Sharing a VPN Connection With a Media Device
One of the most attractive features of a VPN is that it allows you to view content that is blocked in your country or region. After all, many of us want to enjoy the latest film and TV shows releases that are available online. But hey, maybe you don’t really feel like watching stuff on your computer monitor, and for that, there’s a solution.
When it comes your favorite series and movies, the ideal option is usually to watch it on a TV screen. While it isn’t possible to use a VPN service directly on SmartTVs, Apple TVs or Xbox consoles, you can share your computer’s VPN connection. Sounds good? Yep? Great!
Before we begin, you might need to get yourself a good VPN for streaming.
Some Options for Sharing Your VPN Connection
The first option requires a ‘flashed’ router. You can flash it yourself on condition that you are computer literate and have some technical skills. If you do flash it yourself, know is that it’s possible to damage the router if done incorrectly. It also voids any warranty on the device, so be fairly warned.
There are a few options of open-sourced firmware to choose from, mainly DD-WRT, Tomato and OpenWRT. Tomato, DD-WRT or OpenWRT are all suitable software solutions to flash a router, thanks to the strong level of capabilities they all offer. Having a flashed router is great to avoid the normal micromanagement associated with setting up individual VPN connections.
Otherwise, you can get a router that has been already flashed. There are many companies in the market that offer this convenient solution. We suggest FlashRouters or RouterSource for the best devices and customer service. Unfortunately, they are much more expensive than factory preset routers. Additionally, Buffalo offers DD-WRT routers, and ASUS routers now sport AsusWRT – their own build which fully supports OpenVPN right out of the box.
Using your Windows PC Ethernet to Share Your VPN
The final option to enjoy a VPN connection on any device is sharing your computer’s connection. Windows’ VPN connection is simple. Once you have an account with a provider, follow these steps:
- Connect to your VPN service and make sure the media device is plugged to the PC with an Ethernet cable.
- Go to the Network and Sharing Center and select “Change adapter settings”.
- Look for your VPN connection. For OpenVPN, you would need to find the option that is marked as “TAP Win32 Adaptor V9” or something similar.
- Right click on the VPN connection, and in the drop don menu choose “Properties”.
- Go to the “Sharing” tab and mark the box that says “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection”.
- Select “Local Area Connection” from the drop down menu. In case there are multiple Ethernet ports on your PC, you will need to double check that you have selected the right one. Once you have confirmed this, click “OK”.
- Finally, you just need to restart your PC and your media device (such as an Xbox console) and you should be able to share the VPN connection without any issues.
Sharing a VPN With Apple Devices
If you want to share a VPN connection on Apple devices, you can follow the following instructions, which work for PPTP or L2TP:
- Once you have your VPN service set up and are connected to the client, plug your media device (make sure that it is switched off) to a USB port on your Mac with the Ethernet cable. You will probably need an adapter for that.
- Click on the Apple icon in the top-right of your Mac’s screen and open System Preferences. Then select Sharing.
- Find your VPN connection from the “Sharing your connection” menu and select it.
- Mark USB Ethernet in the box that says “To computers using”.
- Select Internet Sharing. This will open a pop-up, in which you can click Start. “Internet Sharing On” will light up in green to indicate that everything is working and you can switch your media device on.
Setting all this up may seem a bit complicated, so if you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment bellow and We’ll do our best to reply. Another thing to remember is that sharing a connection need to be turned on every time it’s needed. If that seems like too much work, you can run a second, dedicated VPN router setup, with GUI bookmarks in case you need to change servers. This will allow you to have an open and secure network that can be better utilized for video and media streaming across any device in your house.