Set Up A VPN Server On The Cloud
You can also rent a cloud server from a reputable platform and create a VPN there. Most platforms offer a free version and a premium version, where you pay for a monthly subscription. Some suitable cloud platforms include:
- Google Compute Engine
While you wont be able to use a cloud VPN server to access your local network while away from home, this method allows you to rent a server in whichever country you choose. This means youll be able to access content that is available in the country where your server is located. For example, you could use it to access your US Netflix account when youre abroad.
However, using a cloud server has some possible privacy concerns. This is because you have to trust your provider with all your internet traffic. Since you can get a reliable VPN service for around the same price as a premium subscription, Id recommend using ExpressVPN because of its robust security features.
Once youve chosen a cloud platform, youll need to download and install a suite of VPN setup tools called Algo. Then, youll need to set up the devices that youre going to connect to the VPN.
To set up a cloud VPN server on your device, follow these steps:
Disadvantages Of Setting Up Your Own VPN Server
The vast majority of people should not set up their own VPN server at home. The odds are that youll be better off using a trusted, safe VPN service, like ExpressVPN.
If your internet connection suffers from slow upload bandwidth, creating your own VPN server isnt worth the effort itll just slow down your service even more, including downloads.
Self-built VPN servers also require meticulous setup and technical know-how to make sure that they arent vulnerable to security flaws.
Whats more, a home-based VPN is not an online privacy tool at least, not totally.
Since it only encrypts internet traffic between the VPN client and the VPN server , your ISP and any third party that has access to the data your ISP collects is still able to see everything you do online.
In contrast, top-tier VPN services will protect your online privacy, and will automatically keep up to date with the latest security patches.
The best VPNs dont collect any of your personal information.
VPN providers often have VPN servers in dozens of locations globally, unlike a home VPN which only assigns you the IP address of your home network.
With a commercial VPN service you can connect to servers all over the world in order to access geo-restricted content.
Using ready-made VPN servers allow you to stream, torrent, and browse in privacy, with effortless setup.
Using a third-party VPN service will most likely give you better speeds than a self-made server too.
Instructions On How To Create Your Own VPN Only $ 5 / Month
First, you need to register a VPS at Digital Ocean. Create your VPS with the Digital Ocean promo code, so you will get 1 month for free , but if you register yourself, it will not work.
If you do not use Digital Ocean, then you can create a VPS on Vultr.com or you can create on Google Cloud and Amazon AWS but remember to open the port.
I chose the Digital Ocean because its simple.
After registration is complete, we will create a server to install the VPN on. You go to the green Create button on the edge of the screen, select Create Droplet .
In the next step, you choose the operating system is Ubuntu 18.04, choose the cheapest configuration , select the region that is the country you want, and finally give your server a name you want.
After clicking Create, you wait a bit for the server to be started. About 2 minutes later, an email will be sent to you about the server login information, in which the account name is root and the password will be a long string.
We will then log into the server. On the interface of Digital Ocean, if you refresh the page, you will see your newly created server appear. Select it> Access> Launch Console.
Wait a moment, youll see a black screen appear. In that screen, press any key on the keyboard to activate the Terminal interface . When asked for the login information, enter the user as root, and the password is the messy email.
wget https://git.io/vpnsetup -O vpnsetup.sh & & sudo sh vpnsetup.sh
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Type In VPN Information
Now, you need to type in all the information youve acquired from your VPN provider or network administrator. The information includes the name of the VPN server, username, password, and the VPN protocol to use. Under the Advanced Options tab, youll find DNS-related options. In most cases, you wont have to fiddle with them at all.
As weve previously mentioned, pay special attention to which protocol youll choose. Most VPN providers will limit you to a specific one if youre connecting manually. The one to avoid is PPTP, as it is outdated and suffers from several security vulnerabilities. Once youve typed in all the data, click on the Save button. Congratulations: youre done with the penultimate step in our how to set up VPN on Android guide for manual connections.
How To Turn Your Macos Or Raspberry Pi Computer Into A VPN Server
Since MacOS doesnt natively support OpenVPN, youll need to use third-party software such as Tunnelblick or Homebrew in order to set up a VPN server on your device.
If youre looking for a less cumbersome device to use as a VPN server, you can set one up on a Raspberry Pi.
Read PiMyLifeUps step-by-step guide to setting up a VPN server on a Raspberry Pi using an install script called PiVPN.
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Set Up A VPN On Android Without An App
As a last resort, you can set up an L2TP/IPSec connection manually in your Android settings. We recommend avoiding PPTP, the other built-in protocol available, as it contains known security vulnerabilities.
Heres how to manually set up a VPN on Android 9:
On older versions of Android, VPN settings might be found under Settings > More > VPN.
While this works, proper VPN apps like those we recommend above offer far better security and much less tedious setup.
Reasons To Setup Your Own VPN
There are lots of reasons to use a VPN in todays world. But since you are here, we assume you already know why you need a VPN. We further assume that you are trying to decide between using a commercial VPN Service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN or creating your own VPN.
To help you make that decision, here are some good reasons to setup your own VPN instead of subscribing to a commercial service:
- You want the benefits of a VPN Service without the monthly payments.
- You dont want to take the chance that your online activities will be logged by a VPN Service.
- You want access to your home network from anywhere in the world.
- You want access to local resources when you are in a different geographic location.
- You want to give other people access to resources on your home network.
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Build Your Own Dedicated VPN Server
Another option is to simply install the VPN server software on your own computer. To do this, you will need to ensure that the device in question is always running. You cant just set up a VPN on your daily laptop or desktop computer that you shut down every night! You can also use a Raspberry Pi to build a low-power VPN server.
Both Windows and Apple operating systems have built-in software that can be used to set up VPNs. It should be noted, however, that these options are not as powerful or as secure as other VPN software that is available.
There is also third-party VPN server software like OpenVPN that can work on a range of operating systems, including Linux.
Windows 10 And Other:
REG ADD HKLM \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ PolicyAgent / v AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule / t REG_DWORD / d 0x2 / f
From now on, you can connect to the VPN by clicking the network icon> selecting your VPN> Connect. You will be asked for a username and password.
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No Google Play Try The Apk
If youre using an Android device without Google Play, finding the app for your VPN can be a pain. Uncertified devices, such as some Kindle Fire HD tablets and smartphones bought in China, for example, cant install Google services, including the Play Store.
The alternative is to download the APK file for the app and install it manually. To do that, youll first need to change the settings in your phone to allow apps from third-party developers. The exact steps will vary a bit depending on your version and fork of Android, but below are the basic steps for Android 4.0 and later.
Heres how to setup a VPN on Android without Google Play:
Next, find the APK file for the VPN app. Hopefully, you can get this directly from your VPN providers website with a bit of searching. Ask customer support if you cant find it.
Alternatively, you can download the APK from a third-party site. There are a ton of APK hosting sites out there with pretty much every app you can imagine. Just Google APK and it should pop up. Be warned, however, that these are not official downloads from the company and thus could contain malware or be outdated. Always read reviews if they are available, run a virus scan on the file once its downloaded, and double-check the version. If it looks shady, dont install it.
Optimizing A VPN Service
To make the most of a VPN, pick a server that best fits your needs. Want to maximize speed? Pick a server nearby. Want to experience Netflix on other continents? Pick a server in the host country for that streaming library. Want to get around government censorship? Pick a server in a country with more online freedom. Many VPN services also offer maximum security options, which send web traffic through multiple servers and make us even harder to track. Its a helpful tool when we want to feel extra secure, but the trade-off is even slower internet.
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Build The Certificate Authority
With the information in place, its time to create the Certificate Authority. Make sure youre still in the CA directory we created before:
$ cd ~/openvpn-ca
Then type the following into the command prompt:
$ source vars
If everything went smoothly, you should see something like the following appear on screen:
NOTE: If you run ./clean-all, I will be doing a rm -rf on /home/sammy/openvpn-ca/keys
Clear out the environment by entering the following:
Now build the root CA:
A series of prompts will appear while your server follows the instructions you just gave it. Simply press enter at each of them until the process completes.
Why You Might Not Want To Do This
If youre like the vast majority of home internet users, youve got extremely limited and possibly slow upload bandwidth, and you might even have bandwidth limits or capsunless youve got gigabit fiber at home, setting up your own VPN server is going to be the slowest option you can choose.
The other problem is that some of the biggest reasons to use a VPN are to shift your geographic location to somewhere else to bypass geographical locks on websites or streaming services or mask your location for privacy reasonsand a home VPN server isnt going to really help you with either one of these scenarios if youre connecting from your home area.
Using a real VPN service is going to give you the fastest speeds, geo-shifting, and location masking, without any of the trouble of setting up and maintaining a server for yourself. The only downside of a real VPN service is that itll cost you a few dollars a month. These are our favorite picks for the best VPN services:
- ExpressVPN: This VPN server has the best combination of ease-of-use, really fast servers, and supports streaming media and torrenting, all for a cheap price.
- Tunnelbear: This VPN is really easy to use, is great for using at the coffee shop, and has a free tier. Its not good for torrenting or streaming media though.
- StrongVPN: Not quite as easy to use as the others, but you can definitely use them for torrenting and streaming media.
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Option One: Get A Router With VPN Capabilities
Rather than attempting to do this yourself, you can buy a pre-built VPN solution. Higher-end home routers often come with built-in VPN serversjust look for a wireless router that advertises VPN server support. You can then use your routers web interface to activate and configure the VPN server. Be sure to do some research and pick a router that supports the type of VPN you want to use.
How To Choose The Right VPN
Which VPN to choose depends on the needs of the user. When choosing a VPN, there are some simple questions to ask:
- How many devices will connect to the VPN? Most VPNs have device caps, so be sure the service can include all the devices within your network comfortably.
- How much will the VPN impact internet speed? All VPNs slow down internet speeds to varying degrees because instead of going directly to the router, data moves through an encrypted tunnel. Look at what our VPN comparison says about slowdowns with different VPN services to get a better idea.
- Do you need a VPN with torrent capability? If so, make sure the VPN service allows torrenting.
- Where is the VPN service located? Depending on where the VPN service has their headquarters, they will have to obey certain data retention laws. Before signing up for a service, check what user data they have to provide their host government. Through communications and data sharing alliances, your user data might be shared with your own governments intelligence agencies, if part of the same alliance. The biggest alliances among western countries are called Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes.
- Five Eyes: U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada
- Nine Eyes: Five Eyes nations and France, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark
- Fourteen Eyes: Nine Eyes nations and Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden
Note:Free VPN trials are a great way to learn about what to expect from different services.
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The Best Servers For Your Personal VPN
Below is a summary of the fastest and most reliable servers from the aforementioned server bundles, depending solely on our experience. However, this does not mean that the rest of the servers are not reliable- it is possible that other servers are faster on different times during the day.
Add Or Remove VPN Profiles
You already have an OpenVPN profile for yourself , but you can create more profiles to let other people access your VPN. You can also remove a profile later, if you want to revoke someone’s access. Just run the VPN setup script again:
wget https://git.io/vpn -O openvpn-install.sh & & bash openvpn-install.sh
You should see a series of options just type the number for the one you want and press Enter. The script will then walk you through the action.
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How To Turn Your Windows 10 Computer Into A VPN Server
Microsoft Windows has a built-in function for hosting VPN servers, but it uses the out-dated and insecure VPN protocol PPTP.
Instead, we recommend that you set up an OpenVPN server using OpenVPNs software.
You can find detailed instructions for setting up an OpenVPN server on your Windows device, including commands, on OpenVPNs website.
Here are the basics of setting up a VPN server on Windows:
Now you can connect to your Windows VPN server while youre out and about.