A Guide to set up and share a VPN connection on your local Network
Two parts to this really, firstly creating a wifi hotspot on a PC on your home network. Secondly, setting up a VPN service and sharing it via the wifi hotspot.
Limited audience for this, but it provides a quick way to give a PC or media device access to out-of-region content. Even if your Router has a VPN client, you may not want to divert all of your devices via that VPN, so this method allows you to pick either your standard internet access (via the router) or VPN access via the WiFi Hotspot.
Right, First Off….Create a WiFi Hotspot
For this you need a PC on your home network that has a second network interface (wireless). In my case I used an Intel D54250WYKH NUC, fitted with an Intel N7260 WiFi Card. The ethernet port of the NUC connects to my home network, and the N7260 WiFi card is used to provide the hotspot. Any reasonable PC or latop should work though. Since a laptop probably has two network interfaces by default that might be easiest to test. My PC is running Windows 8.1 but this should all work just as well with Windows 7.
[There is a reasonably straightforward way to set up the WiFi Hotspot using an elevated command prompt, I’m using a free third party tool instead, since I found it easier to to start automatically]
- Download and install the program Virtual Router – I used Windows 7 compatibility mode, but it may well work without this.
- Once installed you should have a “Virtual Router Manager” icon in the system tray, or you can launch it from the Start Menu
- Edit the details you want to use for your WiFi hotspot as per the screenshot below (example).
- Clik “Start Virtual Router” and you have completed the first step, PCs and other devices can now select “MyHotspot” (or whatever you called it) for wifi access, and get internet access from the ethernet connection on the host PC. No VPN involved at this stageThe next step is to change the startup properties of the Windows Services associated with Virtual Router (and by association Internet Connection Sharing). The quickest way to access Windows Services is to click the start button then type:
- The next step is to change the startup properties of the Windows Services associated with Virtual Router (and by association Internet Connection Sharing). The quickest way to access Windows Services is to click the start button then type:
Next, Set up a VPN Connection on the Host PC
I’m recommending a paid VPN solution here. It needs to be a colution where a second (virtual) ethernet connection is created as per screenshot below (TAP-Windows Adaptor V9). My VPN provider is Cyberghost, which creates this adapter – and there’s always cheap deals about – just search. £10 – £15 for the year for 5 devices and you are in the right area.