Tutorials

How to Create Your Own Personal VPN Using OpenVPN on Linux

In today’s digital age, online privacy and security have become increasingly important. With the rise in data breaches and privacy invasions, protecting your internet connection is essential. While commercial VPN services are widely available, setting up your own personal VPN using OpenVPN on a Linux server offers unparalleled control and security. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating your own personal VPN step by step.

Why Create Your Own VPN?

Enhanced Privacy and Security

With a personal VPN, you have complete control over your online privacy and security. Unlike commercial VPN services where you share servers with countless others, a personal VPN ensures that you are the sole user. This significantly reduces the risk of data leaks and prevents malicious parties from accessing your internet traffic.

Create Your Own VPN

Complete Data Control

When you use a VPN service, you are entrusting your data to a third party, which can raise privacy concerns, especially when dealing with sensitive information. With a personal VPN, you know exactly where your data is and who has access to it, giving you peace of mind and complete control over your data.

Customization and Flexibility

The open-source nature of Linux makes it an ideal platform for setting up a personal VPN. With Linux, you can customize your server to your specific needs, without having to worry about data limits or waiting in line for a connection. Linux servers are known for their stability, reliability, and powerful firewall options, making them a secure choice for hosting your VPN.

Setting Up Your Personal VPN Using OpenVPN on Linux

Step 1: Purchase a VPS Hosting Plan

To set up your personal VPN, you’ll need a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plan. For this tutorial, we’ll be using DigitalOcean VPS for its reliability and ease of use. Follow these steps to purchase a VPS hosting plan:

How to Create Your Own Personal VPN Using OpenVPN on LinuxHow to Create Your Own Personal VPN Using OpenVPN on Linux
  1. Head to DigitalOcean.
  2. Navigate to hosting and select VPS hosting.
  3. Choose the VPS hosting plan that best suits your needs and add it to your cart.
  4. Proceed to checkout and complete the payment process.

Step 2: Install OpenVPN on Your Linux Server

Once you have purchased a VPS hosting plan, you can install OpenVPN on your Linux server. Follow these steps to install OpenVPN:

  1. Log in to your DigitalOcean account and access your VPS dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the operating system menu and select the Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit with OpenVPN template.
  3. Create a panel password and wait for the installation process to complete.

Step 3: Set Up Your OpenVPN Account

With OpenVPN installed, it’s time to set up your OpenVPN account. Follow these steps to set up your account:

  1. Access the OpenVPN admin dashboard using your VPS IP address and port 943.
  2. Enter “openvpn” as the username and the password you set earlier to log in.
  3. Read and agree to the terms and conditions.
  4. Configure the OpenVPN settings and ensure that the VPN service status is “on.”

Step 4: Configure VPN Routing and DNS Settings

To ensure the security and privacy of your VPN connection, you’ll need to configure VPN routing and DNS settings. Follow these steps to configure the settings:

  1. Navigate to VPN settings in the OpenVPN admin dashboard.
  2. Set the VPN routing option to “no” to prevent potential DNS leaks.
  3. Enable DNS leak protection to ensure that your DNS requests are routed through the VPN.

Step 5: Connect Your Devices to the VPN

Once your VPN server is up and running, you can connect your devices to the VPN to secure your internet connection. Follow these steps to connect your devices:

For Windows:

  1. Download the OpenVPN client for Windows from the OpenVPN client UI.
  2. Install the client and enter your OpenVPN username and password.
  3. Connect to the VPN using the client interface.

For Mac OS:

  1. Download the OpenVPN client for Mac OS from the OpenVPN client UI.
  2. Install the client and enter your OpenVPN username and password.
  3. Connect to the VPN using the client interface.

Step 6: Manage Your VPN Users

You can allow up to two users with the free OpenVPN account. If you need more users, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. Follow these steps to manage your VPN users:

  1. Access the OpenVPN admin dashboard and navigate to user permissions.
  2. Create new usernames and configure user permissions as needed.
  3. Save the new settings and update the running server.

Step 7: Test Your VPN Server

To ensure that your VPN server is working correctly, you can perform a series of tests:

  1. Check whether your IPv4 address changes by accessing a site like NordVPN’s “What is my IP?”.
  2. Use DNS Leak Test to check your OpenVPN server’s IPv4 address.
  3. Ensure that the traffic uses IPv4 protocol by navigating to Test-IPv6.com.

With these tests completed, you can rest assured that your personal VPN is set up correctly and functioning as intended.

Conclusion

Setting up your own personal VPN using OpenVPN on a Linux server is a great way to enhance your online privacy and security. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a secure VPN connection that gives you complete control over your internet traffic. Whether you’re concerned about data privacy or just want to browse the web anonymously, a personal VPN is an essential tool for protecting your online identity.

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Adnen Hamouda

Software and web developer, network engineer, and tech blogger passionate about exploring the latest technologies and sharing insights with the community.

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