How to Build and Configure Your Own VPN Server

| Updated on March 27, 2024

A VPN server is a versatile tool that is in many cases indispensable in today’s world. It can boost your privacy and secure your data while the “side effect” of being able to access the internet from another region opens a whole bunch of useful applications like accessing the resources that are blocked in your country or conducting market research of the specific region of your VPN server.

There are several ways of accessing a VPN server. First of all, you definitely know that there are lots of free and paid services that you can access by googling and which you definitely had already found in case you felt the need for VPN service before.

However, there is another way around it – in fact, you can build and configure your VPN server by yourself using Linux VPS hosting. It’s important to note right away that this approach isn’t universal and has certain limitations, you’ll have to go to a VPN service provider to achieve some specific goal or to make your life easier, but the skill of building and configuring your own VPN will be useful anyway.

Advantages of Creating Your Own VPN Server

Before diving into any subject matter, it’s important to figure out why. When we are dealing with a self-made VPN, we are avoiding a bunch of pitfalls that otherwise can be present on a commercial VPS. So, let’s look at the advantages provided by it.


It’s clear that by making things by yourself you save money by not paying for the service in question. On the other hand, many common VPN service providers offer a bit unflexible plans, where you’ll have to pay a lot unless you take an annual or even biennial plan. The hosting plans for VPN are usually much more convenient from this point of view, and even the cheapest VPS will be more than enough. You can cancel the service anytime and renew it when you need it again, without being bound to a rigid annual plan.

More Transparency 

There are dozens if not hundreds of VPN service providers that you can find on the web, and the choice between them can be daunting while the cost may vary. You won’t know exactly until you try whether their quality will be sufficient for you. On the other hand, you won’t know exactly if this or that provider monitors your data or sells it to third parties.

With your own VPN server, you will know exactly how what is going on with your data as the server is yours, while the performance will depend only on the VPS you rent. That is to say, there are much fewer variables that can determine the quality of the service, so it is almost completely transparent to you. 

Of course, with little research, you can find a good and trusted VPN provider that offers services convenient for you and for a reasonable price, but won’t this research take even more than just doing things on your own?

You have a VPS

Another benefit of using a VPS for a VPN is that you in fact have a VPS. And you can use this VPS for further purposes than just for VPN. If you are a regular user, you can use it as storage and for remote access to your files and application. You can use it as a game server if you engage and gaming. And if you are a site owner, you probably know what to do with it. In this case, a VPN might play a secondary role with respect to your website, and using your VPS for a VPN as well will be a rational use of resources.

There are, however, a couple of downsides to a self-made VPN server. 

  • You are limited by region. If switching between different countries to access content available in different regions is what you need for VPN, then, unfortunately creating VPN with your own VPS is not for you. A VPS is located in a specific region so your choice of VPN locations will be limited by it. If you need VPN for reasons of privacy or you don’t need more than one location, then creating your own VPN server is a very practical solution.
  • You will have to dedicate time to it. While starting to use a ready-made service may take you minutes, your own VPN will require you to study the topic and carefully follow the instructions. Nevertheless, the process itself isn’t really hard from a technical point of view, while providing you with some valuable experience and a couple of insights.
  • You’ll have to fix things yourself. On a commercial VPN service, everything is already configured while technical issues are resolved even without your participation. In the worst case, you’ll have to go to the technical support team of your service provider. Instead, if something goes on a VPN server created by you, you’ll have to figure things out on your own as there won’t be any command of techs or support. However, if the problem will be about your server then your hosting provider’s support team will be here to help.

Building a VPN Server on Your Linux VPS

Now, let’s have a look at how to actually install and configure your VPN service on your Linux VPS using Ubuntu. 

  1. Check if the TUN/TAP adapter is enabled. It is the parameter that allows setting up a VPN connection. You’ll most likely find it in your control panel. Alternatively, you can this command:

    cat /dev/net/tun

    If TUN/TAP is enabled, you’ll see the following message:
    cat: /dev/net/tun: File descriptor in a bad state.

  1. Install OpenVPN. OpenVPN is an open-source VPN technology that is widely used to create virtual private networks by businesses and individuals. The first step of installing OpenVPN is installing the OpenVPN access server package.

    First, log in to your VPS via SSH as the root user. Now, use the following commands:

    apt update && apt -y install ca-certificates wget net-tools gnupg

    wget -qO – | apt-key add –

    echo “deb focal main”>/etc/apt/sources.list.d/openvpn-as-repo.list

    apt update && apt -y install openvpn-as

After the installation, you’ll get admin UI address and client UI address as well as the UI login information which you’ll need for further configuration.

  1. Go to Admin UI by using the credentials you’ve just seen. Now, go to User Management –> User Permissions and create a new user.
  2. After creating a new user, the OpenVPN connection profile file required to connect to the VPN server can be downloaded by logging into the OpenVPN Access Server’s Client UI using the credentials of the newly created user. Note that OpenVPN is cross-platform and you’ll be able to connect multiple devices using your connection profile file. However, the free version includes up to two devices and for the bigger number, you’ll have to pay extra.


A VPN is a versatile tool becoming increasingly useful in the modern-day world. However, you might have not known that besides the common option of buying a ready VPN solution from one a provider from the market, you can create a VPN server on your own using a VPS server, which has a bunch of advantages including being cheap and transparent, though requiring you to perform a bunch of operations. We hope that this article what’s what, thank you for your attention! Take care!

Chitra Joshi

Content Writer & Marketer

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