificate has been revoked.

In the above directive,ccdshould be the name of a directory which has been pre-created in the default directory where the OpenVPN server daemon runs. On Linux this tends to be/etc/openvpnand on Windows it is usually\Program Files\OpenVPN\config. When a new client connects to the OpenVPN server, the daemon will check this directory for a file which matches the common name of the connecting client. If a matching file is found, it will be read and processed for additional configuration file directives to be applied to the named client.

Files in this directory can be updated on-the-fly, without restarting the server. Note that changes in this directory will only take effect for new connections, not existing connections. This will cause the client to reconnect and use the newclient-config-dirfile. Like the server configuration file, first edit theca,cert, andkeyparameters to point to the files you generated in thePKIsection above.

OpenVPN 2.0 expands on the capabilities ofOpenVPN 1.xby offering a scalable client/server mode, allowing multiple clients to connect to a single OpenVPN server process over a single TCP or UDP port. OpenVPN 2.3 includesa large number of improvements, including full IPv6 support and PolarSSL support. VPN Gate, a project that began at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, offers a free method for joining its network of global VPN servers. All you have to do is set up your own computer as a VPN server linked to the VPN Gate network. One major drawback, however, is that VPN Gate maintains usage logs of all members of the VPN Gate network – that includes IP addresses, connection times, and the number of data packets that passed over the network.

The sample server configuration file is an ideal starting point for an OpenVPN server configuration. One of the security benefits of using an X509 PKI (as OpenVPN does) is that the root CA key (ca.key) need not be present on the OpenVPN server machine. In a high security environment, you might want to specially designate a machine for key signing purposes, keep the machine well-protected physically, and disconnect it from all networks.

Another option is to set up a VPN server directly on your router. Viscosity, a VPN client, has a great guide for setting up your own OpenVPN server on a DD-WRT router. For more instructions, check out our guide onhow to forward ports on your router. Because your traffic appears to come from the VPN’s server, your actual IP address is effectively hidden.

If the OpenVPN server machine is a single-NIC box inside a protected LAN, make sure you are using a correct port forward rule on the server’s gateway firewall. For example, suppose your OpenVPN box is at inside the firewall, listening for client connections on UDP port 1194. The NAT gateway servicing the 192.168.4.x subnet should have a port forward rule that saysforward UDP port 1194 from my public IP address to

General web browsing, for example, will be accomplished with direct connections that bypass the VPN. Next, ask yourself if you would like to allow network traffic between client2’s subnet ( and other clients of the OpenVPN server. The client must have a unique Common Name in its certificate (“client2” in our example), and theduplicate-cnflag must not be used in the OpenVPN server configuration file.