Paranoid Penguin - Linux VPNs with OpenVPN, Part V

Tips for success in using OpenVPN for secure remote access.

This article and my previous four columns covered Virtual Private Network principles and architectures; described a few VPN technologies available for Linux and how SSL/TLS solutions differ from IPsec; covered OpenVPN server configuration, including how to generate and manage digital certificates; and described client configuration and usage; all for a simple remote-access usage scenario.

With all of that plus the practical use details I covered this month, you should be well on your way to a secure remote-access VPN solution using OpenVPN. If you decide to use OpenVPN instead or additionally to build network-to-network VPNs or to do a “bridging” OpenVPN solution, the OpenVPN man page, HOWTO and FAQ should make more sense to you now than they would have before reading these articles—all of which means, you no longer have any excuse to surf the Web through insecure wireless hot spots without protection!

Mick Bauer ( is Network Security Architect for one of the US's largest banks. He is the author of the O'Reilly book Linux Server Security, 2nd edition (formerly called Building Secure Servers With Linux), an occasional presenter at information security conferences and composer of the “Network Engineering Polka”.