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VPN "Client" on WHS (Gateway?) - and Internet Connection Sharing or some other way to avoid setting up a router with VPN? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hope the title makes sense?


    I'm looking for a way to potentially setup my WHS box to run a VPN Client and then share that connection with the rest of the devices in the house.  I've read quite a few posts on using the WHS as a "VPN Server" - to access the WHS from outside the house - but not much on using it as a "host" for running a VPN client on.  I did read several posts noting (strongly) to NOT direct connect the WHS to the internet...so I'd likely still say on my existing wireless router - that would work best anyways for when I want to connect without going through the VPN Client.


    Here's what I'm thinking:

    INTERNET --> DSL (Wireless) Router --> WHS (with VPN Client running) --> My Laptop, My HTPC, my AppleTV etc etc

    So using the WHS as a "router replacement" with a VPN Client running on it that all other PC's "pass through".

     

    Sounds like I'd need a second NIC to do this.  And sounds like ICS could work on it - and if the WHS is behind a "primary" router, then it would be protected the same as it is now.  I just can't find my way to any posts/articles etc. on doing this as I've outlined above.  I have read about using dd-wrt on various rotuers but sounds like a fair bit of trial and error and I've also read how that may SLOW the VPN'd traffic - ICS was suggested in a few articles as an alternative.

    Since my WHS is on 24/7 - seemed like the logical place to do this?

    Appreciate any advise/links/info ya'll can provide - or any other alternatives.  The only other PC on the network that's on 24/7 is my HTPC (Acer Revo) - so can't put a second NIC on that.

     

    Thanks!

    -----------------------UPDATE/ADDENDUM

    I found the following links - since WHS is based on Windows Server 2003 - can I use this info?

    1) ICS on WS-2003:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324286/en-us

    2) NAT on WS-2003:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816581

    I do have my AppleTV, HTPC and some printers setup with STATIC IP's as well as the WHS box itself - so from what I read in #1 - ICS wouldn't work and I should use NAT.  Looking under "Routing and Remote Access" under Administrative Tools on the WHS box - I see it notes this can be used for setting up a "VPN Gateway" - sounds like that's what I want.

    Thanks much...

    • Edited by Puulima Monday, September 20, 2010 5:15 PM
    Monday, September 20, 2010 4:48 PM

All replies

  • Windows Home Server doesn't support multi-homed network configurations (more than one active network connection), and you're likely to lose your local access to the server when you establish the VPN link from the server to elsewhere, so I don't think you're going to get this working.

    The usual way this would be configured, if a permanent VPN connection is required, is by using routers that support a site to site connection.

    Why do you want to set up a site to site VPN connection, anyway?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, September 20, 2010 5:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Windows Home Server doesn't support multi-homed network configurations (more than one active network connection), and you're likely to lose your local access to the server when you establish the VPN link from the server to elsewhere, so I don't think you're going to get this working.

    The usual way this would be configured, if a permanent VPN connection is required, is by using routers that support a site to site connection.

    Why do you want to set up a site to site VPN connection, anyway?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)


    Ken - I may not have explained it very well initially - I just posted an EDIT/ADDENDUM to my original post - Not really a "site to site VPN connection" - I guess it's a VPN Gateway I want.  Essentailly I want to route all my PC traffic through a VPN connection - with a US IP address (I'm outside the US) for access to Internet TV.  I can do this easily on any of my Windows PC's in the house, but would need more than one VPN account to do it on more than 1 PC.  And doubt it would be easy to setup on the AppleTV.  Does that make sense?

    I'd still make use of the "direct" (non VPN connection) through the "primary" router for other traffic - but wireless only.

    Monday, September 20, 2010 5:11 PM
  • I haven't tried to configure Windows Server 2003 as a router (which you'll need to do to get this working), but all the functionality for it is there, so it should be present in Windows Home Server as well. I think you'll find that doing so will break Windows Home Server in some fairly basic and obvious ways, though.

     


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, September 20, 2010 6:41 PM
    Moderator
  • I haven't tried to configure Windows Server 2003 as a router (which you'll need to do to get this working), but all the functionality for it is there, so it should be present in Windows Home Server as well. I think you'll find that doing so will break Windows Home Server in some fairly basic and obvious ways, though.

     


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Yes, looks like the functionality is there...

    I was hoping somebody may have tried this before and could advise on what the impact would be.  If I was comfortable that I could reverse my testing and get back to the current state, I'd play around with it.  But I'd rather do that on a TEST setup not my live setup of course.

    I'll keep working on the DD-WRT flashed Router path...and see if anyone else chimes in here.

    Thanks Ken!

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:27 PM