VPN Router setup

Alfred_Arnold

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Good evening.

After various discussions with several people, I've come to the conclusion that many people would like to have a VPN/proxy wifi signal in addition to their main wifi, but are either unaware this is possible or are a bit tech-shy to set this up.

Would there be any interest here or among your contacts? I'm considering putting this service for sale (I'm not completely soliciting..the more that do this the better more private world we would have, so I prefer to call this inspiration). The benefits of a VPN router range from your remote job or banks not having visibility to your direct location, all the way to paranoid of the AR ISPs selling your info. You do not need to initiate the VPN on your individual device, but merely connect to the wifi from said router and enjoy the desired benefits.

Flashrouters is a company that does this..but alas they are quite far away and offer very expensive models only. If there is any interest, I will read comments and accept PMs. Moderators can remove if needed.

And yes, we know some sites do not like VPN IPs. You still have the option to connect to your main AR signal because the idea is to have a separate signal on a separate hardware device. Please refrain from categorically disparaging VPNs.
 

FrankPintor

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After various discussions with several people, I've come to the conclusion that many people would like to have a VPN/proxy wifi signal in addition to their main wifi, but are either unaware this is possible or are a bit tech-shy to set this up.

Would there be any interest here or among your contacts? I'm considering putting this service for sale

Interesting topic. My scenario, which is possibly typical for remote workers here, is that I have a Cablevision router, so I can't just go about flashing it, and a work laptop where I also can't install VPN software. There are other scenarios where reflashing the router isn't an option, like in any Airbnb we stay in. My personal devices, laptop and mobile phone, have ExpressVPN, so they're ok.

It would be very nice to take my work laptop anywhere and have it (and everything I connect to from it) believe it's still in Buenos Aires, even if I'm looking out over the malecón in Cartagena (I wish...).

Is this a scenario you'd address?
 

Quilombo

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The simplest solution is to use a TP link router from the last couple of years and change the IPv4 in settings from Dynamic to L2TP and plug in your ExpressVPN credentials and which city in the US/Europe/Australia you want to connect to and you'll be able to access all the geo-restricted content you want.

Regarding your question @FrankPintor I'd connect your personal router to the AirBnb host's Cablevision modem/router so you don't have to change anything without their consent, and in theory do the same if you travel elsewhere. This is a good solution for devices, i.e. an Apple TV which doesn't have VPN apps since everything you to your router would already be connected by VPN without having to use the app on each device.
 

carride

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I will attempt to expand on the good replies from other above. The OP seems to be discussing configuration of a router which has client VPN option (very different than a router server VPN option). This allows the router to connect to the same VPN provider you might already be using to connect your computer or phone for security or to simulate a different geolocation. Not all wifi routers have this option, though it is now more common. This allows any of the devices which connect to the router, to all route through the single VPN service.

As explained above modern Asus, TP-Link, etc... have this option. When you shop ask for that detail. If you want to re-purpose an older router found for cheap or free, then the DD-WRT firmware gives new life to an old router. This is a well known project which still continues to be updated often with support provided by a community in the forums without cost. It is slightly technical though not too difficult. I have done this to several routers, though do not use as my primary at-home Asus modern router.

DD-WRT is a good option to secure any old router which has not received any security updates in the past 6-12 months.

I only trust Wireguard type VPN providers, so here is the instructions for that setup

and here are the older instructions for setting up a PPTP VPN. One of serval types other VPN protocols
 

Alfred_Arnold

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Very good replies in this thread.

I will attempt to expand on the good replies from other above. The OP seems to be discussing configuration of a router which has client VPN option (very different than a router server VPN option). This allows the router to connect to the same VPN provider you might already be using to connect your computer or phone for security or to simulate a different geolocation. Not all wifi routers have this option, though it is now more common. This allows any of the devices which connect to the router, to all route through the single VPN service.

As explained above modern Asus, TP-Link, etc... have this option. When you shop ask for that detail. If you want to re-purpose an older router found for cheap or free, then the DD-WRT firmware gives new life to an old router. This is a well known project which still continues to be updated often with support provided by a community in the forums without cost. It is slightly technical though not too difficult. I have done this to several routers, though do not use as my primary at-home Asus modern router.

DD-WRT is a good option to secure any old router which has not received any security updates in the past 6-12 months.

I only trust Wireguard type VPN providers, so here is the instructions for that setup

and here are the older instructions for setting up a PPTP VPN. One of serval types other VPN protocols
This is correct! I was referring to client VPN capabilities, using exactly DD-WRT firmware and Wireguard tunneling. Your expansion on the topic is very well written and the links appreciated. I did not realize that some modern routers as you and Quilombo stated offer this capability by default. I've been using DD-WRT flashed routers for a few years and presumed this was the only way (or flashed with other custom firmware).

The simplest solution is to use a TP link router from the last couple of years and change the IPv4 in settings from Dynamic to L2TP and plug in your ExpressVPN credentials and which city in the US/Europe/Australia you want to connect to and you'll be able to access all the geo-restricted content you want.

This is news to me! Thanks for sharing this info.

Probably, you can also install android VPN client on your (old) phone and use the phone as a hotspot.
The direct cell carrier data signal gets repeated by the phone, if i'm not mistaken. The VPN app will not change what is transmitted/received via hotspot.

It would be very nice to take my work laptop anywhere and have it (and everything I connect to from it) believe it's still in Buenos Aires, even if I'm looking out over the malecón in Cartagena (I wish...).

Is this a scenario you'd address?
This situation would require plugging in the flashed client side VPN router physically via ethernet to the host's router, or possibly using two routers, one to pick up the host's wifi wireless, and then via ethernet connecting your VPN router. Considering your question I thought perhaps one wifi band could act as repeater and the other band configured with VPN tunneling, but from what i read this probably doesn't work.
 

lunar

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The direct cell carrier data signal gets repeated by the phone, if i'm not mistaken. The VPN app will not change what is transmitted/received via hotspot.

You are correct (I didn't know that). It looks like there are some workarounds, but it is not as easy as I expected.
 

carride

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It would be very nice to take my work laptop anywhere and have it (and everything I connect to from it) believe it's still in Buenos Aires, even if I'm looking out over the malecón in Cartagena (I wish...).

Is this a scenario you'd address?

This is a different topic, still, to route your traffic through your home while you are away in an attempt to appear in that home location, one option is to use the VPN server feature of your router. Also need to know your homes public IP by assigning it a DDNS name. There are many services like this https://www.noip.com/support/knowledgebase/how-to-configure-ddns-in-router/

Though it is a quick simple solution, I prefer something more secure. A dedicated machine left at home running Tailscale mesh VPN. Configured as an exit node if you need to route traffic (vs only connect to home network). A $10-40 raspberry pi machine or any old cheap laptop running linux.
 

carride

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This is news to me! Thanks for sharing this info.

Well yes many modern home routers provide VPN client feature, though i do not know of any who have modern Wireguard VPN just yet. I am hoping for a surprise firmware update from Asus some day. I have done limited research with other brands. Until then, DDWRT is the best cheap option.
 
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