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I'm supposed to setup a vpn server on our linux machine for some of our employees who travel a lot. I have 10 ip's on that server so I'm looking into a simple software (not openvpn which is a hell to digest). The software should be able to allow connections from any os type (linux, mac, windows). It should also be able to allow connections via username/password. I would like to assign 1 ip to each client. Ok. I managed to install and configure openVPN. All working great except for one thing. I can't seem to find a way of assigning my users the actual external Ip they are connecting to but instead, it assigns a local ip such as 10.0.8.1

One of the main reasons we need this vpn is this feature that I'm hoping on implementing. Let's say user1 connects to ip 98.xxx.xxx.xxx, when he goes to whatismyip.com, that ip must be shown and not the real ip he's connecting from. We have certain applications which only allow these ip's so this feature is crucial for me. Is it possible at all to control which ip gets assigned to which user?

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Depending on what firewall you use there may be an add-on that takes care of most of the complexity for you. –  John Gardeniers May 26 '10 at 2:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well, I'm not sure why you're discounting OpenVPN as a viable option. It is not only one of the most simple VPN servers to set up, but it is also one of the most secure. If you are not able to grok OpenVPN setup, then perhaps you ought to consider hiring someone to help you out and give you some training along the way.

If these remote employees only need access to a couple of applications, then perhaps you could consider getting them set up with SSH tunnels. That would be very simple, but probably not as flexible as you'd like.

The moral of the story here is that VPN systems have quite a bit of complexity, regardless of which system you choose. Short of outsourcing VPN to something like Hamachi, you're going to have to do a bit of setup.

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+1 for the hamachi suggestion. If you have to spend a full working day to figure out VPN and then another day installing and configuring it, etc etc, then hamachi starts to look very inviting from a budget perspective. –  Mark Henderson May 26 '10 at 2:40
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I wonder what happens to hamachi when IANA decides to allocate 5.0.0.0/8. Personally I don't think it is wise to trust a product that just 'steals' public unallocated public addresses which it isn't authorized for. –  Zoredache May 26 '10 at 2:58
    
Zoredache - agreed. If I recall, there was a post on NANOG not too long ago that stated that all of the remaining netblocks were scheduled to be assigned about one year from now. Hamachi is going to be in quite a hard place when that happens. This is one of the main reasons I quit using the product, even for my home network. –  EEAA May 26 '10 at 3:15
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OpenVPN has an Access Server product that simplifies things quite a bit -- it's free for 1-2 concurrent VPN connections and cheap ($50) for a 10 concurrent user license. It's easy to install, has an excellent web management interface that takes the hassle out of configuration, and in my experience, "just works". Alternatively, in line with @John G's suggestion, pfSense is a FLOSS firewall/gateway distro that has OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP VPN options built in, again with a nice web configuration interface. –  nedm May 26 '10 at 5:44

Stumpled upon this question while trying to recall the name of the solution I'd suggest.

To help others in the future: tinc is the open source Hamachi alternative for me.

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