August 28, 2006

306 words 2 mins read

The Virtues of OpenVPN – Part 2

If your like me coming from the PPTP frame of mind, you only dialed the OpenVPN connection on the clients when it was needed. This is good, but OpenVPN includes its own service which makes it all the more awesome. As soon as you client machine starts (in this case windows) so does OpenVPN (if you set to to start Automatically). This is really nice because as long as there is a network connection, OVPN works without an issue (so far that I’ve seen). I’ve even unplugged the network cable for a few minutes just to see how OVPN would handle it. Once the network was plugged back in, OpenVPN was reconnect and my pings to the server were up within 14 seconds (note: Skype took 12 seconds to reconnect and MSN/WLM took longer than 15). It really is set and forget.

So… How do you set this stuff up you may wonder. Well its rather simple. You put your configuration file (which in windows ends in .ovpn) into C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\Config\ . Make sure crt’s and key files are with it (or at least the config file points to them). In your config file you will need the follow entry: “dev-node COMPANY-ovpn”. In case you didn’t realize it, the “COMPANY-ovpn” can be anything, but you’ll see why that matters. Next goto your network connections. One of the connections is the “TAP-Win32 Adapter V8” (or similar) that OpenVPN installs. If you haven’t changed its name, it will probably be named “Local Area Connection #X”. You need to change this name to “COMPANY-ovpn”. Now you can start the OpenVPN service, and the network connection should “connect”.

If you want to have multiple OpenVPN connections, just repeat the above process. Make sure to add a new TAP-Win32 Adapter for each connection (Start>Programs>OpenVPN>"Add a new…") and name each device uniquely.