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Raspberry Pi 3 VPN Router - OpenVPN


Introduction
This guide will create a VPN router appliance using a Raspberry Pi 3B, to enable devices such as SmartTVs, Fire TV, Fire Stick, Media Streamers, IPTV boxes, consoles, Chromecasts, etc to use our VPN - without having to sideload Apps - for additional security and to bypass ISP/country/geographical blocks.

YOU WILL NEED

  • Raspberry Pi 3B, others are not supported (15/03/18 - 3B+ not yet tested, but has been ordered).
  • A Micro SD memory card
  • Ability to write to the MicroSD card, if your laptop does not have an SD card reader then a USB based reader/adapter
  • An ethernet/network cable

Once configured, there are 2 options to connect to the router:

  • Join the 'StreamVia' wifi network that will be announced, all other device configuration is automatic
  • Connect to your existing wifi network, but modify the router/gateway and DNS of all devices to use the VPN to point to the Pi. This option is the recommended setup and will provide VASTLY better performance.

VPN throughput when using the Pi as a VPN router will typically 'top out' at around 30Mb due to its low power draw, this is when using the recommended configuration discussed above, perfectly fast enough for IPTV, FireTV/Stick, media streamers, TVs, even computers and tablets/phones.

Overview of the process in a YouTube walk-through-video below, step-by-step instructions below the walk-through-video on this page.



If you use this, we would very much appreciate some feedback, comments, etc


Install Guide


Step 1
Download the StreamVia custom LEDE/OpenWRT for Raspi 3:




Step 2
Use Etcher, https://etcher.io, to write the LEDE/OpenWRT image to your SD card


Step 3
Connect the Pi to a spare LAN/local port on your broadband router


Step 4
Boot up the Pi with the SD card inserted


Step 5
Once the Pi has booted, you will be able to join the 'StreamVia' wifi network on a computer/tablet, with the wifi key 'StreamVia' (minus ''). Computer will make things easier than tablet.


Step 6
After joining the StreamVia wifi network, enter the below in a web browser:

http://10.44.1.254


Step 7
Login with root as the username and 'streamvia' (all lower case) as the password


Step 8
Navigate to Network → Wireless → Edit


Step 9
Under 'Interface Configuration', select the 'Wireless Security' tab


Step 10
Choose a NEW wifi network key/password, so it is secure, enter it in the 'Key' box


Step 11
Click Save & Apply


Step 12
Rejoin the StreamVia network on your computer/tablet, with the new wireless network key/password you entered in Step 10/11


Step 13
Whilst connected to the StreamVia wifi network on the Pi, SSH to the below address. Using puTTY if on Windows, iTerm perhaps if on Mac, prompt on iOS, various options on Android. using a computer is easiest.

10.44.1.254

Username: root
Password: streamvia


Step 14
Whilst SSH-ed to the Pi, execute the below command:

vpnupdate


Step 15
Answer 'yes' to the question 'Do you want to update your VPN username/password?'


Step 16
You will be prompted for your StreamVia VPN username/password, available in the Client Area




Step 17
Answer 'yes' to the question 'Do you want to update your VPN server address?'


Step 18
When prompted, enter the server address you want to connect to, full list below:




Step 19
VPN will restart


Step 20
Make sure you are connected to the StreamVia wifi network, open the below to make sure all is connected properly:

http://test.streamvia.com


Step 21
To connect devices to the VPN, join them to the StreamVia wifi network. See Step 22 below for how to use your existing wifi network.

The Pi has limited wifi range, ideally make sure it is in the SAME room as your device(s) if you're connecting via wifi, using 'HomePlug' devices to connect via your electrical wiring if necessary to locate it in the room with your devices.

Or, we STRONGLY recommend you use the method in Step 22 below to connect your devices to the VPN as this will provide VASTLY better VPN performance/throughput.


Step 22
Alternatively, for the best performance and to use your own wifi network which will typically have better range than the Pi:

  • Connect a computer/tablet to the StreamVia wifi network
  • Login to the StreamVia OpenWRT router using the below in your browser:
http://10.44.1.254

Username: root
Password: streamvia
  • Navigate to Network → Interfaces
  • Locate the 'LAN' interface
  • Note down the LAN IPv4 address
  • Connect a device to your existing/original wifi network
  • Edit it's gateway/router and DNS settings, to BOTH point to the LAN IPv4 address you noted down above. Do not change the IP and subnet mask.
  • This will cause the devices to use the Pi for their internet gateway instead of your main broadband router, whilst still connected to your original wifi network
  • You can disconnect the computer/tablet from the StreamVia network

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