I have a setup with a local host A behind a firewall acting as VPN client and a VPN server B which is publicly reachable. This setup works fine using openvpn.

Now what I would like to do is to reverse the setup, meaning have the VPN server locally on host A and the VPN client externally on host B. The problem here is of course that the VPN client on host B can't see (resolve) my local host A behind the firewall without the VPN. Therefore the normal connection from VPN client to VPN server does not work.

If there was a way to initiate the connection from the local VPN server to the VPN client, everything would be fine. Is there such a way?


What you're asking to do breaks the commonly recognised client/server model. Clients will always initiate connections to servers.

The only way that this is usually resolved is by brokering the connection in the middle with a publically addressable common host. This is how Hamachi works in such situations.


It sounds like what you want to accomplish is a reverse tunnel into your network. I would suggest you check out reverse SSH tunnels and how to use them.


  • Reverse tunneling is still initiated by the client, not the server. Feb 18 '16 at 22:38

You could set your firewall to port forward VPN (1723) to your VPN Server on the inside of the network, then you'd use the client to connect to the external IP of your firewall.

  • If I had control over the firewall, yes, that would be an option. But sadly I have not. Sorry, forgot to mention this.
    – Blixtor
    Jul 22 '09 at 5:54
  • If you can't get that port on host A then there's you're sunk unless you do the common host as Dan C alluded to. What are you trying to accomplish? maybe there's a better solution. Sep 1 '09 at 17:26

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