How To Create Your Own VPN Server In 2021

How To Create Your Own VPN Server In 2021

Windows Command Prompt

In an age of ever-decreasing internet privacy and ever-increasing attacks by data thieves, hackers, and malicious bots, virtual private networks (VPNs) are one of the best solutions to ensure that you’re safe and secure while browsing.

VPNs route your internet data and traffic through third-party, private, secure servers and prevent hackers from being able to tap into your computer, view sensitive information, and steal data that can be used to compromise your identity.

VPNs can also make it appear as if you’re accessing the internet from an entirely different country. This can allow you to access region-restricted content on streaming platforms like Netflix and others!

Take that censorship…

Those of you who have some coding skills may be wondering if it’s possible to create your own VPN server. Well, for those who are dedicated and willing to put in some time and effort to get it set up, it’s completely possible!

In today’s post, we’re going to explain the pros and cons of creating your own VPN server and show you the basic steps of creating your own cloud-based VPN.

Why You Might Want To Create Your Own VPN Server

First off, we’ll start off by saying that creating your own VPN server requires a fairly advanced level of coding skill. You’ll need to have a solid grasp of backend server programming if you want to ensure that your VPN works properly and actually keeps you secure. If you don’t have that type of knowledge, then you’re better off downloading a low-cost VPN like Surfshark or IPVanish.

So, with that being said, here are some of the best pros about creating your own VPN server.

It’s A Fun Project

For one, creating a VPN can be a fun project. If you’ve been learning how to code and learning about backend server architecture, then this is a great chance for you to test your skills and build something new.

If you’ve never done it before, then there’ll be a steep learning curve and plenty of challenges to keep you occupied. And while it will take many hours of fine-tuning, you’ll come out of the project smarter and wiser. It’s also a great project to put on your resume if you’re trying to get a coding job!

You’re In Complete Control

One of the biggest reasons why some coders create their own VPNs is that they’re in complete control. Unlike traditional VPNs that require you to route your internet data and traffic through a third-party server, creating your own VPN means that you don’t have to trust anybody but yourself.

So, if you’ve got the skills and know a thing or two about cybersecurity, then you can easily create a VPN that’s even more secure than a traditional paid VPN. This can be particularly useful if you need to constantly change your IP address or you’re working with sensitive data that requires maximum security.

High-tech cyber criminals often create and use their own VPNs to make it harder for authorities to track them down. Using your own VPN server also prevents authorities from being able to obtain a warrant to inspect a third-party VPN server offered by a professional service.

Not that you would be involved in any of these illegal activities…

Potential Disadvantages To Creating Your Own VPN Server

For all of the pros of creating your own VPN server, there are also a fair amount of cons. They can be expensive, require a fair amount of work to set up, and may not be as secure as a professional VPN. So, to ensure that you have both sides of the story, here are the top cons to creating your own VPN server.

You Can’t Switch Regions

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to creating your own VPN server is that you can’t switch regions. One of the top reasons why people use VPNs in the first place is that they want to access region-restricted content on streaming platforms like Netflix.

Since your own VPN will only have a single server located in the United States, you want to be able to bounce your internet traffic around the globe. Sure, you’ll have a greater level of anonymity, but it will be restricted to the U.S.

Server Updates and Security

Your VPN server will need to be constantly updated with antivirus software and anti-malware code to ensure that it’s able to stand up to the latest security measures. This means constant research, updates, and improvements to code… all of which can take a considerable amount of time.

How To Create Your Own Cloud VPN Server

Alright, so if you’re ready to set up your own VPN server, the best way to do it is through using a cloud server. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll be using a Google Cloud server.

  1. Set Up Google Cloud Server: First step is to sign up for Google Cloud. You’ll need to create an account and sign a few TOS agreements. If you’re new to the platform, you’ll get a free 90-day $300 trial. After this, you’ll have to foot the bill on your own.
    Goolge Cloud Platform
  2. Activate Cloud Shell: Next, look in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen and activate a cloud shell. This will activate a command console where you can inject code and commands into.
    Activate Google Cloud Shell
  3. Download VPN Setup Tools From Github: There’s a great toolkit for creating your own VPN server called “algo” on Github. You can download the source code for the toolkit free of charge, which will help you create your VPN on the Google Cloud server.
    GitHub
  4. Enter The Cloud Server Setup Commands Into Your Cloud Console: The developer of algo also created a detailed set of command instructions which you’ll need to enter into the Cloud Shell command console to setup and inject the code into your cloud server. They can be accessed here. Below is how they should look:
    Cloud Server Setup Commands
  5. Customize Your Options: After you’ve got your VPN setup, you’ll need to customize your options via the prompts. Read through algo’s Github documentation for the specifics of how you can customize your VPN. You’ll be able to customize your VPN with things like ad-blocking, automatic connection, and more.

Why A Paid VPN Service Is Better Than Making Your Own VPN

To be 100% honest with you guys, we have to tell you that a traditional paid VPN service is going to be a good bit better than making your own cloud VPN. For one, they’re a lot cheaper. Running a program on the Google Cloud can cost upwards of $100/month, while you can access many high-quality, ultra-secure paid VPNs for less than $30/month.

Secondly, unless you’re a cybersecurity expert, there’s little chance that your cloud VPN will be able to match the overall security provided by a VPN service provider that has full-time teams of security experts working around the clock to ensure server security.

Lastly, paid VPN services will allow you to bounce your traffic and data around the globe. This lets you spoof popular services and streaming sites to access geo-blocked content. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do this with a U.S.-based cloud VPN.

All of that being said, though, if you’re looking for a fun coding challenge and a good learning experience, then we definitely recommend giving it a try!

Sources:

  1. https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-vpn-service-used-by-ransomware-gangs-was-just-taken-down-by-police/#:~:text=An%20underground%20virtual%20private%20network,major%20international%20law%20enforcement%20operation.
  2. https://github.com/trailofbits/algo
  3. https://github.com/trailofbits/algo/blob/master/docs/cloud-gce.md
  4. https://github.com/trailofbits/algo/tree/master/docs
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