One of the most frustrating things about going to a university is that you have to share your personal devices (laptop, cell phone & tablet) with people who you don’t know that well. It’s not that you’re doing something wrong, it’s purely out of necessity. You can’t expect others to set up accounts on your behalf so you can use their devices, especially when they’re not allowed to install apps that aren’t approved by the university. If you’re really keen to keep your personal data secure whilst at university, you have a couple of options. The first is to make a personal VPN for university (also known as a VPN for Students), which I’ll explain how to do below.
The Benefits Of A VPN For Students
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already aware of the many benefits that a VPN provides. A VPN gives you the privacy and security you need whether you’re in college or at home. A VPN also allows you to log in to sites and apps that you might not have otherwise been able to access, such as Google Hangouts, YouTube, Hulu, and others. A VPN makes it possible for you to use your personal devices in a more secure manner and gives you the freedom to do so.
Setting up a VPN isn’t as hard as you’d think. All you need is a computer or a mobile device (i.e. smartphone, tablet) and a VPN app (also known as a VPN client). You’ll connect to a VPN provider’s server which will give you an encrypted network connection. Because your data is scrambled (i.e. encrypted), anyone attempting to snoop on your activity cannot read your communications without the requisite key. As long as you remain connected, all of your internet activity will be encrypted and private. This is also known as ‘tunneling’ your data through the VPN tunnel (if you need to think of it that way).
How To Make A Personal VPN for University
If you plan on making a personal VPN for university, the first thing you’ll need to do is identify the platforms you’ll need to support. You don’t want to end up with unsupported devices or software, especially since you’ll be limited by the device’s capabilities. Let’s say you’re deciding to make a VPN for Android; you’ll also need to pick a server to connect to. Ensure that the VPN you choose offers VPN clients for all major platforms, including macOS (i.e. Mac OS).
Next, you’ll need to decide on the length of the code. The longer the code, the more protection it will offer. The longer the code, the more computationally taxing it will be to brute-force the key. There is no ‘correct’ answer here, it depends on how much protection you need and how quickly you need it. The more protection you need, the longer the code will have to be.
Choosing A Server
So you’ve decided to make a VPN for university. Now it’s time to choose a server. This is where it gets a bit tricky. You don’t want to pick a server that is close to you, because the closer the server to you, the faster it will be for you to connect and the less secure you’ll be. Choose a server that is located in a country that you deem trustworthy. Think of Australia, UK and Canada as trustworthy countries, since they have very stringent data protection laws. If you’re still connecting through traditional wifi, ensure that the signal is strong and doesn’t fluctuate. The closer the signal, the more stable and private your connection will be (and vice-versa).
Installing The Software
Once you have your hardware (computer or mobile device) and software (VPN client) ready, it’s time to install the VPN software. The installation process for a VPN client will be very similar no matter which app you’re using, so let’s walk through the steps for the Mac OS X platform. This will be a guide for others too, but since Mac OS X is a bit more advanced, it will be a bit more detailed. Installing a VPN client on Mac OS X is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is open up your computer or mobile device and click the ‘download’ button to start the installer. You’ll be asked to enter your email address and create a password. Once you’ve entered the information, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can choose whether you want to install the software now or in the future. It’s best to choose the later, so you can get the most out of your VPN. Once you’ve chosen to install the software, you’ll need to click the ‘install’ button. The software will then be installed on your computer and you’ll be able to use the VPN straight away.
Adding Extra Features
There are several features you can add to a VPN to make it more beneficial to students. One of the best VPNs for students offers two-factor authentication, which requires that you link your mobile phone to your account before logging in. This helps prevent fraudulent use of your account by someone else. It also offers optional extra security by requiring a code sent to your mobile device every time you log in. This way, even if someone manages to get your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the code too.
So you’ve read this entire article and are now thinking about making a personal VPN for university. Congratulations! You’re an educator and understand the importance of protecting students’ data. Keep in mind that the success of your program relies on the trustworthiness of your students. If you want to keep your students engaged and motivated, ensure that their personal data is always protected. A VPN is one of the best tools for achieving this. Thanks for reading.