I’ve been meaning to set up a VPN and this morning seemed like a good time to tick it off the bucket list. This is a quick outline of my experience, which included one minor hiccup.
There are a number of vendors to choose from, but based on a recommendation I had a look at ExpressVPN. The first thing that you need to do is create an account. You’ll need to provide credit card details and you have a choice of subscription periods. There’s a 30 day money back offer, which means that you can try this out with no significant risk.
Download the Client
Click the button to download the client. Then install.
The install went flawlessly for me.
Next you need to apply the activation code from the web site.
Connecting (First Attempt)
At this point everything had gone very smoothly and I was feeling most optimistic. So I went ahead and tried to connect to a VPN server. By default a connection will be made to a suitable server based on your geographic location.
Well, that’s no good! Luckily it’s easy to get some diagnostics.
That’s unexpected: unable to execute ifconfig. I’m working on a fresh Ubuntu install, so evidently I haven’t yet installed all of the usual tools. Easily remedied.
So I’ve automatically been connected to a VPN server in Berkshire. Let’s disconnect and see what other server locations are available.
So there’s a server located in South Africa. It’s interesting to browse the full list of locations with ExpressVPN servers. Obviously the choice of server will be dictated by your reason for using the VPN. There’s a handy guide to the various considerations in choosing a server location.
We’ll connect to the South African server by specifying its alias.
I feel like I’ve just started to scratch the surface with this technology, but it’s been a pleasant experience so far. Looking forward to delving deeper.