Tag Archives: dedicated

Running OpenVPN

I’ve been playing with OpenVPN for the past couple of weeks and I’m pretty impressed. OpenVPN allows you to create a private network between 2 computers. These could be 2 servers or a client and a server. A few of the reasons for wanting to do this are –

  • bypassing your ISPs traffic shaping
  • making your traffic appear to originate from a different country
  • encrypting your laptop traffic over an insecure link – such as a coffee shop wifi connection
  • anonymous web surfing
  • bypassing a countries web access controls

Setup and configuration of the server component can be fairly complicated depending how you want to manage the certificates and networking on there. It’s possible to install it on Linux or Windows although I’ve only tested it on Linux. Running the server on Linux you also need to configure iptables to translate your private ‘vpn’ ip address to an external ip address on the vpn server.

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vps monitoring

If you have your website, e-mail system, etc. running on your own VPS or dedicated server it’s good to know when that server is unavailable so you can contact your server provider asap.

The best way to do this is use an external monitoring company. I’ve been using Hyperspin for a couple of months now and it’s been working great.

You can pick what services/ports on your server to monitor (SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS, etc.) and you can chose how to be alerted when they are not available. Obviously you need to make sure that you’re alerted via an out of band method (in other words don’t rely on an e-mail to an e-mail account on your VPS to know that your VPS is down!)

The Hyperspin website isn’t very pretty but overall their system is reliable and easy to use.