Chances are it is not news to you that data breaches are a serious risk to anyone who can connect to the internet. The latest news headline most likely details the latest infiltration, and the business and individuals affected. Protecting your online activities is incredibly important, and an easy way to accomplish this task is through the use of a VPN, or a virtual private network.
What is a VPN?
VPNs can keep your identity online a secret. Yes, – you do have the power to be anonymous online. VPNs protect your browsing history and your personal information by encrypting your data and prevent hackers from capturing your data as it passes from one point to the other, known as man-in-the-middle attacks. VPNs also hide your original location and IP address.
You can achieve this ultimate stealth by connecting to another server that acts as a middleman between your connection and the internet. By doing this, you are creating a virtual shield between yourself and anyone who is trying to see your data. Through this encryption, your data becomes almost entirely unreadable by anyone else, including your ISP, or internet service provider.
How to create your own VPN
If you want to use a VPN, you have a few different options. You can use a VPN service for a low monthly fee, or you can build your own with a virtual private server, or VPS. In this article, we will focus on how to build your own VPN with a VPS.
You might be wondering why you wouldn’t pay the low monthly fee for a VPN service. First, a VPN is a shared service, which means that the more users who use the service, the slower it gets. Second, many streaming services, such as Netflix, will block VPN service IP addresses. This means you will not be able to access these services through your VPN. Third, if you are a techie – like we are – then building your own is a lot more fun.
Step 1: Lease a VPS.
To get started, you will need to lease a virtual private server. A VPS is easily obtained at VPS.NET for as little as $5 per month. Simply choose your specs and add your new VPS to your shopping cart. The size of VPS you choose depends on what you would like to do with it. If you are simply browsing the web, then you will need far fewer resources than if you plan to play online games or stream video. VPS comes with full root access so you can use your VPS for any purpose that you see fit (as long as it’s legal).
Step 2: Configure your OpenVPN server.
To configure your OpenVPN server, you will need a little bit of technical know-how. However, you can see a detailed description on how to install and configure your VPN with our Road Warrior series. To cover the basics, the first step is to install a VPN software. We recommend OpenVPN to handle the connections and Easy-RSA to generate certificates and keys (aka the encryption). Detailed instructions on how to install OpenVPN can be found here. These two installations will create the foundation of your VPN service. Next, you will need to install OpenVPN Client to your local machine to establish a connection between your computer and your server. Once configured, you will be able to encrypt the data that passes from your computer to your server and then outward to the rest of the web.
Step 3: Enjoy safe connections with your new VPN.
Now relax while your data is protected from those who could use it for nefarious purposes. Data protection is the responsibility of each individual user. However, with VPS.NET you can take comfort in knowing that we are here to support your security effort in any way we can. Be sure to bookmark the VPS.NET blog for the latest updates on how to keep your information safe.
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