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How to Build Your Own Rock-Solid and Secure Multi-User VPN Server for $5 a Month

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Part 1 – Creating the Hosting Account and Installing Pritunl

Step 1 – Go to the Digital Ocean website. Create an account and verify it, and then deposit $5 into your account via PayPal or with your credit card (Disclaimer: if you use the above link, I will get $10 credit for my own Digital Ocean account, but then so will you! So, it’s a win-win.) Again, here is the link – Sign Up for Digital Ocean and We Both Get $10 Credit!

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Step 2 – Make sure you’re logged into your Digital Ocean account, and then click “Droplets” on the top menu bar. Click the “Create” button.

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Step 3 – Click “Distributions” under the “Choose an Image” label, and then select the “Ubuntu” option. Under “Choose a Size,” select the “$5/mo” server option.

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Step 4 – Scroll down to the “Choose a Datacenter Region” section of the page. Select the server location closest to the area from which you will connect. If you’re creating a VPN you want to use with American video streaming sites such as Netflix or Hulu, make sure you select either the New York or San Francisco region option.

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Step 5 – In the “Select Additional Options” section, enable the “Private Networking Option,.

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Step 6 – Add your SSH keys to secure your installation. If you’re not sure how to add your SSH keys, see my post on How to Set Up a Digital Ocean Ubuntu Server in 5 Minutes. You can find instructions for using a program called PuTTY to create and install your private SSH keys there.

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Step 7 – Enter a catchy name in the “Choose a Hostname” field, and then click “Create.” That’s it. Just wait for a minute and your new VPN server will be about 95% complete. The script you entered in the “User Data” field will download and install Pritunl on your new Ubuntu server automatically. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

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Step 8 – Well, this one isn’t really a step. But, after you create your Digital Ocean “droplet” – D.O. speak for server – note the IP address, as you will need it to complete the installation and configuration of your Pritunl server.

Next, we’ll configure our new Pritunl VPN server. To continue, go to the next page.

5 thoughts on “How to Build Your Own Rock-Solid and Secure Multi-User VPN Server for $5 a Month”

  1. Pingback: One Month Review of Pritunl VPN Server - Jeff Grundy

  2. Nice guide but while DO is very cool and relatively easy the bandwidth allotment are pretty stingy. 1 or 2tb per month would not go far at all.

    1. Hi Nnyan, and thanks for the comment. Yeah, I see your point. Still, I believe 1 or 2 TB is plenty for many users. I stream videos all the time with my Pritunl VPN and have never ran into any issues. DO is still not charging (as of this date) for bandwidth overages. They say they are still just monitoring overages at this point. I stream mostly TV shows and not full length movies. But since I stream everyday with the VPN, it’s fine for my own personal needs. Now, if you want the VPN for torrenting, then of course that bandwidth will get ate up pretty fast. Again, though, thanks for the comment.

  3. Nice story. Using this service for a little while myself too. Had some thoughts if it was all secure enough but after your story I do feel a bit more secured by this solution. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tom, and thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. Yes, Pritunl works well, and I have been very pleased with the service. I have it connected to a domain that I will let expire soon, though. Just have too many. So… we’ll see how easy it is connect the server to a new one. Keeping my fingers crossed. Glad you’re enjoying Pritunl and for the comment. Thanks again.

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