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User Guide – Secure access to a private service

Overview

In this document, we examine a VPN setup to meet the needs of a fictitious company. A startup has headquarters located in California, USA. They have virtual Sales offices in some of the major cities in America. Their sales force is often at customer sites or traveling to customer sites. They access the Internet from hotels, cafes, airports, and other public Internet sites. The sales team relies on SaaS tools like Gsuite and Salesforce.

Owen is in charge of IT and Networking for this company. Owen is cognizant of the security risks that come with the use of public hotspots to access the Internet and is looking for a VPN solution that the sales team can use for secure access to the Internet. He does not want to manage, install and maintain VPN servers but wants to ensure that the company has control over the interconnect to the Internet so that additional protections (for example, use of CASB) can be added later.

Owen is aware that a few of the many benefits of using OpenVPN Cloud are DNS security and control over the Internet access route and signs up to use OpenVPN Cloud.

Owen completes the signup process as shown here. During the signup process, Owen selects technop.openvpn.cloud as the web domain for the user portal. This domain uniquely identifies the VPN that will be set up by Owen and is used by Connect Client applications (VPN Client software) to identify the VPN that it needs to connect to.

Owen’s company has been using OpenVPN Cloud for some time now. Owen gets an urgent request to make files and reports stored on a Windows computer available to the Sales team ASAP. It will be too time-consuming and costly to upload these files to Google Drive. Owen decides to leverage the OpenVPN Cloud and provide secure access to these files by making the computer an OpenVPN Cloud Host by installing the Connector app on it and running a simple web server on that computer.

Illustration of VPN

Add a Host to the VPN

Note: Connectors for Hosts are available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. In this example, Windows Connector is installed.

Owen took the following steps to make the files available on a private Windows Server to the sales team via VPN:

  1. Owen logged into the Admin Portal and configures a Host named ‘ReportServer’ and associated Connector. The IP address that will get assigned to the Connector is also shown. In this case, the IP address of 100.64.1.3 got assigned. This IP address remains static and is not dependent on the VPN Region selected for the Connector. This VPN IP address can be used to reach the Host. See, Adding a Host
  2. Owen then downloaded the Connector app for Windows and installed it on the computer containing the files. See, Installing Connector for Windows
  3. To make the files available, Owen setup a simple web server on the computer and opened the Windows firewall to accept incoming connections as shown in Installing Connector for Windows
  4. Owen connected to OpenVPN cloud (see, Connecting to OpenVPN Cloud) and opened the browser to the VPN IP address of the webserver.
  5. Confident that files can now be downloaded, Owen distributed the URL to his Sales team.