1.    04 Apr 2016 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 17
    win10 and win7

    My Own VPN Server (for when I travel outside of the US)


    When I am outside of the US I can't access, e.g., NetFlix and Amazon directly. So I've been using a VPN service which I guess makes it look like I am connecting from a server in the US. But now NetFlix, at least, is blocking connections from VPN services.

    So (knowing very little about VPN) I am wondering if I could have my own VPN server at my house which would allow me to connect to NetFlix through it, and thus NetFlix would see my US IP address although I was physically outside of the US.
    My question is - can I just buy a router which will do this? I see routers advertised which say they provide VPN support but it seems to me that that could mean any one of three things: 1) one of my computers at home could connect to a server at my employer which requires a VPN connection; or 2) someone could use a VPN connection to connect to one of the computers at my house; or 3) what I want - i.e. so from abroad I could connect to this router at my house and through it connect to, e.g., NetFlix.

    Thanks, Bob
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    04 Apr 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    A router with VPN server built in will allow your computer to connect to it over the internet and then attach your computer to your network just like it was on your home network.

    So, when I travel, I connect my laptop to the internet - let's say hotel WiFi. I click the icon to connect to my VPN which my router at home is providing. After the connection is made, my laptop is transformed to behave exactly like I was connected to my home network. I can see all the other shared storage on my home network, and I can print to the printers on my home network. There is a setting on my router which allows internet connection through the VPN - so that means when my laptop is connected to my VPN, it is surfing the internet from my home network and not the hotel WiFi. So, yes, you can do Netflix that way.

    What is really nice about having the router providing the VPN server is that I don't have to leave any of the computers at home powered on to be a VPN server.

    I can also connect my Android phone and Android tablet to my VPN and they act just like they were connected to my WiFi at home.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    04 Apr 2016 #3
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 17
    win10 and win7
    Thread Starter

    Thank you very much LCDR for your reply (and your service). What brand/model is your router?

    Thanks, Bob
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    04 Apr 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    I have a Netgear Nighthawk R7000.

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    Unless your ISP provides you with a static IP address, you'll also need a Dynamic DNS service. The router forwards my IP address to no-ip.com and that service provides me with a domain name h*********.mynetgear.com and that is what I use to access my VPN. It's a free service, but you have to logon to no-ip.com something like every 90 days to renew it. Or you can pay for it and not have to renew it.

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    04 Apr 2016 #5
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,357
    Mac OS Sierra

    Some countries block VPN and Proxies, so you would still have a hard time. You can try changing the region in your Netflix account. It has worked for some.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    05 Apr 2016 #6

    Hi there
    VPN via Router works fine
    IMO the best way to do it rather than pay for a specific VPN service that might get blocked

    Another possibility (works for Blocked Torrent sites - not sure about Netflix accounts though) is to use something like TOR browser - although it depends on whether you use a browser to stream Netflix or something like a Media server with a device like Chromecast etc.

    The only problem is in fact finding your IP address when outside your network. No-IP is not a bad idea although that then "regionalizes" your IP address to that of the IP servers on No-IP so it won't always work properly for accessing regional content of Netflix etc.

    It might be better to consider this a way

    Even Static IP's don't change much once they are logged on

    so what you need is this

    1) Every so often run a program (via Batch job / Crontab) to get your actual IP address - this runs on the HOME computer
    2) when the reply comes back (pipe output to a file)
    3) Send email to yourself with the IP address -- maybe to your PHONE.

    Once you've got your IP address you can then logon to your HOME computer and you've then got all access to services.
    (RDP or whatever can be used to logon to your Home machine --of course you'll need decent UPLOAD speed from your home machine since the stream will be sent to THAT machine and then you will see output on your laptop).

    Upload speeds are usually much slower than downloads - so unless your upload is at least 2 Mb/s you probably won't get a very good viewing experience this way.

    I'm not a programmer but I'm sure most of the intelligent Gurus on this Forum could devise a simple script to do these jobs / get your IP address and then send an email. Probably take them less time to do it than it takes for me to order a Pint of Beer in an empty Pub. !!!


    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    05 Apr 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    The only problem is in fact finding your IP address when outside your network. No-IP is not a bad idea although that then "regionalizes" your IP address to that of the IP servers on No-IP so it won't always work properly for accessing regional content of Netflix etc.

    It might be better to consider this a way

    Even Static IP's don't change much once they are logged on

    so what you need is this

    1) Every so often run a program (via Batch job / Crontab) to get your actual IP address - this runs on the HOME computer
    2) when the reply comes back (pipe output to a file)
    3) Send email to yourself with the IP address -- maybe to your PHONE.

    Once you've got your IP address you can then logon to your HOME computer and you've then got all access to services.
    (RDP or whatever can be used to logon to your Home machine --of course you'll need decent UPLOAD speed from your home machine since the stream will be sent to THAT machine and then you will see output on your laptop).
    jimbo45, you are making this way more complicated and confusing than it has to be because you are confusing a Dynamic DNS service with a VPN service. No-ip.com used by the router is NOT a VPN service. It is a Dynamic DNS service. I put the check in the block for my router to send my ip address to NO-IP.com (mynetgear.com), second screenshot in my post #8. Whenever my router detects an IP address change from my ISP (internet service provider), it logs into NO-IP.com with the username and password I have assigned and gives it my new IP address assigned to the router by my ISP. NO-IP.com then assigns the IP address of my router to the personalized domain name I have picked out, h*********.mynetgear.com.

    When I connect to h*********.mynetgear.com, the IP address of my router is returned. The only function NO-IP.com serves is to provide me with the IP of my router at home. Once my VPN client on my laptop "pings" h*********.mynetgear.com and retrieves the IP address of my router, then it connects to the VPN server on my router at my IP address that was returned.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    I'm not a programmer but I'm sure most of the intelligent Gurus on this Forum could devise a simple script to do these jobs / get your IP address and then send an email. Probably take them less time to do it than it takes for me to order a Pint of Beer in an empty Pub. !!!
    No programming skill is required. Put the checkmark in the block to use the Dynamic DNS service, give it the username and password that you got when you signed up at NO-IP.com and that's it. Ping your personalized domain name and you get the IP address of your router in return.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    No-IP is not a bad idea although that then "regionalizes" your IP address to that of the IP servers on No-IP so it won't always work properly for accessing regional content of Netflix etc.
    Completely incorrect. All NO-IP.com does is assign my router's IP address to my personalized domain name: h*********@mynetgear.com. The VPN I am connecting to is my home router and the IP address region is that assigned to my router, not NO-IP.com.

    To sum it up - NO-IP.com is nothing more than an electronic rolodex file or a 411 directory service (only us old guys will know about those). All NO-IP.com does is assign the IP address provided by my router to a domain name that I can choose. That way I only have to configure my VPN client on my laptop to connect to my personalized domain name which should always have my current home router IP address assigned to it, instead of having to reconfigure my VPN client every time my IP address at home changes.

    And - another small confusing point:
    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Even Static IP's don't change much once they are logged on
    Static IP addresses don't change. That's why you have to pay extra for them. If you pay your ISP extra for a static IP address then you don't need any Dynamic DNS service because you are paying your ISP to keep your IP address the same, always. Most home internet subscribers will get a dynamic IP address from their ISP - which is subject to change, usually when your modem gets disconnected for some reason and reconnects.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    05 Apr 2016 #8
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 17
    win10 and win7
    Thread Starter

    "Upload speeds are usually much slower than downloads - so unless your upload is at least 2 Mb/s you probably won't get a very good viewing experience this way."

    Very good point jimbo45! I had given some thought to transmission speed but had not thought about the large discrepancy between download and upload speeds. But just checked with my cable company and I can buy my way out of that problem for $5/month.

    Thanks, Bob


      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    05 Apr 2016 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 774
    Windows 7

    You should probably check with your ISP about this. High upload traffic would look like you are operating an Internet accessible server which is not permitted by most standard accounts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    05 Apr 2016 #10
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 17
    win10 and win7
    Thread Starter

    "I have a Netgear Nighthawk R7000."

    Thank you NavyLCDR. That's a bit pricey. I've sent Netgear an email asking about less expensive models which support using "
    VPN to Access Your Internet Service at Home" and Dynamic DNS.

    Thanks very much for your help with this.

    Bob
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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