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How to set up a private, secure, and free VPN* on Amazon AWS Cloud in 10 minutes by Web Development

How to set up a private, secure, and free VPN* on Amazon AWS Cloud in 10 minutes by Web Development


Update: May 1, 2018, the new L2TP system is being used which is more reliable. YAML config is used from now on instead of JSON. You can read more about it on our webdigi github page.
Notice: June 2, 2017, we received feedback from a few users that some new AWS accounts take a few hours before the account is activated to use this service.
Update: November 15, 2016, use L2TP over IPSEC instead of PPTP for added security and support for macOS Sierra.
Update: September 19, 2016 AWS Mumbai new region added as well.

So, we all know the benefits of using a VPN like privacy, anonymity, unblocking websites, security, overcoming geo-restrictions, etc. However, it has always been difficult to trust a VPN provider that can log and intercept your internet traffic! Launching a private VPN server will really give us the best that a VPN has to offer. This guide will walk you through all the steps to get your VPN up and running in about 10 minutes.

basic: Non-technical people should be able to easily follow this guide.
Quickly: 10 minutes is all it takes to follow this guide and create a private VPN server.
Spread: The VPN server is for your use only.
Believe: Encrypted and password-enabled VPN server with no logs.
On demand: You can start/stop the VPN server as required.
my world: One or more VPN servers in 14 regions around the world (including London, USA, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, and Canada).
device support: Supports PPTP and L2TP with IPSEC which means you can use VPN server on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC, MAC and even most routers (for Apple TV and Chromecast support).
open source: review/contribute to this project
freeNew Amazon AWS customers have a free first-class server for the first year.

1. Set up a free Amazon (AWS) cloud account.
Visit and complete the registration. If you already have an Amazon AWS account, please sign in and continue.

2. Select a region for your VPN server.
The VPN server can be in the following locations – Northern Virginia, Oregon, California, Ireland, Frankfurt, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Sao Paulo. All of your traffic will flow through the region hosted by your VPN server. The selected area will appear in bold next to your name in the top header bar.

3. Open CloudFormation in the Amazon AWS Control Panel.
You can follow this link or click the Configure Cloud link from the AWS page.

4. Start building a stack with CloudFormation. Click the Create Stack button at the top of the page.

5. Prepare a template for the stack
Enter a stack name that says MyVPN (You use whatever you want). Then under Form, Source, select “Select Amazon S3 Template URL” and paste this URL Then click Next.

6. Set up the VPN access details on the setting parameters page
Speed: Select Standard.VPN-Free and this should be done in most use cases. We have also added faster server options if you need a VPN with multiple simultaneous video streams etc.
Username: The VPN username for your VPN server.
VPNPassword: The VPN password for your VPN server.
VPN Gateway: VPN passphrase for L2TP – IPSEC connections on your VPN server.

7. You will then be taken to the Options section and you can click Next without having to fill in anything on this page.

Finally, you will see a review page as in the screenshot below. Just click create and the VPN server will be created within a few minutes.

8. Monitor VPN server creation

You will see a page stating that the status is under construction as shown below.

In about 2 minutes, you should see that the stack creation in progress has completed as follows.

9. Get the IP address of the VPN server

Once the stack state appears as CREATE_COMPLETE, you can click on the Output tab.

Now in the output tab, you can see the IP address of the server as shown below.

Great, you should now have your VPN server running at the IP address shown in the output tab. Please note that the IP address is unique to your server and you need it to connect your devices. Now your VPN server is ready And let’s call him.

Each device has its own configuration to connect to the VPN server. We’ve added how to use a few popular devices below. Please note that your VPN server Supports both PPTP and L2TP with ipsec. This means that your VPN server supports most devices including legacy routers. You can connect to your VPN server using PPTP or L2TP as your device supports it.

Your VPN connection parameters are
future address: The IP address from step 9 This is unique to your VPN server.
VPN username and password: From step 6 above. Same username and password for PPTP/L2TP VPN.
VPN passphrase: I set this up in step 6 above and it should only be used with an L2TP connection.

The examples below use PPTP but you can also learn how to setup L2TP with IPSEC on different websites.

1. Setting VPN on Android 5.0

2. Setup VPN on MAC with PPTP Connection.
November 2016 update: PPTP is not supported on macOS Sierra, so follow point 3 using L2TP over IPSEC (below).

First open System Preferences, then Network and follow the screenshots below.

3. Set up VPN on Mac with L2TP over IPSec
November 2016 update: L2TP is now recommended. Follow the instructions in PPTP after setup up to point 8 below.

Follow the other steps as described in the above section in PPTP to finish setup.

4. Setting up a VPN on the Asus RT-AC68U router

5. For all other devices, please look for PPTP VPN setup on my iPhone etc. You can also setup L2TP IPSEC VPN which is more secure but may not be supported on all devices.

1. If you want to delete your VPN server, just open CloudFormation on AWS. Make sure to select the same region where you created your VPN server. Then just click on Delete Stack button and your VPN server will be removed.

2. You can have multiple VPN servers all over the world. You just have to repeat the setup steps in this guide by selecting different areas. Please note that the AWS Free Tier gives you a total of 750 hours per month for free. You can also delete and create as many VPN servers as you want.

3. Setting up a VPN connection on your router will allow all devices on its network to use the VPN server. This can be useful for use with AppleTV / Chromecast and any device that does not support VPN.

4. You can test if your VPN connection is active by just searching for β€œwhat is my ip address” in your favorite search engine. The IP address reported will be the address of your VPN server if your connection is enabled. If your VPN connection is not enabled or if the VPN server settings are not complete, it will report the IP address of your ISP.

5. We love your feedback and let us know if you face any issues in the comments section below or on our github page to setup your VPN on AWS.

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