It’s no secret that we live in a digital world. Whether you’re paying for your morning cup of coffee with a few Google searches or you’re connecting with friends via Whatsapp, almost everyone’s day is dominated by their smartphone. So it comes as no great surprise that businesses have recognised this and have launched innovative strategies to reach customers where they are.
One such strategy is Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). A VPN allows you to connect to a private network via the internet, hiding your IP address and securing all of your communications. This is especially beneficial if you’re living in an area where your ISP cannot provide a privacy-friendly service or if you want to keep your internet usage private. Fortunately, setting up a VPN at home is a very easy process.
What You’ll Need
To get started, you’ll need a VPN and a computer or mobile device to use it on. The former can easily be set up at home; the latter is more dependent on your location and whether or not you have fibre broadband available. If you do have access to fibre, you can download all of the apps you need from the Google Play or App Store and don’t need to worry about any limits. If you don’t, you’ll need to rely on more traditional methods of getting internet access.
Setting Up Your VPN
In order to set up your VPN, you’ll need to enter a few details about yourself and your computer. The connection will be secured with a username and password, though you don’t need to worry about remembering these as they will be stored securely and you can always login to your account via VPN software. All of this information can be found in the setup wizard by clicking continue after entering your payment details.
Getting Started With Your New VPN
Once you’ve completed the setup process, you can get started with your VPN. To do this, you’ll need to load the VPN software you’ve installed on your computer or mobile device into your browser. Your VPN will then ask you to connect to a server, which you can do anonymously if you wish. Once you’re connected, you can use the VPN as usual to access websites that are restricted in your region, change your IP address to be that of an internet server located in a country where internet censorship is less prevalent, or to simply encrypt all of your internet traffic.
The Pros And Cons Of Hosting A VPN At Home
While it’s an easy and convenient solution, there are some significant pros and cons to hosting a VPN at home. Let’s take a look..
The advantages of hosting a VPN at home are numerous and include the fact that you have full control over the software, the security of your network, and the flexibility to use the service when and where you want. Disadvantages include the fact that you’ll need to be online to use the service and the potential for increased internet traffic as a result of all of the additional devices connected to the network.
Increased Internet Traffic
If you’re not used to having a high number of devices connected to the internet, you may find that having a VPN at home can cause issues with your other devices – especially if they’re connected to the same wifi network. For example, if you have a WiFi-connected printer that regularly connects to Google Cloud Print, having a VPN will make it harder for other devices on the network to connect to the internet. The solution is to either use a different network for your VPN or to disconnect the printer when you’re not using it. In either case, these are things you need to take into consideration and set up correctly before using a VPN at home.
Security Is Of Utmost Importance
An obvious con when hosting your own VPN is safety – both for you and for those you share your network with. While you can secure your home network with a VPN, doing so prevents your other devices on the network from gaining access to the internet as well, placing your security at risk. If you want to use a VPN to access private content or avoid censorship, make sure that all of your devices are on the same page and understand what it is you’re trying to achieve before you connect them to a VPN.
Only Use A VPN To Access Private Content
It’s possible to use a VPN for entirely ethical purposes, such as avoiding censorship or accessing restricted content, but in most cases, people use VPNs to stay safe while surfing the internet. If you want to use a VPN to access content that is restricted by geographical location or by copyright, make sure that all devices connected to the network understand and respect these restrictions. In other words, don’t use a VPN if you want to access content that is meant for public consumption.
More Than One Device
Another disadvantage of having a VPN at home is the fact that you can’t use it if you don’t have a device running its software. Specifically, you’ll need a PC, Mac, or mobile device running Chrome, Opera, or Firefox, respectively. If you have multiple devices, you should look into purchasing a hub so that you can connect all of them to the internet via ethernet cable. This will not only help you use the VPN but will also make browsing the web faster as well as reduce the strain on your network. If you are running a small network, consider using devices with Wi-Fi range extenders so that you can extend the reach of your wireless network and allow your devices to connect to the internet without needing to purchase a hub.
One of the great things about having your VPN at home is the fact that you have complete control over the software and settings. This means that if you want to access a specific website that is blocked in your region, you can do so easily by changing a setting in your VPN software.
As a result of all of this control, you have the ability to test different approaches to see which one works best for you. For example, if you’re not sure how other people are accessing a website that you know is blocked in your region, you can use your VPN to simulate a trip to the site and see how others are getting in. You can then work out how you’re going to tackle the issue yourself – whether that’s changing your IP address or using a proxy server to get around the blockage.
In addition to this flexibility, you can use your VPN to encrypt all of your internet traffic, protecting your identity and ensuring that your data is only shared with websites you want to see. You’ll need to check with the administrators of these websites to see if they’re OK with their content being shared this way or not, but it’s a great way to keep your personal data secure when browsing the web.
Hopefully, these tips on how to host a VPN at home will help you decide whether or not this is the right strategy for you. If you are interested in trying out VPNs, have fun! Just make sure that you’re aware of the potential security risks involved.