Using a private VPN has never been easier, it’s foolish not to do it. It takes ~60s and you’re protected on untrusted WiFi networks.
This article is more public service announcement than tutorial, since it’s really so easy you have no reason not to do it.
1: Spin up an instance
$ tugboat create vpn
2: Install OpenVPN Access Server
1 2 3 4
The steps are 1) ssh, 2) download 3) install 4) set password. It’s that easy.
You can find the latest OpenVPN AS package for your system here.
3: Download your client
In the STDOUT from the
dpkg -i, you’ll see a
Client UI URL to connect to from your computer/smartphone to download the client. It’ll look like this:
1 2 3
Accessing this URL will likely give you a certificate warning in your browser. This is because OpenVPN created a self-signed SSL certificate that your browser won’t recognize. You can either proceed anyway, or download the auto-generated cert from your machine directly, and then proceed. I wasn’t able to do this, so if you know how, please comment and I’ll update this article.
Install the client, connect and voilà. You’re now tunneling all your traffic through your vpn!
5 (optional): Save the DigitalOcean image
To save on cost, I only create this VPN server (from a saved image) when I need it and destroy it when I’m done. This saves on hosting costs AND DigitalOcean doesn’t actually charge for snapshots!!!
I’m writing this article from San Francisco’s public city WiFi, through my newly minted OpenVPN server, without fear of a malicious San Franciscan sniffing my sensitive data :).