Whether you want a VPN for gaming, office work, or casual use. It is important that you know how to set up a VPN server for miscellaneous applications. It is pocket-friendly, there are no third parties involved, and plus, it is not that hard to create a VPN server for yourself on your home network and guarantee your own safety yourself.
So how does a VPN work and what can it do? VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that makes sure that a user while accessing the internet doesn’t get vulnerable to data theft or malware attacks.
It also makes sure that your internet connection is secure, traveling your traffic through a safe encrypted VPN tunnel.
When your VPN is on, there is no possibility for third parties to monitor or detect your online activity while you are surfing the web. Even your internet service provider or government authorities will be unable to track your online traffic.
You might think if there are tons of top-tier VPN providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, then why are we even bothering to give you the lecture to set up your own VPN server. Third-party VPN services are not bad, they’re even easy to use and you don’t have to maintain or audit anything.
But if you don’t want any third parties involved in your private network then you can set up your own home VPN server by following some instructions.
How to Set Up a VPN Server?
Virtual private networks can keep you away from hackers trying to steal your information on the web.
You can easily set up your own home VPN server on the cloud using third-party cloud services like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Service, or Azure. It would cost you a little money but you don’t have to maintain anything after setting up your VPN by running some commands.
Other than that, you can use a router with VPN capabilities to create your own VPN or if your router doesn’t have VPN capabilities, then check if your router has DD-WRT functionality. You can easily set up your own VPN server on a router with DD-WRT.
Also, you can set up dedicated VPN servers on devices that are on all the time.
How to Set Up a VPN Server using a Router with VPN Capabilities?
It is to oversee first that you should have a router with built-in VPN functionalities in it.
Without the VPN functionality, you won’t be able to set up your own VPN server.
Other than that, the steps below might not be compatible to work with all the routers. As router firmware can be different and it solely depends on that.
- First, you should know if your router has VPN functionality or any other third-party firmware compatibility. You can get this knowledge by simply searching for your router’s manual and seeing if there are any guidelines available.
- If you can’t find the manual, visit the configuration page of your router device by typing (192.168.0.1) or (192.168.1.1) on your browser.
- Enter the username and password for administrator access to the configuration page.
- Find the VPN tab and carry on with system-specific instructions to set up your own VPN server.
- Now come up with a username and password. Select a VPN Protocol.
- To connect to your own VPN server, you’ll need to install VPN client software on the device you want to use the VPN server. VPN clients are the software for the client device to connect to the VPN server set on the router. If selected OpenVPN server protocol, install OpenVPN. You just have to download the files and extract them in a VPN client folder.
- Enter the credentials which you have set on the configuration page and that’s all!
How to Set Up a VPN Server using a DD-WRT Router?
It is mandatory that your DD-WRT router should be having PPTP VPN functionality available in it. In case of non-availability, you’ll have to flash the router with a version that has the PPTP VPN functionality available. To set up your own VPN server, follow the steps below.
- Open the Configuration Page of your DD-WRT Router.
- Find the section of Services, you will find PPTP Server, enable it if it is disabled.
- On enabling the PPTP Server option, you will notice that more fields are visible now. Which are, Server IP, Client IP(s), and CHAP-Secrets.
- Server IP: You will fill this field with the Public IP Address.
- Client IP(s): This field will contain the IP Addresses of the clients who can use the VPN when enabled.
- CHAP-Secrets: To set up the username and password of your VPN server, this field is to be used. The username and password are typed in a single line with spaces and asterisks to distinguish them.
- When everything is ready, tap save and apply changes.
How to Set Up Connection On PC for the VPN Server?
- Close the Configuration Page, head to your PC’s Control Panel. (This is on Windows 7 Platform)
- Head to Network and Sharing Center. Then select Set up a new connection or network, choose Connect to a workplace, and then Create a new connection. Finally, tap on Use my Internet Connection (VPN).
- You should now be seeing a window with the Internet Address and Destination name. Type your Internet Address (the same IP Address filled in the Server IP section in Configuration Page). In Destination Name, type any name which is easy to pick and remember later (Example: My VPN).
- Click Next, type the username and password (same username and password filled in the CHAP-Secrets field of Configuration Page).
- Click on connect. And your connection should be working now.
- If you want to verify it, type ‘ipconfig‘ in your command prompt to check your status.
How to Set Up a VPN Server On Windows 10?
You can set up your own VPN server on your Windows 10 machine and allow users to connect to it. All you have to do is follow the steps below.
- First, you will need to set port forwarding to 1723 which is the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). This is done to allow connections when connecting to your home network from a public network.
- Head to Control Panel, go to Network and Sharing Center -> Change Adapter Settings.
- When redirected to Network Connection, click on File and click New Incoming Connection.
- You will find a list of users (if any), check the users you want to give access to your VPN server. Or you can add a user too by clicking on Add Someone. Click Next.
- You will find a Checkbox of Through the Internet under How will people connect? Check that and click Next.
- There will be a section of Networking Software, check the box for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
- On the same window, click Properties. Check the box for Allow callers to access my local area network and select Specify IP Addresses. Give a range of IP Addresses of clients which are allowed to access. Click OK.
- Click on Allow Access and Close the window.
How to Set Up the Firewall Configuration for VPN Server
You’ll need to allow connections by configuring the firewall properly. Follow the steps below to properly configure the firewall on Windows 10.
- Open Control Panel, go to System and Security -> Windows Defender Firewall.
- On the left panel, click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.
- Find Routing and Remote Access and check the boxes for Private and Public.
- Click on OK. Now your VPN Server can remotely receive connections.
How to Set Up Connection for your VPN Server
To configure the devices for your VPN server which will have the ability to remotely access your local network, you have to set up a connection. Follow the steps below,
- Open Control Panel -> Network and internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings. Go to the Properties of VPN Connection.
- You will see a window of VPN Connection Properties. In General, confirm if your domain or public IP address is correct.
- On the same window, go to Security. Click the drop-down menu of Type of VPN and choose Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).
- Click the drop-down menu of Data Encryption and choose Maximum strength encryption. Press OK.
- Go to Network on the same window, make sure Internet Protocol Version 4 is checked and Internet Protocol Version 6 is unchecked.
- Head to the Properties of Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and go to Advanced.
- Under IP Settings, uncheck Use default gateway on a remote network. Click OK and save all the settings.
- Go to Settings -> Network and Internet -> VPN. You can now see your VPN, connect to it.
Why Use a VPN?
Whether it be a commercial VPN service or your own VPN server. They are a useful source to hide your online activity from data hunters present on the web.
By using a VPN, your IP address is hidden and your online identity is safe every time you browse something on the internet.
There can many benefits which indicate that you should definitely get a VPN for your online safety. Some of them are,
- VPNs can protect your online transactions every time you shop online.
- It can prevent you from falling into malware or trojan attacks.
- When your VPN is enabled, your identity is anonymous on the pages you visit.
- You can easily change your Netflix region, or Hulu region with a VPN and enjoy streaming geo-restricted content.
- If you want to make sure that your IP Address is secure while torrenting, then change your location with a VPN to torrent your favorite movie with complete anonymity.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Are there any disadvantages of a VPN service?
Is it illegal to set up a VPN server?
Is it possible to be tracked while using a VPN?
Should I use a free VPN?