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Exposing Windows OpenVPN Connect Client's Network to OpenVPN Server's Networks

In addition to including local subnets for specific users on OpenVPN server settings there are also changes that need to be made on client machines running the OpenVPN Connect software. These are not well documented for Windows OS, hence this document.

This document shows you the necessary changes needed to connect remote hosts/guests to your local network using Windows Firewall.


  • Connection established via OpenVPN connect
  • Remote guest/host on the same network as the OpenVPN Active Server

N.B OpenVPN creates a TAP device, which appears in Windows Network Adapters as Ethernet, with a Public network type.

Enable IP Forwarding

This will allow the OpenVPN Server's network to see the Clients.

  • Click start, type regedit, and click on its icon
  • Navigate through the tree to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip
  • In the right panel double click on IPEnableRouter
  • Change the value data from 0 to 1, then OK
  • Keep regedit open for the next section

Set OpenVPN Device as Private type

This will allow appropriate firewall rules to be set in bulk, and is faster than changing individual entries when the OpenVPN server's network is trusted.

  • Click Start, type Network and Sharing Center, and click on its icon
  • Observe the View Active Networks Panel
  • Look for the connection Ethernet connection labeled Public network and make a note of it's name

  • In regedit navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles\
  • Select each of the branches in the tree view
  • Review the contents of each branch in the right panel, until you find one that has the name of the TAP adapter
  • In the right panel double click on Catergory
  • Change the value data from 0 to 1

Test the Network Type

  • Disconnect the OpenVPN Connect tool
  • Reconnect the OpenVPN Connect tool
  • Click Start and type Network and Sharing Centre and click on its icon
  • You should observe the View Active Networks Panel entry for the Public network is now listed as Private Network

Authorise the Remote Network for shares

Whilst our changes are complete we also need to modify the SAMBA sharing rules to include the remote network's subnet.

  • Click Start and Type Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  • Click on its icon
  • Click on Inbound Rules
  • Organise by Name by clicking the column and locate File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In) with the Profile Private

  • Double click it and select the Scope tab
  • Under Remote IP Address panel

  • Click add and enter the remote subnet and bits

  • Click OK

Machines in the remote subnet should now be able to access the local shares.


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@fischerscode fischerscode commented Jul 30, 2019

Thank you, this helped me a lot!

two little notes:

  • If there is no panel IPEnableRouter go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters and try again
  • to change the network type to private you could also do this:
    • Add to your openvpn.conf:
      push "route vpn_gateway 500"
    • Restart openvpn
    • Reconnect clients
    • As windows asks you wether you want your pc to be discoverable, click Yes

Maybe @SayBeano you want to add them to your gist.

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