VPN from coffee shop to my home internet connection for security reasons
February 17, 2005 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I don't trust public hotspots. I'd like to sit in a coffee shop, connect via VPN to my local network at home and use my home internet connection (cable modem) to access the outside world. Does anyone have any experices with Sveasoft's firmware hack that supposedly lets you do this. I'm using a Linksys WRT54G and their Satori-4.0 v2.07.1.7sv firmware but having a hell of a time getting it to work. Is this even an option? [MI]

I know I'd be getting a huge bandwidth hit by surfing via this method but I don't do that much heavy lifting while in coffee shops anyway, I just want to be protected.

For what it's worth I'm using a Mac running 10.3.6, but I haven't even configured the router enough yet to have to worry about the client end of things... Anyone have a step by step guide on how to turn this on. The Sveasoft forums are a bit over my head and frankly the moderators over there don't seem very helpful and have a bit of attatude.
posted by pwb503 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am using a more recent firmware (DD-WRT, which is a fork of Alchemy, which is Sveasoft's next version after Satori), but I don't think that this has changed since Satori. You need to go to your router's configuration page ( is the default, and the password is "admin" with an empty username by default). Click the Administration tab, which brings up the management page. Find the PPTP section. (If there isn't one, then you can upgrade your firmware to Alchemy or DD-WRT.) Enable the PPTP server, then click "save settings" at the bottom of the page. Click continue on the "settings are successful" page, then scroll back down to the PPTP section. You should now see "Server IP", "Client IP(s)", and "CHAP-secrets". For Server IP, use the local IP of the router (, probably). For Client IP(s), you should enter a range that does not conflict with the range defined for the DHCP server (such as ""). The DHPC server range is defined on the Setup->Basic Setup page, by the starting IP address and number of DHCP clients. For CHAP-secrets, you should enter lines like:

username * password *

-- one for each username. The stars are wildcards for options that aren't important here.

Click "save settings" again, and you should then be able to connect with any PPTP client. I have only used Windows' built-in client, but any client should work.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 11:42 AM on February 17, 2005

I've never tried the approach you're describing, but it's pretty easy to set up an IPSec VPN using a junky linux box. Better performance than using PPTP or a half ass SSL implementation.
posted by cmonkey at 11:48 AM on February 17, 2005

Actually, though PPTP is a pile of crud, it shouldn't perform significantly worse in latency, throughput and effects on tcp tuning than an IPsec tunnel.
posted by fvw at 12:00 PM on February 17, 2005

cmonkey -- The WRT54G router is powered by Linux. That's why you can do all these fancy mods in the first place.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:08 PM on February 17, 2005

this is so awesome.. i had no idea you could get a linksys router to do this.

does this work with connecting to the router from both inside and outside ? [i.e. can you VPN from your laptop to your router while at home too?] the reason I ask is that my roommates refuse to have encryption turned on our access point. i don't care if they get sniffed, I just want to protect my own data.
posted by reverendX at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2005

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