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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    490

    VPN + Asus RT-AC66U

    Just wanted to share what I learned yesterday in case others are as confused as I was about VPNs. I need to be able to use my Android phone to access my LMS away from home, partly in case I want to play music, but mostly so I can see if I already own something when I'm standing in a record store considering buying a CD. I had it in my head that I needed to install the VPN software on the box that's running LMS and forward a port on the router, but I could never make that work (no doubt due entirely to my own ignorance), so I looked into the VPN capabilities of my Asus RT-AC66U router running Merlin firmware. I assume what I learned is relevant to VPN-friendly routers in general.

    After logging on to the web interface for the router, I selected the VPN tab, then OpenVPN Server, then clicked to enable the server and selected "Advanced Settings". The only advanced setting I changed was to turn on Username/Password Authentication and make sure Username Password Auth. Only was turned off (i.e., I need a password AND the configuration file to connect, not just a password...presumably much more locked down).

    Next I selected the option to Export OpenVPN Configuration File and saved it to my computer.

    I connected my Android phone to the computer via USB and copied the .opvn file to the phone.

    From the Google Play store, I installed OpenVPN Connect. After opening the app, I selected "Import" then "Import Profile from SD card" and browsed to where I'd placed the .opvn file. The reference to "SD card" is misleading, you can place the .opvn file in the phone's internal storage as well, though presumably using a card will be easier for some.

    I was then able to log on to the VPN by entering my user name and password.

    Maybe it's just me, but what I found the most confusing was figuring out how to access my server once the VPN was connected. I assumed there was some magic IP translation I had to figure out, but there isn't. The IP address that you use to access your server when you're home is the IP address you use to access your server over the VPN. In fact, you have the same access to every device on your home network that you'd have if you were sitting at home. In my particular case, this means I can also stop forwarding the port used for Windows Remote Desktop--once I'm logged on to the VPN, I just have the phone's RDP client connect via the local 192.168.x.x address.

    Again, this is probably really basic stuff for a lot of people and maybe that's why I found documentation so spotty. But it was a revelation to me and I wanted to share what I found.

  2. #2
    Thanks for your post, I got an AC68U a month ago and one of the reasons was to be able to use openvpn, but never understand what to do after installing the connect app

    The solution is so simple so never though it was that easy.
    So thx again, it was a very useful post for me
    1 x Touch
    1 x Radio
    Logitech Media Server Version: 7.9.0 - 1439462741 @ Tue Aug 18 04:19:24 UTC 2015
    Squeeze Commander
    Squeeze Player
    Phone: Sony Experia Z3

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    490
    Quote Originally Posted by T-bird View Post
    Thanks for your post, I got an AC68U a month ago and one of the reasons was to be able to use openvpn, but never understand what to do after installing the connect app

    The solution is so simple so never though it was that easy.
    So thx again, it was a very useful post for me
    You're welcome. Yes, the solution is so simple that it never occurred to me.

    Another point of confusion for me relating to the router is that there are VPN options for client and server. In this case, you want to configure the server because your phone uses its client to connect. I initially had it in my head that the router's VPN setup was only to force your traffic to run through an external VPN like PIA, but that's the *client* option.

    In hindsight, this all seems obvious, but only in hindsight.

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