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I haven't had any luck trying to find the answer, or much for information to my problem.

I have my home network and a server off site. I would like to be able to connect them together some how so they appear to each other to be on the same network (preferred would be separate subnets) because I would like to use this server as a VPN host, which I could access the home network such as Samba shares and internal servers through, though not route all my internet traffic through due to my much slower connection to my home network. E.G.

                  Internet
                  |      |
       Home Network======Server
        |   |   |     ^       |
       Many Devices   |     VPN Devices
                      |
                    Connection over internet but no firewall

Is this even possible? What kind of technology do I need?

  • Yes, it's possible, for example with OpenVPN. But you'd need an always-on client (typically your router, could also be a regular PC/server) in your home network. Is your VPN just for accessing shares? – Daniel B Aug 28 '14 at 22:22
  • For the most part it would be accessing shares. I do have an always on device that can run OpenVPN. How would I configure OpenVPN to connect these two networks together? Doesn't OpenVPN reroute all your traffic? I'm fairly new to network so I might be making some assumptions here that I shouldn't be. – CodeNeko Aug 28 '14 at 23:17
  • What sort of server are you running offsite? Windows Server has a VPN service that is quite easy to configure. Linux has a wide variety of options as well, but if you are new to networking or not very familiar with linux it might not be the best idea. – Richie086 Aug 29 '14 at 4:21
  • May I ask why you do not have a firewall between the internet and your server? Is there a good reason for this? Many firewalls have the ability to create a secure vpn link between two devices over the internet. I have lots of experience doing this with pfSense (which is a free/open source linux firewall distro) as well as with WatchGuard, SonicWall, DLink and Netgear firewalls. Each has its own set of good/bad things in regard to the setup, but what you are trying to do SHOULD be very easy. – Richie086 Aug 29 '14 at 4:25
  • I'm running a ubuntu server on OpenVZ. The router I am using on the home network side is a RT-AC68U running the Merlin custom firmware to support OpenVPN. I got the router acting as the host and the server running as the client, but I can't seam to get any traffic to flow between the two. I am going to attempt to go the other way and see if I have any more luck with that tomorrow. – CodeNeko Aug 29 '14 at 7:36
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Sorry for the late answer. This is my configuration, running on a dedicated server (with gigabit connectivity) and my OpenWrt box. I left out all the non-essential stuff, including logging and security options like tls-auth, ns-cert-type and whatnot.

Server:

local vpn.example.com
port 12345
proto udp

dev tap
ca         ca.pem
cert       server-cert.pem
key        server-key.pem
dh dh2048.pem

server-bridge nogw
ifconfig-pool 10.1.3.100 10.1.3.200 255.255.255.0

client-to-client
keepalive 10 120

persist-key
persist-tun

user openvpn
group openvpn

route 192.168.2.0 255.255.255.0 10.1.3.5
push "route 192.168.2.0 255.255.255.0 10.1.3.5"

...where:

  • 10.1.3.5 is my OpenWrt’s VPN IP address
  • 10.1.3.1 is my server’s VPN IP address (not visible in config)
  • No bridging is configured
  • No NAT is configured (I use IPSec for that now)
  • Clients receive a route to my home network’s IP range
  • The server has a route to my home network.

This means VPN clients can talk to each other and the server as well as all IPs in my home network (unless otherwise firewalled).

Client(s):

client

proto udp

dev tap

remote vpn.example.com 12345

nobind

persist-key
persist-tun

ca   ca.pem
cert client-cert.pem
key  client-key.pem

Additionally, on OpenWrt client (important, I guess):

route-nopull

...to prevent a useless (and potentially troublesome) “route to self” from being created.

Again, no bridging is enabled on the OpenWrt box. Instead, regular routing is used and the firewall is set accordingly.

The “magic” in all this is to push the route to your home network to your clients. Firewalls aside, that’s all to it.

  • Cool. I used this as my basis and I've gotten them to connect well. My server can't find any devices on my home network yet but i got a feeling that will all be in the firewall settings which I haven't started to play with. This is for sure a point in the right direction. Thanks. – CodeNeko Sep 6 '14 at 19:43

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