Monday, 19 June 2017

Success with the router VPN

After some fiddling around the Netgear router now has the alternative firmware correctly installed (Tomato Shibby).  This has unlocked a number of hidden router features which has enabled me to install and configure the Virtual Private Network (VPN) on the router, rather than individual devices.  There is a financial saving as we only require one subscription for the router rather than a subscription for every device.


You can see in the above screen dump I have the VPN Client running.  As part of the setup I needed to decide where the other end of my private tunnel would be located.  Our internet provider uses the Telstra network and I remembered Telstra had a good link to Hong Kong.  So I set the destination to Hong Kong and tested the data speed.  I was expecting some speed degradation as the router now has to encrypt and decrypt all the data going out and coming in.  Our internet provider can see the data but can’t read it.  Nor can they follow us down the VPN tunnel.

The next step was to see if there was a “leakage” of our original location (ie, Perth, Australia).  Companies like Google and Facebook are particularly interested in where you go on the internet and employ some sophisticated technology to track your viewing activity.  I used the DNS Leak Test website <here> to check if my public location was Hong Kong.  I was slightly surprised when a number of companies had been able to identify our true location.  To rectify this I went back to the router configuration and changed the VPN setting from ‘Relaxed’ to ‘Strict’.  you can see that in the bottom right of the above screen dump.  I ran the test a second time.

DNS LeakThat worked and our location is Hong Kong.

DNS_HK I then checked our internet address to confirm as far as the rest of the world is concerned we are in Hong Kong.

The next stage of this project will be to further configure the router so that only certain devices use the VPN channel.  I will also be able to allow only approved devices to access our home  network through the VPN.

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