VPN service providers such as ProXPN offer a service in which you pay a monthly subscription, allowing you to download an app for Windows or Macs so that your traffic goes to the internet via this protected tunnel.

The problem with this is that I don’t want to have to install the app on every box at home. I have an old laptop which I rarely use. So I thought of:

  1. Installing a Windows 7
  2. Installing the ProXPN app on it; and
  3. make this Windows laptop a proxy.

The architecture would simply be:

End Nodes -> Win7 Proxy NIC1 (192.168.1.xxx) to NIC 2 (<VPN_IP>) -> home router -> internet

I was wondering if anyone would be able to provide a pointer to some documentation on best practices for a secure implementation of this scenario. For example, would bridging the NICs within the default Win7 network adapters’ functionality impose a security threat? Should I go for an open source proxy?

  • Does it need to be ProXPN or is just any kind of VPN solution you could run off your laptop ok? I use OpenVPN for secure surfing on MS Vista and a iPad when I'm not at home. – Gos Bilgon Dec 23 '13 at 20:43
  • @GosBilgon - (apologies for delay: holidays). Well, it could be any other, but I had thought of ProXPN initially, just as a try and error. My security concern is about bridging the traffic from one NIC to another. – Lex Dec 30 '13 at 11:40

If there were two physical NICs on the laptop, that would work. Perhaps you can add one as a PC card. Using pfSense running a VPN client would be more secure than Windows 7.

With pfSense, you could instead use vLANs through a single NIC to a smart switch. One vLAN would be the WAN interface via your router to the Internet, and another NIC would be the LAN gateway. You could even have two LAN gateways, one providing straight Internet connectivity, and the other connectivity through the VPN service.

Or you could buy a router flashed with Linux-based firmware (OpenWRT, DD-WRT, Tomato, etc) that includes a VPN client.

  • thanks for your answer. Yes, they seem reasonable solutions. I kinda like the idea of the two NICs to start with; my concern is bridging the NICs, do you think this would impose any security concerns? – Lex Dec 30 '13 at 11:44

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