If you are concerned about the effects that FCC privacy regulations have on your ISP’s ability to use or to misuse your online information at their will, your concern is well-founded. When you talk to supposed professionals in the field, there have been a lot of opinions about how the FCC’s ruling will affect consumer’s privacy. Some see it as no big deal. Others see it as a monumental affront to privacy and something that requires you to take immediate action to protect yourself.
ISPs are notorious for being unscrupulous and downright aggressive when it comes to how they gather your personal information and what they use your personal data for. You may think that this is no big deal until you realize that your ISP edits your HTTP traffic. They force you to see advertisements that they think will get you to spend your money. And, in some cases, they even break web pages.
Since it is clear that the Congress of the United States and legislative bodies in other countries around the world have little to no concern about protecting your rights as a citizen, it’s time for you to learn how to take matters into your own hands if you so, please. In order to do that, you will need a VPN. Depending on the process that you use, building your own VPN may or may not have the same set up as most free VPNs.
Making Your Own VPN at Home Option One: Using a VPN Router
Instead of starting from scratch, you have the option of purchasing a VPN router to replace the router that you currently have. Thankfully, you are not the only person with these concerns, so finding a VPN router will not be that difficult.
When you purchase a VPN router, you’ll be able to use the web-based user interface to set the server up and get it running. Before you spend your money on a VPN router, take the time to research the routers that are available and find one that will be compatible with the VPN you want to use.
Making Your Own VPN at Home Option 2: Building a Dedicated VPN Server from the Ground Up
This second option means that you’ll use one of your computers to post your VPN server software. You’ll need to make sure the computer you use is a computer that you don’t need to turn off. It needs to be on all of the time and needs to be dedicated to being the VPN server, even if you’re not home.
Both Apple and Windows have settings that are available for this purpose. Just because they can host a VPN, it does not mean that they are the best suited for this purpose. Experts agree that they are not powerful enough to provide you with the security that you want online. Additionally, setting up a server using Apple or Windows built in settings can be a challenge. You will experience a lot of trial and error before you get it right.
You will do a lot better if you install OpenVPN. This is a phenomenally powerful and well-loved open-source VPN platform. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS. To make this work, you will need to identify and forward to the correct ports from your router to the device you are using as the VPN server.
Or you could use a rolling personal device as your VPN. To do this, we recommend you look into the Raspberry Pi. Install OpenVPN server software on it to create an efficient and powerful yet lightweight VPN server. If you want to install other server software on it, you can, and you will have a multipurpose server.
Making Your Own VPN at Home Option 3: Hybridization in VPN
A third option is a mixture of do-it-yourself/paid VPN. If you take this route, you pay a VPN service to host your VPN server. You will definitely pay less than you would by purchasing a premium service because all you are actually purchasing is the server hosting and not extras.
What a VPN Will Do and What It Will Not Do
A VPN is a security tool. It is important for you to understand what this security tool can do for you in order to get the most out of it. Failing to understand the limitations of a VPN is akin to believing that a parachute can protect you from a gunshot or that a Kevlar vest can protect you from jumping out of a plane.
From the moment you activate your VPN, your Internet traffic is routed through a secure tunnel created by the VPN. This means from the router to the VPN server your traffic is encrypted. Even your ISP will not be able to see your web traffic. If you are visiting a site that does not use HTTPS, your web traffic is no longer encrypted.
Since your web traffic seems like it is coming from a VPN server, your actual IP address is not revealed. That’s important because your actual IP address tells the world where you are located. If you’re using a VPN server in another part of the world, it will seem like you are accessing the Internet from that part of the world.
A VPN does not make your online traffic completely anonymous. If you want to do that, you’ll need to use a Tor service. The service will bounce your data to a number of computers, making it very difficult to track your activities.
Finally, the fact that you’re using a VPN does not mean that you are automatically protected from viruses or malware. It is recommended that you have a malware blocker or an antivirus software setup to protect your computer from malicious software.
What has been your experience setting up a VPN? We can’t wait to hear from you. Please leave a comment for us in the comment section below.
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