ASUS Router OpenVPN Server

Scope of this article

OpenVPN has the highest degree of flexibility of VPN server and clients, and is available on all modern platforms. Setting it up can range from easy-as-defaults, to super complicated. In this how-to, we are opting for simplicity and simple setup that relies on a username and password. That’s already a lot stronger than the traditionally easy-to-use PPTP which is not even available on the iPhone/iPad anymore since the release of iOS 10.

You want to follow these steps in order to enjoy your DNSthingy filtering (default ruleset) when you’re away from your home or office.

ASUS router setup – Part 1

  1. Log into http://mybox.management on your internal network
  2. Select VPN on your vertical menu, then OpenVPN Servers tab
  3. Choose to Enable your OpenVPN Server #1 (assuming it was disabled)
  4. Add a username, password and don’t forget to click the “+” (plus sign) to the right
  5. Click APPLY

ASUS router setup – Part 2

If we needed no modifications, the server-side would be ready.  However, we’re going to suggest these changes for reasons of simplicity as well as achieving the functionality of FULL DNS and default route functionality. This means that you will enjoy DNSthingy default ruleset filtering even when you’re away from home:

  1. Make sure you’re still under http://mybox.management -> VPN -> OpenVPN Server tab
  2. Under VPN Details select Advanced Settings
  3. Leave all details as they are except the ones listed here to change
  4. Not required, but recommended to change the port from 1194 to something like 51194 (using non-default ports is not only a good security measure, but many ISPs are blocking their own subscribers from hosting on port 1194)
  5. Change Username/Password authentication to Yes
  6. Username/Password Auth Only should also be set to Yes
  7. Set Direct clients to redirect Internet traffic to Yes (unless you explicitly want a Split-VPN network, then set it to No)
  8. Set Respond to DNS to Yes
  9. Set Advertise DNS to clients to Yes
  10. Click on Apply
  11. In the area labelled as Export OpenVPN configuration file it may show for a minute or two the following: Initialinzing the settings of OpenVPN server now, please wait a few minutes to let the server to setup completed before VPN clients establish the connection. Just allow it to finish.
  12. Click on Export once it is available
  13. Lookup your own DNSthingy dynamic DNS URL under DNSthingy.com/dashboard -> Advanced -> Info -> Copy your Dynamic DNS URL; something like 5681726336532480.c.dnsthingy.com (this is just an example, yours will be different)
  14. Open the client1.ovpn file in a text editor (right-click, open with your favorite text editor) and make one change manually:
    1. Find the line that look like “remote 142.5.6.7 51194” and replace the IP address with your dyndns name so it looks like this:
    2. remote 5681726336532480.c.dnsthingy.com 51194
    3. Save the .ovpn file
  15. You’re now ready to distribute the .ovpn file to any device that will be connecting remotely.
  16. On your client devices, follow the instructions under each of the sections available under VPN -> OpenVPN Servers tab like this:
    1. Windows Instructions
    2. Mac instructions