Don't use VPN services, host your own for free!

Hosting your own VPN on a Raspberry Pi

Networking Security RPi

Why you shouldn’t use VPN services

VPN services can be very attractive and you’ll often see adverts or sponsorships showing off their many benefits and promising to keep your data and identity private. But that’s the problem, all they do is promise and promises can be broken.

The other big disadvantage of using a (premium) VPN service is the monthly cost. These costs can be anywhere in the range of £5 to even £15 a month.

The benefits of hosting your own VPN

The greatest benefit is privacy, you know that all of your data is safe as you are your own VPN provider.

Another benefit is that it’s essentially free, a Pi 3B running 24/7 may only consume around £2-4 of electricity per year!

But for me the most important benefit is that I can access the services and protection available on my home network. This allows me to reap the benefits of my PiHole even when on a 4G or external wifi connection.

How to host your own VPN

Hosting your own VPN on a Pi is very simple and took me less than 15 minutes to set up. The first thing you’ll need is a Pi, I have mine running on a Raspberry Pi 3B (The same one that my PiHole is running on).

Next you’ll need to SSH in and install PiVPN via the instructions on their website. When it comes to Wireguard VS OpenVPN I recommend using Wireguard due to the higher performance on mobile devices.

Once it’s all installed you’ll need to port forward the relevant port on your home router. Then it’s as simple as downloading the Wireguard app on your mobile device and scanning a QR code to add the client and get connected.

The only catch 🎣

Sadly, there is a catch. If you need to use a VPN to spoof your location this solution sadly won’t work for you as you’ll always be routed via your home network location.

However for me this wasn’t a problem and the benefits of this VPN have been great so far. Thanks for reading this post, I hope someone finds it helpful! 👋