A lot of small businesses are using consumer grade routers and networking equipment these days. With good reason. If you only have a three to five person office and everyone connects via Wi-Fi, basically just to access internet services and one local file server, you really don’t need much else.
The best consumer grade routers I’ve worked with in recent years are the TP-Link Archer series. They are built for home use, but have some advanced features that lend themselves to today’s remote workplace.
One feature is their ability to be used as an OpenVPN server that you can connect to from the outside, letting you access your home servers, or company assets. It’s pretty easy to set up and the clients are super simple to deploy.
Setup OpenVPN Server with TP-Link Router
Before starting, please set up Dynamic DNS on your router. OpenVPN will not work without it. ‘
Note: I am using a TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 as a reference. Your menus may be different depending on model and age of your router.
Step 1 – Log into the web interface for your router.
Step 2 – Click on the Advanced Tab and Scroll down until you see “VPN Server”. Select OpenVPN.
Step 3 – Check the “Enable VPN Server” checkbox. Everything can be left as default.
If you want the VPN client to only access your network and use its own internet select “Home Network Only”. If you want all traffic, including internet, to be sent through the VPN connection select “Internet and Home Network”.
Step 4 – Click “Generate Certificate”. It will take a few minutes to generate a certificate. Wait until it is finished to move on.
Step 5 – Once the certificate is generated, click the “Export” under the “Export Configuration” Section.
Make sure you put the .OVPN file it downloads somewhere you remember. You’ll need it when you deploy a client.
Note: Once you’re done you’ll need to deploy the clients. I will post a detailed article on how to do that soon and link it here. The concept is pretty simple though. You need an OpenVPN compatible client for the operating system you’re working with. In most of those, you simply import a profile and select the OVPN file you downloaded from the router. It does all the work for you. Then you can connect