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Secure VPN the Easy Way With the Linux-based Untangle Router - page 2

OpenVPN Server in a Few Click

  • August 17, 2009
  • By Eric Geier

All sites and clients must be configured with a key for the encryption to work. Plus VPN Clients (not VPN Sites) must have an OpenVPN client program installed. Luckily, Untangle helps you distribute these via email, a USB drive, or download. If you want to download the key directly to a computer, you must connect to the Untangle Web interface from that computer, otherwise it doesn't matter.

Bring up the Clients page and click the Distribute Key button next to the particular user or site. Then enter an email address and hit Send Email or click the links to save the key.

To transfer the key file onto your flash drive, you can use the Terminal. On the Untangle machine, click the Terminal shortcut on the bottom taskbar. If you have the client open, close or move the Web browser. Then use the cp command to copy the file from the Untangle machine to the USB drive; for example:

cp /home/kiosk/Desktop/key_file /path_to_USB_drive

To see a list of drive locations, you can enter df.

When configuring VPN sites and downloading the configuration file, keep in mind, you do not have to extract the config.zip file; you'll upload it as is. However, if you use the email method, you must copy down the Internet IP address of where the OpenVPN server is setup.

To set up users, make sure they install the client program. To connect or view connection details they can double-click the OpenVPN icon in the system tray of Windows. When they're connected, the icon will be green.

Configuring an Untangle machine as a VPN site

If you're doing site-to-site connection, you can configure the remote Untangle machines with the settings so they can connect to the VPN server:

  1. Open the OpenVPN App by clicking the Settings button from the rack.
  2. Click the Configure as VPN Client button.
  3. On the welcome to the wizard page, click Next.
  4. If you have the Internet IP of the location where the OpenVPN server is located at, enter it and the Untangle password for that location. Otherwise, hit the Upload Configuration radio button and click Browse to select the config.zip file. Then hit Next.
  5. On the Finished page, click Save.

Test out the VPN

We've setup the server and the clients and/or sites. Now everything should be connected and working. Just to make sure though, try to access a server or computer on the VPN but from another location. You can try to bring up a machine by typing its UNC path, such as \\IPAddress_of_Computer or \\ComputerHostname, in a Windows Explorer or browser window.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).

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