There’s one more way to set up a VPN server that falls in between configuring your home router and using a commercial VPN service. To set up a VPN this way, you’ll need to rent a server from a cloud computing provider.
You can rent virtual private servers (VPS) from companies like DigitalOcean, Scaleway, or Amazon Web Services.
Unlike maintaining a VPN server in your home, renting a VPS costs money – around the same monthly price as a quality VPN.
You also have entrust all your internet traffic data in the hosting company, which may or may not store your personal information.
While this method won’t allow you to access your local network while away from home, you can rent a server in pretty much any country you’d like, which means you’ll be able to access geo-specific content from that country.
Setting up the VPN server is similar to configuring your router at home, so make sure to follow the instructions from your hosting company’s website carefully. Here are DigitalOcean’s instructions for setting up an OpenVPN server.
Should I Set Up My Own VPN Server?
If you need to access your local network while out and about, setting up your own VPN server at home is a good idea.
Hosting a VPN server in your home means that you can access files from your local network and stream Netflix or access other geo-fencec services while abroad.
If set up correctly, connecting to your own VPN while using public WiFi will help protect you from hackers looking to steal your personal information. The VPN encrypts internet traffic between the client and the server.
You also know who owns the servers you’re using. This should make it more transparent as to what data and information being logged and stored.
Disadvantages of Setting up Your Own VPN Server
The vast majority of individuals should not set up their own VPN server. Most people will do better to use a trusted, safe VPN service, like ExpressVPN.
If your internet connection suffers from slow upload bandwidth, creating your own VPN isn’t worth the effort – it’ll just slow down your service even more, including downloads.
Self-built VPN servers also require meticulous setup and technical knowhow to make sure that they aren’t vulnerable to security flaws that could allow third parties to access your personal information.
What’s more, a home-based VPN shouldn’t be seen as an online privacy tool. Since it only encrypts internet traffic between the VPN client and the VPN server (your home router or computer), your ISP – and any third party that has access to the data your ISP collects – is still able to see everything you do online.
In contrast, top-tier VPN services will protect your online privacy, and will automatically keep up to date with the latest security patches. The best VPNs don’t collect any of your personal information.
VPN providers often have VPN servers in dozens of locations globally, unlike a home VPN which only assigns you the IP address of your home network. With a commercial VPN service you can connect to servers all over the world in order to access geo-restricted content.
Using ready-made VPN servers allow you to stream, torrent, and browse in privacy, with effortless setup. Using a third-party VPN service will most likely give you better speeds than a self-made server too.
If you’re not ready to spend money on a VPN, take a look at our top recommended free VPN services.