You may have heard the word VPN being thrown around every now and then but do you know what it means? Simply, a VPN is the shorthand for Virtual Private Network. It is a type of connection that add privacy and security to connections over the internet. By using a VPN you personal data will be protected from everyone else on that network.
How do VPN’s work to protect you? The VPN software encrypts your data so it is invisible to other users on the WiFi you are connected to or the internet serve you would like to access. The data you input in your computer or phone is sent to the VPN server first and then from there it is sent to the internet server. The websites you access will see the data as though it were coming from the VPN server (and so will the WiFi owner), not your computer or phone. This means that no one can tell what you are doing online and no one can tap your personal data because it is encrypted.
Create Your Own VPN vs Subscribe to Existing VPN Services
There are many VPN services out there but can you really trust them? There are both reasons why you should and should not consider creating your own VPN.
Advantages of knowing how to make a VPN
- All VPN service providers promise lots of enticing things but why should you trust them? They will be the only people with your personal data. Can they keep it safe? When they promise fast speeds and 100% no log, you cannot trust this. They may keep your log without your knowledge and over time, the speeds may become very slow over time. This is unlike owning a VPN in which you have full control. Only you can connect to the server and this means fast speeds. Only you can access the log files and it goes without saying that in this world you can only trust yourself. Your data will be truly private and secure when you have your own VPN.
- With fast browsing speeds, nothing stands in your way of having a good time online. This is enhanced by the confidence that your data is safe. You can stream all the videos you like and play as many games as you want. Games and videos will load fast because you are the only one using the VPN. What is more? By choosing a VPN serve located in another country, you can get access to games and video streaming platforms that may be prohibited in your country.
- It is up to you to determine the hosting to run the VPN server. You can choose one that you trust and look for affordable pricing. This means that you will not be held hostage by any VPN provider. You make your own decisions and do what you want.
- You will not always need a VPN and when that time comes you can opt out easily. You can delete the VPN server at any time or turn it off when not needed. When you do the deletion you will be sure that all your log files are gone and have nothing to worry about.
The Downsides of Your Own VPN
- Once purchased, you only have one VPN server that you can use. This is unlike relying on VPN service providers with which you can change from one server to the other which gives you flexibility of internet access.
- Learning how to make a VPN and the actual process is not easy. It requires some technical know-how but I am here for you. I will guide you through the entire process.
- VPN services have free plans on offer but when it comes to creating your own VPN you need to pay for the hosting service. However, the benefits you get outweigh the cost by far. You get fast internet access and privacy is guaranteed for only a small fee. For more details on the best free vpn, look at this tutorial.
Steps on How to Make a VPN
I. Choose a Suitable VPN Server and Set up
A VPN Server is made up of hardware and software that work together to provide the privacy and security you are looking for when you decide to use a VPN. The software and hardware are very important in ensuring that your VPN works perfectly. The VPN server location is the place where the VPN server is located. This is the city or country where the VPN’s storage is physically located and this is where your data will be stored.
Choosing a VPN Server is not all you need to do. You also need to choose the hosting service to use. This is the service that makes it possible for the server to be accessible via the internet. There are many options out there but the most commonly used are Vultr and DigitalOcean. They are easy to use and can be installed in just five minutes. We will look at how to go about this on Vultr.
II. Using Vultr to create your own VPN Server
Step 1. Choose the location.
Vultr is a Virtual Private Server that is based in Australia but while using it, users can choose servers in different locations. The options include Australia, US, Germany, Japan, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Singapore.
Step 2: Server Type and Size
Choose the server type and the size (we will use Ubuntu). The size will determine the specifications of the server you open. The most affordable costs $3.5 per month and for this you get 1 CPU core, 500GB bandwidth and 512 MB memory.
When done, click on “Deploy Now” and wait as Vultr creates and installs the Ubuntu VPN server.
Step 3: Use Root Account to login to the Ubuntu
To see the details of the serve you have just created, click on “Server detail”. To login to the server, click on “View Console”. Use the username “root” and your password to login to the server.
III. Install IPSEC VPN server and Connect to It
Why choose IPSEC protocol?
A VPN protocol is what will keep your connections over the VPN secure. There are several options available but the commonest are IPSEC and OpenVPN. These provide encrypted connections that take your data, change its format into one that cannot be understood by third parties and then send it over the internet. Encrypted data is useless to hackers even when they gain access to it. They sould need to decrypt it which is not an easy task.
OpenVPN is based on open-source OpenSSL encryption that is maintained by a community of supporters. It is secure providing 256-bit and 256-bit encryption and provides fast speeds. Connections over this protocol are stable and it is able to get past firewalls. On the other hand, IPSEC is very secure and provides 256-bit encryption with double encapsulation. The connections provided are stable and works perfectly on both mobile and desktop platforms. Unlike OpenVPN, IPSEC is very easy to install. Within a few minutes you will be done and this is why it is our perfect choice in this tutorial. Be sure to look and my tutorial on how to create your own OPENVPN server if you would prefer this.
Step 1: Install the IPSEC VPN Server
On the page you will see when you login to Ubuntu with your root account, type this:
Note: The word “O” is always capitalised.
So simple! You have set up your IPSEC server! Type "Exit" and close your Console.
To change the Username and Password:
You can now edit the server, use the following code:
nano -w vpnsetup.sh
Replace with your own values and you will be able to easily change the details.
Your IPsec PSK, Your Username and Your Password
To save, press the “Ctrl + X” button on the keyboard and then press “Y” . To exit, press “Enter”.
Then, reinstall the IPSEC VPN, run the code below:
sudo sh vpnsetup.sh
Step 2. Connect to IPSEC VPN Server in Windows 10
1. Configure the L2TP/IPsec server behind a NAT-T device
To avoid any security breaches, this should be done behind an NAT-T device. Start by pressing the windows button and searching for “Regedit”.
Open the following location:
When there, click on “Edit” and then “New”. Select DWORD (32-bit) value. Type the following: “AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule”.
Right click on this and choose “Modify”. Type “2” in the value data box. This will allow this VPN client (your PC) access the server even when behind NAT devices.
2. Restart the PC. This will ensure all the changes you have just made are implemented.
3. Go to the Windows start menu and click on “Settings” then “Network & Internet”.
4. On the left side of the screen is a menu. Select “VPN” from the menu items and then click on “Add a VPN connection”.
5. Set up the connection as follows:
- VPN provider: Windows (built-in)
- Connection name: Your Own VPN Name
- Server name/address: the Ubuntu Server IP address
- VPN type: LSTP/IPsec with pre-shared key
- Pre-shared key: IPSEC PSK key (if you do not see this option skip step 6 and proceed from step 7)
- Type the Username and Password.
6. Done! Click Save and you will be able to connect to the VPN Server you just created. Enjoy the privacy and security it has to offer.
7. If you cannot find the “Pre-shared” key option, proceed by typing your username and password and then clicking on “Save”.
8. Click on “Change adapter options”.
9. From the options, right-click on your VPN network adapter and click on “Properties”. Click on the security tab to open it and select “Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPSec (L2TP/IPsec)” as the type of VPN. In “Advanced settings”, choose “Use Pre-shared key for authentication”. Input the "Your IPSEC PSK key". Click “OK” which will take you back to settings.
Click on “Allow these protocols”. Enable “Microsoft CHAP” and “Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol”. Click “OK”.
11. To connect to the VPN, select the VPN tab and click on the : “Connect” button. Done!
Step 3. Connect to IPSEC VPN Server in macOS
1. Open System Preferences and click on the “Network” icon. To do this, click on Apple Menu then “System Preferences”.
2. Click the “+’ and from the drop-down menu, choose VPN.
3. Choose IPsec as the VPN type and then choose the service name followed by clicking on the “Create” button.
4. In the server address, type in the VPN server’s IP.
5. Enter the name and password of the server on the next screen.
6. To set it up, click on “Authentication settings”.
7. Under shared secret, type in the IPsec PSK key and click OK to save the changes.
8. You can now connect to your VPN server and enjoy the privacy and security it offers.
Am sure that by now you know how to make a VPN and as you can see it is very easy. With this guide you will not only be able to create the VPN but also connect to it no matter what computer it is that you are using. I hope this guide helped set your VPN up in a few minutes. With its low cost, great features and easy steps to follow, there is no reason why you should not create your own VPN. Try it now and let us know how it goes in the comments section below.