Explaining VPNs, specifically the remote side

Earlier today I was helping a user who was trying to setup a VPN. This user was trying to setup a VPN for geo-IP reasons. They did not realize that the VPN requires 2 endpoints -- one local to them, and one remote (such as a commercial VPN provider). When the user looked at various guides including the OpenWrt wiki articles, it wasn't immediately apparent to them that there is another 'side' to the connection.

This theme has come up from time to time. I'm wondering if anyone has any links to good explainers that emphasize the fact that the tunnel needs 2 endpoints. Or, if not, maybe I'll try to write something for the OpenWrt wiki.


I was that close to say that this user is a spammer/bot/etc
I am not sure if there is a point to explain everything to such a degree, as this is the forum for OpenWrt. Following this pattern we should also explain subneting so users can calculate the subnet mask correctly and not overlap networks.
Of course your time is yours and you decide how to spend it.


At first, I was thinking the same (spammer/bot). But I think that the user was legit and just not aware of how VPNs actually work. And we've had this issue show up from time to time. I figured I'd first ask for any good articles/resources that I could link for those users. If no good ones surface on this thread, I might just try to write up something for the wiki.

And yeah, I know you were saying it somewhat sarcastically, but a subnetting article could be useful, too. I do see your point about how this could cascade into a paradigm of this community being 'responsible' for teaching all things networking, not just OpenWrt specific stuff. That's why I am hoping there might be some good links we can just share when the issue comes up again.