Install a VPN server with a QNAP and OpenVpn NAS

VPN server allows your employees to connect to company resources from a VPN client. It is a secure solution that allows you to telecommute.

The communication between your computer and your company is encrypted thanks to the VPN tunnel.

To set up a VPN solution you generally need a “VPN server” that can be a router or a specific server for this use (generally OpenVpn). But in our tutorial we will use a Qnap NAS and the OpenVPN solution

Why use a NAS?

A NAS is a piece of equipment that can act as a server. This equipment can store data, manage a mail server and much more. In terms of brands, two big names exist on the market

In my opinion, they are reliable and reputable brands. Even though I have a preference for the QNAP brand, I must admit that setting up a VPN server is also simple on a Synology.

You can therefore pool your equipment by offering your users a reliable solution to remotely connect to company data and applications.

  • QNAP TS-453D-4G 4-bay NAS Intel Celeron J4125 QC 2.0GHz 4GB DDR4 SODIMM SATA 6Gb / s USB3.0 x3 USB2.0 x2

    TS-453D-4G Package Weight: 1.0 Kg Made in China Item Package Dimensions: 20.0 x 20.0 x 11.0 cm

  • QNAP TS-231K

    TS-231K Package Weight: 2.4 Kg Made in China Item Package Dimensions: 20.0 x 20.0 x 11.0 cm

  • QNAP TS-451D2 NAS Tower Ethernet / LAN J4025

    QNAP TS-451D2 – NAS-Server – 4 Schächte – SATA 6Gb / s

11/21/2021 at 8:41 AM

  • WD My Cloud 8TB EX2 Ultra, 2-bay NAS

    • Multiple options for RAID configurations and automatic backup to protect your important data.
    • Support for third-party applications to create a custom NAS tailored to your needs.
    • Equipped with WD RED NAS drives designed for 24/7 environments (available as preconfigured models only).
    • Works with My Cloud OS 3 for automatic and personalized functions.
    • WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS Expert Series 8TB – 2 Bay
    • Operating temperature: 5 ° C to 35 ° C. Non-op. temperature: –20 ° C to 65 ° C
    • System requirements: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista | MacOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks or Mountain Lion
  • SYNOLOGY DS220 + 2-Bay NAS-Case

    • DS220 +
    • Plug type: EU (2 pin)
  • Synology ds218play NAS Server (2 Bay) 1GB Diskless

    • 2-bay NAS with an optimal multimedia solution for individuals
    • On-the-fly 4K video transcoding with 10-bit H.265 codec support
    • Sequential read and write up to 112MB / s and 112MB / s
    • Powered by a 1.4 GHz 64-bit quad-core processor with 1 GB DDR4 RAM
    • Supports up to 15 IP cameras
    • Sound level: 19.9 dB (A)

Step 1 – Installation of the VPN server

The first step is to install the application that will allow your NAS to host the VPN sessions of your users.

You have to download the‘QVPN application , it allows you to offer several types of VPN connection:

  • OpenVpn
  • IPSEC / L2TP
  • Belt
  • PPTP
qvpn qnap application
The application is available in the APPCENTER

We will use technology OpenVPn which allows a relatively simple installation.

qvpn openvpn
We activate the OpenVpn server, we must adjust the number of users according to the number of users.

The server will offer a specific IP address range for the vpn on the 10.8.0.X network, you can obviously modify this range but it is strongly recommended to take a little used range to avoid conflicts with home local networks which are often of the type 192.168.1.X

You can then download the configuration file by clicking on the button “Download configuration file”

download ovpn file

It is possible to use the IPSEC solution, it allows in particular to use the VPN client included in Windows.

Step 2 – Create your user accounts

To be able to connect to the VPN server, you must create user accounts on your Nas QNAP. You must therefore go to the User menu.

qnap users

Once the accounts are created you must assign them the right to use the OpenVPN VPN. You must therefore return to the QVPN application then in “Privilege settings”

add vpn qnap right

The list of users appears, you must check OpenVpn to authorize the user.

Well done the server configuration is complete! Now we move on to the configuration of your internet box!

Step 3 – Redirect port 1194

The OpenVpn client and server communicate using port 1194 (it can be customizable). It is advisable to carry out a rule of Nat. The protocol type will be UDP.

This rule allows port 1194 of your public IP to point to the IP address and port 1194 of your NAS.

The NAT process being different depending on the boxes and routers, I cannot provide you with a precise procedure.

Without this port forwarding your VPN will not work.

Nat Livebox 5 example
example of port forwarding on an Orange livebox 5.

Step 4 Installing the OpenVpn client

To establish the connection between your OpenVPN server of your QNAP NAS and your computer, you must download OpenVpnGui

Download the version corresponding to your operating system then start the installation.

OpenVPN 2.5 Windows 64Bits direct download

OpenVPn installation on Windows

Once installed you should have a new icon at the bottom right of your screen.

OpenVpn icon

Right-click then “import” and find your configuration file in .ovpn

import openvpn configuration

Once your file is imported, right-click then connect

openvpn qnap connection

You are then asked for the user ID and password.

The case must be respected for the login! If it starts with a capital letter you must write it with a capital letter.

openvpn credential

Validate and once logged in you should be able to access the company’s resources!

VPN server with a Synology NAS

You have a branded NAS Synology ? Mickaël from Tech2Tech wrote a tutorial to install a VPN server on Nas Synology

A video is also available in his article.

Installing a VPN server on Nas Synology very similar to that of the brand QNAP

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