Help for a VPN semi-noob

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TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
I am about to try out NordVPN for my Amazon Fire TV stick, but it can also be used on various other devices and also, according to their detailed instructions, be installed on ASUS routers running Merlin firmware. What I'm very unclear about is this: if I install it on my RT-AX88U and it happens to work, how would that interact with say, a Windows laptop which also had the same or another brand of VPN on it? Would there be a conflict that would require the VPN on the computer to be disabled when on my local network for instance? Also, I did manage to get OpenVPN working on my router as a server, so that if I need to access it or files on my network when away from home, I could connect using the VPN (I think that was some advice I picked up on this forum a while back). Would adding NordVPN affect the setup I have got at the moment (I'm assuming not as the one I have now is for incoming connections, whereas the NordVPN would be for outgoing connections (wouldn't it?).
 

Wallace_n_Gromit

Senior Member
I am about to try out NordVPN for my Amazon Fire TV stick, but it can also be used on various other devices and also, according to their detailed instructions, be installed on ASUS routers running Merlin firmware. What I'm very unclear about is this: if I install it on my RT-AX88U and it happens to work, how would that interact with say, a Windows laptop which also had the same or another brand of VPN on it? Would there be a conflict that would require the VPN on the computer to be disabled when on my local network for instance?
When I first purchased NordVPN service, I was trying to figure out how to best configure it on my home network/smart phones. I did find that I could use 1 of my 6 allowed connections on my Merlin Asus router as a NordVPN client and still have my wife's Smart phone as the 2nd client to NordVPN go through the router. A VPN tunnel within a VPN tunnel. Don't see why, logically, this would not work with another VPN service.

Using my router as a VPN client was a problem though. YoutubeTV will not work within a VPN tunnel. And sometimes Amazon Prime Videos will not work using some of the NordVPN servers. If you run NordVPN within the Amazon Fire TV stick, be aware that some streaming services may not work. Also some websites (i.e. Financial firms) will not allow access from known VPN servers.

Also, I did manage to get OpenVPN working on my router as a server, so that if I need to access it or files on my network when away from home, I could connect using the VPN (I think that was some advice I picked up on this forum a while back). Would adding NordVPN affect the setup I have got at the moment (I'm assuming not as the one I have now is for incoming connections, whereas the NordVPN would be for outgoing connections (wouldn't it?).
I vaguely remember (I'm old, that's how I remember nowadays ;) ) that there were discussions about the capability/or lack thereof to run a server and client at the same time on your asus router. If it is possible (seem to remember it was very problematic for the poster), the default port (i.e. 1194) would have to be modified on the server or the router. Best to do a search.

Edit: One option would be to use a second device (Raspberry Pi) as a VPN server and have the router port forward(ing) to it as the router takes on the duties as a VPN client.
 
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eibgrad

Very Senior Member
Any LAN-based OpenVPN client (e.g., Windows) will always supercede any OpenVPN client on the router. However, that LAN-based OpenVPN client will likely be routed through the OpenVPN client on the router unless the router has enabled PBR (policy based routing) and that device has been excluded as a result. Up to you whether that matters (minimally it will likely degrade performance if NOT excluded).

As far as the OpenVPN server and client on the same router, they normally won't interfere w/ each other, AS LONG AS the router is configured w/ PBR on the OpenVPN client. That's because in order for remote OpenVPN clients to reach your router's OpenVPN server, the router itself has to be OFF the router's OpenVPN client, which is a side-effect of implementing PBR.

P.S. One possible gotcha (although rare) is having the OpenVPN server and OpenVPN client on the router using the same tunnel IP network (e.g., 10.8.0.0/24). They *must* be different, and should they be the same, you'll have to change the OpenVPN server (e.g., 10.9.0.0/24) to accommodate the OpenVPN client. That's something to keep an eye out for.
 
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TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Thanks for the detailed answers folks. I think I'll avoid the router option for now as it seems rather complicated.
 

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