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VPN is really useful, and most people should use one. But for those of us who are always on the move, it’s even more important, right after having a reliable internet connection.

In this article, we’ll see how to set up your own cloud-based VPN. It’s much easier than you might think, and you don’t need any fancy technical skills. You’ll be able to follow this guide even if you’ve never used a command line before.

So, the first question is why do I need to use a VPN server?

When using a VPN service, your data passes through their servers, which means a third party can potentially access it. Creating your own VPN server is cost-effective, eliminating the need for subscription plans. Cloud-based options and free servers from some providers make it budget-friendly, especially if you have a VPN router. Set up a VPN with a router to access your home network and digital devices from anywhere, ensuring secure connections even during vacations or business trips.

How does the VPN work?

When you use a VPN, your real IP address is hidden, and your internet traffic appears to come from the VPN server. This makes it challenging for others to track your online activities and know your actual location. You can also use a VPN to spoof your location, making it seem like you are accessing the internet from a different country.

However, keep in mind that a VPN doesn’t offer complete anonymity. For stronger anonymity, you can use the Tor network, which routes your data through multiple volunteer computers.

To further protect your privacy, consider using ad-blockers and privacy tools in your web browser to prevent websites from tracking your movements through cookies and other tracking methods.

While a VPN provides an additional layer of security, it’s essential to follow basic security practices like using antivirus software, a password manager, and enabling multi-factor authentication to enhance your overall online security.

What makes existing VPNs unsuitable for business needs?

Commercial VPNs offer their services for a fee, usually with monthly subscriptions. But you might wonder why you should create your own VPN for your business when you can simply pay for these services hassle-free.

The problem with public VPNs is that they can pose a security risk to your company. The companies behind these VPNs can access and potentially log all your data, including the websites you visit and the information you share. Even though they claim not to keep logs, there’s no way to verify this, and some public VPNs were designed to steal data.

Furthermore, public VPN services often have poor quality, leading to slow connections and longer pings due to the large number of users on their servers. So, even if you choose the most expensive server, you may still encounter these issues.

Which VPN should I choose?

Choose your VPN server’s country based on these criteria:

  • Shortest distance to you. Opt for a VPN server that is geographically closer to your physical location. The shorter the distance, the lower the ping and connection speed loss you’re likely to experience. This ensures a smoother and faster browsing experience while using the VPN.
  • Few restrictions on internet freedom and the availability of popular services. Different countries have varying degrees of internet freedom and may impose restrictions on certain websites or services. To avoid limitations on accessing popular platforms and services, choose a country that has fewer restrictions on internet usage.
  • No political tension between your country and the server’s location. Consider the diplomatic relations between your country and the location of the VPN server. If there’s political tension or conflicts between the two, it might impact your connection’s stability and security. Opting for a server location with stable political relations can enhance your VPN experience.
  • Server performance. Check the server’s performance and capacity in your chosen country. A reliable VPN provider should offer multiple servers in various locations to ensure consistent performance, even during peak usage times.
  • Content access. If you intend to use the VPN for streaming content or accessing specific online services, ensure that the chosen country can unblock the content you desire. Some streaming platforms may have region-based restrictions.

Advantages and disadvantages of VPN

VPN Advantages. VPNs are like secret shields that protect your online information by keeping it hidden from prying eyes. They create a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, making sure your data stays safe no matter where you are. While they may not be perfect for every situation, VPNs are usually a budget-friendly and trustworthy way to stay safe while surfing the web.

VPN Disadvantages. One big concern is that VPNs can make your internet slower, especially if you connect to a far-away server. Some VPNs may also keep logs of what you do online, and others might be able to see them. While a VPN can help protect your privacy and security, it’s not perfect. You should still be careful with your personal information, use strong passwords, and avoid suspicious emails and websites.

The process of setting up a VPN server

Creating your own personal VPN server may sound technical, but don’t worry, there are plenty of resources to assist you along the way. Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved to help you get started:

  1. To get started, you’ll need to select VPN software that works with your operating system. There are several options available, like OpenVPN, SoftEther VPN, and PPTP. Each software comes with its own set of features, so choose the one that fits your requirements the best.
  2. After choosing your VPN software, the next step is to get a Virtual Private Server (for example, VPS HK) from a reliable provider. The VPS will act as your dedicated server where you’ll host the VPN. These providers offer different plans, so you can pick the one that suits your needs and budget the best.
  3. To set up the VPN on your VPS, simply follow the instructions given by the selected VPN software. For example, you can check the OpenVPN manual here. These instructions will guide you through configuring settings such as the VPN protocol, authentication method, and encryption strength. If you’re new to this, don’t worry; the software’s documentation and support resources will help you every step of the way.
  4. Once you’ve set up the VPN server on your VPS, the next step is to configure your client devices to connect to the VPN. This can involve installing VPN software on your devices or adjusting built-in VPN settings in your operating system or device. The good news is that most VPN software providers offer user-friendly guides to walk you through this process, making it hassle-free for you.
  5. After completing all the setup steps, it’s essential to test your connection to the VPN server. You can do this by connecting your client devices to the VPN and ensuring that everything is functioning correctly. This test confirms that data is securely transmitted through your personal VPN, providing the protection you need for your online activities. It’s a crucial step to ensure the effectiveness and security of your VPN setup.

Let’s look at more detailed commands with OpenVPN. To set up your own VPN server just follow these steps:

  1. Purchase a VPS. Choose the right plan from a reliable provider and make the purchase.
  2. Connect to your VPS. Use PuTTY for Windows or a terminal on a Mac to connect to your VPS using the provided information.
  3. Update the system. For Ubuntu/Debian, use these commands:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

For CentOS, use this command:

sudo yum update

  1. Install OpenVPN. Based on your operating system, use the appropriate commands:

For Ubuntu/Debian:

sudo apt install openvpn

For CentOS:

sudo yum install openvpn

  1. Configure OpenVPN. Generate the necessary cryptographic file:

sudo openvpn –genkey –secret /etc/openvpn/ta.key

  • Copy the sample server configuration file to the OpenVPN directory and extract it

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/server.conf.gz /etc/openvpn/

sudo gzip -d /etc/openvpn/server.conf.gz

  • Customize the server configuration file with your IP address, port numbers, and encryption settings:

sudo nano /etc/openvpn/server.conf

  • Enable IP Address Forwarding. Open the sysctl configuration file for editing:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

  • Uncomment the line net.ipv4.ip_forward=1, removing the ‘#’ character. Save and exit the file.
  • Apply IP Forwarding Changes

sudo sysctl -p

  • Start OpenVPN Service:

sudo systemctl start openvpn@server

  • Enable OpenVPN Startup at System Startup:

sudo systemctl enable openvpn@server

By following these steps, you can set up your own VPN server on your VPS and enjoy a secure and private VPN connection.

Creating your own VPN server offers several advantages. It’s a cost-effective, flexible, reliable, and secure option, making it a great choice for those on a budget. While it might require a bit more effort than subscribing to a VPN service, it covers all your basic VPN needs.

Moreover, having your own centralized network means you can access it from anywhere. You won’t have to rely on any third-party service to manage your traffic, eliminating concerns about data logs being tracked. This enhanced control over your data and privacy is definitely a plus!


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