How I Set Up My VPN Server With Just a Few Clicks

Some months ago I browsed through the Linode website. Somehow I discovered their services when I watched a video from Gamers Nexus on YouTube. Linode was a sponsor on that video.

Now here we are. I just finished setting up my VPN server on Linode and for the fun part I didn’t really deep dive into the installation and configuration process through the CLI.

The journey started with creating the account. Name, email, password, and so on so forth. Also don’t forget we need to give our credit/debit card information. For the first time the process of the activation, our card will be charged for some small amount but cancelled afterwards. This is a mechanism so that Linode knows the card is a valid one.

Unfortunately right after the email confirmation, we need to wait some more for the account to be active. I’m not sure about this validation process. This one lasted for about 30 minutes.

By the way I was somehow wrong creating the account through the sign up button/page. I should have signed up from the documentation/tutorial one so that I could get the $100 credits. So, if you want to use Linode, be aware of a promotion if there is any. Because $100 is enough for 20 months of the cheapest Compute Shared Plans! But I don’t really understand the mechanism. Maybe this $100 is eligible just for the first month or the first bill.

Anyway right after my account was active, I rushed to create a new Linode. By Linode, it means an instance or a server. For the sake of simplicity I used Marketplace to install OpenVPN. It only needs a few clicks. Trust me it works!

Marketplace on Linode

When we select an app, the distro is selected automatically. Like what I did, I chose OpenVPN. So, the distro was selected automatically to Debian 10. Currently it is the only supported distro for the OpenVPN installation through Marketplace. 

VPN password, Distro image and region of the Linode.

Next we set our password for the VPN, distro to use and the region of the server. As I said before, we can’t choose another distro even if there is an image section for it. Then for the region, I selected Singapore as I live in Indonesia. I see it as the nearest location available and currently I don’t think I need to access something from the EU, USA, or other regions.

Linode Plan

For the plan, I chose the shared CPU and the Nanode 1GB. I think this is a good starter for my use case. Anyway about the Nanode name. Is it a marketing strategy? You know, listing the cheapest plan as Nanode and literally others as ‘plain’ Linode. Who knows?

Linode label and root password

Finally there was a label and root password to set. Then optional Private IP address and backups. Of course I didn’t tick the backups add-on as I didn’t think that I would need that for a simple use case.

Now I can search for information on Reddit as freely as I want !

OpenVPN Client on Windows (pardon for the hiding of the IP address )

I tried the client on my PC. Just a simple install and then adding the URL or the IP address. Finally I only need to type the username and password for the VPN. That’s it I connected to the Internet through the VPN. Bye to ISP spying!

OpenVPN Client on Android

Other client version I use is the Android one. The flow is the same as with the Windows. Even the interface is identical.

As something that started from a curiosity about what Linode has to offer, It turned out to be something that I enjoy. Both the journey to research the services and a simple configuration there after. Also don’t forget that I enjoy using the VPN on a day to day basis.

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