Running your own virtual private network server is an effective way to improve your system security and get access to your local area network from the internet, but they are disreputably hard to establish. It turns your Raspberry Pi into a practical, cheap VPN server using a guided installation that does most of the work for you.
You will be able to bypass site filters at school or work and easily connect to devices on your home networks like file servers or printers. And with few added steps, you can also enable end-to-end encryption and run all of your internets through a secure and anonymous tunnel. Today, TechNinjaPro is going to talk about how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a VPN server. Since you are reading this, you possibly know that you can do all types of stuff with Raspberry Pi. But why turn a Raspberry Pi into a VPN server?
- What is Pi VPN?
- Why would you need to turn a Raspberry Pi into a VPN server?
- Raspberry Pi VPN server prerequisites
- How to create Raspberry Pi into a VPN server?
What is Pi VPN?
It is a reliable OpenVPN server designed to run on Raspberry Pi. Pi VPN provides you access to your home network through a secure connection over the internet. It acts somewhat like a bridge between your internet network and devices by plugging a Raspberry Pi into your router. You can use Raspberry Pi VPN to access your files and movies from anywhere, encrypt your connection, bypass firewalls, and site restrictions, hide your IP address and connect with your cameras and smart devices.
If you find yourself forwarding various services through your router, a home VPN connection is a safer and more secure alternative. Pi VPN opens one port, and it uses robust encryption to keep your LAN secure.
Why would you need to turn a Raspberry Pi into a VPN server?
If you needed to get some of the benefits of an effective VPN service, you would turn a Raspberry Pi into a VPN. You will stop your internet service provider from tracking your internet activities by communicating with the internet through a Raspberry Pi VPN server. You will be able to visit sites without exposing your actual IP address and location.
One of the most significant advantages of commercial virtual private network services is its hundreds of servers worldwide. That vast collection of geographically distributed VPN servers makes it possible to access geo-restricted content. In fact, using a virtual private network for streaming is becoming increasingly popular to access media websites like Disney Plus, Hulu, and Netflix from anywhere in the world.
Another significant benefit of using a VPN service over a Raspberry Pi VPN server is darkness. When you use a commercial VPN service, your internet activities will be mixed with hundreds of users, and the same physical, virtual private network server you connect to will likely change regularly. With the Pi VPN server, all internet activity will be from your system, and it will all run through the Pi VPN server. This means you will not be mixing with hundreds of people behind the same IP address.
Raspberry Pi VPN server prerequisites
The hardware requirements for this VPN server are minimal. You will have to provide:
- A Raspberry Pi
- Power supply
- An SD card
Optional hardware requirements include:
- A Raspberry Pi case
- A USB mouse and keyboard
The hardware requirements for Raspberry Pi VPN servers are a power supply, an SD card, and a Raspberry Pi. To get the most value out o your Raspberry Pi VPN server, you will have to consider two system additions. These are:
- A Dynamic DNS service
- A DHCP reservation
Dynamic DNS service
Let’s imagine that you have your Raspberry Pi connected to your home network, and you need to use it while you are far away from home. You can log into your private network using a remote program then connect to the site or other platforms through that. This approach works excellently, except for one thing. To run the remote desktop, you want to have an IP address on your network exposed to the internet.
A Dynamic DNS service offers an easy-to-remember domain name that updates with each IP address change. You will have to build up this on your router and probably pay a cost for the service, but it might be worth it. Once you set up a DNS service, you will be able to log into the same domain all the time without worrying about what the underlying IP address is.
Consider placing a DHCP reservation for your Pi if your internet router supports them. Usually, the IP address of devices on your network will change every so often. While this does not matter during regular use, it does matter for this VPN server. If the Your IP address modifies on your network, you will need to look it up whenever you try to use your VPN server.
A DHCP reservation is a result of the problem. By configuring your router to allocate the same network IP address to your Pi, you can stop the frequent hassle of looking up that IP address all the time. This is an internet router setting, and the steps vary from company to company. If you follow your router’s instruction booklet, you should be able to complete the task quickly.
WireGuard or OpenVPN
You have more than one options to make before getting started: WireGuard or OpenVPN. These are the virtual private network protocols you can use on your Raspberry Pi. In simple ways, a virtual private network protocol is a set of regulations for transmitting information along with principles for the types of encryption used o make the information secure.
OpenVPN has been the market standard VPN protocol for several years. It is secure, private, and reasonably fast. But OpenVPN is a bit complex consisting of around 400000 lines of code. This makes it difficult to maintain and provides many areas for hackers to try and crack the code. OpenVPN does not do very well on mobile devices.
WireGuard is the new youngster on the VPN protocol restriction. It is much quicker than OpenVPN and uses the latest in encryption. WireGuard is much simpler than OpenVPN, needing 4000 lines of code instead of 400000 lines in OpenVPN. WireGuard should be easy to developers to maintain and much tricky for hackers to attack than OpenVPN. It offers the best reliability on mobile devices and can transition between different network interfaces without dropping a connection.
One possible downside of WireGuard is that it stores the IP addresses of users on the server. Most premium VPN services keep no logs of user activity that have to take steps to deal with this when they support WireGuard. This project is not perfect for you if you are concerned about government departments subpoenaing information about your internet activities or a hacker breaking into your Raspberry Pi.
How to create Raspberry Pi into a VPN server?
With all that beginning substance out of the way, getting a VPN server built is time. But before TechNinjaPro starts, let’s be clear. This is not an attempt to provide you detailed instructions to create a VPN server.
curl -L https://install.pivpn.io | knock
- Install Pi VPN on your Raspberry Pi.
- Run Pi VPN
- Tell Pi VPN whether you set up a static address ( a DHCP Reservation).
- Select between WireGuard or OpenVPN
- Choose a communication protocol. UDP is recommended for OpenVPN and is needed for WireGuard.
- Set the VPN port. The default OpenVPN port is 1194. The default WireGuard port is 51820.
- Set the DNS service provider. If you set up a DNS, you will enter that here. If not, you will have to identify a DNS provider to use.
- If you are using OpenVPN, choose the Enable OpenVPN features choice unless some applications you are using do not support them.
- If Pi VPN presents them, follow the steps for creating a security certificate and configuration file.
- Using the instruction for your router, forward the VPN port to the internal IP address of your Raspberry Pi VPN server.
Turning a Raspberry Pi into your private VPN server is a perfect project. Raspberry Pi VPN can provide you with some benefits of using a commercial VPN without subscribing to one. Altogether, a Raspberry Pi VPN server is restricted in what it can do for you. If your priority goal is to put Raspberry Pi to work enhancing your internet security and privacy, that is great.