Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

Updated by Anthony Hakim on Dec 10, 2015

You have a shiny new virtual server - now what?

Congratulations! You've just built a new virtual server on CenturyLink Cloud - we assume you have created a new virtual server. If not, follow this other guide first, then return to this guide.

Now what? How do you securely connect to your server(s)? Some customers have the option of using a site-to-site VPN tunnel, MPLS, CNS, etc. If your company doesn't have these options available, then follow the steps below to use OpenVPN.

Connect to your shiny new virtual server

In order to connect to your shiny new virtual server, you will need to:

  1. Download and install the OpenVPN client
  2. Download and install the certificate/OpenVPN configuration
  3. Launch the OpenVPN client and connect to your VPN
  4. Launch your Remote Desktop or SSH client, and connect to your server

1. Download and install the OpenVPN client

You will use the OpenVPN client to securely connect to your new virtual server.

For Windows:

  • Download the OpenVPN client here.
  • Click Run to begin the installation.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

  • Accept all defaults during the installation.

For Mac (OS X):

  • Download the OpenVPN (Tunnelblick) client here.
  • Double-click to begin the installation.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

  • If prompted to enter your password, do so. Once the installation has completed, you will be prompted to either Quit or Launch Tunnelblick - click Quit.

2. Download and install the certificate/OpenVPN configuration

Now that we have the OpenVPN client installed, we need to install the certificate/OpenVPN configuration.

  • Logon to your user account in the Control Portal.
  • Hover over the green menu in the Control Portal, then click VPN under Network.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

  • On the VPN Configuration page, you will see default under VPN Certificates. Click on the download button.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

For Windows:

  • After downloading the certificate, extract the contents of the .ZIP file to the OpenVPN config folder:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config or C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config

For Mac (OS X):

  • After downloading the certificate, extract the .ZIP file, then Double-click the default.opvn file.
  • Choose whether the 'default' configuration is available for All Users or Only Me. Enter your password to install the configuration.

3. Launch the OpenVPN client and connect to your VPN

For Windows:

  • Launch the OpenVPN GUI (Right-click | More | Run as administrator).

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

For Mac (OS X):

  • Launch Tunnelblick (Go | Applications | Tunnelblick, if not already running).
  • Click Tunnelblick in the running programs menu, then choose Connect default.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

4. Launch your Remote Desktop or SSH client, and connect to your server

You will need the following things:

  1. The IP address of your server.

    Navigate to your server in the Control Portal. The IP Address will be on the right-hand side of the page under SERVER INFO.

    Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

  2. Logon credentials for your server.

    Click on the show credentials button.

  3. Remote Desktop client software.

    For Windows: Remote Desktop For Mac (OS X): SSH, Putty, Secure CRT

Connect to your Windows server

Launch your Remote Desktop client, enter the IP Address for your server, and then connect.

Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

Connect to your Linux server

Open up a Terminal, and type in ssh <user>@<IP Address>

ssh [email protected]

Getting Started: How to securely connect to your server

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