Everyone is a little more tech savvy than they used to be. With data breeches occurring every day, most people who live their lives on the internet easily understand why using a VPN is the best decision. Those who are a little more tech educated may opt to roll their own VPN, rather than utilizing a paid service. This is something of a double edged sword. It’s very easy to see the advantages of going the DIY route, but there are still a few things that ambitious privacy enthusiasts may be failing to consider.
The Pros of Rolling Your Own VPN:
If you feel as though you know exactly what you want, rolling your own VPN seems like a great idea. You get to control every small aspect of your VPN, and you’ll browse securely with incredible speed. If you know what you’re doing and you want to be able to oversee every small detail, going the DIY route will appear to be a no brainer.
Your Speed is Excellent
An overwhelming amount of people are often connected to the same server, and lots of people means a massive amount of strain on that VPN. Unless you’re going to share your VPN with someone else, you’ll be the only one using it. This will make your secure connection lightning fast. You won’t be competing for any resources, leaving you at the front of the line every time. With most cheap or free VPN services, people experience slow speeds.
You’re in Full Control
You’re the only one managing your exclusive VPN. This puts you in control of the firewall and all VPN tunnel rules. Your VPN will always function exactly the way you want it to. You pick your data center and your operating system. If you have specific needs you’d like fulfilled and you feel as though a pre-set VPN can’t deliver, you can truly have it your own way.
It’s the Ultimate Learning Experience
If you’re looking to create a career in a similar field, nothing will teach you more than the firsthand experience you’ll get from rolling your own VPN. You’ll learn a lot about system administration and fun with iptables. If you dedicate yourself to understanding how your VPN works and constantly improving it, you’ll essentially create your own academy for self education.
The Cons of Rolling Your Own VPN:
Rolling your own VPN comes with a lot of responsibility. The greater the responsibility, the greater the potential for error. A few small mistakes can create errors that would render your VPN effectively useless or insecure, defeating the entire purpose of using it in the first place.
It’s Less Private Than You May Think
Most VPNs are all private, whether you roll your own or not. The most important part of privacy, the anonymity, isn’t exactly possible when you roll your own VPN. While your traffic is protected, your IP address is not. You’re the only one using that VPN, so any activity relating to the IP address that the hosting company owns is automatically yours. They can and do keep records.
The idea of a shared VPN is similar to the concept of herd anonymity. If fifty people are using or have used the same IP address, there’s no telling who was using the IP. It could have been any one of numerous people. If you’re using your VPN to do something that requires anonymity, you’re not going to be hidden if you are literally the only person who could have possibly been on the server.
Even if you erase the entire VPN from existence, the hosting company still has those logs. You might wind up with every finger pointing straight at you, and no good excuse for circumventing a paywall or simply trying to watch your home team play ball.
It’s a Lot of Hard Work
If you don’t have sysadmin experience and you’re not looking to make sysadmin your life, you’re in for a world of learning and challenged with the task of constant maintenance. It’s possible to teach yourself to run and maintain your own VPN, but you need to be entirely dedicated to it. It’s a highly time consuming process that will likely consume you in the beginning. The only thing that makes it easier is experience, so you might find yourself overwhelmed by the task in the process.
With a paid VPN service like TorGuard, you’re not responsible for any of that. Employees of the VPN company perform all maintenance and management tasks. You’re ready to go after a quick install, and you never have to worry about upkeep.
You Only Have One Location
If you want servers in multiple locations, rolling your own VPN will quickly become astronomically expensive. If you need to do something like bypass region restrictions, one location likely won’t cut it. TorGuard offers thousands of servers and thousands of IP address, as well as residential IP servers that users probably won’t be able to obtain from regular data centers. In the end, it’s pennies compared to what it would cost to independently create these things for yourself.
A Small Mistake Can Cost You
One configuration error or a single missed update can completely destroy your privacy. If you don’t have the time to make yourself available for every small thing that can possibly go wrong, you’re putting the entirety of your privacy at risk. Unless you’re already aware of everything you need to know, chances are that you’re leaving yourself vulnerable. You might want to leave your privacy up to the professionals to avoid the potential for critical errors.
A Comparison of Costs
A virtual machine host is likely going to charge you around $5 for a single low end node with limited bandwidth. The more you need, the higher the price becomes. A VPN service like TorGuard can provide you with unlimited bandwidth with thousands of endpoints across 50 countries and the true anonymity that comes with a shared VPN for just about the same price. Zero effort for a much greater payoff without having to spend any extra cash is always a winning combination.
Which One is Better?
The majority of people are going to find that TorGuard VPN is exactly what they’re looking for. It’s less expensive, more efficient, and easier to manage than any DIY VPN solution. Rolling your own VPN may be a worthwhile solution for large corporations that conduct business in multiple countries, but it’s not the ideal solution for everyday consumers or small to medium businesses that just need some extra privacy. We invite you to give TorGuard a try – we guarantee you’ll be satisfied.