How to Set Up a VPN Router

A virtual private network (VPN) is a physical network that allows for remote access. VPNs are useful for those who travel, but still require access to files contained on a network.Because there are several models of VPN routers and each are set up differently, this article will focus on one—the Multitech RF550—as an example. A familiarity with routers and networks will be a must.

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Setting up a VPN is important if you want to protect your files, hardware and software.

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Connect your router to your cable modem via an Ethernet cable.

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Connect your router to your computer via an Ethernet cable.

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Visit the Cisco website (see Resources) to download updated firmware. Select your router hardware version and click the “Download” link.

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Open your router's configuration screen.

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Select the VPN Settings area.

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Set connection name to whatever you'd like the network to be identified as.

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Set the "Local IPSEC Identifier" to "Local."

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Set the "Remote IPSEC Identifier" to "Remote."

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Leave the "Remote IP Network," "Remote IP Netmask" and "Remote Gateway IP" blank. These values will be automatically filled in by the network.

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Set "Secure Association" to "IKE."

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Set "Perfect Forward Secure" to "Enabled."

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Set a PreShared Key in the field provided. This will be your network's password. Only people with the password will be able to connect.

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Set "Key Life" and "IKE Life Time" to a high number. The number will correspond to how many seconds the password will be active before it expires. After the key expires, the network will be unavailable until the administrator creates a new key.

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Click the “Enable” button at the bottom-right of the screen.

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Click the “Save” button. The router will reboot in order to save your changes. Thereafter, the VPN will be ready to receive connections.