VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a popular way to stay safe online. When you connect to a VPN, all outgoing network traffic is funneled through an external server. Your internet service provider can't tell what sites you visit (only that you're using a VPN) or inject content into webpages. They're also commonly used to bypass blocked websites and to stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks.
Unfortunately, using certain VPN providers can be just as dangerous as going without a VPN in the first place. Many popular providers will log connection details of users, which can then be sold to third parties. Some insecure services also leak connection information, leaving you just as unprotected as you would be without a VPN.
Even though there are a few excellent VPN choices available on the market, hosting your own VPN server is another option. It takes a little bit of work to set up, and it's not the best option for everyone, but it has several benefits. For this guide, we'll be setting up an OpenVPN server on a Linode VPS, which costs $5/month. While you can absolutely run a PC at home with Ubuntu Server instead, I recommend using a VPS because you'll get the highest-possible speeds and almost no downtime. You also won't have to worry about hardware failures.
In this answer I’ll guide you through running your own cloud based VPN. It’s surprisingly easy, and requires no advanced technical skills. You will be able to follow this guide, even if you’ve never used a command line interface before.
Connect In Moments, Surf Securely
OpenVPN includes easy setup tools for popular platforms (Windows / Mac OS X / Android / iOS / Linux). When connected to your OpenVPN server, all of your internet traffic is secured with SSL. While you browse the web, your IP address will show as the IP address of your VPS. Having this extra security layer prevents people from tracking you and launching attacks against your home network.
Access Server Control Panel Included
OpenVPN Access Server is a premium VPN solution offered by OpenVPN Technologies Inc. It includes a web-based control panel which provides many features to customize your VPN. You can login to the Access Server any time to see which computers are currently connected. To simplify administration, updates in Access Server are applied to your VPN immediately.