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OpenVPN access to internet site

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-23
Recently have installed OpenVPN to secure access to a single Window 2008 R2 server. Users now have to invoke the OpenVPN client to access the server which disables their access to the internet. One problem has surfaced where they have an internet site that provides a report which they would like to have up at the same time they are connected to the server and accessing certain files. I'm thinking that I can have that link on the server for them to run but not sure if the VPN tunnel will block that as well. What say you Experts?

As always, thanks
Brian
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Question by:bjbrown
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Expert Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 39798572
You could create VPN split tunneling on client, but be aware that such an approach breaks strict security rules in your company.
Here's one nice step-by-step: http://support.vpnsecure.me/articles/frequently-asked-questions/openvpn-split-tunneling

...except those commands:

route 174.137.125.44 255.255.255.255 vpn_gateway
    should be in your case
route 174.137.125.44 255.255.255.255 <IP-of-client's-default-gateway>

and you should not add this to config file:

route no-pull
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Author Comment

by:bjbrown
ID: 39798599
Interesting article and idea, not sure if it will fly as you stated, may be risky.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39798606
The basic question is: Is the "Internet Lockout" intentional? If not, you should change that ASAP by not overriding the default route in OpenVPN server config.

In case you do not want to allow local Internet access, why doesn't it work passing the OpenVPN tunnel? You might have to fix that before doing anything else.

A link on the server will only work if it runs on the server (or inside the office LAN), e.g. in a Terminal Server session.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrej Pirman earned 500 total points
ID: 39798640
...also route via VPN tunnel will work perfectly for any client, as long as it uses server-side DNS to resolve names. Traffic will go through VPN tunnel, but it will work.

So, on client side, you have an option to define custom DNS servers. Set them to server-side router IP or maybe even better, set client's DNS for VPN connection to server-side DNS server, where you can manually add an A-record.
Then on server do
     nslookup www.desired.destination.com
and add that IP address and name as a new DNS zone to local DNS server.
Doing so, VPN clients will resolve only desired web site, and traffic will go through VPN tunnel, keeping security on high level.
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Author Comment

by:bjbrown
ID: 39798681
Great feedback by all, I will leave this thread open for now until I consult with my network folks to determine the appropriate solution. I will post back with best solution.

Thanks again, I sincerely appreciate the recommendations I receive from all of the experts.
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