While you might be using a virtual private server on a regular basis, have you ever thought about creating your own VPN server? If you are a computer or a software geek then you might have thought about this at least once whether or not you can make your own VPN server.
Although it is possible to make your own VPN server and you can do it 100%, it is a very complex job. You need to have a sound knowledge of computer programming, servers, how VPNs work as well as VPN protocols.
But the good thing is that you can host a pre-built VPN server. Although it is something different than creating the whole server from scratch, it is, at the same time quite easy and doable for everyone with a little bit of knowledge.
In this article, we will learn what it takes to build your own VPN server and maintain your own privacy. Besides that, we will also see whether creating your own server is good or you should go the other way, i.e hosting pre-built servers.
What are VPN Protocols?
VPN protocols are the security methods that help your data to be sent and received securely over a public network. These VPN protocols encrypt your connection making it secure from anyone who is trying to monitor your activity, i.e eavesdropping on you.
There are many different types of VPN protocols that can be used by a VPN server or client. The most common VPN protocols are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN.
PPTP is the most basic protocol that is used by Windows servers and clients. It is not as secure as the other two protocols but it is very fast. L2TP/IPSec is a combination of two protocols, L2TP and IPSec.
L2TP is the most secure protocol but it requires a third-party application to work. It has a complicated setup process as well. OpenVPN is another secure method that is very easy to set up and configure compared to L2TP/IPSec VPN protocols. For this reason, OpenVPN is one of the most popular protocols used by commercial VPN services.
Connection of VPN Protocols with Virtual Private Networks
As mentioned earlier, VPN protocols are used to create a secure connection between your computer and the VPN server. This encrypted connection makes it impossible for anyone to monitor your online activity.
Let’s take a closer look at how protocols are connected to VPN servers and how they work to encrypt your connection.
All the web traffic that makes its way through a VPN server goes through this encrypted tunnel first before it reaches its destination.
Since no one can monitor the traffic, anyone out there trying to snoop on you will only see some random data instead of your actual online activity, and that too without any success.
How VPN Protocols Work
To put it simply, a VPN protocol is used to establish a secure connection between two devices, in our case, between the computer and the VPN server.
This secure connection is nothing but a well-tuned encrypted tunnel. All your online traffic travels through this secure tunnel back and forth from the VPN server, i.e., in both directions.
So, when you connect to a VPN server to hide your IP address, all your data goes inside this encrypted tunnel and comes out only after it reaches its final destination, i.e., the website that you are trying to visit.
This is how a VPN protocol ensures your privacy and hides your online activity.
VPN Protocols for Home Users
Now that we know what VPN protocols are and how they work, let’s see which of these protocols are best for home users.
The most popular VPN protocol for home users is OpenVPN. It is very easy to set up and configure, and it provides a high level of security. Another great feature of OpenVPN is that it works on all devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
However, it is not very secure compared to L2TP/IPSec protocols.
Making Your Own VPN Server
Now that you’ve understood the basics of VPN protocols, you might be wondering how you can make your own VPN server. You will need to know how to create a tunnel and use protocols to send the traffic to these tunnels.
Once you are successful in sending the traffic to the tunnel and then to your device then you will achieve an encrypted level connection, which is nothing but a VPN connection.
To make your own VPN server, you will need to set up an OpenVPN server on your existing server machine. To be more specific, it means that any device that wants to access the internet through the OpenVPN server will need to use the OpenVPN protocol.
You can also set up an L2TP/IPSec server on your existing machine, but you will need to install a third-party application to make it work.
How Much RAM Do You Need for Creating a VPN Server?
Every server needs resources to function properly, and VPN servers are no different. You will need to provide your server with enough RAM so that it can handle the traffic load without any problems.
RAM requirement for your server depends on the number of users who will be connecting to it and the type of traffic that they will be generating. A good rule of thumb is to provide your server with at least 1GB of RAM for every 10 users.
If you are planning to use your server for high-bandwidth activities such as streaming or gaming, then you will need to provide it with more RAM. The recommended amount of RAM for such activities is 2GB or more per user.
You can check the amount of RAM that your server has by running the “free” command on Linux or “Task Manager” on Windows.
How Much CPU Do You Need?
Just like RAM, you will also need to provide your server with enough CPU resources so that it can handle the traffic load. CPU power depends on the type of traffic your server will be handling.
If you are using your server for basic activities such as web browsing and email access, then you will need to provide it with less CPU power. However, if you are using the server for high-bandwidth activities such as streaming or gaming, then you will need to provide it with more CPU resources.
The recommended amount of CPU power for VPN servers is between 0.5GHz and 2GHz per user depending on the type of activities that they are doing.
Pros of Making Your Own VPN Server
The following are some of the pros of creating your own VPN server (if you can make one):
- You will have full control over your server and can decide who has access to it.
- You can configure the server according to your own needs and requirements.
- You can choose the VPN protocols that you want to use on the server.
- You will have a high level of security on your server, i.e., it will be tough for anyone to hack or crack into your server.
Cons of Making Your Own VPN Server
Of course, there are some cons of creating your own VPN server as well:
- It is not very easy to set up a VPN server even if you have technical knowledge and skills.
- You will need to have a good understanding of VPN protocols and how they work in order to set up a server.
- It can be expensive to set up your own server, especially if you need high-end hardware for it.
- You will need to maintain the server and keep it updated with the latest security patches and software updates.
Hosting a Prebuild Server of Virtual Private Network
In addition to creating one, you can also host a pre-build virtual private network server on your own. You can use different shared or cloud hosting platforms for hosting the server.
Always make sure that the hosting is secured and there’s no chance of data leakage or hacking.
After all, you are using tunneling to get yourself secured. You can’t afford to get your computer hacked due to a cheap shared hosting or cloud hosting platform.
Once you have your VPN server hosted, you will need to access it and get the configurations done. This will require technical knowledge but at the end of the day, you will not have to get your hands dirty with creating your own server.
Hosting a pre-build VPN server is easier than creating one!
Last Minute Thoughts
It is very much possible to create your own virtual private network server even at home. However, it requires a lot of skill and technical knowledge to put together a highly secured one.
You have to decide whether creating your own VPN server is worth the effort. If you are comfortable with technical tasks and have the required knowledge and skills, then go ahead and try it out.
But if you don’t feel confident about doing it yourself, then you can always find a VPN service that offers a pre-configured VPN server.