A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. They are common in offices but are also quite useful for personal use. Creating one can accomplish many different things, but chiefly you will be able to surf the internet on your own private network. This means that with a VPN you will be able to access your files from anywhere, you can to collaborate with friends and colleagues across your network, and you will be able to browse privately and securely. VPNs are also free or near free and are generally easy to set up. They can also be set up on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
To build your own VPN, you only need your home computer, or any other computer. This computer should always be powered on. If you don’t have a host computer, you can also subscribe to VPN hosting service. You will also need the computer(s) that you want on your network. Lastly, you need a VPN client and a strong broadband connection.
Get a VPN Client: You need VPN software to begin the process. The Windows operating system ships preloaded with one, Agile. If your computer does not have VPN software, there are several clients such as OpenVPN available for download that offer safe encryption and good speeds.
Install the VPN software on your server: On the computer that you want to use as a server, open the software that you have decided to use, be it Agile, OpenVPN or another. Make sure to have your IP address on hand; that information should be available in your network settings. When you run the software, it should lead you through the installation process. The process should lead you to create a new network, give it a name, and set a password.
Install the VPN client on the computer you wish to use. Run the software on the computer you wish to use and find the option that allows you to join an existing network. Choose the network you’ve created and log in using the network name and password that you have already created. That’s it. Now your computer and however many other computers you may wish to add to your network, can access each other from anywhere, as if they are all on the same local network.
There are a few drawbacks as running a VPN can use a lot of bandwidth and slow down upload and download speeds. But, the advantages are much stronger. You have just essentially created a tunnel to the internet, and that accomplishes many things. Your VPN can route your traffic in a way that disguises your IP address, the number that identifies your computer, and it can encrypt your internet traffic as well. This makes it so that neither an Internet Service Provider nor censoring software can see what an individual user may be doing online. You can also turn your new VPN into a proxy to surf the internet securely on public networks. Of course, you can share photos, videos, and music too on your new private network.