Category: Hacking

Using (and sharing) a VPN connection on your Mac

Update (2011-05-07): I added a Troubleshooting section at the end of this article, grouping together several common problems (and solutions) people posted in the comments.

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been kinda busy lately. I finally updated my development machine to Snow Leopard (I was on Leopard 10.5.7) and I took the opportunity to sort and organize all my backups, documents and stuff. I’m still not really done with my backup procedures, but at least I’m covered in case of a crash (after the capacitors incident, I decided to take my backups more seriously).

Anyway, one of the things I always wanted (and finally had time) to do was to setup my own OpenVPN server. In case you don’t know, VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”, and it’s a way to have your own secure network no matter where you are. Whenever you’re at a cafe or an hotel and want to make sure no one can take a peek on what you’re doing (yes, it’s pretty easy to do that) you need a VPN. Having a VPN server can also help you circumvent geoblocking, if that’s what you’re up to.

I decided to write this article to share the experience I had configuring my own VPN, specially when I wanted to share the connection with other devices in my network. If that’s what you want to do, read on and I’ll try to explain what I did and how I did it.

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