How to Set Up OpenVPN Client on NETGEAR R9000 with Voxel's Firmware

OpenVPN on R9000 with Voxel's Firmware
One of the most popular reasons to use open source firmware is to run an OpenVPN client on the main router in the home. This enables users to easily route all traffic on the network, wireless or wired, through a secure VPN connection. This can help to increase security as well as protect a user's online privacy.
Firmwares such as DD-WRT and Tomato, in many versions, have an OpenVPN client built in -- and many VPN providers include instructions on how to utilize these clients to connect to their services.
Voxel's recent firmware build for the R9000, however, does things just a bit differently, and is in some ways easier to work with! It does require a small bit of tweaking, a handy USB stick, and an .OVPN configuration file from the provider. These are the steps to follow after you have flashed Voxel's firmware and performed basic setup (and preferably a reboot as well)
First, format the USB stick to FAT32 format, and create a folder named "/openvpn-client" (without quotes)
Next, grab a copy of your VPN provider's .OVPN configuration file. Make sure that this file contains all the settings you need, including the CA, CERT, and KEY provided by your VPN. (See Voxel's readme for more information.)
If the provider does not include your username and password in the configuration file, this may need to be added. The configuration may look something like this:
Auth User Pass
To add authentication to the file, change the "auth-user-pass" line to read "auth-user-pass /etc/openvpn/config/client/auth.txt" (without quotes) Then, create a text file with two lines -- the username on the first and credentials for the account on the second. (More comprehensive instructions can be found on Voxel's readme file if other portions are missing.)
Place both the files into the directory on the USB drive, but don't plug it into the R9000 just yet
Go into the Internet settings and manually input the DNS servers used by your VPN, if needed. Confirm the change and reboot the router. Once the router fully boots, insert the USB drive and wait. In our tests, this caused the router to lose connectivity. We rebooted the R9000 with the USB drive still inserted, and upon this reboot the VPN client began functioning as intended. Check to make sure you have no DNS leaks or other security issues, and that your IP is correct.
Did these instructions work for you? Let us know in the forums!
DarkKnightHawk's picture
Dear  MyOpenRouter Team!

Dear  MyOpenRouter Team!

I just followed those instructions.. when I insert the usb key it doesn't lose the connection.. I tried to reboot my R9000 anyway and I think nothing is changed..

How can I check if it working?



Thank you Guys!!!!


kpence73's picture
Ok, don't judge me too fast. 

Ok, don't judge me too fast.   I didn't have a flash drive (I can never find one when I need one and when I don't need one, they are everywhere), so I put the folder on a usb drive I was using for the PLEX server just for giggles.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I am assuming that it is not the right kind of drive, or does it really matter if it is a flash drive vs a 1TB usb drive.

kpence73's picture
So it does work from the 1TB

So it does work from the 1TB drive I connected that has my plex library.   The key was the folder had to be alled "openvpn-client" not "/openvpn-client".    The flash drive I was using would even mount.   So I can confirm Trust.Zone does work with the openvpn.   I have a 65MB download service and with the VPN running it is 60MB so the R9000 CPU works great for whole home router VPN.   The only thing I noticed is that that openvpn-client fails to load on its own and I had to telnet into the router to run /etc/init.d/openvpn-client start.  It started with no issue then.

kpence73's picture
Ok, I found a flash drive. 

Ok, I found a flash drive.   Formatted it as FAT32.  Only has one folder called \openvpn-client.   It contains the two files.   When I insert it into router, nothing happens, no restart etc.    So, I reboot.  When it finishes booting up, I am still not connected to a VPN based on just going to and looking to see what IP they detect for me.

beepdotpw59's picture
hello how to disable the

hello how to disable the server nordvpn?

ymurawski's picture
Hi guys, i followed the

Hi guys, i followed the instructions for Voxels FW for the R9000

In the description they say to add the credentials if they are not written in the config file. but i doent understand what they want.

I create a new .txt file ....ok but how does it have to look in the text file for username and password ?


ex: Username: test123

     Password: super123


Any ideas to get it working ? 

Also is it right, just copy all that OpenVPN stuff in that Folder on an USB storage and put it in the router and thats all or is there any telnet oder ssh stuff missing ?


Thanks alot guys

gambit's picture
Works! I used follwoing Voxel

Works! I used follwoing Voxel firmware R9000-V1.0.4.4HF-HW. My Steps:

  1. Downloaded the open VPN files (examplefilename.ovpn) from my VPN Service (in this case ExpressVPN). 
  2. Created the Folder "openvpn-client" on a USB Stick
  3. Placed the *.ovpn file i downloaded earlier into Folder "openvpn-client" on the USB stick
  4. Edit the *.ovpn file from:
    auth-user-pass /etc/openvpn/config/client/auth.txt
  5. Create a new File in the Folder "openvpn-client" called "auth.txt" and add the login name in the first line and the login credentials in the second line. Example:
  6. Configured DNS servers on my R9000 router and rebooted it.
  7. After Reboot connected USB Stick
  8. DONE. Commented on this Guide
RileyMH231's picture
I cannot get the client to

I cannot get the client to start

I finally got into the router with SSH and put the .ovpn and auth.txt in the /client folder and ran /etc/init.d/openvpn-client start and I got this

PING ( 56 data bytes


--- ping statistics ---

3 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 0% packet loss

round-trip min/avg/max = 28.0/28.9/30.7 ms

Please wait...

Error: OpenVPN client start failed.

I have no idea what I could have done wrong

1409PT's picture
Can anyone provide a set-by

Can anyone provide a set-by-step instruction on how to add IPVanish VPN Client to Voxel's Custon Firmware (currently using version V1.0.4.16HF-HW) on a Netgear 9000?

I have read his Read Me file and so confused.  DD-WRT and AUSRT-Merlin were a breeze compared to this one.  A simple step-by-step instruction guide would go a long way to reducing the confusion with referring to other pages would be appreciated.


1409PT's picture
without reffering to ther

without reffering to ther pages.

edan's picture
Worked as expected the first

Worked as expected the first try. I don't see a place within the firmware to check the open VPN status, and the router status page shows the ISP WAN IP. I'm using a separate program on my machine to display the IP address as seen on the internet, but would like to know if there's a page on the firmware with this info.

Thanks for all the work!

kamoj's picture
This add-on gives you a GUI

This add-on gives you a GUI for the OpenVPN Client, including status:

edan's picture
I just installed the add-on.

I just installed the add-on. This is so awesome thank you!!!!

Ron Lyster
Ron Lyster's picture
Why is everyone taking this

Why is everyone taking this risk?  What does the new firmware do that would make this risk worth taking?