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Author Topic: I just thought I'd share. (The Cheapest VPN system ever All Courtesy of Amazon)  (Read 4866 times)

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Offline pkwong

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I was sitting on my couch one night and out of the blue, I came up with an idea.  How would OpenVPN function over Amazon's Free Tier?  Well,  I decided to set up an OpenVPN server to find out and found out I did.  After creating a micro-instance on CentOS, my distro of choice, I installed and configured an OpenVPN box, attached an elastic IP to it and tested it against my internet connection (50 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up).  Not only did it work like a champ, but it made me realize that I could get VPN service for a year for pennies.

Amazon gives away one free EC2 microinstance for a year and all you pay for is the outgoing bandwidth.  I also came to realize that it comes with a static IP and you can have your own server (which you completely control).  It'll easily handle multiple VPN clients as well.  After doing the math for what happens after the year is up, putting the microinstance into a "reserved instance state", it works out to roughly ($10.91) per month after the first year.  It can easily handle multiple clients and handles Netflix / Streaming video ISP throttling simultaneously for multiple clients without a problem.

I did a write up on my blog about it:  http://swimminginthought.com/2012/04/amazons-free-tier-personal-vpn-server./

I'll be writing up a how-to on building the server up as well.
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline cmb

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Interesting idea, thanks for sharing. That's as much or more money than most of the VPN service providers out there, but I suspect you have a much better solution there as far as performance and consistency. And doing it for cheaper than what most VPS providers would charge. From what I've seen working with a few people on VPN providers, they can be hit and miss on performance and reliability. And there is definitely a benefit to having access to the server.

Offline pkwong

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You're very welcome.  I'm going to write a how-to guide (A step by step on how to do this ).  Just wondering if this would be a good sticky post?  What do you think?
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline pkwong

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I also wanted to point out that by simply sharing the cost of the reserved instance with 5-10 people, the costs per month come down considerably.
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline jimp

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A wiki entry would be better than a sticky, but I'm sure others would be interested in the instructions either way.
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Offline pkwong

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For someone as technical as me.. I just never really was into the wiki thing.. however, I'll write the doc right now.. (article) and even do the wiki entry if I have access.  Although, I'd love for someone else to deal with the wiki page.. lol.. maybe I'll pay someone to do it.

I'm transitioning to becoming a full-ish time blogger and writer and even put my first ebook on the Amazon Kindle store today. So I'll have to write up a doc that is a how-to that will allow people to set it up step-by-step if they don't want to buy my AMI product.  Although, the original posting will be technical enough for the linux admin to set-up, but the actual step-by-step manual will be worth something.. I'm sure..   After all, I managed to get the Promise R4/R6 array to work on bootcamp without apple's blessing.. and yes.. it does do 1+ GB per second as claimed.  That's a horse of a different color though.

When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline jimp

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That's fine, just write it up like you'd write it up here, it's not a big deal to translate it into wiki syntax.

I'm not a die-hard wiki nut like some are, but it's extremely convenient for documentation like this. Only so many stickies a forum/board can have before it gets distracting. :-)
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Offline pkwong

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cool :) Thanks for the advice.
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline ry12a

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I can confirm that this works a treat!
I got pkwong to set this up for me and he was really easy and fast to deal with...The amazon setup is a little less than transparent (and my command line stuff is not what it might be!) but I can recommend this as a way to go if you need to set something like this up!
10/10 Percy:)

Offline rob400

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Works like a charm.
In one of my several chats with Percy the topic of an EC2 microinstance came up and I decided to make the switch. Percy set it up for me and it has been solid, and the performance great thus far. I have had several dealings with Percy over the last couple of months and he has helped me immensley with everything from Pfsense tutoring, setting up my own pbx, at home and in the cloud, and helping me with setting up my vpn requirements with AWS EC2.
I would highly recomend this as a viable option for your vpn requirements.
Thanks Percy, your help has been greatly appreciated.

Offline xbipin

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I also wanted to point out that by simply sharing the cost of the reserved instance with 5-10 people, the costs per month come down considerably.

i would like to share this if u plan to use in production coz i anyways buy vpn from other providers for roughly $12/month that too their servers r always loaded with traffic

Offline pkwong

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I did some calculations and I was a tad wrong with the cost of the VPN.  If you use a reserved instance (Heavy Utiilization), It works out to 6.43 per month + transfer, but I will be more than happy to write a document on how to selectively route traffic through the VPN to help mitigate traffic utilization through the VPN.  Even with heavy utilization (Netflix Hi-Def), last month, my bill came out to $4.00-ish considering I was on the free tier and didn't pay for the instance time.

Just look for these postings on my blog @ swimminginthought.com

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 09:28:25 am by pkwong »
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Offline pkwong

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xbpin.. email me.. I'll set you up on mine.. send me your contact info... psk@psk.net
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline pkwong

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I've just created a step-by-step guide on my website on how to do this.  (It's for purchase on my website), but I also uploaded it to the Amazon book store lending library.  (Free).

It should be live within 48 hours.
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.

Offline pkwong

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Wow, talk about fast turn around.  Amazon published the book right away.  It's available in the lending library!  Just search for Percy Kwong
When all else fails, don't blame the machine.  Blame your architecture.