Online security and privacy is an increasingly popular topic of discussion worldwide. ISPs and government servers are scrutinizing and storing information about users’ online activities. The situation is gaining even more momentum as laws about the storage of personal data emerge. This enables ISPs to collect your data and share it with third parties such as advertisers.
This state of affairs doesn’t suit many users. For this reason, more and more people have become interested in VPNs in the hope of protecting their personal data and getting a step closer to anonymity when surfing the Internet.
However, even though there are many options for VPN services, using them is not as easy as it seems. No one can guarantee you that this commercial service will fully protect your data.
If you want to be 100% sure of your privacy, there is no better option than to create your own VPN. This way, no one can track your data.
Why create your own VPN?
At first glance, you may think that building your own VPN is a pretty foolish undertaking because you’re probably not a programmer and not particularly well versed in network settings. But, believe us, to create your own VPN, you do not need to be an IT specialist, just a little understanding of the technique, and you get the best option to protect your data. Let’s see what benefits you’ll get by becoming a VPN creator:
Fairly low cost
Even though you need to spend some time setting up your VPN, it will still not cost you much.
Let’s imagine that you decide to purchase a premium subscription to some out-of-the-box VPN service. Most likely, you’ll have to pay for it monthly, even though it doesn’t guarantee full protection of your credentials.
So why don’t you, instead of subscribing to a premium service, create your own VPN that will cost less and that you have confidence in. In addition, some cloud providers offer to host your VPN for free, such as Amazon AWS.
If you become the creator of your VPN, you will not have to cooperate with intermediaries in the form of VPN providers, which will also store your information. The fact is that these providers can also pass your personal data to advertisers, and therefore there is no guarantee of anonymity.
By building your own VPN server, your data will only be under your protection, and in any case, you can destroy it.
VPN for once
We’ve written before that when you subscribe to popular VPN services, your data can also be viewed by their providers. But by creating your own VPN, you have the option of making it a one-time thing. In that case, you can delete it after you’re done, and no one will ever be able to view what you’ve searched on the Internet.
Using your home network
You will have numerous configuration options while setting up your VPN. One of them is to configure a VPN using a router in your home. If you choose this form of creation, you will be able to use your home connection.
By connecting through the VPN you set up, you’ll be able to be anywhere in the globe and still have access to your home’s digital resources.
Whenever you consider if you can create your own VPN, you’re already on the path to gaining new knowledge. The process of building your own VPN server will introduce you to technologies that are quite common in the IT field. And besides, new knowledge is always useful and develops your worldview.
How to create your own VPN
Well, we’ve already cleared up a lot of the benefits for you if you were to become your VPN creator. We think that these advantages are enough for you to seriously consider creating your own VPN. And we will help you in this seemingly challenging matter. Here are some working ways how to make a VPN:
Choice 1: Buying a VPN router
If you want to build your own VPN without much effort, this is one of the easiest options available. All you need to do is purchase a router that has the function of maintaining a VPN.
Most modern routers have this feature. So don’t rush out to buy a new one. Your old one could have this feature too, because a new router costs $200-250 on average.
When buying a new router, you can hire a wizard to help you set it up, or you can do it yourself with our tip:
- Launch the router’s settings menu. Your router’s LAN IP address can be found by typing it into the search box of your web browser. Typically, routers are given one of the following IP addresses by their manufacturers: 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.
- Specify your password and username. If you haven’t already changed them, both will often be “admin.”
- Enable the VPN on the router. Select “VPN Service” or “VPN” from the settings (or advanced options) menu, then turn it on. Verify that everyone can access all websites using the VPN connection. To finish, click “Apply.”
Next, you need to configure a VPN client. This is the device that will be used to connect to your own VPN network. We’ll help you figure out how to do it:
- First, you need the configuration files. You can find them on your router’s control panel and download them to your device.
- Next, unzip the installed files into the folder of the VPN client. It is not hard to do. You can even do it via wifi.
- Done, now you can access VPN from any corner of the world.
Choice 2: Re-flash the router
As we have already written, you can check if your router has VPN support. If it turns out that it does not, do not rush to buy a new one, because there is a great alternative. You can replace your router’s operating system with a new one.
The modern world has become so progressive that it’s possible, but reinstalling the system can take a considerable time. But, if you’re ready to take the time to become your own VPN creator and protect your data, we can help you.
First, you’ll need to make sure that your router supports the new firmware because if it doesn’t, the router may just get blocked. You can search the internet and enter the model of your router and see if it can support the new version of the operating system.
Now let’s proceed to reflash the router:
- Make sure your device supports the new operating system and install it.
- Connect your computer to the router, preferably through a cable.
- Go to the settings of your router (we wrote how to do it in the previous method) and find the tab with updates.
- Install the new operating system on your router. Each router may have a different installation system, so we recommend that you read how to install it on your router model.
- Reboot your router and check if the new operating system was installed successfully.
These are not all the steps to building your own VPN. After installation, you need to create a VPN server., we’ll help you figure out how to do it:
- In the router setup, find the wireless network tab, then check the VPN tab and enable OpenVPN.
- Then you need to configure the VPN. The setup may be different for each router, so your best bet is to find the manual for your router model.
Choice 3: Use another device as a server
As it turns out, you can create a VPN not only with a router but also with other electronic devices. However, you need to choose a device that is turned on so you have the ability to connect to the VPN when you’re not at home. And you also need to do port forwarding on the router so that you can access the VPN over the internet.
We will look at how to make a VPN service on 2 of the most popular computer systems:
To be clear, Windows 10 has a free VPN. And if you want to, you can use it. However, the system is a bit outdated, and there are security concerns. This means when you use it, your data can be shared with third parties.
To avoid these situations, we recommend you use OpenVPN. And we will help you to configure it so you can build your own VPN:
- The first step is to enable port forwarding in your firewall settings.
- Next, you need to install OpenVPN. It is crucial that you tick the “EasyRSA” box and set the drivers on boot.
- Next, configure EasyRSA so that you can then create a certificate.
- The next step is to create a certificate to connect your devices to the VPN.
- Set up a VPN client and connect to the server.
- That’s pretty much it, but you need to make sure there is no leakage of your data. If there is not, congratulations, you are the creator of your VPN.
There is no built-in VPN on this operating system, and in general, it’s a bit more complicated than with Windows. The fact is that the Mac is not compatible with OpenVPN software. For this reason, you will need to install a third-party program.
Homebrew or Tunnelblick are applications that will help you get one step closer to creating your own VPN. All you need to do is install one of these free apps and install OpenVPN. The OpenVPN installation system is the same as on Windows, so we’re sure you’ll be successful.
More instructions on how to install OpenVPN can be found on their official website.
Choice 4: Setting up a VPN in the cloud
The last method that will help you become the creator of your own VPN is to rent a cloud server. Most people who want to set up their own VPN use this method because it seems easier compared to the others.
There are many rental platforms where there is either a free version or a premium subscription that you have to pay for each month.
This VPN option won’t allow you to connect to your home network, but the advantage is that you can rent a server in the country you want. And that means you’ll have access to exclusive content that can only be viewed in the country of your choice.
Once you have chosen the platform (let’s take Amazon Web Services, for example), you need to additionally install the Algo tools. And we can move on to creating our own VPN:
- First, create an Amazon Web Services account and unzip the Algo VPN file.
- Install Algo VPN. You can find more instructions here, as the installation process is different for each operating system.
- Next, choose a location for the service, enter your access keys and secret keys from AWS (search here) and set the VPN settings on Algo.
- That’s it. Now you can connect your devices to the VPN.
We’ve shown you four different ways to create your own VPN so that your data is protected. We hope you find the best way for you.
- How much does it cost to create a VPN?
Creating a VPN can cost you either free of charge or for a small fee. It depends on which creation option you choose:
– If you choose to rebuild your router, it's free, but if you have to buy a new one, it could cost $200-250, a one-time fee.
– If you choose cloud servers, it's either free or a monthly premium subscription.
- How do VPN apps make money?
VPN applications make money by selling paid monthly subscriptions. But they can also sell your data to third parties, such as advertisers.
- Does VPN slow down the internet?
In some cases, because of the VPN, the Internet speed may indeed drop a little bit because of the heavy load on the network. But given that you're using your own VPN network, it shouldn't affect the Internet in any way.