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I have a router (ASUS RT-AC66U) with an embedded OpenVPN server. I'm able to successfully connect to the OpenVPN on the router, as well as, access internal services in my home network; However, Whenever I look up my IP address I still have the IP address of the location where I am currently connected (i.e. 250.456.12.86 at Coffee House) instead of my home network. With that said, the "advance settings" on my server (see image below) has a option called "Direct Clients to redirect internet traffic" and marked as "No". According to my research, allowing this option slows down network performance as it routes traffic from the coffee house back into your home network. So really, How am I secure If I still show the IP address of the coffee shop? and how can I test that my connection is encrypted (and it really looks like garbage) if someone in the coffee house decides to sniff my traffic?

Some background: The reason why I ask this is because the company that I work for also has a VPN implementation but when I'm connected to theirs my IP address is that of my workplace network.

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  • The answer below explains the situation pretty well. If you want to tunnel your traffic through a VPN to protect it from eavesdropping but don't want to have your home connection's upload speed as a bottleneck you can get a small server (a VPS will do just fine) and install OpenVPN on it. You'll get both privacy and improved speed (as the server's bandwidth is way higher than your home network's). – user42178 Mar 10 '15 at 16:03
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It sounds like what you have there is a VPN option known as "split tunnelling" set-up. In this configuration, traffic for your home network is directed over the VPN and all other traffic goes straight to its destination.

If your goal is to protect all your general traffic from sniffing attacks in the coffee shop or other location that you access it from, you'll need to route all your traffic over the VPN (which as you say, may slow things down).

Depending on the resources you have, another option would be to set up a remote desktop style machine in your home network, then use the VPN to get to that system and access the Internet using that machine. This would have the effect of protecting your traffic from coffe shop based sniffing, whilst avoiding some of the slow-down from sending all web traffic over a VPN

  • Actually, remote desktop will be even less usable. Sure, you will get more bandwidth on the remote machine, but what for ? Anything like audio or video (which would be one of the needs for high bandwidth) would be totally unusable over RDP. – user42178 Mar 10 '15 at 16:02
  • not sure I'd agree with you there. RDP and other remote technologies tend to be optimized for low bandwidth connections and handle slower connections/increased latency quite well. Obviously video/audio wouldn't be affected but (for example) downloading large amounts of JavaScript to the browser would be faster over RDP as you just see the results and don't actually have to have the downloaded data. – Rоry McCune Mar 10 '15 at 16:23
  • It depends on how large the JS is and whether it's already in the browser's cache. JS-heavy sites run load fast with just a 1mbps connection once the files are in cache. In any case, I prefer a bit of slowness on page loading rather than the latency of RDP. – user42178 Mar 10 '15 at 16:33
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    Sure there are many factors, which is why I'd wouldn't agree that RDP will always be less usuable. sometimes it'll be better, and sometimes worse. Also as you mention, persona preferences for different types of slow-down are relevant – Rоry McCune Mar 10 '15 at 16:55

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