Use a Raspberry Pi to build a server that encrypts your Web data from prying eyes. via Lauren Orsini
Free, unencrypted wireless is everywhere, but you shouldn’t be checking your bank account on it unless you don’t mind somebody else snooping. The solution? A virtual private network, or VPN.
A VPN extends your own private network into public places, so even if you’re using Starbucks’ Wi-Fi connection, your Internet browsing stays encrypted and secure.
There are plenty of ways to set up a VPN, both with free and paid services, but each solution has its own pros and cons, determined by the way the VPN provider operates and charges and the kinds of VPN options it provides.
The easiest and cheapest solution to keep your data safe is to just abstain from public Wi-Fi completely. But that sounds a little extreme to me when it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to build your own VPN server at home, and run it off of a tiny, inexpensive ($35) Raspberry Pi.
My Raspberry Pi is about the size of a smartphone, but it runs a fully functional VPN server. That means no matter where I am, I can connect my computer to my home network and access shared files and media over a secure connection. It came in handy on a recent trip to Boston, where I was still able to watch videos stored on my network back home in DC.
This is the part where I’d link you to a handy tutorial on how to set this up. The problem is one doesn’t exist—or at least one that could satisfy this average computer user. And while there are plenty of tutorials about how to set up a VPN server on Raspberry Pi, there are very few that explain why.
I read several different tutorials and cobbled together the results into this semi-coherent tutorial for setting up a VPN on Raspberry Pi, which even I can understand, complete with the why behind the how.
So follow me down the cryptography rabbit hole and learn that no matter how paranoid you are, whoever came up with the methods to generate VPNs was even more so.