Tools

10 Free Open Source Tools for Creating Your Own VPN

Create Your Own VPN
Written by Martins D. Okoi

As more people use the Internet everyday they are becoming more conscious about their privacy with regards to how much of the information they don’t want to share at all is being compromised. Tons of VPN services have been created to solidify users’ safety but that doesn’t seem to be enough as there seems to be an increasing need to create custom VPNs.

It isn’t a bad thing to create a VPN service for yourself and there are actually a good number of developers and organizations that favour this habit.

Today, we bring you a list of the best open-source tools that you can use to create your own VPN. Some of them are relatively more difficult to set up and use than the others and they all have their feature highlights.

Depending on the reason why you want to deploy your own VPN, choose the title that is suitable for you.

1. SoftEther

SoftEther is among the easiest open-source tools for creating a VPN to set up and it offers a long feature list including a GUI, an RSA certificate authentication function, IPv4 / IPv6 dual-stack, and SSL-VPN Tunneling on HTTPS to pass through NATs and firewalls.

It is multi-platform, supports OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, EtherIP protocols, and Ethernet over HTTPS. It has the ability to penetrate the firewalls of restricted networks that permit only DNS and ICMP packages using SoftEther’s VPN over ICMP or DNS options.

2. Algo

Algo is a minimalist VPN creating tool that is aimed at users that are always on the move. Being that it was designed mainly to be simple and for confidentiality, Algo is not extensible and cannot be used for tasks like evading censorship, geo-unblocking, etc.

Algo has support for only Wireguard and the IKEv2 protocol and it does not require OpenVPN or any other client app. It is easy and quick to set up so if all you need is a secure proxy, Algo is a good choice.

3. Streisand

Streisand can be referred to as a more robust and flexible Algo. It doesn’t, however, support IKEv2 but you can use it to bypass censorships easily and its setup barely requires any technical expertise.

It has support for OpenSSH, OpenConnect, L2TP, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Tor bridge, WireGuard, and Stunnel and the need to install a client app depends on which protocol you decide to implement.

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4. OpenVPN

OpenVPN is one of the most popular VPN solutions there is. It works with a protocol that goes by the same name and you can use it to traverse even NAT firewalls.

It supports TCP and UDP transports, multiple encryption methods, and is completely customizable. You should note, though, that you will need to work with a client app.

OpenVPN falls in the “technical” category of apps on this list but don’t you fret because there is are many guides and a welcoming community to help you from beginner to pro user.

5. PriTunl

PriTunl is an open source BeyondCorp server that enables you to use create a cloud VPN with secure encryption, complex site-to-site links, gateway links, and remote access to users in the local network all via a web interface.

PriTunl features up to 5 authentication layers, a customizable plugin system, official clients across platforms, support for OpenVPN clients and AWS VPC networks, and it is easy to set up.

It is open-source and free to use but it has subscription plans in case you want to take ono some enterprise-grade tasks.

6. StrongSwan

StrongSwan is a multi-platform IPsec-based VPN solution that implements both the IKEv1 and IKEv2 key exchange protocols, uses UDP encapsulation and port floating for NAT-Traversal, supports the Online Certificate Status Protocol, message fragmentation, modular plugins for crypto algorithms and relational database interfaces, Secure IKEv2 EAP user authentication, etc.

StrongSwan is also technical to use and although it has a documentation that you can refer to, it requires familiarity with a lot of technicalities that may throw a typical beginner user off.

StrongSwan is enterprise-worthy with awesome features so kudos to you if you follow through and successfully get it working.

7. WireGuard

After listing titles like OpenVPN and StrongSwan, it’s time for an easier-to-use VPN solution.

WireGuard is a multi-platform tool that gives you the ability to easily deploy a VPN using its like-titled protocol. Coupled with its support for IPv4 and IPv6, its highlight feature is crypto key routing – a feature that associates public keys with a list of IP addresses in the tunnel.

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WireGuard aims to be the simplest, most secure, and easiest-to-use VPN solution and it is already regarded as so by many users. Give it a test run.

8. VyOS

VyOS is unlike the other titles in this list because it is a fully-fledged network Linux Operating System created for routers and firewalls.

It features web proxy and site filtering, site-to-site IPsec for IPv4 and IPv6, OpenVPN for site-to-site and remote access, and a comprehensive support for dynamic routing protocols and the CLI, among other advanced routing features.

VyOS is built from the ground up to provide you with excellent VPN features that you can customize to your preference. If you wouldn’t mind running an entire OS then check it out.

9. Freelan

Freelan is a free, open-source, multi-platform, peer-to-peer VPN software that abstracts a LAN over the Internet and apart from using it to give users privileged access to your private network, you can use it to create your VPN service using your preferred network topology.

Freelan was written in C and C++ with a focus on security, performance, and stability. As a VPN software, all you need to do is install and configure it and allow it to run in the background. If you want to build a web proxy that will enable you to surf the Internet anonymously then you will need help from the community.

10. Outline

Outline is a project released by Jigsaw’s cybersecurity division and its aim is to allow its users to create a VPN server on DigitalOcean (or your preferred server) and delegate access to it.

Outline, itself, isn’t a VPN and it relies on the Shadowsocks protocol (an encrypted socks5 proxy for redirecting Internet traffic). It features a beautiful GUI manager app that is easy to use and it is from it that users are to set configurations and service choices.

That wraps up our list of tools for creating your own VPN. Are you familiar with any of the apps on our list? And are there any titles that I have left out or that are worthy of mention? Lets us know in the comments section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.