Shaleen Jain

· 1 min read

Why Deploy your Own VPN Server?

🔗 Background and Motivation

VPNs have become a requirement in many countries and for many professionals across countries to be able to do their work and maintain a level of safely and anonymity that’s increasing disparate with the modern internet.

However, VPN services provided by centralized VPN providers just shifts the responsibility of maintaining user privacy and safely from decentralized ISP’s to centralized entities.

Many VPN providers still record logs of their users, either knowing or unknowing for the purposes of having an analytical and billing system. As we have seen time and time again, it is this metadata that many of these centralized entities can be force to hand over and can successfully be used to reconstruct online activity and user identity. More over they often provide a degraded user experience by way of having shared “public” servers that many users are routed through to the open internet simultaneously.

With the proliferation and scale of cloud computing providers that provide the raw resources of a VPN server across geolocations, it no longer makes sense to pay a specialized service provider for general resources with unit economics with just a software slapped on top. Especially when the software that does most of the heavy lifting is a Free and Open Source Software.

🔗 Solution

While it does take some expertise to deploy your own VPN server solution on a cloud provider, it is a one time cost that truly provides the benefits of a VPN server and keeps you in control of your privacy and data across multiple levels of the infrastructure.

Automation and abstraction continue to make it possible to deploy your own server without increasing expertise and domain knowledge for a wider group of users.

SelfVPN is my attempt at providing a set of tools and guides that lets anyone DIY their own VPN server while maintaining ownership and sovereignty of their data and identity.

SelfVPN deploys a Wireguard VPN server using the excellent Algo ansible playbook by Trait of Bits consulting company. It builds on their work to package the script in a cloud execution environment with all the prerequisite dependencies and software pre-installed. As well as bring all documentation together in a step by step manner.

Please give it a shot, and I appreciate any feedback I can get to make the setup even easier to use.

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