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Couple of very basic questions involving VPNs and VPN routers.

Last response: in Networking
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December 1, 2013 10:47:08 PM

Hi guys. My end goal here is to set up a VPN at home that I can access on the road (coffee shops, hotel, etc...) to log into my work's website and do work.

If I use a VPN router, will I also need a computer that is always on in order to use the VPN, or will the VPN router take care of everything (all inclusive/self-contained)?

Also, I will be using Brighthouse's 90 Mbps down / 10 Mbps up. Will the 10 upload be fast enough? Say, would I be able to effortlessly stream YouTube videos (as just a point of reference)?

And say I set the VPN up in Jacksonville, Fl, if I travel to California, will my speeds be significantly slowed because of the distance?


Thank you in advance for any and all help. Greatly, greatly appreciated. If I can get this working, it will literally change my life. Being able to work on the road is such a game changer.







PS I have looked into VPN services and they are basically out, as the people running the services could technically have access to my work and my company would very likely say no just on those grounds. But if I have my own VPN and I access via my own internet connection (whilst on the road) it is almost certain to work.
December 1, 2013 10:54:34 PM

cisco routers for example has as quick vpn application. i'm sure most have something similar.

distance doesnt make any difference, just the bandwith of the client and router
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December 1, 2013 11:15:34 PM

laviniuc said:
cisco routers for example has as quick vpn application. i'm sure most have something similar.

distance doesnt make any difference, just the bandwith of the client and router


Thanks for the quick reply. So you are saying that if I use the Cisco, or similar, I will not need to have a computer on in order to use the VPN server?

Also, I used a VPN service a while back, and if I connected to a server that was far away, the speeds would be extremely slow. Are you saying that this issue will not be present with my own VPN?

Lastly, do you think that 10Mbps upload for my home network would provide sufficient speeds while accessing from say a 4 Mbps hotspot? I will need roughly 2-3 Mbps to do my work. Could get away 1Mbps occasionally, but 2-3 is ideal.

Again, thank you very much for your reply.



Edit: What do you mean by the client? I'm somewhat new to this.
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December 1, 2013 11:20:18 PM

quick vpn apps and similar get you in the same lan behind the router using a secure channel. they are a safe way to bypass a firewall basically.

you need a computer on behind, that's what you are trying to reach to do your work are you not?

for the speed question... you wont know until you try but in theory only the upload for the home router and the upload on the client should matter.

try also the teamviewer application.
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December 1, 2013 11:37:31 PM

laviniuc said:
quick vpn apps and similar get you in the same lan behind the router using a secure channel. they are a safe way to bypass a firewall basically.

you need a computer on behind, that's what you are trying to reach to do your work are you not?

for the speed question... you wont know until you try but in theory only the upload for the home router and the upload on the client should matter.

try also the teamviewer application.


I will not actually need to access a computer, just the internet to log onto my company's website. My end goal is to safely access my company's website from the road, and not have different IP addresses popping up every time I move from one location to another.

With a VPN router, will I need a computer on to access my VPN?
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December 2, 2013 1:39:30 AM

Just give up. You're not gonna be able to do this. Here is the config you need on a Cisco router

vpdn enable
!
vpdn-group PPTP
Default PPTP VPDN group
accept-dialin
protocol pptp
virtual-template 1
!
interface Virtual-Template1
description ### PPTP TUNNEL ###
ip unnumbered Loopback1
peer default ip address pool PPTP_POOL
ppp encrypt mppe 128 required
ppp authentication ms-chap-v2
ppp timeout idle 360
!
ip local pool PPTP_POOL 10.0.0.10 10.0.0.100
!
interface Loopback0
ip address 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.0

If you can do that, setup DSL on a Cisco router, then tell me its working, I'll be impressed.
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December 2, 2013 2:05:15 AM

sg4rb0 said:
Just give up. You're not gonna be able to do this. Here is the config you need on a Cisco router

vpdn enable
!
vpdn-group PPTP
Default PPTP VPDN group
accept-dialin
protocol pptp
virtual-template 1
!
interface Virtual-Template1
description ### PPTP TUNNEL ###
ip unnumbered Loopback1
peer default ip address pool PPTP_POOL
ppp encrypt mppe 128 required
ppp authentication ms-chap-v2
ppp timeout idle 360
!
ip local pool PPTP_POOL 10.0.0.10 10.0.0.100
!
interface Loopback0
ip address 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.0

If you can do that, setup DSL on a Cisco router, then tell me its working, I'll be impressed.


You're saying that I can't set up a VPN on a VPN router? Or that setting up a VPN on a VPN router without a computer constantly running is extremely difficult?
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December 2, 2013 2:25:21 AM

Guysakar said:
sg4rb0 said:
Just give up. You're not gonna be able to do this. Here is the config you need on a Cisco router

vpdn enable
!
vpdn-group PPTP
Default PPTP VPDN group
accept-dialin
protocol pptp
virtual-template 1
!
interface Virtual-Template1
description ### PPTP TUNNEL ###
ip unnumbered Loopback1
peer default ip address pool PPTP_POOL
ppp encrypt mppe 128 required
ppp authentication ms-chap-v2
ppp timeout idle 360
!
ip local pool PPTP_POOL 10.0.0.10 10.0.0.100
!
interface Loopback0
ip address 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.0

If you can do that, setup DSL on a Cisco router, then tell me its working, I'll be impressed.


You're saying that I can't set up a VPN on a VPN router? Or that setting up a VPN on a VPN router without a computer constantly running is extremely difficult?


Yep. Guarantee something wont work and you wont be able to t-shoot it
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December 2, 2013 6:15:03 AM

VPN is not a beginner topic in networking so you either spend some time studying this stuff or you pay a lot for devices that make it easy. I guess you could pay someone to set it up for you.

This is why the commercial sites that let you remote access your machine are so popular they are designed for people that don't want to learn all the details...but as you realized there is a security exposure.

So I will put this here and it will be up to you to learn what his means. Your best option is to buy a router that has OPENVPN on it, there are some that it is preinstalled but many routers support DD-WRT firmware which contains OPENVPN. OPENVPN unlike some of the other VPN software supports a number of types of VPN. PPTP and IPSEC do not always pass though firewalls at the remote location so you really want a VPN device that can also run SSL/TLS vpn tunnels.

You can also buy commercial solutions, both juniper and cisco sell commercial routers that can act as VPN concentrators. A cisco 2800 series router has 2 SSLVPN licenses included and although difficult to setup this is one of the best VPN clients around since it does not require you to install a client and it runs on many platforms.
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December 2, 2013 4:50:29 PM

bill001g said:
VPN is not a beginner topic in networking so you either spend some time studying this stuff or you pay a lot for devices that make it easy. I guess you could pay someone to set it up for you.

This is why the commercial sites that let you remote access your machine are so popular they are designed for people that don't want to learn all the details...but as you realized there is a security exposure.

So I will put this here and it will be up to you to learn what his means. Your best option is to buy a router that has OPENVPN on it, there are some that it is preinstalled but many routers support DD-WRT firmware which contains OPENVPN. OPENVPN unlike some of the other VPN software supports a number of types of VPN. PPTP and IPSEC do not always pass though firewalls at the remote location so you really want a VPN device that can also run SSL/TLS vpn tunnels.

You can also buy commercial solutions, both juniper and cisco sell commercial routers that can act as VPN concentrators. A cisco 2800 series router has 2 SSLVPN licenses included and although difficult to setup this is one of the best VPN clients around since it does not require you to install a client and it runs on many platforms.



Thank you for the reply.

So is this possible: Buy a router for under $500, buy Brighthouse 90/10 internet, travel 2K miles away, walk into a Burger king with very adequate internet (say 5 Mbps with no one else on at the time) and log onto my work website through my home internet/IP and have adequate speeds?

The one poster said distance isn't an issue, but I keep reading everywhere that distance is a pretty big issue. Is that just not the case with a setup like this?

I still don't know weather or not I will need to have a computer running if I opt for a VPN router.


I get that this is not a beginner's topic and am not trying to pull a fast one. If I can set this up, this will literally change my life.

Please understand that I am not asking anyone to do this for me. I haven't asked any questions regarding this. All of my questions are pre-purchase questions. In other words, I don't want to invest x amount of hours in learning VPN's and x amount of money in equipment if it's simply not going to work how I need it to work.



What I want to do is simply this: Access my work website from public wifi hotspots and have it appear that I am doing so from home (and be safe, not just for appearances). That is all I want to do.

I have used Team Viewer over the years to help family fix and setup their PC's and absolutely love it, but a lot of my work is based on visual and audio and TV, while awesome for what it is, simply will not work for my situation.




I would be willing to pay a pro to set this up. But again, I'm not asking about any of that. My questions are simply this:

1) Is speed going to be affected by distance?

2) You think 10Mbps upload speeds are going to be fast enough?

3) With a VPN router, will I need to have a PC on as well.

















But while we're on it: Yes, I absolutely want to go with openvpn. Is there a router out there under $500 with openvpn that I can setup without hiring a pro? Or any options similar?

If I just bought a Windows 7 PC and left it on all of the time, would that be a much easier solution? Seems there are built in VPN things in Win7/8. Would the speed on my end be affected by the speed of the home server/PC, or just by the actual speed of the internet?



Again, thank you guys for all of your help. Sincerely thank you.
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December 2, 2013 5:09:00 PM

Speed to a point is affected by distance but delays depend what you are doing. A couple seconds on a file copy is nothing but if you are running remote desktop it is much worse. You to a point must learn to work slightly differently. Still you won't see huge problems unless until you try silly things like logging into a US server from India. It will not be much better or worse than what you see in team viewer.

The key advantage to a VPN router is you only need that no PC. You would only use your home PC if you wanted to mount files or get some data off it.

The only difficulty I could see is what you mean " access work " . If all you are doing is opening simple web pages and such it will work. The part that will not work is if you are already running a VPN to your work. Running a vpn inside another vpn is almost impossible.

I can't remember which router has dd-wrt factory loaded maybe buffalo I forget. I have always just loaded my own. Most the higher end ASUS router tend to work very well and cost maybe $150.

The problem with running a pc to do vpn is your router is still in the path. You have to do special things to get VPN to pass though your router. The router is no harder to set the vpn up on than a PC. I really hate windows devices for any kind of network router/firewall. Some things they want to force you to buy a server OS license and others they just make it a pain to support. If you were going to use a PC I would opt for a prebuilt firewall/VPN ubuntu image.
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January 16, 2014 11:36:31 AM

I hate to bump an older thread, but I feel there's a bit of confusion about this.

First of all, this is VERY possible and not very hard at all.

If you will be accessing a work website that is normally exposed to the Internet (no special VPN connection to get there), then this makes it easier. If you have a VPN connection to get to this site, you'll need to answer some questions before I can advise you on what needs to be done.

In the first scenario, you're basically wanting to access their site from your home network (a 'safe' network from the eyes of your company). This is plain-jane dead simple with a VPN router and a full tunnel (not split tunnel) connection.

The second scenario is a bit tricky, but still can be done. There's just some details that need to be paid attention to.
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