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OpenVPN Noob Questions

Hello all,

I would like to setup an OpenVPN server behind my Apple Airport Extreme.  The Apple does not provide for a VPN, so the only way to access the home VPN server is through port forwarding, correct?  Is this method recommended?  Basically, I would like to access my home VPN from outside the LAN.  Does my VPN server need only one LAN port, which will be connected to the Apple?  Once I connect to the home VPN server will my connection be encrypted when using a public wifi?  Also, can I leave my VPN server off and turn it on by sending it a wakeup packet?  Sorry for all the questions, but any help will be greatly appreciated.  
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