Need help setting up vpn router on laptop

Hi guys
I was referred here by another forum. I am hoping to find a step by step guide on how to do this. I have been searching and searching and surprisingly nothing exists on this.

my goal is to connect a laptop to my home internet, whether by ethernet cable or wifi, and have that laptop act as a VPNized router, meaning the laptop broadcasts a wifi signal and other devices (laptops, phones, roku) can connect to this wifi hotspot and whatismyipaddress would show the vpn ip, not my home ip. I already signed up with a vpn provider. now I am ready to follow your instructions.

Do you currently have a router running OpenWrt?

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I don't have a router running openwrt. I was hoping to do this on a laptop because a long time ago I tried it on a router and it was so complicated I gave up.

Is this laptop going to be used as a router or will your laptop be used as a regular computer (i.e. running Windows, MacOS, or Linux)?

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I want to use the laptop as a router that broadcasts a VPNized wifi spot. then, other devices like laptops, roku, smart phones can connect to this wifi and when they go to whatismyipaddress it shows the vpn ip, not my home ip.

x86 devices make excellent routers, but they are often very poor APs. Beyond that, not all wifi cards (internal to a laptop) support operation as an AP. The same two comments will also be true for many USB wifi adapters. So you may find that you will hit some snags or performance bottlenecks on the wifi side of things. If you end up looking for new wifi hardware for this purpose, you should consider a regular router that can run OpenWrt.

That said, your first task will be to install OpenWrt on your laptop. Here's how you'll do that:

Once that is done, we can add the VPN functions.


thanks, those are great instructions and seem simple enough. before I proceed, I wanted to know, for the vpn part, do I need to mess with my main router's settings? because a long time ago I was trying to do the dual router thing and I had to mess with my main router and let's just say people in my house were not happy about not having internet for days.

Nothing needs to change on your main router. You'll be setting up the laptop with OpenWrt as just another host on your lan. From there, you'll install the VPN and configure it, and then setup an AP on the laptop's wifi that will be specific to the VPN -- the main router doesn't need to know anything about the VPN or that wifi network. (keep in mind what I said about the possible pitfalls of using x86 based devices as a wifi AP, though).

I prepared the usb and inserted it in the laptop and booted from usb. I saw 2 options the first option was something the second option was something failsafe. I went with the first option. then there was a black screen with white text loading. then something about eth0 is permicous. I pressed enter and it says
seems like it's waiting for me to enter a command.

Yup... it's waiting for commands. You'll probably want to set the lan address such that it can be connected to your normal network... that means

  • select an address in the same subnet as your normal lan that is
    • not being used by any other devices on your network
    • outside the DHCP pool for your existing DHCP server.
  • then set the DHCP server on lan (on your OpenWrt laptop) to ignore the lan interface (thus disabling the DHCP server)
  • Finally, connect your laptop's ethernet port to the normal network.

From there, you can use LuCI (web interface) or ssh (or the keyboard/display of your laptop) to configure the rest.

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You may need some basic knowage of linux to proceeed but
what you need is to be able to edit the files on the flashdrive via booting in to windows/mac os and edit ing the files on the flash drive wich btw they are store at


From there you need to edit the network and dhcp files to get the laptop lan to work as a dhcp client when it boot in to the openwrt so you are able to acsess the luci on your phone/pc

The other way is by using terminal slightly complicated for beginers you can use vim to edit the files from the openwrt installation itself

I have no idea what any of that means. I need instructions "copy this number, paste it here"
if such instructions are not available I am going to forget about this whole thing

Thanks, I understand how to edit files in notepad++
but I need step by step instructions "copy this number, paste it here"
if such instructions don't exist I am going to give up and forget about this whole thing.

If a web interface is easier for you, you can directly connect another computer to this laptop (with ethernet). Then use a web browser to navigate to

OpenWrt is very well documented. What you are trying to do may be a bit more advanced than your current skillset, but you can absolutely learn. The key is to read the documentation, and ask questions where you get stuck. It's best not to expect to be spoon-fed the basics, but we'll certainly be happy to help clarify things, get you unstuck, or troubleshoot/fix problems that come up.

fwiw, I put together a quick guide last week for how I boot openwrt from a pen drive inserted into an old Dell i5 laptop and run openvpn client router. It may give you some pointers?

See the '8 - OpenVPN router on Notebook with HH5a switch.pdf'

My requirement was for a wired (not wireless) openvpn router which requires 2 ethernet ports. It wouldn't be too difficult to enable wifi on HH5a if I wanted half decent wifi. I haven't even looked at whether it is even possible to enable the laptop's Intel 7260ac for wifi.

In your case, if you are able to get wifi on the laptop working as an Access Point, the existing ethernet port which is designated by default for LAN use, can be changed to be come the new WAN port for the openvpn laptop router.

Update: AP mode not supported on 7260 wifi card according to Intel.