Setting up OpenVPN Client Software for Remote Access

Accessing the Office Network From Remote
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This document will show you how to configure a VPN so you can securely access your office computer from a remote location. Step one is to gather some information for use later:

1) The IP address of your computer. This can be found by hovering the mouse pointer over the VNC control panel icon, or by opening a command prompt (start|run|cmd or WinKey+R) and issuing the command “ipconfig“. To find the address, you may have to scroll up, but it will be listed under “Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection #” to the right of the statement “IPv4 Address“.

2) A copy of the vpn key/configuration files. The key files are distributed by your administrator. Check in the home share on your server (usually the H:\ drive) to see if you have a folder named vpn-files containing the following files:

<client_name>.ovpn
<client_name>.<domain_name>.crt
<client_name>.<domain_name>.key
<domain_name>.ca

Copy the directory containing these files to a secure medium such as a flash drive but for security reasons, never email these keys. Maintaining control of these keys is absolutely paramount to maintaining the security of your network. These keys give the holder complete access to every resource on your network so keep them safe. Once they are copied to the remote computer, delete them from your flash drive.

Once you have collected this information, you need to go to the computer you will use for the VPN client and download/install the OpenVPN Community software package from this site:

http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html

Download the newest version for your operating system, Windows 32-bit or Windows 64-bit and run the installer. Click THIS LINK for full installation instructions, and after installation, add (or copy) the “OpenVPN GUI” icon found in the Start Menu under the OpenVPN folder to the desktop. For Windows 7/8 operating systems, you need to turn on Administrator Privileges for the “OpenVPN GUI” icon:

Right click the “OpenVPN GUI” icon, select Properties, click the Shortcut tab, click the Advanced button and check the box next to Run as Administrator.

The next step is to open the configuration folder and copy the key files/directory there.

Click Start, select All Programs, select OpenVPN, select the Shortcuts folder and click OpenVPN configuration file directory. This will open Windows Explorer to the folder where you copy/move the vpn-files directory (typically C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config).

Now that you have the OpenVPN client software installed, the OpenVPN GUI icon set to run as administrator and the keys in the proper directory, run the OpenVPN GUI icon by double clicking. You should see a new icon appear in the taskbar on the bottom right to the left of the clock. Right click this icon and select Connect. You should get a status window that looks like this:

open-vpn-status

If you receive any error, there will be a notification regarding connection failure. Otherwise, the status window will minimize and the OpenVPN icon in the taskbar will turn to green. Now you can run the VNC client program and connect to your office computer.

When you are finished, right click the OpenVPN taskbar icon and select Disconnect to end the VPN session.

You may reuse the vpn keys on multiple computers but only one computer can connect at a time. If you need to connect two computers at the same time, a new set of keys must be used. Contact support for additional keys.

– EoF 2014