Jun 292023

Onto Part 2 of my series on VPNs, this guide will show you how to set up an OpenVPN server on my Linux distribution of choice, Debian.

Debian is available as an image on a lot of VPS providers, and even services like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, making it the perfect base to start your self-hosted VPN journey on.

You can help keep my site up and running by checking out the VPS providers that I use via the Affiliate links over on the left hand side there!

A Quick Introduction to OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a popular open-source VPN (Virtual Private Network) solution known for its security, flexibility, and cross-platform compatibility with apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OSX.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up an OpenVPN server on Debian 11.

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Jun 262023

In keeping with my last snippet about setting up a VPN server, I’ve decided to run a VPN series, seeing as how EVERY SINGLE YOUTUBER is being sponsored by a VPN nowadays.

I’ll go over the pros and cons of using a commercial VPN such as ExpressVPN or Surfshark vs running your own, and go over a few of the options that you have if you do want to run your own.

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Jun 222023

It has been a loooong time since I’ve posted…a lot has happened, but finally back on the blog!

I’ve been working a lot with Mikrotik devices lately, and I’ve written up a few bits and bobs to make my life easier.

Below is the snippet I’ve written to quickly set up an OpenVPN server on a Mikrotik router.


# This variable sets the DNS server that will be used by the clients on the VPN
:global netVPNDNSServer

# Sets the company and export passphrase that will be used for the cert
:global Company "YOUR COMPANY"
:global CertExportPassphrase YOURPASSPHRASE

# Sets up a user and password for the VPN
:global vpnuser joebloggs
:global vpnpass bloggsvpn

## Certificate Setup
/log info "generating certs"

## You may want to update your country, state, etc, but it's not necessary

/certificate add name=CA country=AU state=WA locality=WA organization=$Company unit=IT common-name=CA trusted=yes key-usage=key-cert-sign,crl-sign days-valid=3650
/certificate add name=server country=AU state=WA locality=WA organization=$Company unit=IT common-name=server trusted=yes key-usage=digital-signature,key-encipherment,tls-server days-valid=3650
/certificate add name=client country=AU state=WA locality=WA organization=$Company unit=IT common-name=client key-usage=tls-client days-valid=3650

# If you're copy and pasting this into terminal, paste each certificate sign line separately, and ignore the delay lines

/log info "signing certs"
/certificate sign CA name=CA
/log info "30 sec wait"
/delay 30000ms
/certificate sign server ca=CA 
/log info "30 sec wait"
/delay 30000ms
/certificate set server trusted=yes
/certificate sign client ca=CA
/log info "30 sec wait"
/delay 30000ms
/log info "exporting certs"
/certificate export-certificate CA
/certificate export-certificate client export-passphrase=$CertExportPassphrase
## OpenVPN Config

# This is where the IP addresses are set for the OpenVPN Clients.
# If you need to change them, this is the spot.

/ip pool add comment="OVPN Pool" name=Pool-VPN ranges=
/ppp profile add dns-server=$netVPNDNSServer local-address= name=Profile-VPN only-one=no remote-address=Pool-VPN use-encryption=required
/interface ovpn-server server set auth=sha1 certificate=server cipher=aes256 default-profile=Profile-VPN enabled=yes require-client-certificate=yes
/ppp secret add name=$vpnuser password=$vpnpass profile=Profile-VPN service=ovpn