Using Raspberry Pi to Connect to Your VPN Service
It should come as no surprise that the Great Firewall of China makes it hard to hook up to a VPN service. Using Raspberry Pi provides an easy way to get to your VPN service and to enjoy the Internet in all its glory, without being restricted by the government. From a recently published article in the Register, here’s how it works.
Anywhere and Everywhere
- Set the Raspberry to automatically connect to your VPN service. Use OpenVPN.
- Share the connection using a Wi-Fi dongle and hostapd software
This allows you to share the connection with any wireless device. You can bring the Raspberry with you and plug it into an Ethernet and USB plug. The device will hook up to the VPN service and you’ll be able to surf the Internet in freedom.
This solution may work better for users who don’t have the technical chops to install OpenVPN on a router. It’s also very portable, of course, and that has some real advantages. The user who originally posted the instructions said that it takes her a few minutes to connect and, after that, the Internet is uncensored and the traffic is encrypted.
Breaking Down the Wall
The Great Firewall of China has been a thorn in the side of Chinese Internet users for years. VPN services provide a way to get around it, but the government has actively tried to shut down access to those services whenever and however it can. Recent technology, however, has made it possible for users to get around those efforts.
OpenVPN is preferable to other protocols, as it can run over any port. L2TP also provides excellent encryption, but only works over a specific port. According to the article in the Register, the Great Wall has not yet blocked that port, so it should still be accessible.
Japanese researchers also developed the VPN Gate Academic Experiment Project, which provides another way that users can get around the Great Wall. This method uses a relay and is free and was designed to offer some protection from—and freedom from—the firewalls that restrictive governments oftentimes put between their citizens and the vast amount of information available on the Internet. With the Raspberry solution, that freedom can now be taken anywhere that you want to hook up to your VPN and explore the Internet without interference from the government.