QNAP VPN setup guide

NAS systems are convenient since they let you access your files from anywhere in the world. However, anyone observing your network (your internet service provider, for instance, or the government) can see every packet of data you send or receive. Some ISPs have even been known to limit the network speeds of users who download a lot, so if you’re storing large files, this could be a real problem.

Luckily, an easy way to keep your network traffic secure is to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your NAS. This will encrypt every byte of information you send or receive, ensuring that you’re the only person who knows which files were downloaded. You can install a VPN client on a QNAP NAS server in just a few minutes.

Before we begin, here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs for your QNAP NAS server.

Best VPNs for your QNAP NAS server:

  1. NordVPN: Our #1 choice for QNAP NAS servers. An excellent VPN service, Nord is fast, secure, reliable, and keeps no logs whatsoever. It also offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: The best budget VPN for QNAP. This VPN provides decent speeds, a wide server network, and keeps your traffic private with advanced security features and a zero-logs policy.
  3. ExpressVPN: This consistently reliable VPN boasts powerful security features, strong privacy protections, and high speeds.
  4. CyberGhost: A vast network of over 8,000 servers in around 90 countries. High speeds and a wide range of security features.
  5. IPVanish: With reliable, high-speed connections, a no-logs policy, and strong security features, IPVanish makes it easy to use NAS systems anonymously.
  6. PrivateVPN: A very fast service that takes your security seriously and doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  7. Private Internet Access: This VPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections and has a network covering over 80 countries. Reliable, fast, no-logs service.

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Installing OpenVPN client on your QNAP NAS

Installing an OpenVPN client on a NAS server is slightly different from installing a PPTP or L2TP/IPsec client, but the good news is that it can be done in just three main steps. The process is the same regardless of which VPN provider you’re with. Just follow the instructions below.

Here’s how to install OpenVPN client on your QNAP NAS:

Step 1: Tell QNAP you’d like to use a VPN

First, ensure you’re using QNAP 5 since specific VPNs have trouble connecting with older versions. Once you’ve upgraded, login to your QNAP device.

Next, check to see if you already have the QVPN Service installed. If so, great — click it to move to the VPN management page. If not, you can download this service from the App Center.

Click the VPN Server option in the list on the left-hand side to expand it. Next, select OpenVPN and make sure there’s a check in the box marked Enable OpenVPN Server.

Step 2: Import.OVPN files and configure the connection

NordVPN OVPN files

Now, you’ll be asked to import an OVPN file. This stores all of the information the server needs to create an OpenVPN connection to one of your VPN provider’s servers. We recommended NordVPN, and you can find their OVPN files here:

If you’re using a different provider, you can often find these files linked to in their Linux installation guide.

Download the OVPN files and decide which server you’d like your NAS to use. Generally, choosing a server that’s fairly close to your location is a good idea as this keeps connection latency to a minimum. When you’ve made a decision, import the corresponding OVPN file.

A new window will open asking for additional information. Give your connection a name and enter your VPN login credentials in the Username and Password boxes. Make sure the subnet mask is set to “255.255.255.0”.

Enable the Use default gateway on a remote network and Reconnect when the VPN connection is lost options. Click the Apply button at the bottom of the page. You should now see your newly-created connection listed on the QVPN main screen. Finally, click Connect.

Step 3: Test the VPN connection

Now all that remains is to make sure everything is working as intended. This is a little more complicated than testing a VPN on a PC or mobile device, but it’s still fairly straightforward:

  1. First, visit IPmagnet and copy the magnet link address. Make sure to keep this page open!
  2. Go back to QNAP and open up the Download Station.
  3. At the top of the page, you’ll see a plus icon. Click this and select Input URL.
  4. Paste in the magnet address from earlier. Click Next, then Apply.
  5. Go back to the IPmagnet page. You’ll notice a second IP address has appeared. If these two addresses are different, you’ve successfully installed a VPN on your NAS server.

FAQs about QNAP VPN setup

What is QNAP?

QNAP (Quality Network Appliance Provider) is a solution for delivering Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Network Video Recording (NVR) for home users and professionals.

Why Should I Use QNAP?

The benefit of using QNAP is its ease of installation and simple operation, meaning you won't need to rely on an IT professional to get up and running. QNAP is lower in cost compared to other NAS and NVR providers. QNAP offers granular security features and straightforward backup and recovery.

Why isn’t my NAS VPN working correctly?

Due to the general complexity of networking software and the many different NAS models that QNAP offers, it’s often difficult to identify the cause of a given problem. However, you can do a few things that will take care of the most common issues.

  1. The most common mistake is entering a VPN username or password incorrectly. As a result, this is the first thing you should check.
  2. Upgrade to the latest firmware for your device, and while you’re at it, check for QVPN updates too, since some VPNs won’t work with the original version.
  3. Try importing the OVPN file for a few different servers in turn. This should give you an idea of whether the problem is with you or your VPN provider.
  4. If all else fails, contact your VPN’s customer support team. They deal with similar problems every day and should be able to give you more in-depth advice.

Is QNAP compatible with Mac devices?

QNAP works perfectly on mac devices, including newer Macs with the latest M1 chip. To get started, you'll need to download and install QFinder pro.