Hak5 1822 – 10 Minute Free VPN Server Build

VPNs are great for protecting your Internet traffic when on untrusted networks – like Public WiFi. So many times it’s thrown around as advice “just get a VPN” – but where should you get a VPN? When you sign up for a $10/month VPN service in “the cloud” you’re basically handing over both money *and* the very same information you’re wanting to protect — your packets!

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Today we’ll be showing you how to protect your packets with a quick and dirty VPN server you can run on a VM at home. So if you trust your Internet connection at home, you could trust your Internet traffic when connected to your VPN.

Let’s get started. We’ll be using all open source for this build. For the OS we’re using Ubuntu 14.04 because it’s currently in long term support. The install is very similar if you’re using CentOS, Debian, openSUSE or Fedora.

For the VPN server we’re using a version of OpenVPN called Access Server. OpenVPN Access Server is essentially a pretty front-end for OpenVPN that simplifies setup with a nice web interface and easy setup for windows, mac, linux, android and iOS clients.

1. Install Ubuntu Server
2. Install and configure OpenVPN Access Server
3. Login to OpenVPN Access Server from a client computer or smartphone

From our XenServer we’ll fire up a new Virtual Machine and get this party started.

wget http://swupdate.openvpn.org/as/openvpn-as-2.0.10-Ubuntu14.amd_64.deb
sudo dpkg -i openvpn-as-2.0.10-Ubuntu14.amd_64.deb
sudo passwd openvpn

Login as openvpn with password configured above
Go to Authentication > General > Local > Save
Update running server
User Management > User Permissions
New user enter name and check auto-login. Save.
Show next to user. Enter password. Save.
Update running server.

Login to http://IP:943 from client computer. Login and download OpenVPN client.
From openvpn client – click connect.

Now obviously this won’t work from outside our network until we do a little port forwarding which is going to vary based on your router at home. You should also consider at OpenVPN Access Server is only free for up to 2 concurrent users. Learn more at https://openvpn.net/index.php/access-server/overview.html


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  • R2cool

    Have you guys ever tried SoftEther as VPN server/client? It is really easy and quick to use and open source.
    And it also supports pretty much every protocol.

  • Jeff Root

    I have problems when using OpenVPN to my bank. They refuse to allow me to log in. I get “username or password unknown”, even though I am positive they are both correct. If I drop the VPN and try again, it works fine. There are some non-bank sites that have this same behavior. So what is different about coming from a VPN tunnel that a website can detect, or is it that the tunneling is modifying the SSL traffic?

  • Jeff Root

    I get SQL errors whenever I try to comment. I think it may be related to OpenVPN, so _this_ comment is being posted without the tunnel.

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