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Community Manager

Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

This guide will help you setup Hybrid VPN on your Nighthawk Pro Gaming router. 

 

What is a VPN?

 

A virtual private network ('VPN') is used to mask your real IP addresses from the Internet. When a VPN connection is made, the VPN server replaces your real IP address with an IP address from the VPN server, keeping your home Internet connection secure.

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 3.06.28 PM.png

 

What does Hybrid VPN do?

 

Hybrid VPN is a router VPN Client solution that allows you to apply your VPN provider to any device in your home. You can also choose the games, ports or applications you do or do not want the VPN to be applied to. This means you can protect the devices or services that need it, without forcing the rest of your network to go through a VPN which is usually slower than a normal connection.

 

INSTALLING HYBRID VPN

 

  1. Update to the latest firmware

 

Hybrid VPN is available on the latest firmware for Nighthawk XR500, XR450 and XR700. 

Nighthawk Users: Upgrade to the latest firmware by going to >Settings >Administration >Firmware Update and then clicking Check. The latest firmware may have already been installed, but if not, confirm you would like to proceed with the upgrade

 

  1. Hybrid VPN Setup

 

Once the latest firmware is installed, click Hybrid VPN on the menu on the left. 

  1. You will need an active VPN subscription to a provider with OpenVPN (most have this)
  2. Toggle Enable so it is disabled (a black line appears, instead of red) 
  3. Click VPN Setup
  4. You can now either use PureVPN or HideMyAss for basic setup (if you have a subscription with them), or you can copy the OpenVPN config file from your VPN provider into the Advanced section
  5. Enter your username and password that you have with your VPN provider. Be careful to do this accurately (note: some providers do not require a username or password. Leave this field blank if it's true for you
  6. Now click Enable . It should now say 'Applying Settings' 
  7. Once complete, the Status in the Information should change to 'Connected'. If it does not, please make sure you have entered your details correctly.
  8. If it says connected, VPN is now enabled on your router BUT you need to choose the devices / services you want to apply the VPN to. 
  9. To apply the VPN to a device, click Add Device on the right hand side and choose the device you want to enable your VPN on. After adding the device, the VPN will be fully enabled on this device.
  10. You can now decide whether you want to include or exclude a service or port range from the VPN. To do this, toggle the Mode between  'Do Not VPN these Services' and 'Only VPN these services'. Then click Add Service and choose either the service (mostly games) or the port range (by clicking Advanced) that you want to include or exclude from the VPN

 

  1. Common Issues

 

  1. If you have connected your VPN to a gaming device that you use in the Geo-Filter, you may need to restart your router after setting it up 
  2. For some providers, details may show as N/A in the VPN Information table. If your VPN has connected you can ignore this.

 

Setting up a VPN is tricky, so if you get stuck, let us know.

Model: XR500| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 1 of 34
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Aspirant

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Would like to set up the hybrid VPN with NordVPN. I have the OpenVPN file which I copied, as instructed, but my status is "disconnected".

 

I'm running on an iMac with the current MacOS.

 

Thanks

Model: XR500| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 2 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Could you paste your config file and your VPN log into this thread and we'll help you get this working. Thanks.

Message 3 of 34
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Aspirant

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Since posting last night, I was able to get the status to "connected", but checking for leaks shows that my connection still isn't secure.

Message 4 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Do you mean DNS leaks? This is a known issue if so, it will be fixed in the next firmware.

Message 5 of 34
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Aspirant

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

I have my vpn set up correctly using hidemyass and works great. However I want the vpn not to be used when using Netflix. If I click on add service and then advanced does anyone have any ideas what to add or how to add a custom service with Netflix details please.

 

thanks dave63DAA648-1D09-40E0-A131-C133D91FC440.png

Model: XR500| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 6 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Hi Dave, I believe you've made a post on the Netduma forum where I have already replied to you. In summary, whatever you want to VPN it may be easier for you to just apply the VPN to that and it would exclude everything else. Also Netflix will likely use the standard internet ports (80 & 443)
Message 7 of 34
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Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Just installed the latest FW and am now using the Hybrid VPN with NordVPN. A few questions;

 

1.  This should be configured with the nearest VPN server for the best connection/latency correct? The games I play will auto connect me to servers based on my VPN connect and not my real connect.

2. So If I use a VPN server outside of my Geo-Filter radius then I will have to reconfigure the radius, based on the location of the VPN server I connect to, right?

 

3. Hybrid VPN feature is something that I shouldn't use except if I'm experiencing DDoS attacks frequently since the connection increases latency and VPN servers tend to be slow?

 

4. Lastly, I connect to Xbox Live from behind a business firewall and I noticed thatmy NAT Type is now strict when I use the Hybrid VPN. It says; 'Double NAT detected'.  So far it doesn't seem to affect my gaming...Should I put the Xbox on the DMZ to resolve this?

Model: XR700| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 8 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

1. Yes I'd recommend you select the nearest VPN server to your actual location in order to limit the added latency of connecting to a VPN.
2. Correct, move your Geo-Filter location to the VPN server location.
3. It's up to you when you want to use it but it will increase latency and lower speeds. That's why the Hybrid exists to apply it to specific services/applications e.g. just apply the VPN to Skype on my PC, then allows the rest of the PC to be unimpeded.
4. I would suggest so but it's more likely the VPN itself if blocking the ports necessary for an open NAT.
Message 9 of 34
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Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Got it! Thank you for the clarification! Much appreciated!

Model: XR700| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 10 of 34
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Apprentice

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Hey all, question for you regarding expressvpn and the xbox via the XR500.
I spoke with expressvpn support because the xbox is the only device experiencing issues since setting up via HybridVPN. The issue is moderate NAT.


ExpressVNP support said "I think the issue is because you're using a two Nats. Please note that when you're using a VPN, you go through our networks which leads to another NAT which makes it moderate or in some cases strict. (Good thing, we don't provide Nat Firewalls) and then another NAT on your router." 


Does anyone know an issue to resolve this? I'm sure there are gamers that use VPN services and have an open NAT, I've read of people that use a VPN specifially to achieve open NAT.

Any help is greatly appreciated. 

Model: XR500|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 11 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

I would suggest you ensure the XR500 is in the DMZ of the upstream modem/router or the hub is in modem mode. Put the console in the XR500 DMZ mode and that will help with NAT. Also disable the Geo-Filter fully before boot up. Does that resolve your issue? How are you measuring NAT by the console network settings or the game reading?
Message 12 of 34
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Apprentice

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

With a few hours support we still couldn't get this resolved and honestly I think it was due to expressvpn not enabling port forwarding on their end. I decided to check out purevpn especially since it's native with the firmware. However, there isn't any support for the ddos dedicated IP? Is there any plans to implement this? Also you have to purchase the port forwarding addon to ensure open NAT.

Still new to using a VPN for gaming, so I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.
Message 13 of 34
NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Not sure what you mean regarding DDoS dedicated IP, that's not a Netgear feature or a router feature I'm aware of. That's for PureVPN? Might be worth looking into a gaming VPN that might do that by default, only one I can think of is VyprVPN
Message 14 of 34
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Guru

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide


@LevelUpLiam24 wrote:
With a few hours support we still couldn't get this resolved and honestly I think it was due to expressvpn not enabling port forwarding on their end.

All these hide-my-a** VPN providers are doing many2one NAT on their end, and won't assign a public IP exclusively per VPN session - thus no explicit port ... how would you control it?

Message 15 of 34
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Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Launch a web browser from a computer or mobile device that is connected to your router’s network.
Enter www.routerlogin.net.
A login window displays.
Enter the router user name and password.
The user name is admin. The password is the one that you specified the first time that you logged in. The user name and password are case-sensitive.
The Dashboard displays.

  1. Click Settings > Advanced Settings > VPN Client.
  2. Select the Enable VPN Client check box.
  3. Select your VPN provider (eg. Ivacy VPN) from the VPN Server drop-down menu.
  4. Select the VPN protocol, country, and city that you want to use for your VPN connection.
  5. Enter the user name and password provided by your VPN service provider.
  6. Click the Connect button to connect to your VPN service.
  7. Your VPN service is enabled.
Message 16 of 34
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Aspirant

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Hi,

 

I have my HybridVPN setup with NordVPN, everything works as expected however sometimes the connection will fail after a period of time and I'm required to login to the router interface and disable and then re-enable HybridVPN which gets the connection back up & running. Is it possible for the router to do this automatically if an active VPN connection drops out?

Model: XR500|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 17 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Not exactly, you have the option to block traffic if the VPN disconnects so you can then connect to a different server to re-establish the connection. I don’t believe it will do this for you. How long is it before the connection drops? Does it consistently do this and same time frame each time?
Message 18 of 34
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Luminary

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

maallen, distance (read ping) and server load are important to maintain a steady and fast VPN. For NordVPN go to this link: https://nordvpn.com/servers/tools/. Click on advanced options to tailor the type of VPN connection that you want and it should give you a recommneded server based on the NordVPN algorithm-this can and will change based on the above factors. You may have to experiment with different servers to find the best connection for your location. Hope this helps.

Model: XR700|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 19 of 34
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Aspirant

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Gents,

Is Hybrid VPN availabe for PIA subscribers? 

 

Thank you!

-JM

Model: XR500|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 20 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

You can use Hybrid VPN with any provider as long as you're able to obtain the OpenVPN config files from them. Then you can input it into the advanced section of the feature, enter your login details and it'll work.
Message 21 of 34
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Luminary

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Juni0rM1nt, the OpenVPN config files are often buried within the VPN providers website. In the case of PIA, here is a link for their OpenVPN config files based on 256 bit encryption (strongest): OPENVPN CONFIGURATION FILES (STRONG). Copy and paste the entire config file to the configuration field under the advanced tab of Hybrid VPN. Be sure and select the config file from the state in which you currently live-this should maximize your performance (read lower ping/latency). Hope this helps.

Model: XR700|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 22 of 34
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Tutor

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

I installed the new V2.3.2.56 firmware last night and decided to try our the Hybrid VPN stuff. I have NordVPN and have been using their Windows app and it's been working great, showing no problems when checked at ipleak.net. When setting up the Hybrid VPN I had no problem adding a NordVPN configuration file, getting logged in, and connected. However now when checking with ipleak.net it shows that my IP address is the correct NordVPN address but now shows all my isp's DNS servers instead of the single NordVPN DNS server I see using the Window application. I saw another person, RaleighEd, at the start of this thread mentioning leak issues and then Netduma_Jack saying that if his leaks were DNS leaks that it was a known issue and it would be fixed in a future firmware release. Is this still an issue?

 

Thanks!

Todd

Model: XR500|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 23 of 34
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NetDuma Partner

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

This is still a known issue. As a temporary measure, you could manually set the DNS server on your device to your VPN provider's server.

Message 24 of 34
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Tutor

Re: Hybrid VPN Setup Guide

Thank you! One other thing I noticed about the Hybrid VPN setup is that after disabling the Hybrid VPN with the toggle it seems to lose the login and configuration info in the advanced tab. Would be very nice if this didn't happen.

Model: XR500|Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 25 of 34