Self-Hosting a VPN has become almost a mainstream practice by early-mid 2024. But why is there a general trend moving people from established third party VPN providers towards self-hosting their own VPN? The increased Internet censorship and a tighter implementation of geo-blocks on the part of many online services has increased the audience of the VPN utility. On the other hand, anonymity, which is a major reason for VPN popularity, is no longer a factor to trust large VPN companies with. Therefore, many have turned to self-hosting. But what is VPN self-hosting to begin with, what are its primary benefits and how does it compare with a commercial VPN?
What is a Self Hosted VPN?
A self-hosted VPN is a virtual private network that almost entirely operates the same as a commercial VPN on the surface level. The key difference here is that the self-hosted VPN, as the name implies, uses a server owned and managed by the user themselves to effectively run and perform. There are many different methods of hosting, and many more usable protocols that users can use on their personalized self-hosted VPN. However, the only thing that is needed to make a VPN self-hosted is the act of having it personally managed on a server that you own.
Self-hosted VPNs usually sacrifice convenience and ease of implementation for almost guaranteed privacy, anonymity and personal command over the VPN operation.
Commercial VPN Pros and Cons
Now let’s quickly evaluate the pros and cons of a standardized commercial VPN like NordVPN and Express VPN. This will help us better understand the motivations behind moving to personal, self-hosted VPN.
- Security: Established commercial VPN companies with their huge infrastructure, usually have the security side of things handled for you and you can use them with ease of mind in that respect, which is a major plus.
- Better Geo-Block Function: The servers that you get from commercial VPN providers are already highly configured to be capable in going around geo-blocks, as such, you will probably have a better time using these for geo-blocks, that customizing your own VPN for hours to do the same.
- Ease of Use: As already mentioned, using a commercial VPN is as simple as buying a subscription and that’s it.
- Cost: Commercial VPNs cost significantly more compared to self-hosting. Not only are you paying for the server, but also for their services, staff, facility, etc.
- Limited Server Location: with commercial VPNs you are limited to the server locations that the provider has deemed fit for you and can’t choose any other option, which is limiting.
- Logging: While almost all commercial VPNs claim to never log your activity, there’s always the chance of backdoor logging which will jeopardize their promise as well as your online anonymity.
5 Benefits of Self Hosting your VPN
Now, let’s compare these pros and cons against the advantages and benefits of self-hosted VPNs!
- Direct Control: With your own server, you are at freedom to choose the protocol, the configurations, and pretty much every other property of the server and VPN connection, which is a direct upgrade to commercial VPNs.
- Higher Security Ceiling: While commercial VPNs come with a really high level of out of the box security, if you are a developer or coder, you can make your personal VPN even more secure!
- Cheap: The only costs that a self-hosted VPN incurs are related to the server, which will be anywhere from 30 to 150% cheaper.
- No Bandwidth Limit: Most commercial VPNs limit your bandwidth which can be annoying if you want to use your VPN to move around large files, This limitation does not exist with self-hosted VPNs.
- Location Choice: Lastly, you are at complete freedom to choose your own VPN location by simply altering your purchased VPN server to basically anywhere on the planet.
Virtual private servers have become the premier way to self-host VPNs in recent years. You can use Cloudzy’s useful article on the best VPS for VPN To see a list of the best candidates for hosting your PERSONAL VPN here: https://cloudzy.com/best-vps-for-vpn/