How Can I Get My Own VPN Server

Most people who want the security, anonymity, and speed boosts of a VPN server tend to resort to commercial VPN services, and there are loads of options to choose from in that regard. There are popular VPN service providers like HideMyAss, TorGuard, ExpressVPN, and many others, but there are benefits you miss out on when you go that route. If you were to run your own VPN instead, you’d be avoiding a few headaches because you wouldn’t share server resources like CPU and RAM with other users, which matters because, the more users there are connecting, the slower the server gets. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is true anonymity. Most likely, one of the main reasons you opted for a VPN service of any kind in the first place was for the sake of privacy in all your online endeavors, so it’s better to not always wonder if your VPN provider might be spying on you. If you’re willing to get a little technical, you can handle it yourself.

Choose a Cloud Server

Starting out, you’re going to want to get a virtual private server (VPS). There are free options that you can get, but given the point of doing this, I recommend you select an inexpensive and dependable service like DigitalOcean or CloudSigma. These cost only around $5 a month to sustain, and you get your VPS with 20GB SSD, 1TB bandwidth, and 512MB RAM. This is plenty for streaming or playing videogames online.

Set Up OpenVPN Server

You’ll have to update your system to its latest version, but after that, you can install OpenVPN along with Easy-RSA. The former is a very malleable VPN software that utilizes all the certification, authentication, and encryption features that the OpenSSL library has. These can be used to execute all sorts of VPN techniques. You get Easy-RSA so that you’ll have a key management package that’s also based on the OpenSSL command line tool because that’ll allow you to manage private keys and generate certificates.

Next, you need to copy all your VPN configuration files. Since OpenVPN uses public key infrastructure for authentication, the server certificate has to be authenticated by the client, and the client certificate has to be authenticated by the server; this is how a connection can be established. Afterward, you’ll transfer 3 files (i.e. ca.crt, 97228.crt, and 97228.key) from the directory labeled “/etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/” on the server; they’re going to the client. Copy and paste the contents for each to the client’s corresponding files. Then, you can change the OpenVPN server configuration file.

You’ll have to start a user account for every client in order to authenticate the VPN clients according to username and password. Next, you’ll enable IP forwarding, auto-launch the VPN service upon boot-up, and adjust the firewall settings so that VPN traffic isn’t blocked.

Configure Your OpenVPN Client

All that’s left at this point is to configure the client. The server should be operational and connectable, so to connect to the device, install the OpenVPN software on the client and configure the device so that it can communicate with your server. While you do this, you can also start downloading Tunnelblick because all that remains is using that to set up the VPN client on your device. Remember to make a folder for the configuration files, and make sure that, whatever you name the file, it still ends in “.tblk” so that Tunnelblick can access it.

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