There are many reasons why you might want to setup a VPN at home. Perhaps you are having trouble accessing corporate VPNs from abroad? Or perhaps you are looking to secure your personal devices and data while using public Wi-Fi? Whatever your reasoning may be, it is likely that there is a VPN solution out there that can help!
In this guide, we will discuss the steps to set up a VPN at home for the first-time user. We will cover every step from setting up the server to ensuring you have a pleasant experience while using the service. So, if you are looking for a simple-to-follow guide to get started with a VPN at home, this is the article for you!
Select The Best Location
The first step is to select the best location for your VPN server. You want to find a place with great bandwidth so that you can stream content smoothly. Additionally, you want to be sure that the physical location is safe and has a great environment. Do some research and read online about the location you have chosen before committing. Also, make sure that your ISP isn’t doing something strange with traffic in that area that could potentially compromise your privacy.
Change The Server’s IP Address
One of the first things you will need to do is change the IP address of your VPN server. This is typically done through a Dynamic DNS client such as DynDNS or NoIP. After entering your email address and using the pull down menu to choose either DynDNS or NoIP, you will need to paste in the IP address you want to use and click Update. This will reconfigure your devices’ DNS settings to direct all DNS queries to the VPN server instead of the usual DNS servers provided by your ISP.
OpenVPN is the most popular choice among VPN service providers, for a reason. It is a free, open source VPN software package that is compatible with most modern operating systems.
You can download and install OpenVPN on your server in less than a minute. Just remember to use your browser’s Save button to download the installer if you are on a desktop, or right-click and select Save link as to save it to your Downloads folder on a portable device.
Secure The Server With A Password
Now that you have OpenVPN installed on your server, it’s time to secure it with a password. In order to do this, login to your router and find the OpenVPN configuration page. On most routers, this will be located under the heading ‘VPN’, as seen in the image below.
Simply click the Configure button to bring up a login box. Enter your email address and password, then click Save. Once you have successfully logged in, click the Start button to begin securing your network connection. A bar will appear at the top of your screen indicating that the VPN connection is now secure (as seen below).
Test The Connection
Now that your VPN server has been set up and secured with a password, you can begin testing the connection. To do this, connect a spare device (such as a laptop or a desktop computer) to the Internet and run a quick VPN test. You should see a green lock at the top of your screen with the VPN provider’s name underneath it (as seen below). If you do not, then something is wrong and you should start over again from step one.
Add More Devices
If everything is working correctly, you should now have a green lock at the top of your screen with the VPN provider’s name underneath it. If this is the case, then great! You can now add additional devices to the network, such as mobile phones or tablet computers. Simply follow the same steps as above to connect these devices to the Internet, then test the connection by running a quick VPN test.
Set Up The Client Devices
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to set up a VPN server at home, it’s time to move onto the client devices. First, download and install the OpenVPN GUI tool on your computer. This is the software package you will use to interact with your VPN from your desktop or laptop computer. Additionally, you can download the OpenVPN GUI app for your mobile phone or tablet device.
Once you have the OpenVPN GUI tool or app installed, launch it and click the New Network button to bring up the wizard. Name your network and select either Client or Server mode. Then, click the Next button.
In client mode, you will need to enter the IP address of your VPN server within the Remote Address field. The rest of the fields should be filled in based on your needs. When you are finished, click the Finish button to save the configuration and begin using your VPN.
Enjoy A Private And Secure Network
Now that you have a VPN server set up and working with a few devices, you can begin enjoying a private and secure network! If you are looking for a simple guide to set up a VPN at home for beginners, this is the article for you.