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Router as VPN client

chrisryan43
chrisryan43 used Ask the Experts™
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Is it possible to set up an ADSL router to act as a VPN client and then allow all devices on its local network to talk to the remote VPN? (we are justing using the built in VPN server on a SBS 2008)

If so, does anybody have any suggestions / recommendations of suitable routers? I currently use a lot of Drayteks so they would be my preferred choice

Many thanks,
Chris
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
It cannot be a client but it might be possible as you can, with a lot of work, set up a site-to-site VPN using two Windows servers, however this has not really been a common scenario since Windows 2000.  The process usually uses L2TP/IPSec and requires active directory integration, RADIUS, demand dial routers (in Windows), routing, certificates, and more.  In the past 10 years VPN routers have become so inexpensive and easy to configure that site-to-site with a Windows server has pretty much disappeared.  Also using a pair of VPN routers is more secure in that it uses proper IPSec and moves the point of connection to the perimeter of the network.  In addition the router is a dedicated device to handle encryption/decryption improving performance slightly.

If interested the following is a white paper with the simplest of site-to-site configurations if you want to try to incorporate, but server to router is definitely not a well-documented process.
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=14429
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
My home router is a Cisco LinkSys RV042 and I have tunnels connected to my key clients. But there is a hardware VPN at the client end.  It is straightforward to set up (IPSec VPN) but there are numerous settings and ALL have to be correct or no connection.  This is a site to site connection.

I have not tried this as client to site with Server VPN but it might work. It would take some setup as noted in the prior post.

... Thinkpads_User
Commented:
Many people use the Cisco (Linksys) RV042 or RV082. You would wind up setting up a Main Mode VPN (or endpoint to endpoint). That way, when someone on your network wants to access the remote network, the router simply "routes it" through the tunnel to the remote end.

If you want to get a little more high end, find a used Juniper SSG5. It's a highly configurable router, but a lot more money than the RV042.

Good luck
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Juniper Netscreen boxes are excellent and that is what I recommend and use at my clients. Cisco Linksys and Netscreen are interoperable.

Commented:
If you need any help setting up the Juniper SSG5, post it to the forum or here and we can walk you through it - It's a little daunting at first, but after you do it a few times, it works great.

The nice thing about the Juniper is it is so incredibly "configurable" and the flexibility and things you can do with it eclipse any of the Linksys products. Also, if you buy the wireless version, you can do all kinds of fun things like creating separate Wireless networks that are able to or are not able to traverse the VPN.

Good luck and keep us posted
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
If you are familiar with Drayteks, stick with them, thay have great products and would work well for you.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all the information. I've had to put this little project on hold for the time being but should hopefully get time shortly to resurect it.

RobWill - you suggested sticking with Drayteks, which would be preferable. Could you just clarify which models will act as a VPN client?

Thanks,
Chris
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
You would have to check with a sales rep or on-line.  We can't get Drayteks here so I am not that familiar with the different models.  However I have done a lot of support cases with clients using Drayteks, read manuals, and provided feedbac  They seem to have great features, and are very stable.