Best VPN Solution for My Network

Posted on 2011-10-29
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello All -

I'm trying to find the best method to set up a VPN for my network.  Below are all the details...

Currently, I have a static IP with a domain name assigned to it.  My unsecured cable modem goes directly into a DLink DIR-855 wireleess router which serves as my primary router and firewall.  The only configurations I have in the firewall are about 15 open ports for services like RDP, VNC, Slingbox, FTP, Plex Media, etc...

I also have a machines which acts as my server which stays on 24/7 and runs Windows 7 x64.  In addition, I'm setting up an additional Windows 2008 R2 box now which I plan to configure Hyper-V on which will stay on 24/7 as well. With this, I could set up a VPN with whatever guest for this solution if need be.

I'd like to have a VPN as the native passwords for RDP, FTP, and other services aren't the best in security.  The only catch is that if possible I'd like to have other ports/services like the Slingbox and Plex to not require VPN authentication since I access them from various other devices.

Here's what I've considered so far -
- I've already tried Windows 7 built in VPN host, but couldn't connect to it from any non-Windows devices such as my iPad, iPhone, or Linux boxes.  
- Swapping out the DLink router /firewall with one flashed with DDWRT - isn't there a VPN option on DDWRT?
- I've got an old PIX that I could use - probably 5-6 years old but don't have the model number here right now

Anyways - given the above, what suggestions do you have?  Thanks!
Question by:BzowK
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You could setup OpenVPN on the DD-WRT router, then setup port forwarding WAN -> LAN for Slingbox and Plex and make sure the ports are open externally, then block external access to all other ports.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    Your equipment gives you many options. Depending on type of clients and performance you maybe want to look for diffrent solutions.

    You can try OpenVPN-Server on you 24/7 Windows 7 machine and setup your router for fowarding necessary ports to it. Then you can test non-windows OpenVPN clients with it. They should be available for iPhone/iPad/Linux. Depending on satisfaction you can later switch to a dd-WRT  router to use OpenVPN or PPTP on it. Look up the dd-WRT database for supported devices.

    Also you could lookup the PIX model number and check what software release you can run on it. Additionally check the hardware specs of that PIX and VPN hardware-acceleration feature. iPhone/iPad, depending on their software version, are not supported with every PIX software version. So you maybe stop investigating for the PIX-option for your solution.
    LVL 67

    Assisted Solution

    You might have configured the wrong connection on iPhone for using W7 as VPN Server. According to both PPTP and L2TP/IPsec are supported. I would prefer the latter, since it is more reliable than PPTP.
    Besides OpenVPN, which could run on a Windows machine or the router (as already stated), you can build an IPSec VPN with your PIX as server; iOS should get connected without any app, for Linux and Window (and Mac, if you like) you could have a look at for a free IPsec client.

    Whatever solution you choose, you will not loose the capability to still have direct access to your other services to be provided.

    Author Closing Comment

    All good solutions - Thanks!

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    This is an article about my experiences with remote access to my clients (so that I may serve them) and eventually to my home office system via Radmin Remote Control. I have been using remote access for over 10 years and have been improving my metho…
    PRTG Network Monitor lets you monitor your bandwidth usage, so you know who is using up your bandwidth, and what they're using it for.
    Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    19 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now