Connecting VPN Tracker to Linksys BEFVP41

One of my priorities when setting up my new MacBook Pro was to allow VPN access into my home network. When I’m working in a cafe, it is occasionally handy to access files or data on a system at my apartment.

VPNs are notoriosly difficult to configure and maintain, and I wanted something that would eliminate most of these hassles. As such, I decided to use VPN Tracker from equinux to connect to my Linksys BEFVP41.

It’s not how I envision the ideal scenario, and it requires some geek-cred to set up, but it does work.

Add a New Connection

Step 1 In the initial window that is displayed when launching VPN Tracker, click the + button to add a new connection. A device selection dialog will appear, allowing you to choose a template of common settings for the particular connection being setup.

Step 2 In my case, I am connecting to a Linksys BEFVP41, so I chose the corresponding selection. equinux provides a how-to for interoperability between VPN Tracker and the BEFVP41. It’s based on the previous version of VPN Tracker, but has some good information I suggest reading.

Configure the Connection

Step 3

There are a lot of toggles to fiddle with under the Basic and Advanced configuration tabs. To be honest, even I can’t describe what each is used for.

The first critical setting is VPN Gateway. This can be either an IP address or host name. I’ve chosen to use DynDNS.com to point a DNS entry to my IP address, which is dynamically assigned by AT&T. I recommend this method, as dynamic IP addresses can and will periodically change, potentially leaving you stranded from your network if you are unable to determine the new address.

Remote Networks need to be configured as well, so the address range of the internal network is known. Typical home networks will use 192.168.1.0 / 255.255.255.0. I’ve modified my address range just to be different.

Finally, set the Identifiers to Local Endpoint IP Address and Remote Endpoint IP Address.

With those settings, flip the connection switch to on and hope the connection establishes correctly. If it works, you should be able to issue a ping command to the broadcast address and see responses from the systems on your network.

$ ping 192.168.1.255

As I previously noted, there are many permutations of settings, both in VPN Tracker and on the Linksys BEFVP41 itself. As I recall, my Linksys BEFVP41 should be using the factory settings, which I’ve left alone. If you encounter trouble, break out the documentation, sharpen your Google search skills, and get ready to learn a whole lot of esoteric network configuration knowledge. Good luck!

Comments

mcg
says:
February 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM

I’ve been using VPN Tracker for a couple years now to access my office VPN, and it has worked flawlessly.

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