How I made my own VPN server in 15 minutes
As the Senate decided to allow internet companies to share your private data with advertising, many are understandably freaking out about their privacy. While maintaining your privacy is crucial, this does not need signing up for a VPN service and routing all of your internet traffic via VPN servers.
A VPN doesn’t make you anonymous
Exactly what is a VPN? In a previous piece, I used basic principles to describe VPNs and even made a comparison between them and movie chase scenes.
The establishment of an encrypted tunnel between your device and the server occurs when you connect your computer or phone to a VPN server, to quickly summarise. Even your ISP cannot see what is going on in the midst of the tunnel.
However, it doesn’t instantly render you anonymous. Considering that the VPN provider can observe all of your internet activity, you are only shifting the danger down the VPN tunnel. In fact, a large number of them already sell your data to fraudsters and ads.
For this reason, I don’t suggest registering for a VPN service. They are not trustworthy.
As a side note, many websites, including TechCrunch, now use HTTPS to provide a secure connection between your browser and the website you’re accessing. To ensure that you utilize HTTPS as often as possible, you should install the HTTPS everywhere extension.
However, VPNs may sometimes be helpful. On occasion, a website is restricted from access on a public network. Or maybe you want to be able to use your Gmail account while visiting China. In certain situations, it’s crucial to keep the danger to a minimum when using a VPN.
Setting up your own VPN server
You may be managing your own VPN server, as Woz noted in his comment on my earlier piece on VPNs before the Senate fiasco:
It’s not really practical, however, if you can’t rely on your home connection if it has a sluggish upload speed.
I experimented with Algo VPN, a collection of scripts that enable even those without a background in software to quickly set up a VPN in the cloud. I have to admit that Trail of Bits’ strategy really pleased me.
On a DigitalOcean server, an Amazon Web Services instance, and a Scaleway server, I set up VPN servers. Within a few minutes, I was able to use my Mac and iPhone to connect to all of these VPNs.
By automating the VPN installation procedure, Algo VPN eliminates the need for complex command lines and SSH connections to servers.
The installation of the requirements on your machine requires three command lines. The Algo VPN setup procedure should then be launched in your terminal after which you should register with a cloud provider like DigitalOcean. Since the installation procedure could change after I publish this guide, I won’t go into detail about it here. Everything is documented in the official GitHub site.
You don’t have to build and set up your own server with DigitalOcean. As it leverages DigitalOcean’s API to build a server and install everything, Algo VPN takes care of it for you.
A few files will be placed on your local hard disc when the setup procedure is finished. In the case of macOS, connecting to your VPN server and adding the VPN server to your network settings are accomplished by double-clicking the setup profile. It works directly on macOS and iOS, so you don’t need to install a VPN client.
So let’s quickly review:
- Open a profile with a cloud hosting company like DigitalOcean.
- Algo VPN may be downloaded locally and then unzipped.
- Using the command lines on this page, install the required dependencies.
- Activate the installation wizard.
- In the configs directory, double-click on the configuration profiles.
You won’t necessarily be safer online if you run your own VPN server. Once again, you’re shifting the risk to the cloud hosting company.
If the NSA suspects you are a bad person, they may still ask Microsoft for extra information even if you use Algo VPN on a Microsoft Azure machine. Microsoft has your credit card details.
Algo VPN, however, has a welcome feature that enables you set up temporary VPNs. Within a few minutes, you may set up a new VPN server and establish a connection. You may simply remove your instance after you’re through and act as if this VPN server never existed.
You may anticipate paying around $0.006 per hour of use, or much less with free credit, making it far less expensive than subscribing to a VPN service. Additionally, since you won’t share your VPN server with other VPN users, you’ll get considerably faster speed. My AWS VPN server provided me with incredible networking speed, for instance:
I tested utilising Algo VPN with Scaleway to see whether you could use it on any hosting provider, even though it makes it simpler to set up a VPN server on DigitalOcean, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. And even the tiniest Ubuntu cloud server managed to run it flawlessly.
Also Read: Elon Musk shows off humanoid robot prototype at Tesla AI Day 2022
After experimenting with Algo VPN, I don’t see any reason why someone with any technological know-how should subscribe to a paid VPN service. I have faith in myself to not provide authorities with my info (duh). Although I don’t necessarily believe that the Amazons and Googles of the world will defend my right to privacy, I am certain that they won’t sell my hosting information to shady characters like scam artists. My personal information on their consumer services makes me uneasy, but it is a subject for another essay.